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String Theory

by Chris Dee

People think Infinity is a very long time. Infinity has nothing to do with Time.
--Joseph Campbell

Wayne Manor, Master Bedroom
Now.

“Is the house awfully cold this morning, or is it just me?” Selina asked, pawing through Bruce’s sweaters.

Bruce rescued a black cashmere from her acquisitive hands and nodded.  “Alfred might have some trick with the thermostat he didn’t mention before he left.  He’ll be back Tuesday; we can manage with sweaters until then—but you should wear your own.”

“Woof,” she responded, then broke into one of Catwoman’s most playful grins.  “I thought you were a scientist.  You can’t work the thermostat in your own house?”

“I’ve checked the thermostat,” Bruce growled, repositioning to block her next grab for the sweater.  “I checked the heater, the air conditioner, the vents, the generators, and the water heater; everything’s fine.  We must be catching a cross draft or something from the cave, it isn’t that cold outside, just in here.”

“Well, I’d normally have some suggestive suggestions to keep each other warm, but for now why don’t I just make us some tea.”

Bruce raised a doubtful eyebrow.

“Tea?” he asked skeptically.

“I feel like tea this morning.”

His lip twitched.  “No attempt at feline seduction and you feel like tea.  Maybe I should alert the Watchtower that the fabric of reality is unraveling again.” 

“Do that,” Selina retorted, “And be sure to tell them you made a joke, too, because on the scale of ‘cosmic portents,’ that ranks right up there with locusts, boiling seas of blood, and—”

“Doorbell.”

The austere chime of the manor’s doorbell sounded a split second after he spoke, and Bruce’s lip twitched before he added, “Could you get that, Kitten?”

“Is that for real or are you trying out a ‘Kitten-Protocol’ to save the sweaters, because if you are, Bruce, I swear to god—”

His lip twitched again and he nodded toward the window.

“I could just see the shadow of a car turning into the front drive from here.  Looks like Jason Blood’s.”

“Some days, it sucks living with a detective,” she noted.

“Stop complaining, Kitten,” Bruce replied with a boyish grin, “You got the sweater.”

The doorbell sounded again and Selina bit back her response in order to go answer it.  But the memory of that grin followed her down the stairs, and she repeated to herself, “On the scale of cosmic portents, that ranks right up there…”

 

Jason pushed the doorbell forcefully for a third time as he jostled the box under his arm, then switched to an anxious knock.  His jaw was set.  He was prepared for a fight.  He was prepared to win that fight by any means necessary, even if it meant casting a Çömpłįąŧũŋ on Wayne, on Selina, and on the whole of Gotham if need be to—

“Jason Blood, the man, the myth, the legend.”

Jason had knocked on the door prepared for anything—except for Selina herself to answer it.  He’d been expecting Alfred Pennyworth or possibly Bruce.  He’d been expecting “state your business” formality, not a coy little cat smile and that playful greeting of hers, not:  “Jason Blood, the man, the myth, the legend.”

“Good morning,” he said with forced cheer in response to Selina’s usual, teasing salutation.  Then his features hardened into their normal severity and he added, “I wonder if I might see you on a matter of some urgency.” 

“Sure.  C’mon in,” she answered ushering him inside.  As she led him through the foyer and the Great Hall, Selina explained that Alfred was away for a few days.  That’s why she had answered the door, and also why Bruce wasn’t up yet. 

“With our respective nighttime schedules, you can imagine,” she chattered lightly as they reached the morning room. 

“I should have called first, I suppose,” Jason demurred.  “But I thought it best not to waste time.  I have brought you a gift.”

Selina had been moving to the chair behind the desk; she now froze mid-step and turned slowly and awkwardly back to Jason.  He held out the box uneasily, and Selina affixed it—and then him—with a curious cat-smile. 

“You’re actually the second immortal this month to show up uninvited with a gift for me,” she said pointedly.  “The first one didn’t work out too well.”

“Be that as it may, Selina, I must insist you accept these objects.  You may not understand why I am giving them, you may not know what to do with them, Bruce will undoubtedly object to your having them, but it is vitally important that you take these items and keep them.”

Selina’s face hardened from playful curiosity into hostile suspicion.

