MidReal Story

Eternal Echoes: Breaking the Time Loop

Scenario: A group of time travelers are stuck in a time loop and they try to find a way to get out and return back
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A group of time travelers are stuck in a time loop and they try to find a way to get out and return back
“What the hell?”
“Okay, this is officially weird.”
I glared at Alex and Sarah, who were staring at me with identical expressions of confusion.
I shook my head and turned back to the computer screen.
The machine was still running tests, and it still wasn’t working.
I couldn’t see any reason why.
I typed in another command, and the machine beeped at me in a way that seemed downright patronizing.
“Seriously, what the hell?”
Sarah pushed her hair out of her face, but it fell back into place immediately.
I could tell she was getting frustrated.
I was too.
The three of us had been working on this for hours, and we were no closer to figuring it out than we’d been when we started.
I didn’t know what we were doing wrong, but something was seriously off.
This shouldn’t have been so hard.
I pushed the computer away and stood up.
I needed a break.
I might not have been able to make this stupid thing work, but I could at least get a snack.
I trudged over to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator, looking for something that was easy to eat one-handed.
Too bad there wasn’t any blood in there; that would have been perfect.
I settled for an apple instead and took a bite out of it as I turned around and walked back into the lab.
“Okay, let’s try this one more time.”
I sat down at the computer again and attempted to bring up the test results.
Somewhere behind my head, I heard Alex get up and start pacing back and forth, muttering to himself about how he would never be able to look at another wire without wanting to strangle something.
I snorted in amusement, but then my eyes widened as I looked at the screen in front of me.
“Guys,” I said slowly, “we have a problem.”
“Yeah.” Alex’s voice was bitter.
“We have a lot of problems.”
“No, I mean, we have a big problem.”
“What is it?”
Sarah asked sharply, coming over to stand behind me.
She leaned down to look at the computer screen, and I could tell by her expression that she saw it too.
“I don’t believe it,” she said quietly.
“We’re stuck,” I whispered, my mouth suddenly dry as my brain tried to process what was happening.
“We’re stuck in a time loop.”
She said, “Look at the date.”
We had reset the machine, and the time was correct, but the date was wrong.
We were back on the same day we’d started our first test run, which meant…
“I don’t get it,” Alex said slowly, sounding completely lost.
“Did we do it wrong?
Did we break something while we were trying to fix it?”
“No,” Sarah said immediately.
“I can tell you that much right now.
That’s not what happened.”
“Then what is it?”
Alex’s voice was getting high and tight with panic, and I couldn’t blame him at all.
This was bad; there was no way around it, and I literally did not know how to fix it.
I had never been so lost before, and I had no idea what we were supposed to do next.
The worst part was that we were running out of time, and I didn’t know how much of it we had left.
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For a while, we all just sat there, staring at each other and trying to work through the problem.
Sarah took it the hardest.
She tried every possible solution she could think of, adjusting the power levels and running diagnostics, but nothing seemed to help.
I saw her eyes get wide and wild with fear, and she started working faster and faster, even though I knew it wasn’t helping.
I hated the feeling of being so powerless, and I hated that I had no idea how to fix it.
“I don’t get it,” Alex said again, his voice tight with frustration.
“Why didn’t it work?”
“I don’t know,” Sarah snapped at him, and I knew she was just as frustrated as he was.
But that wasn’t going to help us solve the problem, and I couldn’t let her do anything that might make things worse.
“Hey,” I said firmly.
“That’s not going to help us, and you know it.
Take a deep breath and calm down.
We can figure this out if we just take our time.”
To my surprise, she actually listened to me.
I watched as she took a deep breath and then let it out slowly, and then she went back to work.
But no matter how hard she tried, nothing seemed to work.
Another hour passed, and then another one, and then another one.
Finally, I had to admit that not only was it not working, but it didn’t look like it was going to work.
I could tell that Alex and Sarah were starting to feel the same way, and it made me angry all over again.
We shouldn’t have been stuck like this, but here we were, and I had no idea how to make things right again.
I pounded on the computer’s keys in frustration, but it didn’t help at all.
“Can we just shut it off?”
Alex said tiredly.
“We can figure out what went wrong tomorrow and start over.”
“I don’t think so,” Sarah said slowly, her voice worried.
She looked up from the tangle of wires she’d been staring at for the last fifteen minutes.
“When I try to power it down, it doesn’t respond.
I don’t think it can be turned off.”
“What do you mean?”
I asked, my heart sinking even lower than it already had.
“How is that even possible?”
Sarah shook her head slowly.
“I don’t know,” she said quietly.
“But from what I can tell…it looks like our time machine has become self-aware.”
“I’m sorry,” Alex said slowly, looking up at me with an expression of disbelief on his face that matched my own perfectly.
“I don’t think I heard you correctly just now.
Did you really mean to say that our time machine has become self-aware?”
“Yes,” Sarah said sharply.
“But what does it even mean?”
I asked, feeling more than a little bit like an idiot for having to do so.
Again.
“It means that we’re out of options,” Sarah said with a heavy sigh.
“If what I think is happening is really happening—and I have no idea how else to explain what’s going on—then we’ve got a bigger problem than any of us realized.”
The three of us sat there in silence for a long time after that as we tried to wrap our minds around what was happening and what we were going to do about it next.
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It was almost impossible to believe that we’d managed to screw things up quite this badly, but the evidence was right there in front of us, and there was no way that we could deny it.
It took me a long time to find the courage to speak, but eventually, I managed to force the words out of my mouth, even if I didn’t want to say them at all.
“According to the data that I was able to extract from the computer, we’re stuck in a five-day loop,” I said quietly, watching as Alex and Sarah both turned to look at each other in horror at what I’d just said.
I couldn’t blame them; the thought was terrifying, and neither of them could do anything about it either, but I had to keep talking anyway.
“If we don’t manage to find a way out before those five days are up…”
“The loop will collapse,” Sarah finished for me, her eyes wide with fear.
“And we’ll be stuck in some sort of void forever.”
I swallowed hard, wishing that there was something—anything—that I could do to make things right again, even if there wasn’t anything at all that would work.
“That means that we don’t have much time,” Alex said slowly, and I nodded, swallowing hard as the weight of what was happening finally began to sink in with him too.
The pressure was on, and there wasn’t anything that we could do except hope and pray that we would be able to fix things before it was too late.
We stood there in silence for a long moment before Alex spoke again, his voice determined and sure even if he had every reason not to be feeling that way at all right then.
“So let’s get back to work,” he said firmly before he glanced over at Sarah and I and added, “We’re not done yet.”
