Thomas always hated these calls. They were rare enough, thankfully, but they came far too often for his taste. Time distortion. Never knew what you were getting with them. Might be some confused person from the twentieth century, or some angry, pistol toting madman from the twenty fifth. The victorian women were the best cases , they usually fainted in shock. Then they’d think it was some kind of strange dream.F rom the report though, it seemed that this was planned rather than an accidental temporal disturbance. That made things more interesting and infinitely more difficult. If it was intentional, and not just a misfiring machine, they would have to look out for who ever had the controls. Thomas had never forgotten about Jeremy. He’d gone out on one of these calls and never returned, jettisoned off to somewhere in the fifteenth century. Was never heard of again. They think he died soon after arrival, he hand’t tried to leave a message for them, as was standard protocol, so there was no chance of an extraction.
Thomas paused at the end of the street, trying to see if there was anything visibly unusual outside the house. It didn’t take him too long to spot it, a 1950’s car, he believed the term was “muscle car” sat in front of the house, it was painted a bright, vivid red. That alone would have raised some flags. They were exceedingly rare cars, as far as Thomas could recall, there were only five originals left in existence. There were more reproductions, but the reproductions had some obvious differences. two other officers arrived, Thomas didn’t’ recognise them, they were both new and seemed to be unnervingly young. they nodded in greeting and crouched beside him, looking at the house.
“No, nothing yet. That car there, it’s good cover, we can move behind it, get a better view of the house. Agreed?”
They both nodded, crouching, they half ran towards the car. One of the younger ones got there first. He was short with black hair.
He crouched behind the car, then leaned against it. There was a flash of blinding light, when it cleared, he was on the ground, screaming. His hand was clapped against his face, his hair a sharp, shocking red. As Thomas got closer, he saw that half of the mans face was missing. He moved beside him, careful to keep his distance from the car itself. God only knew what it would do. The other young man had stopped running, he had frozen where he was. He stared, open mouthed at the scene as a bullet struck the side of his head. To Thomas it seemed to happen in slow motion. There was a brief nanosecond of peace, then his head exploded. blood and brain splattered against Thomas, the man on the ground was oblivious to his friends death, he just kept screaming. Shit shit shit shit. Thomas got out his radio and screamed into it for back up, he needed an ambulance if there was any hope of the man surviving. There was nothing Thomas could do, no way he could put pressure on the wounds. He pried the mans hands away for a brief second, long enough to get a look at it. Exposed flesh and bone, bright white and dark red. He stopped pulling at the hands and let them cover his face. There was no poisons, no caustic agents, not that he could see at least. He had to move, get this taken care of now, before it got any worse. He popped his head up over the hood of the car and scanned the house, then he ducked again. There was no sign of anyone. There was a broken window to the left of the house, a contraption was clearly visible, no doubt it was the gun that shot the young man. it was probably on automatic. Thomas took a deep breath, then stood and ran to the door, praying that he wouldn’t be shot too.
He reached the door without incident and slammed into it. The room was empty. he swung his weapon around, making sure he was safe. He took another step inside. he could hear music, it sounded classical. He followed the sound to the next room, inside there was an old fashioned device playing music, around it were comfortable looking couches, book shelves lined the walls and thick red carpet lined the floors. There was no sign of anyone. He approached the music device carefully and switched it off, outside he heard cars screech, reinforcements arrived. He let out a breath he didn’t realise he was holding. The silence seemed oppressive and his fingers itched to turn the music back on. Something was wrong. He knew it but he couldn’t quite tell what.
There was a faint rumbling noise, the ground shook. He reached out for the music device before everything froze, his hand halfway to the machine. His heart pounded in his chest, he could still breathe, but he couldn’t move. The music player, that was the source of the disturbance. He had probably put it into overdrive. Stupid, stupid stupid. It went against all of his training. He didn’t know what had possessed him to stop it. slowly everything in the room began to twist, almost lazily, it began to spiral out. His eyes watered as he was forced to watch. He wondered where he would end up and how long it would take for them to rescue him, if they ever did.
Everything was black. There was nothing. He did not exist, yet he did. He had no body, no voice, but he was conscious. Light. In the distance, getting bigger, but not penetrating the blackness around him. He didn’t feel afraid. He was surprised. Surely he should be terrified of what was happening. Nothing seemed to matter, not him, not his family, not his friends. He was at peace. The light became larger until it seemed to be the only thing left, then it passed him, sailing by. It seemed to be some sort of comet. He looked at it as it receded, wondering why he was able to look directly at it. Soon it too was gone and darkness returned.
Movement. He was moving. He didn’t know how, but he wasn’t in control, his body, or perhaps just his consciousness was being drawn towards something. Ahead, he could see more lights, they were filling the world around him. There was something familiar about all this.He tried to think of his training, of the works he had read. It was there somewhere.
Everything stopped. Jacobson. This was what happened to Jacobson. He had met the man once, well, observed him. He had been locked in a room. He had returned of his own accord, his skin and hair bleached permanently white, his eyes covered with a milky film, all he could do was scream. No one knew what happened to Jacobson, no one but Thomas. It came in flashes. He had been a god. Worlds created and torn asunder, great battles. Thomas could see it all. One by one he thought of people he knew and instantly he knew everything about them. Their hopes, their dreams, their darkest secrets. He could go to any point in their lives and watch as it unfolded, already knowing the outcome.
Thomas felt dazed. It could be real, could it? It couldn’t be true.
He had become a god.
As soon as he the words formed in his mind, he was assaulted by billions of images, countless different lives flooded to him all at once, nothing but ceaseless noise of everyone in his creation. an endless stream. He couldn’t think, couldn’t form any coherent thoughts, it just had to stop.
He reached out tentatively, trying to find the minds that had once assaulted him, but there was nothing. Everything, everyone was dead. he felt numb, horrified at what he had done, mass slaughter. Genocide. He tried to bring them back, but nothing happened. He was alone.
He started smaller. One life, one thing. Then, it happened. He could feel it, small and flickering like a candle flame.
He began to move towards it.