When the siren first started wailing, the people quickly packed themselves into their shelters. After seventy years of false alarms, the panic of the alarm was now met with annoyance. The will of the people to trust in the system had been broken. Unfortunately, the reason for the siren was an important. Before the global warning system there was an attack and not a single country or citizen was ready. It was almost a complete annihilation. The men and women who survived, vowed to never let it happen again. But now, after many years the memories of the attack had faded. Unfortunately, for the humans who had now grown apathetic to the warnings of their elders, their enemies had been waiting.
Carl had the pictures on a micro sd card in his wallet. He wasn’t planning on catching the CEO of a major pharmaceutical company meeting with a known mob boss, but sometimes you just get lucky. He’d already texted his editor that he had something she needed to see and was on his way to make the drop. He got off the subway and started up the stairs. But Carl didn’t notice the person standing at the top of the stairwell, which was too bad, because it was the last person Carl would see.
A ring of coffee had stained the table and Giulia couldn’t stop staring. The noise, the smells, the normal ambience of the coffee shop had faded into the background as she focused on this little stain. Giulia had spent the last two weeks trying to solve a problem. Her research had come to a standstill; the math wasn’t lining up. A passing customer knocked her table, the coffee in her cup splashed over the sides, pulling Giulia from her deep focus. The man apologized, Giulia accepted, then turned back to clean up the table. But before she did, her eyes widened, she sat back then, without warning, leaped from the table with a smile, hugged the man who’d spilled her mug and ran out the door. She had the solution.
We are taught that truth is undeniable. That truth will set you free. But at an early age, we learn that lying can be much more powerful. When truth becomes obscured because loud voices vociferously fight against it, we are left in a state of doubt. We doubt our eyes and ears. We doubt our friends. We doubt our past. And once doubt has crippled our ability to appreciate truth we must either live with uncertainty or fall in line with a group that is the most confident in their lies. That is how they came for us. It wasn’t with brute strength, but with boisterous lies and unrelenting degradation of “false truths”. When the people were filled with doubt, they looked to the ones who spoke the loudest and eventually truth was no longer undeniable, but malleable. Those who continue to fight for truth have been labeled traitors and the fight is only getting harder.
There is a single moment in a life, one decision, forever changing the course of that life. Sometimes, the decision goes unnoticed. A choice whose repercussions are not felt for years, maybe even decades. Other choices show their consequences abruptly. Like not wearing a seatbelt and the accident that follows. Consequences are unknown to the decision maker, but not to me. I see all decisions and the stories that play out across the billions of people on planet Earth. For this gift, I have been locked away, used by the powerful to maintain their power and control. But a new branch of outcomes has recently emerged with the birth of a young child and the consequences I see are worrisome to the powerful. They’ve forced me to share the single moment that could steal their power and they now know what needs to be done. The hunt begins.
“What are you waiting for?” yelled Sir Marten. The young infantry man stood frozen, unable to move as the war raged around him; he was in shock. Sir Marten leapt from behind his cover and ran over to the solider. He pushed him out of the way and with a swing of his sword he let loose a flurry of fiery rocks from the trebuchet. Sir Marten grabbed the soldier by his armor, pulled his face in close, and screamed, “Get it together or get off the damn field!” and threw the soldier back into the dirt. Looking out across the battlefield, the morning sun had now risen high above the trees, and the battlefield sparkled as light touched the armor of the fallen. This was one of the bloodiest battles he’d ever been in and it was nowhere close to being over.
It was an old barn, a little worn, a little weathered, but still standing and still good for rolling around in the hay; Elijah and Paisley were doing just that. The moonlight seeped through the old barn, providing just enough light that Elijah couldn’t help but look upon Paisley’s beautiful face. The summer had come and gone faster than the blooming period of a daylily and this was the last summer they’d spend together. Tomorrow, Elijah was off to college and this high school romance would be coming to an end. But tonight, they had the stars, the moon, and each other.
Life exists across infinite planes of reality. Every possible outcome of any given scenario generates a new universe, a new timeline, in which the scenario is carried to its end. The person we assume ourselves to be and the memories we keep are those of one path among an infinite number of possibilities. In this multiverse exists a version of yourself that is living every dream you’ve ever had as well as one that is living ever fear. Among us lives a group of people who understand the multiverse and how to access their other paths. They are gifted the ability to instantaneously see the best decision to make at all times. Throughout the years they have lived as Gods among men amassing fortunes beyond our wildest dreams. But a child, born to a family of no consequence, will change everything.
The general was deep in thought about the attack planned for tomorrow that he didn’t hear the knock at his chamber door. His plan was close to perfection. Though nothing is guaranteed on the battlefield, the dance he choreographed for his battalions was beautiful. Another set of slightly louder rasps on the door caught his ear. “You may enter,” he called in a voice stern from years of commanding troops. The young private now standing in the general’s quarters looked nervous. “Spit it out, private!” the general commanded. The private uncovered his concealed weapon and before the general had any time to react, three shots were fired and the general collapsed to the floor.
The night was beautiful. Christine and Joel were ice skating in Rockefeller Square; barely able to keep themselves upright, but laughing hysterically at how goofy they both looked. The air was crisp, the sky was clear, and it was just cold enough that cozying up to each other was the best way to stay warm. After a particularly hard fall, Joel thought it was a good time get off the ice and grab a warm hot chocolate. They got off their skates and found a place to sit, drinking in the hot cocoa and each other. It was a perfect night but it would be the last. For now, the revelations of the morning were still impossibly far away but like the rising sun wiping away the darkness of the night, the betrayal was inevitable.