Correspondence between Jay & Maria

When I wrote Hold Me, I ended up deleting a ton of old correspondence between them that just didn’t fit the flow of the story any longer. I still liked, it, though, so here it is. Warning that you probably don’t want to read this before you’ve read the book?

Eighteen months ago
in fifty years, this will be known as an idyllic time, a time of plenty. a time we squandered in pursuit of consumer gadgets and social media. i know. i know. you’re sick of hearing about the coming apocalypse. you’ve been lectured enough, and there’s a new episode of game of thrones tonight.

it would be great if i could just tell you how civilization as we know it comes to a grinding halt. alas. we’ve run the simulations, and it turns out there’s 7,221,314 possibilities.

don’t worry. survival isn’t that big a deal. i’ve got time. if i can get through the 3,221,011 most common apocalyptic scenarios before it’s too late for you to change things, maybe we can avert the inevitable.

so hello to the past. this is mcl from the future, and i’m here to tell you how we’re all going to die.

it all started—the forty-first time—when scientists tapped into something that they called zero point energy and attracted the attention of the aliens on wolf 1061c, fourteen light years away…


# # #
Hey, mcl from the future: Love the blog. But zero-point energy doesn’t work like that. By definition, zero-point energy is energy that cannot be tapped into. If you can use ZPE, it’s not the zero point. Get it?

—Actual Physicist

# # #
wow actual physicist. thank you so much for your extremely helpful reply. i did not have enough condescension in my day. i’ll admit that i don’t have a perfect grasp on physics because—so sad—YOUR STUPID GENERATION DESTROYED THE FABRIC OF SPACE-TIME. i only know what i’ve been told, and since we don’t have universities or classrooms or any of that lovely stuff anymore, i get by with what little knowledge i have.

despite being a relative scientific dullard as a result of your generation’s bullshittery, i do have an explanation.

it turns out that once humans mastered string theory a little more adequately, we discovered that things that we had considered constants—the gravitational constant, the speed of light in a vacuum—were actually connected in a variety of ways i am not going to get into at this point because the aforementioned destruction of space-time has left me with bigger problems.

if you alter universal constants on a local level, the amount of zero-point energy stored in a system changes. the conservation of energy means that energy has to go somewhere. this means your so-called zero-point energy could be tapped, yielding a source of free, plentiful, sustainable, nonpolluting power. but the local drift in constants meant that the fabric of space-time stretched, started tearing.

not gonna get into details, but to make a long story short, there was an alien invasion, interstellar war, subsequent interstellar court, and earth was sentenced to a 1000-year-long technology hiatus for crimes against the galaxy.

so please continue to lecture me from the comfort and safety of your fully intact space-time continuum. i like it.


# # #
Okay, I admit it. That was a fabulous retcon. Carry on.

—Actual Physicist


Sixteen months ago

7:12 PM
OK, so your deextinction bit is wild. I’m completely wrong. You’re some kinda scientist, but the biology (at least to my only vaguely-trained eye) is way tight. I would never have guessed that wooly mammoths could be the downfall of society.

7:22 PM
I have feelings about wooly mammoths. And keystone species. And sharks.
They’re asking for it, IMO.

7:23 PM
Keystone species are asking to be obliterated? Uh….
Also, hey, you use capitals.

7:26 PM
Here’s a behind-the-scenes detail: the no-caps are an affectation. 😉

7:27 PM
Thank God.
Dude. I’ve been gritting my teeth.

7:28 PM
Er. Didn’t mean to imply anything. I operate on California rules: dude is not gender specific.

7:35 PM
Why yes, since you’re asking so nicely, I do use she/her pronouns. What about you, dude?

7:37 PM
Boringly he/him.

7:38 PM What a surprise.

7:39 PM
What is that supposed to mean?

7:42 PM
I figured you for a man the first time you posted on my blog to correct me.

7:43 PM

7:45 PM

7:48 PM
Shit. You weren’t joking, were you?

7:49 PM
Not really, A.

7:50 PM
A? AP is too many letters to write?

7:51 PM
AP makes me think of Advanced Placement. I can’t keep doing it.

7:52 PM
Fine. Then I’m calling you M.

7:53 PM
Nope. You only get one letter, but I want two. Em will do.