imaginary archive (ib_archive) wrote,
imaginary archive
ib_archive

[story] the time traveller's victim

author: d.m.jewelle (dmjewelle)
e-mail: jv.choong [ at ] gmail dot com


A/N: Takes place in the same universe as this story.


Monday
Godfrey insisted on having me over to help test out his latest invention; brought Sedna along because that's what assistants are for. Someone needs to tell Godfrey he's not the Invention God and that he should leave inventing to the actual one. Suspect they know of each other's existence, but avoid bumping into each other to prevent complications. Went to Godfrey's lab around three, and there was a massive neon green box with frosted windows in the corner. It looks a lot like the HAGGIS from Superwholock, except in neon green; Godfrey has not denied its resemblance, and also calls it the HAGGIS. The Optimist God also has it in his head that he's so brilliant he should also be allowed to manipulate time, fifteen time-related gods be damned. Sedna volunteered to try out the machine, which is fine since it gives me some quiet time to clear backlog. He also said he would be back by the weekend, and we won't even know he was gone. Knowing Sedna, I really doubt the changes will be that unnoticeable; actually, thinking back, I have suddenly developed an aversion to mushrooms, and the only I memory I have of eating mushrooms dates back to the time Sedna wanted me to try the ones he got from the Saprophyte Patch of Doom twenty minutes from the Vaticanny's East Gate (which were unexpectedly fine – but we can't always be so lucky).

Tuesday
Woke up without my arms, literally. In turn, my feet have increased dexterity; not only can they turn doorknobs, I can also write this entry, boil water, and pour it into my flask without dropping the kettle, all while balancing on one leg. Hadaly also popped over to remind me that Superwholock's season finale is Thursday night and Astrida will supply the snacks. When I pointed out my handicap, she shrugged and said it's nothing new, and I'm convinced I was born this way except I keep imagining ripping out Sedna's arms and bludgeoning him with them. The major downside of not having arms is only using my big toes to type. Have just noticed I took half an hour to write this entry. Very tiring.

Wednesday
Woke up with my arms back in place. What a relief! While working on planet, noticed a major mountain range has moved from Continent A's southern cape to the northeast coast of Continent E. The inhabitants of the fishing village at Continent E's coast are now llama herders with a rich history of beaded tapestries, while those of the largest country in Continent A now revere a blue-haired swordsman (who looks a lot like Sedna) as a legendary saviour. The transport module logged an entry from our station into the planet two months ago that does not exist in my written log. Tried meditating to dig up any lost memories, but no luck. While it's nice to know Sedna is having lots of fun mucking with stuff I distinctly told him not to, must ask him how he entered the planet without me catching him and beating him into a bloody pulp.

Thursday
Hadaly, Astrida, Godfrey, and Pyoben came over for Superwholock's season finale. We have been debating all week whether the angel Watsoniel would save Time Lord Dean Holmes' time machine from Moriar-tea's demonic legion currently wreaking havoc with it in some medieval age – I am sure Dean is going to get killed off and they'll replace him with some new actor next season, but Godfrey is sure everything will turn out fine as always. Pyoben and Astrida just want the inevitable kiss between Watsoniel and Holmes. I don't know why Hadaly joins in: She once mentioned the show helps her understand human emotions...but that's what a Droid God is expected to say. We were all excited until the episode started, and then we experienced a very bad case of déjà-vu. Astrida said Sedna told her Rory was going to show up despite dying in the third episode, and Hadaly knew the exact number of Kaleds Holmes destroyed with his shotgun because he'd lost a bet with Sedna about it earlier in the week. Pyoben double-checked the TV guide to make sure it wasn't a rerun because his memory of the episode's twist ending so fresh, but it was definitely the season finale. We then recited the script word-for-word, pinpointing all the parts Sedna spoiled us. Sedna ruined our night, and he wasn't even here! Jerk.

Friday
Got an off day from work – a dragon's corpse was impaled on the main building's middle spire (which I'm sure was new despite everyone insisting otherwise), and its blood ran down the building, painting the walls and spilling out to the courtyard perimeter. This should be a trivial matter except dragon blood is extremely toxic and complaints of rashes, mutations, and zombification are now spreading throughout the Vaticanny Place. Infection Control wouldn't let anyone enter the area for any reason, and not even Astrida could help. Initial rumours have mentioned seeing a neon green object near the wormhole the dragon dropped from. Read up on the spire's history, and discovered it was a last minute addition when a blue-haired swordsman promised the builder he'd defeat a dragon terrorizing the area. The real mystery is not the current whereabouts of the dragon or swordsman as written, but why Godfrey's machine can open wormholes, and what for. I'm sure he would be only too happy to explain if he wasn't busy treating the gangrenous sores he got after falling face first into a puddle of dragon blood.

