“Hold on, there might have been a misunderstanding somewhere,” Quantum Calculator said. He smiled politely at the two women sitting across from him in his office. One, the one that did all the talking, wore a white suit and introduced herself as Dana Sharp. The other one, Q.C. assumed to be an assistant, wore a similar suit in all black. She did not introduce herself, but Dana used the name Melody when referring to her.
“When I accepted the appointment I thought you were just fans that wanted a tour,” he said. “I don’t know where you picked up the idea that I’m looking for a new job. I have too many responsibilities here. And, no offense, but I’ve never heard of Sharp Development. It can’t be as big as you talk it up, if I didn’t even know it existed.”
“Mr. Calculator..,” Dana Sharp said. “The misunderstanding is something you came up with by yourself. I’m not offering you a job. I’m offering information. The knowledge of how your abilities work and what you can really do with them.” Q. C. chuckled; it was a lighter reaction than he’d had in the past. He’d been a Super since he could remember. After leading the team for almost two decades, he still had people thinking they knew his powers better than he did. It took him a few years to see the humor in it.
“Okay,” Q.C. nodded with a broad grin. “I’ll give you a chance to pique my interest. Tell me something I don’t know about my powers right now.”
“Melody,” Dana said. The woman in black stood from her seat. She pulled a small notepad and pen from inside her jacket, scribbled something on it, then set the pad face down on Q.C.’s desk.
“You’re about to think of that number,” Dana said. She nodded at the notepad. Melody stepped out of the room, literally. She walked into a black portal that disappeared behind her. Q.C. didn’t even blink, teleportation was a common ability.
“What do you mean I’m about to-,” Q.C.’s question was interrupted. Somewhere deep in his subconscious something screamed. A single thought repeated and grew in intensity. The way he often explained his ability was that the universe whispered the answer to any calculation in his ear. Right now, the universe was yelling at the top of its lungs in his ear, almost in pain. One persistent, burning thought. ’35’. He reached for the notepad and flipped it over. Melody left a ’35’ scribbled on it. He flipped through the rest of the pages to be sure; they were all blank.
“How?” he asked. He felt a deep relief somewhere inside. Then, a black portal appeared in his office again to let Melody step out. She took her seat next to Dana Sharp again without a word.
“The short version is: somehow your mind is connected, networked you could say, to every you in every universe. Your brain is a supercomputer that manages to use every brain in one of your bodies as one. That’s what’s happening, but I’d like to find out how it’s happening. I understand your confusion. I’m asking you to join my company, but not as an employee. I’m studying your connection.”
Q.C. remained quiet for a moment. He’d never been overly curious about his powers; but, that was only because he never expected to find any answers. The fact that she was casually discussing alternate universes was not lost on him either. He always wanted to do more traveling, but his responsibilities kept him busy. His responsibilities to keep his Earth safe. Confirmation of alternate universes also meant unexpected threats. He needed to be ready to protect his home. He sighed deeply and gently shook his head.
“I’m sorry. I can honestly say I want to; but, I don’t know what else is out there. I have people to protect here and can’t leave.” Dana Sharp smiled, and Melody stifled a giggle.
“Mr. Calculator it seems you have a habit of getting ahead of yourself and reaching faulty conclusions. Let me clarify something. You…,” Dana Sharp gestured at Q. C. with her hands. “That body, isn’t going anywhere. You can keep doing what you’re doing. Protecting whomever you’ve decided is important enough to protect. I’ve already been observing several of your Zeros in my lab. All I need from you is a signature.” At Dana’s words, Melody leaned forward and placed a red clipboard on the table with a single form, and a pen.
“A signature?” Q.C. asked. Dana nodded.
“Permission from yourself to help you learn about yourself,” she said. “Although, I am obligated to inform you that signing that gives Sharp Development ownership over your soul.” Q. C. chuckled. He was suddenly in a good mood. He’d get to learn about himself while still protecting the city. And now that he knew about alternate universes he could get the team to explore some of them. Everything was working out. He pulled the clipboard closer and started signing.
“Well you said you’ve been observing other versions of me,” he said as he completed his signature and handed the clipboard back. “So, you’ve already got my soul anyway, right?” Melody accepted the clipboard and Dana nodded.
“You’re right,” she said.