My name is Neko Clayton, and there hasnt been a single moment in my life that I can call a coincidence. 1 year and 4 days ago, I met a man named Nathan Caldwell. 11 months ago, I accidentally created the Universe, this universe. And 3 months ago, I died on a beach in the South coast of Chile. And today, Im sitting here, typing this. Doesnt make sense? I thought it wouldnt, but maybe it will after I explain how it all happened. Or most likely, it wont, but atleast I will have told my story. Ill begin this story at the beginning, but not the very beginning, its actually closer to the end, but to you its probably the middle. There I go, not making sense again. For the sake of time and my mental well-being, lets just start the damn story.
In 1898, A man named Morgan Robertson wrote a book named, “The Wreck of the Titan”. The Titan was described as “the largest craft afloat and the greatest of the works of men,” “equal to that of a first class hotel,” and, of course, “unsinkable”. This ship was a British-owned steel vessel, around 800 feet long and sank after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic, in April, around midnight. Now you are probably asking, “who cares? Sounds like another story about the Titanic, its describing the events exactly how they happened to the Ship Titanic.” To that, I will say you are 100% right, but the problem is, the Titanic wasnt built until 1912, 14 years after Morgan Robertson’s book was published. Coincidence? sure, maybe. In Robertson’s book, the Titan crashed into an iceberg 400 miles off the Coast of newfoundland. The RMS Titanic, as you may very well know, hit an iceberg 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.
There is one, huge difference between Robertson’s book and the actual events that led to the demise of the Titanic. Morgan Robertson describes in detail(a whole chapter actually) how the Titan had only 20 lifeboats on board, far too few to accomadate everyone on board if an emergency was to arrive. Of course, as you know, titanic had 22 lifeboats, also too few to accomadate everyone on board. But here is the kicker the one difference in the 2 stories: Robertson’s Titan hit the iceberg in such a way that the boat sank immediately, before there was even the chance of using the lifeboats to save anyone on board. So why, I ask you, would Robertson waste an entire chapter in his book detailing how few lifeboats they had on board, when it had absolutely NOTHING to with his story? Coincidence? Sure, maybe, I guess…
Henry Ziegland thought he had dodged fate. In 1883, he broke off a relationship with his girlfriend who, out of distress, committed suicide. The girl’s brother was so enraged that he hunted down Ziegland and shot him. The brother, believing he had killed Ziegland, then turned his gun on himself and took his own life. But Ziegland had not been killed. The bullet, in fact, had only grazed his face and then lodged in a tree(this was unknown to Ziegland). Ziegland surely thought himself a lucky man. Some years later, however, Ziegland decided to cut down the large tree, which still had the bullet in it. The task seemed so formidable that he decided to blow it up with a few sticks of dynamite. The explosion propelled the bullet into Ziegland’s head, killing him. Coincidence? Yea, you could make an argument for it, I guess.
Stick with me, trust me I am going somewhere with all of this. I need you to understand that maybe everything in this world is a coincidence. But Maybe, JUST MAYBE, its not. Maybe everything that has happened, didnt happen, or will happen, was meant to happen the way it did, and maybe it relyed on the previous event entirely. Maybe there is an unbelievable amount of synchronicity in this world, that you wouldnt believe unless you actually saw it all happen. Carl Jung believed this was a glimpse into the underlying order of the universe. He coined the term synchronicity to describe what he called the “acausal connecting principle” that links mind and matter. He said this underlying connectedness manifests itself through meaningful coincidences that cannot be explained by cause and effect.
Before I met Nathan Caldwell, I accepted the world for what it was, and how it was. I never asked why. Why… WHY… Why are neutrons just a tad heavier than protons? If it were the other way around, atoms couldn’t exist, because all the protons in the universe would have decayed into neutrons shortly after the big bang. No protons, then no atomic nucleuses and no atoms. No atoms, no chemistry, no life. Why does everything happen perfectly, in an un-perfect chaotic manner? You must first start asking questions, before you can begin to even understand anything at all.
1 year and 4 days ago, January 23, at 4:45 pm I left my work with the intentions of heading straight home. At 4:47, I accidentally pocket dialed my girlfriend. At 4:48, the said girlfriend called me back, wondering about the call I just made to her. Once I told her It was a pocket dial, she told me to bring home a movie, milk, and a dozen eggs. At 4:49 I realize I can either go straight home and pick up the milk and eggs on the way(from a gas station on the route home) and say fuck it to the movie, or make a left turn and go to the movie story, and completely satisfy my girlfriend’s every needs.
