To save Hectun from insanity, Victa must go into her past. Now she is trapped there too.
Word Count = 4,995
“From the Past to the Present”
A Short Story
A female entered an almost completely dark room. The lights came on as she entered. Two muscular males came right behind her. She didn’t appear to be wearing any chains. And her clothing looked a lot like those of the males, except feminized. But the room they had just came into looked like an Execution Chamber.
In the center of that room, there was a chair with arm and leg metal restraints, and an opened metal hat hovering above that chair. Next to the entrance, there was some floor to ceiling metal panels with a lot of knobs, levels, and buttons. Another room with a large big window stood in front of that one. In that room, two row of chairs had ten individuals in them. What made it different than most Execution Chambers were the four individuals seated behind a control panel in front of the two rows of individuals.
Victa slowly scanned the room as she was escorted to that chair. After sitting down, the two males strapped her into it. One took her arms and legs. The other placed the hat over her head. It took about a minute. A few seconds after they did, another male entered.
Grogin walked up and stood next to Victa. “Is there anything that you would like to say before we do this?”
“There are four other chairs here.” Victa smiled sheepishly. “let’s pop up one, and you can go with me.”
“You know I can’t do that. You’re the only one that can do that.”
Grogin looked at the four individuals behind the control panel. They all looked at each other, then nodded ‘yes’ at Grogin. He nodded ‘yes’ back. Then he turned to the panels at the entrance and pushed one big red button. Instantly, Victa started shaking. Her hands quivered violently. And her head shook chaotically. A few seconds later she disappeared.
Victa reappeared still in the seated position a few seconds later. But there was no chair to sit in. She fell to the floor of a big empty room. Victa just sat there for about a minute. Then she got up and slowly scanned the room she was in now. “Where am I?”
“This isn’t the place I’m supposed to be.” Victa stopped her scanning at a window. “There aren’t any windows in this part of Time Traveler.”
“I don’t think I’m where I should be.” Victa got up and started walking toward that window.
Victa looked out that window. She saw she was in a tall building in a large city. There were buildings for as far as she could see. Most of them were small buildings. But there were a few that were as tall as hers or taller. Victa looked at one about her height. She could see every level slightly. The first ten were partially blocked by another building.
After bobbing her head ‘yes’ at each level, Victa stopped at the level parallel to her. “I’m about sixteen levels above the ground. This could be the building where Time Traveler is at.”
“This isn’t the right level, though. Time Traveler only takes up underground level one and two, and the first four levels. So, even if this is the right building I shouldn’t be on this level.”
Victa suddenly stepped back a few steps. “Something is wrong here. There are too many buildings. And the buildings are too new looking.”
“I’m in the wrong time.” Victa looked shocked. “I should have only gone back ten days. But something went wrong. From the looks of these building, and the number of them, I’m at least two hundred years in my past.”
After leaving that building, Victa looked up at the name above the entrance. “This is the right building.”
Victa followed the levels up the side of the building. She stopped when she reached the top four levels that were still under construction. “I’m a few months early, though. Only the top level needed to be done.”
As Victa started walking down the busy walkway just beyond her future building, she began looking at all the males there. I haven’t seen him yet.
I don’t think he’s here. But I know he was looking for a place like this a couple of months before we moved in.
Victa suddenly stopped and looked at the male who just passed her. She followed him with her eyes as he stopped just before her building. He looked up at the top of it. Then he turned and walked across the Transport Center to another walkway. After he had got past her building, he returned to that walkway. Victa watched as about fifty others did it in both directions. They all looked up at the top of her building before they did it too.
That’s strange. I wonder why they are doing that?
Victa started walking again. When she got to the end of that walkway, she stopped like everyone else. She also continued when the wall next to her slid down so that the Transports could continue their journey. Victa stopped just on the other side of that side Transport Center.
I’m hungry. I wonder what kind of Eating Places they have in this time of Povi. Victa began walking again. But now she was looking at the buildings on both sides of that Transport Center.
Suddenly, Victa stopped. There’s a place that I recognize.
As Victa approached that Eating Place she glanced down at the Information-in-Print Holder next to the entrance. Let’s just see how far back in time I really am.
Victa opened her clothing and pulled out a small thin wood square with a metal frame around it. She placed the Credit in the square hole in the center of a small blackish gray box on top of the Information-in-print Holder. It dropped through that hole instantly. Victa reached through the clear glass or plastic looking Holder to pull out her Information-in-Print.
