If ever there was a classic sixty four credit question that was it. Diane replied slowly,
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"No, you're still on Treber, but in a different dimension."
"Yeah the bloody grave." snapped Chang
"No - you are not dead - you've just been shifted out of phase with your own time/space continuum."
How he ever made leader I'll never know. I piped up,
"Look Chang it's a bit like going through a magic door into another world."
"Oh gotcha, right."
Diane was looking at me oddly, she shook her head,
"At any rate, now we have to prepare you to be mid-wives."
"Hold it right there." I demanded, "Mid-wives? You said the universe was close to its term."
I was out on a limb and dancing now,
"Are you trying to tell us that the universe is pregnant?"
"Oh, and the temporal hiccups?"
"Have been caused by the foetus's movements as it struggles to exit its mother's womb."
We sat down almost in unison on a wide sofa and tried to take it in. A pregnant universe?
How big was it? Who was the father? Why were we needed?
"I hear your questions and will do my best to answer. You are needed because the Ancients predicted it in the Dream times, they wrote in sacred texts that we would need to gather a representative of every sentient being in the universe to act as mid-wives to assist the birth. "
"The Dream times? Before real time began?" I asked, a good many Tech-Nomad families including mine had their roots in the natives of Australia and stories of the Dream times were part of our heritage. Diane nodded,
"That's right Steven. Although strictly speaking, time as a concept is a sentient being's invention. Time, matter, energy, space, thought and dreams are all the same. Your artists create fictional worlds that become matters of fact in some dimension or another."
Chang's eyes were starting to glaze over by now and I felt kinda sorry for the poor sod. He understood power, violence and the acquisition of wealth through force. Most of this was slipping past his radar big time.
"So our dreams are glimpses of other places?" Kari asked. Diane waggled her hand,
"Sort of, sometimes yes, sometimes they are coming into existence because of the dreamer."
"So why us in particular then?" I wanted to know, Diane said,
"Why don't you get settled in first. Readying you for the task is going to take quite a while. As you learn all will become clear - well not as unclear then."
I was insistent,
"How long is 'quite a while'?"
"Oh, about a thousand years roughly speaking."
With that, Diane left us alone.
In five hundred years time, most of us will be forgotten dust. But Hitler will still be remembered, God loves irony.