Chronon Crisis

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
One boy - John Jones - gains the ability to control time itself. But the space-time continuum begins to unravel, when world-threatening fractures appear and disturb the temporal field. John must stop them, before he too runs out of time...

This story isn't that good, but, considering I wrote when I was quite young, about five years ago, this was me when I wasn't trying. It mainly serves as a prequel/introduction to it's sequel KRONOS.
KRONOS is on the move...

Submitted: January 01, 2017

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Submitted: January 01, 2017

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Chapter One

The Beginning

John walked around Queens’ high school; casually he walked through the central playground to the deli. The school he went to was a very uninteresting place, and nothing very exciting happened. That was, until now. John was standing in the deli queue. What really puzzled him were how much people really to get food from the deli. Every time he came (bar a few times when he got there early) the queue was massive, and he’d have to wait longer as well, with all the people who decided to push in. One of the worst yet most memorable moments while waiting was when so many people were trying to push in that they actually formed a queue of people pushing into the queue. When that happened, John just left. That was about as crazy as it could get. It wasn’t as if the dinner ladies intervened when a large group of people pushed in, but then again, John didn’t really expect them to. All they had to do was supply students with what they wanted – unless what they requested was out of stock for the day.

But, even though he was at the back of a massive queue, John was about to get much further.

John had his arm rested against a metal sheet with had a piece of curved glass above it. John had heard so much shouting and talking for quite a while, and had since learnt to zone out enough so it would not be heard.

But something strange happened.

John broke out of his trance but did not move from his position. He listened for the talking he’d previously been ignoring. And that’s when he realised – no one was speaking. John swiftly broke out of his resting position and surveyed the room.

What he saw scared him a little.

Everyone else was frozen. No one was moving; people were frozen in mid-movement, and weren’t continuing what they were doing.

John walked around the room, looking at everyone. The dinner lady was in the middle of taking out a fizzy drink for someone. He waved his hand in front of someone who was frozen while she was chatting to her friends. She didn’t move. No, people hadnt just decided to stop. TIME ITSELF had stopped. But why wasn’t he affected? Surely time had an effect on him as much as anybody else? He didn’t really want to know the answer right know.

It was at this point that he realised that he can jump in front of the queue and take the cake he was waiting to get. And he picked a vanilla cake. Of course, John wasn’t into stealing and pressed his thumb against the thumb scanner used for paying – even though time was frozen. To his surprise, it actually worked, and the machine was briefly unaffected by the sudden stoppage of time. John guessed that any inanimate object he touched (he had tried with people but it did not work) would be unaffected by time stopping. So John walked out of the deli and out into the central playground. John suddenly realised: how was he going to make time flow again? Pretty stupid not to have thought of that.

‘Time needs to flow…flow…flow…’ his voice echoed, even though he was out in the open.  John then looked around and noticed how people were beginning to move again; slowly and then to normal time.

The voices of chatting people flooded back into his ears. He was very relieved that everyone was OK. Silently he ate his cake, assuming that this was a one-off.

It wasn’t.

 

After third period had ended, it was time for lunch. Today was a Thursday and he had just had English. His English classroom was outside were the end of the queue was – which was a massive advantage.

Walking down the English corridor, John had managed to make it relatively far in the queue. He marked being far away as being outside his English classroom to beside a door which took you to the old reception; middle as being from past there to beside the thumb scanner (where you could put money on your account); and being very far in the queue as being from the languages stairs (which was about 2 metres away from the doors to the canteen) to the doors to the canteen.

John was just behind the stairs. Behind him were two girls, one from his form, called Heidi and one of her friends, called Sarah Smith. Above him was a monitor who told you all the important news, events and notices. The queue, as always, was incredibly slow, and John estimated it would take them about 5-10 minutes to get their food. He hated always waiting so long.

The queue was also slow because of the Year 11s, who had their own queue because they were taking their GCSEs. The queue nudged slightly. A few people pushed in front in him. If anyone thought the deli was bad, lunch was worse. So many pushed in that a handful of people find themselves right at the back, when they weren’t even close to the end. He wanted it to stop…stop…stop…

It happened again. As the words continued to echo in his mind, people stopped moving, talking, thinking. Time had stopped again. Whilst seeing this as an advantage, he didn’t really enjoy it. If time keeps freezing that usually means something is wrong.

John turned around seeing Heidi and Sarah and everyone else as frozen. He tried to think of something to make time flow again but the stress forced his brain to work less efficiently. He looked at Heidi.

‘Needs to start…start…start…’ His words echoed again. But instead of time flowing completely, Heidi started talking. Time was flowing for her.

‘Ha! Ha!’ She laughed. But was she was puzzled as she did not get a response. ‘Sarah? Sarah?’ She waved a hand in front of her.  ‘Hello?’

‘Erh, Heidi…’ John said. She turned to face him.

‘What…? How are you…? Why are they…?’ She tried to ask. ‘W-What’s going on?’

‘Not quite sure,’ John replied, trying to be calm. ‘But I think time just stopped again.’

‘Again?’ she questioned. ‘What do you mean ‘again’?’