Before I go furthur, you need to know that previous week me and my girlfriend had an argument over a recent explosion on a deserted island off the coast of Chile. She said it was aliens, while I debated it was probably an undiscovered Volcano(silly, I know, but her and I get high and debate over things like this). As a result of this argument, she got mad at me for a week, and today was the first day she talked to me, which was her asking me to get these milks, eggs, and movie.
You need to remember all of this. Why does this story matter? Because if the explosion off the coast of Chile hadnt happened, I wouldnt have argued with my girlfriend, and she would have talked to me this entire week normally, which would have led her to asking me to bring these things home, but if we hadnt been arguing, I would have no reason to satisfy her every need and I would have just said Fuck it to the movie, never turned left, and just went home with the milk and eggs. But we did argue. She did call me. I did need to satisfy her. And I did turn left. And at 4:52pm on January 23 I met Nathan Caldwell, stranded in his car on the side of the road to the movie store. And if I hadnt met Nathan Caldwell at exactly 4:52pm on that exact day, in that exact spot, the entire universe and everything in it would have never existed.
Is all of this just a coincidence? Sure, maybe. But heres the kicker, the beautiful Synchronicity of it all: The explosion in Chile, the one that started the argument between my girlfriend and I? It was caused by me. I caused the explosion that led to us arguing, that led to me pocket dialing her, that led to her asking me to rent a movie, which led to me turning left, which led to me meeting Nathan Caldwell….which led to me causing the explosion in Chile, the week before.
Dont understand me yet? You soon will. But first I need to tell you a little bit more about Nathan Caldwell, and how he and I accidentally created the universe.
TO BE CONTINUED. This is a story I have been pouring my heart into over the last 6 months or so(I am up to 9 chapters thus far). I’m looking for feedback and constructive criticism. Please share any and all that you may have, you will be helping me become better at a passion I have in life. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
PART TWO: The day I met Nathan Caldwell:
At 4:52pm, January 23rd 2012, I was driving down High Street, less then a block to my destination(the video store), when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a blue honda Civic parked on the side of the road. You should ask yourself, how many things a day pass by in the corner of your eye? They are there, but they arent really there in your perception, because they come into your life for a brief second, exist only in the corner of your eye, and pass along and you are never the wiser of having seen it. Thats how I saw Nathan’s Blue Honda, but I couldnt really tell you why I stopped. I never really ever stop, and I dont know shit about cars, so what could I even do if I did stop?
The first few moments between Nathan Caldwell and I were, uneventful. I asked him if he needed help, he said his car just stalled and he couldnt figure out what was wrong, and after 4 minutes of staring at his engine base without a fucking clue what I was looking at, I told him the best I could do for him is to drive him to the nearest mechanic shop. He agreed, and off we went in my car. 11 minutes. 11 minutes is the only uneventful, plane, and normal minutes Nathan Caldwell and I ever spent together. I wish it could have been more, because he was actually a pretty funny guy. In a different world under different circumstances, we could have become good friends who shared a blunt and drank a beer like normal people do. 11 minutes, of a perfectly normal story, followed by… followed by… well, this.
At 5:05pm, we approached a red light on a two lane road. It was roughly 8 seconds after that that a police car pulled up in the lane next to us, and proceeded to give us the “what are these 2 guys up to?” look that scare the shit out of most people, who have something to hide. Of course, I had nothing to hide, so I proceeded to look straight, and acknowledge to Nathan that the mechanic shop is just up the street some ways. Nathan told me to take a right, to which I said, “No, there is nothing to the right, just the highway. The only mechanic you are gonna get in this shitty town is up ahead.” Thats when I felt the nozzle of the gun being brushed up against my abs. “Dont make any sudden movements, and take this right and get onto the highway heading west”, Nathan told me in a firm voice which was much different then the friendly monotone voice he had been using for the past 12 minutes. I guess, once you pull a gun on someone, the subtleties of conversation are no longer necessary, and the only thing left is to get what you want.
