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Change My Fate

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Everyone dies. Everyone runs out of time. In the year 2078, one man tries to fight against time to save the woman who made his life possible. But even with a time machine, can he really fight fate? Time always runs out. Or does it? Rael Sylvester spent years traveling back in time to save people who needed his help. His job was to get there right on time, every time, with the help of a time machine and his friends in the underground compound they worked in. To him, time was fluid and time travel was a reality. To him, time never ran out. Until he made a mistake on a mission and everything began to unravel. Suddenly, time was finite and his missions were nothing more than manipulations. When he met with one single woman from the past, he began to realize that it’s impossible for anyone to play God. But he had to try. If he didn’t, the woman who he wanted to live more than anyone else would soon die. He couldn’t let her die. He couldn’t let her death happen as it was supposed to. He had to change her fate. Join Rael as he moves through time with new friends, old allies, and a mission that breaks the mask of the perfect soldier he’s always tried to wear. After this job, time will never be the same.

Romance / Scifi
Ann Royal
5.0 2 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter 1: In the Beginning

He didn’t try to intentionally be late to meetings and informational sessions, but it happened to everyone at some point, right? It wasn’t like it was planned or anything, although thanks to his late record, Rael Sylvester had learned how to efficiently sneak around. It was those sneaking skills that guaranteed his current position in the Prevention Corps.

In Rael’s opinion, it was somewhat counterproductive to punish him for the skills that made him one of the most effective members of the corps. That was what he tried to believe anyway as he got the stink eye for coming in late yet again.

“Sylvester! Did you decide to skip intentionally or will you use the excuse that you slept in again?” Commander Dickson asked in his usual mocking tone.

Rael put on a mischievous smile and brushed it off as he did every day, “Sorry Commander. Must have forgotten to set my alarm.”

That got chuckles and snickers from the recruits. Rael continued smiling despite his hatred for those words the Commander always heaped on him. Soldiers were supposed to have thick skin, and he certainly did, but words like that marked him as a troublemaker. They made other recruits avoid him. They pegged him as a lost cause. The way everyone treated him when they learned of his fighting skills only made it worse. Suddenly they all wanted to be his friend for no other reason than to get something from him. Relationships like that simply had no real purpose.

In the end, Rael ended up alone. It wasn’t intentional. The truth was that he couldn’t help it if people avoided him. He couldn’t help it if Dickson yelled at him or if he got in late. He couldn’t help it if sometimes the nightmares kept him up at night and nothing he could do would stop them.

The Commander sighed, putting his hand on the scruff on his chin. “Well, it doesn’t matter. You’re here right in time for a demonstration. Get up here, Sylvester.”

Thankfully, it appeared that this meeting would be fun. It would keep him awake at least. “Yes sir,” Rael said in a singsong voice, moving swiftly in his simple uniform. Whenever they had physical training days like this, they all dressed the same in loose shorts and tee shirts, with a bandana tied somewhere on their body to signify their rank and team. Rael’s bandana was black, marking him as one of the Prevention Corps, otherwise known as the Special Operations Squad.

Rael approached Commander Dickson, the leader of the red bandanas, otherwise known as the Defense Corps. They were the strongest physically out of all the teams, with the largest builds and bulgiest muscles.

The Commander looked over at his students, narrowing his eyes at a few of the yellow bandana girls in the Information Division who were looking at Rael with curiosity. Rael wasn’t fooled though; he knew they were just curious about his mixed reputation. It wasn’t that he wasn’t attractive as a twenty-two-year-old with his thin figure, lithe form, and bright eyes, but he was too much of a troublemaker for anyone to look his way.

Not that Rael ever let people see how much that bothered him. “Think you can take me, Commander?” he taunted.

Commander Dickson snorted. “The only thing that surpasses your lip is your bravery, Sylvester. Now shut your trap and focus properly.”

It was an understatement to say the Commander disliked him. The Defense Corps and Prevention Corps didn’t get a long too well most of the time, and Dickson wasn’t the most unbiased of persons.

“It’ll be my pleasure to take you down, Commander,” Rael said in a singsong voice, purposely taunting the man. At least he could say that he wasn’t unjustly overconfident. Fighting was one of the few things he took pleasure in, which is why he was so good at his job.