After pulling it out, Victa looked at the day printed on the top center of her Information-in-Print. It’s almost two hundred and nine years I have gone back in time. That’s not too bad. I figured it was two hundred.
Victa placed her hand on the entrance to that Eating Place. Just as the entrance disappeared, Victa suddenly looked back at her building. It’s been nine years longer than I thought it was. That means I’m not a few months early. I’m almost nine months late.
What happened? Victa thought as she stared at that building for several minutes. From the way a lot are reacting to it whatever happened it wasn’t too long ago.
Maybe I can find out what happened looking at the Information-in-Print. Victa started looking at the printed information. She thought each title as she looked at them.
There were six titles on the first paper. And five on the second. Eight were on the third. Each title had least one image under it or to its side. It was the fourth piece of paper that Victa looked beyond the title and images. There he is.
That’s my father’s brother. So, I was right. He is here. This is where he went when he disappeared sixteen years ago.
I knew this was where he disappeared to because this was where Time Traveler started. And I knew he was the one who started it.
Victa's mouth moved as she thought while she looked at the information about Brutim. She did that for several minutes. Then she suddenly looked up in shock. This can’t be him. There’s no way he would have killed anyone. Let alone this many.
After getting something to eat, Victa returned to Time Traveler. It was near dark when she headed there. And there weren't as many Povians as there was about an hour earlier. But there was quite a few of them. Victa heard some gasps as she walked in front of Time Traveler. And several “No’s, don’t do that, you don’t want to go in there,” things like that.
I should be okay staying here until I find Brutim. Since almost everyone here is afraid of this building, I should be safe here. True, the ones who saw me come in here could contact Law Enforcement. But I don’t think that they will.
If they do, I doubt that Law enforcement will come in here anyway. They are probably just as afraid to do it like everyone else is.
Victa walked over to a double entrance on the first level. The entrance slid open as she approached it. She started to take a step into the darkness. Then quickly pulled her foot back. “The floating ability might have been eliminated when this building blew up.”
Slowly looking around that big almost completely empty level, Victa stopped when she saw what appeared to be part of the destroyed building. Victa went over to it and picked it up. It appeared to be a heavy piece of a wall. She carried it to the entrance and threw it into the darkness.
“I didn’t hear it falling.” Victa stepped into the darkness. A few seconds later she stepped out of it into a long corridor.
Victa shook her head sadly as she walked past six of ten entrances on her right of that jagged floor corridor. She stopped at the seventh one and put her palm on it to slide it open. After going through that entrance, Victa said, “I should have come down here when I first got to this time.”
“Then I would have known I wasn’t a few months early.” Victa slowly scanned that room. It looked almost like the one that sent her to that time. Only now it looked like a SpaceStorm hit it.
Everything appeared to be there. But it wasn’t where it was supposed to be. It was either fallen over or dangling off the wall. Most of the dangling was from the bottom. But some was from the top. “I don’t know what happened here, yet. But I’ll start looking for answers tomorrow.”
“I’m tired. I need to get some sleep. It’s been a long tiring day.” Victa left that room and entered the sixth entrance the same way she did that one.
Victa sighed. “I have slept in worse conditions.” She started walking toward a Sleeper. It appeared to be almost the only thing still intact in that disaster of a room.
“I will start my search with Brutim. I’m sure he can tell me what happened here.”
“Besides, he’s the only one who can get me back to my time. If he can still do that. After looking at Time Traveler, I’m not so sure that he can.”
Victa walked up the steps of a tall fifteen level building. She stopped at the top and looked up at the ‘Information Center twelve' sign above the entrance before she entered that building.
Just beyond that entrance, a male sat behind a large structure that took up most of that entranceway. He looked at her and smiled. “My name is Thean. How can I help you?”
“I hope you can. I’m looking for information on Brutim.”
Thean looked shocked. “That’s not a name you want to say out loud, especially in this Community of a Million.”
“I’m not surprised. I have gotten similar responses at the other eleven centers I have been to in the last two weeks. But I still need the information. Can you help me?”
“I am probably going to tell you the same thing all the others have. You can come in and search all that you want. But I’m not going to help you. I don’t think anyone in this Community will help you. Not after what he did to us.”
Victa entered a small room just big enough for a table. On top of that table sat an Information Monitor. And in front of it a chair. Victa turned toward the entrance as it slid shut. She placed her palm against it, “Seal.”
