Monday, April 29, 2013

Dvorak Classic: Chapter Twenty Nine

Dvorak Classic
Chapter 29 (or, "Operation Colemak")

Previous Episode: Carissa met up with Ariana, and they made a plan to save the world. Carissa decided to meet up with Mac in limbo.

    She didn’t even notice the change. Like most things in this strange, new world, there was no notice. One minute she was in her normal world, and the next, she was standing in her English classroom, duffel still on her shoulders.
    “...and that’s how Equestria was formed,” a voice was saying from the other side of the room. When the light faded, Carissa could see that it was a younger version of the man in the photo. This must be the Mick that Ariana had spoken of.
    He stopped speaking and looked at Carissa. “What are you doing here?”
    “I have been sent by Ariana,” Carissa said. “She said we need to initiate Operation Colemak.”
    The look on Mick’s face changed from shock to surprise to wonder. “Well,” he said with a smile. “She wouldn’t have sent you here if Colemak was impossible. I’m Mick, and you must be the guardian Sarah chose.”
    “Carissa Lopez,” Carissa said as she stepped forward and shook Mick’s hand. He was very professional, with very light blonde hair and a suit on, much like Dvorak’s but with a very personable demeanor.
    Mick nodded. “Sarah chose well,” he said. “You figured it out.”
    “What is this Operation Colemak?” Carissa asked.
    “I can’t give you details,” Mick said. “But it happens on both sides of the universe melting phenomenon -- both in your world and in limbo. If the other world has a guardian, both guardians are supposed to meet in limbo and do it, but that has never happened before in our quadrant. I take it you understand that Dvorak is the substitute guardian to the other world?”
    Carissa nodded. “So why would the old lady have me find him?”
    “Because his presence is necessary in order to facilitate the move, no matter what happens. Each world must have a guardian. If one doesn’t, and Dvorak is not wakened, the worlds will mix at random and chaos will occur. It is not unheard of for both universes to disappear when this happens. But once there are two guardians, or Dvorak is woken up, there is balance. And if the guardian or guardians can come to limbo, then we can initiate Operation Colemak, the way to save your world. As the guardian, Carissa, you have the ability to change your world, and nowhere is that more evident than in limbo. Dvorak can cause havoc, but if you can rewrite the rules and make it back to your world in time, you will be the first and only to put an end to Dvorak.” Mick sighed. “Which has needed to happen for some time now. He’s gotten too arrogant about the saving worlds thing. When you eliminate him, someone else will be chosen from QWERTY’s ranks to replace him, someone who will hopefully be better at their job than him. So you’re not only saving your world right now: you are saving a lot of future worlds as well.”
    Mick sat down at his huge teacher’s desk and pulled out a notebook and a pen. “I cannot tell you how Operation Colemak works in the real world,” he said, “but I can tell you how it works here in limbo. Your job, Carissa Lopez, is to rewrite your world...literally. Write down everything you want to be true about your world using this pen and paper. If you can make your way back to your world, then your notebook will take effect, making everything written in it the new truth for this world. And while you are the only one who can write it, there are certainly those who want to give you support.”
    The door opened to the classroom, and a very relieved Mac stepped in. “I am so glad to see you,” he said as Carissa sprinted into his arms.
    “I am glad to see you!” she said. “You owe me some serious chai when we’re done with this. You can’t make me scared like that --”
    She couldn’t speak any more, because Mac had dipped her and pressed his lips to hers. Her eyes widened and before she knew it, the kiss was done and she was back on her feet again.
    “We’ll talk after this,” he said as Carissa’s mother and father came in, and Mac was forgotten for a moment. They conversed quickly, and Carissa’s parents revealed that Mick had told them everything. Peter later came in, giving Carissa her pen and paper.
    “Time is running out,” he said. “Write.”
    And so she wrote. She wrote that she and her friends and everybody in limbo would make it safely to the real world again. She wrote that Dvorak would be sent to limbo, and after he was sent there, nobody who went to limbo could escape ever. “There will be a new limbo for each universe, right?” she asked. “I want to make sure I’m defining this limbo and not every single one.”
    “Correct,” Mick said.
    Carissa went on to write that, physically, the world should be the exact same as it was before January 6th, when the world started to change. All people should be the same, and not replaced with counterparts from the other world that was colliding with theirs. She wrote that if there were any particular individuals who were important enough to the other world that would get erased, they should instead be transported to QWERTY’s operating dimension.
