Thursday, May 20, 2021

Microstory 1629: Legend Has It

Let’s get away from the depressing Darning War stories, and talk about something unrelated. I don’t want to say that this universe has nothing to do with the war—because sooner or later, the Ochivari find everyone—but the story itself will be about something else. This version of Earth only encountered one instance of time travel. One day, an underemployed twentysomething man living in his recently deceased grandmother’s house heard an explosion downstairs. His name was Legend, but he was anything but. He didn’t have any passions, or goals. He just went to work every day, and came home to his cat in the evening. It was his once grandmother’s cat, and it came with the house as a packaged deal. He was convinced it would outlive them all. When Legend went down to investigate the ruckus, the cat was just sitting in a chair on the back deck, having barely acknowledged the explosion in the kitchen. He didn’t expect her to run to his rescue, but it should have freaked her out. That thing could not be flapped. He crept around the corner, and looked in to find a naked woman about his age, brushing the dust off her skin. “Axel Quincy?” she presumed.

“Is that your name, errr...?”

“I thought you were Axel Quincy,” she said.

“Nope. Sorry. Wrong house. Never heard of him.” As it turned out, the woman was from the future, and desperately needed to find an engineering prodigy whose designs were this close to saving the world decades from now. He was destined to die sometime within the next two weeks, and only he could prevent disaster. He was unable to finish the plans for many of his inventions, and while the time traveler’s people were able to reverse engineer what they needed once the initial plans were discovered, they weren’t able to do so in time. They could have really benefited from having them already exist by the time any of them were even born. She had to find him, and save his life, so he could complete his work on his own, and be prepared to defend the planet against a terrible future. After a little sleuthing, they realized that the time machine had accidentally sent her to the wrong place. It wasn’t even the right country. She didn’t have any money, or a present-day identity, and she didn’t know how to drive, and she wasn’t familiar with the national borders, which were erased from the map when catastrophe struck the first time. Legend was her only hope now, even though he was nobody, and didn’t know anything about how to find some Canadian stranger who wasn’t going to be famously important until after his death. Still, he agreed to help, because it was the right thing to do. So the two of them set off on an adventure, along with the cat, and hijinks ensued. She tried to drive once, because he was too slow, so they had to wait for it to be repaired. Getting across the border was tough, because neither of them had a passport. The people they met along the way either tried to help and failed, or actively tried to stop them. They were running from the law, and a CEO who thought Legend was someone else; evidently someone who was a far greater threat to his freedom and wealth. They bickered and struggled, and of course became friends, and I won’t tell you how it ends. You’ll just have to see it for yourself, if you get a chance.

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