Experiment #285

The Disappearance of Lilly Cole Part 6

No matter how hard Lilly swam the purple light stayed where it was. She would have given up, but there was nothing else to do. Without physicality or resistance, she didn’t get tired either. She could go on like this forever.

#

James pulled out his cellphone and dialed a number. It went to voicemail.

“Hey, Pink… I know we haven’t talked in a while but I need your help. It’s a timely twist.”

He hung up. Two minutes later the phone rang.

“Cole,” Lilandra Pinkney said with urgency. “What the Heisenberg are you doing? Does Cassy know you’re calling me?”

“Good to talk to you too, Pink.”

“I’m serious, James. Does she know?”

“I think so. Why would she care?”

Her voice eased a little, but remained tense as she said, “Fowler called me. He wants to know what you know.”

“What did you tell him?”

“That you were a coot. That I hadn’t talked to you in years. That you’d dropped outta the game a decade ago. I told him the truth.”

“That’s the truth?”

“Is this really a timely twist or have you been hitting the bottle again?”

“I don’t know. I mean, Pink, I think I did it.”

“Did what?”

“Fixed the flummox capacitor…” James went over the events of the previous night.

“You are some kinda crazy, Cole.”

“That’s why you love me.”

“Something like that… But how could you time travel and not realize it?”

James smiled as he searched for the right words.

“You know the old joke with the punch-line: Sir, I didn’t see the tachyon coming, just going…both ways?”

“Yes, you mentioned it many times. I think I nearly stabbed you for it on one occasion.”

“Well I was using tachyons to bombard the subject. Instead of time shifting the subject itself, it time shifted a kind of time echo of the subject.”

“That joke still doesn’t make sense.”

“Tachyons are faster than light, right?”

“I presume.” She used her shut-up and explain it voice.

“Well, when light bounces off a train coming toward us, we see the train before it arrives.” James relished the chance to explain something to Lilandra. It had so often been him with the dumb stare, but she had focused her studies on wormholes and folding time rather than tachyons. “Tachyons travel faster than light, so we never see them coming. The tachyon will arrive before the light that shows us where it is. Once it’s past us, the light that bounced off while it was coming will reach us, as will the light that bounces off it after it reaches us. Thus, it’ll look to us as if the tachyon is leaving in both directions at once.

“I had been bombarding subjects with tachyons to sort of knock them back in time. But I think instead of throwing the subject back, the bombardment accelerated the subject to a point where…Well, I think it kind of threw a time echo or time shadow back. The tachyon doesn’t know or care how the observer sees it. It keeps going. I stayed put, but it sent a copy of me back in time and that copy changed things.”

“Time particles?”

“I know, it’s preposterous, but it’s all I’ve got. It’s just a theory, ok? I’m not sure how else to explain it.”

“So, there are two of you walking around?”

To Be Continued…

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