‘It happened at break. I wasn’t affected for some reason.’

‘OK,’ she replied. ‘Is that why you appeared by the door out of nowhere?’ He nodded. ‘Well at least we don’t have to wait in the line.’ John briefly smiled.

‘Yep.’ So they went into the canteen and picked up what they wanted. Heidi picked up a wrap. It was really hot so she blew on it.

‘That won’t work,’ John warned.

‘Why?’

‘Time is not passing for it, so the particles that make it up are in perpetual vibration.’ Heidi frowned.

‘Huh?’ John sighed with frustration at her response.

I mean: it won’t lose its heat,’ he replied. ‘Unless I do it.’ She frowned once more. ‘For whatever reason, when I touch something, time starts flowing for it – but only if said thing is not sentient. Hand me the wrap.’ Heidi reluctantly handed it over, and John blew on it. The steam started moving, and it cooled down. She took it back and ate some of it. ‘You haven’t paid for that, Heidi.’

‘Really?’ She replied. ‘Time has stopped and youre worried we’re gonna get caught for stealing?’

‘Fair point,’ he replied, picking up a chicken box. Heidi picked out another wrap, for Sarah. John frowned. ‘You know Sarah is going to look pretty suspicious carrying food before she has even got inside the canteen, rrrrright?’

‘I know, and that’s why we are going to move her. She going to find herself sitting down with wrap in her hands.’ She disappeared through the canteen doors but soon asked for some much needed help from John. They both pushed the time-frozen Sarah through the doors and to a sitting area. Heidi, putting down the two wraps in her hands, managed to place her onto the seat.

John moved her arms, hands and fingers to make it so she looked like she was about to bite into a wrap. Heidi thanked him, as she sat down with Sarah and John.

‘I think I know how to make time start again.’

‘How?’

‘Every time that time has stopped or started, I’ve have been focused on something. Then I say or think something to do with it. Most of the time anyway, I can’t fully control it.’

‘OK. Go ahead.’

‘I’ll leave you too, then.’

‘No, stay!’

‘But you two are usually on your own.’

‘That doesn’t matter.’

‘Oh, alright then.’ John sat back down. He focused. ‘Flow…flow…flow…’ The words echoed. ‘Ya hear that?’ Heidi nodded, as people started moving again. Sarah started moving too, bewildered to the situation she was in.

‘What how did I get here? Heidi?’ Heidi mouthed to John: ‘What do I say?’ to which John mouthed back ‘I dont know! Come up with something!’

‘I guess you must have forgotten, but you bought a wrap.’

‘Oh yeah,’ Sarah said, remembering buying a wrap but the one she had bought the previous day,  and she was none the wiser.

The bell went half an hour later, and it was time for PE.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

He readied himself for the race, standing behind his line, staring ahead of the track. John was in PE, and he was about to run 400m – a full run around the track. Although he didn’t necessarily enjoy doing races, he was always up for it. His PE teacher, Mr Hearson, was about to blow his whistle to signal the beginning of the race. Beside him in the other tracks, were some people he knew – Harry, Harvey and David.

‘On your marks!’ Mr Hearson bellowed. ‘Set! Go!’ John and his other competitors ran pretty quickly, oblivious to everything else. John loved a competition, and hated anything being easy. Even if he came first, he’d still think he was being too slow…slow…slow…the words echoed.

John stopped and looked behind him. Everyone was still running behind him, but they had slowed down. Everyone had slowed down except him. No, hadn’t stopped time, he had slowed it down.

He ran over to have a closer look, and had somehow not gotten any more tired or lost stamina. John investigated his slowed down opponents. They were of course running quite slowly. Realising that he had enough time to figure out why he wasn’t tiring in this mode, John sat down.

 

Meanwhile, in real time, Mr Hearson was absolutely bewildered to the situation he had found himself in. John was running at super speed up and down the track. John stopped and sat down. Hearson knew he couldn’t intervene in the race, as technically John wasn’t doing anything wrong.

Harvey, Harry and David all stopped to get a closer a look at what exactly was going on here. They didn’t want to get too close, because they were slightly scared of what exactly was going on.

The rest of the group looked on in confusion. How was John moving so fast?

‘Maybe he drank a lot of protein drinks?’ One boy suggested to another.

‘And what? Suddenly became able to run faster that Usain Bolt?’ Another countered.

John wasn’t listening to any of this, because he had worked it out. It was subconscious thing, when he slowed time down his ‘powers’ (he didn’t feel comfortable calling them that) had affected some parts of his body and not others. His heart rate had slowed down immensely, to real time, so he would tire at a much slower rate.

He had worked out the problem with nuclear fusion and friction. He waved his hand. No wind was caused. This was because, he guessed, the air particles became incorporeal to him, so he wouldn’t hit them. Friction did not affect him because he was changing speeds so fast and diversely, that friction didn’t even have time to register it. In fact, friction wasn’t what was slowing him down, or keeping himself to the ground – his powers were.

Having worked it out, John was going to have to speed up time to real time. He jogged down the race course, near the finish line and focussed.