The Commander came at him quickly, like a jungle cat. Rael was a snake though. He quickstepped backwards, easily avoiding the heavy blows the Defense Corps leader specialized in. He could see it. Every movement was all about conserving the most energy possible while using the least amount of power. A person didn’t have to be physically strong to win fights; they just needed the skills to move their body as their mind commanded.

Rael stepped back to his left, avoiding a punch. The Commander was trying to kick swiftly underneath his feet to down him. Not possible. Rael jumped up and, with his hand on the Commander for leverage, did a perfect flip over the larger man’s shoulder, landing behind his back. He swiftly slammed his hand into a pressure point, weakening the Commander’s strong frame.

Without trying to get another blow in, Rael twisted backwards and away, standing straight and smiling with mischief. “Hey Commander, I think I got you.”

The larger man scowled at him, but didn’t demean himself by trying again. Instead he turned to his students. “You will need to learn the proper way to fight depending on your body type and assigned unit. The Information Division, for instance, fights more like the Prevention Corps, with sneaky moves meant to get underneath one’s defense.”

Rael scowled at the unflattering description and haughty tone, but said nothing as the Commander went on, “The Defense Corps by contrast permits more physical attacks since its members are far more capable of handling them.”

Of course, the trainees in the Defense Corps puffed out their chests a bit.

“Well, I did beat you this time, Commander, so I’m not sure if you can really tell these guys that your moves are better,” Rael said in the same taunting tone, going on before he could get scolded, “but I’m here today to teach you all about some new skills, and how to counteract people who don’t move the way you expect. If you train yourself only in one fighting style, it’s entirely possible that you’ll end up in a tough situation.”

It was the Commander’s turn to scowl as Rael taught everyone a few new skills before slipping out to let the older man handle the rest of the class. Even if it was fun to get under the guy’s skin, Rael unfortunately couldn’t spend all day fooling around.

Contrary to most people’s opinions, Rael Sylvester really was a proficient and devoted guy. He didn’t make a habit of letting others down, was loyal to a fault, and would do anything to achieve his mission objectives. His job was important to him. He just had a bad habit of losing track of time. It was a side effect of being one of the most traveled members of the Prevention Corps. After so many missions, a person’s sense of reality and time blurred just a little.

Rael’s footsteps echoed through their compound. The whole place was both above and below ground with multiple floors meant for distinct functions. For instance, dormitories for everyone were to the south, separated by one’s unit. Training was underground most of the time. Much of the compound was then devoted to the mess hall, officers’ rooms, research and development, and so on for each division.

In terms of aesthetic, it looked what like the average person would expect out of a compound facility. Rael had been in schools that looked similar, with while hallways and tiled flooring. It often seemed like there were an infinite number of pathways a person could take. The lights blared down upon him as Rael easily navigated, using his years of knowledge to move without thinking about it.

He’d been a member of the Prevention Corps for around six years now, but he’d been a member of this compound for almost ten. It was somewhat like being a soldier: he had a job, a unit, and a mission, all of which he couldn’t share with civilians. He was liable to be eliminated if he leaked information, although most people wouldn’t believe it anyway.

To civilians, Rael and everyone else were nothing more than legends that didn’t exist.

Rael narrowed his eyes at the thought, trying not to be late for his next appointment. It was almost as if time warped around him when he moved, like the calibration between his body and brain were just slightly off. For a moment, he had to stop himself. On days like today when he hadn’t slept, he had even more trouble discerning time.

That didn’t impact Rael’s reflexes at all however, so he knew that someone was behind him immediately. From the soundless footsteps, he already knew the person. “Hey Lavinia,” he said to her.

When he turned around, Rael saw the unimpressed look on Lavinia Wayard’s face. The blonde scientist with the short ponytail hated it when people used her full name. Swishing her bright white lab coat around her when she crossed her arms, she retaliated with, “Hey Itherael.”

He winced just like she did upon hearing his full name. “Alright, alright, sorry Lav. I know you hate your name as least as much as I hate mine.” Rael cracked his neck out of habit. “Something I can do for the Research Corps today?”

