A brief disclaimer about today’s story. I have no bad blood regarding the content in the story, it is in good humor I make the jabs that I do. Hopefully you find the concept amusing.
A Stitch in Time
October 26th, 2005.
“This must be stopped.” Professor Jules Hedgeright adjusted the pair of wire frame glasses resting on his nose. “I can’t believe you actually read this.”
“I don’t know, it’s a refreshing take on vampires.” Gary shrugged a shoulder. “I thought you’d appreciate it.”
“Appreciate?” Jules stood from his chair, slamming his hands on the rickety wooden desk before him. “This is blaspheme. There are reasons the conventions are established in the first place. Why would you take out the primary weakness that defines a vampire? This belongs on a Saturday Morning cartoon show not the New York Times Best seller list.”
“Look man,” Gary said behind a sip of his cappuccino, “if you don’t like it do something better. If I knew you were gonna be all hipster about it, I wouldn’t have brought it up. I was just saying this is gonna be the next ‘Barry Blogger and the Boisterous Tome’ whether you like it or not. Numbers don’t lie.”
Jules clenched his teeth. Gary Yangle might have been an insufferable twerp, down to his ‘fashionable’ turtleneck and the beret that looked like it belonged in a thrift store, but he had a sense about such things. At thirty eight, married thrice, he had been a particularly insightful fellow. Jules was five years his elder, never married, and spent half that time in school. His focus firmly sat on the obsessive gathering of knowledge. Yet this pulled at the corner of his mind like an irritating itch.
“This must be stopped.” Jules said again. “I’m enacting drastic measures.”
“Oh?” Gary smirked. “The ball has already rolled, man. You can’t just black list the lady. You’d have to go back in time and make sure she never made the book to do anything.”
“You read my mind.” Jules pushed past Gary, snagging his lab coat on the way out the room. “I’ve finished all the preliminary tests. It’s just a matter of an actual test run.”
“Hey, I was kidding by the way.” Gary let out a exaggerated sigh. He opted to remain in the comfortable consultation chair. “You know how this is going to end up. It never works when you try and snuff out a dictator. Haven’t you learned that much from Science Fiction?”
“This is different. She is a contemporary fiction writer, poisoning minds with this filth. I need to take care of her before this gets out of hand.” Jules came back into his office in a huff, carrying a heavy looking steel box.
“Take care of her?” Gary raised a brow. “Come on, man. That’s a little extreme.”
“It won’t be missed. All I need to do is see to it she is never conceived. I just cover the bases of her timeline and everything stays in order.” Jules set the device on his desk, pausing to crack his knuckles. The Horafix Spatial Reconfiguration Device was but a steel box at a glance, covered in odd markings. In reality it was a marriage of science and the arcane.
“This will end in tragedy. Mark my words. Some things cannot be stopped.” Gary sipped at his cappuccino. “You better hope there isn’t space-time continuum police, cause if so, you’re on your way to space-time prison.”
“Hush. I need to make sure the settings are correct. This is delicate work.” He reached down, twisted one of the runes at the surface. “If you don’t like it, invent your own and stop me.”
“You didn’t invent that thing.” Gary rolled his eyes. “You bought it at an auction.”
“Best one-hundred thousand spent, hands down.” Jules laughed. “You will thank me for this, mark my words.”
“To be honest, I sort of expected this.” Gary dropped his empty cup into the trash. “But I think it’s time you learn there are things science is powerless to stop. I will drink your tears when you fail, carry on.”
Jules worked at the HSRD undaunted, or Hasrid as he had come to call it, in a flurry of twists and presses. He backed away and it sprung to life, lifting from the desk, and casting an array of lights across the room.
Gary watched with a smug sort of silence. Jules had come to hate that look on his face, and longed to scrub it from him.
“Wait!” Jules, a second Jules specifically, stepped into the room. Beads of sweat dotted his brow and his lab coat had several noticeable tears. Other than that, he had the same blonde hair pulled into a tidy ponytail, lean features and stony stare. The two Jules straightened and adjusted their glasses in unison. The ‘other’ Jules broke the stalemate.
“You mustn’t complete that formula. You need to use this one instead.” His doppelganger offered a Hasrid programming chip.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but interfering with your past self, doesn’t that cause strain on the fabric of the–”
“Shut up Gary.” The two Jules said in unison. The original spoke. “But why? Don’t tell me, my plan for the preservation of modern fiction causes–”
“No.” The other Jules said, “Quite the opposite. My ac– err… Our actions? They play an integral part in saving humanity. This book actually serves to save us from a much worse fate.”
“Told you.” Gary leaned back in his chair with a smug grin.
“The only reason you know this, is because of my correspondence I sent you.” The other Jules narrowed his eyes at Gary. “But thank you for showing me the book. I would not typically expose myself to such drivel.”
“What? How could this, teenage paranormal romance, save humanity?” Jules, the current time one, gave the book a hardy tap.
“It may appear to be that. But in reality, it is a Hasrid formula. One I wrote.” Future Jules said with mild disdain, “The formula happened to line up with the conventions of one typical teenage paranormal romance novel. The author, is a woman I consulted with. She helped me iron out the specific details. As thanks, I granted her all rights to publish it. And low and behold, it turns into a best seller.”
” This is impossible.” Jules looked down at the paperback, flipped the pages and began to see to patterns. The aimless meandering, the lack of cohesive conflict, and it was all a ploy to line the variables of time travel into place. His rage towards the author had nothing to do with the protest of the subject matter, but instead an instinctive reaction towards her over her ‘plagiarism’.
“It is highly improbable, but very possible,” Future Jules said, “I have matters to attend to, but you must see that this book is not disrupted under any circumstances. You have some studying to do, and I… just realized the Hasrid will take another hour to fully charge. Gary? Want to go to the coffee house and partake in highly caffeinated beverages and light conversation while past me deciphers the code?”
“You read my mind.” Gary offered a small nod, standing to join Future Jules.
“Wait. Why would I do that?” Jules knitted his brow.
“You need to write the sequel.” Future Jules waved Gary through the door. “Time is ticking.”