‘Guess I need to go fast,’ he said. Fast…fast…fast… the words echoed. Harvey, Harry and David started running faster, until they were in real time. He was close to the end and they were catching up. John sped up more until he reached the end. Mr Hearson didn’t even bother telling him what place he was or his time to beat. Because it was obvious what place he was in and it was obvious that he was going to be able to beat it.

‘How did you do that?’ Many asked, but they did not get an answer. It was time to go back in and get changed for PE. His friend, Kieran walked up beside him. He began to open his mouth.

‘If you’re about to ask me how I managed to do that, then you won’t get an answer.’ Kieran immediately closed his mouth. John smiled. ‘Wanna race?’ Kieran laughed.

‘OK!’ He joked. He ran to the stairs, ahead of him. John focussed and slowed time down. He ran ahead of the slowed down Kieran. He was, of course, in real time, speeding ahead. He zoomed into the changing rooms and changed into his school uniform at superspeed. By the time Kieran had arrived, he was already changed.

 

By the time fifth period rolled around, the show at PE was being talked about by everyone. John had DT now, and he walked up to D6 – where his teacher Mr Henston had said it would be instead of the workshop. D6 was in a separate building to the rest of the school, dubbed the art quad because the first few rooms were art rooms.

He walked into the classroom and sat into his place. Mr Benston was about to start the lesson when a teacher assistant appeared by the door with Heidi.

‘Yes?’ Mr Henston asked.

‘I need some help from a student,’ she said.

‘OK. Uh…’ he paused, searching for someone to choose. ‘John. You go.’ John got up and left. He followed her to the stairs. While the TA was ahead, Heidi and John talked quietly to each other.

‘How did you do that thing in PE that everyone is talking about?’ Heidi asked.

‘I slowed down time.’

‘You can do that?’

‘Apparently.’

‘John?’ said a voice. John turned around but there was no one there. He dismissed it as nothing. They eventually arrived by the English corridor by M6. Then there was a rumble, and the three lost balance.

‘What was that?’ Heidi asked, after it rumbled again.

‘Whatever it was, it’s coming from there,’ the TA said, pointing to the janitor store.

‘Then let’s check it out,’ John suggested.

‘But I need your help with something else.’

‘If we don’t who will?’ The TA thought about what John had just said. She nodded, and they all walked into the janitor store. There was no one inside.

Inside were the usual things you’d find in a janitor’s room. There were mops and buckets; there were bookcases full of supplies, things like that. There was a window in the bottom right of the room, projecting light through it, with dust in the beams flying through the air.

But this wasn’t normal.

Right in the middle of the room was some sort of portal. It was white, with glass shards surrounding it. It wasn’t quite physical by the looks of it. However the problem was that it was clearly unstable and it looked like it would close any minute.

The TA stepped closer for a better look at it.

‘Don’t!’ John shouted, but it was too late. She was pulled into the portal. Everything rumbled again.

‘What is it?’ Heidi asked. John threw aside his blazer and stepped closer.

‘It’s a quantum fracture,’ he explained. ‘But they’re only theoretical. They shouldn’t even be possible.’

‘What happened to her?’

‘She was erased from existence.’

‘But I can still remember her.’

‘That’s because you were exposed to raw time energy.’ She frowned.

‘When?’

‘When I stopped time.’ Heidi nodded. John leant forward towards it.

‘Are you sure you wanna do that?’ Heidi asked cautiously.

‘I know what I’m doing.’ John gingerly moved his finger closer to the fracture, and touched it. John was thrown back a bit. The fracture would not let him do anything to it. There was a lot of resistance to it. At least, there was to him.

‘Why is it stopping you from entering?’ Heidi asked him.

‘I don’t know,’ he admitted. The fracture abruptly closed. The bell went all of a sudden. Heidi was confused.

‘But we’ve only been gone for five minutes.’

‘The-the’ – he gestured – ‘quantum fracture must’ve sped up time. Only you didn’t notice because you weren’t affected.’ John crossed his arms. For a few moments he stood there, staring. ‘Anyway!’ he suddenly said. ‘It’s time to go home. I’ll have to investigate in further detail. I’ll keep you posted.’

‘Do you have a skype?’ she asked.

‘Yeah.’ He grabbed his blazer, put it on and produced a small piece of paper from one of the pockets. ‘Here it is.’ He said, handing it to her.

 

*

Half an hour later, John was at home, working on his computer. His computer displayed lines of coding, which was getting longer as he was typing into the keyboard. A small alarm went off which let him know that he was getting a skype call. John opened up Skype and Heidi appeared on the screen.

‘How have you been doing?’ she asked.

‘Pretty well, actually,’ he told her. ‘I’ve managed to track other locations that quantum fractures have appeared, using reports of strange lights, unforeseen seismic tremors, old folk stories, things like that.’ He showed a board that was behind him which mapped all the known locations. ‘See?’

‘Anything else?’

‘Using this information, I was able to work out when the fractures will appear.’

‘Have you worked out where?’

‘Not yet, right now I’m inputting code for an algorithm that will triangulate its position from places I know they’ve already been.’

