Swept Away - Part Three
Okay, so, you found the note. That means, hopefully, that you've decided to take the reigns and figure out just what I'd discovered that led to... By the time you got around to reading the book I tucked this letter in, I'm fairly sure you're at the point where you can handle this information. It was just the other night when I showed me you weren't ready. But there's no telling how long it's been for you.
My ideas were grand, stretching across the very fabric of what we as a people accept and barely know about time. I reached for the stars, little brother, and no matter what people said I stayed the course and success couldn't have been any better. Once I achieved my ultimate goal, you wouldn't believe the feeling... it was orgasmic, it shook me in places I didn't even know existed.
You're probably wondering why I did what I did. Not the experiment, that is, but what I did afterward. I know you too well, Alex. If you're reading this, it means you can't stand not knowing. The experiment is merely a nuisance to you, blocking the path to the knowledge of why I decided I needed to do what I did.
Okay, fair enough.
It doesn't matter anymore why you're here. All that matters is that you are, and that you have within you the ability to finish what I started. Somewhere along the way, you'll see. Everything will click together in your head and you're primary reason for living will shift from trying to determine my mindset on that final night to realizing just how lucky and special you are because of this grand experiment.
Under the left leg of the desk, you'll find a small hole dug deep into the foundation. Inside of that hole, you'll find all of my missing paperwork. Everything you need to finish this project will be there. There's still a lot you need to learn, but as you go through it, you'll figure it out. It's what you do.
As for the experiment, what is there to say? I'm sure you've been trying to determine what I had been working on for a while. So, I'm going to tell you. I discovered a flaw, little brother. In as plain and simple of terms as I can think of, I found a flaw in time. Think of time like a long flowing silk scarf, perfectly created without a single flaw. Then take a pin and make a nick in some obscure part of the scarf where nobody would ever find it. Make it so tiny you would have to know it was there in order to see it. And that is exactly what I found.
Call it chance. Call it fate. Call it whatever you want. But there you have it. A one in an infinite chance, and I found it.
What can you do with this flaw? Well, not as much as I'd hoped. My original plan was to use it to move through time. Unfortunately, that proved impossible, at least with our current tech levels... and my extent of knowledge. All the tech in the world didn't matter though, because I discovered early on that the flaw could be manipulated with blood. Fresh, warm blood straight from the wound and I could pretty much reach out and stretch this tiny scratch in time.
Still, none of this mattered if I couldn't figure out some way to do something, anything, with my discovery. Then I got the idea that brought to me to that night in your room.
While I wasn't able to physically move through time, I found a way to peer through the scratch. Any time, any place, it didn't matter. In those final few weeks, I'd seen dozens of historical events that have plagued the minds of scholars for centuries. And, I have to tell you that those scholars are not all they're cracked up to be. Forget everything you've ever learned. Most of it is far, far different.
There were still a shitload of problems, though. I sunk deeper and deeper into the work, completely shutting out everything in my life. I had to perfect the technique, partly for my own personal need as a perfectionist, and partly because the bugs in my setup were dangerous. More than once I inadvertently caused... problems.
Problems. Yes. Problem is a good way to describe it. You see, even though I wasn't able to go backward or forward in time, I could see backward and forward, and, apparently, I was able to sometimes transmit through that scratch. More than once... let's just say, a few people mistook me for a certain... all-knowing, all-seeing voice from above.
I never intended to cause any harm, Alex. Whether I did or not... well, who's to say? Maybe time is immutable and my talking to people in the past was a fate I couldn't escape--a circular path of time that had to happen beyond my control.
You want to know why I did what I did? I--
Alex startled at the voice. Even now several years after discovering the letter from his brother, he found it difficult to read and not be drawn in so deeply the world melted away. So deep, he didn't hear the footsteps on the stairs, or the creek of the door as some strange woman peered into his dungeon of hope and death.
"Who're you?" He snapped. The thunder outside shook his memory loose. "I said you could stay in from the rain, not nose around down here."
"What is this? Some kind of wacky mad-scientist laboratory?" Her eyes swept over everything. Alex felt violated, naked and ashamed as she soaked in his brother's, and then his, dark obsession.
What was her name? He couldn't remember. Katherine? Shaking his head, Alex cleared his throat. "Please. You have to leave now."
"It's still storming."
"I don't care. Time to go."
"You're not like Dr. Frankenstein are you?" She suddenly seemed a bit more suspicious of her surroundings. This, Alex noted, he didn't mind. But her wary outlook didn't hold. Soon she reached toward one of the computers.
Alex stepped between her and the delicate equipment with a scowl on his face. "Don't make me call the cops."
"Do you realize what kind of day I've had? You better not call the cops." Her eyes blazed. Briefly, he felt a tingle in his loins. First time he actually noticed her with those long athletic legs, the way her hair framed her face. And her face, oh, what a face. He couldn't be sure exactly, but she came from some unusual mixed heritage.
"You need to go," he muttered. "It's dangerous down here."
Those exotic eyes darted over his shoulder to the big screen dominating the middle of the room. His warning of danger completely passed over her without notice. "It's porn, isn't it?" she said. "You're running some kind of high-tech porn studio down here and it's not legal."
"Don't be ridiculous." Had he left one of the computers open to such a revealing site? He started to look over his shoulder, embarrassed by stopped himself--no sense looking guiltier than he already did. "Please. This equipment is highly sensitive. I don't want--"
"What the hell?"
Alex stumbled as the woman marched past him; his heart skipped a beat as her shoulder, while rudely, brushed him aside. That stirring in his pants caused the blood to drain from his face. That and the fact that she'd seen exactly what he didn't want her to see. "Is this blood?"
A long line of mixed-matched circuits lined the floor directly in front of the screen. Wires and cords stretched around the screen, from the circuits. Directly down the middle of the boards, a deep groove had been cut, and blood had been smeared all along the way.
"Katlyn!" Alex said. At least he remembered her name.
Katlyn stared at him, then the blood, and then him again. "It is blood, isn't it? Maybe you're right. I think I've overstayed my welcome." She eased toward the door, careful to keep as much distance between Alex as possible.
"No, wait," said Alex. "Don't go."
"Cute. Go away. Get out. I'm calling the cops. Wait. Don't go. You weren't going to call the cops. But I sure as hell am."
In one of the tiny windows lining the top part of the wall in the basement, lightning flashed brightly, followed by a loud chorus of thunder. Katlyn started. Her face had gotten paler. But whether it was from the blood or the storm, Alex had yet to determine.
"It's not what you think," he said. "Look!" He held out his palm. An irregular line ran awkwardly across the rough surface. "It's my blood."
Katlyn flinched as the palm shot out. Then she regained her composure, a look of embarrassed anger etched in her brow. "I don't care what kind of sick shit you're into, all right? I'm leaving."
With nothing else left to say, Alex let her go. He watched her climb the stairs two at a time, and then another wave of lightning and thunder shook the house. This time it took the power with it. Everything blanked into a complete darkness that fell eerily silent. With all the computer equipment down, Alex realized just how much noise it all made.
A second later, the windows flashed alive. Terrifying shadows spread along the walls and floor unnoticed as the silent void of equipment was replaced with exploding glass.
Alex turned just in time to see thick arms of electricity hugging the screen before reaching out to tackle him. As he flew against the foot of the stairs, he heard the scream from above and saw the tall shadowy form of Katlyn light up right before he passed out.To be continued...
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