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“You didn’t get her? What happened?” KJ asked after seeing my materialize from the Fire Escape.
“You did! Well, technically, you me and Kate oh, and who ever drove, did.”
“So…. what?” Jill said, sounding puzzled.
“I was walking across the street when we came out of nowhere in a car.”
“Was it my red baby?” Dot asked.
“No—I’d remember that car. This was just some generic car.”
“Probably a ride-share,” Kate said.
“Well, do we have any other cars than Dot’s?”
“We do have other vehicles but nothing like Dot’s space car,” Jill said. “Or any regular c-c-car, so yeah, you probably did a Lyft or whatever.”
I was thinking about the two choice Jill’s algorithm gave us–the other choice is farther away but closer in time. “We’d almost have to take a car to get there in time. Well, this plan makes enough sense, let’s do it!”
“Whoa–hang on,” KJ said holding his hands out. “What about causality?”
“Oh, you’re theoretical physicist now, Kage?” Kate shook her head.
“No, but I’ve read up on it and I just want to know how this is even possible! How is it that something we haven’t even done yet is influencing what we’re doing now?”
I shrugged and quickly explained: “Because we went back in time and influenced us in the past.”
“But that should not be possible without creating an alternate reality.”
“No,” Jill began, “well, yes, but no in any practical s-s-sense. Like I said, before, time travel as far as I have experienced is part of time. If your way is true, we’d have no way of knowing it anyway, right? You’d-you’d-you’d go back in time to get the woman, then get the woman and go on with the timeline. If something went wrong, the first time you go to get the woman, you’d come back to Nowhere House, get your posse together head back and get in your own way, thus creating this new future, that removes the original reality from your memory because now, the only experience back in time that you remember is the one where you got interrupted by yourself, not the one where something else went wrong, but cause now you’re in a causal loop.”
“Uuuuuuhm, I’m sorry I asked,” KJ said, shrugging.
“No, it makes perfect s-s-sense, KJ! Listen to me. If you were changing the timeline, either your memory gets erased or there’s a duplicate you now in this reality because you’ve just come over from that alternate reality. Since there’s only one you, or in this case, there’s only one Jake and,
Jake, you don’t remember things going wrong the first time, right?”
“Huh? I mean, I no–I mean, them being in my way was the first time,” I said, only barely following what Jill was saying myself.
“Exactly–so this hypothetical alternate timeline that existed before you went back to get in your own way, effectively no longer exists because you can’t recall it. If it did exist, it’s not relevant anymore because you now g-g-got in your own way. Therefore, time travel is part of time.”
There was a long moment of silence, broken all at once by words.
“Well, now that that’s settled!” Dot yelled. “Let’s go save the woman!”
“Actually, Dot, you weren’t there,” I said somewhat sheepishly.
“Whaaaaat? Why wouldn’t I be there?”
“I don’t know–but you weren’t.”
“Well, we all c-c-could have been there if we kept out of Jacob’s line of sight! So, just decide who needs to go and who doesn’t, aside from the obvious players and do it. You think you’ll need a doctor? Bring Green, you think you’ll need a mechanic with experience in extra terrestrial–“
“AND temporal!” Dot interjected.
“–and temporal issues, bring Dot.”
“Yo, what about you?” Kate asked.
“Me?” Jill looked at Kate surprised. “Why would you need me?”
“I dunno, cuz, like, you’re the one who knows everything about the technology we’re using?”
“Nah. You’ve been studying with Jim for a few months now. He’s told me how quickly you’re learning. I think you’re more than adequate for the mission.”
cracked a grin. “WOW. More than adequate? Kate, you should be proud–that’s a helluva compliment coming from my sis!”