Relict Sample

The older woman sat bolt upright, spine like a ramrod, utterly immobile. She paid particular attention to the painted, puckered lips.  Totally still, firmly closed.  If this was ventriloquism, Flick had never seen the like.  The voice, meanwhile, grew progressively more agitated, still issuing from the far corner.

Imagine a furnace – no, a volcano – a seething, spitting inferno. Sometimes the molten stuff flies up in something more than just a spit or spurt.  I don’t mean a full-blown eruption – no, that would be catastrophic, the end…  just something beyond the mundane.  And each one of those random spouts is a potential universe, each drop of cooling magma a plane every bit as real as the one you – we – cling to so desperately.  But none of it is truly real.  THIS is reality – the stuff that lies within.  Chaos – everything everywhere that ever was or will be, all existing at one and the same time, each reckoning its own time in its own terms.  Imagine, then, what might happen if two spouts collide.  Chaos unbridled.  Planes interacting, holes forming in the deep past of one system, the modernity of another, the far distant future of a third.  The SAME hole.  That’s what Taylor achieved, what I cannot undo.  THE PORTAL IS OPEN.  They are coming through.  Do you understand me?  They’re—

“—here,” Neville completed the phrase. “I see them.”


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