Richard saw only gray in front of her. The landscape of Antarctica was generally very much harsh and white, but now it seemed that little had changed except the color of the harshness. She thought it would at least have some life around here…
She looked at Dyan and saw her very odd expression. Richard didn’t think that Dyan was expecting the future to look at all like this, so she guessed it was a shock to her too. 600,000 years in the future, and several species should have evolved considerably by now, especially the more rapidly-reproducing ones, but Richard saw no real evidence of any evolved species.
In fact, she didn’t see any species at all.
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Richard entered one of the many small, “local,” coffee shops littered around the facility. She wanted to get something to drink, but mainly to focus on everything she had been thinking about the past few hours. As she stood in line, she went deep into contemplation.
Another version of herself coming back in time was already changing the project a ton, but… just seeing another her was really hard to reconcile with in her mind. Another person, exactly the same as her, but with two weeks more experience in life that apparently dramatically changed everything– it was really weird.
She remembered back when she was still a kid, maybe a teenager, she used to dream about time travel and all its amazing concepts almost constantly. She was able to wrap her head around the infinite strands of the multiverse even at a young age… And that led her into even greater curiosities, as to how the universe would change when certain elements would change. If you kill one mouse in the woods, how much of the forest is impacted ten years in the future?
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“Alright, let me get this straight,” Stephen said, sitting in the middle of the ISRFA infirmary. “There are two versions of me now, and it’s all because this secret time travel project you’re working on went to shit?”
“Pretty much,” Richard said. “I had no idea about the going to shit thing until now either, though, so don’t ask me about it. Ask her.” She pointed to Dyan.
“I honestly don’t know. Future Richard is still out cold, and Future Stephen is too preoccupied with taking care of her to answer any of our questions. So I guess we’ll know in a few hours, assuming nothing goes to shit on our end.”
“Well it wouldn’t surprise me if it did,” Stephen said, standing up from his chair. “You guys are trying to play God, for what purpose? Science?”
“Yeah,” Richard said.
“Basically correct,” Dyan said.
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I’m dreaming about ebony-colored horses and a triceratops feasting on the world’s largest salad. I find nothing wrong with it, other than that I am not joining in with the feast. I feel hungry, though everything around me is food. This probably means something, I think, but I continue to act according to the logic of what is presented in front of me. It disturbs me.
I see a flash across the sky, and suddenly an aurora. A man named Antepenultimatum teaches me how to overcome myself and release the witch inside of me and all beings, though I know there is nothing third-to-last about me. I am the best.
The flash across the sky turns into a human shape and floats down to meet me in the grassy plains. I greet the being of yellow energy, until it turns into Dyan Moore. Then I am more befuddled than anything.
“Guess what, Richard?” Dream Dyan asks me.
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