The Time Loop

Read Chapter 7 “The Truth”

Six years ago, in the middle of the Ecotopian summer, the temperature dramatically started dropping; as a result of that, the bee population started declining significantly. At first, everyone in Ecotopia thought it was only a one-off, but when the situation happened a year after, the Ecotopians realised they were all living on a borrowed time. The New Government came to understand that the only way to survive was to find a new home for humanity.

Luckily, The Space Program had been established fifteen years before and had attracted the brightest and the most progressive minds. Those scientists and innovators had managed to develop self-sustained solutions for water purification, food distribution, energy saving, distribution and recycling, which all could be used outside of the Earth atmosphere.

The scientists, engineers and innovators working for the Ecotopian Space Program were also able to send robots to far ends of the galaxy and receive transmission signals back from those journeys and planets, which allowed them to find the inhabitable planet for the Ecotopians.

Unfortunately, they still didn’t have the technology that would allow them to travel through space fast enough to make the journey to those two planets possible.

When the Space Program got stuck, some politicians and thinkers suggested that perhaps, moving the population to the Above, just like the Old World was planning to do, was a solution. But Maggie knew it was unrealistic, draining on the resources and unsustainable in the long run. All the resources would still have to come from Earth for many years before food production was established to sustain the growing Ecotopian population.

Searching for answers and solutions led the Ecotopians’ New Government to put together a small team of scientists, engineers, inventors and creators to try to find an alternative way of travel that could help save humanity from looming destruction. Maggie was put in charge of this team, which wasn’t operating under the Space Program authorities. It was an independent group with its own facilities and unlimited resources. Everyone on the team was very talented in their respective fields, committed, and willing to go to the end of the world to complete this impossible task successfully. However, despite their expertise and best efforts, after months of hard work, they struggled to make any significant progress in their search.

Finding a solution for: food storage, space, speed and powering of an enormous spacecraft turned out to be impossible, especially with stakes so high: trying to move the whole population from one planet to another. Nevertheless, they’ve increased their efforts and one day something unexpected happened.

While doing a routine experiment on increasing the travelling speed of small objects that could create a hyperjump, the team opened a loop. At first, the loop kept changing in size from small and narrow to pretty wide before it settled in size. The loop looked like a living and breathing organism.

At first, they just observed its behaviour. When nothing unusual happened for a week, the team decided to send the drones in with their sophisticated and advanced navigation technology to collect some data from inside the loop (just the way they did it while exploring far ends of the galaxy for the Ecotopians).

The whole team gathered to observe the first drone flying through the loop. Once inside, the loop looked like a tunnel made up of white squares. The energy running through the tunnel was incredibly forceful, and some parts of the drone’s exteriors started to fall off. Soon enough the transmission ended, and the drone disappeared from the Ecotopian instruments.

The team ran the same experiment fifty-five times, each time upgrading the drone with the improved travelling and sensitivity equipment and each time the drone went further, before finally reaching the end, which was the 1999 New Years Eve countdown. To make sure they have discovered what they thought they did, five more drones were sent through the loop, and each arrived on the same day as the first one, sending the same short countdown transmission back to Ecotopia.

After this incredible discovery, an emergency meeting was called and a decision, fully supported by the New World’s Government, made; to try to build a capsule that could carry a human to the other side of the time loop. The materials used were the same cutting-edge, innovative ones that the Ecotopians used for their space travel with a simple, slick, practical design.

Since it was a very risky undertaking, the team decided to send one member of the team each week. Ten members of the team were going to travel back to 1999, each member specialising in a different field. The plan and the hope for the mission were to change the degradation and destruction of the Earth by attempting to influence political and social change and make the people in 1999 aware that the doom was coming sooner than anyone could predict.

The first person to go was Jessica, a futuristic engineer. Her mission was to set up a camp for the rest of the members and find out as much as she possibly could about that loop. Alas, the transmission Jessica tried to set up in 1999 to get in touch with the Ecotopia failed, and she decided to send a message back in the capsule when the next member arrived.

During the first two runs, the time-travelling was a success, and the capsule got back with no problems carrying the first messages from Jessica:

– The landing spot was Oxley Woods in London. She was caught in a sort of time loop and was repeating the same day over and over again. However, not all the events seem to be repeating themselves. If she decided to act on something different than the previous day, that action had implications and consequences on the next day, which proved that changing the events was possible.

She thought that the best way to influence and force the change was to come up with a creative plan to change different events on the same day and this way affect the change. She managed to sort out accommodation for everyone to live in. The food in 1999 is polluted, but bees are not an endangered species yet. 

The Internet is just being born, and social media don’t exist, so the underlying anger and frustration isn’t fueled by the meddlers and trolled farms yet.

Unfortunately, a few days after the second run, the time loop started behaving oddly, shrinking and then becoming wider and smaller again. Since no one could predict how the loop was going to act and how long it was going to stay open and stable, the decisions were made for the rest of the Ecotopian team to travel in the next 48 hours in case it was going to disappear altogether.

Before jumping in the capsule, every team member must have gone through a thorough medical check-up to make sure that their health condition was good enough to allow them to undergo such a strenuous journey.

Maggie’s children were also going to travel with her. But as soon as their medical checkups came in, it was clear that it was impossible. Her daughter couldn’t make such a risky journey unless she had a blood transfusion to help her body heal the damaged cells (the doctors believed that the transfusion was going to improve the little-known condition she had, but they couldn’t guarantee anything). It was also how Maggie found out that Patrick was her daughter’s father.

Maggie immediately decided to travel to the Old World to find Patrick, but before she could do anything, the children had already run off to look for him. It was agreed that Maggie was going to travel last, which should give her enough time to find her kids, Patrick and have the blood transfusion.

If Maggie didn’t return within the next 48 hours, the last team member, Daniel, was to travel and not send the capsule back, but keep it for the team stuck in 1999 to have some way of returning to Ecotopia. If it was ever possible to re-open the Time Loop again, if it, in fact, shuts down.

Read Chapter 9 “The Trap”