Jason was working on adding locks to the laboratory doors. It hadn’t occurred to him until one of his test subjects escaped that it was an obviously necessary protocol. He would have made his intern, Curtis, do it, but he had seemed rather stunned and out of it since the last test subject had vanished. He’d have to keep his eye on Curtis in case he decided to do something stupid.
Jason didn’t mind fixing the locks himself. It gave him something to do while he waited. He’d dreamt of being a time traveler his entire life. He couldn’t believe his future self had actually accomplished it. To be honest, he’d never really been that much into science so he was actually quite stunned when someone appeared at the agreed upon time.
“Oh no, not again,” he heard Curtis moan. He looked over to see Curtis moving away to the edge of the room, a look of dread on his face.
“What’s wrong?” Jason asked, but he didn’t need to wait long to know the answer. A swirling cyclone of water began spinning on the platform followed by a second one. For a moment they looked like they were going to merge, but quickly split again. Then. they both disappeared revealing a man and a woman.
“Ah, I see our next test subjects have appeared,” Jason said, working frantically to get the lock in place.
“No, no exactly,” the man said. His eyes scanned the facility and he raised his eyebrow as he looked around. “Appalling.”
“My thoughts exactly,” the woman said. “Did you follow the directions we sent at all?”
Jason stood slowly, feeling confused. “You sent? Who are you?”
“We’re the ones who have been sending you the messages,” the woman said, walking around the lab inspecting things.
“We’re friends in the future?” Jason asked.
They both laughed. “Definitely not. You were born way before our time.”
“You stole my technology?’ Jason asked, feeling outraged.
“Your technology,” the woman laughed. “You don’t honestly believe you could have come up with time travel?”
“But my letters—” he started to say.
“We wrote them,” the man said. “The hardest part was making it look like we didn’t know what we were doing. Those poor dears who travelled back after we messed up the machine. I hope they didn’t suffer. Although, we weren’t expecting you to kill Simon.
Jason spluttered as he tried and failed to process the information coming at him. “Why?” He finally asked.
The woman shrugged. “The world was coming to end and we needed somewhere to go. We needed someone to prepare a place for us, which you did, albeit poorly. Our only other option was to join a group who planned to colonize a new planet. Can you imagine it? Me? A farmer?” They both laughed.
Jason was barely listening. He could feel the betrayal washing over him turn to rage. 4 years he’d spent building this laboratory, not for him as he’d thought, but for them.
He lunged towards them. The man saw and sighed. He casually stepped out of the way. Jason was about to turn around and lunge for them again, but his body was frozen in place. He suddenly couldn’t move. Water began to fall around him, swirling. It felt like his insides were being pulled up out of his head. And then everything went still.
He was back in his laboratory, but there were way more high tech gadgets about. Above him, the sky through the glass dome was an orangey red. The ground shook knocking him to the floor.
He’d finally got his wish. He was a time traveller. But, for some reason he wasn’t as excited about it as he’d thought he be.