Quantum Voyeur

QV4 illustrationIn the previous episode, readers voted that on this trip to the past in which Alana is presented with the opportunity to save a baby from a plane plummeting towards Earth, she decides to take it.

Episode 4

I continue to stare at the woman and her baby.  I know they only have moments left alive on this Earth.  I think about the baby.  I take a deep breath, and then another.   The flames are eating through the cabin, devouring all they touch.  I think more about the baby.  I take another breath.   I hold out my hand.

“Stop!” I say.

Much to my surprise, the flames freeze in place.   Everything freezes in place.  I feel the strain on my mind and body.  I know I can’t keep time like this for long.  I move to the baby.  The poor, sweet innocent little soul.  My mind reaches out to the near infinity that is the universe.  I parse through the strings that connect this baby, this little soul, with the rest of all that there is.   I’m tempted to look forward, to the future to see what this baby may become. I don’t.  I do not want to know.  I do know this baby is innocent.  This baby did not choose to be here.  I wonder if I can make it so this baby was never here. 

I close my eyes.  I visualize alternate possible realities. I picture the baby and his mom leaving their home and heading to the airport.  Scanning their time lines quickly I see the baby has a father who has stayed at home to do work while the baby and his mother go visit her mother. I wish the baby had stayed home with the father. I try to see this reality then bend the current reality to it.

I see the man, the father, he tells his wife, “Why don’t you cancel your flight and stay home this weekend. We’ll all go visit your mother together in a few weeks…”  I want this to be reality…

The flames engulf all, all but myself and my passengers.

“Please stop this!  Stop this now!” one of my passengers, pleads.  I believe it is Lauren. 

I look at her, she is white with terror.  All of my passengers are scared. 

I take a deep breath.  I let it out.

We are back in the lab.  I am floating in my tank, my passengers safe in their chairs.

Dr. Conners and Mr. Cash attend to them.  Each of the passengers is sitting there, eyes wide open.  They can’t believe what they saw.  They don’t want to believe what they saw.

“Stay seated,” Dr. Conners tells them.  “Astral traveling through time can be draining.  We will have medics check you out and administer fluids if needed.”

I float up to the ladder connected to the top of my tank.  Jason has climbed up the ladder to help me out.  He extends his hand for me. 

“How was it?” Jason asks.

“Sad,” I tell him as I climb on to the ladder.

Jason starts down and I follow.

“Of course it’s sad, twenty-nine lives were lost in that crash,” Jason says.

“Yes,” I nod.    I think back to the headline.  It had read thirty-one.  Did I save the mother and baby or am I crazy? 

I turn my attention to my four fellow travelers.  They are still weak, tired, confused.  Dr. Conners and some medics are now tending to them.  Mr. Cash is locking his attention on Lauren, only Lauren.

“Did that really happen?” Lauren asks.

“Yes, of course it happened,” Mr. Cash tells her.  “Don’t you see how amazing this gift of Alana’s is? ”

Lauren shakes her head.  “It doesn’t feel like a gift.”  She looks Mr. Cash square in the eyes.  “I was wrong.  I don’t want to be a part of this,” she says.

Mr. Cash puts his hand on her shoulder.  “We can talk about this later Lauren when you are calmer. This can be better than any drug!” 

I’m not sure why Mr. Cash is so interested in Lauren.  For now though, I have a different problem.  Is my memory playing a trick on me? Twenty-nine people? Did I really change time? 

As I pass by Lauren she reaches up and takes my hand.  “How are you, Alana?” she asks. I look at her. She continues, “ Something extraordinary happened on the plane, didn’t it?” It is a question and a demand.

“Yes, you got to experience the past,” I tell her.

Mr. Cash and Dr. Conners both smile at me.  They like my answer.

Lauren trembles.  “No, no something else happened.  Something different.  I felt it.  I was terrorized but then suddenly there was a bit of light amongst all the death.”

I pretend that I don’t understand her. But now I clearly see that my will, my desire changed the path of destiny.  I am not sure if I should be happy or if I should be worried? I changed the past and therefore the present? Could it have a ripple effect?

Lauren wraps her other hand around mine.  “You did something, didn’t you? She looks scared.  I regret convincing her to travel with us.

 “Dr. Conners is correct, traveling through time, even just as an astral projection is draining and sometimes it can dilute memories.”

Jason wraps a towel around my shoulders.

“How are you feeling, Alana?” Dr. Conners asks.

“I’m a little tired,” I answer.

He nods.  “That’s understandable.”  He points towards the exit.  “Jason take her to her quarters to relax some.”

I turn and walk towards the exit.  I stumble just a little.  Jason lunges for me and keeps me from falling.  I lean on him letting him guide me towards the exit.

“Sorry, I’m a little weak,” I confess.  Looking back over my shoulder I see Mr. Cash still talking to Lauren.   Yes, I will look into that later. 

Jason and I enter the long hallway.  I have been down this dim corridor hundreds of times, but this is the first time I’ve ever noticed that the walls were light blue.  I don’t know why. 

Jason looks at me looking at the walls.

“What are you thinking about?” he asks.

“It’s funny; I’ve been in this building for the last ten years of my life.  It’s the only home I’ve ever known.  Well, it’s the only home I can remember knowing,” I say.

“Yes, I know,” Jason says as he eases me past a couple of guards towards my quarters.  “Why is that funny?”

I give him a weak grin.  “I’ve never noticed that the walls are painted blue.”

Jason looks left and then right.  He grins.  “I’ve never paid it any attention.  Alana, you’re changing the subject. What is bothering you? ”

We walk a little farther.  “It really is an ugly blue,” I tell him.

Jason nods and lowers his eyes a little.  He wants to say something, but isn’t sure if he should.

“After what you just saw, what you just witnessed, you only want to talk about the color of the walls,” he says.

“Yes, for now,” I tell him.  I look Jason in the eyes.  “I may talk later about what I saw and how it made me feel, but for now, for now I just want to talk about the mundane.  The simple things.”

We reach the door to my room.

“I understand,” Jason says slowly.   He takes me by the hand.  “How many trips through time have you made?”

I shrug.  “I don’t know.  I truly don’t count.  More than ten, less than fifty.  I’m sure Dr. Conners knows.”  Actually I was sure Jason knew.  “Why do you ask?”

“You’ve made twenty-two trips since I’ve been here.  Yet, I’ve never seen you or your travelers so shaken up,” Jason says.

“Well watching thirty people die like that was horrible,” I say.

“Twenty nine, Alana… twenty nine…You are tired…Did anything else happen?  Anything unusual?”   Should Alana tell him about the baby? Please return to the top of the page to vote!

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