    “If they have the qualifications,” Mick said, “we would love to give them a second chance as QWERTY operatives. This actually happens frequently. If someone qualified gets stuck in limbo, we can usually rescue just that person and draft them in.”
    Carissa continued to write, giving every single detail she could think of. Mac held her other hand and her parents sat by her, Peter and Mick nearby. She wrote throughout the night, filling up the entire notebook, taking an occasional break to rest her hand. She wrote of many things being the same, but also of small peaces that could be added to the world. She thought long and hard about what could be changed for the better. She added more love, more justice, inherently learned in each person. She added more wildflowers to the city parks. She made people want to drink more water and less sugar, while still giving them free will. She rewrote the role of politicians to, at least, be more open to those they represented, and she taught all how to reduce, reuse, and recycle. She connected all to the Internet and installed wireless towers everywhere, then extended the range of the signal so there would be less towers. She put a compost plant in every city that had a trash dump. She made every school have the technology and the grants to give each further generation a chance.
    She changed the laws in every state in America to treat every person the same, giving religious institutions the chance to opt out. She declared an international day of peace on September 11th.
    She wrote that the warring states in the Middle East should find peace and come to a solution within three years, a decision of their own but with a timeline to stop the suffering once and for all. She wrote that those who suffered from hurricanes and earthquakes would all immediately get the care and help they needed. All countries that were hungry would experience good crop years in the future, and those communities that had been hated and prejudiced against would now be internationally loved. But she did not completely eliminate poverty, or pain, or high fructose corn syrup. There were things that she felt the world itself could decide better than her.
    “I’m not sure how this is going to work,” Carissa said.
    “Well,” Mick said, “some resources will come from the other world. Things like wildflowers and water. The love, however, comes straight from you.”
    Carissa nodded. “Okay, I think I got everything. Now what do we do?”
    “We wait and see if Ariana is able to make the other side of the plan happen,” Mick said. “She’ll make it, but it will probably be down to the wire. Nobody knows what time it is, since there’s no clock here.”
    “Yeah, and my phone is dead,” Carissa said.
    “Which means as long as we are existing here, it’s not too late,” Mick said. “We just have to have faith --”
    Without warning, the classroom split open, and the room was filled with a bright white light. Carissa found herself alone again, only holding on to the book she had written her vendetta in. She found herself floating upward. Was this it? Did Ariana do it? Or was everything falling apart now? Would she disappear soon? There were no more people, no more walls, only the invisible floor under her feet.
    She knew that voice -- and there she was, floating toward her spirit sister in the light. Carissa smiled as she embraced Isabel. “What are you doing here? Did you find the old lady?”
    “Oh, no you don’t!”
    Carissa knew that voice as well – and saw Dvorak, still in his suit, brows furrowed as he came right toward them. There was a knowing in his grey eyes that told Carissa he knew what was happening.
    “Isabel,” Carissa whispered, “behind you.”
    But Isabel made no motion to look. She just smiled. “Promise me you’ll date Mac, okay? And that you’ll drink lots of chai.”
    “What are you talking about?” Carissa asked, worry filling her voice. Dvorak was falling closer, arms outstretched, screaming at them, about ready to crash into both girls. “Isabel, we have to move!”
    But Isabel simply held Carissa in the light. And with an “I’m sorry,” the light faded as if it had never existed, and Carissa found herself sitting where it had all began -- Saint Arbucks, after hours. The clock on the wall read midnight exactly. Isabel, Dvorak, and limbo were gone, but the notebook was in her hands.
    She looked around the cafe. Mac was sitting on the floor, near her parents, and they looked like they had all fallen quite a long distance. Peter was on top of the counter, also getting his bearings. Still no Isabel.
    Mick was in the corner, locked in a deep embrace with a young woman Carissa had never seen before. Except she had. When the woman pulled away, Carissa could see that it was the old lady, just as she had looked in the photograph they had found. The old lady looked at Carissa with a smile.
    Carissa knew that smile -- it meant that they had won. Nothing made sense just yet, but they had won. That was the most important thing. “Thank you.”
    “No. Thank you.” She even sounded younger, but it was the same lady. “You’re the one we should be thanking.”
    “I gotta thank Isabel, actually...I saw her in the light. And Dvorak was there, coming straight for us. Where did they go?”
    The old lady’s smile faded, and she only shook her head.

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