Read Chapter 29 “Trust”
After many attempts to figure out how to re-open time travel tunnels, Jessica and the Ecotopian team finally succeeded. The day the time travel was consciously opened, marked the beginning of the operation Shift.
The whole operation was Jessica’s idea, but it was quickly adapted and significantly developed by the whole Ecotopian team. The basic concept behind the operation Shift was to send members from the 1999 team further into the past. Everyone, who was going to take part in the operation, would be responsible for taking concrete, targeted actions that in theory would have been able to influence future events.
The years the team was going to travel to were chosen very carefully, based on the social and ecological development of the planet and humanity. Some of the actions the Ecotopians would have to take were drastic, but they all believed that to save many, a few may have needed sacrificing along the way.
Four members of the Ecotopian team decided to stay in 1999 to figure out a way of travelling into the future. According to the book Maggie sent, it has never been done before. However, it didn’t mean that travelling into the future didn’t exist. The empty Ecotopian capsule moved between 1999 and Ecotopia without major difficulties. However, whenever the capsule wasn’t empty, the time tunnel wouldn’t grab the capsule in its swirl. As if the tunnel had some kind of consciousness of its own.
Those, who stayed behind in 1999 also needed to observe, if any meaningful change was taking place across the globe. The rapid shift of current political and social moods would be a good indicator of how successful the operation Shift was.
If the events of the 1999 New Year’s Eve weren’t changing and evolving in the way the team has envisioned, the four remaining members would jump through time and implement plan B, which was reserved only if the other team failed in their attempts.
For the operation Shift to work, everyone had to be sent into the past at the same time. However, they only had one capsule, and using it for different travels was impossible. In no time at all, Jessica came up with a very clever and neat design for a new capsule that could have carried them across. Unfortunately, time wasn’t on their side, and the idea was as quickly scrapped as it was developed.
After re-reading the book several times, Jessica finally understood that travelling without a protective armour or a vehicle was also a possibility. Alas, the risk of falling ill and dying much sooner than those protected during the travel was considerably higher. When Jessica shared her findings with the rest of the team, they collectively decided that the risk was still worth taking.
To open several time tunnels at the same time, each member of the team needed to be present in a different location during the opening moment. Each tunnel was going to lead to an alternative timeline, making it possible for everyone to time jump at the same time but end up in a different year.
The 1999 London team was to observe and record the whole experiment for as long as they could, keeping the recordings safe for the future generations, in order to prove that the Ecotopians tried their best to save the planet from the greed and power-grabbing Corporate Government.
Just before taking off, Jessica found out that she was pregnant. She didn’t say anything to anyone and decided to carry on with her mission. What she didn’t know was that lady faith had enormous plans for her daughter.
Patrick showed amazing will power to live long enough to go through the blood transfusion that saved Josephine’s life. However, his wounds were too severe to allow him a full recovery and meaningful, graceful life afterwards.
Losing him proved to be a huge blow to Maggie, but being herself, she locked her feelings deep inside and lost herself at work, doing whatever she could to prolong the survival of the planet.
Thanks to Patrick’s blood Josephine fully recovered and turned her focus toward innovative medicine. Marcus, on the other hand, started experiencing vast yearning for adventures and exploration of unknown worlds. Maggie knew very well that she couldn’t stop either of them from doing what they felt so compassionately about. Her parents never stopped her from following her passion or expressing her opinions. And, as an effect, her actions changed the world.
She finally allowed Marcus to enrol into an experimental Ecotopian space program, when he was only thirteen. After he graduated at the age of twenty-three, he left Earth to find new, undiscovered worlds and never returned.
Josephine entered science program at the same time. In the years to come, she was the driving force behind creating sustainable living conditions in space stations.
Maggie never told anyone about the book or that the team of brilliant Ecotopian scientists and innovators was still stuck in 1999, trying to prolong life on Earth. Officially they were all missing in action. She kept the truth to herself, but each morning she woke up full of hope that her crazy plan, straight out of science-fiction novels was going to pay off and save humanity.
Within a few years since Maggie’s venture into the Old World and Patrick’s passing, the Above slowly but surely began allowing the citizens from the Down Below to travel and trade with Ecotopia. That policy change was the first indication for Maggie that Jessica found a way to at least give them a few extra years, possibly even save them all.