Read Chapter 15 “On the Road”
In the year 2447, time travelling was as common as breathing and eating. But only worked if someone wanted to travel back in time, not to the future. The time travel tunnels always appeared and opened in specific locations and at a very exact time. Some of the time tunnels stayed open for extended periods of time while others disappear right after opening. Some tunnels were large enough to allow big objects to move through, but others were so tiny that only a small insect could squeeze through.
Knowing how to read the coordinates where the time tunnel would open next was what made a member of the time-travelling group the unquestionable leader. To read and understand the language in which the coordinates were written wasn’t easy and required an analytical mind with a serious knack for problem-solving. How to apply that knowledge to various planets, locations and galaxies was also something all-time travelling leaders needed to fully understand to be able to jump through time with as few glitches as possible.
When the time travelling took off on a major scale, the travellers didn’t know how to control the destination on the other side of the tunnel. It took a long time, and a lot of trials and errors, before a pattern slowly emerged allowing the travellers to get to the destination they wanted to go to.
The exact origins of time travelling weren’t really known. There was a strong feeling amongst many that time travelling has always been an integral part of the universal fabric. Nonetheless, not all galactic beings were allowed to have access to that knowledge at the same time.
Since the whole Universe is built from energy, the common belief was that time travelling tunnels were also part of the same energy grid enabling the time travellers to make their journeys.
But only travellers who fully comprehended the power behind the energy would end up in their desired destination. Otherwise, if the energy wasn’t controlled enough, they could end up in random places and at random times, or in the worst-case scenario would get stuck in the loop, repeating the same day over and over again.
Jenny had ended up in random locations and times a few times, before she finally figured out and understood how to will the energy. She used that leverage of understanding how the time travel worked wisely over her follow travellers, never compromising or losing sight of her mission. If she felt threatened by anyone in her group, she would leave that person behind without any regrets.
Unfortunately, the longer she time travelled, the more suspicious and paranoid she became over the motifs of her travelling companions, often misjudging their actions.
Since time travel was a very powerful tool, using it too frequently had profound consequences on the traveller’s mental and physical well-being. Confusion and memory loss often left the travellers unable to understand and navigate new terrains and realities they ended up in. Ageing too quickly was another side effect that many travellers weren’t aware of. Often the physical ageing of the traveller’s body was invisible until they could travel no more.
Once the consequences of time travelling became wildly known, fewer takers were willing to sacrifice their lives for a very uncertain adventure.
At first, Jenny deluded herself that time travelling had no effects on her and none of the side effects applied to her. However, she didn’t register at first how cold and distant towards others she became, which slowly led her to detachment from her own reality. The unstoppable ageing process for Jenny begun unexpectedly and caught her completely off guard. Yet even that wouldn’t make her change her mind about completing her mission regardless of the consequences. Her focus was solely on rewriting the history to save her mother.
Jenny was never interested in influencing any significant historical events that took place in the Galaxy. She feared that this kind of interference could compromise her timeline drastically, and that wasn’t a risk she was willing to take.
It was a common belief that time travellers were lost souls, looking for adventure in the galactic mess that surrounded them. Getting lost in one of the time tunnels wasn’t something they feared the most. Leading an uneventful and meaningless life was scarier to them than the unknown the time travelling brought with it.
In time, some of the overpopulated planets or planets popular with climate refugees used the power of time travelling to send those in need of help back without explanation or guidance. It was easier for the governing bodies to burden the past with unwanted elements while pretending that the current problems were dealt with accordingly. Jenny felt uncomfortable witnessing such a misuse of power and resources, but she didn’t feel strong enough to fight for the poor or underprivileged. She was no hero.
During her travels Jenny met many travellers, willing to join her; many others trying to kill her, but the majority completely ignored her or wanted nothing to do with her. She also encountered many travellers unsure of the reality they were in and others who believed that time travel was just a fictional imprint of a dream on their psychic.
However, nothing could have stopped Jenny from accomplishing her mission, while trying to keep the time travelling side effects private and under control. Then finally, one day, out of the blue, she arrived in the space and place where she needed to be to complete her journey. Her only hope was that she had enough time and strength to stop Maggie.