Wednesday, 13 June 2012

(Douglas Adams) - Chapter One

There was a strange whirring sound, then a sudden blinding flash, and a roar that seemed to go on and on.
         ‘What just happened?’ I asked.
         ‘Um, three highly improbable events’ said the very tall man with a very big nose standing beside me ‘And it’s highly improbable that three highly improbable events would happen simultaneously, or all at once, anyway.
         ‘We’ve just experienced the Really Big If, or the Really Big Improbability Factor, triggered by what the dolphin was about to say, which is highly improbable in itself, and we’ve probably been sucked into it’s core, or a White Hole, and we’re on a planet with two suns, with a very visible red star between them, on a beach with purple sand, a red sea, and a green sky’
         ‘Oh’ I said ‘What, exactly, is a White Hole?’
         The very tall man, with a very big nose, looked at me oddly, and, I thought, accusingly, and then said ‘I thought you might at least ask why the sand is purple. A White Hole is the opposite of a Black Hole, which transcends space-time, and from which stream large quantities of energy and matter in their most chaotic forms.
         ’White Holes are cosmic gushers which power the galaxies and provide material for the construction of stars’ he nodded somewhere in the direction of the green sky.
         ‘That very prominent red star in the middle of the two suns looks suspiciously like Betelgeuse, and we’re a lot closer to it than we were on Earth, and, as it’s likely to go supernova at any time, we could be in very serious trouble’
           ‘And the Really Big If, or the Really Big Improbability Factor, is?’
          ‘The Really Big If, or the Really Big Improbability Factor, is a naturally occurring phenomenon. It can be harnessed to make a Really Big Improbability Drive to power really big spacecraft but, apart from that, it’s generally too unstable to use in any other way, and can occur anytime, triggered either by something really big or something insignificantly small.
           ‘Its two basic elements are the Really Bg Implausibility Effect and the Really Big Random Oscillation, and the reason it’s called the Really Big If, if you haven’t already guessed, and apart from being the first letters of the Really Big Improbability Factor, is the more colloquial, What If, whatever If might be, this were to happen, What Then?’
           ‘What Then?’
           ‘Usually, when you experience the Really Big Improbability Factor, it only lasts for a fraction of a second, then everything goes back to normal, as in a freak accident, or stroke of luck, good or bad, or a sudden shower of fish, but if you’re unlucky enough to be sucked up into it, like a cyclone, you’re trapped inside the core, or a White Hole, along with hundreds of thousands of stars and planets, and it has a reality all of its own.
            ‘Everything inside the Really Big Improbability Factor is diametrical, opposite to what you would normally expect, and chance and random events are normal’
            ‘Can we go home now?’
            ‘We might one day escape, in a totally unexpected, and highly improbable, way, or we might not, but it’s highly improbable either way’
            ‘We’re supposed to be dead. Are we still dead?’
            ‘Um, highly improbable, as we seem to be talking, and breathing, and experiencing high levels of anxiety, but possible. Experiencing the Really Big If tells you something about being a RD, or Recently Dead.
            ‘The only difference between a Not Yet Dead, or NYD, and Recently Dead, or RD, is their vibratory frequency. The RD, or Recently Dead, has a higher vibratory frequency, which the NYD, or the Not Yet dead, call death, which, maybe, explains why we got sucked in, and the dolphin didn’t.
            ‘It’s lower vibratory frequency probably saved it, or maybe the Really Big Random Oscillation caught it, or it just got lucky, or it got hit by a sudden shower of fish’
             ‘Damn, we’re in a tight spot now’ I said.
             ‘Um, I think it might be best to find the nearest town or city, if there is one, and try and find out where we are exactly. Oh, I’m Bop Ad, by the way. Pleased to meet you!’
             ‘Douglas Noel Adams, DNA?’ I asked. ‘The Not So Recently Dead, Douglas Noel Adams?’
             ‘Right! And you are?’
             ‘I don’t know. I mean, I’m not sure’
            ‘It’s all right. Temporary, or partial, amnesia can be a side effect of the Really Big If, or a good excuse if you don’t know what to say. Let’s just call you Reader for now, as you were reading my Handbook For The Dead - Don't Panic! when the Really Big If hit. You can call me DNA, if you like, all right?”
             ‘Okay, sure’.

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