I nodded firmly, trying my best to ignore the panic that was threatening to rise up inside of me even though there wasn’t anything that I could do about it either way.
He was right; we weren’t done yet, and there wasn’t anything that we could do to change that fact either way.
We only had five days to fix things before we were stuck in a loop forever—or worse—and I wasn’t going to let myself or my team down.
It wasn’t in my nature to give up easily, and I wasn’t going to start now when there was so much at stake, but I also knew that we weren’t going to get very far if we didn’t work together and use all of our resources as wisely as possible—or at least try to do so anyway.
“Agreed,” I said quietly as I reached over and turned off the computer before I turned back around to face them again and added, “But not right now.”
“What do you mean?”
Sarah asked in confusion.
“It’s almost midnight,” I reminded her gently before I gestured toward the computer that she’d been trying to fix since we’d all left work a few hours ago.
“If it managed to become self-aware like you think it did, then it’s not going anywhere—and neither is anything else.”
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“The technician will be here in the morning,” I added before I looked over at Alex and asked, “And we still have a lot of work to do before then.”
An indescribable amount of time had passed since we’d found ourselves trapped in a time loop, and we’d already spent a lot of that time trying to find a way out of it, but there wasn’t anything that we could do to fix the situation that we’d found ourselves in—and that much was obvious even if we didn’t want to admit it to ourselves just yet either way.
We’d been working on the computer for hours, but no matter what we did or how many times we tried to fix it, things kept screwing up in exactly the same way that they had the first time; the computer would reset itself, and we would find ourselves right back where we’d started, only the three of us would be the wiser for it all.
The noise had been terrifying at first, but now it had only become something that I dreaded more than I could have ever imagined before; every time I heard it, I knew that we were going to have to do things all over again, and I wasn’t sure how much more of it I could take before I lost my mind altogether and went completely insane as a result of it all either way.
Sarah’s voice was barely above a whisper, but I knew that she was right, even if I didn’t want her to be given everything that we’d gone through already.
I wanted to believe that we could find a way out before it was too late, but I knew that wasn’t going to be the case at all, and neither would finding a solution be an easy task for us either way.
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“We don’t have time to go through this whole thing again,” I said, my voice tight with fear and the panic that I couldn’t even try to hide at all.
I felt myself trembling with fear even more than I had at the very beginning of this whole thing when it had seemed like a nightmare to me—a nightmare in which I couldn’t escape from no matter what I tried to do to get away from it all even though I knew that it wasn’t real—but now I felt worse than I ever had before because I knew that it wasn’t a nightmare after all this time and there wasn’t anything I could do about it no matter how hard I tried to do anything to change it any more than I already had even though I knew that it hadn’t worked any of the other times that I’d tried to do something about it anyway.
“We’re going to have to figure out something,” Alex said, his voice strained with fear and the lack of sleep that we’d been getting since all of this had happened in the first place.
“We don’t even know what’s causing the problem in the first place, so there’s not much we can do about it anyway.”
I could tell how frustrated he was as a result of it as well, but I wasn’t any happier about the situation than he was either way; but the only difference between him and me was that he didn’t show his emotions as well as I did because he tried to pretend like he was fine even though he wasn’t while I just showed them without even trying to hide them at all either way.
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“Let’s look through the data one more time and see if we can find anything different in it,” Sarah said as she started to pull up the data on the computer.
I was hoping that she would be able to find something in it because neither of us could figure out what was causing the malfunction in the first place and it was driving us both crazy as a result of it too.
“I think there’s an imbalance in the power source,” she said as she looked through the data.
“I don’t know what could have caused it to malfunction, but there has to be a way to fix it somehow.”
“So you’re saying if we can figure out what’s causing the imbalance then we should be able to go back to our timeline?”
Alex asked, his voice hopeful as a result of it.
“That’s what I’m thinking,” she replied as she started to look up information on the computer about possible solutions.
“That gives us something at least,” he said to me as he turned to look back at me.
“Sarah’s on top of things and she’ll figure out what’s causing the malfunction and we’ll be able to go back to our original timeline.”
I knew he was trying to make me feel better about the situation, but I wasn’t sure his words were actually going to work because there was no guarantee that we would actually be able to fix the problem that had caused us to be stuck in this time loop in the first place and I wasn’t sure if it was ever going to be possible for us to get back to our timeline either.
And the longer we were stuck in this time loop, the less time we would have left before we were supposed to go back and there wouldn’t be anything we could do about it either; at least not until we figured out why we were stuck here in the first place.
“There are only three people who know about this project,” Sarah said after a few minutes.
“Which means that it would have to be one of us,” Alex replied.
“But we don’t know what caused the power source to malfunction and that means that none of us would be able to know what was causing it either.”
“But it doesn’t answer the question of who would do something like that,” I said as I started going through the data on my computer as well.
“Let’s focus on the problem at hand right now and then we can figure out who might have done something like that later on if we need to,” Sarah said before any of us had a chance to respond.
That was something that I agreed with because we needed to figure out why we were stuck here first and then we could figure out who had done something like that if we needed to; but I was really hoping that we wouldn’t need to do that because that would mean that one of us would have betrayed the others and I was really hoping that it wasn’t going to end up happening because I didn’t want to lose my friends in the process at all either.
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We spent the next couple days working on trying to figure out what had caused the power source’s malfunctions, but nothing was coming up when we continued looking at the data, which meant that we were still stuck here and we didn’t know when we’d be able to get back home either.
There were only four days left until we were supposed to go home and at this point, I was really starting to get worried because I didn’t think that it was going to be possible for us to get back home in time before we were supposed to go home, which meant that we wouldn’t ever get back home again and I didn’t want that to happen, but I didn’t know how we were supposed to fix the power source’s malfunction if nothing was coming up when we were looking at it.
But then Sarah came over a couple hours later and she had a hopeful expression on her face as well.
“I think I found what might have been causing the power source’s malfunction,” she said.
“I realized earlier today that the power source’s stabilizer had a slight fluctuation in power a few minutes before the time machine’s power source started having a malfunction as well, which means that it might have been the cause.”
“But why would the power source’s stabilizer cause the power source’s malfunction?”
“It doesn’t make any sense,” Alex said.
“I think that it’s possible that when the stabilizer malfunctioned, it caused too much power, which caused a malfunction in the power source and that’s what caused us to be stuck here.”
“Can you fix it?”
I asked her, hoping that she would be able to fix it so that we would be able to get back home again soon enough; before it was too late and we would have been stuck here permanently, which would be something that none of us wanted at all.
Sarah looked over at me and nodded her head before she responded, “I think so.”
“Then let’s do it,” Alex said as he looked over at her and then back at me before he turned back around and looked over at her.