Saturday
Woke up to nothing. My apartment, The Vaticanny Place, even The World Below is no more. Found myself curled up in a foetal position in the middle of a wasteland where my room used to be, and a single dead tree where The Vaticanny Place's main building once stood. All exits lead to an infinite drop – outer space begins where the ground ends. Walking off the edge will send you hurtling through space until a planet's gravity pull snags you, or some passing spacecraft picks you up. I should be glad that I have some peace and quiet but there is no work to do and I have been restless since I woke up; the atmosphere reminds me of the time my home planet burned to stardust, and the lack of life makes it look like I never escaped. Wanted to create a sapling from the dead tree but I'm not even a God, just a guy stuck in a barren land in the centre of the universe with a pen and a diary unaffected by time paradoxes. Spent the day racking my brains, my heart, and my diary for clues how this happened, but nothing. Sometimes I stare at the sea of twinkling stars in front of me until the stagnant air overwhelms me and I hyperventilate. Luckily these attacks do not come as often as I fear. Compared to the other weeks in my diary, pretty sure this comes close to being the worst week ever.




---




The next day Finnegan walked through the Vaticanny Courtyard, slowly chewing on his muffin. The pre-dawn chill stabbed his nose, but the heat from his coffee warmed his hands right through his gloves. He brought it up to his nose to inhale the aroma and let the steam warm his face.

The courtyard was emptier than normal – a short cloaked creature and a man with rabbit ears chatted quietly at the fountain while a guard nodded as he passed, but dawn was not due for another hour so Finnegan chalked the emptiness up to everyone enjoying their Sunday sleep-in. Two days without touching his world was more than Finnegan could take; unlike some colleagues who preferred to let their worlds be, he was sure he would have no world to work on if he neglected it for too long. He looked up at the main building: no sign of a third spire nor a skewered dragon, and Finnegan was certain that nobody remembered they had blinked out of existence on Saturday.

Finnegan had barely sipped his drink when the air in front of him hummed and a neon green telephone box materialized. Sedna's light blue braids tumbled out of the phone box along with a cheery morning greeting and his trademark grin that screamed, 'punch me in the face right now'.

"You have got some nerve, Sedna," Finnegan snarled through gritted teeth as he grabbed a fistful of braids and yanked Sedna out of the time machine.

Sedna blinked. "Eh? What's been going on, Master Finnegan?"

All of Finnegan's annoyance, confusion, despair, and unbridled rage poured out in one long rant: deploring the loss of his limbs, the tampering with his world, and how Sedna's radius of destruction had grown until he'd destroyed the core of the universe and left Finnegan to rot on a wasted rock with nothing but gaping holes in his mind where memories were supposed to be; not to mention Sedna spoiling the season finale of Superwholock. Sedna stared until Finnegan was done, and then he slowly rubbed his chin.

"...I did quite a lot of stuff there, didn't I, Master Finnegan?" he said.

"Damn right you did," Finnegan muttered.

"Looks like I've got a lot of work to do," Sedna said, revving the time machine.

Finnegan whipped back to Sedna, his brows knitted in confusion. "Wait, what?"

"Well this is my first trip from Syr Godfrey's lab, see, and I was thinking of just taking the machine to tomorrow and returning it, but if I've been doing all that I can't just ignore it, can I? It'll cause a para....paradigm? That thing that messes up time and stuff that happened don't happen because I wasn't there to do all that?"

"Paradox," Finnegan corrected, "But the thing is-"

"Thanks for the heads up, Master Finnegan, I always knew I did the right thing becoming your assistant, you always know what to do!" Sedna waved and shut the time machine's door before Finnegan could stop him, and soon he stood alone.

Finnegan's coffee cup cracked softly in his grip, his face scrunched up forcing the urge to scream back down his throat. No caffeine jolt was necessary to realize that everything that had happened last week was his fault and his alone; with the time machine unavailable for the next twenty four hours, saving the week would have to wait.

At least he could avoid apologizing.




---




Sunday
This morning Sedna dropped by in the HAGGIS, said he's returning the machine tomorrow, then left before I could catch him; hopefully I can fix all his damage soon. Worked on planet all day to make up for last week's lack of progress; indeed, I wish every day was this boring.
Tags: author: d. m. jewelle, book 32: time travel, story
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