Sentience Of Time – Chapter VII
The following story is a work of fiction and is 100 percent original work. I will be publishing a chapter per week on Saturdays, which can be viewed right here on redOrbit Blogs / Sci-Fi Saturday. I have always been interested in writing science fiction and this is a step toward realizing my dreams. I hope you enjoy this serial novel a chapter at a time!
Chapter VII: Trapped
Jack found himself sitting upright in a futuristic egg-shaped chair. It was fairly comfortable and he felt calm, despite the fact that he had no idea where he was. An older man was nearby looking at a digital screen with buttons and numbers. A smaller visual screen also sat above but Jack could not make out what was being displayed.
He peered around the large white room that was now filled with electronic devices and computerized equipment and displays. Jack was not sure if it was in fact the same room he found himself in when he arrived on his back. It seemed to look the same. The pillar that had first appeared from the ceiling was in fact still there beside him. Though he had no idea how he got from the floor to the chair, he was glad that he had full movement now. Still, he could not lift himself from the chair.
â€śExcuse me!â€ť Jack cleared his throat and continued. â€śExcuse me sir. Can you please tell me where I am?â€ť He watched closely as the man turned toward him. It was the same elderly man he encountered while pinned to the floor.
â€śAh, Mr. Grissom, you are awake!â€ť Asterim walked closer to Jack. â€śAs I said before, itâ€™s not so much as where you are, but when you are.â€ť He walked to Jackâ€™s side. â€śIn fact, when is not really accurate either; at least to some degree.â€ť
Jack confusedly stared at the man. â€śWait!â€ť He pondered for a moment. â€śHow is it again that you know who I am? And who the hell are you?â€ť As Jackâ€™s heart began to race, the man placed his hand over his chest.
â€śRelax Jack. Thereâ€™s no need to get tense.â€ť
â€śWhat the hell do you mean by that? I am in some crazy lab stuck to a chair. Thereâ€™s guys running around with guns and some crazy old man telling me to be calm. Like thatâ€™s gonna happen.â€ť But, as Asterim continued to keep his hand over Jackâ€™s chest, Jack calmed once again. â€śHow do you do that?â€ť Jack attention was immediately averted.
â€śNow now Jack, only one question at a time.â€ť Asterim walked back toward the display and pushed a few more buttons. â€śAs I said before, my name is Raphael Asterim. You may have heard of me. Although during your time I may not have been as well-known as I am now.â€ť
Jackâ€™s mind raced. â€śAsterim sounds so familiar but I canâ€™t place the name.â€ť He continued to think. He put his fingers up to his mouth and stroked his bottom lip. He looked up. â€śWhat do you mean my time? Does that mean I am dead? What is going on here anyway?â€ť He looked around the room again. â€śIs this some kind of sick and twisted game? Cause if it is, okay, ha-ha you got me!â€ť He waited for a response.
â€śNo Jack. This is no game. You interfered with time travel and now you are paying the price. Although it isnâ€™t a terrible price, and can be fixed with some ingenuity, you will have to bear with us.â€ť Asterim returned to Jackâ€™s side. â€śThink electronics.â€ť Asterim brought his hands into the air and swept them outward. â€śThink Asterim!â€ť
Jack looked at him more closely. â€śNO! You are much too old to be Asterim. Wait! Are you his grandfather?â€ť Jack chuckled nervously. â€śAsterim Council Brands! You are Raphael Asterim! No, thatâ€™s crazy.â€ť
â€śNo, Jack. Itâ€™s not crazy. When my time jumper was sent to the past, to your time, to that small market in Indigo Hook, you reached out and touched her while she was still being sent. The flashpoint had not yet been closed. While I know you had no idea of what was going on, you inadvertently sealed your own fate when you touched Miss Sentience.â€ť
â€śMiss who?â€ť Jack shuddered, as a cold chill came over him. â€śOkay, while I agree that I may have interfered with whatever sick game you are into, I do not buy the fact that you swept me off to some far away land that only God knows exists to tell me that you are sorry.â€ť Jack began to get out of control again but stopped and tried to calm down before Asterim pushed his hand against his chest again. â€śOkay, stop. I got this,â€ť Jack spat out, as he calmed himself.
â€śYou are not in some far away land Jack.â€ť Asterim handed a small digital box to him.
