Introduction To TUCOT
I am Aiden Bennett, the best pilot TUCOT has ever had [Not Bragging ;)], and I was enjoying a vacation on the fine beaches of Fiji, along with Julia, my lover enjoying some whiskey. There was nothing like sunbathing under the sun and watching the sea go about its course. It was sheer luxury at its finest.
Just then, a tall, muscular man in his mid-40s approached me and handed over a package and said:-
“A coward dies a hundred time--”
“--Whereas a brave man dies only once,”
It was a code to identify our pilots. The man left, and I knew that I had to cut my vacation short. I opened the package and found a dusty old pen. A classic Parker 2076 18-carat gold pen, with a fine-textured finish. The cap popped open to reveal a hologram message briefing him about a mission. I reported to HQ the next day. The workers and my fellow pilots met with admiration and respect. I had a ship, The Chronos, which was a state-of-the-art ship much more sophisticated than any other. It even has its own pocket A.I.
“Ursula set course for 2089 Chicago.”
“Yes, master Aiden,”
*Planning course. Time-Lock-2089. Estimated time until arrival - 7 minutes*
2089 Chicago was the year when the hadron collider caused an enormous earthquake, killing 1 million people, nicknamed as the ‘The Wild Tremor’. All I had to do was change the paperwork of the scientist and get out of the scene. One day would have an average of 6 missions. One such day, I and Ursula were traveling through the time stream when unexpectedly, I blacked out. At first, I thought it was a time lag. But no. This was different.
“Ursula scan my body temperature for any spike and run a full body scan,”
*Body Scan Complete*
“Your temperature is normal. Your body scan shows a small abnormality that can be rectified if you get some rest. In conclusion, you have high tension,”
“Wow. All that for tension?”
“Shall I set course 2210?”
*Rerouting course. Time-Lock - 2210. Estimated time until arrival - 5 minutes*
Typical day. Just cruising around time. When suddenly, I get a nasty headache. Chronos malfunctioned. After recovering from the headache, another surprise awaited me. A cloaked figure, as black as Vantablack, hovered around the break area. Everything was peculiar about it. Other than being a demon-like figure, its head was upside down. It approached me. I was shocked and didn’t know what it was. In fear, I fell to the floor and crawled back. As I did, I came across a FireLight and flashed it onto the phantom. The phantom resisted at first and disappeared. Chronos functioned properly again. I made Ursula set the course back to 2210, aborting his mission. I gave the ship to Mr. Nikola, head of Time Ship Manufacturing. Mr. Nikola looked at it and found nothing to be wrong with it. Mr. Nikola suggested that I meet with the psychiatrist, Mr. Jameson. Frankly, I thought so too. Mr. Jameson narrowed it down to a mere tension and hallucination.
A Week Later
I haven’t seen the demon since. It was cool, breezy midnight. I was laying down on my bed listening to some music when I got the headache again. I paused the music and headed downstairs to wash my face. I splashed my face with icy water once. There was some relief. I splashed again. My eyes were closed when I took the towel. I reached for the towel and dried my face. My eyes were still closed. When I opened them to look at myself in the mirror, another surprise awaited me. There it was again. The demon with its upturned face and vantablack cloak. It was standing behind me, waiting for me to turn. I turned in shock. It reached out its arms towards me with its bony fingers slowly approaching me. I, with nothing to arm me with, just stood there, with my life flashing before my eyes.