The entrance, all four walls, the floor, and the ceiling glowed white for a few seconds before they went back to their original color. Victa sat at the table. “Information, please.”
“What information are you looking for?” A female voice asked through the Information Monitor.
“I’m looking for all the information that you have on Brutim. Especially, where he might have been seen and if there have been any unnatural deaths or disappearances.”
“I can’t give you that information. You must have Special Permission to get it.”
Victa sighed. “I do have permission. Check my voice.”
“Your voice has been acknowledged,” the voice coming from the monitor said a few seconds later. “How would you like this displayed, with my voice or on my monitor?”
“I would prefer the monitor.” Victa leaned forward and started mumbling softly as she stared at that monitor. About a half hour later she stopped mumbling and leaned back in her chair. He’s not here.
There have been several seeing’s. But all have been misleading. The Povians who did it was probably just after the Credits for finding him first.
No unknown deaths, but there have been several disappearances. But they could be natural disappearances too.
I don’t think Brutim is here. Victa thought after just staring at that monitor for several minutes. If he is still in this time, he’s not in this Community of a Million.
So, where is he? He could be anywhere on Povi.
I hope he hasn’t changed to another time. If he has, I’m probably trapped here for the rest of my life. Victa thought as she left that Information Center and started walking down a series of walkways.
After about a half hour of walking, Victa suddenly stopped. I might not be trapped here after all. Not if I can find out how he changed times.
How am I going to find him? Victa started walking again. I’m almost out of Credits.
Victa walked in silent thoughts for several different walkways. if only I could make a Daily or Weekly Wager. Then I would be able to find Brutim or his way of changing to another time. But Wagering isn’t going to start for another hundred and fifty years.
That’s why I was only supposed to go back ten days. I was going to collect the biggest amount of Credits in the history of Wagering. If I could have done that I would have been able to come back to this time or any other one that I wanted to come back to.
Suddenly, Victa stopped after about fifteen minutes of walking. I know how I can find Brutim if he’s still here or how he left if he isn’t.
True, there wasn’t any good Wagering back in this time. But there were some bad ones. With my knowledge of our past, I shouldn’t have any trouble getting all the Credits that I need to find Brutim. Unless the bad Povians don’t like me for collecting so many. If that happens, then I’m in real trouble. The deadly kind of trouble.
Victa ran to the end of a very busy walkway. She bumped into several other Povians and knocked a few out of her way. When she reached the end, Victa didn’t stop or slow down as she turned onto another walkway. That walkway wasn’t as busy as the last one. But it was still very busy.
About halfway down that walkway, Victa looked behind her at four males running too. Victa faced to other way and smiled. She skidded to a stop in front of her build. And stopped at the top of those steps. Victa’s smiled became a frown. Normally, the four males would have skidded to a stop just before getting to her building. A one did, but he soon joined the others after realizing they weren’t stopping.
The four males followed her into that building. She didn’t even get off that level before they reached her. “We aren’t going to hurt you or take away any of the Credits you have collected over the last three months,” said the oldest looking male.
“All we want to know is how you are doing it so we can do it too. You have collected every day and have over five million Credits. How are you doing it?” Another male asked.
Victa snorted. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you why.”
“Sure, we will. We will believe anything you tell us if it means we start collecting Credits too,” said the youngest looking male.
“Okay, I will tell you. I’m from the future. And I have come back in time to find my father’s brother. But he’s missing. I need the Credits to find him. I’ve got to get us back to our time before my father goes completely insane.”
Victa sat in the room that she came into the past from. Only now she was surrounded by tables with monitors and technology looking equipment on them. “It’s taken me two more months to get the Credits that I needed. But now I have what I need to find Brutim. If he’s still in this time.”
“Ouch,” Victa shouted after she plucked a hair from her head. Victa opened a tray on a piece of equipment and placed the hair in it. Then she pushed the tray back into the equipment.
“I’m not sure how long this will take. But if you are still in this time, I will find you.”
Victa leaned back in the chair. But she kept her eye on the monitor in front of her. Facial images appeared every second. Her eyes blink each time they changed. Within a few minutes, she stopped blinking, closed her eyes and fell asleep. Suddenly, she woke up when an alarm sounded, and a flashing red glow filled that room.
“How long was I asleep?” Victa leaned forward and looked at the monitor. “It’s only been nine hours.”