The next 15 minutes are exactly how you can imagine, no need for me to go into too much detail. Me, freaking out telling Nathan to calm down, and put the gun away. Nathan, not speaking too much but giving directions like he knew exactly where he was and where he wanted to go. Me, trying to think of all the crime negotiator shows i’ve seen in my life and using them to get the fuck out of this situation without a bullet hole. This was immediately followed by 25 more minutes, of the exact same thing. We were now 3 towns over and making good progress towards, well, where ever Nathan was taking me. It was at this point that I realized that crime shows and the negotiating skills I had learned from them would be of no use to me, so I fell back on being myself.
“So, where are we going, are you ever going to tell me?” I asked, trying to be a friendly and inquisitive hostage. “You still dont remember me, do you?” He responded. Wasnt really expecting that, but it re-instated the fear in me. What did he mean? Was he, a famous killer who I had failed to recognize? A serial killer? A rapist, maybe? No, I just couldnt tell exactly what he meant, so I thought I might as well ask. “No…am I suppose to know you from somewhere? Are you famous, or have we met before?”
“June 5th, 1998”, he said. I ignored the fact that he had just answered my question with a precise date, and got to thinking about my past. Lets see, 1998, 14 years ago…that would make me…20. June, of my 20th year of life, lets see…that was the month I graduated from MIT with my AA. June 5th, would probably be near or the exact date of my graduation. “I met you at MIT? Is that what you are trying to say?” To which I got a response of “yes.”
“Where did I meet you? How come I dont remember you? Were you in my graduation class? I dont remember a Nathan Caldwell? Fuck all that…why are you here? And how do you remember me from something that happened 14 years ago?” I asked, all at once, almost demanding these answers from a man I didnt know, who happened to be holding a gun on me.
It was a minute of silence later that we passed a sign saying “San Diego: 14 miles”. This was also the time that Nathan Caldwell decide to start talking. This was the moment, that Nathan Caldwell, decided to put into motion the falling domino set that is my life. Do you remember moments in you life that you could look back at and say, “You know, everything in my life changed from that moment on.” You probably dont, unless you remember the first time you met your wife, or the moment you got hired at a new job. But those moments, you actually want those moments to happen. They are the moments you worked for your entire life. This was also a moment I worked for my entire life(albeit unknowingly), but I wouldnt say it was a moment that I actually wanted to happen.
“Listen to me carefully, Neko. What I am about to tell you is completely real, and you will soon understand that. What I am about to tell you now is the most important thing anyone has ever told you. It is the most important thing, that anyone, has ever told anyone.” Said Nathan.
you are about to witness how my entire world and existence came to unravel, in a 3 minute speech from a man named Nathan Caldwell.
“at 2:33pm June 5th, 1998, I was walking down the hall of MIT with by then girlfriend, Natasha Young, who you know very well. We paused at the student bulletin board briefly, behind a man named Neko Clayton. He, you, were putting up a bulletin for Proffesor Wein’s newly formulated class called “The Physics of Star Trek”. It was supposedely created to be a 2 credit class for shits and giggles, that discussed theories of Star Trek, but mainly theories surrounding the possibility of time travel. Now, I didnt really learn much from this class, but it was in this class that I met seven students, who I had previously no interaction’s with. These seven people and I formulated a bond over that summer, and started discussing the possibility of time travel and if could ever be possible. These seven people are all now my collegues at the CERN facility in San Diego. We are all the lead team that created and operates “Project TASM” Which is abbreviation for Time And Space Manipulation.”
I am listening to Nathan speaking in utter shock and dismay as to how he could detail out a precise time in my life so coherently. “wait a second. No wait, I remember that day. I even remember being at the bulletin board putting up that bulletin. Well, I dont actually remember putting it up, but I do remember that was the first time I met Natasha Young. Do you… do you know that I am still in a relationship with her?” I asked, cautiously, realizing that he had just told me that Natasha use to be his girlfriend, and this could all be some kind of long and twisted revenge plot for me stealing his girlfriend.
“Yes, I know that, Neko. That exact moment, I became fascinated with the bulletin that you had just put up, which led Natasha to becoming a little bored and irritated with me. In the 2 minutes I stared at the poster, Natasha noticed you, and having realized that you are in her Philosophy class, struck up a conversation with you, which ultimately led to you to becoming closer, combined with my fascination and involvement in Professor Wein’s class, led her to break up with me, and end up with you.” Nathan paused for a brief moment, as to collect himself before speaking again.
