“And the universe as we know it continues on with a French victory—”
“And then Grigori Rasputin arrives in our universe in the late nineteenth century—”
“From a universe in which the Russian Revolution never happened.”
Wally nodded to all of this and drew yet another downward arrow, one which intersected with “T5” near its top extremity and prompted the drawing of yet another upward arrow, which he labeled “T6.”
“And what if someone had arrived in our universe from a reality in which Hitler had won the war?” yet another person asked.
“Or what if Hitler himself was a time traveler?” someone at the back asked in a soft voice.
“Okay, that’s it for me,” Dwyer declared before standing up and draining the last of his cup. “I’ve got an a.m. flight.”
With that, the party began to disperse, and its individual components started looking for their respective coats and scarves thrown across the chairs and workstations in the room.
Wally swished his last half-cup within the white interior of the plastic, folded the diagram into quarters, and stuffed the paper in his jeans pocket as he looked up at Earhart. “Merry Christmas, Doc.”
Earhart stood up, and waited for Wally to join his standing position. “I’m glad you could make it.”
Wally gripped the edge of Earhart’s desk to balance his woozy self. “One question.” He gripped his right temple with four fingers. “I’ve been meaning to ask it for a while.”
Earhart’s voice was amused and patient. “Anything. Within reason.”
Alternity, Chapter I: