The small capsule was racing it’s way back to the terminal room they had all come from, they had just passed back though the cavernous internals of the Titan and were now back in tunnel, it wasn’t long now and they would arrive. Seanna was sat there, arms crossed and had said nothing on the journey back.
“You’ve not said a word on the way back” McKinley was kind of asking, kind of stating “on the way here I couldn’t shut you up!”
“I’m not in the mood for this now” Seanna grumbled, looking away from him.
“Listen Seanna” McKinley drew closer to the young woman who failed to react “I know that things don’t look good on the surface of things, but think about this – where’s the bodies? You don’t know you die in that room you know!”
“You’re right the facts don’t look good, but can you explain why I would take this suit off?” Seanna responded sharply. McKinley sat back in his chair silently. A few moments later they pulled into the bay.
“Sealing airlock – repressurising the chamber” The computerised voice announced, Seanna got up to depart the sound of rushing air filling the capsule, then dying off slowly “Cabin pressure restored.” With that the door opened and one by one they began stepping out. Seanna regained some purpose, the core of the Titan was massive and she could see no way of shutting it down without causing a violent and destructive power backwash, destroying the Titan and probably the Tycho as well.
“How do we get out of here?” She asked, hald demanding to McKinley.
Looking at her sternly he said “You don’t get it do you? There is no way out of this. They tried before and failed!”
“They tried before? Who did…” Seanna was trying to get somewhere, it was then she heard a voice. Fear rose inside her, iut was the last voice she wanted to hear, yet also relieved.
“In here, I’ve got them on the scanner” was the muffled voice on the other side of the bulkhead. All the team looked at here with shock.
“What do we..” Jearo started to ask.
“Stay here, hide him” she hissed, pointing towards McKinley. Then the bulk head door slid open with a clank, Seanna standing there in front of her commanding officer. Not the aged and wild McKinley, but the McKinley she had tried to keep away.
“What’s going on? I couldn’t stand around any longer, I had to contact the Tycho to track you all. You went deep into the bowels of the ship, have you success?” McKinley was as enthusastic as she remembered, Seanna had to stifle her desire to hug him.
“Errr, not quite. We’ve hit a problem” Seanna replied
“What kind of problem?” McKinley was pushing his way in. He sensed there was something going on.
“Stop!” Someone shouted. It was the wild McKinley “don’t move any further into this room you fool, or you’ll destroy us all!” The team members silently parted, McKinley locked eyes onto his future self. Stunned for a moment, he stepped back away from him.
“I knew I would never age well, but really you have let yourself go!” McKinley was joking, but he wasn’t smiling about it. “You kept this from me Seanna?” He asked.
“Yes, sir!” She replied, she felt like the naughty child who has been caught out.She could feel his disappoinment.
McKinley nodded “I see” He looked at her “Why? I trusted you.”
“I know sir” was all Seanna could reply.
“Don’t be hard on her” McKinley’s alter ego was now showing the first sign of compassion since they had stumbled across him “You’re me, I asked her not to tell you. She hasn’t exactly disobeyed you!”
“I know that!” McKinley answered back “Like me the girl is confused – I don’t know what to make of this. How are you here and where is the rest of your crew?” McKinley was now raising his voice.
“I’m all that’s left, like you we got caught in this time trap and couldn’t get out of it.”
McKinley frowed at his future self. “Why can’t I get too close to you then? There’s no way out of this?”
“None” was the curt reply “I just showed your team the ships core it’s too big to shut down” he explained wildly “If you touch me, we’re likely to tear the time and fabric of the universe apart. We’re two entities from different time zones – we shouldn’t be this close even.”
“I want to see the core for myself” McKinley demanded stepping into the capsule, waiting to be taken. Again the team boarded and in a few moments were back on their way.
McKinley’s mind was full of awe and full of questions as he looked over the immense interior. He said nothing as once again the team disembarked. Looking ahead he saw the control terminal, marching ahead without pause…
“Sir – wait..” Seanna tried in vain to stop him. She followed after him, trying to keep up.
“There’s nothing in there for you McKinley” The wild man shouted behind him. Just as McKinley got to the doors they opened again, walking toward the piles of suits, McKinley was taken back at first. He looked around, then started pulling off the suits, throwing them to the side.
“What are you doing sir?” Seanna asked him.Watching as he threw the suits, back each one older than other other. He picked up the last bunch and threw them back, he turned and looked up, smiling at Seanna.
“Looking for something!” He puffed triumphantly.
“It looks like a hatch!” Seanna was shocked, she had never thought that under that pile was something intentionally hidden.
“Oh aren’t you the clever one?” McKinley’s future self stood there obviously agrrevated by what had been found.
“Yes!” McKinley shouted at him, I’ll show you something else clever too. He flung himself at the wild man, who only got chance toput his hands up in protest as McKinley grabbed ityanking it behind his back and flinging him to the floor over the new discovery.
“I don’t see the universe ending right now either!” McKinley was in a rage “I recognise your face but not the man, I don’t know who you are!” McKinley shouted. “I think you know how to open this, so – get started!”
The man looked up, hair wildly out of place, a deep chuckle coming from him “Alright – but you don’t know what you’re asking!”
©Simon Farnell 2016
This story is part of Rachael Ritchey’s blog battle, the category is Science Fiction and the theme is:
- 1000 words max
- fictional tale (or true if you really want)
- PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
- Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
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Read all the short stories and vote! Winners are announced the Monday following.