“If Bruce won’t want them here, that means either they’re some adorable-but-stolen bit of cat-kitsch, possibly ‘for Candace from BW,’ or else they’re magic.  In which case, I don’t want them either, Jason.  I hate that stuff almost as much as Bruce does; it gives me the willies.  And after what that poisonous witch Zatanna did—”

“SELINA, I MUST INSIST!” Jason blurted, startling himself as much as her with the volume of his shout.  “’After what Zatanna did.’  Yes, precisely.  After what Zatanna did to Bruce, I helped you.  I pledged my power to use as you wished.  You both owe me this debt.”

“With magic, there’s always a price,” she said quietly. 

“I would not wish to put it in those terms,” Jason said mildly.

“You just did,” Selina observed.

“I would rather you let me give you these things as a friend, as one friend gives another a gift.”

Selina looked again at the box, then at Jason, then at her own sleeve wearing Bruce’s sweater. 

“Okay, Jason, you win,” she said abruptly.  “Since I don’t seem to have a choice anyway.”

 

Département de Physique Théorique, L’Université de Genève
Geneva, Switzerland
60 minutes from now

“Next slide, please,” Lewis Luthor ordered.  He fidgeted nervously behind his podium while the teaching assistant fussed with the jammed carousel on the slide projector.

“I said next slide, please,” he repeated.  There was a sharp click, and a picture of Albert Einstein appeared on the screen. 

“The 20thCentury brought about two great theories of the universe,” Lewis Luthor announced, resuming his lecture.  “Two great theories which do not agree.  There is General Relativity, which works with the very, very large:  stars, planets, galaxies, et cetera.  And Quantum Physics, which covers the very, very small, such as atoms, electrons, and quarks…”

In the back of the lecture hall, the Dean of Scientific Studies observed the class with four of the senior faculty.

“He’s such an odd fellow,” the Dean observed.

“…Relativity deals with gravity. Quantum Physics describes electro-magnetism and the strong and weak atomic forces.  Problem is: if you try to use one set of laws/calculations/principles in the other’s realm, you get absolute nonsense.  And there can’t be two sets of rules. There can’t be two different ‘Everythings’…”

“But the absolute best in the field,” the senior professor told the Dean.  “It’s an honor to have him as a guest speaker.  For the Institute to let us have him for even four lectures in the course of a year—”

…The answer may, in fact, be Strings.  The theory is that all of existence:  all energy, all matter, and even the particles that transmit energy, are all made up of these tiny filaments called Strings that stretch and vibrate like the strings of a violin.  The WAY they stretch and vibrate determines what the thing is and what laws apply!  Hence why it all works one way inside a star and another in an atom…

“I know, I know,” said the Dean.  “But he’s so peculiar.  Even at this level…  I just don’t think the students know what to make of him.”

“…What’s really fascinating is 2,000 years before we came up with any of this, a sect of Hinduism put forth that the universe is -all- sound, just made of vibrating echoes of sound, that are constantly moving and in flux with each other…”

“Five years from now, the students will be bragging that they heard about string theory from Dr. Lewis Luthor, the 211sttCentury’s Einstein.””

“…just like these Strings—Oh excuse me,” Luthor paused as the teaching assistant handed him a note.  “My apologies, Class, this is a very urgent telephone call from the States.  I trust it will only be a few minutes.  Perhaps in the interim, you will all review your notes on Brian Greene’s brilliant paper ‘Our Elegant Universe.’”

He left the podium, and as he passed he heard the Dean observe “I know Stephen, but a mind like that…””

Luthor’s shoulders slumped. He had heard it all before, and so many times.  “Lewis darling, with a mind like yours, you could be the greatest inventor the world has ever known.  Lewis, sweetie, with abilities like yours, you could be President…”  They didn’t understand.  His intelligence was a curse as much as a blessing.  He was an outcast in the world, a misfit, a freak.  He didn’t go into science in order to better mankind; he didn’t even like mankind.  He liked numbers; numbers were better.  Reliable.  And beautiful.  If you found numbers more beautiful than people, this is what you did: the highest levels of math, astronomy, and physics were your home, where you could go to be among your own kind. 

So few understood that.  So few would let him be, leave him to do what made him happy, working with his sublimely beautiful numbers.

He picked up the phone.

..:: Dr. Luthor, ::..  the receiver quacked, ..:: This is Bruce Wayne.  Pack a bag, I’m sending the corporate jet to bring you to Gotham ASAP. ::..

Now, at last, he had a patron who let him carry on this great work.

“Of course, Mr. Wayne.  This is a formal report for the board of your foundation, I take it?”

