reset button

Image: Under the Tapestry

“Hurry, Terry. Everyone in quantum reality Epsilon 1450 just died, and the frequency of reality deaths is increasing.”

“I’m trying Kate, but as we get closer to the Nexus, it’s harder to filter out all of the interference from the different quantum realities. I can barely see the center, and we’re dead close.”

It’s generally believed that our universe is the only universe, but Terry Pliskin and his sister Kate found out otherwise when they accidentally fell through a rift near their home in Brooklyn and discovered a different Earth. Unfortunately that one event started a chain reaction, destabilizing first those two universes and then all the others.

The laws of physics in each universe are delicately balanced to allow the development of a reality where life can evolve and thrive. If gravitational energy is just a little two low, no stars can form. If the nuclear efficiency of fusion from hydrogen to helium is slightly off, all the free hydrogen would have been fused shortly after the big bang. If the cosmological constant were too large, stars would not be able to ignite.

Terry’s and Kate’s journey from one reality to another disturbed those balances, and the result is that universes were ceasing to exist.

Professor Grethel McGhee explained it to them when they fell into reality Alpha 11, that is, before Alpha 11 ceased to exist.

Terry and Kate weren’t physicists. They weren’t even adults. Terry was going to graduate high school next spring, and Kate was in the middle of her sophomore year. Somehow, the cosmic accident that let them fall from their reality to Alpha 11 allowed them to continue crossing the realities, which was good for them since they escaped before Alpha 11 died.

Cordi Yalman, Chief Physicist at the Royal Academy in London in quantum reality Delta 909 told them about the Reset button.

Yalman had been born in Cairo, but she and her family were among the 1200 to be evacuated to England before the meltdown of the Tutankhamun Nuclear Reactor in 1943. She based her entire career on particle physics and nuclear cohesion, winning the Nobel for her discovery of the multiverse in 1999. In 2008, she created the Seer, a device that let her map the hub of the multiverse, the lynch pin of reality, the safety valve of the multiverse.

“You children can not only fall from one reality to the next, you can choose to fall in between all of them. You can reach the Nexus and if you do while there is still any reality left, you can reset everything, we can go back to the beginning and try again.”

With each successive leap, Terry and Kate became more sensitive to their location relative to the Nexus. Kate possessed the motive energy, while Terry could determine direction.

Kate also could feel when universes died.

“We’re almost there Kate. Give it all you’ve got.”

She closed her eyes and concentrated. She didn’t have to see. Terry did all the “steering.” The fifteen-year-old tried to ignore how many realities she could sense dying, there were only a few thousand left, and focused on moving them in the direction Terry was indicating.

Suddenly all of the “noise” of the multiverse fell away. Everything was silent in a way it could never be in any quantum reality. They were in-between them all, at the center of everything.

Kate opened her eyes. Neither Terry nor Kate understood how they could exist outside of existence, but they still felt like they were breathing, talking, walking, living. Yalman examined them with the Seer and said they were surrounded by some sort of energy field even she couldn’t comprehend.

It was enough that it worked.

“The Nexus!” Terry and Kate were being drawn toward it. Light dimmed as they approached. This wasn’t just an area of black emptiness, the Nexus generated darkness as a force which, in theory, bound the multiverse together. That force was out of balance thanks to them penetrating the first rift. They were going to fix it, fix all of it, if they could do it in time.

“We’re going in. Good work, Kate.”

Kate didn’t tell her brother that she’d exhausted her energy over a minute ago. She wasn’t pushing them into the Nexus, the Nexus was pulling them in.

The Reset button wasn’t literally a button, but a state of reality, or state of mind as Yalman had explained. They had to focus on the reset, but they had to be inside the Nexus to do it.

This meant they’d never get back out, but that wouldn’t matter if everything started all over again.

“We’re here, Kate. Focus on the reset.”

Kate imagined there was a red button in front of them marked “Reset.” She visualized both her and Terry pushing on it with both hands. It was stubborn, not having ever been pushed before. She could swear it was pushing back, but she leaned over it and used all her weight to push down. Terry, seeing what she was doing, did the same thing.

Little by little, the imaginary button went down, down, down. Flat!

Sirens and alarms went off all around them. The button glowed bright red, then yellow, and finally white.

A woman’s voice, like the computer voice on Star Trek: The Next Generation loudly announced, “Reset in ten seconds, nine, eight, seven, six, five…”

“Here we go, Terry.”

“…four, three, two, one…”

“See you on the other side, Kate.”


There was no explosion, no flash of light, no cataclysmic event. Just one moment they were in the Nexus and the next…

Terry and Kate Pliskin were walking home from Moshe Ben Maymon High School in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Terry was looking forward to graduating in the spring, but he’d miss afternoons like this one in November, walking home with his sister.

“What do you think of Hadassah Freilich Lieberman being the first woman President-Elect, Terry?”

Like most girls and women he knew, Kate was absolutely thrilled that there would be a woman in the Oval Office in a few months, and an Orthodox Jewish woman at that.

“I think that Senator Joe Lieberman will have to get used to being called the ‘First Gentleman’.”

