They agreed to meet and they marked it upon a piece of paper with two X’s, signifying somewhere in time and space.
Everyone was wearing a costume except him. Nobody would notice, he wasn’t from here anyway. They’d believe he was clever and exotic.
Armored battle trucks driven by scavengers dressed in old Brooks Brothers suits rolled up to the edge of the desert floor. Everything below them was overrun by gigantic, angry scorpions.
The willpower of a small group of children was the only thing that kept the deadly, artificial satellite in orbit. The introduction of a puppy caused a planet-wide evacuation.
He carried a card in his wallet with emergency instructions in case of a fatal time loop. Unfortunately, his murderous, looped double had the exact same card.
After the time storm cleared they found old girlie magazines, the wing of an airplane, dozens of mismatched shoes, holographic access cards, and confused sanitary bots all along the beach.
The report had a tang to it, a piquant urgency that meant allocating this world’s resources to a project hatched from a fever dream, from some allergic reaction to the present reality.
“The only thing that could explain it, I mean the absolutely only possible thing… is that I’m a brain in a jar. They’re experimenting on me. Nothing else would explain this, nothing could.” She said this calmly.
“Ten more steps,” he thought, “and I’ll be at the last door and out of this lousy universe.”
The performance lasted for millennium, the instruments were suns and planets, neighboring galaxies complained.
When the computer asked for the coordinates, secretly, deep down, it didn’t really care.
Without fuel the ship would drift nearly a million years. If he was risen once every ten thousand for maintenance there would be a hundred chances of failure.
The time stream calculations were incredibly complex, and except for a few sparse decades they would have to face overwhelming idiocy and violence.
“Of all the moments in the universe, you had to pick this one.” The time buoy had been completely destroyed.
Re-stacking the boxes was impossible while they were still full of old dead stars.