“The reason I am working at CERN on “project TASM” today is because of you, Nathan, and that exact moment in time. And the reason that you are with Natasha today, is because of me and us being there at that exact moment in time.”
The whole thing hit me, slowly, because I wasnt really ready to understand or accept what Nathan was trying to tell me. I now know what he was trying to tell me back then. The reason Nathan Caldwell became the man he is was because of me. The reason I ended up with Natasha, is because of him. The reason I turned left to rent the video, and ultimately meet Nathan Caldwell, is because of Natasha. But I wouldnt have ever met Natasha had it not been for Nathan. And I would have never caused the explosion in Chile, had it not been for this moment. So this moment, this exact moment in time, is because of this moment, this exact moment in time. I set off a chain of events that led to a chain of events, that ultimately led to the ultimate chain of events. Take a deep breathe, because nothing makes sense, yet. But it soon will. Imagine a set of domino’s, set up in a circle. Someday, someone pushes one domino which leads to a chain reaction, and after the circle is completed, the last domino is resting on the first domino. The perfect, never ending circle.
Take a deep breathe. Now exhale. I didnt really need to explain all of this, but its something that you must understand before we can move furthur. The beautiful Synchronicity of it all. You may not understand it all just yet, but you soon will. your circle of domino’s isnt complete just yet.
4 miles to San Diego, the sign up ahead tells us. “Why do you have a gun pointed at me? At least tell me that much.” “Because” Nathan tells me, “I do believe I am the most wanted man in the world right now. I couldn’t risk being seen by the police.” I was a little bewildered by this response, but not because what he said. But because, for potentially being the most wanted man in the world, we were going about business in a very casual way. Here we were, driving on 405 south, possibly the busiest highway in California, in a plain Honda without tinted window. “arent you worried about being caught now? I mean, you arent really wearing any disguise, and we are a couple miles away from San Diego, where you claim to work. I may not be a criminal mastermind, but arent you going about this drive a little too casually?” I ask Nathan.
“None of that is important. We will be long gone before anyone sees us coming. And besides, its no the police I’m worried about finding me. It’s…them…” This is the first time in the hour and half of knowing Nathan Caldwell that I have seen doubt or fear on his face. “Who? The FBI, or secret service/government or something? Or maybe your collegues…or boss man?” I ask him, curious as to know what kinda of agency could have this man scared. “No.” I thought we were well passed one word responses by this time, yet somehow I knew this was a conversation that Nathan Caldwell did not intend to have.
“Well, ok. I wont ask. But tell me, why did you tell me all of this? What does it all mean? Why me? Why now? For the love of god, tell me something, man!” I demand to Nathan.
“I needed to tell you all of this. To prepare you.” He says. “Prepare me for what?” I ask again, not knowing if I would get a straight answer from him this time, or not.
Nathan looks down at his watch, pauses for what seems like minutes, and then looks up at me while still holding his watch, and says, “For this.”
At 6:38pm January 23rd 2012, two miles outside of San Diego, my car is reportedly seen in a fender bender collision with the car just in front. When the cops arrive on scene, The witness in the car behind us states that he saw one driver and one passenger inside of this, and then he saw the accident. He pulled over to investigate immediately and make sure everyone was OK, but to his surprise, he finds no one inside the vehicle.
6000 miles to the south, off the coast of Chile, a team of workers relay a message to CERN headquarters stating another small explosion.
A man without a name, a man that no one had ever seen before, is seen walking down Trefalger street in a small town in Sweden. He makes a phone call, and on the other line someone asks him, “has it started?”, to which this man replies, “we arent sure yet. But the circle is broken.”
TO BE CONTINUED.
Woo! I gotta wait for a while for you to post the stuff I haven’t read yet. You already know my opinion. It’s very captivating. :)
@beyond, I took your advice and ventured into the new direction for a couple of chapters. I believe ive written 3 chapters after the part you have read up to. I am also starting to re-read the parts and noticing many errors, and repetitive sentences. I just lack the motivation to edit, I think I will hold off on that until the very end(I am making notes on what to change though).