“I thought that it would take longer than that,” said Victa. Victa tapped a button on the controls in front of that monitor. An image of Brutim appeared.
“That sure does look like you. I know it has been over sixteen years since I seen you, but that looks like the image I saw when I first got here.”
“So, where are you?” Victa tapped another button. An image of an island from above appeared.
As the island became clearer, Victa looked shocked. “No wonder no one has been able to find you considering where you have been hiding.”
Victa entered a WaterSkimmer DealMaker establishment. She glanced at the WaterSkimmers on display as she walked up to a female seated behind a table. The female looked up at Victa. “Can I help you?”
“I hope you can. I’m looking for someone to take me to The Island of Death.”
“Sorry, I can’t help you. No one wants to go to that island. Why do you want to go there?”
“That’s not a surprise to me. The other six WaterSkimmer establishments have said something similar.”
“How many Credits do you want for your best WaterSkimmer?” Victa asked a few seconds later.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t help you with that either. We don’t have any to give you.”
Victa glanced around her. “Yes, you do. You just don’t have any to give me.”
Without another word, Victa left. The eighth WaterSkimmer establishment Victa walked up to a male behind the table and asked, “How much do you want for that WaterSkimmer?” Victa pointed at one of the WaterSkimmers on display there.
About two inches above the light red water, the one or two Povian opened seating WaterSkimmer that Victa sat on sailed across the water. Victa kept her eyes in front of her most of the time. But every so often she would glance around her. That WaterSkimmer was the only one for as far as Victa could see in any direction. In fact, it was the only thing on the water too. Victa didn’t see any land either.
“Brutim really did find the perfect place to hide. The only place feared more than my building was The Island of Death.”
“The only ones who come here are either already dead or are dying. That’s probably another reason Brutim is here. He has plenty of Helpers to help him get back to our time. At least I hope that’s what he’s been trying to do since he got here. I know I have.”
Suddenly, Victa pulled back on her two Control Sticks that not only caused her to stop her WaterSkimmer but to have the front end of it raised up in the air slightly. As it settled back down to the water below it, Victa could see it. A Wall of Water at least twenty feet tall.
Victa looked in both directions. And all she could see was that Wall of Water. As its height became smaller, Victa saw that the wall was hitting an island. “That’s another reason why no one wants to come here until they have to death-wise. These Walls of Water are always hitting this island.”
“How am I going to get through that. Maybe I should have done what everyone else does with their dead or dying. I should have come to it from above.”
“I don’t really want to go to The Island of Death. And I’m starting to wonder if I really need to find Brutim. But I do. I have no choice but to do it. I’ve got to get back to my father before it’s too late. If it’s not too late already.”
Just as the Wall of Water dented down to hit the island, Victa used it as a ramp to get onto that island. The WaterSkimmer landed in a large tree. Victa quickly got off of it before the WaterSkimmer crashed on the ground below. She sat down on a thick branch and started looking around her.
That was a waste of fifty thousand Credits. Victa squinted her eyes and started slowly scanning that island. But it wasn’t easy. That area of the island was tree thick.
Now comes the hard part, finding Brutim. Brutim could be anywhere on this island. He could be using one or more of the Family Death Houses or one of the Dying Centers.
Brutim could also be using the mountain caverns in the center of the island. Maybe even the large Water Hole in the caverns.
I don’t think he’s using either the Death Houses or the Dying Centers. He’s probably using the caverns.
Victa started climbing down out of that tree. There only one way for me to know where he’s been hiding. I have to go and find him.
To get to the caverns, Victa had to walk through a thin Wooded Area that surrounded the island and a large Opened Area that circled around the mountain. Victa also had to walk among the Death Houses, Dying centers, and individual hole sites. There wasn’t a lot of Povians there. But Victa did talk to five family members before she got to the caverns.
A male looked at the image that Victa showed him on a Mini Monitor. “The face looks familiar. I think I saw him here a few days ago.”
Victa ran up to a family of six just before they reached a Dying Center. She showed them the image of Brutim. “We haven’t seen him,” said a female adult. “But we have only been here a few hours.”
“Who is he?” Another female asked after getting a ‘negative’ response from the other four members of her family.
“He could be here,” said an individual male walking down a thin walkway. “But I haven’t seen him.”
“Is Brutim here?” A female asked. “If he is, I would call Law Enforcement and collect the five hundred thousand Credits.”