‘Just tell me when you’ve found the next one. I can’t stay; Alex is taking me out to Spango’s Restaurant.’ John cringed slightly when she wasn’t looking. Alex was Heidi’s boyfriend. He didn’t necessarily like Alex, because he wasn’t very nice to him. Alex was quite rude, and John didn’t really know what Heidi saw in him. But he didn’t really talk about it, as it wasn’t his business. John had a feeling that Heidi knew they didn’t fit either, because they were in an endless circle of breaking up and getting back together.

While he was thinking about this, Heidi ended the skype call, saying that if he needed her attention, she would have her phone with her, which had skype on it.

 

 

 

Chapter Three

 

Carefully John inputted code into the computer. He lay back in his chair, resting his hands behind his head. Inputting code wasn’t something he found difficult. As long as he remembered binary and hexadecimal language – he memorised both languages so there wasn’t a problem. He always joked about how he could he could remember both those languages, but not French.

Diagrams appeared on the screen as he continued to type. Scientific pictures of the fracture appeared on the screen, with a green box that had more and more coding swarming into it. The code was now working automatically so he didn’t need to continue.

‘Where next will the one open?’ he contemplated to himself. Open...open…open…the words echoed…but this time John had clue what this one might do. Until a few seconds later. A quantum fracture appeared right next to him. ‘So that’s what it does.’ Now with the proper equipment, he could fully monitor and scan the fracture.

Using of all his technology he did. He stared the energy readings that his computer was showing. It wasn’t just time energy it was releasing – it was releasing all types of energy. Light, Sound, Heat, even theoretical ones like transdimensional energy and dark energy. It was incredible. So much power, just leaking out.[1]

When he got an even closer look, there was a picture forming. It showed a street, during the night. There was TV store down the street which displayed the time: 19:02. The current time. So this was happening right now. The image moved around and showed Spango’s Restaurant. John was confused – why would it show the restaurant?

All of a sudden, an alarm went off to tell him that his algorithm had worked out the next location. He was about to press a button but the fracture was about to close.

‘No!’ He yelled in vain, lashing his hand out towards it. To his surprise, his hand went through it. His eyes widened. The fracture stayed open for longer now as he drew back his hand.

John pressed enter on his keyboard and his computer gave him the coordinates: 300N, 140E. Not knowing where exactly that was, he inputted more code so that it would tell him. After a few seconds of loading, the proper whereabouts flashed on the screen. He gasped. The location was Spango’s Restaurant.

He immediately got out his phone and opened skype. He pressed the button for a phone call. The mobile ringing sound went off for a while, until Heidi’s voice was heard.

‘What is it John?’

‘I’ve located the next fracture – it’s at Spango’s Restaurant.’

‘John, I’m pretty busy right now.’ Heidi was in front of the table where she, Alex and Alex’s parents were sitting behind her. They were being served when John called her.

‘No, I’ll come to you.’

‘That’s what I’m worried about! You might disrupt everything!’

‘I’ll try my best not to ruin your ‘date’.’

‘I hope so.’ John ended the call. He sat, staring at the fracture in front of him. If his hand could go through it, then theoretically so could the rest of his body. That’s when it hit him – it showed Spango’s Restaurant because that’s where it led. Most likely the reason it led there was because he was thinking about it when he opened it. He was glad he was wearing his shoes right now. John got up and he cautiously stepped through the quantum fracture.

He appeared outside Spango’s. The fracture closed behind him. John ran to Spango’s. He could sense where the quantum fracture was. He felt weak seismic tremors.

Speedily, pressure built up until it rumbled through the restaurant. Tables started shaking, and glass fragmented through the air. Immediately people ran out of the restaurant, as John stood and watched. Heidi ran out with Alex and his family. She turned and saw John.

‘I guess you weren’t wrong about the fracture,’ she joked. John smiled and agreed.

‘I’ve gotta go in,’ he explained, running into Spango’s Restaurant. She was about to follow him, but Alex called out to her.

‘Heidi, what are you doing?’ Alex asked. ‘Following him in? Why? It’s not as if he’s important!’

She looked on at the restaurant and ran into it.

‘Heidi!’ Alex called out, running into the restaurant after her.

‘Alex!’ Called out Alex’s family. They did not follow him however; Alex could take care of himself. Heidi looked around the destroyed Spango’s. Then she saw a door that had been busted open. It led to the kitchen. Heidi ran into it, with Alex in close pursuit. When they both got in, John was examining the quantum fracture.

‘Interesting,’ he said, turning to look at them. ‘It emits all types of radiation, at a low level.’

‘What is that!?’ Alex demanded.

‘It’s a break in time that I really don’t have a moment to explain,’ John replied.

‘Where does it lead to?’

‘I don’t know,’ he admitted. ‘But what really interests me is this.’ He threw his hand at the quantum fracture, and it went through it.

‘I thought you couldn’t touch fractures,’ Heidi replied in shock.

‘Only ones I make myself.’

‘You can do that?’