Chapter III: The introduction to the End
I awoke in a state of complete daze. I really couldn’t tell you if I had been asleep for 15 minutes or 15 hours. It was a bizarre feeling; I could remember my last waking memories clearly, me driving towards San Diego in my car, with Nathan. But I couldn’t for the life of me, remember what happened after. It was as if I drank a fifth of whiskey in one gulp, and completely blacked out. After my eyes finally adjusted to the waking world, I started to look around. I know this place…I know this place well. I was on top of Mt. Ridge, a scenic lookout spot just outside of the town I grew up in. How could I possibly have gotten here? We are more than 100 miles from San Diego, at least. I looked down at my watch, 6:38pm. Strange, I could have sworn that was roughly the time we were driving into San Diego…
”That watch won’t work here.” The now familiar voice was coming from behind me, and as I turned to look I saw Nathan walking towards me, with a couple bottles of Gatorade blue, and what appeared to be a bag of Jalapeno chips. Awesome, I love Jalapenos chips. ”Where the hell are we, Nathan? Er, scratch that, I know where we are. How did we get here? Weren’t we just driving into San Diego? Did you drug me? Which is weird, because I don’t feel hungover at all…but we were…I mean I swear I thought…I mean… FUCK. Talk to me man, I might go fucking crazy if you don’t. And pass me those chips.” I may be going crazy, but that doesn’t mean I have to be a hungry while losing my mind. I had always loved Jalapeno chips, because they combine the perfect blend of spicy and flavor. I took the bag from Nathan, who had now sat down next to me, and started eating. Took the first chip, and it had absolutely no taste; Thanks Nathan, of all the bags of chips in the world, you had to bring me one that was completely stale. ”These chips are completely stale, man.” I told him, disappointingly. ”Take another bite. Do they really taste stale to you? Really try and taste them this time, though.” Nathan said. So I took another bite, and yep, still stale. But, actually, not really stale. They actually tasted more like…well… more like nothing. I could feel myself crunching, and I could feel them breaking up in my teeth, but no taste at all.
”You don’t taste anything, right? Now take a couple sips of this Gatorade, and once you do, we can start talking.” Said Nathan, as he handed me the bottle of G. I took a sip, expecting the delicious and refreshing flavor of Gatorade blue, but what I got was nothing; the taste was…well, tasteless. Almost like drinking water, but without the refreshing feeling afterwards. ”Am I high? I can’t taste anything. This is really weird, what the fuck is going on in my mouth?” I demanded as I stood up and started pacing. ”Come sit back down, Neko. I’ll explain everything. I needed you to taste these things first, before I started talking. Because it’s much easier for me to tell you what’s going on now, now that you know something is definitely different. Come, sit. We have a LOT to talk about. And we only have 13 minutes.”
What did he mean by that? 13 minutes? Where would we be going? I looked down at my watch again. 6:38pm, still. It must be broken. ”It’s not broken, Neko. How can it tell you the time, when there is no time to tell?” The most confusing day of my life was getting more confusing literally, by the second. I felt like running away, but I needed answers. So I sat back down next to Nathan. I took a deep breath. Then I took another. And then I realized, that next to a forest full of trees and flowers and life, I couldn’t smell a fucking thing. Yet my nose wasn’t plugged or blocked.
”Do you remember me telling you about Project TASM?” Nathan asked, as he looked down at his watch. I did remember, so I told him so.
”We call it that, because we needed an official name for it, and also because that name gives it a shroud of mystery, so we could discuss it in public places without having anyone around us really know what we were talking about. Project Time And Space Manipulation. It’s been discussed about since the beginning of the human race. Contemplated by the greatest minds throughout history. Many of which, came very close to creating it, but of course they never could. Project TASM, Time Machine. We created the time machine, Neko.” I listened intently, while eating the jalapeno chips. They had no taste, but I often eat when I’m nervous.
”Its creation was a lot easier than you would think. Humans have been very close to discovering it many times, but either they didn’t know what they were discovering, or it hid from them. But we found it, Neko. Only 14 people on our earth know about its existence. Me, my fellow colleagues that I told you about, and the group that funded our project.”
”When did you start using this, time machine?” I asked him. ”One week ago. But please, Neko, we haven’t much time, so I really cannot go into the basics. Please let me finish telling you what I need to, before it happens.” I was tempted to ask him ’until what happens’ but I knew Nathan well enough to know he would ignore me. So I let him go on.