“I think you’re right and if it’s fixed, then we’ll be able to get back home and we won’t have anything else holding us back either.”
“But are you sure you can do it properly without causing anything else to malfunction either?”
I asked her because I was a little worried that if she wasn’t careful, then something else would end up malfunctioning and we’d end up being stuck here forever because she hadn’t been careful enough.
“I think so,” she said as she looked over at me and smiled.
“Then let’s do this.”
The both of them walked over to the power source together while I went over and stood next to the computer so that I’d be able to see what they were doing while they were going through everything together.
They had been working for a few minutes when I suddenly heard a beeping sound come from one of the computers, which meant that something had gone wrong and I was really hoping that it was nothing serious, but I knew that it was something serious because if something had gone wrong, then it meant that we were going to end up being stuck here forever and I didn’t want that either.
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“No, no, no, no,” Alex said in frustration, causing me to turn around and look over at him before I walked over and stood next to him so that I would be able to see what had gone wrong and I was really hoping that it was nothing too serious, but I had a feeling that it was definitely something serious this time and it was going to be hard for us to be able to fix it without causing something else to go wrong as well.
“What happened?”
I asked him in concern, looking around for Sarah so that I would be able to see her and see if everything was all right with her too, but she was nowhere in sight and it was making me a little nervous because I had no idea where she could have gone while we were working on all of this together, but I was really hoping that she would be back soon enough, before it was too late, and we ended up being stuck here forever and that wasn’t something that any of us wanted either because we all wanted to go back home and be with our families again and not have anything else go wrong either.
“Sarah was trying to reset the stabilizer, but it didn’t work,” he said as he looked up and around at me before he looked back down and went back to doing what he was doing before.
“Then why are you trying to fix it?”
I asked him in frustration, causing him to look up and around at me before he looked away and back down at what he was doing before he responded, “Because Sarah doesn’t know how to fix it, but she thinks that she might be able to fix it if we reset the power levels on one of the computers.”
“But it won’t work either,” I said in frustration because I knew that it wouldn’t work and if it didn’t work, then something would go wrong and we would end up being stuck here forever because there was no way for us to be able to fix it if something had gone wrong and there wasn’t anything else that we could do about it either.
“I know,” Alex said as he looked around at me before he turned around and looked away from me while he continued doing what he was doing before.
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“Then why are you still trying?”
“Because there is nothing else that we can do,” Alex said as he looked around at me for a moment before he turned back around so that he could continue working.
“Then why are you still working on it?”
I asked him in frustration because he was just wasting his time working on something that wouldn’t work before he responded, “Because I don’t know what else to do.”
“So why don’t you help me with this?”
I asked him because there wasn’t anything else that we could do anyway so there wasn’t any point in not letting him help me with this when he could be helping me with this instead of wasting his time by himself so he might as well help me with this if he wasn’t going to help Sarah with what she was going to try and do anyway because there was nothing else left for us to try anyway so he might as well help me with this instead of just sitting there by himself.
“How are you going to find anything in there?”
Alex asked me as he looked at what I was looking for as I sat down at one of the computers and started looking through all of the information that I could find.
“By looking for anything new,” I said as I sat down and typed in a few different commands so that I could try and find something new.
“Like what?”
Alex asked as he looked over my shoulder so that he could see what I was looking for and I shrugged my shoulders as I typed in a few more things so that I could see if there was anything else new so that maybe there would be something new that I could find so that I could see if there was something new.
“Anything,” I said as I looked through all of the information that I had found so far even though I didn’t know if there was anything else that I could find.
“Good luck with that,” Alex said as he went back to looking through everything on his side of the computer because there wasn’t anything left for him either.
After a few minutes, I stumbled upon something that sent chills down my spine, and for a moment, I wasn’t sure if I had read it right or not, but when I went back over it again, there wasn’t any doubt about it, and as soon as I realized it, my heart started to sink because all hope seemed lost, and there wasn’t any way for us to be able to get home now, and as soon as Alex saw it, his heart sank too.
This was a joke!”
Alex said in disbelief when he saw it, and I shook my head no because it wasn’t a joke because it was true, and there wasn’t any way for us to be able to get home now.
I quickly shook my head no again when Alex started shaking his head no because it wasn’t a joke, and it wasn’t funny either since we knew now that we would never be able to get home unless we could somehow fix our time machine.
“So what are we supposed to do now?”
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“A long time ago, It was discovered that time was much more fragile than anyone thought that it was,” I told him as I looked at him.
“And from that time on, They put up safeguards, so that time couldn’t be manipulated, and now there is nothing that we can do, and trying to fix our time machine is useless.”
“So you’re saying that this time loop was done on purpose?”
Sarah asked as she looked at me and I nodded my head yes, and then I told them everything that I knew about time and how the time loop worked, and then I told them my theory on how our future selves found out that someone was trying to change the past, so they decided to keep us in a time loop instead of changing the past, and then I told them how I thought that they were making sure that we couldn’t get out of the time loop, and Alex just laughed at me when I finished telling him everything that I knew about time and how the time loop worked, and then he shook his head no when he finished laughing.
“That’s ridiculous,” Alex said as he looked at me like I was stupid, and then he looked at Sarah like she was stupid too.
“Yeah, I don’t know about that,” Sarah said as she looked at him, and then she looked at me.
“I mean, who knows what could happen when people start messing with things like that, and we don’t even know who built this place or why they were here or what they were trying to do, so who knows what could have happened, and who knows why they would have done something like this, but maybe Emily is right, and our future selves found out that someone was trying to change the past, and now they are trying to keep us in this time loop.”
“That’s crazy,” Alex said when he heard what Sarah said, and then he looked at me.
“Yeah, that’s just paranoid,” Alex said as he looked at me, and then he looked at Sarah.
“I don’t think that’s paranoid at all,” Sarah said as she looked at Alex, and then she looked at me before she continued talking.
“And I don’t see how anyone would have any idea of what they could have done or anything since there isn’t anything else for us to go on,” Sarah said as she looked at me.
“So I guess no theory is too crazy to consider,” Sarah said as she looked at me.
“Yeah, I guess not,” I said as I looked down because I didn’t want to think about any of this right now since it scared me.
“So if this time loop was done on purpose by our future selves to keep us from changing the past, then there isn’t any way for us to be able to get out of it,” I said as I looked up at them again, and then my heart sank again because I knew that it was true.
“And it doesn’t matter what we try or anything because if this time loop was done on purpose by our future selves to keep us from changing the past, then no matter what we try to do to try and get out of this time loop, there will always be something else in the way stopping us from getting out of it,” I said as I looked up at them again.
“What are you talking about?”
