5 A Potential Way Forward.

Helen cleaned the table as I perused through Bizz, a dating app my sister sent me a link of because she wants me to drive on with my life.

It sets up a virtual date to check your compatibility through a 'practice' date for you and your match, and if that goes well, you could either be friends and meet in reality to see if everything goes well or give them a hard pass.

I exhaled dramatically after looking at how ridiculous it is for people to go on dates without letting a connection spark naturally between two people!

Helen asked patiently, "Do you need me to turn the vertigo memory stimulator on? I could play your 20th birthday party if you'd like, how about the candlelight dinner with-"

"Not today, Helen…" I said gloomily.

The Vertigo memory stimulator is a cylindrical device with a comfortable seat inside. It has collections of memories from your brain and starts out by taking your mind at a hypnotic, dizzy state. It then sets up an identical replica of the memory you want to watch as you sleep.

It should just be called a 'Lucid Dream Stimulator' but it's known for its easy-hypnotic video with audible delta waves that can take a person's mind from 100% conscious to extremely sleepy. Many people use it for therapy. Some even claim you can change your past, and that's exactly what I thought of doing stupidly the last time I tried it.

I rushed upstairs to enter my room, and I saw a portrait of Xara and me. I broke down. Helen came up to me.

"Have you been taking your antibiotics lately, Dave?" She inquired as she placed her silicon hands on my shoulder, gently.

"Yes." I lied.

"Well, I hope you're not lying, or we'd have to see your counsellor again…" She calmly threatened me.

"I have work to do, Helen." I dodged and walked away, lightly drying my tears with my shirt's sleeve.

I opened my mini home-office's door and asked Helen to charge herself on her stand overnight for the next day, as I had not much work required to be done by her. And did reading and glancing through the documents they sent to me about the Nano-tech chips that OslynTech, the company I work for, asked me to prepare a presentation on. Based on experiments I carried out last week, I started inspecting the chip designed by Dr Blake Sommer one last time.

I realized I could take his advice about Time Traveling…

He tried to invent the time machine from notes given by the Lebanese scientist, Mohammed Razeghi, who supposedly made 'The Aryaeks Time Traveling Machine.'

Razeghi registered the machine to help the government back in 2013. He claimed that the machine could only travel to the future and could answer questions with 98% accuracy. Soon after the news went viral, the media dismissed it as a hoax.

But why would the government register it if it was just an elaborate hoax?

What if he really just asserted that it could only go to the future to prevent the overlapping change, in reality, he lived in currently from happening or causing a clash in multiple dimensions of time? My mind had one question over another as I jotted them down quickly.

I called Dr Blake asking him if I could go see him tomorrow as I have to submit the presentation and have a few questions pertaining to time travelling. After refusing once or twice, he simply had no choice but to entertain me. Dr Blake was our neighbour when I was a teenager. He paid me to be his 'lab' assistant on a few assignments he had, reasons still unknown.

It was fun, at times dangerous in ways I can't even allude to, but it drove me closer to studying science and picking my best-suited profession in this field. He has always treated me like his son. It made up for having the worst father ever growing up, in a way.

The call motivated me to wrap up my Nano-tech presentation quickly after rechecking it twice instead of five times and head to bed.

The soft cotton sheets on my bed had never felt warmer before, I didn't need the regulator on my adjustable comforters. I didn't need the Vertigo Memory Stimulator. The only thing I could think about was that I was getting close to bringing my Xe back. No matter what the repercussions are, I want her alive with me. And it may just be achievable, I at least hope it is.

*The next morning*

I woke up enthusiastically before Helen could even prepare breakfast. I quickly freshened up, made a sandwich with a cheesy cloud omelette seasoned with chives and soy sausages she was cooking. I sprinted towards the elevator and into it, Helen chased after me to ask me to sit and eat before I could go.

"Too late, rusty-Helen" I grinned and waved as the elevator doors closed.

I ran to the university to teach the newer batch a little thermodynamics and rushed to OslynTech to submit my presentation.

As soon as I was done with my presentation, I barged into Dr Blake's cabin.

"Hey!" I said gleefully as I swung the door open.

"Did you get the questions I texted last night?" I asked.

"No 'how are you?' or 'don't die soon, old-man' today?" He chuckled as he came over to me and pulled a chair for me to sit on.

He leaned forward.

"It's for her, isn't it?" He asked, looking straight into my eyes.

"You had notes on the Aryaeks Machine, you tried to modify and rebuild it but failed. Why don't we try again?" I said.

"Time travel is risky, Dave." He said.

"There have been a lot of practical theories and conspiracies. The only thing certain is that The Aryaeks Machine can only predict the future up to 10 years, it can take you ahead in time, but it can't do much as everything will be nothing but Virtual Reality."

"You can't make changes."

"You can't alter time."

"There has to be some other way. I beg, please just be honest." I stammered.

"We all know that energy is proportional in magnitude to the frequency of the radiation it represents. You tamper with this, your reality can change, others realities could change as well." He paused as he exhaled sharply.

He continued, "Even if it did exist, even if you could go back in time and save Xara. What guarantees that the changes will be in this dimension and not another. You could end up splitting reality into two different halves."

"Xara and Dave could be in another dimension, she's still alive, and they get married. Although what if it's in the wrong dimension and in the split reality, not the one you hope you'll return to, here?" He questioned, raising one of his bushy white eyebrows intelligently.

"You need to let go, Dave, this isn't as easy as trying to find Wormholes in space and speeding time by easily passing through it. It's creating a mini wormhole here, on Earth, altering the past and potentially never returning if you get lost. No one has ever travelled before."

"How do you know you'll be okay physically when you're back, even if you manage to get Xara back to life?" Dr Blake questioned, firing one fact over another right into my head.

Sweat beaded my forehead, dripping slowly like a melting glacier as I tried to appear strong

"Do you have the notes?"

"The blueprints?" I pleaded.

"Shredded and burnt." He replied.

"You should move on with your life, son." He placed his hand on my back and suggested.

"Xara would want you to move on." He continued.

"I can't," I smiled and rushed to the cabin's door without letting him see my teary eyes.

"Thank you, Dr Blake. This was helpful." I said, building my voice to be firm enough, strong enough.

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I call up my friend from the shredding department and asked him if they keep copies of the originals they destroy. He said no, but he could look in case there were saved folders and get back to me.

I called my car to pick me and drove to the beach. The sky was pink and the water calmly clashed against the rocks. I looked up and saw a pair of cranes flying playfully, in love.

These birds specifically mate for life just like albatrosses; however, albatrosses usually mourn for a few years after their mate dies.

Many die mourning too, unlike cranes, who may immediately find a mate for survival's sake...

But which one was I going to be?

The Albatros or the Crane?

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