..:: Yes, a formal report and then some.  Bring all your notes and all the most recent data, anything else you’ll need to facilitate any kind of demonstration or experiments. ::..

“It will be my very great pleasure to do that, sir.  I shall see you on the morrow then… 9 o’clock sharp?  Yes, sir.  Au revoir.”

 

Wayne Manor, Now.

As Batman, Bruce had seen enough of the occult world to know the smell of burnt sage when it tickled his nostrils.  The odor was faint as he crossed the Great Hall, but his senses were sharp and his recollection of subtle sensory detail was considerable.  By the time he traced it to its source in the morning room, the charred musky aroma was as thick and sharp as his indignant rage.

He walked slowly and silently up to Jason, regarding him with Batman’s deadliest glare.

“Bruce,” Selina said quietly.  He ignored her and went on staring hatefully into Jason Blood’s equally immovable gaze.

“Testosterone, table for two,” Selina murmured under her breath.

“Jason, what the hell have you brought into my house,” Bruce asked finally.

There was no answer but silence for a long minute as heavy wisps of thick scented smoke curled from the smoldering sage bundle resting in an abalone shell.

“This is a Witch Orb,” Jason said finally, pointing to a ball of mottled purple glass that looked like an oversized, beautifully textured, Christmas tree ornament resting on its side.  “It is said to draw and trap any ill-intentioned spirits into the glass webwork that fills its interior.  Bruce, this isn’t just your home now, it is Selina’s also, and it is important that this be here.”

“No, I won’t have it,” Bruce hissed. 

“I can keep it in my suite,” Selina said, softly insistent.  “We’ve agreed that’s my space, remember, like an embassy is foreign soil.  That way it’s not really in ‘your house.’”

He turned to her sharply.

“Like it’s not really stealing to take the Sit-Hathor Necklace from the museum because the archaeologists who dug it up were nothing but grave robbers?  No, we’re not going to play those games, not about magic, not in this house, not— what is that on your finger?”

“Another of my gifts,” Jason said calmly. “It’s a moonstone.  So named for the mysterious gleaming which appears whenever the gem changes its position relative to the light.”

“A Feldspar mineral from Sri Lanka, I know that,” Bruce spat.  “It’s called Feldspar adularia, a gemstone-quality silicate made of potassium aluminium. What’s it doing in a ring on Selina’s right index finger?”

“Selene is the moon goddess,” Jason explained reasonably. “She is represented here by the moonstone, coming into her fullness, the crescents on each side of the center stone represent her waxing and waning.”

The last filament of patience snapped and Bruce exploded in a fury of blinding motion, delivering a low brutal gut-punch and grabbing Jason’s throat as he doubled over, pushing him to the wall, and pushing Selina against the desk when she tried to intervene. 

“Try and stop me with a spell,” he snarled, waves of Hell Month Crime-Alley hate pouring off him.  “Bring your magical poisons into my house and pour them over the woman I love, and then use more magic, and more, and more when anybody tries to stop you, answer every challenge to anything you say or do or think or feel with some show of your power, more of that vile, monstrous, hateful—”

“Bruce, please stop,” Selina murmured, almost a whisper, as she rubbed her hip where she’d hit the side of the desk.  “Hear him out.  Have you ever known Jason to go off half-cocked?  Just hear him out, please.  We owe him that much.”

Bruce angrily released his grip on Jason’s throat and turned his back on the pair of them.

“You hear him out, I’ll be in the cave,” he spat.

 

Bruce heard the distinct clip-clip of Selina’s heels as she came up behind his workstation. 

“Is he gone?” he graveled.

“No, he’s in the kitchen.”

Bruce visibly bristled, but didn’t speak.  Bats squeaked overhead, but for several seconds, there was no other noise until Selina added, “I made tea.”

He grunted.  Selina waited for several seconds but when no other response was forthcoming she went on, “He needs to talk to you, Bruce.  Whatever this is about, he won’t tell me—which can’t exactly be good news for me. And that’s why I took the stuff he brought.”

Bruce turned sharply, causing the chair to screech.

“A ‘Witch Orb,’ a moonstone ring, that was white sage he was burning—is there more?”

“Bruce, he’s trying to protect me from something.  I’m no happier than you are that magic is involved, but—”

“IS THERE MORE?” he growled through clenched teeth.

“This pendant,” she said, pulling at a thin silver cord that circled her neck and disappeared under the sweater.  “He says it’s not magic, it’s just a gift.”

