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–Mara, we should solve the problem with Dan.

–If he got into it by himself, let him solve it. Or Louise.

–Mara, darling, Dan would have trusted in us.

–Alfred, the only one here that doesn’t seem to know what is going on is you. The Ferlinghetti is sealed off by the FBI and will be as long as they don’t clarify some circumstances that won’t be clarified ever. The main computer system is inoperative after Louise entered the laboratory with Dan for who knows what sort of experiment, probably a biotechnological implant. I’m not sure about it. Phil doesn’t know anything about the subject. And you, Alfred, you better don’t appear too much because you are the main suspect of a conspiracy that might be considered against the interests of the State. Anyhow, for the moment everything is under control.

She lights a Marlboro. With the first smoke she seems to reconsider and return to the situation that really becomes urgent now: she had forgotten for some instants, speaking with the same routine intonation as always. She smiles relieved and looks at Alfred with satisfaction.

–Well, now more under control as ever.  Right?

–I don’t know. I don’t know. We shall see.

–You know what I tell you, Alfred? The best is to leave Dan where he is. In any case, use him as one of our collaborators in the beyond. Dan is a person that will always be loyal to us, and in this moment, he needs us.

As Alfred could see on detaining the Time with his eyes on the voracity with which the light blue laces of Mara’s shoe climbed her leg in Roman style, Dan looked here and there, terrified, with goggled eyes, exhausted searching for explanations and not being able to find them. In the absolute absence of any argument that could make him feel minimally safe: a completely lost Dan, without any orientation as to who and where he was. Paralyzed in a forest of spines where even the most elementary movement became impossible, hearing desperate howling, seeing some of the thorns raising and lowering their voices every now and then as if they were alive.

–Mara, Dan cannot help us because he lost consciousness of the fictitious, he lacks references about any reality.

Alfred cannot help being carried away by the reminder of everything he had lived during the experiences when Fiction collapsed for the first time, and he was thrown in a degree of reality so dazzling that he could barely assimilate it. Being immersed there, and much less after returning to Fiction.

–In the Reality such Reality becomes striking, whereas in the Fiction any glimpse of Reality is a pure mirage– he says to himself.

And he understands that Mara couldn’t understand it that way because, following his steps on the way of delaying the Time, she entered into the Reality consciously from the first day on. In fact, he says to himself, one thing is to enter the Real consciously and systematically, by means of an act of will any time one desires, and the other is to see oneself projected from the world of Fiction where everything is appearance and delusion, and suddenly appear where everything exists by itself with indestructible coherence: inevitably, the first to surprise you entering into the Reality is not to know who you are.

A degree of reality that scares, never better said he says to himself. It scares and upsets because we can build and modify Fiction, but not the Reality: it is as it is. Is. Pure and simply.

For Mara, Alfred was no longer a stranger, she should know and subjugate, with whom to rival for any supremacy. No, all the contrary, Alfred became very familiar to her, rather for sharing what they shared now, than for any previous relation they might have had: to share the supernatural either definitively unites or makes an enemy forever. 

It reveals unions, existent in other dimensions, subject to another Time. Pacts sealed to deal with incomplete feats it is time to culminate. One must walk very close together to enter hand in hand the confines of the immensity, said Alfred to himself the other day when he saw Mara flying in an unfathomable space.

For this reason, Mara found it even charming to relieve the concern she perceived in Alfred since Dan got lost on the way to Santa Eulalia: she started to consider him somebody with whom to finalize a task she felt they had in common, and they were obliged to. In fact, she had good reasons to believe so, though Alfred this time would need longer to say yes than others usually to say yes and no. In addition, to solve Dan’s problem was a very simple question: they only needed to enter the Ferlinghetti and switch on the computers Alfred had brought in the beginning, so far put aside, as the whole company was connected with the main Network Mara had provided on her behalf, not because it would be more powerful, but for her own ambition to control without notice every movement that would be produced inside.


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