Kate giggled and slugged her brother teasingly in the shoulder. “Is that all it means to you?”

Terry and Kate felt a strange breeze go past them as they turned the corner to walk up Eastern Parkway, the street they lived on. For an instant, they both thought they were going to lose their balance and fall into the street.

In reality, if the quantum density between this universe and Alpha 11 had been just four percent less cohesive, they would have started the entire, horrible chain of events all over again.

However, in the reset multiverse, that density was just high enough to prevent it.

The Pliskin family had Mama’s delicious potato kugel for dinner that night.

A little while ago, I had a brief conversation with my son Michael about how difficult 2016 has been for a lot of people, and that I hoped 2017 would be better. He reminded me that our calendar is just an arbitrary standard and that objectively, 2016 and 2017 don’t matter so much as markers of events. I countered that how we measured time was a matter of convention which allows us to order our events. It also creates the idea that year over year, we can hit some sort of “reset” button and make things better.

He didn’t really seem to take any comfort in that, but my casual remark gave rise to this story.

9 thoughts on “Reset

  1. Oh, we’re “resetting” alright (as in, all wrong). Too many people seem happy to be Russian operatives. We are truly in a twilight zone. All we can do is pray for mercy. And WAKE UP! Meanwhile, I mourn.


    • Well, from my point of view, we’d be just as messed up as a nation if Clinton had won, just in a different way. I suppose that’s why in my fictional reset, I made Joe Lieberman’s wife POTUS-elect.


  2. You guys really had the choice between bad and worse this year, didn’t you. To me it seems it landed on “worse”, though. I live in Spain, and I’m deeply worried. Not only about Trump, his alikes in Europe is sailing up as well. In the real world there is no reset button. When things go wrong we suffer the consequences. Although better than other tried solutions, democracy has some dangerous traps. Power is usally way too concentrated.


    • Thanks.

      Yes, it has been quite a year and it is true there is no reset button. I write fiction in part to explore possibilities that aren’t possible, just to see what happens.

      Hope isn’t something generated by who is in a political office or who lived and who died. We each create it within ourselves. I choose to create it within me.

      I’m looking at your blog now and posted a comment.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. Feel free to look around and let me know what you think.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wasn’t making an argument for Hillary, James (and you should know by now, unless you think I’m a liar, that I didn’t vote for her… or him). But you can’t let it go; you can’t reset to deal with reality. If we (whoever “we” is at this point) keep making excuses (and living in a la-la land of the mind), we get crap like this (and are not salt).

    I’m pretty sure the mention of your son has to do with conversing about reality. But I suppose it works to throw in other things so that if someone responds to the part you don’t want to deal with, you can just revert to fiction and what if this loser of a human being hadn’t won, and whatever else is irrelevant.*

    I certainly would prefer Lieberman or his wife, or the man Lieberman was on the ticket with, John McCain. But some people can “comfort” themselves with the fact that the person set to take office on January twentieth associates with people like this:

    * You get to decide what is “relevant” by whatever definition you cling to on your site.



    Christian conservatives blast PEOTUS’ decision to tap a “charlatan” pastor for his inauguration.
    By Travis Gettys / Raw Story December 30, 2016

    Photo Credit: YouTube Screengrab

    Many conservative Christians are angry over Donald Trump’s selection of a “prosperity gospel” televangelist to pray at his inauguration.

    Paula White, senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center, will join Franklin Graham, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Rabbi Marvin Hier and other religious leaders in the Jan. 20 inauguration — but her participation has proved controversial, reported the Washington Examiner.

    “I’d rather a Hindu pray on Inauguration Day and not risk the souls of men, than one whose heresy lures in souls with promises of comfort only to damn them in eternity,” wrote Erick Erickson, an outspoken Trump critic on the right. “At least no one would mistake a Hindu, a Buddhist, or an atheist with being a representative of Christ’s kingdom.”

    White and her Florida church have been investigated by the U.S. Senate for operating a scam, based on the prosperity gospel’s defining principle — that followers who donate money, or a “seed,” to the church will see their investment returned many times over.

    “Paula White is a charlatan and recognized as a heretic by every orthodox Christian, of whatever tribe,” said Russell Moore, of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and an outspoken Trump critic.

    “Paula White has a long history of bankruptcies, failed business ventures, and unsuccessful marriages, which makes her the perfect choice to deliver a prayer on behalf a president-elect who has proudly proclaimed that he’s never felt the need to ask forgiveness from God for anything,” wrote Paula Bolyard, a conservative Christian blogger for PJ Media.White, who is the third wife of Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain — also her third spouse — takes in up to $80,000 a week, according to a 2007 report by the Tampa Tribune, and owns multimillion-dollar homes in Trump Tower and Florida.



  5. I wish McCain had been the Republican nominee in 2000 instead of George “W.” — he probably wouldn’t have “looked into Putin’s eyes” and inspired a bunch of low-testosterone “Conservatives” to fall in love. He might not have held hands with a Saudi prince and danced a sword dance. He might have protected us on 9/11. Now, hope and peace do not rest in the president. But that’s no reason to be a hypocrite, to trumpet a liar, etc.


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