The Research Corps worked very closely with the Prevention Corps, helping Rael’s group carry out their missions properly. Rael therefore ran into the scientists in the Research Corps often, including Lav.

Lav rolled her eyes, giving him a friendly smile. “You were looking lost for a moment, and since you’re running late, I was the unlucky member tasked with finding you,” she joked. Her eyes then narrowed. “Are you sure you’re alright though? You’re not experiencing unwarranted side effects?”

Putting on a false smile, Rael nodded. “Of course. I’m completely fine, Lav. You know I’m just bad with time.”

She didn’t seem convinced, but she didn’t question him. She only walked on, leading the way.

Admittedly, Rael almost wished she had said something. It was difficult to continually wear a mask that he was unable to pry from his face.

He wore many masks. One of a joker and troublemaker. One of a hero. One of the Prevention Corps. After so long, he wasn’t sure what his face would look like when all of his masks were finally removed.

As they walked, Rael took in his reflection in the glass windows spaced here and there. Regulations said that soldiers had to keep their hair relatively short, and shouldn’t have any distinguishing features about them.

Rael admittedly broke those rules. His hair was shorter on the sides, with the top long enough to curl slightly at the ends when he didn’t slick it back. His brown eyes matched his hair color almost perfectly. He wore his black bandana on his upper thigh, covering a hidden knife with it.

As he looked at his reflection here and there, Rael took in his features. Good cheekbones, but not too pronounced. Dimpled cheeks when he smiled, and average everything else. The only thing unique about him was his lean body, always prepared and tensed for combat.

Lav led them across the compound until they were staring at an automatic door. Using her keycard to gain access, the door slid open on its own, revealing the machines flashing within.

This was a room Rael was intimately familiar with. It was at least as large as a gymnasium, with machines and wires hooked up everywhere. It was a wonder that none of the staff managed to trip over the multitudes of cords. At the far back of the room were the controls, with many machines and panels set up for the research staff, including Lav, to work. From where they were standing at the front of the room, Rael could see people with white bandanas, usually tied around the arms or legs, running around. They were the Research Corps.

Set around the room were devices that Rael still couldn’t completely name, mostly because some of the more creative staff members continued to add strings of unintelligible numbers to the names just for fun. He’d stopped trying when they’d gotten to TM7937.2334. That was one of the simpler ones too. There was also TM99.00003WE, TM86HG4459, and so on.

Rael could see members of his own Prevention Corps set around here and there, speaking with the Research Corps or just sitting quietly as their vitals were taken. A few more were probably in the resting room off to the side, recovering from recent missions.

“There’s a mission today,” Lav said quietly. “You’ve been requested specifically, along with Daren.”

“God, Daren? Why in the world do I have to be with him?” Rael complained childishly. It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with the guy, but Daren Lamarck was the epitome of seriousness and following orders. The guy was just a little awkward to be around, even if Rael did appreciate his work ethic.

Lav rolled her eyes. “Stop complaining and go over to him. It’s supposed to be an important one today. The higher ups are even watching.”

He took note of that as he slipped around with Lav by his side. Higher ranked commanders stood around chatting about something. Rael received more than a few stares by the time he made it to Daren, taking note of the other man’s buzz cut and serious expression.

“What’s up, Daren?” he asked jovially, trying to break the tension threatening to suffocate the room.

The twenty year old man looked up without much of an expression. “Nothing. Hello, Itherael.”

Rael clenched his fist. “Daren, it’s Rael. I won’t tell you again, but please don’t use my full name.”

The guy looked at him like he didn’t understand. “That’s your given name. What’s wrong with using it?”

“Do you even know what the name ‘Itherael’ means?” Rael challenged with as little heat as possible. When the other man shook his head, Rael leaned in close, “Then please don’t presume that I like the name. I’m not kidding Daren. Repeat after me: Rael.”

Daren scowled, probably nonplussed about the patronizing treatment, but Rael truly couldn’t stand his given name. Luckily, Lav stepped in, diffusing the tension. “Daren, don’t rile him up. I know you don’t like working with him either, but respect him enough to use the name he prefers. And Rael: don’t talk down to him like that.”