‘Yeah, it’s how I got here. And this one was opened at the same time as the one that got me here. One leading here and one to… well, I don’t know where it leads.’

‘What are you two talking about?!’ Alex demanded.

‘Oh shut up, please don’t waste my time,’ John replied waving his hand dismissively. He turned back to Heidi, gesturing. ‘No the point is if I can go through it, I can monitor and discover where it leads.’

‘What?! You can’t do that! It’s dangerous!’ she dissuaded.

‘Heidi, I won’t get a chance like this again! I have to!’

‘You have no idea where that leads to!’

‘Well, then, it’s my job to find out.’ Heidi paused for a few seconds.

‘Are you sure about that?’ John replied. Heidi nodded.

‘Oh, Nope! No, no, no, no, no, no!’ Alex intervened. ‘You are not going anywhere with him.’ He pointed to John like he was an it not a he. ‘You are my girlfriend!’

‘Yeah,’ Heidi countered. ‘To be honest, I don’t even know why I am your girlfriend.’

‘Are you breaking up with me?’ Alex asked.

‘Maybe.’

‘To be with him?’

‘I don’t know yet.’ She took John’s hand.

‘Are you ready?’ John asked solemnly. She nodded, and they both walked into the fracture. The closing was unstable, winds blew and Alex was thrown across the room and was knocked out.

*

When Alex woke up, the fracture was closed and he was lying on the floor. Alex assumed that what he had experienced was a dream. He got up rubbing the back of his head in pain.

Staggering out of the kitchen, he wondered how he got there. His family were still waiting for him outside.

‘Are you alright?’ they asked worriedly.

‘I just hit my head,’ the boy replied. Alex finally came to his senses. ‘Where is Heidi?’ His family frowned.

‘Who’s “Heidi”?’ his dad enquired. Alex frowned.

‘Heidi Owens? My girlfriend?’

‘I don’t know anyone with that name,’ his mum replied. She turned to Alex’s dad. ‘Do you?’ He shook his head. Alex could not believe he was hearing this. Once he was convinced to step into the car, he ordered to be taken to where he remembered Heidi’s house was.

They stopped at where it supposed to be. Alex got out of the car and his jaw dropped. There was a massive gap.

‘What…?’ he tried to say. He was lost for words.  Where had it gone? How come his parents didn’t remember his own girlfriend? He decided to sleep on it as it was very late and maybe it was a prank.

The next morning, Alex got out of bed and it was a usual day. He went on the bus later and got to school after having breakfast. One of his friends, Dylan Ethers, was waiting for him at the gates.

‘Dylan, you know my girlfriend, right?’ Alex asked.

‘Oh yeah, we’ve talked a couple times.’ Alex breathed a sigh of relief.

‘Where is she?’

‘Oh here she comes,’ Dylan replied, pointed in an arbitrary direction. Alex turned around to the area where he was pointing. But he didn’t see who he was expecting to. Instead, he saw a blonde girl.

‘Hey,’ she said. Thankfully her bag had her name on it – Emily.

‘Um… hey…Emily.’ He was trying his best to act as if this was normal. They talked for a few minutes, and then Emily left. Alex whispered to Dylan: ‘Who is that?’

‘Erh…your girlfriend?’

‘No, my girlfriend is…is…is…’ He shook his head and rested his hand in his forehead. He scrunched up his eyes. ‘I…I can’t remember…’

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Four

 

 

They fell. John fell. Heidi fell. All around them was whiteness. Wind blew in their faces. Pictures of the past, present and future appeared around them. One displayed the very first fracture they had encountered, in the janitor’s office; another showed Alex talking to his friend; and another showed John, tensing up as white energy circulated around him.

‘Where are we?!’ Heidi yelled.

‘We’re in time,’ John explained. ‘Through time and out of time. Back in the real world we don’t exist.’

All of a sudden, they landed on grass. Surrounding them were trees, with a building to their left. Behind them was a fence, with concrete panels under it. Behind that was a building, with windows going along it.

‘Where are we?’ Heidi asked.

‘This…this is my past,’ he explained. ‘We’re going through my timeline.’ A boy about seven years old walked into the field in front of them. ‘You see?’ He pointed to him. ‘That’s me.’

‘No…!’ Heidi responded in disbelief. ‘You’re so cute!’

‘Yeah…’ John said, pushing away from the subject.

‘John!’ she called out to John’s younger counterpart, taking out her hand to wave. John grabbed her hand.

‘No!’ he yelled out. They vanished instantaneously in a blinding white light. Young John turned around but saw nothing. He was dumbfounded.

 

Heidi and John were falling through the white vortex again.

‘Oh, so that’s what that was…’ John realised. ‘Anyway, we can’t interact with our past, it’s dangerous and we’d change the future as we know it.’

They dropped again. This time they were in a classroom. It had educational displays on the walls. Behind them was a door that said “Story Mountain” on it.

‘This is my old school,’ John explained. ‘My third year.’

‘Why can’t they see us?’

‘Because we’re not really here, we’re unravelling through my timeline at a random order.’ He paused for a second. ‘I remember this moment – someone gave me an answer to a question. I guess I know how.’

