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Part 1: The Escape
Wednesday, May 22, 4150
Every now and then people go missing inexplicably, out of the blue. One minute they’re there and the next they’re not—they vanish into thin air. I know this sounds strange, but please, whoever you are, try to bear with me. The doc encouraged me to keep a journal, he said it would help me process the experience, or some other mumbo-jumbo like that. As this is my first entry, I think I should start from the beginning.
My name is Erra (an unusual name, but then again my parents were unusual people). I’m sixteen years old and was born in 1995, despite the fact that I’m currently residing in the year 4150. And this is where it gets a little bit weird. Actually, it gets a lot weird, normalizes a bit, and then keeps on getting weirder.
I can’t even begin to comprehend exactly what happened to me, but I’ll try to explain it as best I can. The way I’ve been told, is that space and time exist on a single plane and sometimes that plane has earthquakes, or something similar. When that happens, whatever was there is flung to another place and another time. See, the earthquakes—or planequakes!!—connect to others, but only loosely, so that if something is in transit, it will land a short time before the next “planequake” (!!) and a short distance away. That’s about the best explanation that I can give.
That’s also what happened to me, or so they tell me. I’ve been here for about a week now, hearing nothing but wormhole this and earthquake that. Here, by the way, is a space station called AIS, Artificially Intelligent Station, but we like to call her Ace. She is very life-like, especially when she projects herself as a hologram, which is really cool. The station itself is just outside of the gravitational pull of a black hole which, according to doc Jones, attracts the planequakes. They’re here to study them.
Sometimes it’s strange hearing myself talk about this stuff—or think about it. It’s like I’ve been stuck in some sci-fi book. I often wonder how worried my parents are, and then I remember that it’s 4150 and they’re dead.
Doc Jones says I can’t go back home because they have no way of knowing which quake would take me to the right time, if not the right place. I, however, have no intention of staying here for the rest of my life: for God’s sake, I’m already 2,155 years old! They have this hand-held detector thing that can tell you where and when another quake is going to happen. I know it’ll be a long shot and that I could spend forever jumping from one quake to another without ever returning home, but I have to try. I told this to doc Jones, but he says that it’s doubtful that I could survive for very long without proper training, but honestly how much training could a person need? All you have to do is be in the exact spot of the quake and—bam!!—you’re some-when else. Even Ace says that the probability of my survival is minimal. I think she worries about me, in her own way. The only thing that I’m really worried about is ending up in the middle of space, but the doc said that could never happen, though why I have no idea. But the doc is almost always right, so I’ll trust his judgment in this. Besides, he knows a lot more about it than I do. Still, I worry.
But in the end it all it really comes down to is this: I want to go home. I’m not cut out for this. I don’t belong on the sci-fi channel. It’s irrational, and it’s stupid, and I could get killed, and I have no idea what I’m doing, and I might never make it home, but I don’t belong in this world. I’ve already gotten the food and everything else I might need, except for one thing. Tonight I’m going to steal the detector.
Same day, Evening
I have the detector, but little time. There’s a quake happening soon on the station and I’ve got to hustle if I’m going to catch it. Wish me luck! (Why am I talking to you? You don’t exist.)
It worked. I’m off the station. I don’t know where I am, or even when I am, but the detector is intact and so am I, though for a while I was having doubts. I thought it would be easier the second time around but it wasn’t, not by a long shot. It felt like I was being torn apart at the seams. I need to discover some sort of civilization and find out what the date is. With any luck, I’ll be close to home, but I seriously doubt that.
I’m in a forest, coniferous if memory serves. Hopefully I’ll be able to find something to eat. I brought some dehydrated food from AIS, but that stuff tastes worse than the food in my school cafeteria. My family and I always used to take camping trips, so I’m hoping that something stuck. According to the detector there are no quakes around, which means I probably have a few days to kill.
This is probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. Back home we’ve got the Helmer Nature Center, but that’s a baby forest compared to this leviathan. The trees are so tall they seem to reach up forever like the fingers of some giant reaching up to heaven. But it’s quiet. There are no birds at all.
So here I am. The nobody girl from Irondequoit High School traveling through time and space. Whoever would have thought that something like this could happen to someone like me?