The more time Rael spent with girls, the more time he was convinced that they had super powers. Well, at least Lav did. The girl could stop arguments with a few words. She really should have been a part of the Press and Negotiation Corps, or maybe the Information Corps. It was too bad research was her one true passion.

“Yeah, yeah, sorry Lav,” Rael said, shrugging in admonishment. “But why did they put us together if it’s such an important job?”

Rael disliked Daren’s seriousness and Daren disliked Rael’s penchant for rule breaking. If only he knew why Rael was late all the time, maybe then he would understand that everything Rael did was just a farce meant to keep his mask securely attached to his face.

Suddenly, Rael felt very tired. Some of his thoughts must have shown on his face based on the look Lav gave him, although she didn’t get time to question him as they were approached by the higher ups.

High Commander Alexander Zoran, Commander Johl Harkins, and head of the Research Corps, Commander Timothy Malloy, stopped in front of them dressed in uniform and with their colored bandanas placed on their body. Malloy had the white bandana of his division, but Harkins had a deep blue to signal his affiliation with the Air Division, while the High Commander had black. As current High Commander, he was the previous head of the Prevention Corps and kept his old color.

Rael actually knew the man quite well, and smiled when he approached. “Hey HC Zoran. How can we be of service today?”

Believe it or not, Zoran gave him a small smile, obviously amused. Zoran had known him since he’d joined the compound when he was twelve, and was much more adjusted to his usual attitude than other higher ups.

“Hello Sylvester. And hello to you as well Lamarck and Wayard.” The others nodded to him before Lav excused herself, returning to whatever she’d been working on prior to being sent on the search for Rael. Her silent footsteps blended in easily to the environment.

Zoran sighed heavily. “Truly, your Wayard could have been amazing in the Prevention Corps. Half the members never even hear her coming.”

Malloy rolled his eyes. “Not happening, High Commander.”

Zoran took no offense at all to the statement, instead turning back to the two Prevention Corps members in front of him. “As you may know, we’ve been working recently for some further funding for our project and your missions in order to improve the Research Corps and provide all of you with more space and weapons. To increase our funding, we need to display the work of two of our best soldiers.”

“Meaning us,” Rael said, understanding immediately. They were both at the top of the class, Rael in physical and people skills while Daren excelled with intelligence and planning ahead.

Zoran nodded. “Indeed. In half an hour, two members from the Federal Government will be here to evaluate your skills in the most recent mission. Your job today will be quite difficult.” He turned to Malloy. “If you could explain?”

Malloy nodded, stepping up. “In a few minutes, our staff will set you up. You will have to prevent a car accident that kills a very important man. Of course, we will program the details into your watches. All mission details will be given to you before you go. Your only job is to prevent the crash. Is that understood?”

In other words, even if they caused something worse to happen, it was not their top priority to care.

“Yes sir,” Daren said immediately. Rael’s eyes narrowed, but he verbalized “Yes sir” as he was meant to.

Malloy nodded. “Good, I’ll send over someone to get you both connected. The High Commander has all the information you’ll need.”

With that, the head of the Research Corps walked away. Rael clenched his fist, looking up when Zoran called his name. “Itherael,” he said, using his full name in order to force his attention, “This is an important mission. I know you dislike the implications, but please, stay on task.”

There was almost pity in his voice, as if he understood Rael’s conundrum. “I understand, HC,” he said lowly, accepting the files.

With another nod, Zoran walked away not nearly as silently as Lav previously had towards the middle of the room. That was where the machine was, the one that allowed them to always be there on time. Only a few of them could use it as a time, but that was for the best. If too many people were running around in a time that wasn’t theirs, it could cause trouble.

It stretched high above his head and extended to around five feet in diameter, and yet people moved around it with ease. It allowed them to do their job as the Prevention Corps: stop accidents before they happen. Prevent tragedies that could harm the world. Keep people safe.

They would be using it to travel back fifty years into the past to stop a car accident that would kill someone worth saving.

In the middle of the room, above on that raised floor, and surrounded by research staff on all sides.

That was where their time machine stood.

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