“I’m writing this because you begged. You know how I love the begging”
“I know you deserve to be happy. I know you deserve someone… better, but I’m selfish. I want you. I want you bad enough to try and be someone better.”
“I was not crying - eyes water. I think we all know I'm a badass and I don't cry. - Caleb”
“Yeah, but I’m the second most fucked up person I know, and when you put two negatives together, you get a positive. That’s math, Caleb. Math is the language of the universe. You can’t argue with the universe.”
“Wait until you get inside. It's my favorite part.' And yes, gentle readers, I am that fucking smooth.”
“Love does not always begin or end the way we wish it would.”
“I’m sorry, Livvie, I really am. You kill me. Pepper spray? I’ve tracked you all over the world and that’s what’s going to stop me―pepper spray.”
“Some men don't eat pussy. I think those men are pussies.”
“Misery I understand. Happiness is terrifying. - Caleb”
“Claudia! That’s not for snacking, you bitch.” Livvie spanked the other girl on the ass and both of them giggled.
Girls are so strange. If another man called me a bitch and spanked me, it would not end in giggles.”
“Everything is in the process of becoming something else. It’s the law of change.”
“I'm fucking good looking and sharp witted! I bet Reed only speaks one language. I'm sharp witted in five! - Caleb”
“And if you can believe it…she slapped me again.
“What the hell is wrong with you? Stop hitting me!” I finally looked up at her, but she was a blur. She hit me so hard my damn eyes were watering (I was not crying – eyes water. I think we all know I’m a badass and I don’t cry).”
“She loves me. It's quite sick, isn't it? - Caleb”
“Everything is in the process of becoming something else. It’s the law of change.” I briefly kissed Livvie’s eyelids before she could open them. “I’m in the process of becoming something else, Livvie. I hope it’s something good, something far removed from the monster you knew.”
“I could be a hugger...maybe. No, it was weird. - Caleb”
“He is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. That includes puppies, babies, rainbows, sunsets, and sunrises. I can’t even call him a man―men don’t look this good.”
“I felt. I fucking felt and it was awful. - Caleb”
“What does a former kidnapper/murderer do in retirement? - Caleb”
“You’re the best boyfriend ever. You let me ride in elevators and everything.”
“Laugh it up, Pet. It’ll be hilarious when we get stuck and the smell of unclean tourist is invading your nostrils.”
“Don’t worry, Sexy. I’ll protect you.”
“Once upon a time I saved Livvie. She’s been saving me ever since.”
“If you're sighing with contentment, you're either one sick fuck or you don't grasp the seriousness of the situation. While I no longer kill, I am a killer. A killer in love is a very dangerous thing.”
“I wanted a fight. I needed a fight. I was sick and tired of playing nice. I AM NOT NICE. - Caleb”
“Livvie's screams rent the air. James flinched at the sound, but Caleb's blood sang. I am both men. - Caleb”
“I was prompted for a password. Why did she need a password? Didn't she trust me? I hope you're smiling, because I know I am. - Caleb”
“If I were a wolf, I would howl. If I were a lion, I would oar. If we lived in the jungle, I would bring her a lion and a wolf to feast on. - Caleb”
“I've seen you handle your stick, Caleb. You're much better at it than I am”
“I stabbed a piece of broccoli like it owed me money.”
“I put my hand over my erection and turned away. "No. That's not for you. I have to go to the bathroom." "Well get up! I have a whole day of birthday activities planned and you're spoiling my fun with your sleeping...and your pee boner." I laughed. "I hate it when you call it that." "Yeah? Well I hate that I can't play with it. Why the hell is it so hard if I'm not supposed to play with it? That's false advertising, Mister.”
“It's never going to stop,’ Malenfant whispered. ‘It will consume the Solar System, the stars—’
This isn't some local phenomenon, Malenfant. This is a fundamental change in the structure of the universe. It will never stop. It will sweep on, growing at light speed, a runaway feedback fueled by the collapse of the vacuum itself. The Galaxy will be gone in a hundred thousand years, Andromeda, the nearest large galaxy, in a couple of million years. It will take time, but eventually—
‘The future has gone,’ Malenfant said. ‘My God. That’s what this means, isn’t it? The downstream can’t happen now. All of it is gone. The colonization of the Galaxy; the settlement of the universe; the long, patient fight against entropy...’ That immense future had been cut off to die, like a tree chopped through at the root. ‘Why, Michael? Why have the children done this? Burned the house down, destroyed the future—’
Because it was the wrong future. Michael looked around the sky. He pointed to the lumpy, spreading edge of the unreality bubble.
There. Can you see that? It's already starting...
The budding... The growth of the true vacuum region is not even. There will be pockets of the false vacuum—remnants of our universe—isolated by the spreading true vacuum. The fragments of false vacuum will collapse. Like—
‘Like black holes.’ And in that instant, Malenfant understood. ‘That’s what this is for. This is just a better way of making black holes, and budding off new universes. Better than stars, even.’
Much better. The black holes created as the vacuum decay proceeds will overwhelm by many orders of magnitude the mere billion billion that our universe might have created through its stars and galaxy cores.
‘And the long, slow evolution of the universes, the branching tree of cosmoses?...’
We have changed everything, Malenfant. Mind has assumed responsibility for the evolution of the cosmos. There will be many daughter universes—universes too many to count, universes exotic beyond our imagining—and many, many of them will harbor life and mind.
‘But we were the first.’
Now he understood. This was the purpose. Not the long survival of humankind into a dismal future of decay and shadows, the final retreat into the lossless substrate, where nothing ever changed or grew. The purpose of humankind—the first intelligence of all—had been to reshape the universe in order to bud others and create a storm of mind. We got it wrong, he thought. By striving for a meaningless eternity, humans denied true infinity. But we reached back, back in time, back to the far upstream, and spoke to our last children—the maligned Blues—and we put it right. This is what it meant to be alone in the universe, to be the first. We had all of infinite time and space in our hands. We had ultimate responsibility. And we discharged it. We were parents of the universe, not its children.”
“Something horrible had happened here, and had left it's residue behind. It seemed to rise from the bottom of the tiled pool and leak from the ceiling, clinging to the walls and binding itself like some parasite into any host it could ensnare. I imagined it's cold fingers rooting inside me, spreading throughout, and leaving traces of itself embedded in my soul.”
“Music is the universal language no matter the country we are born in or the color of our skin. Bring us all together”
“Sobre todo, no podemos permitirnos el lujo de no vivir en el presente.”
“hope could betray you—but if you had no hope, life could actually
surprise you in the best of ways.”
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