‘I thought you said we can’t interfere with events.’

‘Well…’ John sighed. ‘This one time. Besides, it won’t exactly affect my future.’

He walked over to his younger self and whispered an answer in his ear. The younger version of him turned around. But did not see him.

‘Hmm… can hear us and not see us.’ He walked back to Heidi and they disappeared again. They were falling into the white void again. John frowned.

‘What is it?’ Heidi asked, noticing his frown.

‘I keep wondering – what if this fracture is taking me back through my timeline because it’s trying to show me something.’

‘Like what?’

‘That’s what I’m worried about.’ They dropped again. This time they were in a house. It is dark outside and was only a little lighter inside. It was a typical home, with paintings on the walls, and windows on either side of the two.

‘This…this…this is my childhood home,’ John realised. ‘Around fourteen years ago.’

‘Is it normally this quiet?’

‘Something’s wrong.’ There was a rumble through the house. John and Heidi briefly exchanged looks of fear. John raced upstairs and into a room. Heidi caught up with him.

John was staring at a fracture in a room. It was small, with two bookcases, some child playing toys, and a crib in the middle of the room. A baby was in it. He gasped.

‘That’s me,’ he realised.

‘You were…exposed to one a long time ago…’ Heidi said. White energy was absorbed by the baby, as it began to try to touch the quantum fracture.

‘That’s why I can control time,’ John stated. ‘Exposure to the fracture. This is why the quantum fractures started opening. It opened it, by chance.’

‘OK, let me get this around my head – you can open fractures because you…experienced a fracture that just so happened to open?[2]’

‘Essentially.’ John stood there for a few seconds. ‘There’s a problem. The fractures break apart time. So what happens when there’s too many?’

‘That’s what worries you, isn’t it?’ Heidi enquired.

‘Yeah. But I feel like there’s already too many.’

It was interesting looking at the fracture to John. It was the very first documented fracture. This was supposedly the harbinger of the events to come. But he couldn’t do anything. He wasn’t really here. Without another word, they were gone.

 

Heidi and John appeared out through the fracture.

‘Aaaah?!’ they both screamed. They groaned as they pushed themselves off the floor.

‘Where are we?’ Heidi asked, still groaning.

‘Exactly where we left.’ Heidi looked around the kitchen, and she felt like something was missing.

‘Where’s Alex?’ she asked. John immediately looked around, trying to see where he could possibly be.

‘Hold on,’ he told her, looking at his wristwatch. ‘We’ve gone a few hours.’ Heidi was looking worried and seemed like she was about say something. ‘Don’t concerned, no one would’ve realised we were even gone.’

‘How?’

‘Because we were erased from existence Heidi; we’ve just been brought back – so I don’t think anyone would’ve noticed.’ She nodded, as they left the kitchen. They stared hopelessly at the ruins. The now-dilapidated place was lonely, and isolated. It felt like it had been like this for years.

They stepped outside, and it was only then did they realise it was sunlight.

‘It was only 9:30,’ Heidi realised. ‘You said a few hours.’ John neglected looking at her. ‘How long have we been gone? John?! How long have we been gone?!’

‘Well,’ John sighed. ‘When I said “a few hours” I meant, a few years.’ He turned to face the road in front of them.

‘What!?’ she said seriously. ‘But…wait, I haven’t aged.’

‘Yes you have,’ John told her without looking at her. ‘Look in the mirror.’ Heidi’s eyes widened, and she quickly took out her personal mirror from her handbag. She looked in the mirror in shock, her facial features had grown much more and it was shocking and even frightening. Heidi touched her face desperately hoping it was false. But it wasn’t.

‘How does that work?’

‘I don’t know. Safety measure, probably.’ Heidi thought for a few seconds,

‘What year is it?’

‘2020.’

‘That’s a whole four years taken from my life.’ John looked even more forlorn than Heidi did, and he felt like this was his fault. And it was.

‘Don’t worry. Once I figure out how to close all the fractures, I promise I’ll take you back in time to 2016 to keep the timeline as it should be.’

‘You want to do that?’

‘It’s the only way. Close the fractures before they can destroy time itself. Ironically, I’m running out of time.’

‘How do you close all of them at once?’

‘I don’t know. Best thing is find the first one.’

‘And close that?’

‘Yes.’

He briefly closed his eyes and opened a fracture to his home. John went through it, along with Heidi. Heidi looked around his home.

‘So this is where you live,’ she said.

‘Yeah. You like it?’

‘Why is it still the same?’

‘Because it was just brought back into existence.’ Heidi nodded pretending to understand how it all worked.

‘Where are your parents?’

‘Don’t have any parents.’

‘What? Of course you do. Otherwise you’d be in an orphanage.’

‘They were erased. Don’t you want to know why the fracture stayed open for so long?’ Her face saddened. Poor child…sort of.

‘Don’t you miss them?’

‘Can’t miss what never existed.’

‘C’mon, of course you do.’

‘Can we really not talk about this? I have to focus on making a fracture to the first one.’