”We had been studying time travel for 14 years. So we knew that he had to be very, VERY careful of how we went about it. As you very well may know, the butterfly effect. Even the smallest of changes in any time in history can and probably would, alter the entire history of the earth. So we started our trials slowly, and cautiously. If we didn’t, we knew that we would probably be erasing earth’s history, and in the essence, ourselves. We understood that. The first trial, we sent a high tech, self powered, camera, to one minute in the past. We had the capability of time travelling to any point in history, and to any place on the earth. And we could do it very precisely. So we sent this camera to a rural jungle where there couldn’t possibly be anyone around. We didn’t want to alter history, even though it was only a minute before. It worked, the camera recorded 3 full minutes of video and audio before we summoned it back. We did the video camera trial 30-40 more times; each time going progressively farther back in history, and each time to a different place. By trial number 4, we already knew that this camera was going back in history, because on trial number 4 we sent it to the year 3400 BC, to what is now downtown New York. What we saw was a vast landscape of trees and forest, and no sign of humans or modern technology. We had our camera pick up some leaf samples, which on the return, we were successfully able to determine were in fact, 5,000 years old. Time travel, was a complete success. We were then ready for a human trial.” Nathan then paused, but not to let me talk, but rather as if, to gather himself.
”How is your girlfriend, Nathan? How is Natasha?” This didn’t seem like the time or place to be catching up, but I decided I would go along with it. ”She is fine, Nathan. We have been going strong for 14 years. Since…Well, you know. Again, I’m sorry about that.” Nathan smiled, and said, ”No need to be sorry, Neko. I’m very happy for you. Natasha was a great girl, but if I was still with her, I would have never met my wife, the love of my life. I met a few months after Natasha and I broke up, in a coffee shop in Boston. She was absolutely wonderful, Neko. She completed me, everything I felt was missing in my life, she filled those voids. We got married a few months after we met, and we had our child less than a year after that. Cynthia, we named our daughter.” I wasn’t really sure why Nathan was telling me all this, but I knew better then to question him now, especially since it had been, by my account, 6 minutes since Nathan had told me we only had 13 minutes left until ”something would happen.” So I let him go on.
”I loved her Neko. People often say that they love someone in a way that no one would ever understand. And well, I too fall into that, and use that tiresome cliché. Every day I spent with her was a beautiful dream. But that dream ended 3 years ago, Neko. A drunk driver t-boned my wife’s car while she was taking a left onto our street. My daughter was in the back seat. My daughter died instantly, but my wife… she had to suffer being in a coma for 3 months before she, too, passed away.”
”I’m so sorry to hear that Nathan, I really am. I know how hard death can be, especially like that. I’m very sorry if I am in anyway being rude, but what does that have to do with all this, Nathan? I thought you said we only had a little time left before something happened…” I asked him, as cautiously as I could, not trying to upset him over a very touchy subject.
”I know I shouldn’t have, Neko. I KNOW this. It went against everything I learned, everything I believed in, everything we had worked for. But sometimes, the heart makes decisions that the brain cannot stop. You have to understand, I know that I am selfish, and I know that I am a terrible person. I am just, trying to fix everything now…” I could see tears coming to Nathan’s eyes, and I started putting 2 and 2 together, and I knew what he was going to tell me next.
”I was selected for the first human trial. Well, less selected, more demanded. But I was the project leader, so of course, it had to be me. We decided for the trial, I would be sent back to 3,000 BC, as it would be the safest place to send me. No humans, and the area I was being sent to was not inhabited by many known animals or insects, according to our extensive research. All in all, it was a spot in history where I couldn’t make a difference, and hence, keep the butterfly effect at bay and not affect history. I was to go to this spot in time; record myself for 4 minutes, grab a few samples, then return back to our time. So I did just that, and returned exactly .025 seconds after I had left. Nothing changed; the world was exactly as we had left it. We ran extensive tests on me, to make sure my physical and mental health was the same, and that the time travel hadn’t effected me in anyway. It didn’t, I was the exact same person before and after time travelling. So we did some more tests, every time sending the selected researcher to random spots in time, making sure that there would be no human contact, and minimum interaction with any creatures. We ran 15 successive tests, and each time no change was observed to our history, or our world. Test number 16 was to be my turn again. My mission was to go back 15,000 years, gather some oil and mineral samples. We wanted to know if these minerals could be used and how time travel would affect them. This was met by me and my team with precaution; but the people who funded us told us to do it. Their greed started to show, and we started realizing what their motives for the time machine really were. So the moment for test 16 came. But I knew I wouldn’t be going back 15,000 years, like my colleagues thought. Right before I was to leave, I changed the time and location of my travel. I knew this was stupid, Neko, I KNEW IT. But, I just had to. But I also knew that my team could not track me in anyway, and would