Paradoxed (Plus!): Conclusion
Marius held the tiny vial containing the alien plague virus, and inserted it into the protective casing he carried with him. “I’ve got it! Let’s go before the alarms reset and the security system is back online.” He put the armored casing into his pack and opened the airlock to the lab, after it cycled and sealed the room behind him.
But it was too late.
The alarms had reset a few seconds before he’d expected, given his previous time there, and klaxons blared when internal building sensors registered the two intruders.
“****! Guardbots will be here in seconds! Hold my hand, and I’ll try to chronoport our way out.”
The Tempest grabbed Marius’ hand, and trying desperately to shut out the sensory overload, her hypershard accessed the space-time manifold to rip a hole in the fabric of the universe for their escape.
The pair, deadly sample in safe storage, fell through space-time together. Tempest screamed, and she felt as though her head were on fire; agony filled her world. It felt as though she might lose her grip on her companion at any instant. It was all too much for her, trying to chronoport out while futilely trying to filter out the overwhelming noise.
Just as she felt herself ready to black out, it was over. “My, child, you almost didn’t make it!” A familiar purring voice trilled as a fur-covered, noodley armed paw helped her recover her footing. She saw that Marius had cuffed his wrist to hers, passed out from the space-time turbulence of the near-blind chronoport attempt.
“Here, let me slip that off. You made it here alive, just barely, so it won’t be needed.” Sarusammog touched the wrist cuffs, which unlocked and released the two recent travelers.
The thief groaned as he woke up, “Did anyone get the transponder signature of that hit-and-run starship pilot who rammed us?” Saru grinned – well, actually Saru always grins, but this time even more so, and relieved Marius of his burden. “I’ll just dispose of THIS nasty little item like so . . .” He trilled, using his paradox engine to delete the virus sample, quarantine box and all.
“Hmmm. I still remember everything. How much longer until that fades?” Marius asked.
“Well, my human friend, it varies with each paradox. Usually an hour of time for every minute out of synch the new timeline and old are. Since the old timeline has been disrupted and in a profound way, I give you a day before your prior life and memories reset. Here, let me make just one more paradox, to send you on your way to something less troublesome for your livelihood than petty thievery!” Marius began to fade, as this version of him shifted into a new set of circumstances, and soon he was gone.
“I suppose that’s it, you big fluffy.” The Tempest smiled. “I’ll get back to my viewing now. Before this, I was really into a cool show on the interstellar net archives about these extinct fossilized creatures from Terra called whales. Too bad there aren’t any more. Maybe one weekend we could paradox them back, that is, if it doesn’t burn out your harness!” “Hmmm. A novel idea, child!” Saru’s third left paw stroked his green fluffy chin in thought. “Yes, it should be a simple matter. I’ll have to work out the equations for that, and see if it adds up!”
Saru caterpillared over to a portal facing an arrangement of stars in space, “Before you get back to that, let me show you something. I’ve been hopping back and forth in time, using some of the relic technology I perfected when I was part of the Nine Who are One, before the big falling out we all had. See those stars? Here, let me zoom in a bit!”
The portal seemed to suddenly show a streaming effect as stars blue-shifted in space, zipping out of the field of view, to enlarge the suspiciously symmetrical cluster of stars, gravitationally bound as the vertices of a twelve-sided regular solid.
Saru had been busy for the multimillion-year span of his jumps through time. One star zipped into view, dominating the sky, surrounded by what looked like spinning, roughly cylindrical objects arranged in perfect stable orbits at various distances around the star, a red dwarf with no large planets. “I’ve been doing some stellar and planetary engineering, and disassembled all the large worlds in the systems of this star cluster.”
It zoomed ever closer to one of the objects.
“Here it is! One of our gardens! All throughout this star cluster, and in each of these orbital spin habitats, created from the planets I took apart, and arranged just so, are plants and plant-like life-forms from worlds elsewhere and else-when in the universe!
Each is suited to its own ecology and is perfectly adapted to any one of the
environments maintained there! I thought to build it on the scale of our library. It’s still not finished!”
The portal closed this time, then opened again showing the inner cylindrical surface of the object, spinning to simulate the gravity of a world half again as massive as Terra.
There were miles upon miles of flowers visible on the inner surface, perfectly
maintained by femto-technology, subatomic robots, and growing low to the ground, with thick stems and broad blossoms. Tempest worried momentarily about Saru’s workaholic streak, but then considered that being a green, fluffy, adorable alien timegod gets kind of boring on occasion and requires a certain level of activity to stave off ennui. She marvelled at the colors before her, then turned, scratched Saru behind Its ears, and chronoported her way back to her rooms.
As the only surviving being with one of the four Prime Hypershards still in her
possession, she was uniquely empowered to go when and where she liked.
Maybe after the show, she could visit the Agni in another segment of time and babysit for her grandchildren again on Terra. Yes. That would be cool!
Copyright © Troy David Loy
Troy David Loy is an eternal student, a writer, and blogger owned by two cats, Ricky and Eccles. He is co-author with Miss Sharmishtha Basu of two published books, and solo author of three books on Amazon for Kindle, with a fourth book on the way.
He lives with his family and values his friends, family, and the flourishing and the well-being of his species in dangerous times.
He seeks one overarching goal: to help make the world a better place in his own tiny, drop-in the- ocean way, one piece of fractal artwork, essay, or story at a time. He battles the Forces of Darkness™ from his secret volcano lair in Virginia as Troythulu while his eldritch tentacled servitors from beyond time and space keep the lab in good condition.
He may be found online at:
on Tumblr at https://troythulu.tumblr.com
and on Twitter, @Troythulu
His Amazon author page is at: https://www.amazon.com/author/troyloy