Bruce stood and took the pendant between his fingers, looking down at the small flat square of light purple stone with three runic symbols raised on its surface. 

“Lavender jade,” he growled.  “These are Chinese ideograms for… good fortune, longevity, and… love, I think.  And he says this is ‘just a gift,’ no powers involved?”

“Bruce why would he lie? He’s perfectly straightforward about the magical properties of all the rest.  This one is just a gift… a gift from a friend that’s pretty well connected with the big cosmic mumbo jumbo, and he shows up with a box of stuff to protect me, and he’s giving me a necklace, and he told me I looked very pretty this morning and that I made good tea.  I’m scared, Bruce, and I’d rather not have the additional headache of your one-man crusade against all things pixie-dust right now, okay!”

There was a low growling rumble deep in his chest.

“I’d almost prefer you wanted to go out tonight and empty the vault at Tiffany’s,” he grumbled.

“Bruce, I hate what Zatanna did to you more than you will ever know.  I hate that poisonous witch and her magic so much that it impressed Etrigan.  Okay?  But this isn’t Zatanna; it’s Jason Blood, and he’s not like that.  Did he throw up a magic shield to keep you from leaving the morning room just now?  You know he could have.  He didn’t.  And he didn’t force his way down here uninvited.  He’s up in the kitchen like a polite guest, drinking tea and waiting to be asked to come down to see you…  Come up and talk to him, Bruce, please.”

Several seconds ticked by, until finally he nodded. 

“Give me a minute to change, then send him down,” he graveled in the deep Batman voice.

“He came to the front door of Wayne Manor,” Selina insisted, “Come upstairs, no pointy bat-ears, and talk to him.”

 

Département de Physique Théorique, L’Université de Genève
Geneva, Switzerland
30 minutes from now

“Next slide, please,” Laura Luthor ordered.  She fidgeted nervously behind her podium while the teaching assistant fussed with the jammed carousel on the slide projector.

“I said next slide, please,” she repeated.  There was a sharp click, and a picture of Albert Einstein appeared on the screen. 

“The 20th Century brought about two great theories of the universe,” she announced, resuming her lecture.  “Two great theories which do not agree…”

In the back of the lecture hall, the Dean of Scientific Studies observed the class with four of the senior faculty.

“Oddest woman I ever saw,” the Dean observed.

“…Problem is, if you try to use one set of laws/calculations/principles in the other’s realm, you get absolute nonsense.  And there can’t be two different ‘Everythings’…”

“But the absolute best in the field,” the senior professor told the Dean.  “It’s an honor to have her as a guest speaker.”

…The answer may be Strings.  All existence:  all energy and matter all made up of these tiny rubber bands of energy that stretch and vibrate like the strings of a violin.  The WAY they stretch and vibrate determines what laws apply!…

“Five years from now, the students will be bragging that they heard about String Theory from Dr. Laura Luthor.”

“—My apologies, Class, this is a very urgent telephone call from the States.  I trust it will only be a few minutes.  Perhaps in the interim, you will all review your notes on Brian Greene’s brilliant paper ‘Our Elegant Universe.’”

Her shoulders slumped as she passed the Dean and saw that look… It was the story of her life, that look:  “Laura, darling, science is a man’s world.  With a mind like yours, you could be a novelist or a teacher…”  They didn’t understand.  But finally she had a patron who would let her do the work she loved.

..:: Dr. Luthor, ::..  the receiver quacked, ..:: This is Bruce Wayne.  Pack a bag, I’m sending the corporate jet to bring you to Gotham ASAP.::..

“Of course, Mr. Wayne.  This is a formal report for the board of your foundation, I take it?”

..:: A formal report and then some.  Bring all your notes and all the most recent data, anything else you’ll need to facilitate any kind of demonstration or experiments. ::..

“It will be my very great pleasure, sir.  Tomorrow then… 9 o’clock sharp?  Au revoir.”

 

Wayne Manor, Now.

When Bruce reached the kitchen, Jason Blood was no longer sitting at the counter drinking tea.  Instead, Etrigan the Demon looked down at the steaming mug in disgust.

Fetid water, bitter leaf,
Brewed for Blood by your Feline Thief?
Brother-Demon, she has style!
Your lady cat, she stirs the bile.
She hates with zeal akin to yours.
That ‘gentler’ sex start all good wars.

“Etrigan,” Bruce said blandly.  “I thought it was Jason who wanted to see me.”

