Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dvorak Classic: Chapter Twenty One

Dvorak Classic
Chapter 21 (or, "The Calm Before The Storm")

Yesterday’s Episode: Mac, Carissa, and Isabel went back to the library.

    Raz showed signs of resistance on his face, and rightfully so. He watched as the three human kids took a look at what appeared to be the Gutenberg Bible they had been looking for. There wasn’t a page out of place, and it looked like it had never been stolen.
    Or so it seemed.
    “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Mac yelled as he ran toward the book. He then reached for it without thinking, but then realized that the book wasn’t real. His hand passed straight through it. “What?”
    “As you know, the real book was stolen,” Raz said as he walked over to the platform where the book was normally kept. “This room is usually the only place this book is kept. It’s occasionally put out for the public to see, but on normal days it’s only available for private viewing, and only with a librarian in the room. It’s a very rare book.”
    “A very rare book that is still very much stolen,” Mac noted, passing his hand right through the illusion.
    “That is true,” Raz said. “And you are the only ones who know it. As well as me. This hologram was created by me, with the small extent of my powers that I have here, to make sure that nobody notices that the real thing is gone. To them, it looks like the real thing on the outside. And it does. But on the inside, there are some clear differences because I don’t know every detail of its interior, and therefore I am not able to recreate every detail as such.” Raz looked over and saw Mac and Carissa looking completely clueless. “I assume that nobody has told you anything about what I am saying.”
    “Yep,” Mac said. Obviously Raz had hit a nerve. “Absolutely little about absolutely nothing.”
    “Basically this is a fake version of the book, to fool people,” Raz said. “Everybody else feels and sees a real book, except for you. But the real thing is still stolen, and is still out there. You have to find it...which is why I’m curious to see why you’re here when you should be looking for the book.”
    “We were hoping that if we came back here,” Carissa said, “that we could find out more about this particular Bible. What makes it so special that we have to find it?”
    “That is top secret information in QWERTY,” Raz said, his arms crossed. “I can’t tell anybody that, much less you.”
    Carissa rolled her eyes. “Then we’re wasting our time with this business. If you think that I’m just supposed to find out all of this information without receiving any clues, then I won’t do that.”
    “Are you sure?”
    “Sure I’m sure. Yeah, reality’s kind of messed up, but can’t the old lady fix that by herself?”
    Raz moved so quickly that Mac didn’t even see him do it. He whisked across the floor and grabbed Carissa by the shoulders. “You realize you’re on a deadline?” he asked. “And furthermore, you realize that if you don’t fix reality by the fated day that everything you know will most likely be destroyed?”
    “What do you think you’re doing?” Mac yelled and tried to pull Raz away. “Put her down!”
    “I want an answer first!” Raz yelled, then looked Carissa right in the eye.
    Carissa was silent for a moment, then shook her head.
    “I didn’t think so,” Raz said as he let go of her and put some distance between himself and her. “But I can’t blame you. It’s not like we’ve told you too much. And we can’t. We can only tell you what you’re allowed to know, and nothing else.”
    “Why not?” Mac asked.
    “Because we cannot influence Carissa’s decision,” Raz said. “When it comes down to this universe and the decisions she must make, the puzzle she must figure out, only she can determine the best course of action. The Bible, however, has something that can help you in your search for the answers. And once you figure out the clues, you’ll be able to know where to find him.”
    Carissa was confused. “Who?”
    “Dvorak. He’s one of the highest members of QWERTY. He’s the only one with the power to stop all of these time issues. But we don’t know where he is, and people from QWERTY can’t get through to this world all the time to search for him ourselves. I myself am using all of my own world manipulating power to create the fake book in front of you. So we needed someone from your world to help us -- and Carissa is that person.”
    “So you’re really not from this world?” Carissa asked.
    Raz shook his head. “Mac, you’re aware of that, aren’t you? Rue filled you in on a few things, but the fact that we’re not from here isn’t a secret, and shouldn’t be from the three of you.”
