Stable Brain Loops


richard_icon.gif warren_icon.gif

Scene Title Stable Brain Loops
Synopsis Warren tries to reassure Richard that Edward was right, and also that the craziness in his brain is a self-perpetuating time loop.
Date December 27, 2018

Richard's Office

It's unfortunate that after going through so much, Richard doesn't get long to rest. It's early in the morning when Warren is sitting in Richard's office chair by the time the man arrives, laying back in a tight fitting long-sleeved thin green sweater and a pair of blue jeans and black biker boots. Said boots are propped up on the desk as he stares up at the ceiling light, silvery eyes possibly considering a million different things he could do with it.

But when Richard comes, his eyes shift to their more natural blue, and he immediately says, "Our dad was right, and we didn't fail."

Richard was out for a full twenty-four hours before rousing himself, and it was another day before he was actually in a state that he was allowed to leave the apartment and come back to his office. There were threats of nuclear annihilation from the mother of his children, who also cheated by piling worried twins on him.

He still looks like absolute hell when he steps into the office, pausing for a moment to squint at his brother. The door’s closed behind him, and he walks slowly towards his desk. “That seemed like a pretty big fucking failure to me, Warren,” he observes flatly, “Do tell.”

"The tentacles. You remember the tentacles? It was that! It was always that, the thing that came through!" Warren tries to explain, seeming to have difficulty every time he tries to explain this directly. "I'm me because of Christmas, but Christmas happened because I'm me. It's a stable time loop, one Warren created every Warren, but every Warren was always every Warren."

He holds up a single index finger. "Christmas was a fixed point in time! Our dad knew it would happen that way. So…" His eyes flood with that mercury-like substance as he leans forward. "What purpose did the fixed point in time serve? It was what our dad planned, because it was the only thing that could happen! But if he told us, we wouldn't have done it."

The tall-backed chair behind the desk is claimed by Richard, who drops down heavily into it, one hand coming up to rub over his face. “Warren, I just may have watched Liz die,” he says quietly, “If you’re trying to tell me that our father set this up whole elaborate pathway up so that we could do that, I’m going to start punching people.”

"You have to look at it logically, like a machine! Edward's plans all work like gears in a machine, every part of it has a purpose, and to find out how it works, you have to step back and look at the bigger picture!" Warren stretches his arms out. "The function of the metaphorical machine is to bring back Elisabeth, therefore Elisabeth isn't dead. But you can't see it!"

He taps a golden finger against his forehead. "Every Warren came from the same thing, every Warren's brain works because of the fixed point in time, because of the tentacle machine! If the purpose of Edward's plan is to bring back Elisabeth, and Edward always saw the fixed point in time happen the way it did, that means Elisabeth isn't dead!"

He leans in even more, finally taking his feet off the desk to tap his head a few more times. It seems like he's presenting his skull for inspection. He also seems slightly more off-kilter than normal, though he seems to be focused at least. "My brain is the proof! Every Warren saw it, I gave birth to myself!"

He may be manic and ranting, but at least it’s less Lovecraftian than previous episodes that he’s had. Richard regards his brother for a long moment. “Alright,” he says slowly, ”So you’re telling me that all those tentacled ravings were some sort of - temporal echo from the roof, that implanted itself in your mind years ago? And the purpose of this was… what? To stabilize you or something?”

He seems unsure about the entire point that Warren’s making, but he’s trying to understand.

"What happened to me was incidental, chaos, random, but also destiny and fate! It's circular, who was the first to come up with the designs? Who knows! They've always existed, they perpetuate themselves through my brain into infinity!" Warren explains, as if that makes things make more sense. "I'm irrelevant to our dad's plan, except for the ways that I am highly relevant. What matters is that if this is a fixed point in time, that means it's a point in time without variable! Edward couldn't have gotten it wrong, so that means the plan isn't over and Elisabeth isn't dead!"

"It all came back to me, about the time it all came back to me, about the time it all came back to me, about the time it all came back to me…" he explains in a bit of a loop. "I think we did our part of the plan, and now we have to wait for the result."

“Alright.” Richard draws in a slow breath, then exhales, leaning back to rest against the leather of his chair more heavily and rubbing a hand over his face again. “Hopefully you’re… right. Well, nothing we can do but wait and see what— we can do next. Um. I have a project for you actually, related to this.”

"My mind is not only expanded, but merged. Throw it in front of me!" Warren watches Richard intently, almost like an excited puppy.

“You remember the data that we received from the wasteland, when we tested the quantum radio out in Kansas? Aside from the partial data on the Glass, there was also partial data for a detection system for dimensional breaches,” Richard says, motioning vaguely with one hand, “Once Pandora’s Box is opened, someone will inevitably open it again. I want you to work on getting that technology up and running so we can deploy it in case of any further incursions. That looked like some sort of Looking Glass on the front of that robot, and that worries me.”

"Probably, but my mind was overwhelmed. The robot's functions imprinted onto my brain individually, it was so complex with so many moving parts that I interpreted it all in chunks. Plus it was so noisy, my brain was in a recursive time loop, like holding a microphone up to a speaker and hearing it in every direction!" Warren nods though, crossing his arms. "I can build an alarm system for the universe."

