Michael and Allison have lived together for almost a year. But once their honeymoon phase ended, they fell into a rut.
“What do you want to do?” Michael asked.
“I don’t know,” Allison said. “Think of something.”
“We can go bowling.”
“We did that last week.”
“How about a movie?”
“I can’t afford it.”
“Well, I’m out of ideas.”
“I’m bored! Why can’t you think of something for us to do!”
“Don’t talk to me like that!”
“I’m not doing anything to you!”
The next day, everybody ate breakfast in the mess hall.
“Here’s the plan,” Angel said. “We’re going to take the reality engine back to Oberon, in the hands of the Libertas government. This will be a long journey.”
“How long?” Shelly asked.
“I’m talking years.”
“How many years?”
“It will take five years to get to Oberon and another five to get back to Earth. So, ten years all together.”
“Ten years?!” everybody shouted.
“How the hell can I raise a kid on a spaceship?”
“It will be better than raising a child on a planet that’s invaded by the Kratos Army. That would be worse than raising a baby in Nazi Germany. Plus, if the Libertas Army makes their way to Earth, it will be a war of the worlds. So get comfortable. Alright, here’s the new plan, we’ll bury the reality engine on some moon in some other solar system. The reality engine is one of the most powerful weapons in the universe, and nobody should have that much power.”
That night, everybody on the ship watched old movies and TV shows. Michael and Allison sat on the opposite ends of the room. Throughout the time, Michael kept thinking about how he and Allison broke up.
They broke up when they still lived together.
have any money!” Allison screamed. “Get it through your fucking head. There is
no money in writing. You will never make it as a writer, no matter how hard you
try. Your books are nothing more than a drop in the ocean. Stop trying to make
money from your books and get a real job!”
“Okay, I’ll do that,” Michael said. “I’ll take a job that I’ll hate, making less money than I am now.”
“I keep telling you to apply for health care repeatedly, but you’re not listening to me. Are you too stupid to make your own decisions?”
“Don’t you ever talk to me like that again!”
“Excuse me? You’re the one to talk. You never listen to me, and you get upset over the littlest things. Whenever I ask you to do something for me, you don’t do it right.”
Things between Michael and Allison got worse. Allison and Michael texted each other one evening while Michael was home. Allison was working.
Allison: “What would you do if I
cheated on you?”
Michael: “Why would you ask me that? Did you cheat on me?”
Allison: “Don’t make me say it.”
Michael: “OMG, you did.”
Allison: “Will you let me explain?”
Michael: “What’s to explain, you cheated on me!”
Allison: “We fell into a rut and I didn’t want to talk to you about it because I didn’t want to hurt your feelings. I talked to somebody else about it and one thing led to another. I fell out of love with you and I fell in love with him. Please understand. Put yourself in my shoes.”
Michael: “You cheated on me and you expect me to put myself in your shoes?! That’s fucked up!”
The more Michael thought about how Allison cheated on him, the angrier he got. It felt like his brain was on fire.
Michael left the room and he decided to walk around the ship to cool down. On Michael’s way back to the entertainment room, he saw Allison coming out of the bathroom.
“Hey,” Allison said.
“Hey,” Michael said.
“Are you okay?”
“To be honest, no. How our relationship ended did a number on me. I know that was four years ago, but it still hurts.”
“Not only did you cheat on me, but you made me feel like a bad boyfriend. What’s worse, you almost crushed my dream of becoming a writer. But guess what, my books were helping me financially when we were still on Earth.
“I’m sorry. Maybe I can use the reality engine to turn back time to start over.”
“No. I think it’s best if we move forward. Although we can start over as friends, since we’re gonna be stuck on this ship for a while.
“I’d like that.”
The Space Time Members have traveled through space for three months. During that time, Angel trained them in using their powers.
The Space Time Members also spent their time watching old TV shows and movies and they used the virtual reality room. Eventually, they got bored with it all and their curiosity got the best of them.
“You all want to see what your lives would be like in alternate timelines?” Angel asked.
“Yes,” Shelly said.
“You may not like what you see.”
“Would you all like to see together or one at a time?”
“Maybe one at a time,” Allison said.
“Why is that?” Michael asked.
“Considered what happened in our timeline, who knows what’s happening in some alternate timeline.”
“Alright. Who would like to go first?” Angel asked.
“I’ll go,” Alex said.
“Alright. Step inside control room.”
Alex stepped inside the reality engine control room to see what his life would be like if the invasion of Earth never happened.
In an alternate timeline, Alex fell in love with a blonde girl with a swimmer’s body. This is despite the fact that Alex has never seen this girl’s face.
Alex checked himself into a mental hospital because his father couldn’t accept that he’s transgender.
As Alex sat in the waiting room, he saw a young blonde woman sitting across from him. For some reason, she hid her face in her coat. Alex thought that this was weird. At the same time, he was intrigued. Why is this woman hiding her face? What does this woman’s face look like? These were the questions that ran through Alex’s mind.
“Selena Moon,” a nurse said. “Dr. Noble will see you now.”
Selena got up from her seat and she left the waiting room, still hiding her face in her coat.
Alex was in the waiting room alone with his thoughts. Alex went to see a psychologist several minutes later.
Alex walked into a tiny room with two couches. The room had a small window with bars on it. Also, it looked like the room hasn’t been painted in years.
“Hello, Alex,” Dr. Noble said. “How long has it been since we last spoke?”
“Four years, I think,” Alex said.
Dr. Noble was a psychologist for 40 years. Four years earlier, Alex attempted suicide because his father fat shamed him. After that, Alex had appointments with Dr. Noble once a week for 3 months.
“Would you like to tell me what happened?”
Alex explained how his father didn’t accept him for who is.
“Are you going to tell my parents?” Alex asked.
“You’re 18, so I won’t if you don’t want me to,” Dr. Noble said. “Look, your father’s behavior was unacceptable. At the same time, I’m very worried about you. This hospital has turned away far too many people who are suicidal. So, I think you should stay here for a few days. If you’re parents file a missing person’s report, we would have to let the police, and your parents know that you’re here.”
That evening, Alex made his way to the community room. He sat down next to a young man, watching TV.
“Sup?” The young man asked.
“This is it,” Alex said.
“This place can be a bit scary.”
The young woman that Alex saw in the waiting room walked by. She completely covered her face with her hair, like Cousin Itt.
“Do you know that girl?” Alex whispered.
“Nope,” Justin said. “She must be new.”
“Why is she hiding her face?”
“I have no idea. Why don’t you ask her?”
Alex got up from the couch to talk to the young blonde.
“Hi,” Alex said.
“Hello,” the young woman said.
“Nice to meet you. Uh, do you mind if I ask why you’re covering your face?”
“Well. I’m sure you’re pretty.”