only know about my whereabouts once I returned to our time. So I pressed the button, and re-appeared in my Boston apartment on March 23rd, 2009, 8:45pm, precisely 2 minutes before my wife and my child would be leaving. I knew that I would be home, well, my past self… he would be at the office. So all I had to do was change one second. I took my wife’s car keys from the kicthen counter and moved them to the bedroom drawer. I knew it would take her at least an additional 4 minutes to find her keys, and in essence, save her life. I did this quickly, and then pressed the button to return to our time. I was expecting some things to be different, but I thought there wouldn’t be major changes as I didn’t have any contact with anyone, and all I did was change the position of keys. When I returned to our time, I told my team that I traveled to the time I was supposed to, but I saw a creature coming so I time traveled back to our time, as to not disturb history. I relieved myself, and immediately went on my phone, to see what I had done. I went on Google and put in my wife’s name. To my utter shock and surprise, Neko, Google told me that my wife died at exactly the same moment as she did before, at exactly the same spot, and exactly the same way. Nothing had changed. Nothing at ALL. So I demanded that test 17 was to be mine as well, due to the fact that I wasn’t able to carry out my duties in the previous test. I was granted permission, so I went back to March 23rd, 2009, at 8:45pm. But this time, I sat down on the couch. My wife came out of my daughter’s room, carrying my daughter, and was surprised to see me, as she thought I would be working late shift that night. I held back my tears and my emotions, and told her as calmly as I could, that I took the night off to be with her. I hugged her, Neko, as passionately as I have ever hugged anyone. I took her, and my daughter, and we went to dinner. It was the most amazing night of my life, just being with them again. After a while, I took them back home, tucked my daughter into bed, and laid down next to my wife. 3 minutes before my other self would be home, so I pressed the button, and traveled to 15,000 years ago to take the samples, because I didn’t need any suspicion on me. After doing so, I returned to our time, exactly .025 seconds after I had left. I told my team that everything went exactly according to plan, and ran to the bathroom. I couldn’t hold my excitement, so I called my wife’s old number. It had been disconnected, but I assumed that she had changed her number in these past 3 years. So after looking through my phone for her new number, and not finding it, I Googled her.”
Nathan took a deep breath, and looked down at his watch. If my calculations were right, we had less than 3 minutes left. And then, Nathan started talking again. ”NOTHING fucking changed, Neko. My wife and my daughter, died at the same exact time, the same exact way. Which was impossible, because I was with them.” I had understood Nathan up to this point pretty well, but I couldn’t comprehend what he was telling me now. What he was saying seemed to contradict itself, and time. ”What do you mean? But you changed time? You changed history??” I asked, puzzled.
”That’s what I thought too. Everything I knew about space and time, up to that point, was wrong, Neko. I didn’t realize it right away, but after a certain time, I wrapped my head around it. I’ll try to explain it to you as simply as I can, Neko, we only have 3 minutes left. Think of time and space, like a set of dominoes, set in a circle. You know what dominos are, right? And how they work? Of course you do. Time, and space, are like a set of dominos, in a circle. One domino falls onto another domino, and so on and so forth, in a perfect circle. One domino, or event, relies directly on the action of the domino before it. Think of time and space, like this circle, Neko, but instead of the dominos staying, just imagine that they set themselves up again. So our universe, as we know it, is this perfect circle of never ending dominos, falling onto the next, and so on and so forth. What I thought I was doing, when I altered my wife and daughter’s past, I thought I was going to a specific domino in this circle, and adjusting it ever so slightly, not destroying the perfect circle, but rather adjusting the speed and the motion, ever so slightly. But that’s wrong, Neko. EVERYTHING we assumed about time and space, is wrong. You cannot, and will not ever, effect this perfect circle. Imagine that you are sitting next to this circle, watching it go round and round. Now imagine that you stick another piece into this domino circle, what would happen? The circle would stall at the new piece you put in, and the entire circle would stop working… the entire universe, would stop existing. Time, and space, cannot, and will not, allow this to happen. I also found this out slowly, but that story is for a time, not now. So what was I doing, Neko? We knew we were travelling through time, so how can we explain the fact that we never changed anything? Think of the perfect circle again, Neko. But now, imagine that at some point in this circle, you place another domino piece right next to an already existing piece, not touching, but close enough so that the piece before it hits both pieces. What you have now done, is create another circle, one that is running adjacent to our original circle, but never touching, and never at the same speed. This is what we did, Nathan. We were never traveling to our past; we were creating a new past, a new world…a new Universe. One that started from the exact moment that our time traveling selves arrived, and the events that happened afterwards to that universe were completely unrelated to our universe. Every time we time traveled, we created a new universe. All the universes never touched each other, and never interfered with another ”circle of dominos”, rather created their own circle.”