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“I don’t see how that’s possible,” Alex said when he heard what I said, and then he looked at Sarah.
“And I don’t see how that’s possible either,” Sarah said as she looked at me.
“But if this time loop was done on purpose by our future selves to keep us from changing the past, then they could have had to have messed with more than just the time machine to make sure that no matter what happened, we would still be stuck in the time loop.”
“But if they had to mess with more than the time machine to make sure that no matter what happened, we would still be stuck in the time loop,” Alex said when he heard what she said, and then he continued talking.
“Then wouldn’t there have been some sort of evidence left behind for us to find?”
“Well maybe there is something out there for us to find but we haven’t found it yet,” Sarah said after she paused for a moment.
“What are you talking about?”
Alex said when he heard what Sarah said, but then he started to get frustrated again.
“I mean come on guys,” Alex said as he started pacing around again.
“We have been here for almost two weeks now and we haven’t been able to figure out anything more than what we already knew before then.”
“And all we know is that someone left a message for us and then got rid of everything so we couldn't learn anything else, and no matter how hard we try, or how much time we spend looking around, or how many other things we try, it doesn't make any difference because it feels like we are never going to be able to figure out what happened, and we are never going to be able to get out of this time loop, and it's not fair,” Alex said as he looked at me.
“I know it isn't fair,” I said as I looked at him, but then Alex started walking away.
“What are you doing?”
I asked when I saw him walking away.
“I’m going to take a walk, and try and clear my head because I can't do this anymore,” Alex said as he kept walking.
“Yeah, I know what you mean,” Sarah said as she watched him walk away.
“But there is something else you should know,” Sarah said after a moment, and then she looked at me.
“There is something else you should know,” Sarah said as she looked at me.
“There is another message in the time machine.”
“What are you talking about?”
I asked when I heard what she said, and then she looked down at the ground again for a moment.
“I didn’t tell you guys because I didn’t want it to be some sort of sick joke or something,” Sarah said as she looked at me.
“But when I found the warning message in the time machine’s mainframe, it was in a weird spot, and it looked like it had been put in there on purpose, so after the reset failed, and nothing changed, and I didn’t know what else to do, I decided to go back in and look around some more, and then I found another message.”
“What does it say?”
I asked when she paused for a moment.
“It says ‘Plan B,’” Sarah said as she looked at me.
“What does that mean?”
I asked when I heard what she said, but then she looked down at the ground again.
“I don’t know,” Sarah said after a moment.
“I didn’t really look into it because it seemed like it was some sort of prank or something, but it was in a weird spot, and it didn’t seem like it was supposed to be there, so I didn’t really know what to think.”
“But then I decided to look into it more,” Sarah said as she looked up at me again.
“And then I saw it wasn’t like the warning message at all, so I thought maybe it was real.”
“What does it say?”
I asked when she paused for a moment, but then her voice started trembling.
“It says ‘You have failed.’”
“‘You have failed,’” I said as I looked up at her.
I don’t understand.”
“I don’t understand either,” she said as she looked down at the ground again.
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“If we have failed, then how are we able to send a message back in time?”
“I think what it means is that we are going to fail,” she said after a moment, but then she looked down at the ground.
“We are going to fail?”
I asked when I heard what she said, but then she nodded her head.
“So you are saying there is nothing we can do?”
I asked when I heard what she said, but then she shook her head.
“I’m saying I don’t know what else we can do,” Sarah said as she looked up at me.
“I still haven’t been able to decipher the full plan yet because I was too busy trying to fix the glitch in the mainframe, so I’m still not sure what we are supposed to do after the reset fails, but it’s better than nothing.”
“That is true,” I said as I looked down at the ground.
“At least we know there is another way out.”
“If there is another way out,” Sarah said as she looked down at the ground.
“And even if there is, they have already thought of everything.”
“Maybe they haven't thought of everything,” I said when I heard what she said, but then she looked up at me.
“What do you mean?”
“What I mean is that they have already thought about what happens if everything goes wrong, and they have already done everything they can to make sure that everything goes right, but maybe they didn’t think about what happens if things don’t go as planned,” I said as I looked at her.
“I’m not sure that is what they wanted us to think,” Sarah said as she looked at me.
“But if they thought this could happen, then why didn’t they do anything to stop it?”
“Maybe they didn’t know how,” I said as I looked at her.
“But at least we know that they were able to figure something out.”
“That is true,” she said when she heard what I said, but then she looked down at the ground.
“At least we know they were able to figure something out.”
“But if they were able to figure something out, then why didn’t they tell us?”
Alex said from behind me.
“Why didn’t they just tell us that they had another plan?”
“Why didn’t they just tell us that there was another way out?”
“Why did they have to leave us with another riddle?”
“They didn’t leave us with a riddle,” Sarah said as she turned around and looked at him.
“They left us with a message that said we have failed.”
“But you said this message was different from the other one,” Alex said after a moment.
“You said this message had a plan in it.”
“You said this message had a way out.”
“And it does,” Sarah said as she turned around and looked at him.
“It does have a way out.”
“But I haven’t been able to decipher it yet because I have been too busy trying to fix the glitch in the mainframe, so I don’t know what happens next.”
“So you don’t know what happens next?”
Alex asked after a moment, and then he walked away.
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“So you don’t know how we are supposed to get out of here?”
“No, I don’t know how we are supposed to get out of here because I haven’t had time to look at what else is in here,” Sarah said as she watched him go.
“But you think that there is something else in here?”
I asked her after a moment.
“I think that if they thought there was even a small possibility that we could fix this on our own, then they wouldn’t have left this message for us to find.”Sarah said after a moment before she walked away.
Sarah said as she walked back over to where I was standing.
“I think that too,” I said as I watched her go.
“If our future selves thought there was even a small chance that we would be able to fix this on our own, then I think they would have kept looking for a way out.”
“I think they would have kept looking for a way to stop us from going down this path.”
“I think they would have kept looking for a way to make sure we were never able to make this mistake in the first place.”
“And maybe that is what they did,” Sarah said as she turned around and looked at me.
“Maybe that is what we have been doing.”
“What do you mean?”
“What do you mean by that?”
I asked as I looked at her.
“I mean maybe our future selves knew this was going to happen,” Sarah said as she looked at me.
“I mean maybe our future selves knew we were going to get stuck in this time loop, and maybe they did everything they could to make sure we were never able to get out of it.
“I mean maybe our future selves knew we were going to get trapped in here,” Sarah said as she looked at me.
“I mean maybe our future selves knew we were going to get stuck in here, and maybe they did everything they could to make sure we were never able to get out of here.”
“But why would our future selves do that?”
