The quarterback catches the reality cube, and the final play begins.
A ring of polymer-clad bodies is closing in around him, but he tunes them out as he rotates the flickering object by its corners. He’s searching for a universe where he’s winning, and all the while, hears the roar of audiences sevenfold: one above and six below. At this point, he can feel the sweat on his own heart. He needs eight seconds to make an informed call, but he knows his boys are exhausted, and that their phalanx won’t even hold for five. There’s not enough time for caution.
He pulls apart the nearest surface by its edges, and it explodes outward into a tunnel of viscous light. Before he knows it, he’s slid down to the other side, where the ring of men has broken before him into a horseshoe pattern. He doesn’t even bother to check if anyone else has followed him down. He presses through the gap, tumbles into the end zone, and drops the flickering cube onto the moonlit turf.
The crowd above him drowns out all six below.
Now, there’s only fourteen seconds left to go, and his boys are now up by ten. It’s over and everyone knows it. There’s laughter and howling and jumping and roaring, and his sweat-soaked face is splattered across every screen. He raises his eyes toward his wife’s box, for in this moment, there’s no one he’d rather see-
-but on this side of the cube, there’s no one there to look back.