[FIC] One More Day
tuglyraisin at aol.com
Sun Jun 14 14:24:35 PDT 2009
One More Day
Which is worse: not existing or never going home?
Michael Moriarty asked himself that question for the thousandth
time as the watched the red timer on his flux drive count down toward
zero. It hadn't fluxed yet, and wouldn't for another sixty seconds. He
still had time to take the silver belt buckle and smash it to bits before
it went off.
He looked away from the belt laying on the floor, and over to the
woman next to lying beneath the sheets. He met her that morning, six
hours after the last flux. Several large, mean men were holding her and
the bank where she worked hostage at the time. Michael heard about the
robbery over his comm, and took off to help.
No one remembered The Forgotten Man. He was a myth in the city
that no one could explain. Articles were written about him one day, and
forgotten the next. No one had any photos, because no one was ever
expecting him. There were a few drawings, none of them remotely accurate.
There were eye witnesses who could never corroborate anything the next
The Forgotten Man had been the name given to Michael in an article
that was actually reporting on the articles about the mysterious,
forgotten hero. He started using the name when people asked who he was,
simply because...a name meant he was someone, even if nobody knew it was
He knew who he was. He knew he was Michael Moriarty, physicist
for Extradimensional Exploration Affairs. He knew it was his damaged flux
drive and his irradiated body that acted kind of universal tuning fork,
slightly altering reality every twenty-four hours...give or take a few
minutes based on what city he was in...to collapse reality so that
everything he did was reset as something else, no matter how improbable
the chain of events which led up to it.
He knew that a few blows from a blunt object would disalign the
systems built into the flux drive, disconnecting it to the massive
hyperframe in his own time. He would at last be responsible for his
actions, but with his connection severed, he'd be stranded on an Earth and
in a time not his own.
The woman under the sheets moved, mumbling in her sleep.
She was nice. Pretty. Someone he thought he could spend the rest
of his life with. She wouldn't remember him in another...he looked at the
belt...thirty seconds. He'd have to slip out, or else...else she would
wake up next to a stranger. She would never remember how he took her
flying. She would never remember how they made love on the moon. She
would never remember him describing how such wonders were possible in his
time on his Earth. When the flux drive activated, she would only remember
going to sleep by herself and waking up next to someone she'd never seen.
That's how it would work.
That's how it worked every time. One second someone was looking
right at him, the next they were asking a complete stranger why they
stopped to look at him. It was like living in an asylum where everyone
had dementia, only Michael felt like he was the one going insane.
As the timer ticked down to ten seconds, Michael knew his decision
was made for him. For at least one more day, no one would know him, For
at least one more day, he would live in hope that someone else in his home
would hear his distress signal. For at least one more day, he would be
The Forgotten Man.
Notes: I totally stole that title. Bwahahaha! I'm also kind of riffing
on this drabble http://users.livejournal.com/__marcelo/492668.html as well
as Alan Moore's Jonni Future concept of a pulp hero with far-future
equipment. I'm also doing my usual shtick of avoiding any real super-hero
stuff in the process. Oh, well.
tuglyraisin at aol.com
http://utilitarian.us - A Guide to Esoteric Technology in Paragon City
http://jarodrussell.livejournal.com/ - Take a guess. ;)
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