Shamiqua Doesn't Save the World

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Shamiqua Jo Brandywine had seen a lot of things in her life, but nothing prepared her for the man sitting at her dining room table.
“Get out of my house,” she screamed.
“I have to talk to you,” he replied calmly.
“How’d you get in here? You’d better get out right now. I’m going to call the police.”
“Stay here! I have to talk to you.”
Shamiqua found herself staying.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“I’m from another world.”
“Oh Lord.”
“Without your help the universe will be destroyed.”
“Oh Lord, oh Lord.”
“Let me explain.”
“I don’t think that will be necessary.”
“Please!”
Silence.
“What happens here,” he resumed, gesturing around himself, “doesn’t stay here. Sentient beings everywhere exert a force on one another. And frankly, this reality branch is stretching toward trouble. It’s all your species’ fault.”
“My species? You belong to another species?” She was leaving “reality branch” alone.
“Yes. This,” he gestured at himself, “is but a disguise.”
Now that he mentioned it, he did seem to hover over the chair and glow just a little. And his lips were ever so slightly out of sync with his words. Shamiqua sat down next to him and saw him flinch.
“Yeah?”
“Yes. Your population explosion. Nuclear fission. Free will. You’re doing everything wrong! The damage goes far beyond what you realize. The dark matter it churns up on our side! Our gluons are in danger of becoming superglued, and if that happens the situation will be grave indeed.”
“Is that so? And I’m the lucky one who gets to save your world?”
“Both our worlds. Only because I happened to land in your house... You should feel honored.”
“Well, that may be, but I think I’ll pass. I have my own fish to fry.”
The glow brightened and he seemed to slip into neutral for a moment.
“Believe me, soon you will be far too busy for cooking. We have a lot to do.”
“Like what?”
“You will have a life like no one before. You can’t imagine.”
“And you won’t tell me.”
“Trust me.”
“And what if I say no and tell you to get out?” Shamiqua was getting irritated again. She threw back her head and extended her hand dramatically in the direction of the kitchen door. As they followed her hand’s trajectory, her eyes darted across a big dead fish on the counter that hadn’t been there before.
“I’m sorry. We have devoted tremendous effort to making this contact. Our society, our whole world, labored for generations to establish a toehold on this branch. I am not going away. We have things to do. You would be better off not resisting.”
“Mmmmm,” she intoned. “I think it might be better if you go. My daughter is coming in just a second.”
The glow flared and he froze up again.
“She has a taser,” Shamiqua continued quickly. “And I have $10 million in the bank.”
The door swung open.
“Mama?”
Shamiqua jumped up.
“Sheronda! Tase that man!”
“What???!!!”
“Girl, just do what you’re told! Now!”
She whipped out her taser and fired. The man popped like a balloon, leaving slime dripping down the chair leg and an unpleasant sweetish-metallic smell.
“All right, Mama, what’s going on? We don’t have time for this. There’s a zombie invasion going on out there, in case you’ve forgotten, and we have to get you out of here.”
“Errrr…”
Sheronda looked like a nice girl, big-breasted and dressed in a slinky black gown with a low-slung taser holster at the waist.
A what was going on out there?
Shamiqua felt sort of dizzy. She wanted to look at her checkbook.
“Mama, are you having another one of your spells?”
“My what?...”
“Oh Mama, not now!” Sheronda looked past her. “Your friend is back.”
He had indeed rematerialized, although his features were slightly askew and he had a very distinct purple glow now. Shamiqua thought he looked like the spokesman for some artificially-flavored grape drink.
“Are you planning any more trickery?” he demanded in the same flat voice.
“Don’t worry, Shamiqua!” the girl said. She raised her right hand and red beams flew out of her fingers. They hit the man and he disappeared again.
“He won’t return now.”
Shamiqua managed a wan smile.
“As his species evolved, its sense of humor atrophied,” the girl continued, her lips curled into a smirk, but perfectly synchronized with her words. “The result was the singularly charming notion of dark matter abatement. Talk about spooky action from a distance. And negative energy!”
Species again.
Shamiqua struggled with her toehold on the reality branch.
“Something tells me you’re not Sheronda any more.”
“When was I Sheronda?”
            He had her there.
“And no zombie invasion either?”
Smirk.
“Are you God?”
“Don’t be silly.” The girl’s expression softened. “You showed great resourcefulness in handling the visitor. And you invented a nice daughter.” She made the same gesture along her body as the “visitor” had. “Enjoy your life. I’ll be looking forward to meeting you again at the Big Rebang afterparty.”
And with that, the tall, pretty girl was gone, along with the fish, the taser and the cloying grape smell. Shamiqua was alone in her house and everything was exactly as it would have been on any day.
Shamiqua knew what she wanted: a glass of red wine. Or two.
After a few sips, it occurred to her that some contact with the outside world would be reassuring, and dinner would too. She called the pizza shoppe. The usual voice took her usual order.
Half an hour later, a non-glowing deliveryman arrived in a sputtering compact car with her pizza. Shamiqua’s checkbook fell open as she was getting the money out for the pizza. She let out a whoop. The deliveryman rushed away without the money.
Shamiqua would drop it off later. And a big tip for the poor driver. She could afford it, with $10,000,281.72 in the bank.

About the Author: 
Derek Andersen is a marginal freelance writer in Portland, Oregon.

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Quantum Theories

P is for ... Probability

Quantum mechanics is a probabilistic theory: it does not give definite answers, but only the probability that an experiment will come up with a particular answer. This was the source of Einstein’s objection that God “does not play dice” with the universe.

C is for ... Cryptography

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C is for ... Computing

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U is for ... Universe

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J is for ... Josephson Junction

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D is for ... Decoherence

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X is for ... X-ray

In 1923 Arthur Compton shone X-rays onto a block of graphite and found that they bounced off with their energy reduced exactly as would be expected if they were composed of particles colliding with electrons in the graphite. This was the first indication of radiation’s particle-like nature.

B is for ... Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC)

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B is for ... Bell's Theorem

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S is for ... Schrödinger Equation

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A is for ... Atom

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F is for ... Free Will

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D is for ... Dice

Albert Einstein decided quantum theory couldn’t be right because its reliance on probability means everything is a result of chance. “God doesn’t play dice with the world,” he said.

H is for ... Hawking Radiation

In 1975, Stephen Hawking showed that the principles of quantum mechanics would mean that a black hole emits a slow stream of particles and would eventually evaporate.

A is for ... Alice and Bob

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.

R is for ... Reality

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R is for ... Radioactivity

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U is for ... Uncertainty Principle

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P is for ... Planck's Constant

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A is for ... Act of observation

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K is for ... Kaon

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Q is for ... Quantum biology

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S is for ... Schrödinger’s Cat

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G is for ... Gravity

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I is for ... Information

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Z is for ... Zero-point energy

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V is for ... Virtual particles

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T is for ... Tunnelling

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L is for ... Light

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L is for ... Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

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Y is for ... Young's Double Slit Experiment

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G is for ... Gluon

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R is for ... Randomness

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W is for ... Wavefunction

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S is for ... Superposition

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M is for ... Multiverse

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O is for ... Objective reality

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I is for ... Interferometer

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T is for ... Teleportation

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N is for ... Nonlocality

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E is for ... Entanglement

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H is for ... Hidden Variables

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M is for ... Many Worlds Theory

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W is for ... Wave-particle duality

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