The Most Successful Man That Never Was

by
It’s a logarhythm knife, all right? I don’t know what that means
and I don’t think anyone five jumps from here knows either. I picked it up from one of the dimensions closer to the Middle, near where the Interfuck began, I guess. Where they found out how to combine time travel and space travel, it wasn’t that hard once you had the beginning and end holes lined up, the wormholes I mean, but you know they aren’t really wormholes, they’re spaceships.
That’s how time machines work, you know? You can’t just pop out
somewhere, anywhere, anytime. You have to be somewhere between the machine getting turned on and turned off. You have to wait it out, and some of the bigger boxes can hold a couple thousand people for a few hundred years at a go. You see weird types in there, legions of Samies, those worthless personalities who get along with themselves just fine and no one else, and build a small army of themselves hoping to take a chunk of the Interfuck for ’emselves. Not like anyone’d let ’em. Anarchy may be the law of the land, but once you start stepping on toes around the schoolyard, everyone’ll pitch in to kick you to pieces.
This is a nice place y’all got, here. Must be new to IF. From your
perspective been in this what, a month, two? The first of us drifters just starting to pass through, telling stories of the wonders they got upstream, near the First Worlds.
They got scientists who’ve spent thousands of years unlocking
the mysteries of the universe, just going back in time over and over and over, passing down their work across generation over infinite generation of alternate selves. It’s mind-numbing, their devotion. Me, I gotta keep moving. I stay still too long and I start forgetting that all this is real. Always worth sitting down for a beer or two, though.
Planet I’m from’s called Earth. It wasn’t the first to the Interfuck,
not by a longshot. But we weren’t near the end, either. We got our fair share of the pie, then we all fell right apart, came to pieces and scrabbled over what was left.
I had a teacher once, when I broke a leg half a billion seconds
into my life and had to sit in the same timeline for a couple months before they’d let me go. I’ve heard way too many people talk about the kind of potential I have, but this guy was different. “You have a unique perspective,” he told me. I better have, number of worlds I’ve been to, the things I’ve seen. Number of times I’ve run into myself, scrapes I’ve gotten myself out of. Always have a backup, that’s rule number one. Sit one out someplace quiet, and if shit goes down too bad, you can always give yourself a call to bail you out. It’s the only way to survive, you know? You’re the only one who cares about you when it comes down to it. You’re the only one who knows when to stay out of your way and when you need to be held back.
I can’t spend too much time around me, though. The worst was
this time I had to spend a week with a couple of me to sit out some shit between a couple different versions of the old Earth government. We’re lucky all three of us made it out alive.
Well, thanks for your hospitality. Enjoy your stay in the Interfuck,
but if you take my advice you won’t sit still. There’s too much to see out there, too many giant things that survive on the small ones, the ones who sit still and wait for things to happen.
It’s back out into the big IF for me. You’ll be seeing more of me,
I’m sure. But I won’t be seeing any more of you.

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2 Responses to “The Most Successful Man That Never Was”

  1. Sebatinsky Says:

    Let’s get some paragraph breaks.

  2. gryfft Says:

    In Word it is. Whenever I pasted it in the formatting disappeared. I have to go for now but I’ll try to fix it tonight.

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