“If our future selves thought we were going to be able to fix this on our own, then why wouldn’t they just let us try to fix it on our own?”
“Maybe because they thought we were running out of time,” Sarah said as she looked around.
“Maybe because they thought we needed more time to figure out what was going on, and maybe they thought this was the only way to do that.”
“But why would our future selves do that?”
“If our future selves thought we were running out of time, then why wouldn’t they just give us more time?”
“Why wouldn’t they just give us more time to look for a way out?”
“Why wouldn’t they just give us more time to look for a way to stop whatever is coming?”
“Because maybe our future selves thought we needed even more time,” Sarah said after a moment.
“And maybe our future selves thought this was the only way to give us more time.”
“But wouldn’t our future selves know what happens next?”
“Wouldn’t our future selves know what happens if we try to break out of here?”
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“I don’t know,” Sarah said as she looked down for a moment.
“I don’t know if they know what happens next.”
“I don’t know if they know what happens if we try to break out of here.”
“But what I do know,” Sarah said as she looked up at me.
“What I do know is our future selves thought we might be able to get out of here on our own.”
“What I do know is our future selves thought we might have a chance to save ourselves on our own,” Sarah said as she looked up at me.
“What I do know is our future selves thought it was worth waiting for us to figure it out.”
“What I do know is our future selves thought it was worth giving us a chance to save ourselves on our own.”
“What are you talking about?”
“What are you saying?”
“The real question isn’t why our future selves would do this,” Sarah said as she took a step forward.
“The real question is how did they know to do this?”
“How did they know what was going to happen before it happened?”
“How did they know how long we would have before everything fell apart?”
“How did they know what we needed to escape from here?”
“How did they know what would happen if we didn’t escape?”
“How did they know what would happen if everything goes wrong?”
“The real question isn’t why our future selves would do something like this.”
“The real question is how could anyone know something like this?”
“How could anyone know something like this was going to happen?”
“How could anyone know what we need to do next?”
“How could anyone know what we need to do if everything goes wrong next?”
“You know there isn’t any way for us to answer those questions,” Alex said as he took a step forward.
“You know there isn’t any way for us to figure out what happened to us in the first place.”
“You know there isn’t any way for us to figure out what happens next.”
“You know there isn’t any way for us to figure out what will happen if everything goes wrong next.”
“So why are you even asking those questions?”
“So why are you even worrying about things like that?”
“They aren’t going to help us get out of here.”
“They aren’t going to help us escape from this time loop.”
“They aren’t going to help us find a way out of here.”
“They aren’t going to help us save ourselves.”
“They aren’t going to help us stop whatever is coming next.”
“So just stop asking those questions.”
“That isn’t what I am talking about,” Sarah said as she took a step back.
“That isn’t what I am saying.”
“That isn’t what I am asking.”
“I found something else in the mainframe of the time machine,” Sarah said as she reached into her pocket.
“I found another message from our future selves.”
“In it, they said it is possible for us to escape from this time loop, but only if we are able to manipulate the internal systems of the time machine, and only if we are able to find a way out of here before time runs out,” Sarah said as she pulled out a small piece of paper.
“According to this message, all we need to do is reset the time machine, but only if we reset it exactly five days before we arrived at this timeline, and only if we use the specific sequence of buttons that will show up on the console after we reset it,” Sarah said as she handed me the piece of paper.
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“After that, all we need to do is to make sure that we reset that sequence of buttons down to the second, and then all we need to do is to wait for us to get out of here.”
Message to Time Travelers
From: Future Us
“Why would we want to reset the time machine?”
“What would that even mean?”
“And how would that help us get out of here?”
I asked as I read over the message that Sarah gave me.
“I don’t understand what you are trying to say.”
“I don’t understand how resetting the time machine would help.”
“I don’t understand how that would make any sense.”
“The message says that resetting the time machine will allow us to escape from this time loop,” Sarah said as she took a step forward.
“The message said that resetting the time machine isn’t going to be a problem.”
“The message said that all we need to do is to press a sequence of buttons on the console, and then all we need to do is to wait for us to get out of here.”
“The message said that it is going to be easy.”
“It’s going to be so easy.”
“But what if it doesn’t work?”
“What if something goes wrong?”
“What if something changes?”
“This isn’t as easy as you are making it sound.”
“There are so many things that can go wrong.”
“There are so many things that can change.”
“There are so many things that can happen.”
“We need to do something else.”
“We need to do something more.”
“We need to try something else.”
“We need to try something different.”
Sarah took a step back as she let out a sigh before she turned back towards the console.
“I don’t think it is going to be a problem,” Sarah said as she reached out towards the console.
“I don’t think anything is going to go wrong.”
“I don’t think anything is going to change.”
“I don’t think anything is going to happen.”
“I think this is going to work, and then all we need to do is wait for us to get out of here,” Sarah said as she pushed a sequence of buttons on the console, and then she pressed a specific button in the middle of those buttons.
As she did, the console began to shake, and then the lights began to flash, and then everything disappeared and it was replaced with a small message that read ‘Now Synchronizing’.
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We stood there in silence as we watched the message on the console, waiting for the message on the console to disappear, waiting for the console to return.
“What is taking so long?”
“This should have been done by now.” Sarah said as she looked around the room, wondering what was taking so long.
“Did it not work?”
“Did something go wrong?”
“Did something break?”
“No,” I said as I stepped forward.
“The message is still there.”
“But it should be done by now.”
“We need to reset it.”
“We need to try again.”
“No,” Alex said as he stepped forward.
“That is not going to help.”
“That is not going to do anything.”
“That is not going to fix this.”
“We just need to wait.”
“We just need to be patient.”
“It will be done soon.”
“It will be done soon,” Alex repeated as we waited for the message on the console to disappear.
It took some time, but eventually the message did disappear, and eventually the console did return.
But nothing else happened.
“What are we going to do now?”
“What are we going to do next?”
“What are we going to try next?”
“What are we going to do?”
I reached out towards the console, tapping on it a few times until another small message appeared.
“There is a hidden message in the core systems of the time machine, and we can only access it if we push the right sequence of buttons in the right order,” I said as I read the message.
“What does it say?”
“What does it tell us?”
“What do we do?”
“We can try again,” I said as I reached out towards the console, tapping on it a few times until the next message appeared.
“This time it looks like an email,” I said as I read the message.
It has been brought to my attention that Plan A may have failed.
If you are reading this message then that means that Plan A has failed.
And if Plan A has failed then that means you are still stuck in the time loop.
And if you are still stuck in the time loop then that means you should try Plan B,” I read as I shrugged my shoulders.
“Do you know where the hidden message is?”