So did he, the mortal fool.
But Jason Blood is but a tool.
If knew he who had sent his dream,
Rash Jason would suspect some scheme.
Resort then I to tricks with light,
With purple flame, and mortal fright.

“So it’s really you maneuvering him into giving Selina all this magic paraphernalia?”

By Hades, No!  This urge to save
The helpless female who
More oft than not, you wretched knave
Is deadlier than you,
Such folly, Wayne, I tell you true, I leave to hero knights.
When Jason sensed the Crisis near, he made ready for the rites
’Tis he who takes my warning to mean ‘Rally round the Cat.’
My warning, my brother Demon, is more serious than that.

Bruce frowned but considered the words seriously. Finally he said, “You’re an agent of chaos, Etrigan.  How can any of us take what you say at face value?”

“Between Order and the Chaos,” is it not what Pit-Boy said?
Ra’s al Ghul is no true demon, but neither is he dead.
In his Pit he glimpsed the No-Thing in the Void beyond the Is.
And he spoke of coming Crisis, at the heart of it your Ms.

”That’s your answer?” Bruce sneered.  “I should believe your warnings because of something Ra’s al Ghul said?  That’s your character witness, Etrigan?”

Chaos too in danger be!  Bruce Wayne, I charge your soul:
Harken to this warning, all Existence is a whole.
We live or die connected:  Chaos, Order, False and True

Un-Existence lies before us all—since was broken one taboo.
 
Past and Future, god and Man,
Together face this Void.
Harken well to Jason’s council,
Lest Existence be destroyed.

 


Jason swooned as the transformation completed and the last waves of Etrigan’s malice shuddered through the corporeal body that was his once more.  An uncharacteristically concerned Bruce Wayne helped him steady himself against—the kitchen counter? …  He looked around, confused, and saw he was still in the Wayne Manor kitchen. 

“I’m sorry, Bruce,” he murmured.  “I thought I saw… right over there, there was a pack of Hell Hounds. I needed to release Etrigan or else… Is everyone all right?  How did you get him to return so quickly?”

“He went quite willingly, Jason.  There were no Hell Hounds, he just wanted to talk to me.”

“It was a trick?  He’s never been able to do that. I mean, he can create hallucinations when I’m tired but… This isn’t good, Bruce.  He’s growing stronger.”

“More likely you’re tired.  He said something about dreams, sending you dreams as a warning.  Jason, when was the last time you slept through the night?”

“Nine days ago,” he said grimly.  “A dream alone, one time, isn’t a prophecy even to the most powerful wizards, even to the Seers of Avalon.  One night, two, three.  It means nothing more than if you were to have the same nightmare each… Well, I guess you know about that.”

Bruce glared. 

“Your point?” he asked in Batman’s voice.

“Nine nights is the key, three times three.  If the same dream comes nine nights running, exactly the same way, that’s when you know it’s… it’s all you were afraid of.  It’s not just a random fancy of your subconscious, it’s…  Where is Selina?”

“I left her in the cave,” Bruce said frankly. “Now what’s this about?”

“Something is about to happen that no earthly words can describe,” Jason said quietly, “Crisis, Cataclysm, Armageddon, Apocalypse, these are all words coined by human beings to express human thoughts on the scale of human understanding.  What is before us now countermines the very tenets of existence.”

“That’s the typical End of Days Intro, Jason,” Bruce said caustically.  “We get it: big-serious-evil, coming straight for us.  I’ve heard it before, about a dozen times.  Now what are the specifics this time and why—”

“I don’t know,” Jason answered intently.  “Bruce, I was born fourteen hundred and seventy eight years ago, but I was born, a human man borne of a mortal woman.  There are things I don’t know.  I’ve channeled magickal forces that could rip your body inside out, open a pentagram in your blood, or transmogrify the anger in your soul into searing white fire to burn the injustice from an unjust world. I have been to the center of Hell itself and looked on the spirit-essence of a damned soul writhing on the wheel.  And I am telling you, I do not know what this is… but I know, somehow, that she is at the heart of it.”

 

Département de Physique Théorique, L’Université de Genève
Geneva, Switzerland
15 minutes from now

“Next slide, please,” Laura Luthor ordered.  “My brother is much better with a proton accelerator than a slide projector,” she told the class.  The students laughed politely, and Lewis Luthor fidgeted nervously with the jammed slide carousel. There was a sharp click, and a picture of Albert Einstein appeared on the screen. 

