Friday, October 11, 2019

Microstory 1210: Randall Gelen

In an alternate reality, Randall Gelen and his wife, Carol adopted a young boy whose mother couldn’t take care of him by herself. She remained part of his life, but the Gelens were responsible for raising him, and helping him grow. When Mateo was older, he unwillingly became a time traveler, and was ultimately the reason for Randall’s death, when Randall attempted to fix his son’s problem. Mateo would later go back in time to before any of them were even born, and kill Adolf Hitler a few years before his time. This would have massive consequences for reality, the extent of which few people are capable of fathoming. One such consequence was that Mateo was never born. Another was that Mateo’s companion, Leona’s parents both died. Neither of these things were Mateo’s intention, but causal chains over the course of decades are incredibly difficult to trace. Without Mateo to be of need, Randall and Carol ended up adopting Leona instead; a decision which they would come to suspect wasn’t entirely their own, though no real reason has ever been uncovered. Also for reasons they don’t fully understand, Randall died of a heart attack on the same day in the new reality that he died in the prior timeline. What many don’t realize was that this was not the end of his story. He got to live an entire life in the second before his death, and he got to meet the son he never knew he had. He also got to see what happened to his daughter after he died. His only regret was that Carol wasn’t there to experience it with him.

There was a special device called the time mirror. Actually, there were many time mirrors, but the temporal extraction mirror was the rarest, and the kind used in this instance. Just before death, Randall was pulled from his place in time—through a process that required less blood than the other extraction mirror did—and transported to the future, where advanced medical technology was used to save his life. He then continued on for awhile, having adventures with his daughter, as well as his once-son, Mateo. He didn’t ask for this, but he was grateful for the opportunity. He helped a lot of people during his second chance, but it couldn’t last forever. There was nothing he could do to prevent his own inevitable demise. At some point, he would have to return to the exact moment he left, and die for real. The extraction mirrors were a dangerous invention, because the longer someone stayed outside of their own time period, the more they put reality at risk. If Randall were to die under different circumstances, he would never be able to return to his fated moment, and if he didn’t do that, the timeline will have been altered on the quantum level. But if the timeline were altered, he would then have been running around an old timeline, and that could spell disaster. Time travelers are changing events of the past all the time, but an extraction mirror only operates in one reality, and no changes are expected; just predestiny. It is for this reason that it is generally unwise to remove an individual from their moment of death. It should only be done when no other options are available, or when reality would be in more danger by inaction. Randall’s involvement in the future proved just how problematic it can be, and there was only one way to fix it.

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