The Time Catalyst

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Chapter 19

Miracles, Inc. Tower, at Dr. Patrick McClain’s penthouse office; Saturday, noon-time…

Patrick, Samantha, Tadosh, Cheri, Sonya, and Thomas had all just finished a big lunch that Patrick had delivered to them. Partially as a small celebration for meeting half of their goal by chronoporting a couple of the neo-Anarchists to the global security body of Pangea in 2287, partially because of all the running around they all had to do in order to operate the Solar Unlimited network with so few people! Now, they just had to work on the second half of their goal: transporting two more people back to 2287, namely, Tadosh with Drogheda under the Pangean secret agent’s reconnaissance.

The emptied paper plates and cardboard containers from their meal covered the large, wooden conference table in Patrick’s office. Patrick noticed that Tadoh’s eyes stayed on the Seattle skyline while the others around the table just chit-chatted about everyday life things.

“What’s the matter, Tadosh,” Patrick said sarcastically to the little man, “trying to soak up the scene before you head home!”

There was a spattering of laughter around the conference table. Tadosh was also smiling at Dr. McClain’s quip.

“No, actually, Dr. McClain, I was just thinking about how small Seattle of this time looks.”

The others around the table glanced at each other with surprise.

“Just how big is Seattle in the 23rd century, Tadosh,” Patrick asked him with a concentrated look on his face. “Because, by today’s standards, Seattle’s considered one of the bigger cities in the nation…certainly by metropolitan references.”

Tadosh thought for a bit before responding. “Well…after watching your TV of this time and reading various magazines and newspapers since I’ve been here, I’d say that Seattle of 2287 is around the population size of your New York City of today.”

There were a couple of gasps around the table, but most of the Miracles people just sat and stared at Tadosh with astonishment. Noticing this, Tadosh went on.

“Well, come on, guys, this shouldn’t be too much of a shock for you. I mean, we’re talking about almost a three hundred years’ difference between your generation and mine! Why, I just read a week ago that around the year 1905, your New York City was about the size of Los Angeles of 2005! Around a hundred years later, your New York City has added over five million people since 1905…remember, the Seattle of my time had 279 years to grow since your time of 2008!”

The room went quiet as everyone chewed on Tadosh’s word. Most were nodding their heads in understanding.

“Well, then,” Thomas now came in, his eyes wide open with wonderment, “how big is New York City of your time, Tadosh?”

“Yeah,” Patrick added, “to say nothing of Mexico City. Of our time, it’s currently the largest city in the world.”

Again, Tadosh contemplated before answering. “First of all, what you call New York City, in my time we call it New Amsterdam…apparently, somewhere in the time-lines of history, that is one of several things that is different in my history than yours. Anyway, our “New York City” is at least twenty-five million people.”

Gasps were heard loudly around the table, this time.

“That’s about the population of Mexico City, today,” Sonya shared.

“That’s right,” Tadosh agreed as he looked at her. “And as for Mexico City of my time, believe it or not, it’s only around five million people.”

This time, everyone’s faces—except Tadosh, of course—had a confused look.

“Well,” Cheri speculated with a frowning face, “perhaps the Mexican government will implement some kind of population control policy in the future…at the rate of population growth the world is doing now, I’m surprised that your New Amsterdam has gotten as large as it is—I mean, will be…or, might be.”

Tadosh chuckled at Cheri’s attempt at nuance in her response.

“Actually, Cheri, I think it has more to do with differences in our history…like I’ve mentioned to you all before, there are a lot of things in this world, at this time, that are exactly the same that I had learned in my history courses in my schooling. But there are equally divergent histories that I can’t, honestly, even begin to explain!”

“Yeah,” Thomas came back in, yet enthused by the conversation, “Pat told me that in your history, humans have already colonized the Moon by the year 2000! We’ve barely set foot there, much less colonized it. How can our histories be that much different?”

Tadosh was already shaking his head. “I’m not quite sure, Thomas. Remember, I’m a military man, not a scientist. Even then, the Pangean scientists themselves weren’t sure what kind of history I’d find myself in. Some said that I would find the exact same history that I had read about. Other scientists said that I would find a virtual alien Earth. Then, of course, there’s always someone else in the middle of the two extremes.”

“It sounds like those moderate voices were the ones right on target,” Patrick observed.

Tadosh slowly nodded at Patrick’s point and returned his eyes to the Seattle skyline. He inhaled and breathed out a deep sigh. “You know what really scares me, though…? I worry that, if I make it back to 2287, I’m not sure if it’ll be the same 2287 that I had left.”

“So cities might have different names, Tadosh,” Thomas stated. “Or, maybe TV won’t be invented in your time until a little later in your history…what’s the big deal with those kinds of discrepancies?”

Tadosh glanced at Thomas, a hint of indignation in his eyes but then left just as quickly. “Thomas, one of the things that scientists of my time speculated about time traveling is not only the likelihood that events and objects would be different, but people would also be different…I’m afraid I won’t have a wife and kids if I get back to my time! Given how one thing that’s different in history changes the course of other events, like a set of standing dominoes, events in history will be different enough in my history that I won’t likely run into a woman named Tanille. And, as a result, we will likely never meet like I did in my original history, and we will likely never have children together…”

The conference table was dead silent. All of the Miracles people locked eyes, especially on Patrick.

“Tadosh,” Patrick said with a bit of a broken voice, “you never said anything about you having a family!”

Tadosh looked at Patrick with a defiant smile. “Doctor, aside from philosophical reasons for trying to stop Drogheda from severely altering time, my family is another reason why I’m so determined to stop these Anarchists and why I’m so determined to make it back to 2287!”

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