Emporium of Awesome – Two



James just sat there with a puzzled look on his face for several moments before he spoke.  “Dude, I know losing your idol must be hard, but this is borderline a sick joke.”

“If it wasn’t true I wouldn’t say anything like this.”

“I mean even if it is true, I am sure you know what I am going to ask next.”

“You are going to want me to prove it of course.”

“It’s like you are a mind reader.”

“Okay, I guess I could do a little magic.”  Tommy moved to the back of the room near a window.  “I am going to stand here for a few minutes, then I will come through the door and tell you hi.”  James sat there. And sat. He knew the joke was up.

James turned to Tommy.  “Well you almost had me there for a ……..”

“Hi.”  James turned to the door and saw Tommy standing there.  Wearing the same clothes. He turned back to the corner and saw Tommy there as well.  He kept going back and forth between the two Tommys until he almost had whiplash. After a few minutes the new Tommy looked at the real Tommy and nodded.  Then he left the room.

“Well I have to go now,” Tommy said.

“Where?” James asked.

“Where do you think?  I have to go back in time so I can walk into the room and say hi.  The Tommy over there will take my place here.”

“But what about you.”

“We have started a loop.  I’ve only done this once before.  He is me, just from the future.”

“From when?”

“I would say about 5 minutes from now.  That is about how long it will take for me to get back to when he got here.”

“So he becomes you then?”

“He is me, try to keep up.  We have watched enough time travel shows to have a basic understanding of how this works.  But I have to go now.” Tommy left the room. After a couple of minutes he came back. “Well he’s off.”


“Past me.  He went back to say hi to you.  I am here though. The point is though that I had to prove to you that I actually had a time machine.”

“And now I believe you. But I can’t stop thinking that this you isn’t my you.”

“Yeah, it can get confusing.  Temporal mechanics and all. Needless to say I invented the damn thing and from time to time it still throws me for a curb.”

“Well since it is apparent that you have invented a time machine then why…….”

“Just stop there.  I will try to get a couple of the disclaimers out of the way.  I assume the first is why haven’t I stopped all the big things in the past.”  James nodded as he said this. “Contrary to popular belief there is only so much that one person can do, even with the knowledge of the past.  Second, how do you know I haven’t stopped the worst things? I mean if I had changed anything, you wouldn’t know about it, only I would.”

“That is a good point, so did you change anything like that?”

“Um, no.  The first major problem is that I can’t go back farther than I existed.  If I did I would cease to exist from that point on. It is weird, I don’t know why, it just is.”

“How did…..”

“I figure that out?  Sure, valid point. I tried various things.  Eggs, bugs, even a puppy. I would send them back before they were conceived.  All I got was a pile of slop. Sounds kind of vile, in the case of the puppy, but I did what I had to do to make sure I wasn’t gonna end up the same way.  So anything prior to 1974 is off limits to me.”

“There are plenty of things that you might have been able to stop though.”

“Yes sir, and like I said earlier, this wasn’t my first loop with two of me.  I actually did go back and stop an event. When I returned to the current time I found out things were far worse.  Then I had to go back and tell myself not to change it. It led to me deciding to stick to my original plans.”

“Which were?”

“Keeping a low profile and doing what I had to and then getting out.  That isn’t to say that I didn’t do any meddling.”

“Such as?”

Tommy pointed to the top of James desk at an item.  James grabbed it, a collector’s edition of the Firefly television series on Blue Ray.  “What if I told in my original timeline that show only got a 14-episode season and a movie?”

James looked at his box set, it read The complete series, all 110 episodes from 5 seasons and the Movie Trilogy.  “That seems like a real loss man. This show was epic. Most think it is one of the best, I mean what if the SfyFy channel didn’t pick it up after Fox screwed it?”

“Nope, it died.  The point being that was something I could do, and I did.”

“Well it helped everyone’s careers I hope.”

“Let’s just say we didn’t get stuck with eight seasons of Castle.”

“Of what?”

“Never mind, we got the better deal in this timeline, the point is that I did some things that wouldn’t alter the timeline too much.  Even if they did it wasn’t going to do any damage.”

“So why tell me all of this now?” James asked.

“It has been building to this for forty years.  Todd Matherson only died when I wanted him too. I feel my position is now where it needs to be to take on the next part of my plan.”

“What are you?  Some evil overlord now?  Are you bent on world domination?”

“Not quite, but let’s just say the things I couldn’t change in the past to make things better I can do something about now.”

“Well that was as clear as mud.”

“Do you think I talked to you all those times about the market and the history of it all for my health?”

“I thought you really wanted to know that stuff.”

“I did.”

“Holy shit!!” James yelled.  “You wanted the historical data so you could go back and get in on the ground floor.  And I thought you really gave a shit about my job. That means you have had this damn machine for over 15 years!!”

“No I haven’t.  I was working on it for a while.  But the closer I got to finishing it the more a plan developed in my head.  Since you were a trader at the time and had access to all the historical data, I figured, why not.”

“There was google, even 15 years ago.”

“I know, but you had better access and it gave me a reason to reach out to you.  I knew that when the time came that I would need your expertise to help me with my modern day plans.  That is why I hired you and am now letting you in on the secret.”

“Well before we go any further, I want to know it all.  The details, the plans, all of it. If you need my help, then I have to be all in.”

“I get that, and I am willing to tell you it all.  There is a lot though, and I might skip over some. I have spent over 20 years in the past.”

James looked Tommy up and down.  Then he did it again. “You certainly are aging well then.”

“Right?  What I found was that during my excursions into the past I didn’t age, at least not like people from that time.  I would always have the return device on me. If it was that, or me or whatever, I was outside the time I was visiting, therefore I didn’t age like them.  To be honest, I have no idea why I didn’t. This all just sounds good and is just theoretical. The bottom line is I didn’t.”

“Good enough for me.  So should we order some food and drinks, cause you have some tales to tell.”  Tommy nodded and James reached for his phone.

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