Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Microstory 1237: Rebecca Halcyon

Much like Camden Voss, Rebecca Halcyon worked in the past. For him it was a hundred years ago, but for her, thirty-eight. She never quite understood the significance of the time difference, but then again, she never understood why she was chosen in the first place. Back at home, before all this time travel business began, Rebecca was a real estate agent in 2049. So it wasn’t the most noble profession, but at least she wasn’t a car salesman. Though to be fair, car salesmen were a dying breed—since people weren’t buying cars in person anymore, if at all—so she might have done that had she been born earlier. Though perhaps, not even that was true, because when she found herself stuck in 2011, the first thing she did was start helping people. No one told her what to do, but people around her were suffering from having lost their homes to a mudslide, and she seemed to be in a position to help. Rebecca “volunteered” there for a couple hours before she even realized that she had somehow traveled into the past, and not just to the other side of the world. She didn’t know how it happened, but she was pretty sure it wasn’t the last time. The work started off pretty irregular at first; two days on, three days off, one day on, four days off. But then the pattern leveled out, and pretty soon, she was spending all her work hours in the past, and all her evenings and weekends at home with her live-in girlfriend. Hers was a rough working schedule for someone who was supposed to be living in the mid-21st century. By then, the standard workweek was closer to thirty hours, with some people choosing to not work at all, and live solely by the universal basic income they received from automated corporations, via the government. Still, even though it wasn’t the easiest job in the world, Rebecca came to love her new life. She might have felt differently had she been stuck in the past forever, with no way to go home, but she was allowed to stay with Judy when she wasn’t busy, just like most working professionals. Other time travelers weren’t so lucky. She would later meet other people like her, who were sent off to different points in time and space, sometimes never to return to where and when they came from. So this was her life. She lived and worked at two different time periods, neither of which ever lined up with each other. She did eventually catch up with her life’s timeline, and even encountered her younger self, but she never reached the day it was when she first disappeared. In fact, she was allowed to retire the day before, effectively closing her loop.

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