Welcome back to The Temporal Void reread, and here we are for the seventh and final instalment! This week we’ll be returning to the Void and Makkathran with Justine Year 4 and Inigo’s Thirteenth Dream. For those of you that have read Pandora’s Star you should easily recognise the situation Justine finds herself in…
Justine Year 4
Justine awakes in the Silverbird as the ship is decelerating into the system she spotted before going into suspension. However, something is different: there’s an H-congruous planet now there. While this could never happen in the outside universe it does show the power of the Void and just what it is capable of. The Silverbird’s systems are degrading rapidly, but luckily not badly enough to stop its descent into the atmosphere. And that’s when she sees what the planet holds:
Shock set in as she focused the cameras on the astonishingly familiar profile of the three volcanoes. “You have got to be fucking kidding me,” she said out loud.
The Silverbird was approaching nearly perfect replicas of Far Away's Grand Triad at Mach thirty. She fought to quash her surprise. It can happen. Here in the Void, it can happen.
And as she comes into land she senses another mind, one from a person that died over a thousand years ago: Kazimir McFoster. That’s what happens when the Void takes dreams and turns them into reality…
As she meets and talks to him, she tries to explain what has happened, but he doesn’t seem to grasp it all. And the more they talk, the more Justine realises that he is taken from her memory, and he doesn’t know and can’t explain many things prior to that day. She shows him inside the Silverbird and samples his DNA, showing that he is a real person, but one that the Void created.
“Your DNA is …” Real? Proper? Fully human? “Okay,” she concluded. And how did the Void pull that stunt?
“I'm glad,” he said
But he isn’t the real Kazimir McFoster, DNA markers not showing any similarity that should be there. The Void, again. Kazimir asks why she doesn’t want to be there with him:
“It's enjoyable,” she told him. “But it's not why I’m here.” His face was so crestfallen, she immediately felt guilty. “Kazimir, I apologize, but there is an awful lot at stake, more than I expect you to believe. I have to do whatever I can to help.”
And with that Kazimir goes to keep watch outside.
Justine dreams of her own home, and Gore is there to talk to her.
“Dad,” she said drowsily, and smiled at the gold face looming above her. “Is it time to get up?”
“It's time you and I had a talk.”
Gore reveals that he is another Dreamer, but dreaming of Justine specifically in order to talk to her and follow events in the Void.
Gore produced an evil grin. “Could be worse. You could have slept with him. And I'd be the one relaying it into the gaiafield.”
He reveals that it’s only been four days since she entered the Void, despite her being in there for four years – the Void and its power again. He tells her of events taking place in the Commonwealth, but says that they need to focus on her problem. They also talk of the Void’s reset ability, and how Living Dream are creaming themselves over it, the ability to go back and change every mistake – and that it can create anything a person wants from their memory. Gore explains the Void in more detail:
“All right, forget the eight dimensions; just picture the layers. They're interlinked dimensionally, not figuratively, but you get the drift. Every layer has a different function. There's the memory layer that captures everything that goes on in there. There's the creator layer, which must organize the reset. There's the interaction layer, which formats thoughts for the creator layer, which is what makes telepathy and all the rest of that mental shit happen.”
Well, that makes it all clear! But Gore has a plan:
“You have to get to Makkathran.”
He tells her she must rest the Void to when the Silverbird was in space as it no longer works, and they talk and argue about the consequences of that, specifically that Kazimir will no longer exist. But Gore tells her there is more at stake, and she has to wake up and do what is necessary.
As she awaken she tells Kazimir that she has to go, and he can’t come with her. With that she uses the confluence nest to amplify her thoughts, and looks into the Void’s memory.
Justine pushed. The Void reset itself—
Inigo’s Thirteenth Dream
In a chamber within the Weapons Guild a meeting takes place. Owain, along with eleven guests, meet to discuss their plans now that Edeard and his group have left the city on their mission to catch the bandits. Buate says the surely Edeard cannot survive the surprise he has arranged, yet Owain says:
“The outcome is almost irrelevant,” Owain said. “Even if he does survive, there will be nothing for him to return to. We must be absolute in that. Our supporters are ready.”
At this Edeard rises through the floor.
“The election has given us a Mayor and a full Council,” the Waterwalker said. “There will be no change, no revolution. We are not one nation until we choose to be so.”
“What are you proposing?” Owain asked.
“I am proposing nothing. Your time is over.”
They tell Edeard that they can’t be arrested, but he does not care for their talk. Tannarl moves to open the door, but all that awaits him is a smooth section of wall – there is no escape.
“I have heard many times from your followers that I am weak,” the Waterwalker said, “that I lack resolution. If you believe that, you don't know me at all. This revolution will end here, now. Without you it cannot happen. Without the rapid-fire guns it cannot be attempted ever again. Makkathran will remain a democracy.” His cloak parted, and he held an arm out, palm down. A rapid-fire gun slipped up through the floor and rose into his hand. He closed his fingers around it.
They don’t believe that he will do it, that the families will not allow it. And yet they try to attack him with their third hands, pushing helplessly against his shield.
“For all of my life I have known that sometimes to do what's right, you first have to do what's wrong,” the Waterwalker told them. “Now I realize the truth of it. That is what I am.” His finger squeezed down on the trigger. He held it there until the magazine was empty.
Edeard returns the gun to the safe where the others are kept and asks the city to dispose of them forever.
As he stands in Golden Park he talks to his parents, telling them that they must go to the Heart now, that there is time for them.
“Journey well,” Edeard told them. He watched them fade up into the warm clear blue sky, refusing to acknowledge any remorse.
Edeard follows Salrana to her meeting where she meets with her lover: Ranalee. Edeard tells her that the conspiracy is at an end, and she is shocked when she realises just what he means. He tells Salrana that he doesn’t blame her, knowing what Ranalee did to her mind. He tells Salrana that he will not give up on here, that he will always be there for her.
“You have your life. I have mine. Even in your world of simplistic morality I can live how I choose. And I choose this. I choose Ranalee: my lover, my mistress.”
Edeard glared at Ranalee, who returned a malicious smile.
“This is not over,” he said. It was quite feeble, he knew, but he couldn't think what else to do.
Edeard finally returns home to Kristabel, telling her that he knows who the bandits are, and that they will be dealt with another day.
She frowned and poked him in the chest. “Are you all right? You seem … tired.”
“No. I'm fine. It's just that today I realized there are some things you can never fix no matter how hard you try.”
Kristabel kissed him again. “But I know you; you'll just keep on trying. That's what makes you, you. That's why I love you.”
And here we are at the end of The Temporal Void, Edeard triumphant against the evils of Makkathran. But this is far from the end, and The Evolutionary Void calls…
Join me in February for the beginning of the end of this epic journey, and what an ending it is! We’ll start off with Chapter One, Justine: Year 3 Reset, and Chapter Two.
You can also catch up on the whole Void Trilogy Reread:
THE DREAMING VOID - PART ONE
THE DREAMING VOID - PART TWO
THE DREAMING VOID - PART THREE
THE DREAMING VOID - RECAP
THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART ONE
THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART TWO
THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART THREE
THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART FOUR
THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART FIVE
THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART SIX
THE TEMPORAL VOID - PART SEVEN
THE EVOLUTIONARY VOID - PART ONE
THE EVOLUTIONARY VOID - PART TWO
THE EVOLUTIONARY VOID - PART THREE
THE EVOLUTIONARY VOID - PART FOUR