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Line of Eternity

by Xanatos

A flailing ship on the dark stormy seas...lightning flashing as the waters madly rave. I open my eyes...

If there's one constant in the universe, it's that waking up is hard to do. It seems to be the cosmic invariant regardless of planet, ship, or station. I glance about the room intently, seeking to take charge of my surroundings. It doesn't seem like that long ago, it just doesn't. But even as consciousness returns to my frigid body, I know that everyone I have ever known has been dead and gone for millennia. From dust to dust returned...

A sharp, piercing whine startles me and sends my atrophied arms up to my ears. I stagger across the cabin, approaching the source of the noise. Uncertain of why it is doing so, I hesitantly cancel the alarm. Nothing happens. I take a deep breath and glance at the position indicators. I'm not where I'm supposed to be. I realize with dread that my fate was cast many centuries before I even stirred from my ancient slumber.

Soon, it will happen. There is nothing I can do to stop it, and it will happen. What I have attempted to prevent an endless number of times before, and have failed decisively each time, will happen yet again. It's not easy living through the same moment thousands of times, but it is even worse dying through the same moment over and over again. This I have done countless times, driving me ever closer towards madness. Yet I maintain the calculation necessary to continue on with my mission, never yielding to the insanity which threatens my every moment of being.

Perhaps, I thought, if I tried enough times, I would eventually succeed. However, it seems all the more likely at this point that I am condemned to fail for eternity. Time loops are a tricky business indeed. A short time loop can contain an unending eternity in the span of a few minutes. Longer ones can accomplish it in the span of a few thousand years. Imagine the shock I encountered at discovering the truth of things. Abhorrent to my thinking of letting the past remain the past, I discovered that history not only repeats itself, but it does so in the literal sense. Sometimes I am tempted to end my quest and live out the end of my days...

No. I must stand resolute and find a way out of this maze. History depends on me to bring it to an end, or perhaps a new beginning. Or perhaps history will become history if I ever succeed. I may even cease to exist, but even that is preferable to continuing this dread existence, I glance up at the chronometer and realize that it will soon be time again. There is nothing I can do now but wait. When the moment is right, I will attempt to cross the abyss which captures myself and everyone who has ever lived, the River Acheron lapping upon the shores of the universe.

How I discovered it when no one else could, I don't have time left to share now. I do know that I always felt a strange sense of deja vu about everything. It turned out to be more correct than I ever could have known, and ever could have known again, and again, and again... I discovered I could make as many little changes as I wanted, but nothing ever really changed things that mattered. Perhaps it is just as well. Next time maybe I'll tell you more, if there is more to tell. But it will in all likelihood be the same more that I couldn't tell you this time.

I settle down into my sleep chamber and take a deep refreshing breath, the last I will take for eons. Thousands upon thousands of years in the blink of an eye, and once again nothing to show for it.

A flailing ship on the dark stormy seas...lightning flashing as the waters madly rave. I open my eyes...

 

 

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