Working Chapter 16 of my Is it for us alone? novel in progress

The blackouts hadn’t worsened much since the beginning, but Anders was worried at the inability he now had to properly keep time.  The days he was in were fine, but the seasons didn’t seem to shift how he quite remembered and he had no idea how much time lapsed when he blacked out.  There were clues all around, he knew that, but he found it impossible to focus on enough to get an answer.

One memory he had of summer involved cool temperatures, but no snow on the ground.  Another claimed that winter had not arrived without to first snow fall coming to pass.  The logical part of him tried desperately to sift through these memories, but the problem was that they were so basic and strongly held that they were simply unassailable.  At the same time he completely believed two versions of the truth.  Often it was actually multiple versions of the truth.  The only way for him to relax at all was to focus on some complex memory or a universal truth.

The coastline was a particularly useful place for this because people had either known what they were, lived near them or didn’t care because they lived in a landlocked part of the world.  So Anders sat, somewhere along the coast of Portugal, watching the Atlantic stretch out as far as his eyes could let him.

Immortality.  Finally achieved after centuries of fantasising and envy of the gods that our own minds had created.  Everlasting life.  The gift of the fountain of youth.  The holy grail.  Everything that could possibly be imagined was likely to now be reality.  Death would follow, it would lurk in hope, but never catch up.

Anders could not quite believe that he had achieved this immortality quite by accident.  His plan had jumped ahead of him, but he wasn’t quite as delighted as he had thought he would be.  There was the was still the nagging thoughts about whether or not it was true immortality and exactly what kind though.

If you went for the Norse model, immortality was the gift of longevity rather than indestructibility.  You could still die and cross to Hel’s realm.  Even if you survived that, there was always Ragnarok – the end of days.  That model, though familiar to even Anders’ own memories, wasn’t perfect.  It was better than what came before though, that was for sure.

Anders’ main issue was that he could not test the limits of his immortality, except by accident.  He wasn’t about to throw himself off a cliff just to see if he’d die or not.  Some months (or was it years) back he had scuffed himself up on some dirt track on the outskirts of Istanbul and those cuts had not healed immediately, so indestructibility seemed unlikely to be on the table for him.  Though, as it was so long ago, it begged to question as to whether the condition of immortality was newly manifested or had been with him since he absorbed the entire world’s consciousness.  Anders, and for that matter the consciousness of what remained of humankind became incredibly anxious at the very impossibility of finding out.

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