Cassandra handed Phil the A-11 Wrist watch. It wasn’t a “new” Phil she was working with. It was the same old Phil. Again.
“So there it is, the A-11 wrist watch. Standard WWII Army Mil spec. It is Unique in all existence and there is ONLY one even though every Phil that is actually a you in the Universes can wear it.”
“How does that work?” asked Phil.
She gave him a look of contempt.
“Fairy dust,” she said as she started her monologue.
“All across the Universes are beings who are wrong at math. They THINK they know what math is but they don’t. There was once a version of myself who found the truth about math and I was able to create ONE such device. Although ‘lots’ of Phils wear it, there is, in fact, only one.”
“What happened to her?” said Phil, interrupting her monologue.
“I died and my wisdom died with me.”
“How did you die?”
“You remember the Pythagoreans?”
“Yeah, math people from a long time ago?”
“I used the A-11 to go back in time and learn from them. The A-11 was then a pendent I wore around my neck.”
“Like the one you are wearing now?”
“Yeah, but this is a replica. It’s not the real deal. You are holding the real deal.”
“Anyway, they were a cult and had all the trappings of a cult. But there were people among them who did nothing but meditate on mathematics and geometry all day long. And some of these people didn’t spill the beans about what they knew. But I started asking one woman some questions about my meditations and suddenly I realized that SHE GOT IT TOO. She told me I must never tell Pythagoras because he was too insane to handle it properly.”
“Wow. Then what happened?”
“A rival religious group killed them all. Even me. The Pythagoreans were a political threat. One thing history never figured out was WHY they were killed.”
“Like all greek scholars of the day, they were memory masters. And they figured out the PAO memory system for numbers long before it was rediscovered in the 20th century. They could, with this technique, memorize entire pages of random numbers in an hour. And because of this, they could encode messages with these numbers that were literally unbreakable. Some intelligence agencies still use it, but it is hard to manage UNLESS SOMEONE COULD MEMORIZE AND RETAIN LARGE NUMBERS FAST. Two code terminals with a book of randomized numbers could send messages all the time AND NEVER USE THE SAME NUMBERS TWICE. This makes the code unbreakable. And when you are THAT good and your brain skills cannot be duplicated, they kill you.”
She got a little overwhelmed and turned to cover her mouth.
“All the true adepts died and the A-11 homed back to its source, but with no ways to maintain my memories developed yet, my wisdom was lost forever. And humanity never again had a religion that combined real mathematical training with spirituality and THAT is the greatest loss to humanity EVER. Now we have Islam, Christianity and gobs of other flavors, but nothing that is based on math, music and geometry. Pythagoras was SUCH an idiot.”
“If they killed you, how did you remember the story? How did you get another ‘you’ to find the magic thing?”
“The A-11 found you. You found me. I went back and got my diary. I was smart enough to not write down what I knew though.”
The silence was awkward, so Phil picked up his eyebrows and raised the pitch of his voice.
“Wow …so, there are, like ZILLIONS of me running around being nobody important but changing the Universe not always by WHAT I do but HOW I do it? Sometimes I take down Gods and other times I’m just teaching a kid how to do math? And yet there is no karmic link or reincarnation doing this. Why?”
“Not so fast,” she answered. “You’ll find out after you start focusing on hell worlds.”
Phil eyebrows raised.
She became wistful and laughing. “You don’t know who you are yet do you? That’s okay, eventually you’ll get there. By the way, the A-11 can be other shapes. Hand it to me and I’ll show you.”
Phil handed her the A-11 and she started morsing on it. It shaped itself into a large, clear jewel with light shining in the room.”
“This is the tacky version. Perfect for dance parties.”
She held it out to him.
“Keep it. I don’t want it.”
“Really. You say that sometimes I don’t use it. I don’t this time. I’m good.”
“That’s true. Sometimes you choose, the A-11 and you don’t. Sometimes you choose it and you get to use it. Sometimes it chooses you and you have no choice. And sometimes, it doesn’t choose you, after you chose it.”
“What did you call it?”
“Cassandra’s Oracle. Okay then … Sure! Live fine without it. You are still Phil. And Phil, you know what?”
“You’re enough. JUST enough for the rest of us. As am I. And remember, ‘there is no soul and it is invincible’.”
She started tapping on the jewel.
“Wait, one question, you said, I don’t know who I am …”
He looked around and saw that he was back on earth in a Starbucks Restroom. He locked the door, took care of business, washed his hands and went to the counter, shaken AND stirred unlike James Bond.
He pulled out his cell phone and looked up “Replica A-11 Wrist Watch.”
And there it was. He pulled out his credit card and ordered it. Then he drank his coffee.