 

 

 

 

Chapter Five

 

He focussed, hoping it would work.

‘Just have to open one to get to it.’ Open…open…open…a fracture appeared in front of them. I had worked. The portal led to the first ever fracture. John couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The first one was the one in his home – the one that was the first documented also was the first one ever.

‘The first fracture. I have to close it.’

‘Well, then let’s go through it then.’

‘It could be dangerous.’

‘I’m not scared.’ John sighed at her response.

‘Just make sure you keep yourself safe when you get back.’ Heidi’s eyes widened and she breathed heavily.

‘Wait, you are coming back right?’

‘Honestly, I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘But I think you’ll need this’ – he grabbed a piece of paper and wrote on it – ‘it might be important someday.’ She took this piece of paper, and it read . She frowned.

‘What does it mean?’

‘It’s binomial theory.’

‘What made you think it would be important?’

‘Don’t know. It sort of...just felt you’d need it.’

‘You have to come back.’

‘I just want you to be safe. And the rest of humanity.’ Heidi stared so him longingly for a few seconds and then kissed him on the lips.

‘What was that for?’

‘Being you.’ She smiled. They ran into the fracture.

They were back in the room, John’s old room when he was very young. It still brought back a distinct smell of nostalgia, and John was nervous for what he was about to do. John placed his hand near the fracture and focused on closing it. It didn’t work. He tried again. Close…close…close…close…

‘It’s not working,’ he realised. ‘The only way that is possible is if…I didn’t make it.’

‘Then how did it get here?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Then how will you close it?’

‘I don’t know.’ Out of nowhere, a piece of glass shot out of the quantum fracture towards Heidi. ‘No!’ John yelled in vain, lashing his hand out in vain. The air around his hand warped, and the glass shot back from where it came from, rewinding. Heidi’s shocked face quickly returned. He was shocked at what he was seeing. Eventually the rewinding stopped.

‘Then how will you close it?’ She repeated.

‘Erm…’ the piece shot out again, John rewound time again. ‘I…have to get it right this time.’

‘Then how will you close it?’ Heidi repeated again.

‘I don’t know…’ the glass shot out but this time he caught it; immediately he dropped it. There was huge cut on his palm with blood surrounding it. Heidi’s held her hand over her mouth in shock.

‘You saved my life,’ she realised. ‘How did you know that was going to happen?’

‘It appears I can rewind time.’

‘What else can you do that I don’t know about?’

‘No, I don’t think so.’ John was not paying attention to what he was even saying, as he was wondering how he was going to close this quantum fracture.

‘Maybe you can…’ Heidi began but was not sure how to finish. John’s mind wandered. He remembered the one time when he was young, he ran faster than he had before and he briefly disappeared and reappeared a few seconds later. He couldn’t remember everything that happened through the in-between, just whiteness. That’s when it hit him.

‘Aha!’

‘What?’

‘I need to build up pressure, a cage of distances. Once I build up enough pressure, it’ll close, but…’ Heidi frowned.

‘But what?’

‘I’ll have to go through it,’ he told her, despondently. ‘Then it will close.’

‘You can’t do that! What if you never come back?!’

‘It’s the only way; it’s a risk I got to take. Once this one closes, they all will.’ Tears slowed streamed down her eyes at hearing this.

‘You can’t do it!’

‘I haven’t got a choice.’ Before any words could be said, John clenched his fists and began to slow down time. He slowed it down more and more until and a blink took about two minutes to reach its conclusion. That was Phase One. Now for Phase Two. John knew he was going to have to speed himself up. Speed…speed…speed…he knew it had worked now.

Everything around him seemed to warp. He walked over to the wall, and he tried to touch it. When he did, the wall rippled John stepped closer and he went through it. He saw the outside. The trees, the clouds, the roads, the cars, the buildings, it was beautiful. John stepped back into the house and got ready to run.

‘Ready…’ he said. ‘Set, Go!’ John ran, at an incredible speed. He ran so fast he made circles around the Earth. Faster and faster, building up pressure. After having circled the planet for the umpteenth time, he came back into the homes and vanished through the fracture. Time returned to normal.

‘No! John!’ Heidi yelled as she tried to jump into the fracture, but as soon as Heidi touched it, she was thrown back and knocked out. The baby in the room started crying.

 

John saw only whiteness. He knew had no idea where he was running and he only had one thought in his head – run. Then he blacked out.

Soon he woke up in the whiteness. A face appeared on his side. Its hand appeared as it crossed its arms.

‘So this is the one messing with time,’ it said. ‘I always wondered what would become of you.’ Its eyes narrowed. ‘John Howard Jones.’

‘How do you know my name?!’ he demanded. But it ignored him.

‘Well, I didn’t really have to wonder. I would know anyway.’

‘Who are you?!’ John had never seen this thing before in his life, but it acted like it knew him for its whole life. Another thing that questioned him – was should he call it? As an it? A he? A she? A they? He hadn’t a clue because the creature didn’t really show a specific gender, as it sort of, switched between looking male and looking female; it had no gender as far as it was concerned.

