Sentience of Time – Chapter XII: Re-Forward
July 6, 2013

Sentience Of Time – Chapter XII

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 XII: Re-Forward

(June 7, 2020)

Jack found himself sitting on the floor in a familiar setting. He looked around and found he was sitting next to a darkened spot on the floor. He looked up as the clerk and a few others were staring at him rather shockingly. Jack slowly stood to his feet and brushed his pants legs off. As he peered around the room at the customers and clerk, somewhat frozen in horror, he turned his attention to outside.

Jack’s eyes caught what looked like a young girl running off into the woods. Jack looked himself over quickly and then darted for the door of the mart. He looked back at those in the store behind and laughed. He raced off across the parking lot toward the woods where the girl went. He knew he had to find that girl and find out what really had happened.

Jack ran through the thickening trees, not sure if he was traveling in the appropriate direction, but knew he had to try. For what seemed like several minutes, Jack searched through the forest. As he approached a clearing he heard what sounded like weeping. He slowed to a stop and knelt down. Looking up ahead he noticed the young woman sitting on a rock wiping tears from her eyes. He watched to see what she would do.

A small black box beside her lit up and Jack could see a screen pop up over the surface. He waited. The girl began talking but Jack could not make out what was being said. He stayed hidden in some brush while keeping a close eye on the girl.

After a few moments the girl jumped from her rock and started searching around the area. Jack watched and waited. The girl slid the box in her pocket and reached for a stick on the ground. Jack wondered if he she make his move. He wasn’t sure what else to do. But as he went to pop up from behind his perch, the girl spoke out.

“Hello? Jack? Are you there Jack?” The girl raced around the area with her eyes.

Jack knelt back down behind the bush. “What the hell? How does she know my name?” He tried to put the pieces together in his head.

“Please, Jack. If you are here, please come out.”

Jack touched his lip with finger and thumb and pondered the situation. “Maybe Asterim talked to her through that box and told her the story,” he thought to himself. He still wasn’t sure if he should make himself known. He waited.

“Jack, I know what happened to you. You were sucked into the future and now you are back. I know you don’t know it but you may have just saved my life. Please come out. I need to see you.” The girl’s voice grew desperate.

Jack let out a sigh. He was glad that someone else knew of his journey. Although he already knew that she would know. Jack slowly stood up and stepped out from behind the bush. “Hello,” he said nervously.

The girl whipped her head around toward Jack. She smiled. “Hi Jack.” The girl walked over to Jack and reached out to him. Jack stepped back, not sure what to expect. “It’s okay Jack. You can touch me now. You are safe.”

“Umm,” Jack tried to speak. “Well, I…” he didn’t know how to express what it was he wanted to say.

“Take your time Jack. We got all the time in the world now.”

Jack brushed his hand over his head and sighed, followed by a chuckle. “Do you know what the hell I just went through? I mean really, do you know?” He shook his head in disbelief of his own words. “I don’t even know if what happened was real or some kind of twisted nightmare. But I am here, and I would really like some answers.”

“Yes I know, Jack. I really am sorry. But it is not a nightmare, or a dream. It is real. I just spoke with Asterim and he told me everything. You were vaporized when you touched, because… Well that is just how it goes with time travel.” She walked over closer to him and held her hand out again.

“My name is Jazz. And I am so, so sorry for what happened to you. But I need you to know that you did save my life.”

Jack slowly reached his hand out and touched Jazz’s hand. At first he pulled away quickly for fear he would once again be sucked into the nether. But he reached forward again and grabbed her hand in his. He laughed nervously again, but then relaxed.

“Jack, I am from the year 2077. I was not supposed to come here. But there was some error and somehow the flashpoint backward got mixed up and sent me here.” Jazz squeezed Jack’s hand. She looked at him intently and tried to smile, but it came across more as a frown.

“I am not supposed to do this I fear.” Jack pulled his hands from Jazz. “Asterim told me I was not to interfere with the chain of events or to tell anyone of what I was privy to. But I just couldn’t sit by and wonder. Now what do I do?” Jack began to get weak and braced himself against a nearby tree.

“You won’t get in trouble because of me, Jack. You just can’t talk to anyone from your time. You can’t subject them to information that has happened yet. Your future hasn’t happened yet, so you have to just let it be.”

Jack scratched his head. “But, in reality I am changing the future by talking to you. Now your future is changed.”

“No Jack. My future in 2077 is not changed. Since I do not belong in the past, anything I do becomes undone when I leave the past. When I return to 2077, everything I changed here will be undone and returned to as it was. When I leave here you will forget me because I do not exist here.”

Jack tried to comprehend what was being said, but it was way over him. Of course everything that transpired over the past several hours was way over his head. He threw his hands into his pants pockets and sighed. “How can I forget you? How can I forget any of this?”

“Trust me Jack, you will. But for now, I need you to help me.” Jazz pulled out her black box and checked the countdown timer: 15:16:24

“I have 15 hours before I can return to my future and I need a place to hide and be safe. Can I count on you?”

(June 9, 2020)

Cobi stepped out of the cruiser nearby the mart in Indigo Hook. He looked around for signs of change. He knew that anything could happen and wanted to be prepared for when and if it did. His partner looked around the property. Cobi pulled out his little notebook and flipped through the pages. He didn’t know how, but he knew he may have missed his chance. He let go of the notebook and watched as it drifted to the ground. He looked up at his partner.

Cobi reached down into his holster on his side. He yanked his sidearm out and pointed it at the partner.

Before he even knew what hit him, the partner fell to the ground as a small pool of blood escaped his head. “This could get ugly.” Cobi threw his gun back in the holster and ran to the driver’s side of the car. He opened the door, jumped in and turned the key. He looked at his partner lying dead in the alley. “This is going to get ugly.” He peeled off down the road.

Stay tuned next week for Chapter XIII

Image Credit: Bruce Rolff / Shutterstock

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