Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dvorak Classic: Chapter Twenty Seven

Dvorak Classic
Chapter 27 (or, "Enter Dvorak")

Yesterday’s Episode: Mac and Carissa retrieved the book, and Carissa found out where Dvorak was hidden.

    The room before the three continued to glow, and Carissa could look up and see the stained glass above her head. How long had that been there? This looked more like a church than any subway station she had ever seen in her entire life...which probably explained why they had needed the Bible to get in. Perhaps this was a place that, like all of the time slips, existed outside the regular time line. Maybe this place only existed here and now, instead of the real station that would be covered in graffiti and old and smelly.
    This, though...this was...strange. A shrine. Still very much a station, with gates and the yellow line and staircases seemingly leading to the world above. But in the center of the platform, there was a glowing light materializing in midair, and Carissa didn’t need anybody to tell her what it was.
    When the light faded, Carissa realized that she was looking at a tall man wearing a suit, with jet black hair and steely grey eyes. He looked right at her and smiled. “I assume that you are the one that they have chosen?” he asked her.
    Carissa figured he was speaking of QWERTY. “I am,” she said. “And I have woken you up just as they have requested.”
    “Perfect.” Dvorak looked around the hall. “So, this is the place where I woke up? It certainly seems fitting enough for someone as myself. I personally would have liked the ceilings to be a bit higher, maybe bring a bit more light in.” He gave Carissa another once over. “Is it true that you have been sent from those who wish to save this world?” Dvorak asked.
    Carissa shrugged. She didn’t really know what he was talking about, so she could only tell the truth. “Well, QWERTY sent me,” she said. “Raz and that really old lady. I don’t know if you know her or not.”
    “A girl named Rue as well,” Mac spoke up from the back.
    “Silence!” Dvorak glared at Mac. “I speak only with the guardian, none other, unless it is necessary. Is that right, Macardle?”
    Mac’s eyes widened at the realization that Dvorak knew his name without asking. “Yes, sir.”
    “Now...” Dvorak stayed where he was, but crossed his arms over his chest. “Where were we? Ahh, yes. Miss Carissa Lopez, the savior of this world, as picked by my so called associates. Did they tell you anything about me?”
    “I...” Carissa shook her head. “They didn’t really say anything, other than we needed to find you, and you would fix everything once we did.”
    “Ariana said some stuff,” Isabel said, then spoke again when Dvorak gave her a nasty look, “I’m just telling the truth!”
    Dvorak turned back to Carissa. “Is it true that Ariana spoke to you about me?”
    “You are aware that she is no longer a member of QWERTY, and that she has been expelled from their ranks for some time now.”
    “I didn’t know all of that exactly, but I’m somewhat aware.”
    Dvorak nodded. “I am one of the Lord’s creator angels. Because He has given me this great power with which to serve Him, I decide who stays and who goes. QWERTY assists with this, certainly, but I have the final say. And, of course, they pick a guardian of one of the worlds, the one they feel has the most potential. Which means that they think that this world has the most potential. The question you see it the same way, dear Carissa?”
    Carissa nodded. “In a way, I do. If there is another world, I would feel bad about choosing our world over theirs. But this world has my friends, and my family and my neighborhood if I can ever get them back. And I want to, trust me. They’re what is most important to me. That’s also why these two people are behind me here. They have helped me out the entire way during this entire journey, and now that I am here, I wouldn’t have anybody else by my side.”
    “Understandable. But you realize that you have to decide which world stays and which world goes by yourself. So your friends cannot mean anything to you while you decide.”
    Carissa took a deep breath. “In that case, I still choose this world...because the old lady picked it.”
    Dvorak nodded. “Then you realize that I do not choose this world.”
    Carissa raised her eyebrows. “Okay...but I choose this one. You’re the one with the power, and so you can fix everything and keep this world and not keep the other one. I think this was the puzzle that the old lady wanted me to figure out, and if she put her faith in me, then I have to protect my own world. And you’ll show me how to, won’t you?”
    “You don’t even know the other world,” Dvorak said, and the stained glass ceilings shattered above their heads. Carissa put her arms up to try and shield herself. This was not going as planned.