‘Who am I?’ the thing repeated. ‘I believe that is none of your concern at this point in…time, for lack of a better word.’

‘Maybe this is a better question: Why are you here?’ The thing let out a hm of content.

‘Smart question. I am here because I am always here. But what you probably want to know is why I have appeared in front of you. I’m here to warn you of the future you could possibly about encounter. I can foresee a horrible future, killing, murder, KRONOS…’

‘What do you mean by KRONOS?’

‘KRONOS! Don’t…and I repeat, DON’T…trust them, but play along with ‘em.’

‘What else is in store for me?’

‘Everyone you love could die.’

‘Cheery, OK. Enough about what’s going to happen, what’s happening now?’

‘You’re going ahead in time to 2010. But…I don’t know whether you’ll survive the trip.’ John frowned.

‘But you said you came to warn me about my fu –’

‘No,’ it interrupted. ‘I said I came to warn you about a possible future.’

‘Why are you so concerned?’

‘Because of this future comes to pass, it could very well cause the end of time itself. And that’s my problem and yours.’

‘But how?’

‘Hm, hm…’ it laughed.

‘But how?!’

‘Ha! Ha!’ it laughed again, and then disappeared. John was shocked.

‘Come back!’ he demanded. John was clueless. He had no idea what the thing was, whether he should believe its accusations and how exactly time might end. It was worrying him.  In how long? Who could he lose? What could he do to prevent such a future? Why couldn’t he understand what the thing was? He knew the journey was coming to an end…or at least, he thought so…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Epilogue

 

Heidi’s eyes flung open. She realised that was in her bed. Heidi surveyed her room and wondered how she even got there. She breathed quite heavily and looked at the clock beside her. It told her it was 9:30 and the calendar told her it was Saturday, 17th July.

‘Oh,’ she said. The last time she checked the date was with the skype call with John – the date at the time was 14th March. John. Where was John? The last thing she remembered was seeing John run into the fracture.

Deciding to get up, Heidi stared into the large mirror that stood next to her cupboard. She was her 14-year-old self again. Since she was, it was a good assumption that she was back in 2010.

She realised she was still in the clothes she was when she was wearing when she was with John. Heidi stared at the girl looking back at her in the mirror and almost didn’t recognise her. Her clothes were covered in dust, and blood streamed down her forehead.

It was important that she wash herself or her parents would be suspicious. So she did.

About an hour later, Heidi walked down the stairs. She arrived at the dining room, where her mum was sitting, drinking a cup of tea.

‘You’re up early,’ her mum said. ‘For a Saturday.’ She let out a yawn.

‘Feels like it.’ Heidi stood there for a few seconds.

‘Do you know where my-’ she coughed. ‘Uh, friend John is?’ Her mother’s brow rose.

‘You mean John Jones?’’

‘Uh, yeah,’ she replied. ‘I believe that’s his second name.’ Her mum’s eyes widened. Heidi had seen enough widening of the eyes to know something was wrong.

‘What?’

‘John Jones has been missing for months, presumed dead.’

‘Oh.’

‘They had the funeral last week.’ Heidi sat down and faced the floor, head in hands. John was dead. She was sure of it. After a short few seconds just sitting there, Heidi looked up at her mum.

‘Do you where the grave is?’ There was one last thing she had to do. 

 

It was raining. Beating down on her, it was. Puddles splashed as rain pelted into it. Heidi stood on her own, staring at the gravestone in front of her. It read, “In loving memory of John Jones.” And under it: “One of the smartest kids”. She laughed. Heidi placed her hands on her umbrella.

‘So,’ she said, not sure how to start. ‘I am guessing your plan worked. I haven’t heard any reports of random seismic tremors, or seen any fractures.

‘I had a look at your room on the way here. Hell of a lot of trouble to get past police security.’ She forced a smile. ‘I suppose you taught me a bit about being sneaky. Thanks.

‘I presume that my timestream is in safe hands. The year is 2016 and I look like I used to. Somehow you got me back. Another thing I should thank you for. It’s only been two days, sort of, and you’ve done so much for me.

‘I’ve changed so much and you’ve shown yourself to be a better person than I thought you were. I…fell in love with you, and you showed me just how much of a jerk Alex was. I didn’t expect any of that to happen.

‘I’ve got one last request: please…please…please don’t be dead.’

 

From afar, a group of people in suits were watching Heidi talk to John’s gravestone.

‘Seems like your plan worked,’ said a woman. She was looking at the John. He was somehow alive!

‘I suspected it would,’ replied John. He looked at the people. ‘Why can’t I talk to her?’

‘You talk to that girl,’ one of the men explained, ‘She’s a dead girl.’ John sighed.

‘What do you want with me?’

‘We want your powers,’ a woman told her.

‘What with them?’

‘You’ll find out soon enough.’

‘Wait, who are you?’

‘Kronotic Readings from Official Natured studies Orientating around Strange time-occurrences.’

‘What do you mean by that?’

‘A commonly-used abbreviation is KRONOS.’ John’s eyes widened.

 

[1] Remember this for the next book!

[2] Yes it’s confusing


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