Sentience Of Time – Chapter XIII
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 XIII: Double Trouble
(June 9, 2020)
Cobi pulled his cruiser over near a small dirt road about a mile from the mart. He reached under the passenger side seat of the cruiser and pulled out a small black briefcase and threw it onto the seat. He fingered the combination buttons on the front of the case and after a few moments he heard a popping sound and the briefcase flung open.
Inside was a companion piece that Cobi had not used in years. He pulled out the small black box and pushed a button on the underside. He watched and waited as the defunct communicator came to life. He knew that by using the instrument too long it might gain the attention of the council in the future. He had to take his chances though.
Using the box, Cobi scanned the area waiting for a unique signature to pop up on the display. As a pro jumper, Cobi had become one of the few individuals to retain control of a master communicator that not only showed signs of nearby life, but signs of individuals that are of future origin. So, it should easily detect Jazz once she comes within distance of the box.
Cobi knew she would most likely use the old dirt road to keep away from the prying eyes of the law. He knew this not because he was a now-seasoned officer, but because jumpers knew how best to avoid being seen.
He waited for the sign.
(June 7, 2020)
Jazz followed Jack out of the woods to his car that had been parked in a parking lot adjacent to the mart. At first she was cautious, not knowing if this would be the smartest idea; but then thought that it would be much safer than relying on the woods to keep her safe.
Jack opened the passenger door of the small compact car and waited for Jazz, who was still unsure. She looked intently at Jack and softly moved toward the car, not averting her stare. As she seated herself in the car, Jack closed the door and raced to the other side. Jazz looked at the timer on her small box: 14:50:25.
Jack stepped into the car and turned the key to the ignition. He leaned back in the seat and turned his attention to Jazz. â€śI live not far from here; about nine miles.â€ť Jack placed his hands on the steering wheel and returned his attention forward.
He slid the automatic shift into reverse and began backing out of the parking space. He stopped, slid the car into drive and commenced to the end of the parking lot.
Jazz hoped that this was the smartest thing to do. As a time jumper, there are many things that can go wrong. Being genetically splattered across the universe is the least of oneâ€™s worries. Since Jack made the unintentional move to touch Jazz when she was arriving from her jump, he became a unique part of the time-space continuum. She now knew that since Jack was sent to an alternate future, then sent back to this present time (Jazzâ€™s past), anything that occurred within the time frame that he was gone is still ongoing.
As Jack continued to drive, Jazz went over the scenario in her head. Depending on how long Jack was gone from this time, would also depend on how long she would have to wait to get back home. She realized that there was a different her â€“ in reality still the same her â€“ now existing sometime in the future, albeit still the past.
As much as this didnâ€™t really make sense to Jazz, she knew that she needed an answer from Jack.
â€śUmm,â€ť she cleared her throat. â€śHow long were you gone for?â€ť She eyed Jack, who seemed shyer now than before.
â€śUh, what do you mean?â€ť Jack scratched his eyebrow and then looked at Jazz.
â€śWhen you got sucked into spaceâ€¦ how long was you gone?â€ť
â€śI donâ€™t know, maybe 36 hours or so. Why?â€ť Jack looked nervously at Jazz.
Jazz shook her head. â€śGreat, this is not going to work out how I had planned.â€ť She through her arms together and sunk her head down toward her chest.
â€śWhat wonâ€™t work?â€ť Jack asked nervously.
Jazz began to cry, but then stopped almost immediately and wiped a tear away from her eye. She looked up at Jack. â€śYou wonâ€™t believe me if I tell you.â€ť
Jack laughed out loud, trying to hide his extreme nervousness. â€śUmm, hello, I donâ€™t believe much of anything that has already happened, but it has happened. I am sure what you have to say wonâ€™t be any stranger than what has already occurred.â€ť Jackâ€™s face grew reddened with anger. He moved from a nervous frame of mind to rage.
Jazz slumped in the seat. â€śI am sorry.â€ť She returned her head to her chest and wailed out in her sadness.
Jack slowed the car to a stop and pulled off to the side of the road. â€śDamn it, I am sorry. I didnâ€™t mean to get angry. I just donâ€™t know what to think.â€ť He reached over and put his hand on Jazzâ€™s shoulder and rubbed it. â€śPlease donâ€™t cry. I want to hear what you have to say. I need to hear it. Please tell me.â€ť
Jazz quieted down and rubbed her eyes. She sniffled a few times and brought her head back up and looked at Jack. She tried to smile.
â€śThere are now two of me in the past; two of me here in this time. I am here now with you, but another me is a few days in the future. However long you were gone for, allowed me to move forward into the future. But when you were sent back, I was here, today. The future me is now waiting for me to catch up so I can go home.â€ť Jazz opened up her box and showed it to Jack.
â€śThis communicator tells me how long I have before the council in 2077 can send for me.â€ť She showed Jack the timer. â€śBut because a future of me is more than 16 hours into the future, I have to catch up to that time before I can go home. Otherwise, my genetics will interfere with my future self during the time jump and I will basically become soup. And there is no cure for soup!â€ť
Jack was horrified by the story. â€śI am so sorry.â€ť He looked ahead down the road. â€śI mean, it is my fault for touching you. This would never have happened if I wasnâ€™t trying to be helpful. But, how was I to know?â€ť
â€śItâ€™s okay Jack, you didnâ€™t know. This is the fault of the council. They donâ€™t have time travel down to a science yet and there are still mistakes. But Asterim and his money and power made it happen, and now we have to pay for his shortcomings.â€ť
Jazz sighed as she slid the box into her lap. â€śThe bad part is I donâ€™t know where my future self is. I do need to find myself in order to fix this. We have some time to think it over. Thanks for helping me, Jack.â€ť
(June 9, 2020)
Jazz stopped along the old dirt path and pulled out her communicator. She checked the distance. She still had about 2 miles to go to the flashpoint. However, she noticed a small blip on the screen about a mile ahead of her position. She waited to see if it would go away. After several seconds it did begin moving, but in her general direction. However, she had no choice but to move on and keep an eye on the road ahead.
Jazz moved into the trees and followed the dirt road along the edge of the woods. Keeping her on eye the box, she noticed the blip was now right on top of her. She stopped and ducked down in some bushes.
Cobi stopped along the roadside and checked the communicator. The box showed Jazz was right on top of his location. He also knew that if she was any kind of professional, she would know that someone was there as well. So he knew she was hiding.
â€śJazz itâ€™s me, Cobi. Come out!â€ť
Jazz stepped out from behind a bush and exposed herself to Cobi. â€śCobiâ€¦ How did you find me?â€ť
Stay tune next week for Chapter XIV
Image Credit: Bruce Rolff / Shutterstock