Sentience Of Time – Chapter X
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 X: Showdown
Jack pondered what could be in store for him in this futuristic-style room he was sitting in; a room full of computerized instruments all abuzz with lights and sounds. Asterim continued punching digits on a small display about 20 feet away. Jack searched the room looking for answers. Yet, there were none. This unfamiliar place would likely be the last place he ever sees. He was still held to his chair through some force of gravity or compression he assumed.
Asterim turned his attention to Jack. He moved to another small pedestal display near Jack’s seat. “Well Jack, it is time for you to go now!”
“GO? Go WHERE?” Jack shouted out.
“Please! Calm down Jack. You’re going home. We configured the wormhole and are sending you back to the precise spot where you vanished. However, there are some issues we need to discuss before you go back.” Asterim grabbed a small digital tablet off the pedestal to Jack’s left side.
“There are some rules you must be willing to follow.” Asterim handed the tablet to Jack. “Please read this carefully. When you are finished we can begin; that is, if you agree to the terms.”
Jack grabbed the tablet from Asterim’s hand and looked at it. “What terms?” he asked cautiously.
“Just read Mr. Grissom.” Asterim walked to another computerized display farther away. He began poking at the screen.
Jack began browsing through the terms. It seemed like pretty ordinary stuff until he got to term number five. It read:
Terms (number 5): Under no circumstance will you discuss the events transpired here today. The events of our present (your future) do not belong in your present (our past). Any communications between you and any other citizen of your present about this future void is prohibited – doing such will be means for immediate termination of tethering, resulting in immediate death.
Jack was okay until he read the word “death.” He looked up at Asterim. He thought this was a joke. He thought about what the words meant. “How would he even know about what I am doing if he were to send me back to my world? There is no way he could follow me? Is there?”
Jack set the tablet on the pedestal beside him. He studied Asterim as he continued to work at the computer. He cleared his throat to get Asterim’s attention.
Asterim turned toward Jack. “You have read the rules and terms?”
“Yes,” Jack answered quietly. “I just have a question.” He fingered the tablet pointing to term number five. “Are you going to be following me? I mean, how does this all work? I am confused.”
Asterim eyed the tablet then Jack. “Well you see Jack, we just can’t let you go back to your time and let you go on thinking you can just tell everyone about your experience. At first it may seem you are just a little delirious and you may wind up in the funny farm. But some people may be interested and decide to investigate further. We cannot have people poking around our past.” Asterim paused for a few moments to give Jack a chance to take it in.
“What we do here is very sensitive and even the littlest quirk in the system – a hiccup if you will – could bring the entire world crashing to its knees. We want you to go home. We know you want to go home. But we need to make sure you play by the rules. You will play by the rules won’t you, Jack?”
Jack studied Asterim’s face. The seriousness was quite evident.
“Yes I can play by the rules.” Jack swallowed hard and turned his gaze to the floor.
“Very well then; we will be ready shortly.”
(June 9, 2020)
Jazz swiftly navigated the corridors of the hospital keeping a keen eye out for officers. Her gut felt like it was tied in a knot as the pain from the wound jabbed through her. Every seven or eight steps the pain would make her twinge and she felt as if she was going to drop. She knew she had limited time to escape. She couldn’t be caught again. A second time was not in her cards.
Jazz found a door to a staircase. She pushed through and peered over the railing. She listened for chatter, but could only hear a deafening silence. She hurried down the stairs with one hand on her wounded side. Four flights down and Jazz found herself at the ground level. She slowly peered out into the hall. She could see an entrance about 30 feet away, yet three armed officers stood at the large glass doorway.
Jazz slid back into the stairwell. She leaned her head against the concrete wall and thought about what she had to do. This was not going to be easy but she knew she could do it if she just breathed for a moment and gathered her concentration.
As if a countdown started in her head, she braced for the challenge – and it began:
Five… Jazz stood upright and faced the door, with a toughened face ready to do battle.
Four… Jazz pushed the door open and stepped into the hall facing the entryway.
Three… She began walking upright steadily toward the armed men.
Two… As one officer turned to reach for his gun Jazz began to quicken her pace.
One… The second officer jumped toward Jazz while the third reached for his radio.
Zero… Jazz closed her eyes for a brief second and prepared for the showdown.
Jazz ducked to one side as the second officer flew into the air toward her. Her right arm came down hard on the officer’s back, smashing him to the floor. As she sprang back to her feet the officer with the gun held his arm out ready to enforce his law. Jazz bounced to one side and kicked her left leg around catching the radio officer in the gut. As he began to fall back Jazz turned her body 180 degrees and with a partially closed fist punched the officer square in the Adam’s apple. Jazz ducked and continued her spin-a-round to face the gunman. She reached out and grabbed the gunman’s arm pulling him toward her. She clotheslined the officer leaving him laid out on the floor.
As she regained her footing, the first officer she attacked was behind her ready to force her into a chokehold. Jazz dropped to the floor as she felt his presence and quickly turned and drove her fist into the man’s sack. As she jumped to her feet she grabbed the officer’s collar and yanked his shirt over his head. Jazz turned to the door and made a dash out to the parking lot.
Jazz raced in between vehicles looking for a way out of danger. She ran toward an open field in the distance. The field soon turned into another wooded area and Jazz once again found herself deep in the woods after a mad dash. It was quite a distance before she pulled to a stop and dropped to the ground in pain. Her wound was bleeding, but not severely. Still, she was in a lot of pain now and knew she had to rest for at least a few minutes.
Jazz reached into her pocket and pulled out her communicator. She checked the distance map. She still had about 18 miles to go to the flashpoint. She didn’t know if she could make it, but she knew she had no choice but to try. She had to brush off the pain and move on. It was her only option.
Stay tuned next week for Chapter XI
Image Credit: watcharakun / Shutterstock