There were two other families and another individual that Victa started to approach. But after glancing back at the last Povian she talked to, she didn’t. About an hour later she reached the mountain. But as after she started down a cavern tunnel she saw a Laser Spear headed for here and aimed for her head.
Victa ducked just as the Laser Spear shot past her. But as she did it she lost her balance and rolled down that tunnel head first. She landed at the bottom if it in a seated position.
Brutim came running up to Victa. “Are you okay? What are you doing here? I don’t need any help today.”
“I’m okay.” Victa glance all around her as she got helped up. Her jaw dropped as she saw what looked very similar to her time travel room. Only this one was a lot bigger, and it was a cavern instead of a room.
“Did you just mention that you didn’t need any more help? Does that mean that you are about ready to return us to our time?”
Victa started walking over to Brutim's Time Traveler. But Brutim stopped her by stepping in front of here. “I have never met you before now. Who are you? And how do you know what I’m trying to do here?”
“Yes, you have. But I was barely ten at that time. I’m your brother’s child.”
“You are Victa? Of course, I should have recognized you admittedly. You look just like your mother did at your age.”
Brutim looked at his Time Traveler. Then at Victa. “I’m kind of surprised my brother would let you travel in time. He never liked me doing it. Hectun thought it was too dangerous.”
“Hectun was always afraid something like this would happen to me. I guess he was right about that.”
Suddenly, Brutim looked at his Time Traveler. “He doesn’t know that you are doing this, does he?”
“No, he doesn’t. But it doesn’t really matter if he did or didn’t. So, is this traveler ready to send us back to our time?”
“I’m not sure. But I think I have finally remembered how to do it.”
Victa’s jaw dropped, and her eyes bugged out. “You forgot how to get back home!”
“I don’t know how it happened, but it did. Maybe it was because I was only supposed to go back a week. But instead, I ended up in this time.”
“That’s what happened to me too. I was planning on coming back to find you. But I was only trying to test my Time Traveler to see if I could do it.”
“My knowledge being lost was my biggest problem. But it wasn’t my only one. This time isn’t ready for time travel yet. It’s taken me this long just to get it right.”
“That would explain all the deaths you have supposedly caused. But that doesn’t matter. I do remember everything. If this traveler still doesn’t work, I can fix it so that it does. The sooner we can get back to our time the better.”
“What does that mean?” Brutim asked.
Victa went over to the Time Traveler and started checking it out. About half an hour later she returned to the staring Brutim. “Once I was sure I was going to be able to go back to this time, I was going to create a device to get us back to our time. But it doesn’t look like we are going to need it. You have already done it for us. We can return to our time anytime that we want to, and I want to do it right now.”
“There are a lot of questions I still want to ask you. Like, how did you find me? Where have you been living and how? How long you have been here? And why were you planning on coming back to find me? What’s wrong. Is there something wrong with Hectun? Things like that.”
Getting into a chair, Victa started her preparations to leave that time. Victa patted the chair next to her. “Get ready to go. I will answer all your questions. But I will have to do it on our way back to our time.”
It only took them a few minutes to prepare to leave that time. And a few seconds later they appeared in Victa’s Time Traveler just as she left it. Only now there was a chair next to hers. And Brutim sat in it.
Everyone started asking questions. But all Victa said was, “I will answer all your questions later too,” as she grabbed Brutim and ran out of that room.
Victa looked up at the timer above the entrance as it slid open so she and Brutim could exit that room. “I have only been gone about a minute.”
Brutim could barely keep up with Victa as she ran down the hallway, then up to the first level to a Transport. “I know we need to get to Hectun as fast as we can. But can’t we do it just a little slower.”
It only took them a few minutes to get to Hectun's house. Victa didn’t respond to Brutim. She just secured them inside her Transport and headed to Hectun’s house. Once there she ran into that house into the Living Area where Hectun sat staring at the wall with his mouth opened and his head slightly tilted to its side.
Victa stepped in front of Hectun. “I found Brutim. Brutim wasn’t back in time, after all. He just didn’t remember until I found him.”
Brutim slyly smiled at Victa as he stepped next to her. He got on his knee and took Hectun’s hand into his. “See I’m okay. Now you can be okay too.”
Slowly Hectun looked at Victa. Then at Brutim. Suddenly, his head snapped back. Both Victa and Brutim grabbed a hand and put their small fat finger in his palm. “I brought you back in time. But I still failed. He didn’t die of insanity. But he did die of Heart Failure.”