I needed to work without interruption and without any knowledge of how the war was progressing. My judgement would only be clouded if I had allowed EricToo to bring me up to speed on events. If we were winning, my thoughts would have been more positive but my creativity would have suffered. If we were losing, I may well have over compensated and would have been prone to errors whilst rushing to find a solution.
It was best not knowing either way, keeping the balance firmly in my favour. That balance was crucial given the amount of variables I had to take into consideration. Though I knew in principle how I was going to remove everyone from Stasis, in practice I had to work it all out. I had to utilise the very fabric of Stasis for it to work how I envisaged it.
Once I had worked this conundrum out, I would still have the small issue of closing Stasis once and for all. That would be too much for one session and was a much bigger problem than the one I was currently dealing with.
Three days later, I had the answer that I had been looking for. I had the way out. It was time to speak to EricToo.
I emerged from the room of temporary exile mentally exhausted but now more than eager to hear a progress report.
“How is it going?” I asked.
He filled me in on the events since I had caused the crack through Stasis before concluding with events of the last few days.
“It’s about even. We took heavy casualties early on, but a series of attacks by the resistance effectively stopped them in their tracks until reinforcements arrived. We are currently in the process of seeding a ring of mountains to protect us and give us a strategic advantage.”
I knew that I had been right to put EricToo in charge of the military operation. He had not viewed the challenges with a military or a scientific eye. Instead, he had assessed the situation and reacted from gut instinct and utilised the resources at hand. When combined with his own imagination in terms of the weapons and equipment that he had designed, he had now moved on from the initial setbacks with an ingenious idea that I believed would give us a huge advantage and the time that I needed.
I called everyone back to the central tower. It was time to let them know what I had done and and what I had planned for the coming days, weeks or however long this took to work towards a resolution. With everyone gathered, I brought them up to date with the last few weeks.
“I will also be giving EricToo the full range of energy manipulation abilities as I need everyone to be at full power in order to end this and to ensure that no one can use Stasis ever again.”
There were no objections which I took as a sign of how EricToo’s stature had grown since I had put him in charge of the military operations.
“Okay. I now know how to make the mass transition back to reality. When I went below the horizontal plane I started to formulate the plan. However, it was not until I had questioned the sentient program and view the network below the plane that I knew how I was going to do it.
“I could probably have instigated a mass transition given time, but the one thing I could never guarantee was the consequences of taking everyone back. I knew that people would be displaced all over the world, hundreds if not thousands of miles away from home. Families may have lost each other forever. That could have potentially been far worse than the mass transition.
“Using the huge amount of data in the subterranean network, we will be able to ensure that everyone is placed back where they were before the mass transition took place.
“We are going to unravel Stasis thread by thread. The data in the network holds all the information that we need to achieve this. Then we will put it back together again as we punch a singularity right through the heart of Stasis back to reality.
“The biggest problem at the moment is that the data is moving so fast that we will not be able to tap into it without creating a time dilation between the two. The only way that we will be able to do this is by creating a localised phase-shift in the time.
“We will need to create an area where we are in one time phase and a portion of the network remains in this phase. That will be the easy part though as previously I have found that the interaction between energy signatures anchored in one time phase has been impossible with those anchored in another one.
“EricToo and I will work on this problem. When it comes to the actual transition, it will have to be a team effort. I believe that because we made the transition before the Stasis took everyone else then we are the only ones that can instigate this.”
“When will we do this?” asked Alice, speaking for everyone in the room.
“Only when I can be sure that I can close Stasis. Right now, all I have is a small idea of where to start. From there, I do not know where to go at the moment. I keep going round in circles and returning at the start of the problem. I am beginning to think that it is impossible. Every time I think I have it, a variable comes into play that acts like a reset button.”
They were all well aware why this problem had to be the final piece of the jigsaw before we could put other plans into action.
“For now though, we will have to continue with the war against Patrick. EricToo has already turned our weakness in numbers into an advantage with the terrain. All we need is as much time as possible to work on the remaining problems. You just need to carry on what you have been doing since I left. You are all aware of your parts in this and when the time comes to leave everyone will have to be on the top of their games.”
Once everyone had left, I stayed behind to talk to EricToo. There was one remaining issue that I had yet to discuss with him that had been burning inside me for quite some time now.
“Only one of us can return,” I said, almost forlornly.
“I know,” he replied, “I realised this quite some time ago and have been coming to terms with it since then. Don’t think that I am any less motivated to help you back though. I will cross the bridge when it eventually comes.”
I had not expected him to react so calmly, like a person that had come to terms with a terminal illness. He was selflessly putting humanity first.