DISEQUILIBRIUMS The Individuals. Chapter 30

Thursday 22 December 2016

Time: 8:00 pm



I don’t know what surprised me more, the story itself or the fact that Samuel knew about it. After a moment of tension, the atmosphere improves. I feel relaxed enough to hear something that has impressed me. I like this kind of intrigue. It’s almost like a film.

I thought that Sofia was going to intervene, but surprisingly, she is not taking the initiative. If it were any other moment in the past, I bet she would have been directing the show. I don’t know what is the matter with her. In any case, she looks very pretty.

“Yes, Samuel,” Erik continues, “before summer 2015, the Disequilibriums Group had a major about-turn in the research they were doing and sharing.”

“What happened?” I couldn’t help asking.

“The initiator launched the idea that Zaragoza was the sacred city and, in particular, about the tilted Cardus and Decumanus. That shook up the group. According to what my parents told me, from that moment, the volume of communications traffic among group members increased by 100% and many people started having more meetings, even some members in Asia.”

“Wow!!!” We can hear Elsa exclaiming. “How I would have liked to experience that!”

Without realising it, she voiced what the rest of us are thinking, but none dares to say.

“From that moment, my parents began to work harder because they were the ones who informed the group that in Paris, the same thing was happening.”

“In Paris?” Startled, Samuel springs into action, reaching for his tablet to search for something on the Internet.

I notice a slight smile on Erik’s face. Here’s something that Samuel didn’t know. He is full of pride.

“From that moment, they got into direct contact with the initiator of the group: Augustus Canizzaro.”

I look at Sofia. Her face undergoes a mixture of expressions and feelings that are impossible to interpret. She shifts uncomfortably in her seat. She tries to find a comfortable position, but cannot. Finally, she stands up and goes over to sit on the armchair where Samuel had been sitting previously.

“From what they told me, it seems that my parents established a very close relationship with Sofia’s father.”

“Dear me! What are you saying?” Sofia asks in alarm.

No one says anything. Erik and Sofia are locked in a gaze. She turns white, with wide unblinking eyes. His face is a mixture of sadness and fear. I think that he is wondering whether to continue or to stop.

Sofia suddenly recovers. She blinks quickly and with a slight movement of her head, she looks at all of us. Finally, she turns to fix her eyes on Erik and, as if expected, she gives him the nod to continue.

“Later they told me,” Erik begins and stops for a moment until Sofia, with a nod, motions for him to continue, “that Sofia’s mother played an important role, but they could not yet reveal it.”

Sofia’s jaw drops. Erik gestures to her to ask if he should continue the story. She gets up again, approaches the table, returns to sit on the chair she had been sitting on previously, covers her face with her hands and rubs it. Then, with her face now clear, she turns to him and gestures for him to continue.

“That special relationship arose because Disequilibriums became more powerful since many people who lived or have lived in cities designed with a Cardus and Decumanus seem to be more predisposed to finding solutions aimed at establishing balance.”

Erik adopts a more rigid position and lifts his head and, looking straight ahead, continues:

“Just before summer, Sofia’s father informed my parents that, on their family holidays, and by pure chance, he had found three more cities in Europe where the Cardus and Decumanus were tilted: London, Paris and Bergamo. However, in none of them was the solstice rectangle exactly the same as in Zaragoza.”

“What did you say?” We can hear Elsa asking.

Erik turns towards the screen, and cupping his mouth like a loudspeaker, he repeats:


“Tell me this isn’t happening,” Sofia groans as if from the depths of her being.

“In fact, in Paris,” Erik continues, “there are several Decumanus and one main Cardus. One of the people who joined the group commented that, depending on the Decumanus you choose, with one end in Montmartre and the other in Montparnasse, the Notre-Dame Cathedral could be identified as the intersection.”

Samuel takes up the story, “From London, one of the members of the group showed the Roman design of the city and, although it is true that the Cardus and Decumanus were tilted, they were not totally straight as in other cities, but what stood out was their position relative to the River Thames.”

Erik makes a sign to Samuel to stop speaking and he continues:

“And the third city that Augustus Canizzaro found to have a tilted Cardus and Decumanus was Bergamo, a small Italian city, near Milan. He had to be very observant to find it, but as the old town is very well preserved, the tower at the intersection of the two lines enabled him to find the connection.”

“We went to the three cities for two summers running,” Sofia cuts in, covering her eyes with her hands.

I can’t begin to imagine what’s going through Sofia’s head.

With a small smile at Sofia, Erik continues, “Last summer, all the members of Disequilibriums knew where Augustus Canizzaro was spending his family holidays. He told them that he had planned to do a series of actions in each of the three cities.”

Samuel puts his hands on the table and says:

“I only know up to this point, but not the rest.”

We took no notice of Samuel. We want Erik to continue and I imagine Sofia will want to know how it was.

