((::))(:)

by xenaudial

As the weirdness of the preceding incursion lingered, X found himself fading into a drastically altered setting. No longer stretched out in bed, now covered in electrodes and tethered to something akin to a dentist’s cushioned chair. The same laptop now lay on a tray fastened to the chair’s left armrest, its contents still manically deploying as if the radical break in context hadn’t registered. The room had meanwhile mutated into a remarkable facsimile of the nuclear plant control room of The China Syndrome, a near-meltdown thriller that X had always considered eminently hyperstitional for having tampered with time. Indeed, the blockbuster was released March 16, 1979, twelve days before a partial meltdown immobilized the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station near Harrisburg, PA, on March 28, 1979. X had obsessed over event closure before, it being (so far) the commanding framework that could explain the Love-Green collusion. But this was a quick turnaround. To boot, the features of both events were eerily proximate, from the initial indicator glitch that encouraged the overcompensatory measures that almost exposed the core, to the attempts at media management undertaken after the accident. In any case, it was a go-to staging, which appeared now and again in various oneiric contexts when narrative intrigue required some type of centralizing command.

A calm voice ingressed behind X. “I’m sincerely sorry about this. I mean… the way things have come about. Syn-C-really! Hahaha.”

It was Don Joyce, aforementioned audio wizard, immediately identified as he strolled to an impressive-looking console, his gaze fixed on X. Nonetheless, a different Don Joyce than the one unstably flickering on the set of Tune Your Speculation moments before. This one was taller, balding. X pondered the tail end of his intro. Syn… C… “Really?”

“M-hm. Or a… form of him, her, it… I figured the way you reacted to Don on the T Spec set bode well for this particular incorporation.”

X was flabbergasted. How could Joyce/Syn_( know about that part of the dream?