A History of Amesworth, Baker and everything else

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If she had had a choice, Dr. Anne-Lee Baker would have preferred not to be drunk when she uncovered the workings of the universe. She thought of how, years from now, some historian in Switzerland would scoff at how typically South African that was of her. But as much as she wished it weren't the case it was all true; she had made one of the greatest scientific discoveries in human history, she was drunk, and it was very South African of her.

She looked one last time at the stack of data on her desk and the notebook containing the sketches that represented her theoretical discovery. She needed help. And the first person that came to mind was her best friend and intellectual sparring partner.

When the knock came on the door of her dishevelled hotel apartment she was greeted by the refined and straightlaced sight of her old friend, Dr. Ted Amesworth.

"It's 3 in the morning Anne," he said matter-of-factly in his newly acquired British accent.

"And you're a bit over dressed for our little evening tryst," she countered.

"You're drunk. Again," he said, and stepped past her into the room. "I see you still have your penchant for giving housekeeping a run for their money."

"I didn't ask you here to criticise my living arrangements Ted. I need your help," she said sincerely enough for Ted to become skeptical of her intentions.

Anne did her best to clean up before Ted sat down in a signalled for her to do the same. "Could this not have waited until morning?" he asked.

"No. Well yes, but why would I do that?"

"I don't know, out of common decency perhaps?"

Anne couldn't help but laugh at the irony of their situation. Not long before it had been Ted who had come knocking at her door, ungroomed from endless sleepless nights to propose his theory of the origins of the universe to her. A theory she presently believed she may have given rigour to. In an act of ultimate irony, she repeated the words he said to that night. "You're going to want to have my babies after I show you this."

She placed the stacks of data printouts on the 50's style coffee table she'd seen in every hotel she'd been in, along with the sketches from her notebook. She watched intently as Ted swam over the data printouts and finally settled on the sketches, waiting for the moment when the gravity of what was in those sheets of paper broke the Doctor's cool facade.

"I don't get it," he said, unfazed. "These are printouts from your AI's system logs. I'm a quantum physicist Anne, those make little more sense to me than egyptian hieroglyphs."

Anne let out a deep sigh. "And I am a computer scientist and I was also one when you came to me that night and told me that you believe the universe was part of some type of supercomputer and I tried my best to understand your gibberish."

Ted was visibly taken back by her outburst. He collected himself and looked over the data again. They sat in the dim light offered by nearby lamp for some minutes before Anne noticed, with pleasure, the telltale signs.

Ted hesitated at first. His eyebrows furrowed, and he adjustable his non-existent glasses with his index finger out of habit. Then he went over a specific section of the printouts before going back and forth between her sketches and the printouts.

Just as Anne was beginning to lose her composure Ted looked up at her with a mixture of confusion and shock. He looked back at the stack of papers and scribbled something down.

"Am I reading this correctly?" He said, his voice low and raspy.

Anne burst, no longer able to contain her excitement. "After you came to me that night, I convinced the institute to focus all of Eve's core processors on executing your model. At first they were worried; Eve was an AI, but even she had limitations. Under too much strain her quantum processing units would degrade, the connections of her neural networks would become decoherent and we would effectively lose her. I managed to convince them that your model was enough for her to handle; one simple solar system."

Ted stood up and began pacing across the room. In the middle of this he stopped and pointed to a specific sketch on the table before pointing at a section of the printouts.

"I can accept all the other stuff. The laws of physics, the exact replica of our solar system, the credit crunch. Even the Pope's selection. But this? Is there anyway that Eve got could have gotten a hold of this?" he asked, a touch of despiration in his voice.

Anne shook her head.

"I told you that night that all of our universe was like a data mine," he continued. "That each and every action we take, choice we make is like shuffling a cosmic deck of cards. Only, every shuffle is being recorded. And there are multiple decks, all being shuffled and none the same. I told you that, and only you. So tell me how I am seeing what I am seeing." Ted was almost pleading to Anne.

Anne was too excited by the overwhelming evidence to properly explain how it had happened. In fact she didn’t no at all.

"I don't know," she offered, "but you were right. Eve ran an almost infinite amount of simulations and in this particular one, she predicted the exact details details of our conversation. Word for word."

Ted looked at the word’s he had written on one of the printouts, word’s he had also written on that particular night as a way to prove his theory.

- Don't get drunk the next time you explain the universe.

How very South African of him.

About the Author: 
I'm Theo Senene, passionate writer and explorer of all things science. Most of my adventures are experienced from the safe confines of my hometown in Kempton Park, South Africa.