    Carissa wondered what other things than this mysterious Rue girl had told Mac. Who was this Rue, anyway? “So let’s just say that we fail, and we don’t find Dvorak,” she said. “Hypothetically, because clearly you want me to find him. But what if I don’t find him? All the old lady would say is ‘or else.’ Or else...what?”
    Raz was quiet for a minute. Then, he spoke. “The world will continue to change, and then will stabilize again,” he said. “But the world will not be the same. Some things will disappear forever. Carissa, since you are the chosen one, you will not disappear, but it’s very possible that your friends will. It’s already happened to one of your friends.”
    “So that’s what happened to Peter!” Mac said. “You’re saying he’s -- he’s --”
    “Not dead,” Raz said. “Peter is savable if Carissa finds Dvorak in time. But she must find him. Otherwise, the rest of the world will reassemble at random, and Carissa won’t be able to pick and choose who stays and who goes. That’s why she needs to help QWERTY find Dvorak. He has the most power to control everything, and he can bring the time slips and other issues to a stop. He can bring back Peter and make sure all of your friends do not disappear. But that will only happen if you find him -- and quick.”
    “Do you know when the designated day is?” Carissa asked. “I don’t want it to be, like, today or something. That doesn’t give us a lot of time.”
    “It is soon,” Raz said. “Too soon. I myself don’t know exactly when it is. Only my boss knows that, and Dvorak himself. But you must act quickly. Today, even.”
    “What would we even do today?” Isabel asked as Carissa took a phone call. “We know kind of where the book is, but Mac got beat up while trying to find it.”
    “Yeah, and thanks to my carelessness, both Peter and my bike are gone,” Mac noted.
    Raz nodded. “You may certainly work at the pace you wish,” he said, “but understand that time waits for no one.”
    “Uh, guys...” That was Carissa, in the corner of the room, surrounded by bookshelves that created an alcove. “That was my mama. She thinks I’ve been out too long and wants me to come home now. What do you say we continue talking at my place about this?”
    Mac and Isabel agreed and took the train with Carissa back to Washington Heights, but didn’t get a chance to elaborate any more about what Raz had told them. Her mother let them stay in the house, but wouldn’t leave Carissa’s side.
    “You have been through enough in the last few days,” she said to her. “You need to take it easy.”
    At least easy meant inviting Mac and Isabel to help make churros in her kitchen. Mac stirred while Isabel did the work of making sure the dough rolled the right way. “You have to make sure you keep stirring,” Isabel said as Carissa came into the kitchen with plates.
    “I am, I am,” Mac said. “I’m trying to think at the same time. It’s just hard to talk about anything, you know?”
    “Talk about what?” Carissa’s mother said as she came into the kitchen from the living room. The petite woman zoomed past Mac and took the bowl from him. “Not bad, not bad. Carissa, did you teach him how to stir?”
    “No, Mama,” Carissa said. “Maybe Isabel did --”
    “Well, he’s quite a cook, then! I can just tell from the way this batter looks. He’ll make a great husband someday.” Carissa’s mother smiled while Mac just looked embarrassed.
    Shyness or no shyness, the three of them finished the churros, and Mac got to take some of them home with him. “Text me when you get home,” Carissa said both to Mac and Isabel, and they both did.
    She took it easy that night and ate some churros, watched a bit of television, and went to bed. The news was still covering the missing Gutenberg Bible, and there were no leads, which surprised Carissa. Couldn’t the NYPD do anything? But then again, this entire situation really wasn’t meant for the NYPD to begin with. She got ready and went to bed, but she couldn’t sleep for the longest time. She was too busy thinking about what Raz had said earlier at the library.
    “I have to find Dvorak, or everything I know could be taken away from me?” she asked herself in the dark. It was a strange question to ask, and he hadn’t really elaborated, but he had seemed completely serious when he had said it. That and he had grabbed her by the shoulders to make a point.
    But she knew it was also true, as well. She would do anything to make sure that the people she loved were fine. That only left one question, maybe two: where was this Dvorak person?
    And what did he want?

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