“Michael, Allison, you’re up next,” Angel said.
“I don’t want to look,” Allison said.
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I’m sure.”
“I want to look,” Michael said.
Michael stepped inside the reality engine control room to see what his life would be like in an alternate universe.
Michael was in Tokyo. He was in a taxi.
“Where to?” The Taxi Driver asked.
“Aokigahara, please,” Michael said.
“I can’t take you there. Please, think of your family.”
“I’m not going to hurt myself. I’m actually writing a book about Aokigahara. I’m going to go there for research.”
“There was an American who visited Aokigahara once. He filmed a video of a corpse.”
“I would never do anything so disrespectful.”
“Alright. I’ll take you there.”
The Taxi Driver took Michael to Aokigahara, which also known as Suicide Forest.
Michael walked through Suicide Forest. Throughout the day, he didn’t even see a dead body. Michael did come across a tent, however.
It was dusk. As Michael was about to leave the forest, he came across a young man.
“Hi,” Michael said.
“Hello,” the young man said. “You’ve come to the end of your rope, I see.”
“No, it’s nothing like that. I’m writing a book about this place. Why are you here?”
“What do you think?”
“Look, you have everything to live for. Just think about your friends and family before you do anything.”
“My family is why I’m here. My mother taught me how to speak English and Japanese. She seemed like a saint, but she’s evil. My mother raped and sexually assaulted me throughout my childhood, and she denied it. Meanwhile, my father pretended he didn’t know. When I was eighteen, I finally pressed charges. I brought my parents to court, but they were found not guilty. You’ll never know how fucked up that made me.”
The young man took a gun out of his jacket and he shot himself in the head. Michael stood there for a moment in complete shock.
“I’ve seen enough,” Michael said.
Later that day, Allison saw Michael sitting in the mess hall.
“What’s wrong?” Allison asked.
“In this alternate dimension, I took a trip to Japan,” Michael said. “I visited Suicide Forest. I saw a young man shoot himself in the head.”
“My God!” Allison said. “I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine how traumatic that must have been.”
Allison gave Michael a hug, and Michael just sat there. It was almost like he just shut down.
“Remember when Angel said we have memories from different universes?” Michael asked. “I actually remember seeing that guy shoot himself. I must have blocked it out, even though it only happened about two months ago. Maybe that’s why I can’t sleep lately.”
“I don’t know what to say,” Allison said. Michael and Allison just sat in the mess hall in silence, holding each other.
That night, Allison dreamt that she was in Japan.
“Where to?” The Taxi Driver asked.
“Suicide Forest, please,” Allison said.
“I can’t take you there. Please, think of your friends and family.”
“I have a friend who’s there. I need to save him.”
“Alright. I’ll take you there. I’ll pray for the both of you.”
The Taxi Driver drove Allison to Suicide Forest. Allison was prepared. She took a flashlight with extra batteries, a first aid kit, glow sticks, and a snack.
Throughout the day, Allison posted notes on several trees.
The note said. Michael, you said you’re visiting Suicide Forest because you’re doing research for a book. I just want to make sure. Because I know how much I hurt you. You tried your best to move on. I thought I’ve moved on as well, but I guess I didn’t, even though it’s been four years. Maybe we’re both crazy. At least I know I’m crazy. I’m in Suicide Forest, looking for you. I hope you’re alright.
It was getting dark and Allison made her way out of the forest. She followed a trail of glow sticks that she made for herself. However, the glow sticks lead her in a circle. Suddenly, Allison heard a gunshot from a distance. Out of fear, Allison ran. She wasn’t even paying attention to the direction she was running. Allison continued to run until she tripped.
Allison looked up and she saw a grave stone. Allison shined her flashlight on the stone and Michael’s name was on it.
“Michael!” Allison screamed. “No!”
“Jesus Christ, you’re louder than my mother,” a male voice said. Allison turned around and she saw Michael covered in dirt.
