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Автор Cam Rogers

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Cam Rogers

Quantum Break

The first book in the Quantum Break series, 2016

For Dmetri Kakmi,

the best friend I’ve ever had,

the best editor I’ve ever worked with

FOREWORD

I need to confess something. I’ve always struggled to see the point of a straightforward game novelization. If the experience is already there as intended, why transcribe it? There’s more than fifty thousand words of text-based discoverable optional story content in Quantum Break, half a novel in itself, and that’s without counting the actual performed screenplay. If the player wants a novelization of the story in the game, it’s waiting there to be read as they play. Instead, I was interested in creating a work of art that was bold, a bit different, and that would stand on its own two feet.

Cam Rogers was part of the team who crafted Quantum Break. The other members of the team were Mikko Rautalahti, Tyler Smith, and myself. As a writer, Cam is a force of nature. The sheer rapid-fire enthusiasm he brings to the table was obvious to us from the very first Skype call we had with him in the spring of 2012. Cam is fast; the way his mind works is staggering. He knows how stories work, and on top of that the man is a walking encyclopedia. When the idea of a novelization for Quantum Break came up in the early summer of 2015, I immediately thought of Cam, who at that point had already left Remedy to work on other projects. Cam had intimate knowledge of the Quantum Break universe, in a way no outside writer could. I called him, and he was interested.

As with any complex project, Quantum Break’s story went through quite a few different versions. Ideas were explored and then, for one reason or another, some were abandoned. Not always because they were not good ideas for the story, but because they didn’t work with what we had in the game. Cam suggested that he could bring in some ideas and concepts that were present in the earlier drafts of the story. I liked the idea.

I gave Cam free hands. Use any of the old story ideas that we abandoned along the way. But don’t stop there. If you come up with new ideas that you feel would serve this story better, go for it. Make it interesting, make it cool, that’s all.

Quantum Break is a story about time travel and branching timelines. Paul Serene sees visions of different potential futures, and he can choose which future comes to be. This opens a door to the idea of a multiverse, or the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics; the idea that there are branching timelines and with that an infinite number of parallel realities where things went down a different path. As you play the game, you are creating your version of the Quantum Break universe via the junction choices that you make. That is your own timeline, different from your friend’s timeline, and yet they both exist side by side.

Now imagine many more junction moments, going further back to the time before the game even begins. That’s what this novel is. It’s an alternate timeline novel. Some things are exactly as they are in the game, some are close, and some are completely different.

I love the idea of echoes and twisted mirrors. We always have multiple layers in Remedy stories. Take the in-game TV series well known to fans of Max Payne and Alan Wake: Lords and Ladies, Dick Justice, Address Unknown, Captain Baseball Bat Boy, Night Springs. They can be wacky and tongue in cheek, but they always thematically comment and echo the main story. That’s what this book is, an echo, a twisted mirror.

This is not the Quantum Break you have played. Is this canon? Strictly speaking, no. But, in an experience where the player gets to make choices and shape the story, in a multiverse, what isn’t canon? This story contains mysteries and histories of its own. Do the revelations within these pages provide answers to questions raised in the game? We leave that to you.

Sam Lake, creative director, Remedy

Helsinki, January 9, 2016

We are all blind navigators.

In one lifetime a person makes countless decisions. Each choice spawns a new universe. The chosen Present then births its logical Future-but one timeline among a myriad.

My life’s mission is to safeguard the universe I have created from the choices I have made.

– From the journals of Dr. William Joyce

1

Sunday, 4 July 2010. 5:00 A.M. Riverport, Massachusetts.

When you’re young, time is something that happens to other people.

Standing on the lip of Bannerman’s Overlook, taking in the view of the city, there should have been all the time in the world. Cold dawn lit eastern-facing windows like bright pixels. Birds lifted skyward from the university campus in a stippled black cloud, thinning as they banked westward toward the river.

Jack Joyce and Paul Serene had known each other all of their lives, a total that would forever remain at twenty-two years if the delicately voiced man behind them lost his temper.

Paul glanced over his shoulder. Orrie “Trigger” Aberfoyle was the calm, kind-eyed murderer responsible for Riverport’s small but thriving crime industry, and had the kind of face you’d expect to surface after throwing bread onto a dead pond. At that moment he seemed to be charmed by the relaxed young lady bantering with him. His three enforcers hung back on the verge, with Aberfoyle’s black town car.

“He’s going to kill us, isn’t he?” Paul said.

Zed-that was the only name she gave-had blown into town a few months back, took up residence in an abandoned home, and lived invisibly: no phone, no e-mail, no social media, no Social Security number. Her hair was a shock of dyed black and swept back like a bend-not-break stack of midnight reeds. A jagged tribal design curved behind her left ear and for fun she spent her afternoons bouncing off public property with the parkour crowd by the river.

Jack had placed their lives in her hands.

“Stop checking behind us. It makes us look nervous.” Jack tried for a reassuring smile. “I trust her. I know her.”

“You should. She’s everyone you’ve ever dated.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“She’s a good-looking disaster who romanticizes your pathologies.” Paul kicked a rock over the edge. The four-second delay to impact knotted his guts.

Last night Jack and Paul had taken a six-pack and the dinghy that belonged to Jack’s departed dad and went fishing, way out on the Mystic River. Good times, had a few brewskis, Paul crashed on Jack’s couch. Then Paul had woken abruptly as he was tossed off Jack’s couch by a side of beef with a handgun. And now they were here.

Jack collected a few flat stones from the platform’s ornamental Zen garden fringe, just before the dew-slick safety rail. “Look,” he said, “those three guys turned up. We got piled into a car. Aberfoyle’s phone rings. It’s Zed. How’d she get his number? How’d she know we were in the car? How did she know what to say to make him turn the car around and drive us here, rather than some piece of waste ground in the dockyard? I trust her with this,” he emphasized. “Five minutes ago she looked me in the eye and told me that all three of us are walking out of here alive. I believe her.”

Jack was utterly smitten by Zed, which was why, Paul knew without a doubt, Jack was letting her do the talking for them-which was why Paul was certain they were about to be kicked three hundred feet off Bannerman’s Overlook into the Great Mystery.

All Paul ever wanted was to go to business school, for fuck’s sake.

“Jack, when you met her she was surfing the roof of a Honda hatchback at one A.M., with the lights off, down the worst road on Mount Greylock. She hangs out with scumbags and her name is a consonant. In two of her four photos the woman is airborne and she looks different in all of them. She has a tattoo on her head. That man literally gets away with murder several times a year and she’s talking to him like he’s her dippy uncle. I’m not sure she knows anything about anything.” Now Aberfoyle was wobbling a finger at Zed’s bemused face, laying down some kind of law. “If you don’t say something to make him happy we are going to die.”

Jack was Frisbeeing rocks from his left palm into the void, watching them arc and disappear into the foggy woodland that reached toward Riverport’s southern border. “Americana.” The leather of his jacket snapped as a flat stone spun and descended. “Family businesses. One school. Everyone knows everyone. Riverport, oh Riverport, such a pretty little town.”

Paul recognized the refrain from their school anthem.

Jack tossed the remaining rocks over the side. “I hate pretty little towns. I hate this pretty little town.” He hooked a thumb over his shoulder, toward one of the most dangerous me ...