April, 2012
























Potts' Peak page 2

As the pew hit the first one then the second it was like watching a bowling ball taking down all ten pins except that instead of falling over there were pews and old people getting scattered about the room.

"Hey, be careful."

"What the heck? Don't do that."

"Watch out over there..."

"... incoming... whoa...that almost hit me..."

"...and careful of the tea..."

It took a good five minutes for the room to settle down and for the pews to be gently and carefully repositioned and for each pew to have it's respective owner repositioned above it as before.

"Well," began an particularly disheveled old man, "Now that you're here you may as well pull up a pew. Just this time be a little more careful and do it slowly."

Potts selected a pew from along the wall and gently and very slowly maneuvered it towards a gap the group had made for him. He noticed that he'd have his back to the door. That must be where the rookies go, incase anyone else shows up.

"I'm professor McCleven. Welcome and congratulations."

"Congratulations on what?" asked Potts.

"You know, solving the puzzle of the gravitational theory and all. This is the master class, where we all end up once we've discovered just how gravitational forces work and we just can't seem to avoid trying it out. Messing with the fundamentals of it all, and tweaking our immediate realms."

"I don't know much about physics, I'm an accountant."

"Yes, but to get here you had to understand how the gravitational constant isn't and have figured out how to bend space time enough to effect levitation."

"No, didn't do that. As a matter of fact, I'm not really sure how I ended up here, other than simply not letting go of my umbrella."

"So you also, like the rest of us, don't know how to unbend the space time continuum and un-levitate?"

"That's a no too."

"Well, make yourself comfortable. You may be here a while. We were just discussing some of the fine points of how quantum mechanics is an approximation and doesn't quite explain our predicament. Of course, we knew that before we came."

A voice drifted out from one of the corners but was too quiet for those assembled in the middle to hear. "What's that Isaac?"

A little louder, Isaac repeated himself, something which he'd gotten used to over the years, "I said, if he doesn't know how he got here then he doesn't know that he can't go back."

A similar voice drifted out of the opposite corner, "That's clear, what of it?"

"Well," continued Isaac, "If he doesn't know that he can't go back then the probability is that he can go back."

"Just what I was thinking," replied the other voice.

"Second to the parade again my friend?"

"Perhaps, but this time I'll share the credit, thank-you very much."

"Of course, Leibnitz my old friend, I couldn't do it without you. So, as I was saying, don't tell him what he doesn't know. If you do then you'll miss your chance to go back also."

Potts wasn't following this too well. "Excuse me, what is it that I don't know?"

"You clearly don't know how you got here, even though all of us do. Therefore, it is also unknown to you whether you can return from whence you came. You're probably thinking that you can, perhaps by simply unwinding your steps, and I have to say that's a good starting point. But more importantly, if you think that you can then the probability that you can shifts into your favor."

A murmur drifted around the room as eight astrophysicists pondered the probability of Potts getting here without knowing how and then the probability that he'd return, also without knowing how.

"My name's Evelyn, what's yours?"

"Potts, Phineas T. Potts."

"Would you have the time?"

Potts checked his watch. "Yes, I do it's 8:35."

"AM or PM?"

"AM I'd guess since I haven't had lunch yet."

"Of which day, to be precise?"

"It's still Friday the 23rd of March."

"And if you don't mind, you know, just to be sure, which year is it?"

"Two thousand and twelve."

"Ha! I told you," exclaimed one of the old men with a long gray beard. Not that all the old men didn't have long gray beards, but this one was particularly long.

"You said it was 2011, not 2012," intoned another of the grizzled old men.

"Maybe, but I had the day, month, hour and minute correct, therefore I win."

Begrudgingly, one by one seven old men and the two old women floated over and handed what looked like pages out of hymnals to the old man with the long gray beard, who placed them in a pile behind him. Potts was, slightly bemused, as the procession continued until all had paid up. Of particular interest however were two old men whom Potts hadn't seen before, perhaps because they arrived out of two dark and opposite corners of the sanctuary. Apparently they were attached to the two voices he'd heard discussing his probability of returning. One of them was carrying a staff which appeared to be made out of two brass candlesticks stuck together with a small wooden cross on the top, and wearing what appeared to be a long flowing cloak made out of choir robes and a minister's stole. The other was perhaps the most disheveled of all, which considering all was saying a lot, his hair was tangled and long enough to generally be in the way all the time, floating about his head like the seven snakes of Medusa. His demeanor was one of impetulance as though he'd been slighted by someone and never gotten over it, yet his movements were precise and only exactly what was required to drift past the outstretched hands of the victor, drop seven folded pages into his hands and gently drift back to his corner.

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