Jump to content
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

*WINNER* Time Is...


Kali Nicholotti
 Share

Recommended Posts

((Starfleet Academy, San Francisco California, Earth))

The seats in the auditorium style classroom filled slowly as the clock on his desk ticked the seconds away. He watched it, almost preoccupied with the forward movement of the hands as those seconds disappeared into the void of nothingness. The occasional student approached the desk and placed a padd there, stopping for some kind of acknowledgement. Ultimately, they continued on to a seat when they got none. Soon, the seats were nearly full, yet his eyes did not stray from the clock.

An uneasy silence settled on the room, where his students anticipated the beginning of the lecture. Each one of them looked down towards the small platform near the front of the room at the somewhat eccentric professor whom none had met before. This was a class that was one that was shrouded in some secrecy; a condition he himself had placed on his very presence.

And so, as the clock tick-tocked - a sound that soon filled the emptiness where noise and movement once existed - the professor finally looked up at the class.

"Good morning class."

A wave of seemingly obligatory 'good morning's' drifted down from all corners of the room. The entire mass seemed quite unsure of what was going to happen next. Undoubtedly, the rumors that often spread about the class had at least some of the students concerned as to what might be coming. That was when he smiled.

"My name is Commander Stewart, and I am from the future."

Having done this very speech many times before, he paused as the whispers moved through the room. When the wave of sound had dissipated, and the ticking of the clock returned, he continued.

"I am also from the past."

Another wave of whispers, albeit a much shorter run, moved through the room as he walked up to a chalkboard at the front of the class. It was an antiquated tool, but one that he had insisted on having for his lectures. Many of his colleagues whispered about how strange it was, but to his face no one ever questioned it. It was simply a part of his odd nature; at least that was what the rumors said.

Picking up a piece of the quite antiquated and specially ordered chalk, the grey haired man with the slightly elongated face that made him look just alien enough to not be human wrote two words; 'Time is'. Beneath the words he drew a line.

"What is time?" he said as he turned to face the class. The echoing ticking of the clock filled the silence that extended beyond his own words when not a single student stepped up to the answer. Smiling slightly, he walked a few steps towards the center of the platform before continuing. It appeared that this class would be one of the less interactive ones.

"Come on," he said as he waved one hand towards himself as if to draw in a response. "Time is?"

It took him pointing at one young female officer in the front row to get things started. He stared at her until she finally spoke, saying only one word.

"Relative?"

Nodding, the man smiled slightly as he spoke, "That's a good start. Time is relative. Time is also self-evident. We see it pass, we witness its effects on the body and the world around us, but what about the fundamental nature of time?"

The question created a whole new realm of silence in the room. It was something he was used to, so he simply continued.

"Time is two things; both finite and infinite," he said as he spoke with his voice, but also with his hands. "We have all the time in the world, but time is always running out. Have you ever witnessed the moment when time stood still? Perhaps you have, but if you have not, you surely have been involved in a moment when there simply wasn't enough time because it was too busy flying."

He stopped pacing along the platform to look at the students, some of which seemed to be following along well enough, before moving on both in speech and in movement.

"To you, right now, time may seem like an irreversible succession of events, but in reality it is a dimension of its own. To change the past means to change the future, yet the past has already been changed."

Turning slightly, he pointed to the line on the board.

"Is time a line?" He asked the question and gave it a moment before shaking his head and continuing, "No. Time exists and fills up every point in every area of space in every dimension."

A few nods could be seen throughout the room, but he looked into the sea of students and was met with questioning eyes. While some instances of the class seemed to take quickly to the ideas of time, others, such as this one, took some real invocation of critical though.

As such, he asked, "Can you change the past, the present, or the future?"

Whirling around, he pointed at a young man in the front of the class who fumbled around with a stylus in his fingers for an extraordinarily long second before dropping it to the floor and staring blankly back at the professor. The clock on the desk tick-tocked. One might have assumed, in the silence in which it resonated, that more seconds were lost into the oblivion of transition where the present became the past, but no one was able to see its unmoving hands. A full minute of real time silence went by before the student finally came up with an answer.

"No."

At this, the professor smiled and looked at the clock on his way to the board to make his point. It was as if he could see the hands moving even though they were most definitely not.

"Why?" The professor paused only a moment before jumping into a whole new speech, "Why is it that the past is not really something you can adjust or change or divert to a new direction? What is the one thing about time that makes it so impossible to change? It is not the forward marching of time, or the slow forward crawling of it when you are waiting for something exciting, is it? Can it be the visible slowdown of time as you approach faster than light speeds?"

Silence once again settled on the room and the ticking clock echoed in the ears of all who were present. This time, however, it was different. This time, the ticking sounded as if the hands were caught between A and B; between one second and the next. But, as no one could see the clock other than the professor, not a single student questioned the progress of time.

It took some descent into the silent nullity once again before anyone seemed to gather up enough nerve to speak up. Even when one of the older students did so, the answer came in the form of a question rather than a statement.

"But it is possible to change." There was a short pause as the student collected the rest of her thoughts, "Hasn't it been done before by using the gravity of a star to speed up to where a ship could travel back through time?"

A wry grin appeared on the face of the professor. Now, perhaps, they were getting somewhere. He pointed at the woman and shook his head before speaking.

