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Paradox Ch 1 3-20-11

Paradox Ch 1 3-20-11

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Published by Martha Cornog
Paradox: A Romance in Paratime

When paratime investigator John Smith gets the assignment to find missing poet Ivor Grache, he needs all the help he can get. But John’s wife and co-investigator Krylla has suddenly gone missing too. So John, Csygolyi, the Leo Fallarian homologues, and Sergeant Connie Wells go hunting through the infinite wedges of paratime – not to find Krylla but to find the Smith who found Krylla. And then to find Grache.
Paradox: A Romance in Paratime

When paratime investigator John Smith gets the assignment to find missing poet Ivor Grache, he needs all the help he can get. But John’s wife and co-investigator Krylla has suddenly gone missing too. So John, Csygolyi, the Leo Fallarian homologues, and Sergeant Connie Wells go hunting through the infinite wedges of paratime – not to find Krylla but to find the Smith who found Krylla. And then to find Grache.

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Published by: Martha Cornog on Mar 20, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/25/2014

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Paradox New 9/18/03 page 1
PARADOXTimothy Perper & Martha Cornog© 2011Chapter 1. The Message"What's Smith want this time?"Betsy shrugged. "DivEs business, Siggy. That's all I know. Go right in." She smiled sweetly."Feh," muttered Csigolyi.She smiled back. "Good old Siggy." Csigolyi was playing the curmudgeon again ± a well-known actat the Office of Interface Operations, aka OIO, aka DivEs. She shook her head.He chuckled and pushed open the door to Smith's office.
DivEs, huh?
And what is DivEs? It stands for the Division of Esoterica, but it isn't really a division of anything,just a loose collection of people interested in everything from the Land of Oz to little blue men fromMars. Not that they're not
men
exactly or 
women
either ± they¶re lumpy beings that look like, well,blue lumpy Martians is what they look like. DivEs affiliates who study them sneer at anyone whotalks about little
green
men from Mars. They also sneer at anyone who says they¶re members of DivEs. Come now, one is
affiliated 
with DivEs, not a
member 
. Of course, the real cognoscenti,illuminati, and whatnot don¶t say either ± they just grumble, like Csigolyi. It¶s a shame, but that¶show it is. Distinctions like this always build up in bureaucracies and agencies«Not that DivEs didn't have its enemies, including (for example) Senator Wayne Beidemeyer, whostood up on the Senate floor and blasted these "diddlysquat ghost-busters" for wasting the taxpayers'money. Then he had waved various secret documents at his fellow Senators, but they mostly looked
 
Paradox New 9/18/03 page 2
bored.
hey
didn't care -- or, actually, they did care, but they did
not 
want to know -- what strangeand indubitably scurrilous activities lurked under the obviously invented name "Division of Esoterica" and its impenetrable connections to the Office of Interface Operations of the ExecutiveBranch. It¶s all National Security, isn¶t it? OF COURSE it is, and that settled that, so most Senatorsignored their colleague, except a few fellow party hacks who needed to return Beidemeyer¶s favors -- and not even
they
supported his "call for an investigation of this pork-barrel foolishness" for verylong. But DivEs fixed
his
wagon.They found an affiliate who would sneak over a couple of parallel universes, paraverses for short,and find something interesting about the Senator, on the principle that if one moves only a fewparaverses away from home, things aren't too much changed. Fortunately for Senator Beidemeyer,all the Senators Beidemeyer in nearby paraverses were as upright as he, and self-evidently it was nohelp to go further afield to find crooked, corrupt, or nogoodnik Senators Beidemeyer, becausewhatever they had done
there
, obviously
our 
Senator Beidemeyer hadn¶t done
here
-- because we¶dknow about it if he had. And what we need is something that works
here
as leverage against
our 
 Senator Beidemeyer, not against
their 
Senator Beidemeyer.But the trip wasn¶t a total loss. They did find out that his niece Larissa -- who was only seven andeight in these local paraverses -- had lost her tricycle. So a disgusted crew of OIO/DivEs agents(including Leo Fallarian) tracked down Larissa's lost tricycle in the nearest paraverse to home, foundit in the barn at Cousin Melanie's father's "farm" -- actually, a 70,000 acre ranch -- and scuttled back 
to locate
(we quote from the internal memorandum)
and ascertain the whereabouts of youngster Larissa Beidemeyer Caulson's toy tricycle for the intended purpose of returning said tricycle to said youngster...
But you get the point. They showed up at the Senator's office with the tricycle wrappedin a big red ribbon and presented it to him "with the compliments of DivEs." That put an end toSenator Beidemeyer's complaining, so he never found out that DivEs had affiliates who could popover a paraverse or two -- or even more than that. Now, in some
other 
paraverses, maybe Senator Beidemeyer did find out, but that's another story.
DivEs
, Csigolyi grumbled again, as Smith's door closed behind him.
 
Paradox New 9/18/03 page 3
"Hi, Siggy," said Leo Fallarian."Hi, Siggy," said another Leo Fallarian."Hi, Leos."
oly Bejeezis, DivEs AND paraverse trouble
. He smiled at the red-haired woman next tohim, whom he did not know. Smith was on the telephone -- the red and green one, which he had saidwas a present from a little girl in some paraverse far away, who called it a "telly-phone" -- so he andthe woman just nodded at each other.
No telling W 
HO
you
 
meet at a DivEs conference. But 
O
 Leo Fallarians?
O
ne is bad enough
. Both men -- dark-haired, dark-eyed, were half smiling at him.
Just wait, Siggy, you just wait,
the smiles said.He turned to the woman. "Csigolyi," he started, but she nodded.
Military type
, he thought.
Yeah,paraverse trouble
."Sergeant-Major Wells," she said flatly.
oo-hah! So this Was Sergeant Connie Wells? Yeah, REAL paraverse trouble
. "I¶ve heard your name, of course,´ he murmured. "It is a pleasure to meet you ± ""As I have heard yours," she replied courteously, her voice distant. He nodded, they both broke eyecontact, and he stared out the window. Just Washington, D.C., nothing special, even if it wasalarming to realize that somewhere --
where
? -- in the multiple infinities of paraverses, an infinite setof mirrored Csigolyis all sat in this chair, or other chairs, and... And what? What were they alldoing? In some, there weren't even any Csigolyis..."Hi, Siggy," Smith said. The telly-phone settled itself on Smith's desk, adjusting its red and greenspots. Csigolyi looked away. Where
he
came from -- i.e., right
here
-- telephones didn't preen. Godonly knows what sort of "little girl" had given the damn thing to Smith."Hi," he said wearily.

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