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13

“Keeping me honest. What we do know is that those rats and dogs went somewhere. Earhart had drawn a reverse arrow that hugged “T2” and led back to the point of connection. “Anyway, the ‘Box’ leads us back to the point of origin for all three of these frames of reference, or worlds. The point that I make to you, Judy, is that once a traveler has returned to an old frame of reference, he or she has created a new universe.”

“But that doesn’t make any sense,” Judy observed with a frown at Earhart’s newest arrow, which was labeled “T4” and shot away from the point of origin, towards the right edge of the diagram.

“It does, if you think out of the box, no pun intended.” The graphite returned to the point of origin of all the lines. “When you enter a universe, you create a new, additional universe, just by the fact of your presence there. If you go back to the birth of Christ, you have not returned to our universe around the year One A.D.; you have created an entirely new universe with Judy Coppola as its distinguishing feature. For all of your intents and purposes, your original universe no longer exists.”

“And you’re in an entirely new universe that goes off in an entirely new direction,” Wally observed.

“Not entirely, perhaps, but distinctly.” All eyes followed the pencil as it ran back and forth across “T4,” emboldening it. “The new universe of T-Four will be different, how different depending on the new arrival’s actions. Does she murder the Emperor Augustus? Or does she give birth to a child whose descendants change history further down the line of T-Four? Perhaps she becomes somehow responsible for the death of infant Jesus in the manger.”

“Assuming, of course, that Jesus really existed.” The new speaker recoiled from his colleagues’ stares over their shoulders. “Sorry, meant no offense.”

“None taken.” Earhart calmly replaced the pencil on the desktop. “In fact, that leads me to one of the many thoughts that have filled my head since this theory took hold up here.” Earhart left his index on his temple after he finished tapping.

“What’s that?” Wally asked as he reached for the sheet of paper.

Alternity, Chapter I:

1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8/ 9/ 10/ 11/ 12/ 13/ 14/ 15/ 16/ 17/ 18/ 19/ 20/ 21/ 22/ 23

Jump to Chapter II

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