Love Across Time chapter 36

“TIMELINE ALTERATION! TIMELINE ALTERATION! COLIN EDWARDS REPORT TO TIMELINE CONTROL,” the computer blared throughout the building.

Ryan’s cousin, Colin, slapped the Alarm Cancel button with one hand and the Emergency Reverse button with the other. Duncan raced into the control room, “What the hell was that?” He demanded.

“I don’t know,” Colin answered. “Just as I got here Ryan and Ethan were materializing in travellator 2. I hit the Emergency Reverse button to send them back. Let me take a look at the timeline monitor and logs to see if I can figure out what happened.”

~~~~~

“What just happened?” Troy asked as Ryan and Ethan materialized in the living room.

Ryan guided a shaky Ethan to the nearest chair and gently set him down before answering. “My guess would be that someone activated the automatic return system to bring me back and Ethan was close enough to me to get caught up in the chronometric particle stream and was pulled back to the future. As soon as we started materializing the timeline alteration alarm went off and somebody activated the emergency reverse system which sent us back here.” Suddenly, on shaky legs, Ethan bolted to the bathroom and vomited. “He’s okay,” Ryan quickly assured them. “It’s not uncommon for people who are in the materialization process to get sick if the process is interrupted with the dematerialization process unless you’re trained to deal with it. He’ll be fine. Slight bit of nausea is the worst he’ll get hit with.”

“Ryan, why would the alarm go off?” Chris asked, his brows furrowing in confusion. “If what you say is true about the two of use living in the future, what would make it go off?”

“I don’t know, but I promise you this; if you guys can’t come back to the future then I’ll stay here, even if I have to steal a temporal capacitator to do it.”

“What’s a temporal capacitator?”

“Originally it was supposed to be a safeguard component of the travellators. If the materialization process took longer than it was supposed to, the traveler or travelers would be returned to their point of origin automatically. It was discovered by accident that the temporal capacitator made it possible for a person to travel through time as well as geographic locations. It’s because of this that the Timeline Preservation Commission was formed.”

Returning to the living room on wobbly legs Ethan was shocked to hear what Ryan just said. “You’d really give up everything to stay here with me?”

“Without a moment’s hesitation! Never doubt that,” Ryan quickly affirmed. “Reach for the sky baby for the world is ours.”

“So how is it that you can travel back and forth through time and not affect the timeline?” Chris wanted to know.

“This might be a little hard to grasp, but basically when we travel through time, our absence from our own time is part of one of many possible futures that hasn’t come to pass. In addition, the beacons we carry surround us with chronometric particles, kinda like a cocoon of sorts, so we’re not affected by anything in the past, as long as we stick to our mission and don’t interact with anyone or anything in the past unless we’re supposed to.”

Troy groaned, “This is giving me a headache.”

Ryan gave him a sympathetic grin, “Believe me, I know what you mean. It took me awhile to grasp the complexities of time travel, timeline alterations and paradoxes, and don’t ask me to explain a paradox to you yet, not until you’ve had time to think about what I’ve said.” Glancing over at Ethan he continued, “in the meantime, let’s get this guy up to bed. He’s been through a rough ordeal and needs rest.”

“You just want to get me to bed so you can fuck me into the middle of next year,” was Ethan’s weak reply, which made Chris and Troy snicker.

“If you do, Ryan, I’m taking Troy out to the shop. You guys can get loud and I don’t think either of us want to hear you,” Chris joked.

“Amen to that!” Troy chimed in.

“Don’t worry guys, as soon as I have him all tucked in and he’s asleep, I’m going to return to try and figure out what happened.” Ryan followed up his words with action.

After stripping Ethan down to his tighty-whities and putting him to bed, Ethan couldn’t help but ask in a broken voice, “When’s all this going to end so we can be together?”

“Soon, baby, soon. Nobody and nothing is ever going to separate us. That I promise. Now go to sleep. You need the rest and you’ll be fine in the morning. Trust me, I’ve been through it quite a few times as part of my training.” He kissed him gently, then moved to a chair and watched him. Once he was asleep, he pulled out his beacon and pressed the button.

~~~~~

As soon as he materialized, Ryan was out of the travellator and at the control console in a flash. “So what the fuck happened? Why did the alarm go off when both Ethan and Chris lived here?” He demanded.

“I don’t know yet,” Colin answered. “It doesn’t make sense. I can only come up with two possibilities. One, Ethan wasn’t supposed to come back with you, which makes a little sense since the alarm didn’t go off when you returned, and two, both Ethan and Chris were supposed to come back together.”

“It could be either of those, or something else we haven’t thought of,” Duncan added his opinion.

“I meant what I said earlier, if I have to steal a temporal capacitator and go back to Ethan’s time without a beacon, I will.”

Colin paled at that statement. “If you go back without a beacon, you won’t be able to return and we won’t be able to bring you back.”

“That’s a price I’m more than willing to pay.”

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