At the picnic, I had stepped up to the stage. My old friend Jai had given my introduction. I was planning on showing our latest hohlraum for the next version of the veil. This beautiful jewel, a small container of 127 that had be entangled for all time with another, was extremely durable, but it wasn’t designed to be on top of an explosion.
I had started my speech. “In my hand is the future of veil travel. A new hohlraum, one for the ages. With this, we can go further, expending less energy, and even do so without such an enormous cost across space without prior connection. I can see a time, within the decade, when we will have veils not just as part of massive installations, but inside the home, inside the workplace, in space, across the universe, literally everywhere.”
I held the cylinder aloft at the level of my head. The explosion erupted from over by the buffet tables. I should not have lived. I didn’t really survive. The hohlraum shattered and the 127 erupted, igniting and shattering reality around me. The energy came off in sheets, and those sheets protected me. Those sheets of fire, wind, and dimensionality deflected energy away and around me.
I wasn’t completely protected, of course. No one was. No one was safe.
I wasn’t in a coma. I was in a vision. I saw my family die. I saw myself live. I saw my family live. I saw myself die. I saw everyone live and die. I saw the explosion tear apart the luau and I saw no explosion at all. I saw the explosion spread and swell and rift throughout nine dimensions. Over and over and over. I was speaking before a group of scientists. I was speaking before a stadium. I was speaking to myself under a tent in an alley. I was reading a book in an office at the U of H. I was working with a soldering iron before a bench. I was and am and could be, forever and throughout.
When reality stabilized, when I came out of the coma, the vision, reality was so….disappointing. I ache with loss. I know the math. There are worlds where I died and they lived. There are worlds where they lived and so did I. There are worlds where they all lived but we never knew each other, where Alohi was never born. Those are the worst of all.
And my head, my head and my heart hurts. So much.