Study Guide

Dark Matter Chapter 7

By Blake Crouch

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Chapter 7

  • Jason is locked up in a tiny cell. Leighton Vance enters the room wearing a dapper tux.
  • Jason is understandably upset about the whole murdering Daniela thing, but Vance claims that it was necessary to protect their work.
  • After Jason calms down, Vance decides to show him what they've been working on together. He leads Jason back to the hangar where he was found.
  • There's a large grey cube sitting in the middle of the room. Jason is shocked—it's a much larger version of an experiment he had been working on in his twenties.
  • Back then, Jason had built a small box meant to harness the state of quantum "superposition" (7.146). This is based on a theory that an object exists in multiple states of possibility until it is observed. For example, if you put a cat in a box that has the possibility to kill it, that cat is both alive and dead until someone opens the box and looks at it.
  • Blowing your brain yet?
  • Jason is shocked that he—or some version of himself—actually created this thing. Still, there's a problem, according to Vance—several people have entered the box, but no one has ever returned. Except Jason. He entered the box months ago and just now came back.
  • Vance leads Jason to another room with a laptop that contains all of his work on the project. He hopes that this will jog Jason's memory.
  • Later, there's a knock at the door. It's Amanda Lucas.
  • Jason tells Amanda about how the scientists killed Daniela, and although she seems horrified, she doesn't seem to believe him.
  • Jason looks at his files after Lucas leaves. He's interrupted by Vance.
  • The mood is tenser than usual. Vance tells Jason that he's a liar—and he knows this because he knows that Jason told the truth to Daniela.
  • Two guards bring in Ryan Holder, who looks beaten up. He must have told them what Jason was saying last night.
  • Jason refuses to talk, so the guards beat the crud out of him. He wakes up some time later in a cell with Ryan.
  • Ryan says that he went to the dudes at Velocity after his conversation with Jason. He didn't think they'd end up being so nasty about it, though.
  • Jason asks Ryan about the compound he made. It turns out that it's meant to shut off the areas of the brain used to observe objects—which would allow the contents of the box to exist in quantum superposition, even with a human inside. Make sense?
  • Ryan is snagged a few minutes later.
  • As Jason sits, all of the puzzle pieces finally fit into place. He realizes that it was he himself who kidnapped him and put him in the box—or at least the Jason of this universe.
  • This Jason wanted to escape his life as a scientist to enjoy a relationship with Daniela, his long-lost love.
  • Whoa. Trippy.
  • These ruminations are interrupted by Amanda Lucas. She explains that Ryan is dead—and that she wants to help Jason escape. With the box.
  • Amanda and Jason make it inside the box with Vance's men in hot pursuit. Amanda pulls out a pack of syringes filled with Ryan's compound, and they inject themselves.
  • Amanda and Jason both collapse onto the ground in a daze.

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