Wednesday September 21st, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: the time machine.

Worked from 8 until 4 at the bakery and was on my feet the whole time, aside from my 15 minute break to eat lunch. So... I'm a little tired right now.

It went well, though. At the end of the day there were only two loaves of bread on the shelf, along with a handful of croissants and some butter tarts in the pastry case. Closing up for the first time went pretty smoothly too.

Not sure I'm quite ready to get back to it tomorrow morning, but hopefully between now and then a good night's sleep awaits.


"Does it really work?"

That was always the question. The insulting, condescending, disbelieving, neverending question. Who were they to question my work? My knowledge? My methods?

There could be only one response.

"Of course it works. Step inside, if you dare, and I will prove it to you."

If you dare. I think that's what got them. Most of them, at least. I think a few of them would have been willing to test my machine even without the challenge to their courage. Their curiosity was too large to allow them to walk away without finding out for certain, one way or another. It was the moon, pulling at the tide of their imagination.

Every last one of them did consent to joining me on a foray through time though, regardless of their reasons and motivations. And, of course, I vanquished their doubts in each instance. Turned them all into believers. Followers. Soldiers.

I have a small army of time warriors now. I can send teams off to anywhere in history, ready to do my bidding. And, should they fail, I can always send others, until the desired result is achieved. 

My desired result.

The ramifications are quite magnificent, really. To be honest they fill me with such a feeling of exhilaration. Whenever I take the time to acknowledge them. Appreciate them. Bask in them.

I am the most powerful person in the world... and nobody knows who I am.


Greg said...

That sounds like quite the busy day. I remember working in an industrial laundry during summer holidays which were 8-14 hours on your feet with rare breaks... you have my sympathies. Tomorrow morning will seem fine, but the afternoon will probably drag unfortunately.
Hmm, there's a definite narcissism to your character today, but he's making it work for him! I like the dare aspect of it, and I can completely see how seeing the time machine work would be a near-religious experience, but your time-warriors have me just a little bit worried. That said, I'd quite like to hear of some of their exploits!

Posting story separately, it's too long again. Sorry, must learn to write concisely!

Greg said...

The time machine
The laboratory was cold; the air conditioning thermostat had broken earlier in the week and seemed to be set at 12C. The computer equipment definitely didn't mind it, but the workers in there did -- Mary turned up wearing a duffel coat and gloves, and Helen wore three jumpers and complained ever fifteen minutes. The men were slightly tougher, but even placid Steve had said "Glad to be out of this f-ing fridge," as he left twenty minutes ago. Martin blew on his fingers, noting that this made this slightly moist and no warmer, and the evaporation of the liquid then made his fingers colder. He sighed.
He set the ammeter down and looked at the time machine. It was machined to a nicety: though cables sprawled here and there like rubber dreadlocks, and there were was no shiny chrome panelling hiding the guts of the device, they'd still had to use a clean-room three times to get things put together, and they'd had a couple of NASA technicians in to help them calibrate and align the temporal agitators and collimators. Boxes of microscopic components were stacked neatly on desks that also held soldering irons, lasers and masers, and schematics that were drawn on tissue paper and had to be overlaid to understand the whole design.
It was nearly complete. That was the whole reason he was staying late in a room cold enough to be a morgue. The blow to the back of his head was a shock that was more the reason for him passing out than the blow itself.
He woke up quickly: one moment he was unconcious, then there was a sudden perception of blackness, the realisation that his eyes were closed, and then the pain from the back of his head. He opened his eyes, ready to complain.
The room was filled with copies of him, arguing, fighting, and in one case seemingly looting the desk-drawers. His words died in his throat as he stared at the ridiculous scene, and then his brain finished counting them and told him there were fifteen of them. They had to be crooks all wearing Martin masks, he thought, pushing aside the question of where such masks existed. This had to be like that Batman film with the Joker.
"What's going on?" he asked. His eyes noted that there seemed to be a stack of old books near the door, and... really? a sack of precious stones spilling across the floor some feet away?
To his surprise the fighting, squabbling (and looting) all stopped and all the Martins looked at him. "What?" he said.
The Martins looked at each other, and by some consensus one spoke. "You're Martin-Prime," he said. "You started all of this."
"Martin the First," interrupted another Martin. "You made time travel possible. Some of us think this is a bad thing."
"Martin the murderer," said a third. Martin noticed the looting had started again at the back.
"Martin the Saviour!"
"Look," said the first speaker. "whoever you call ourselves -- we call you -- crap, this multiple temporal shit needs a new language. Whoever we are, you started it all. Some of us are here to stop you, some to stop them, and some to try and get you away from all this for your -- our -- their -- someone's safety. Capisce?"
Martin nodded. "You're all here," he said. "So either you couldn't stop me, or the universe is doing the trousers of time thousands of times per second at the moment."
There was a silence as all the Martins thought about this. "That's bad," said four voices in unison. "We should do some calculations-"
When Steve came back for his coat and saw sixteen Martins clustered around a whiteboard writing equations and arguing academically he fainted.

Marc said...

Greg - thanks! I think I'll have to explore one of their missions at some point...

This is a wonderfully chaotic scene. The mind reels. But also enjoys. Love the ending as well :D