Previous Page Next Page

UTC:       Local:

Home Page Index Page

Resonance: Chapter Five

       Last updated: Thursday, July 14, 2005 21:04 EDT



    Had someone moved it?

    The shop owner? Road sweepers? The girl? Had she come back and taken it away, hidden it somewhere so she could use it again tonight?

    Or had it unravelled?

    He prayed for the unravelling. If ever there was a time for a thread of reality to be pulled, this was it. He’d welcome the uncertainty - anything - to have a line drawn under the last twenty-four hours.

    He felt for his note, pulled it out, unfolded it. Maybe he wouldn’t have to go back to Wealdstone Lane after all.

    He read the note, nothing had changed. He was still living at Wealdstone Lane, still working at the DTI. He put the note back. And froze. Shouldn’t there have been a second note? The note from the girl, the one that explained everything?

    He searched his pockets. Twice. The note had gone.

    Or had peeled away in the unravelling.

    A church bell tolled seven. Graham instinctively looked at his watch. It was a minute fast. He stopped dead. When had he put his watch on? Not last night. He‘d had enough trouble finding his shoes let alone locating his watch. It shouldn’t be here.

    And yet it was.

    Another thought; he felt his chin. It was smooth. He’d shaved. There had been an unravelling! There must have been.

    He grinned. He couldn’t help it. Let the rest of the world think him strange, what did that matter? At least no one was trying to kill him any more.



    For two days Graham Smith’s life settled back into its normal routine. There were the usual aftershocks that followed an unravelling - a few more colleagues at work disappeared than was usual, a new road appeared where people’s gardens used to be and two tube stations changed their names. But that was only to be expected. You can’t remove a thread without affecting those close by.

    He tried to forget everything that had happened. It had unravelled, gone. All part of the flawed nature of existence. Threads worked loose and there was nothing anyone could do about it. You endured and it went away. End of story.

    And then came Friday.

    He was on the fifth floor counting ceiling tiles while waiting for the lift. The lift arrived on the thirteenth tile. Any other day and he’d have swung his trolley into a quick one eighty and tried the lifts on the far side of the building. But, today, he was in a hurry.

    So he took the lift, pressed the button for the ground floor and hoped no one else would get in. The lift stopped on the third floor. Two men strolled in. He vaguely recognised them, senior managers - assistant secretaries, under secretaries - something like that. Neither of them acknowledged Graham. The older of the two selected the first floor and turned to his companion.

    “Don’t forget, Brian, I want those ParaDim tenders prioritised.”

    Graham’s ears pricked. Paradigm?

    “Ring round all the major software houses and impress upon them the importance of getting in on the ground floor. The universities too. I don’t care how sceptical they pretend to be - ParaDim is going to be massive and no one can afford to miss out.”

    The lift doors opened on the first floor and they left. Graham remained rooted to the back of the lift, he couldn’t even reach out and close the lift doors. Annalise had talked about Paradigm. “It’s all linked to Paradigm,” she’d said. “People want you dead.”

    It was starting again.



    The rest of the morning and all through lunch he couldn’t stop thinking about Paradigm and what it might mean. Was it coincidence or just the inevitable result of boarding a lift after a count of thirteen?

    He sat down at his terminal as soon as he returned from lunch. He logged in and navigated around the DTI site, trying to remember where the search page was located. Sharmila had shown him once but he hadn’t been that interested. It wasn’t something he’d thought he’d ever use.

    Until today.

    He found something called search, waited for the page to load, then typed in PARADIGM.

    No matches.

    Perhaps he’d spelt it wrong? He deleted the ‘g,’ it didn’t look right anyway, and pressed send. He waited, wondering if the ‘m’ was wrong too.

    The result came back. One hit. ParaDim: General project overview and tender information.

    He clicked on the entry and watched as a new screen appeared. It read:


ParaDim: the future today.


    ParaDim is a vast data collection and analysis project designed to revolutionise the advancement of knowledge. By collating data across all subjects and disciplines and applying groundbreaking artificial intelligence algorithms, ParaDim accelerates scientific discovery. What would have taken decades to accomplish is now achievable in months.

    Imagine bringing ten thousand of the world’s premier experts together in one room and allowing a spontaneous cross-fertilisation of ideas. Now imagine a hundred thousand, a million, ten million. ParaDim makes that possible. It sifts, collates and interprets, using the collected experiences and knowledge of the world to bring a fresh eye onto old problems. No preconception, prejudice or personality. No subject too complex or task too large.

    ParaDim seeks partner organisations to help in the collection, storage and processing of data. Partner organisations will be allocated shares in ParaDim Inc. ensuring that everyone benefits from the patents, franchises and new business opportunities that are certain to be generated. The pilot project produced five patents that are widely predicted to revolutionise the electronics and manufacturing industries.

    The amount of data to be processed is vast, as is the amount generated by the AI process in its intermediate scans. ParaDim envisages approximately five hundred partner organisations in ParaDim Phase One, increasing to three thousand by ParaDim Phase Three. Exact specifications are detailed in the appendices.

    Knowledge has always been power, now it can be profitable too. Be a part of the new technological revolution; ParaDim.


    Graham clicked on the appendices but soon got lost in a mass of figures and technical specifications. How many bytes were there in a terabyte? And just how big was an octillion?

    He returned to the previous page and re-read the overview. And wondered how any of it could have anything to do with him?

Home Page Index Page




Previous Page Next Page

Page Counter Image