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Watching 9/11 Unfold Again

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Written by   24
4 months ago
Topics: Life, Writing, Conspiracy, Bitcoin, Story, ...

A story exploring time travel and societal issues. This is chapter 2. See previous post for chapter 1.

Edicted In Canva

"Oh my god oh my god!" exclaimed August the next morning upon seeing the news. "Wake up! Wake up, it's all happening!"

T2 rolled off the living room futon where he'd crashed and meandered over to the coffee maker. "Morning," he said, smiling, perhaps inappropriately. "Thomas up yet?"

"Oh my god!" said August again. "You smile exactly like him!"

When Thomas emerged from the bedroom, the three of them watched the second half of the 9/11 attack unfold on their small tv. August muted the news and they sat there in silence for a while, sipping their coffees. T2 went outside to stand on the balcony. It was sunny and quiet in the small, off-campus neighborhood. The others joined him twenty minutes later.

"Okay," said Thomas. "What do you want us to do?"

"Step one?" said T2. "Well, I've got information and objectives but no master plan. So I guess if you two agree to help me, making a plan would be our first order of business. After securing some initial resources, that is."

"Did you bring back lottery numbers?" asked Thomas.

"And sports outcomes and financial market data," said T2. "But the lottery is probably the easiest place to start. One of you can win it in a week or two. I forget how long it took people to reopen for business after today. Seems like I was out of work for a couple of weeks. Whatever. Until then, I have funds available. You can keep working your jobs or I can pay you to help me, your choice."

"I feel like there's some big catch you're not telling us about," said August.

"There's more than one catch," said T2. "I don't have a legal identity, so you'll have to help me with everything from forming entities to banking to securing properties. I do have special medical needs, and no identity to go the doctor with. Related to this, I have some health and diet guidelines for Thomas that may seem onerous, particularly the non-negotiable ban on alcohol. You, August, would remain free to do whatever suits you in this regard. Beyond this, I may eventually try to go public with the fact of my time travel. That might make you minor celebrities, which you may find objectionable."

"Wait, you're saying she can drink and I can't?" said Thomas.

"If that's where your mind went just now, maybe you shouldn't drink," said August. "Did you hear the part where we don't have to work again if we don't want to?"

"I imagine there will be an adjustment period of four to twelve weeks," said T2. "To be honest, I was hoping we could all just spend some time making art. We'll get any supplies you want."

August and Thomas exchanged a glance.

"I want to do a project diagramming out the next twenty years," said T2. "Maybe on canvasses. Maybe just on big sheets of paper, with inks and oil pastels. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around a few things."

"You mean like time travel?" asked Thomas. "Seriously, how does that even work? While we talk, are you remembering being me having this conversation?"

"Ahh, no, it's not like that at all," said T2. "When I left my future, I left it forever, and came to this present, which has its own unique future. Different timelines, you see. Different worlds, for all intents and purposes. Which means I'm stuck here, since some of the technology that got me here may never be invented in this timeline."

"Could you build a new time machine?" asked August.

"Given enough time, probably," said T2. "But all of this is very experimental. And there won't be a computer sufficient to run the software component of such a device for many years. Same goes for the necessary brain-computer interface. The tech is still in its infancy."

"Brain-computer interface?" asked August.

"Non-invasive," said T2. "Just a fancy headset, really. Though, for other purposes, more and more people were getting devices implanted into their bodies, the most common being a radio ID tag injected into the hand."

"Fuck that," said Thomas.

"For sure," said T2, who had his brain-computer interface headset with him, but felt it prudent to keep that a secret for now. "But there are also people who have regained motor function or use of their limbs with implants and computer interfaces. So the ethics of it are more complicated than you might think."

"You guys are the same and I'm freaking out!" squealed August. She said it in a funny way, but she was freaking out.

"It's 9/11," said T2. "Everybody freaks out today. It's okay to feel however you feel."

"Probably going to take me a minute," said August.

"Hey, at least the future isn't skynet," said Thomas. "Though the coming Patriot Act may be comparably damaging from the standpoint of individual freedom."

"The Patriot Act?" asked August.

"It's a whole thing," said T2. "Passed in the wake of Anthrax attacks that may have been orchestrated to influence the legislation. But don't worry. We're far from the halls of power where these things are unfolding."

"So you say," said August. "We don't know how this works. For all we know, the Men in Black are coming to take T2 away. No offense, T2."

"It's not at all likely that anyone with the government is aware of my arrival," said T2. "The only thing that might raise a red flag is my cash. I bought the old paper currency in online auctions. But each of my currency notes is already in circulation here. If anyone ever came across one of my bills next to its present-era counterpart, there might be an investigation. Though the more plausible outcome would be that they'd explain the anomaly away with talk of print errors or counterfeiting."

"I want to know more about time travel," said August. "How do you know where you're going?"

"You have to find the location of the place in your consciousness and direct the transmission there," said T2.

"How did it feel to travel?" asked August.

"Like nothing at all," said T2. "The biggest shock was your damp atmosphere."

"Hey, won't your being here have, like, a ripple effect?" asked Thomas. "A butterfly flaps its wings and suddenly your lottery numbers are all wrong?"

"Could be," said T2. "But I'm betting on any such effect being too small to influence events I'm not directly connected with. For the time being, anyway. Next year, I'll be attempting to prevent the mysterious death of Paul Wellstone. Successful or not, that could have larger ripple effects."

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Written by   24
4 months ago
Topics: Life, Writing, Conspiracy, Bitcoin, Story, ...
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