“The 20thhCentury brought about two great theories of the universe,” Laura Luthor announced, resuming her lecture. Laura Luthor announced, resuming her lecture.  “Two great theories which do not agree…”

In the back of the lecture hall, the Dean of Scientific Studies observed the class with four of the senior faculty.

“Strangest thing I’ve ever seen,” the Dean observed.  “Twins, both PhDs—”

“And the absolute best in the field,” the senior professor told the Dean.  “They write all their papers jointly, and they lecture jointly.  They say their brain patterns are so similar, they’re practically telepathic.”

…The answer: Strings.  All existence: all energy and matter all made up of these tiny rubber bands of energy that stretch and vibrate like the strings of a violin.  The WAY they stretch and vibrate determines what laws apply!…

“Five years from now, the students will be bragging that they learned String Theory from Drs. Laura and Lewis Luthor.”

“—My apologies, Class, this is a very urgent telephone call from the States.  I’m going to step away for a few moments.  My brother will take over the lecture from here.’””

Her shoulders slumped as she passed the Dean and saw that look:  “Freaks.”  Nobody understood what it was like, nobody but Lewis.  But finally they had a patron who let them carry on their work in peace.  Her shoulders slumped as she passed the Dean and saw that look:  “Freaks.”  Nobody understood what it was like, nobody but Lewis.  But finally they had a patron who let them carry on their work in peace.

..:: Dr. Luthor, ::..  the receiver quacked, ..:: This is Bruce Wayne.  Pack a bag, I’m sending the corporate jet to bring you and your brother to Gotham ASAP.::..

“Of course, Mr. Wayne.  This is a formal report for the board of your foundation, I take it?”

..:: A formal report and then some.  Bring all your notes and all the most recent data, anything else you’ll need to facilitate any kind of demonstration or experiments. ::..

“Tomorrow then… 9 o’clock sharp?  Au revoir.”

 

Batcave beneath Wayne Manor, Now.

Jason returned with Bruce to the cave.  On entering, they found Selina seated at Workstation 2, with several websites open on the various monitors, including a picture of the lavender-jade pendant on the main oversized screen that hung over the cave, the moonstone ring and the witch orb displayed almost as large on two of the side-screens.

“See, I told you,” she said pointing to the pendant.  “Not a molecule of voodoo-witchcraft-wicca-mojo anywhere on it. It’s just a good luck charm.  Thank you, Jason, that was very sweet of you.”

“You are… researching the magical properties of my gifts… on the Internet?” Jason asked, appalled.

“I wish you wouldn’t use these computers for any kind of magic-related… Selina, really,” Bruce stammered, just as appalled.

“You both need therapy,” Selina noted, getting up.  “I assume I’m to ‘scat’ again? Mustn’t include Kitty-Cat in the secret meetings; just load her down with all kinds of enchanted gobbledygook and send her off to—”

“You can stay,” Bruce said bluntly.  Jason started to object but Bruce shook his head. “She’s no shrinking civilian, Jason.  She’s Catwoman.  And she’s seen enough of the darkness, manmade and otherwise, to handle the truth of this.”

Selina took a step backward, stunned, then flung her arms around Bruce’s neck and planted a moist kiss on his cheek.

“I love you,” she said emphatically.  “You hear that, Jason, I’m staying.”

A strange look crossed his face as he acquiesced.

“Very well, the fact is, Selina, there isn’t all that much to know.  I have very little in the way of definite information.  I know only that—”

“Something bad is about to happen,” Bruce cut in, closing the websites on the various monitors with a series of brusque keystrokes, “It involves you, and it involves magic…”  He paused and his eyes grew dark as he punched in several more keystrokes.  “And if it involves magic, we’re going to find out a lot more than it thinks we can.”

Several password screens later, a new image appeared on the large monitor looming over the cave:
..::GENEVA PROJECT  WAYNEFOUND #81542:  STRING THEORY ::..
…Département de Physique Théorique, L’Université de Genève
…Lionel Leiverman, Ph.D.

Bruce picked up a handset and, several keystrokes later, spoke in a crisp business-like tone.

“Dr. Leiverman, this is Bruce Wayne.  Pack a bag, I’m sending the corporate jet to bring you to Gotham ASAP…  Yes, a formal report and then some.  Bring all your notes and all the most recent data, anything else you’ll need to facilitate any kind of demonstration or experiments.  Au revoir.”

To be continued...

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