Nathan looked down at his watch again, less than 2 minutes he told me. I was getting nervous, because while I was understanding what he was telling me, I knew there was a LOT more he had to say. I sat quietly, listening, and taking in everything he was saying.
”This was incredible news, Neko. We could travel to any time, and do anything we wanted, and not affect our own history in anyway. So that’s what I did, Neko. I never told me colleagues my findings, and waited until test #22, when it was my turn again. I forgot what my mission was to be, but that didn’t matter, I knew where I was going. I went back to the year 2002, the day before my wedding. I wanted to live my life again, Neko, or at least the best part of it, anyways. But I had a problem…my old self. I thought about it long and hard, how I could devise a plan that would get my 2002 self to go away, while I could effortlessly take over in his place. But everything I thought about, always led to one conclusion.”
Nathan paused again, and took a deep breath. ”I’m a terrible person, Neko, I KNOW that. But I had to do what I had to do. And besides, this wasn’t our universe, it was an alternate universe. Whatever I did, didn’t matter, right? The people that existed in this universe, they didn’t exist, right? Just like that bag of chips you are eating, it doesn’t exist. You know that because you cannot taste it. And that Gatorade, it has no taste, because it too, does not exist. So I killed him, Neko. I knew where my old self would be, and waited until he was in a position where I could do it aimlessly, and without anyone seeing. While I knew this person did not exist, I still didn’t want anyone to see, because I wanted his life. So I stabbed him in the heart, and that Nathan was dead within seconds. I tied his body, took it a few miles out to shore, and dropped his body. And I went, and I got married, Neko. And I LIVED. It was beautiful, and perfect. I thought I could be richer, and save that world, because I already knew what would happen, but that wasn’t the case. Everything changed. From the moment I arrived in that universe, everything was different then it played out in our universe. But I didn’t care that I couldn’t predict anything; I just wanted to live with my wife, and daughter. But we never had a daughter, we had a son. But even that, I let go. I loved my daughter, but I knew that she wouldn’t be in our lives, from the moment I arrived in that universe. So we lived, a happy life, my wife and my son. We were happy, and we were contempt. After a few years, our universe, and our time almost seemed like a distant memory, almost like it never happened. But I was reminded that it did, every time I took a bite of something, or taste anything. Because, unlike everything else, that was never real. But I didn’t care, a small price to pay to live happy again. And so it went that way, until January 23rd 2012, 7:45pm. I was walking back from the park with my son, when at that moment, everything….everything… I don’t know how to explain this… Everything Stopped, Neko. And everything disappeared. But I remained. It took me a while to figure out what was going on, but I instantly knew it had something to do with me, and project TASM. So I pressed the button, Neko, and went back. I went back to the night before my wedding, and I killed myself, again, and again I lived life. Everything was different, again. EVERYTHING. But I was happy, and we were happy. We had a daughter, a different daughter, and we also had two sons. And life was happy…until January 23rd 2012, 7:45pm. And it happened again, just like before.”
Nathan, again stopped talking, and looked down at his watch. I looked down at mine too, but it still said 6:38pm. So I asked, ”Hey how come your watch works, but mine doesn’t?” Nathan, without taking his eyes off his watch, said ”Because your watch is from our universe. This watch I have, is from this one. Your watch won’t work here, or anywhere else, for that matter.”
”I don’t get it, but fuck it, go on with your story. What happened next? And, why did you say we only had 13 minutes left? Left to what? What time is it right now, anyway?” I asked. The more Nathan was telling me, the more questions I had.
Nathan waited a couple of seconds before replying, and then he looked up at me, smiled, and said, ”7:44pm. Are you ready to see the end of time and the universe, Neko?”
To be continued