“Do you know how to access this hidden message?”
“Do you know where it is?”
“Do you know how to get to it?”
“Do you know what it tells us?”
“Do you know what it tells us to do?”
I shook my head as I reached out towards the console, tapping on it a few times until the next message appeared.
This time it was a large message that was filled with all sorts of words.
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“Sarah, do you still have the instructions that your future self gave to you?”
Sarah Lee asked as she looked at me with a curious expression on her face.
I nodded as I reached into my pocket and pulled them out, handing them over to her.
Sarah looked down at the instructions and then back up at me as she smiled, “I think we can do this,” she said with a nod of her head as she reached out towards the console and started to punch in the commands that were listed on the sheet that she had given me.
I watched as Alex stood beside me, his brown hair hanging down over his eyes as he reached up and tucked it behind his ears, “So what does this plan say that we need to do?”
he asked as he looked at me with a curious expression on his face.
“According to this plan, we are going to reset the time machine one more time and then engage the new settings within fifteen minutes of our arrival or else… Well they didn’t really say or else but I assume something bad will happen,” I said as Alex nodded his head.
“Does anything ever not bad happen when it comes to time travel?
It sounds like there is always going to be some kind of negative repercussion if we don’t do something right.
If we don’t push the right buttons.
If we don’t get the math right.
If we don’t make sure everything is precise and exact.
If we don’t follow the instructions correctly,” he said as he nodded his head while he spoke.
“It’s resetting,” Sarah said as she looked back at us with a smile on her face.
I watched as the time machine started to light up with all sorts of colors and shapes as the world around us started to distort and change.
I could feel the same sensation that I had felt before, as if someone had taken the world and was pushing it all around me.
I could feel the walls shaking and the floor vibrating as the time machine started to power up.
I could hear the machines starting to whir and the lights starting to flash as the numbers on the screen started to change.
“Is it supposed to be doing that?”
Alex asked as he looked around himself with wide eyes.
“The message said that resetting the time machine would cause some stress on our current timeline but it should stabilize within a few seconds of us getting here,” Sarah said as she looked around herself at all of the lights and colors, “And we are good to go!”
she said with a smile on her face as she turned towards us and gave us a thumbs up.
“I knew you could find something!”
I said with a smile on my face as I clapped her on the back.
“Thank god for those instructions!”
Alex said with a smile on his face.
“I don’t think that would have been possible if you didn’t find those instructions!”
“And if Emily didn’t think about looking for them.”
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“Yeah, but you’re the smart one who figured it out,” I said with a smile on my face.
“We all had our part in this.
You saw those numbers, Emily.
If we hadn’t have done something to change them, something bad was going to happen.
Something that would have affected everyone in this timeline.
And it was going to happen soon.
We still have to hurry, though.
We only have fifteen minutes to get this working, otherwise, I don’t know what’s going to happen but I’m pretty sure it won’t be good.”
“Got it!”
I said with a nod of my head.
“What do you need me to do?”
I asked as I looked at her.
“You’re going to need to help me get the power source in place while Alex over there is going to need to make sure that the time machine is ready for us to travel.
We don’t have a lot of time so I need everyone to be on it!
” She said with a clap of her hands.
I turned towards Alex and I watched as he gave me a nod of his head.
I turned towards Sarah and I watched as she started to type on the computer in front of her, making sure that everything was set up correctly.
I watched as she moved her hands across the keyboard, typing so fast that I could hardly see what was being typed on the screen.
I could hardly keep up with what she was doing but I had to trust that she knew what she was doing and that everything would work out in the end.
The message said that everything should work out if we did what it said so I had to trust that it would work out like it was supposed to.
I watched the screen in front of me and I felt my hands start to shake as I waited for something to happen.
I could feel my heart racing in my chest as I waited for something to happen.
My hands started to sweat together as I waited for something to happen.
Then suddenly, something appeared on the screen in front of me.
It was a countdown that started from ten minutes and started counting down from there.
“What is this?”
“It’s counting down to when that critical quantum event happens,” she said without even looking up from her computer, “That’s our last chance to anchor ourselves back to our original timeline.”
“How much time do we have?”
“We have about four minutes to go so we need to get moving!”
she said with a yell as she looked up from her computer, “It’s almost been a minute already!”
she said with a sigh, “I don’t know if it’s going to work this time.”
“If it doesn’t, then I don’t know what’s going to happen.”” I said with a sigh, “But I’m willing to take that risk.”
“Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that,” Alex said with a sigh, “Let’s just hope that everything will work out the way that it’s supposed to.”
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I never thought that I would ever enter the time machine again after our last attempt ended in failure.
In fact, I was so sure that this was going to be the end for us that I never thought about it again.
But now, with all the information that I had learned about the time loop and everything else, I found myself standing in front of the time machine once again.
I never thought that I would ever enter the time machine again after our last attempt ended in failure.
In fact, I was so sure that this was going to be the end for us that I never thought about it again.
But now, with all the information that I had learned about the time loop and everything else, I found myself standing in front of the time machine once again.
There was something that I needed to do before our last attempt was over and I needed to do it right away.
I reached out a shaking hand and placed it on the side of the machine.
I pushed the door open and stepped inside of the time machine.
“Em,” a voice crackled over the intercom and I froze in my spot.
The way it said my name felt so familiar and yet I didn’t know who it could belong to.
“You’re inside of the time machine?”
who are you?”
“What are you doing in there?”
“Who is this?”
I asked as I looked around for some kind of sign of who it might be.
“I can’t tell you right now but I need you to listen to me,” it said and I nodded my head.
I felt like I could trust it but something told me that I should be wary.
“I need you to reset the time machine to five days before your arrival on your current timeline.”
“How am I supposed to do that?”
The only one who can reset it is someone who is already inside of the machine.”
“What will happen after I do this?”
I asked as I felt my hands start to shake.
I knew that it wouldn’t be good but I needed to know how bad it would be.
“You will need to erase Sarah’s memory of everything that she has learned over the course of your iterations.”
“Why would I have to erase her memory?”
“Because she knows all about what’s going to happen,” it said as if it was obvious, “She’s already been through all of this before.”
“What are you talking about?”
“What else am I not being told about all of this?”
I asked and I could feel my hands start to shake.
“There’s no more time for questions, Em,” it said with a sigh, “Just know that what you’re doing is important.”
“Okay,” I said with a sigh as I looked around one more time for any sign of who this voice might belong to.
“Good luck,” it said and then the intercom shut off.
My heart was racing in my chest as I stood there in silence.
What were they not telling me?
What were they keeping from me?
I had so many questions but there was no one there to answer them.
