Chapter 1

That Which Is Possible, Is...

"Should we go out tonight? " It was the eternal question. The eternal question that plagued them both. "No, let's stay in." Dominick said, without looking up from his book. "The Ruckers said we could come by any time." said Mallorie. "Yeah, but don't you think the were just being polite? " Mallorie did not answer but instead gazed out upon the garden. Should she go outside? The weather seemed tolerable for a stroll. She placed her hand on the screen door and looked back at Dominick as he lazily turned a page. It seemed that he spent all of his time buried in some book of philosophy. Books that had a suspiciously Christian bent. It reached the point that Mallorie began to wonder aloud if Dominick was thinking of converting. "I just like the idea that anything that is possible, is." he would say, somewhat sheepishly she thought. Mallorie detested that much abstraction. What was the point? There is but one world, and this is it, but for some reason it wasn't good enough for Dominick.

Maybe a stroll would do here some good after all. "What's the weather like? " she asked. "16 or 17 I think." said Dominick. "There was a low of 10 last night."

The yard was immense, circumnavigated by a tiny path and punctuated by a gazebo in the distance. It seemed they had reached a point in their lives where anything they desired was there for the taking. A second house. A third house. It was no big deal. Mallorie settled in the grass propping herself up on an elbow. A few feet away a tiny Lepticidium leapt into view and paused, lifting it's almost (but not quite) elephantine nose into the air. Everyone that Mallorie knew loved the government's efforts to bring back extinct animals, but at times she found the whole notion creepy, like scientists had unleashed hordes of furry vampires on the world. But this one was cute, even she had to admit. "Hello, little fellow." she cooed. The Lepticidium squeaked at the sound of her voice and hopped off. Mallorie leaned over a bluebonnet. "Mozart. Something with strings." The flower, in response to her command, rose about an inch in height and began to fill the air with music.

Everyday there was something new, tattoos that played music videos, singing flowers, zero-gravity suits, technology that, day after day, seemed to take everybody deeper and deeper into Wonderland. At times, Mallorie herself felt as if she were missing an essential something that made a real thing real. Not exactly unreal, but like a ghostly image spewed forth from RD-D2's belly. Why exactly did she want to invite people over and to entertain them anyway? After a few hours she only find herself fatigued and only looking for a way to retreat into the sanctity of their bedroom. She would try to follow the various conversations, but at some point it would degenerate into a white noise that would leave her grinning and nodding stupidly. Dominick seemed so sullen and withdrawn these days, perhaps it was time for a change.

Mallorie activated more flowers for a stereo effect, but she soon grew bored and headed back towards the house. For the first time that she could remember she veered, not to the left, but to the right. The sliding door stood open with only the slowly undulating curtains guarding the opening. Mallorie stood in the midst of Dominick's den, the comically large (to her at least) globe to her left, the wall of books to her right. Had that safe always been there? It seemed to swim before her in a sea of books. She walked towards and placed her hand on the tumbler. "16 or 17." she muttered to herself and turned the dial accordingly. "... a low of 10..." she said to herself and opened the safe's door. The safe was empty except for a single object. A top. A top that was spinning. As if it had been twirling on its axis since the dawn of time.