In quantum experiments, these are the names traditionally given to the people transmitting and receiving information. In quantum cryptography, an eavesdropper called Eve tries to intercept the information.
“Our emotions bind us to one another, and in those bonds is the key to our survival.”—David Kessler
Grief is universal. It should unite us, Eeva had pronounced at the cremation, eyes and nose like so much rubbed raw mincemeat. The unshakeable weight of the loss of her sister, Alice, settled in the onlookers’ shoulders, the crooks of their necks. She was in the corners of their eyes. Bobbi, her on-and-off lover of four years, sobs brokenly.
For three days, she hung in the balance. The same day we decided to shut off the machines and let her go, the world was in the throes of a frenzied discovery.
Apparently, they had both proved the existence of an afterlife and explained why it does. In the strangest fringe fields of quantum physics , they’d discovered that ghosts were idiosyncrasies of quantum objects, superpositioned onto our reality like some sort of overlapping make-up filter.
They do not have form until they are observed, the newscaster intoned. Like so many, she didn’t really see what she was saying. It was happening so quickly.
Cults sprung up, promising release from the damnation of the physical existence. Liberation from the cumbersome mortal body was all well and good, but most of them never made it back, not even in an incorporeal sense. Government advisories immediately sprang up to inform people that no one has the authority to bring consciousness back. There is no evidence to show that CONSCIOUSNESS WILL NOT BE ALTERED ONCE PAST THE THRESHOLD OF DEATH. DO NOT ALLOW ANY PARTY TO CONVINCE YOU OTHERWISE. REPORT ALL REVIVAL AND QUANTUM HAUNTING FACILITATION TO [redacted] IMMEDIATELY.
There were stories. There were people who had made it work, underground institutions that had developed rudimentary forms of quantum “spirit-to-spirit closure processes”, entangling one live consciousness with a recently departed one, such that they could adjust the corporeality of both consciousnesses in tandem. The anti-correlation nature of entanglement resulted in the live consciousness fading to a smidge, and the departed one coming back just enough to be visible at the same time. It was exorbitant, unreliable, and wildly popular.
Sometimes the corporeality didn’t work and you had bones or bags of intestines dropping through air to land with a wet sack thud on the pavement. But the alternative was worse. Being alone was always worse.
Rumours developed about the places that would allow for entanglement to spontaneously happen. As it was, entanglement was supposed to happen when two particles were connected in some way to each other. It turned out to be the case that a strong enough emotional bond was quite a good source of quantum entanglement between consciousnesses.
For old times’ sake, Bobbi slipped into Hu Lua KTV Karaoke Lounge. What they also said, was, you had to be in an altered state of consciousness for the anti-correlation to take hold. She imagined Alice, grasping the microphone in the neon lights. Gasping for breath.
Eeva, unbeknownst to anyone, underwent a separate procedure.
In the dim lights, Alice’s countenance.
The irreversibility of death. The precarity of life. Things used to be so simple.
It turned out that they were the simple ones, loving beyond anything. Who, beyond all else, would keep on connecting—who would trade anything, keep exchanging, for the slightest chance they could trade for better.