On the front screen of the box there was a small display that showed a man being ripped through some type of wormhole. Jack watched as the man was swallowed up by light and was split apart into billions of tiny particles. As the light began to filter through the particles, they began to reassemble themselves and take human form once again. As they took full shape, Jack realized what he was watching was exactly how he felt after being consumed by the light after touching the girl.
Jack looked at Asterim and felt immediately sickened. â€śIs this what happened to me?â€ť He handed the box to Asterim. Asterim quietly took the box and moved away from Jack.
â€śJack, listen to me. You are still in Indigo Hook. As hard as that is to believe, you have to listen carefully. When you touched Miss Sentience, you were forced through a wormhole that not only took you into the future, but also an alternate dimension. Because it is impossible for you to travel into a future that has yet to have been made for you, you were taken to a future devoid of typical existence.â€ť
Jack tried to make sense of it, but things still didnâ€™t make sense to him. â€śIf this is true, and I have been swept away to a time devoid of existence, then how are you here? How is all this stuff here? You canâ€™t fool me Mister Asterim.â€ť Jack tried to stand, but the chair forced him downward. He sunk into the chair. â€śAre you going to kill me?â€ť
Asterim snickered. â€śNo Jack. We are not going to kill you. It is difficult to explain it further, but you are going to have to trust me.â€ť He walked back to his display.
(June 8, 2020)
Jazz knelt down in the woods along a large tree. She waited to see if the cop would continue into the woods after her. She knelt there quietly for what seemed like 20 minutes. It seemed as if nobody was coming. She slowly stood to her feet. She contemplated moving back in the direction of the cabin.
Jazz thought to herselfâ€¦ â€śMaybe they left. Maybe my communicator is still there in the cabin. Maybe I should go back.â€ť
Jazz tried to makes sense of what she just did. She lowered her head and placed her open palms into her face and started to weep silently. She knew she had no choice but to go back and check. She needed to be sure she was in the quadrant when the flashpoint reset. And she needed to be sure she was ready for it. Still, she was concerned that perhaps they would leave her in the past. Abandon her like a person abandons an unwanted dog or child.
Jazz picked her head up. She knew she needed to toughen up and make it count. She pushed back through the forest, ready to encounter anyone who confronted her along the path back to the cabin.
Amazingly, even after pushing through the dense shrubs and trees she emerged about 70 feet farther up the tree line from the cabin. The coast was clear. No sign of anyone and no law truck along the far edge of the woods. She walked diligently along the tree line back toward the cabin. She quietly approached the cabin. She peeked around the corner to where she had her earlier encounter with the officer. The coast was still clear.
Jazz moved to the doorway and looked inside. To her astonishing eyes, there sat the communicator, exactly where she had placed it. She quickly moved into the room and over to the black box. Jazz picked it up and looked at the side display: 2:20:14
Jazz clicked the button on the bottom of the box and read the display. First she noticed she was still within the quadrant, thankfully. But then was horrified by the red dots that popped up. She was not alone. In fact, she was far from alone. The dots were moving in the direction of the door.
She ran toward the back of the room and noticed a broken window at the back. She checked the communicator. About a dozen dots appeared to be encroaching on the cabin. Jazz ran toward the window and jumped with force, crashing through the busted pane of glass and single board that was still across the face of the window.
Lying on the ground outside she cried out in pain. She reached her hand down to her side and felt warmth along the side of her stomach. She picked her hand back up to her face. Blood had soaked onto her fingers. She pulled herself to a sitting position and glanced at her side. A several-inch-long shard of glass was sticking into her side.
Jazz grabbed the glass shard and tried to pull. Blood began to drip down her wrist as the glass shard dug into her hand. After a few moments of struggle she removed the shard and threw it to the ground. She slowly pushed herself upward to her feet. She was so focused on the blood pouring from her wound that she had not realized that the officers had surrounded her.
As she retrained her focus on her surroundings Jazz realized that she was trapped. She let her hands fall to her side as she looked forward toward one cop. P L A T T 6 6 8 7 was all she saw. Jazz felt her body slink downward and she collapsed to the ground, fainting from blood loss.
Stay tuned next week for Chapter VIII
Image Credit: alexRem / Shutterstock