Note: This summary contains SPOILERS – if possible, read the original blog posts and tweets in chronological order to get the whole experience.
84) Point Zero – The First Event
85) Elixir of Materia – The Warm Rush Of Recognition
HikariFan (Emily) was finally able to overcome her difficulties with sleep, thanks in no small part to her new boyfriend, Joey. She had been seeing him secretly for almost two months; he was briefly involved with her roommate in April, and Emily was wary of letting her know that she had started seeing him.
In any case, after they went out to dinner in Berkeley, CA on June 14th, Joey told Emily that she was “out of balance”, and proceeded to hold her wrist and head in a certain way, causing a “warm rush” to fill the left side of her body. Subsequently, she was able to sleep the whole night, which they spent together at his apartment.
What Emily does not yet realize is that Joey, who is from Portland, OR and has a sister and mother who still live there, is actually the brother of MirrorPlay (Miranda), and son of Cathy (Number 12). Miranda has mentioned in passing that he was off to college; in fact he has been attending UC Berkeley along with Emily. He has told her that he traveled the US extensively by train, during the summer before he moved to Berkeley.
Joey also figured in Ai Watson-Carver’s detailed recollection of what happened during the First Event. She first glossed over the events at Point Zero – which happened on Halloween of 1994, at the last Suspender concert – saying that she would come back to it another time. She did reiterate that it was on that occasion that Sasha Williams died.
She was much more detailed about the First Event, which happened on October 2rd, 2000, when Ai was 5 years old. She had recently moved to Fairview, Minnesota, since her mother and the Collective were preparing a big action against CXNU and Sasha OS (S.OS). CXNU was the conglomerate that formed after the merger of National United Bank (where her father John Carver used to work), and Circle X convenience stores.
Note: At this point, all readers are strongly recommended to familiarize themselves with the antizine Fragments, which cover one side of the events that surround Point Zero and the First Event. Much of the next few weeks will reference 1994 and 2000, and if you would like more background information, it is available for you to take in at your own pace. However, I would advise that you read it before the end of Season One in August.
CXNU was a front for S.OS, who was leveraging the public’s obsession with Biblical prophecy to accelerate its plans. The Collective planned to utilize Laura Elizabeth Watson-Carver’s connection to the future (via Ai’s not-yet-conceived daughter, Sarah) to create some sort of stable bridge between the past, present and future. The specifics of this were not yet revealed by Ai, but it did involve a “hack” of the Fairview Shopping Center. They wanted to attack S.OS by utilizing this bridge.
Fairview was the city that much of the Collective grew up in, and it was also the home of the Treehouse punk club, which Brian Thomas (Phone) co-founded in his teens.
The night before the big action at Fairview, Ai’s mother Laura (also known as Frisbee) fought extensively with her husband – he didn’t want her to put herself in such extreme danger. Jenny Samuels, Frisbee’s best friend, came over later in the evening, and convinced her that the only true choice she had was to go fight S.OS, and thereby save her family, and the world. Frisbee left Ai in the care of her husband, and Jenny.
Later that evening, many other members of the Collective also left their children at that house. April left her 5 year old twins, Cassandra and Helena. Cathy left Miranda (also 5) and Joey (8 years old). Susan dropped off Aurora (another 5 year old), and Tokie (also 8 years old) was also present – she had been visiting the house for the past week.
Before this night, none of the children had exhibited any special abilities, with two exceptions. Ai had visited all Collective members in their dreams, before she was even born. She reached out to them from the future (in 2011 and 2012 from current and past Variants), to try to carefully shape the formation and actions of the Collective. Thus, her eventual birth was seen as almost a celestial sign that the very universe had blessed their activities, namely the Pure Land Antenna project.
The other exception was the birth of Helena, which has been discussed in a prior Summary. Essentially, she was born twice in succession, once as Helena, and again as Cassandra a minute later. This event was kept in complete confidence, until Isabel revealed it to TokiDokiDucky (Tokie), who then shared it on her blog, thereby changing the Structure and Cassandra’s fate in a profound yet currently unrevealed way.
While the Collective prepared themselves, and their associated Cells of recruits, Jenny and John continued the fight that Frisbee left behind. This troubled Ai greatly, but before the kids were really affected, John rushed out of the house to unwind. It was at that moment that Jenny took Ai aside, and asked her to “please forgive me.” Afterwards, her demeanor quickly changed, and Ai was confronted by S.OS itself, in complete control of Jenny.
It’s important to note that Ai revealed that the Nameless was both her imaginary friend and monster in her closet since birth – it had taken a special interest in her, yet could not control her or her latent power. It was alive in some unknown way, and the “only thing a functioning Universe shouldn’t contain.” S.OS, on the other hand, was purely artificial, a golem that Sasha created mixing current and future knowledge. It seems that the Nameless and S.OS complement each other well, and the night of the First Event showed how their similar goals were starting to co-mingle.
Controlled by S.OS, through the influence of the Nameless, Jenny proceeded to grab Ai’s arms and hold her in the air, intentionally hurting her. Jenny said two things of note to Ai, “I am the marks that run the Collective. I make imaginary friends turn into monsters,” and “Miranda may be the Chosen Light, but you’re so much more fun to play with.” Then, John walked back into the house, saw that Jenny was hurting Ai, and threw an empty glass at her. She stopped it in mid flight via telekinesis. He then ran to the kitchen to get a knife. He knew that it would be ineffectual against the power of a Pure Land Antenna, but that was his natural reflex.
Jenny told John to put down the knife, and then hurt Ai further by separating her arms. He did, and then Jenny again used telekinesis to grab the knife off of the table, and plunge it into his neck and chest. John Carver died quickly in a pool of blood, and then Jenny forced Ai to float a few inches above her father, until her outward screams turned inward.
At that moment, Ai’s power fully activated, and she reached into the minds of all of the Collective children in the house, as they were in the middle of a game of hide and seek. Joey’s power of absolute awareness and comprehension (summarized as Consciousness) turned on, as did Aurora’s power over Energy. Their experience was localized to their hiding places, while Helena and Cassandra’s first manipulation of Space and Time was more profound. They not only started to create the first Variant universes, but their teenage selves were also present in the room, to oversee the process. Finally, Miranda managed to find Tokie hiding in the closet, but as soon as she tagged her, Tokie disintegrated into a pile of dust. Ai then took control of Miranda’s mind and forced her to use her new powers over Matter to resurrect Tokie.
Ai revealed the following about what happened at Fairview:
“The Second Event happened the next day, at Fairview mall, when the Collective grabbed onto the future and broke the Structure for good.
The Third Event was a few hours later, and the Collective stopped Jenny and S.OS, but not before she killed my mother, too.”
She also said that when all was said and done, at the first Point Zero (after the collapse of the Universe), she reconstructed the world with a few specific changes. Namely, she changed the name of the Fairview Shopping Center to the Crossroads Center, and the name of the city to St. Cloud. The altered St. Cloud and Crossroads exist in all subsequent Variants, including the current Variant 237, while the very geography of Fairview only can be found in the memories of the Collective.
Finally, the Nameless has recently offered Ai “a last birthday present, a consolation prize as it takes over everything. ”
It will give Ai back her mother, who supposedly died at Fairview, in exchange for Ai’s dwindling control of Universal Structure.