    The glass evaporated into thin air before it could reach the ground. “You don’t even realize what you are doing,” Dvorak said out loud, his voice louder now than it had been before. “Is this just a game to you?”
    Carissa remembered what Ariana had said about Dvorak...that, if given the chance, he would defend the other world because he had to. Perhaps if Carissa could prove that this world is better, then she could make Dvorak see. Perhaps this was the true challenge.
    “This world is better than you could ever imagine,” she said. “Sure, I don’t know the other world, so I can’t make a perfect comparison. But I know that this is a world where anything is possible, where people are in control of their own destinies. That’s what our country was founded on.”
    “This country? This country?” Whatever Carissa had said had made Dvorak livid. “What does that mean?”
    Carissa found her confidence shaken. “ family came from another country a long time ago. They came here looking for a better life.”
    “A better life? There is no such thing. There is only the will of God, and the way He decides to execute it. And the guardians that are chosen -- those prophets who get to see His will before their world ends -- can only sit back as Jeremiah of old and watch as it all falls apart. You will wake to see another day, but neither of your friends will.” Then, Dvorak turned and acknowledged Mac. “Isn’t that right, Macardle?”
    “That’s the second time you’ve mentioned me by that name,” Mac said with a growl.
    “Oh, and you wish I would quit? Maybe because it’s not your real name. Maybe because you don’t have a name at all.”
    Carissa looked at Mac. “What is he talking about?” she asked, figuring that Dvorak was just spouting some more nonsense about something or another. But Mac had a sad look in his eyes, and Carissa got a sinking feeling in her stomach.
    “Oh,” Dvorak said with a laugh in his voice, “he didn’t tell you the truth?”
    Carissa couldn’t keep her eyes off of Mac. “What did you do?”
    Mac couldn’t answer. He only mouthed an “I’m sorry.”
    “Oh, I can tell you the answer to that,” Dvorak said. “Our little flaw in the system can’t answer for himself anymore. Because that’s what happens to people who are selfish, who break the rules. And don’t say you did it for your mother, because that’s not true at all. You did it for yourself, and look where it has gotten you.”
    Carissa wished desperately that she had an apple to try and erase this entire scene. What had she done? “You haven’t told me what he did,” she said.
    “You must follow the commandments to ensure that the universe lives on,” Dvorak said. “You must comply with the way things are. If you break the rules, you should be eliminated. And that is precisely what Macardle Taggart has done. Thou shalt not steal, yet he has stolen a number from the dead. Thou shalt not steal, yet he had masqueraded as this person for years, ever since he arrived on this shore so long ago. He will tell you that it’s not his fault, but it is. And it is the way he has illegally been in this country for years now.”
    Carissa’s mind blanked out. Mac? Illegal? “That can’t be right.”
    “Oh, but it is. Neither him nor his sad excuse for a mother are citizens, though the fake Mac with the fake identification number has posed as one for years. An anomaly. An outlier. Someone who doesn’t belong.” Dvorak held up his hand. “And as such, someone who should be eliminated.”
    “But --” Carissa tried to talk, but it was too late. There was no flash of light, no sound effects. There was only Mac there one second, and then the next, he was gone, completely vanished into thin air. It didn’t register in Carissa’s mind at first, but when it finally did, she couldn’t even find the voice to scream.
    “Every anomaly should be eliminated from this world,” Dvorak announced, his big booming voice now echoing out throughout the cavern. “And then, it will be replaced with the correct form from the other universe. In this way, I will create a perfect world in which the best of the best will survive, and you, Carissa, will have the privilege of watching me do it, as so many before you have watched. You will be a citizen of this world, this good and pleasing and perfect world for our Lord and Savior.”
    “You can’t do this,” Isabel said from the back, finally free to talk and putting on her best save the world face.
    “Oh, but I can, because by freeing me, Carissa has forfeited her power to do so. From now on, I hold all of the power and will be making the decisions for this world. Your assistance will no longer be needed.” And with that, much like Mac had, Dvorak simply vanished, and Carissa finally found the strength to cry.

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