The sound of footsteps suddenly broke me out of my thoughts and I turned around just in time to see Alex entering the room.
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I had no idea how long he had been standing there but he must have been watching me for at least the past few minutes.
I asked as I could see the look of confusion on his face.
“You were just standing there and then all of a sudden you got this really sad look on your face,” he said as he walked up to me.
“What’s going on?”
I asked as I tried not to think about what I had just found.
“Are you sure everything is okay?”
“No,” I admitted as I shook my head.
“But it’s nothing major,” I added as I gave him a smile.
He had been through so much already and I didn’t want him to worry about something that he couldn’t change.
He had enough on his plate already.
“Do you need any help?”
he asked as he reached out and took hold of one of my hands in his.
I could see the worry in his eyes and it made my heart ache.
“I’m fine,” I promised as I gave his hand a squeeze.
“I’m just trying to sort a few things out in my mind,” I added as I gave him another smile.
“That’s all it is.”
“You’re sure?”
he asked and I could see that he didn’t believe me for even one second.
“Yes,” I told him as I shook my head.
“Now what did you need help with?”
I asked as I tried to change the subject.
“Sarah is about to start Plan B and we need to be ready for when she needs us,” he told me and I could see the look of excitement on his face.
“We’re going to get out this time,” he added with a big grin.
“I can feel it.”
“Plan B?”
I asked as I gave him a confused look.
“Yeah,” he told me.
“She found another message inside the mainframe and it gave her a step by step plan to get out.”
“Oh,” I said as I nodded my head.
That made more sense.
“Yeah,” he told me.
“And this time we’re going to do everything that we can to make sure that it works.”
“Of course we will,” I promised him with a smile.
“We’re going to get out of here this time,” he added with a big grin as he pulled me into a tight hug.
“We’re going to do it,” he promised me and I could see the determination in his eyes.
“I know we will.”
“Now go make sure that Sarah knows that we’re ready for her,” I told him with a smile as I gave him a gentle push towards the door.
I knew how much this meant to him and I didn’t want to hold him back any longer than I had to.
“Okay,” he said with a smile.
He moved over to the door and then he turned around and headed out.
I watched him go for a few seconds before I finally turned around and headed over to one of the terminals.
There were still so many questions that needed answering but I knew that now was not the time to ask them.
There was too much on the line for us to be fighting like this.
We needed to work together if we were ever going to make it out of this time loop alive.
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I could hear Alex moving around behind me as he tried to find something to do to keep himself busy as we waited for Sarah to get started with whatever Plan B was.
I could hear him let out a big sigh as he plopped down into one of the chairs that was closest to me.
“So do you have any idea what Sarah is going to be doing?”
he asked after a few seconds of silence had gone by.
“I haven’t gotten a chance to talk to her yet,” I told him as I shook my head.
“I was about to go talk to her when you came in here and asked me that question.”
“You’re right,” he said as he smacked himself in the forehead with the palm of his hand.
“I’m sorry, you probably would have been able to tell me if you had a chance to talk to her.”
“It’s okay,” I told him with a shrug of my shoulders.
“It’s a valid question.”
“Yeah,” he said with a nod of his head.
“It is.”
“Well hopefully we’ll find out soon,” I told him as I turned away from the terminal for a few seconds so that I could look over at him.
“It’s getting late and time is running out.”
“Yeah,” he said with a sigh as he leaned back in the chair even further.
“I’m just glad that Sarah was able to find that message that told us what we need to do to get out of this time loop.”
“I am too,” I told him with a nod of my head.
“There’s still so much that we don’t know.”
“I know,” he said with a sigh as he shook his head.
“It’s probably best that we don’t know everything though.”
“I know what you mean,” I said with a nod of my head.
“There are some things that are better left unknown.”
“Exactly,” he said with a big smile on his face.
He didn’t seem worried at all about anything that was happening right now but then again he never really did when it came to this kind of stuff.
I knew that he was worried, he just had a different way of showing it than most people did.
I still didn’t understand how he could be so calm about this whole thing but then again that was just the way Alex was.
He always seemed to be able to keep his head in the game when we really needed him to and for that I was glad, even if it did get on my nerves from time to time.
“So when were you going to tell me about the message that you found?”
I asked Alex after a few seconds had gone by and neither of us had spoken a word.
“After Sarah got started,” he told me with a sigh as he shook his head.
“Why didn’t you tell me when she got here then?”
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“I knew that she wouldn’t want to do what needed to be done if she knew that it was going to erase her memory of all of this,” Alex told me as he looked at me like it was something that should have been obvious to me.
“Fine, so what did you want to talk to me about then?”
I asked, changing the subject as quickly as I possibly could, not wanting to argue with him about something like this.
He had known what he was doing and besides, it wasn’t like it had really hurt anything anyway.
“It’s not important,” he said with a shake of his head as he looked at me for a few seconds before turning away from me once again, looking at the door like he was expecting Sarah to walk through it at any moment.
“You’re such a liar,” I told him as I shook my head, knowing that there was something that was bothering him but not knowing what it was just yet.
“It’s nothing for you to worry about right now.”
“It’s obviously something that’s bothering you though.”
“I don’t want to talk about it right now, okay?”
he asked as he turned to look at me once again and I could see the annoyance in his eyes and hear it in his voice, but that wasn’t going to stop me from talking to him about it later on when Sarah wasn’t around to listen in on our conversation.
“Fine, whatever you say,” I told him as I shook my head and let it go for the time being because it was obvious that he didn’t want to talk about it, no matter how much it was bothering him at the moment.
He didn’t say anything else to me after that and quite frankly, I didn’t care all that much because it was obvious that there was something else that was bothering him that he didn’t want to talk about right now and there wasn’t anything that I could do to change his mind about that at the moment so it was better for me to just leave him alone for the time being and to talk to him about it later on when we were going to be able to talk without anyone listening in on our conversation.
“What are you thinking about?”
I asked after a few minutes had gone by and neither of us had spoken a word to each other, wanting to do something, anything really, to make some noise and break up the silence that had grown between us over the last few minutes.
“I’m thinking you’re an idiot for believing that message,” Alex told me as he shook his head and looked at me like it was obvious what he was thinking about more than anything else.
“How can you not believe that message?”
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“Because I don’t think that it’s real,” Alex pointed out to me as he sighed and shook his head, clearly annoyed with me and frustrated about something that he wasn’t telling me about at the moment, but I knew that he would tell me about later on, even if he didn’t want to talk about whatever it was that was bothering him right now.
