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“He's obviously a candidate. The boy Stan Berg. Without even trying he was five, six, seven steps ahead of those construction workers in the game.”
   — Marvin Lovelace on Stan Berg's performance at poker



Marvin Lovelace was a Next and one those who infiltrated the Low Earths to find other Next.[1][2]

Appearance

Marvin was described as young and slim and most of the time wearing shades and a small black homburg hat.[1]

The Long Utopia

A poker game gone wrong

In Timeline#2056, Marvin found himself dealing cards for construction workers on the space elevator in Miami West 4.[1] Since Next-candidate types were often drawn to gambling to use their superior intellect to make money in the dim-bulb worlds, Marvin was a good recruitement contact.

Stan Berg, a sixteen years old local boy, was winning without even trying and had already a big pile of spacecraft-hull shards, that where used as chips, in front of him. The other players started to notice it as well.

So when Stan's friend, Rocky Lewis, came to try to make Stan leave, Alexei, one of the stalk jacks, grabbed the boy's arm saying he wouldn't go anywhere with his money in his pockets and accused him of cheating.

Marvin tried to calm things down and Stan only got saved because a commotion started as someone caught a kobold somewhere on the construction site.

As everyone ran to see the show, Marvin, who suspected that Stan was a Next, told him they'll see each other again, to Rocky's puzzlement.

Update meeting

Later the same day, Marvin met up with Roberta Golding, Melinda Bennett and Gerd Schulze in an abandoned farmhouse in another footprint of Miami.[2]

The meeting as been requested by Melinda after Stan got beaten up after he tried to defend the kobold. Luckily for him, Melinda and Gerd, both Arbiters, intervened so he could escape with Rocky.

The four of them discussed about Stan's case and it was agreed that he was to be brought to the Grange for his own safety and that Roberta would approach his family.

The Grange

In September 2057, months after Stan was approached by Roberta, the day to bring him to the Grange finally arrived.[3] Roberta sent Jules Van Herp to pick up Stan and Rocky as Marvin and she would wait for them in the Miami footprint on Earth West 10.

Stan was surprised to see Marvin but the Next argued that Marvin was there as a reassuring presence since Stan already knew him.

The group stepped through soft places and soft places until they reached the Grange. During the trip, Roberta explained to Stan how to be able to step through soft places even if he would need a lot of training before being able to do it.

When they arrived at the Grange, the boys from Miami West 4 were surprised of the amount of skin most of the inhabitants of the place showed.[4] Marvin made fun of them saying they would get used to it and the group broke up as Roberta and Jules were heading to their own destinations.

Marvin, on the other hand, led the boys to a house where they will be staying during their time at the Grange and left them there after warning them that they could exit the Grange only through soft places.

Earth West 1,217,756 and the silver beetles

In 2058, Lobsang, who was living in Earth West 1,217,756 at the time under his identity of George Abrahams, discovered that an extraterrestrial race named the silver beetles by the kid who discovered them was increasing the rotational speed of this world by building a giant Dyson motor.[5]

Facing the risk that the silver beetles would spread to the other Earths, Lobsang came up with a plan but needed the Next's help for it.[6]

When the Next became aware of the issue, Stella Welch and Marvin travelled all the way to Earth West 1,217,756 to lend a hand.[7]

The Cauterizing

On January 2059, they boarded the USS Brian Cowley and took a tour of the world, the day now reduced to twelve hours, and witnessed the progressive destruction of the local lifeforms as they couldn't cope with the shorter days.

When the reached the footprint of New York, the militaries explained that weapons and nukes didn't work on the beetles and there was no way to stop them.[8]

Stella took this opportunity to step up and told the assembly that this world was doomed and that the only way to save the other worlds from meeting the same fate was to shut this one from the inside but at a cost.

Marvin, surprised, frowned and asked if she was thinking about Stan Berg. Stella replied that he was the strongest of all of them since he could use the soft places just after seeing the other Next do it.

The operation called the Cauterizing by the militaries was a success and Earth West 1,217,756 was successfully removed from the Long Earth chain at the price of Stan Berg and Sally Linsay's lives.[9]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Long Utopia - Chapter 12
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Long Utopia - Chapter 13
  3. The Long Utopia - Chapter 25
  4. The Long Utopia - Chapter 31
  5. The Long Utopia - Chapter 38
  6. The Long Utopia - Chapter 42
  7. The Long Utopia - Chapter 45
  8. The Long Utopia - Chapter 47
  9. The Long Utopia - Chapter 52

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