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 declined significantly. At first, everyone in Ecotopia thought it was only a one-off incident, but when the situation happened a year later, the Ecotopians realised they were all living on a borrowed time. The New Government (Ecotopian 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 for fifteen years and had attracted the brightest and the most progressive minds in Ecotopia. 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’s atmosphere. The Ecotopian Space Program also sent robots to far ends of the galaxy and received transmission signals back from those journeys and planets. Those explorations identified two inhabitable planets for re-location. Unfortunately, they still didn’t have the technology that could allow them to travel through space fast enough to make the journey.
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 another small team of scientists, engineers, inventors and creators to figure out an alternative way of travelling that could help save humanity from the looming destruction. Maggie took charge of this force, which didn’t operate under the Space Program authorities. The team was an independent group with its own facilities and unlimited scientific resources. Every member who was on the team represented a different field and was willing to go to the end of the world to complete this task successfully. However, despite their expertise and best efforts, they struggled to make any significant progress in their search. 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, the team opened a mysterious loop. At first, the loop kept changing in size from small and narrow to pretty wide before the loop finally settled in size. It looked and felt like a living and breathing organism.
At the start, the team observed its behaviour. When nothing unusual happened for a week, the decision was made to send the drone in with their sophisticated and advanced navigation technology to collect data from inside the loop (just the way they did while exploring the far ends of the galaxy for the Ecotopian Space Program).
The whole team closely and in anticipation observed the first drone flying through the loop. Once inside, the loop looked like a tunnel made up of white identical squares. The energy running through the tunnel was incredibly forceful, and some parts of the drone’s exteriors started to fall off. Soon after the transmission ended, and the drone disappeared from the Ecotopian tracking equipment.
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 of the tunnel The drone arrived on New Year’s Eve, 1999. To make sure they have discovered what they thought they did, five more drones were sent through the loop, and each landed on the same day as the first one, before the transmission was cut short.
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 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 initial 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 of the new Millenium aware that the doom was coming sooner than anyone could predict. Also if possible at all start designing the space carrier that could host hundreds and hundreds of people.
The first person to travel 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 the loop. Alas, the transmission Jessica tried to set up in 1999 to get in touch with the Ecotopia failed, and she could only communicate by sending 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 – Oxley Woods London UK. I’m caught in a sort of time loop and repeating the same day over and over again. However, not all the events seem to be repeating themselves. If I act on something that action has implications and consequences on the next day, which proves that changing the events was possible. I sorted out accommodation for everyone. The food in 1999 is polluted, but bees aren’t an endangered species yet. The Internet is just being born, and social media don’t exist, so the underlying anger and frustration aren’t fueled by the meddlers and troll farms yet.”
Unfortunately, a few days after the second run, the time loop started acting up: shrinking and then becoming wider and smaller again. Since no one could predict how the loop was going to behave 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 the loop was going to disappear altogether.
Before jumping in the capsule, every team member had to go 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 her daughter couldn’t make such a risky journey unless she had a blood transfusion to help her immune system. The doctors believed that the transfusion was going to improve the little-known immune disease she had, but they couldn’t guarantee anything. That way Maggie found out that Patrick was her children’s father.
Maggie immediately made up her mind to travel to the Old World to find Patrick, but before she could do anything, her 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 Patrick and the kids and return for 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, just 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, shuts down.