So why is she here, now? Where is this place? What time is it, really?
These and other questions, in one form or another, are flashing through various minds right now in the train and back near where Probe is right now.
Not all of them will be immediately answered right away. Some might not ever be fully answered satisfactorily. Why? Because right now, Probe realizes that he is in the middle of a possible "situation." A situation caused in part by his own well meaning actions. Yes, a young woman's life was spared (as well as that of an yet unborn son of Roland), but in the doing he may have caused a similar time paradox that nearly drove Jake and Roland insane awhile ago (their point of view) when Roland prevented one Jack Mort from pushing Jake to his death.
See, as stated earlier, Susan Delgrado died, burned alive while Roland watched on via a magical glass balled (called Merlin's Grapefruit due to it's color). The Grapefruit, sentient and evil, took great pleasure in showing him this crime AND letting Roland know that Susan died along with his unborn child.
But now, with her alive and well......
Probe's eyes then fall upon a hissing cat that has an extra set of legs.
"Musty I presume...." the AI/golem smiles grimly, suddenly remembering the trick that his daughter and her friends played on some rogue NSA agents long ago in another universe.
A quick swipe captures the malignant mutant cat and familiar to the evil witch Rhea, and Probe has the thing he needs in what he hopes will solve the problem he suddenly was thrust into here.
".....you mean to tell me that what I saw in the....It was the transformed cat that burned?!" Roland asks Probe via the "communicator."
"Basically, yes it is.....was.....Musty the cat....and a bit of magic string pulling for that unwilling puppet," Probe sighs as he and a quiet Susan (both in magical disguise) head quietly back door he'd come through, "I.....didn't want a time paradox to tear apart your mind like it last time. If I had left things stand and your younger self viewed anything else. I wish there had been another way to spare your younger self the shock and pain, but....."
"Right," Roland says, dazed. "But....is she?....."
"Well, Susan?" Probe asks, turning and looking back at the young woman.
"No, no sense of....duality," she says, remembering this strange man's explanation of what was at stake here (which she was still having trouble grasping), "No sense of having died....but not."
"So....that's how it actually happened," the Gunslinger says, suddenly seeing the possibilities here, "And...she's alive!"
"Here," Probe says, smiling, handing Susan his communicator as they step through the doorway back into his study on Terra Prime, "I believe Roland would like to catch up on old times."
A quick spell of invisibility hid the doorway to Roland's world
Oh, admittedly this whole business is exceedingly strange. But Roland and Susan live in a world that is exceedingly strange! Not everything that happens there is understandable to the inhabitants. Those who live there have learned to cope with it by....well.....just "going with it." Tears in eyes, Roland goes to a quiet corner of the train and softly speaks with Susan.
However, the same cannot be said for Eddie, Susannah, and Oy (the billy-bungler)!
"Please, could someone tell me....tell us all what is going on here?" Jake asks plaintively.
"‘Ere?" Oy echoes, also sounding plaintive.
"Do you mind if we listen in," Roland asks, after softly talking with his first love that he'd thought was dead and dust.
11/24/2000 12:30:50 PM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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