"That would assume that time falls in a line," he said as he walked back and forth on the platform ignoring the seemingly difficult struggle of the clock on his desk. "If it were a line, it would be easily traversed. However, is it not right to assume that everything that could happen, already has? In effect, does time itself not fill every inch of space in every dimension in existence allowing for infinite possibilities?"

Time, he was trying to explain, was far from the line these students were used to seeing it as. There were so many people focused on maintaining and preserving the timeline. What these people didn't realize was that the choices had already been made for them in this timeline, or the next. One of the students picked up on that fact and spoke in an almost argumentative tone.

"But that means we have no choices," she stated flatly. "It means what we might chose has already been chosen and we can only ride the flow of it all. I can't believe that."

The professor with the elongated face raised his eyebrows. It wasn't often in his walks through the timelines that he invoked such a response. This one, a young Asian woman with long, raven hair, would one day lead; it was something he could feel resonate within his core.

"Why not?" he asked simply without taking his eyes from hers. She wasted no time in speaking her response.

"Because the universe does not control my destiny. We are shaped by the events of our lives, not by some predetermined ending."

Silence once again fell around them as the professor held her gaze. There was a fire that burned in her eyes that he did not have the pleasure of seeing often. In other instances of the class, he'd found her decidedly less intense or even non-existent. But this timeline would gain quite the leader, it would seem.

Yet none of this could be spoken. His job was to only to be the catalyst for critical thinking on a subject often muddled through and misunderstood.

"You seem sure of your control. How can you know you're in control of anything?" he asked already knowing the answer yet seeking to prod the woman into a level of furious debate that he rarely got the chance to see. Once again, there was little hesitation in her response.

"Because when I act, I face a definitive reaction."

It was the first of many quick, yet educated responses. Over the course of the next hour, he sparred with the woman over time and destiny. She didn't believe in fate, yet he tried to point out the fact that all eventualities did, in fact, exist. The woman seemed intent on the idea that she could bend the rules that governed time, yet she did not walk outside of it like he did; a fact that no one would come to know except for the few that allowed him to teach.

But her thought patterns and passion were a breath of fresh air, and by the time they had run the course of the class, he felt as if he had run a marathon. Leaving her with a final cryptic statement regarding the nature of time, the professor turned his attention to the clock on his desk. The hands were positioned in such a way that made him want to hurry despite not having moved at all. All the same, he knew that this timeline would soon be moving forward without him.

"Time is evolution of the mind, the body, and the universe around us," he said matter-of-factly. "It is seen and felt, yet invisible and intangible. Paradox and simplified problem. Remember this always as you step out into the normal world."

The final bit got the attention of a few, but nothing more was said as the students began reaching for their things and prepared to leave the class. The tick-tocking of the clock on his desk, which hands had not moved since his last check, got lost in the shuffle of people and bags and desks around the room. No one approached the desk this time, as they would not ever return to the room where the strange professor taught. This was a one shot deal for those who chose to take the class.

Watching the students as they watched their own chronometers, biding their time until the moment came, the professor mentally dismissed this instance of these students. The moment came as he finished looking over them all and soon they filed out of the room. While a few looked back and bid him farewell, most were already caught up in the present without much thought for the past which had just occurred. To him, however, it was all the same; every class he taught reacted in nearly the same way. This time was different though. This time he had been able to invoke a response from one of the students.

It was something that made him smile as he sat in the silence and began filing the report to the appropriate people regarding the students he had just seen. In the silence, the clock could be heard echoing slower and slower into the empty room. The professor pushed the send button just as the second hand got lost in between the moments and suddenly the clock simply stopped.

It felt like he was holding his breath, caught between now and then, before and after, as the environment around him shifted ever so slightly. He was used to it by now, but the feeling of not being able to breathe always caught him slightly unaware. As things settled, and the ticking of the clock rang out once more into the slightly different empty room, he prepared himself to teach the class again.

Different, yet it was the same; a grand experiment in portraying the same event in various locations in time. The same students, in different timelines, all reacting according to their own logical chain of events. So far, none of the students had broken the code, but there were still an infinite number of classes to go. Perhaps somewhere along the lines he would run into another fiery personality or overwhelming intelligence that the time-walker would find more than just intriguing.

The seats in the auditorium style classroom filled slowly as the seemingly broken clock on his desk ticked the seconds away. He watched it, almost preoccupied with the forward movement of the hands as those seconds disappeared into the void of this timeline's nothingness. The occasional student approached the desk and placed a padd there, stopping for some kind of acknowledgement. Ultimately, they continued on to a seat when they got none. Soon, the seats were nearly full, yet his eyes did not stray from the clock.

An uneasy silence settled on the room, with his students anticipating the beginning of the lecture. Each one of them looked down towards the small platform near the front of the room at the somewhat eccentric professor whom none had met before. This was a class that was one that was also shrouded in some secrecy; a condition he himself had placed on his very presence.

And so, as the clock tick-tocked in a somewhat endless march - a sound that soon filled the emptiness where noise and movement once existed - the professor finally looked up at the class and began it all again.

"Good morning class."

--

Commander Kalianna Nicholotti

Commanding Officer

Starbase 118/USS Victory

Edited by KNicholotti
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.