Richard stares at Warren until that last part, and he actually chuckles a bit. “I’ll… pretend that made sense to me,” he allows, hand dropping back to the arm of his chair, “It was originally built to be put up by satellite, so we’ll have to either make a deal with SESA or maybe take Colobanth back and get her up and running. Or both. You probably helped design it originally over in the wasteland so that will probably help - combined with all the data we have about the Glass now, I have faith you can put it together.”

"Wasteland Mortimer has a lot of time on his hands." Warren off-handedly mentions with a shrug. "Why don't we just build a rocket, calculate the orbit, and then launch the thing into space ourselves?" he wonders, tilting his head. "I could do it, building a rocket isn't rocket science."

"By the way, I have all of the awful memories of everything I've ever done back, and my brain slightly unravelled. I'm not hearing voices anymore, my brain did a lot of weird things and now I just feel like every version of myself in one whole person. It was like getting super therapy, when multiple lifetimes of myself collapsed on me and filled my brain with stuff!" he reveals, spreading his arms out as if to indicate a lot of stuff. "So, even though killing the intern who keeps getting my orders wrong would be awesome, I also understand that it would be wrong. I guess that's what they call work-life balance."

“You may be able to design a rocket, Warren,” Richard dryly points out, “However we do not have the budget to build a satellite and put it in orbit. So work on the technology and we’ll talk with the government about actually building the thing.

He pauses, “That’s… uh. That’s progress, I guess. Do you need some time off to process things?” Another pause. “Maybe a therapist?”

“Not Bella.”

"Oh hey I just remembered that time Bella used me in a mad scientist experiment and I think she used her intern's vagina to keep me tame or something." Warren seems intrigued, as if he's still feeling around the memories. "And that time the Looking Glass blew up and I died."

He pauses. "Wait hold on I might have gotten something confused."

"Maybe I'll take time off, I don't know. I'm not really sure what time off is. I think I'll stay in New York for a while, that might be fun." He hangs his head back, looking up at the ceiling. "I remember the police confiscating my golden Desert Eagles. I should try to get those back."

“I… could use you around, actually,” Richard admits with a slight shake of his head, “I don’t think Kaylee really trusts me anymore, and I’ve been feeling kind of— isolated.” A tired confession, and he shakes his head, “Anyway, uh. Just try and keep the company’s PR in mind? The government watches us like a hawk.”

"It's okay, Kaylee just doesn't understand the necessity of poking holes in the universe, probably." Warren shrugs, his demeanor generally light as usual. "It's nice not to hear voices anymore, very quiet in there, lots of room for these random memories of syndicated Family Ties episodes."

"Don't worry, I won't shoot any cops or anything. Maybe I'll shoot some Staten people, but only in self-defense or to prove a point!!!" he tries to reassure. "By the way I invented a robot shotgun arm, just in case. Well, actually I created it months ago without saying anything, but I brought it with me in case we need it. Back when I was building the Looking Glass for Pinehearst, I probably could have used a shotgun arm before that guy blew me up."

Then, tapping the side of his head. "Sorry, wrong memory again. I'm still getting used to this."

Richard’s eyebrows raise a little, and he leans forward with sudden intensity, “Wait… what did you say? Building the Looking Glass for— Warren, that’s a memory from a different timeline.”

Maybe he finally believes his brother isn’t rambling complete madness. Well. Not complete madness anyway. There was that bit about the shotgun arm.

"Weren't you listening? Stable time loops, fixed point in time, all Warrens and Mortimers converging on one point, the Prime Warren influencing the little Warrens and side Warrens, the little Warrens influencing the Big Warrens, recursive self-perpetuating stable time loop!" he shouts, staring down at the pen he'd been idly fiddling with whole taking bits of sticky notes and paper clips. "Oops I think I built an ink bomb."

“Don’t set it off in here,” Richard asides, lips pursing in a frown as he considers Warren, “Alright. So given that— do you know anything from the flood? That’s where Liz and Magnes and my daughter are now, that’s where my mother is…”

Warren taps his chin, considering what he says a few times. "My brain is all messed up in some places. Things just sort of come to me. The extra memories pop in a lot, they're filling spaces." He explains, though crosses his arms now as he thinking gets even deeper. "Like the time Elle told me to go get a gallon of milk, and then Chel got mad at me for putting the mysterious Atlantean machine together."

Then he shakes his head. "Sorry, I confused a few things."

Richard’s fingers rub between his eyes, which close as he fights back a small headache. “The myst… okay. I think I might actually have a bit of context— you do need time off, Warren. Let this— stuff in your head settle and sort itself out. Kaylee might be able to help fit it all in properly so it doesn’t just go all sideways and drive you crazy.” Well, more crazy.

"Well, alright, I'll take some time off to do personal things." Warren says as he throws his hands up. "I mean, unless there's a violent uprising where I get to use my robot shotgun arm. But what are the odds of that?"

“I mean, you can still do work,” Richard notes dryly, “Just don’t work, like, twenty-four seven. We still need the watchdog system for dimensional breaches, and if you’re right…” His voice trails off, and he shakes his head, “If you’re right we’ll probably need to act again soon.”

“God, let’s hope you are.”

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