The face I’m seeing in the mirror is me – but at 16 or so!
“Time for school, son! Don’t miss the bus and have to fly!”
Was that my mother?
My mom died when I was – 16!
I run to the door but can’t stop to open it. To my horror I crash through it and keep going. Through a wall, across the living room and through a window I keep going. Over the yard, across the highway and through the field I tumble. I finally smack into a cluster of trees that bring me to a stop. The trees slowly fall over, crackling, on my body.
At the last instant I see a tree trunk rushing at my face. I extend my arms in what I believe is a futile effort to stop it. Instead, when my palms connect with the falling tree it splinters and flies away in all directions.
Startled, I jump to stand but shoot into the air! I stop about 80 feet above a farm and hover motionless in the sky. Sunrise is giving way to morning over wheat fields. I am frightened and start to fall. I fall faster and panic just as I start slowing down. I turn to the ground and land gently on my toes.
Where the bloody fuck am I?
There’s no time to ponder that when I see a glowing bubble appear out of nothingness 25 feet above me. In a moment it lands quietly beside me. I run.
I have got to stop this impulsive reaction stuff. My intended sprint sends me plowing a trail through the wheat, coming out on a road and blazing through a small village main street like a hurricane on steroids, dragging debris, dust and wind that knocks people and animals off their feet. When I finally dig my feet in and stop I’m at the foot of a huge mound of dirt and concrete caused by my skid. In a few moments the dust storm arrives, powdering me thoroughly.
The eerie bubble has followed. It drops from the sky beside me. Seven strangely dressed teenagers emerge.
A blonde girl in a red outfit comes to me, eyes aglow. Her lips don’t move but I hear her voice. Instantly I’m aware that she’s the leader of this group. The rest of her message is instantaneous yet perfectly clear:
“You come from the now extinct world of Argon, a planet doomed by interplanetary war but finally destroyed by Consumptus, a monstrous cosmic entity that devours planets for energy. Just before it was too late, your parents, the sterling engineer Roj Ess and Aral Ess the space expert, managed to transport you off planet in the form of energy where you arrived on Earth and re-materialized in a wheat field, in fact in that one over there.”
Oh, hold on. This is all a little familiar. “Did you know there’s a comic book about you guys in my world?”
They are puzzled. The green one whispers in the blonde’s ear.
“Your behavior is strange,” the blonde conveys. “Have you been exposed to pink argonite?”
“No,” I say, “No, I’m just…just had a bad dream, that’s all. And now you’ve surprised me.”
“We came to offer you membership in the Organization of Extracurricular Super-Heroes,” the blonde leader explains. “We are but a fraction of its membership. I am Titan Teen from Saturnia.”
“Yes, of course,” I say as I check underneath my shirt. There’s some kind of insignia there. “And you have powers, each one power that’s special, and you started your group inspired by my exploits as a boy, right?”
They look at each other, puzzled. The green one whispers to Titan Teen again.
“Membership requires a minimum grade point average of 3.5 so, do you make the cut?” she asks.
“My grades are super,” I assume. This is so cool!
“We’ll be taking you to the equivalent of your year 3016 for initiation,” Titan Teen tells me. “Our club is sponsored by our school. We’ll initiate you in the gravity gym.”
“Hold on,” I intervene. “If you can time travel as you do, back in your own historic timeline – then I have a request.”
“You are not anxious to see the wonders of the 31st Century?”
“Sure, but first I want to go back in time and space to my home planet Argon and save my parents.”
After much arguing that I am not privy to, the seven decide to aid me in saving my parents.
The spacetime destination is precisely at the point where my father Roj Ess is deciding to save his son in the only way possible.
When we materialize there are streams of boulders flying upward into the maw of Consumptus. Then I realize that those are mountains.
The foundation of the Ess house – my family’s – is shaking violently. “Listen to me, Roj Ess!” I announce to a startled and shell-shocked face. “I can save your family! There is a means outside to take us away from here, to the planet Earth. Go, get your wife and son before it’s too late!”
“Son? We have no children. There is no boy to save.”
“What do you mean? You have to have a son. You sent him to Earth. It’s me! I”m only here now because you sent me to Earth then! Where am I?”
There was no answer. A perplexed but grateful Roj Ess and Aral Ess come aboard the technological globe brought by the Extracurricular Super-Heroes. I consult with Galavac 7, the genius who navigated our journey, about exactly what happened.
And I suspected as much from prior experience. These “future” teens didn’t go back into their own past. “Just how much experience in ‘time traveling’ have you guys had?”
“This was our first excursion. This was our initial manned trip into time – to visit you,” the green cybernetic man confessed, having already mastered the nuances of my language. “Frankly, the hope was that if anything went wrong, you might be able to aid us in our repairs and in returning to our own time.”
Returning? Uh oh. I thought they knew.
“In my experience, there is no way to travel through time,” I had to inform him, looking around casually with my x-ray vision. “All you do is reach other Earths.”