“But it has to be real,” I told him as I shook my head and tried to explain myself to him even though I had no idea how to explain myself to him and get him to believe me at the moment, knowing that he wouldn’t rest until he knew exactly what I was thinking and how I wanted to handle this situation that we were currently stuck in at the moment, not sure if there was going to be a way out of this situation or not, but I had to try something if there was going to be any hope of getting out of this situation alive.
“And why does it have to be real?”
“Because one of us left that message,” I pointed out to him as I shook my head and sighed, not sure how else to tell him that he needed to believe me even if he didn’t want to believe me simply because I knew that there wasn’t anyone else that could have left that message other than one of us and there wasn’t another explanation that could possibly explain why that message had been left where it had been left if we weren’t the ones that had left that message for ourselves and no one else had left that message for us because there wasn’t anyone else that could have done that for us right now or in the future.
“And you don’t think that whoever left that message would have left their name instead of just saying that they are your friends?”
“Maybe they didn’t want us to know who they were,” I suggested to Alex as I shook my head and sighed, realizing that there was a chance that the person who had left that message hadn’t wanted us to know who they were and hadn’t wanted us to know who they were simply because they were trying to keep their identity a secret from us for some reason or another, but there was no way for me to know who it was that had left that message behind right then and there unless they decided to let me know who they were at some point in the future, but there was no way for me to know if they were going to let me know who they were anytime soon or not.
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I shook my head and sighed, relieved that Alex was willing to believe me even if he didn’t want to believe me, but there was no way for me to know if that was actually the case or not until he decided to tell me if he actually believed me or not, but there was no way for me to know if he was going to tell me if he believed me or not until he decided to tell me if that was actually the case or not, but there was no way for me to know if he was going to tell me if he believed me or not until he decided to tell me if that was actually the case or not, but there was no way for me to know if he was going to tell me if that was actually the case or not until he decided to tell me if that was actually the case or not, but there was no way for me to know if he was going to tell me if that was actually the case or not until he decided to tell me if that was actually the case or not, but there was no way for me to know if he was going to tell me if that was actually the case or not until he decided to tell me if that was actually the case or not.
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It was getting harder to keep Sarah in the dark now that we were openly talking about the time loop in front of her.
I could see her getting frustrated with the conversation, probably calculating the fastest way out of this warehouse.
The exit was a good distance away, and there was nothing in the warehouse that she could use to defend herself if things went south.
Not that she had any reason to fear us, but I could tell she was nervous about being stuck in the same place as people who might not remember everything she’d gone through.
She’d been waiting six months for us to come back, and she was so close to finally getting home.
I was still trying to piece together why things had gone wrong when Sarah turned to me and asked, “So we just have to fix the time machine, right?
Then we can go home?”
I bit my lip, trying to figure out how to answer her.
The truth was that something had already gone wrong, and I wasn’t sure how we were going to fix it.
Alex seemed to be on the same page as me, because he sighed before saying, “There’s more going on than you realize, Sarah.”
Sarah raised an eyebrow in confusion, but I got the sense that she knew the other shoe was about to drop.
“Em, I know you don’t trust me yet, and I get that,” she said in an apologetic tone.
“But if we’re going to figure out what’s really going on here, then you need to tell me what’s going on.”
Alex nodded in agreement, and I felt a pit form in my stomach as I realized he was right.
I’d spent so much time trying to keep her in the dark that I’d almost forgotten we were supposed to be working together.
If our past selves had wanted us to know what was going on, then we should have had all the information from the start.
“If I were in your shoes,” Alex said as he came to stand beside me, “I would have told you everything by now.
Because if you don’t know what’s really happening, then you can’t help us fix it.”
I looked up at him and saw a look of concern on his face, one that matched the one I was sure was plastered across mine.
As much as I wanted to argue with him, I knew he was right.
Sarah didn’t say anything for a moment, but she had a look of determination in her eyes when she finally met mine.
“I just want to go home,” she said.
“I’ve spent six months trying to get this thing up and running, and I’m so close.
In just a few days, I’ll finally be able to see my family again.”
She paused for a moment, and I could see the hint of tears forming in her eyes.
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“I know you guys don’t trust me,” she continued.
“And honestly, I don’t blame you.
But I promise you, I’m not trying to hurt anyone.
I just want to go home.
So please…if there’s something you’re not telling me, then I need you to tell me now.”
I let out a sigh and felt Alex’s hand on my shoulder as he gave it a gentle squeeze.
I turned to him and saw a look of determination in his eyes.
We didn’t have much time left before we were supposed to leave, so we needed to figure this out quickly.
I nodded at him before I turned back to Sarah and took a deep breath.
I had no idea how she was going to react, but I knew she deserved to know.
“So you’re telling me that all this time, you had notes from your future self telling you exactly what to do?”
Sarah asked in disbelief.
We were once again sitting around the table in Alex’s apartment, with me sitting across from her and Alex beside me.
Sarah had taken the news surprisingly well—at least better than I’d been expecting.
Her eyes had gone wide with shock at first, but she’d listened intently as I explained everything that had happened so far.
And now, she was staring at me with a look of disbelief on her face.
“Well, yeah,” I replied with a shrug.
“So if you ever got stuck, you could just call yourself up and get the answers?”
She looked at me incredulously.
“I’m sorry, but that just sounds completely ridiculous.”
“I know,” I said with a chuckle.
“It took me forever to wrap my head around it at first, too.
But once you’re actually living it, it starts to make more sense.”
She shook her head and let out a sigh as she leaned back in her chair.
“Okay, fine,” she said after a moment of silence.
“So let’s say I believe you.
How does that even work?
How do you call yourself up from the past?”
I glanced at Alex for a brief moment before I turned back to her and let out a sigh.
“It’s not exactly easy to explain,” I said, “but basically, our future selves left us all kinds of notes on how to make these calls using the phone system we set up…so we could call them to get help if we got stuck.”
She stared at me for a moment before she let out a snort.
“Yeah, that doesn’t really explain anything.”
I let out another sigh and gave Alex a look that told him I could really use his help right about now.
He cleared his throat before he leaned forward on the table and gave Sarah his most charming smile.
“Okay, think of it like this,” he said.
“You know how when you call someone on the phone, the signal travels through the air until it reaches the person you’re calling?”
She raised an eyebrow at him but nodded for him to continue.
“So…” He let out a sigh as he tried to find the right words.
“When you call yourself up from the past, you have to send the signal back through time…which is why you have to leave yourself notes with the exact time to expect the call.”
She looked at him for a moment before she turned back to me, her brow furrowed with confusion.
“And that actually works?”
I shrugged and gave her an apologetic look.
“It’s not perfect, but for the most part, it does its job.”
“I don’t buy it,” she muttered under her breath.
“How could you possibly send signals back through time?”
She shook her head and let out another sigh.
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