“Michael!” Allison said. “Thank God, you’re okay. But why do you have a grave here?”
“Because I’m dead, Allison,” Michael said.
“You didn’t kill yourself because of me, did you?”
“That’s part of the reason.”
“I thought we buried the past. Sorry, wrong choice of words.”
“I saw my future, Allison. I tried moving on. I kept dating the wrong women until I reach my mid 30’s. Once I saw my future, I realized that I wasn’t gonna find anybody else. I wanted to avoid that horrible future, so I travelled all over to Japan and I killed myself without anybody knowing.”
“Oh, Michael! I’m so sorry I didn’t break up with you sooner.”
“Yeah. You’re a whiny little bitch. It’s no wonder why you’ll end up dating the wrong women. Well, you can’t now since you’re dead. You gave up before you even tried. Yeah, that’s so attractive.”
“You’re mean. Whatever. I’m dead tired.”
“Again with the stupid puns?”
“I love puns. Although, puns about black holes suck.”
Allison woke up from her dream.”
“What a fucked up dream,” Allison said to herself.
Allison told Melody and Sarah about the dream she had while they were in the entertainment room.
“What do you think the dream means?” Allison asked.
“Sounds like you’ve completely moved on,” Sarah said. “Even though it four years to get to that point.”
“You’re probably right. I’m sure Michael moved on as well. We did talk and we’ve decided to be friends.”
“Normally, I would think that’s a bad idea,” Melody said. “On the other hand, it has been four years.”
“I know. So, how have you two been doing?”
“Bored,” Sarah said. “I’m just waiting to land on some planet just so we can get out of this ship. I think I’m getting cabin fever. Even using the virtual reality room isn’t doing it for us anymore. Not for me at least.”
A short while later, everybody ate breakfast in the mess hall.
“We’ve been on this ship for three
months and we didn’t even think about what happened to Earth,” Shelly said.
“Why do you suppose that is?” Steve asked.
“It’s probably because we’ve been distracted,” Angel said. “I can connect the reality engine to the ship via Bluetooth. When you’re done eating breakfast, you can come to the bridge and we can see what happened to Earth.”
“I wonder what happened to Merton,” Sarah asked.
“Who’s Merton?” Michael asked.
“It’s true,” Melody said. “Genies exist.”
The Space Time Menders headed to the bridge of the ship about fifteen minutes later.
“Are you all ready?” Angel asked.
“We’re ready,” Shelly said.
Angel showed the Space Time Menders what happened to Earth, shortly after they left.
The Kratos Army ships hovered over the
St. John’s Metropolitan Area.
Every radio, TV, and phone received the same transmission.
“Greetings, people of Earth,” Glacier said. “We come in peace. We’re from a planet called Oberon. We’ve come to Earth looking for a machine. It looks like an aqua-colored trailer with no windows. It’s located somewhere within this region. The sooner we find this machine, the sooner we will leave. I have soldiers who will look for the machine. If any of you have any information about this machine, let us know and we will reward you. Just talk to any of our soldiers. End transmission.”
“Glacier,” Clarence said. “One of our ships just left Earth.”
“Then send one our other ships to follow it,” Glacier said.
“Wait. I’m getting a visual of the ship’s interior. What the hell?”
“What is it?”
“Angel and a group of young people are on that ship.”
“That must be Angel’s ship disguised as one of ours. She must have the reality engine. After her!”
The Kratos Army took their ships and they left Earth. They followed Angel’s ship at warp speed. The Kratos Army ships chased after Angel’s space-time-dimension ship for as long as they could, but Angel’s ship got away.
“What do we do now?” Clarence asked.
“I don’t know,” Glacier said.
“At least Earth is safe,” Shelly said. “But Glacier is looking for us.”
“It’s unlikely they’ll find us,” Steve said.
Something blasted the ship.
“Ship under attack,” the computer said. “Shields activated.”