“The problem emerged after summer. Communications from Augustus Canizzaro reduced in volume. That did not mean that the group stopped working. It was a special group because it did its work online and if a member was not there or was missing, the group itself would pick up the slack and reinforce the areas where that member was working.”

He then points to his tablet where he had put up photos of the pictures Sofia had found in her father’s briefcase.

“Between summer and Christmas last year, the two communications that Sofia’s father sent referred to a sacred geometry.”

“What?” Elsa and I utter at the same time.

We’ve only just discovered these references! We are getting increasingly close to the problem. I glance at Samuel. I notice a slight gesture as he opened his eyes wide, which I’m sure he would never admit. But I would never be able to prove it as immediately, in a matter of seconds, he returned to his neutral expression. What a strange guy. From being a major player on the armchair, he is now a passive figure sitting at the table.

“But here’s the most shocking detail,” says Erik, looking directly at Sofia.

She’s been behaving rather strangely for some time. She keeps touching her hair. With her face fully illuminated by the light entering through the window, she looks pretty. What am I thinking? I have zero possibilities, after seeing the reconciliation between them. I give up… at least for the moment.

“My parents did research on this and tried to contact Augustus, but to no avail, and since 23rd December 2015, they haven’t heard anything more from him.”

Good God! What a moment! That was the day Sofia’s father disappeared. She buries her face in her hands and rests her head on the table. No one says anything. Even Samuel is looking at her. I turn to look at the wall and at Elsa’s image moving aimlessly from side to side. She does this when she is nervous.

“So, they decided to come to Zaragoza to try to trace him,” Sofia summarises, still with her face in her hands, but loud enough for us to hear her.

“In fact,” Samuel stuns us all, speaking at this very special moment, “they met several times with Sofia’s mother.”

Any sign of friendliness vanished from Sofia and Erik’s faces at the same time. They look wide-eyed at the one who, for some strange reason, decided to comb his hair.

“Better explain yourself because I’m really getting angry,” Sofia demands.

With his hands, Samuel motions to Sofia to calm down. Now, it is he who stands up and walks over to sit down again in the armchair.

“I too belonged to Disequilibriums.”

At that moment, we can hear an ambulance passing on the road. Horns were blasting like mad, I imagine, for cars to move aside to allow the emergency services to pass. I prefer to be down on the street to see the spectacle, not up here in this room. I don’t know if I want to continue listening. I feel a mixture of annoyance and curiosity. An unpleasant business with things yet to be discovered. From freak to a man of mystery… Deep down I feel envious. I would have liked to have a secret and then reveal it one day to impress my friends!

Sofia and Erik look frozen. They didn’t even bat an eye at Samuel’s last statement, either because they aren’t surprised or they’re so angry that they don’t want to reveal their feelings. The problem is that I notice they look more united, more connected to each other. Damn it!

Suddenly there is a huge noise, as if a thunder bolt had struck just above my home. We spring to our feet and rush to the window to see what’s happening.

Nothing. The ambulance has already passed. Traffic returns to what it was before. Everything seems normal. Then the noise returns and is louder than ever. It sounds like a machine gun with rays falling one after the other, impacting and breaking things. Like mad people, we rush around the room, not understanding what’s happening. I lean out through the open door, but I can’t see anything in the rest of the house. Samuel stands under the lintel of the door. Erik grabs me and Sofia, and guides us to stand under the lintel of the door as if to prepare for an earthquake. Sofia looks from side to side, completely disoriented.

Suddenly there was another very loud noise and the room lights up. It’s all cloudy outside. So, it can’t have come from there. No one has turned on the lights in the living room. When I turn around, I see Sofia, with her mouth agape, pointing at the wall.

In the middle of the very loud noise, we move to stand next to Sofia who is now sitting in the chair looking at the screen where Elsa’s image was before. Even Samuel’s jaw has dropped open.

“Are you seeing the same thing I am seeing?” We can hear Elsa asking, although we can’t see her.

Where Elsa’s face had been projected previously on the screen via her webcam, we now see the image of an atomic mushroom, like those they put in documentaries to illustrate what a nuclear explosion is like. The sound continues to be deafening. Sofia grabs my hand and holds it tightly. Good God! I don’t understand anything, neither what I am seeing on the wall nor what I am feeling with this contact.

There’s no time to answer Elsa because the image changes suddenly. The noise has disappeared. On a black background, we can see large letters in white:


If that is surprising, what makes even Sofia stand up violently and release my hand is the sign we are seeing below the letters. We can hear Elsa’s voice on the loudspeakers saying:

“Isn’t that the sign of infinity, the same kind and colour as the one Samuel has on his videoconferencing profile?”

Samuel moves quickly away from us to go towards the wall and, for the first time since I’ve known him, I see fear on his face.


WriterGlen Lapson © 2016

English translator: Rose Cartledge

PublisherFundacion ECUUP


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