Derailment In Time By D.I. Jolly
Josh blinked himself awake, downed the water next to his bed and staggered into the kitchen in search of coffee before joining Johnny on the couch.
“Yeah, yeah I’m alright I guess.”
“Oh? What’s up? Actually what happened to you last night? The last thing I remember was giving you super bad dating advice.”
Johnny turned to look at his friend and his already neutral expression somehow grew even more neutral.
“You, you really want to know?”
Josh shifted uncomfortably for a few seconds.
“Uummm, yeah sure. … I mean, of course.”
“Well, just after I’d finally worked up the courage to start talking to Melissa, my future self-appeared at the party and as his final dying act gave me the secret to time travel, along with the technology required to make to happen.”
“Yeah, I was a bit freaked out having just watched myself die but I pulled it together and started jumping back through time. Mostly to stand in the background of super famous photographs and pictures.”
“Just like we always planned.”
“Then as I was drifting through the space-time continuum I decided I should probably use my powers to make the world a better place. So I travelled to the 1930s and killed Hitler, effectively preventing World War 2 from ever happening.”
Josh scrunched up for face for a second.
“Wait, killed who?”
“It doesn’t matter, but without World War 2 a lot of the technological advances I needed took much longer to create. As a result, the tech required for my future self to create time travel wasn’t available and so I derailed myself from time and got trapped in paradox. Outside of time unable to affect enough change to return in any meaningful way. Slowing going insane as I both experience myself in all timelines and none simultaneously. Eventually though, after about 10,000 years of going insane and sane again, a few times over, I had a realization and was able to project my disconnected consciousness into my representative physical forms throughout time. Making me omnipresent through my own timeline.”
Josh stared wide-eyed at his friend searching for some way to understand.
“So … you’re like, everyone at once?”
“In all versions of yourself in what I imagine is a multiverse?”
Josh stared again thinking.
“Oh wait so if you’re all versions of yourself at the same time, is there a version of me that has become super rich and famous?”
Johnny turned once again to look at his friend.
“What? You mean in an infinite possibility multiverse there is no version of me that gets famous?”
“How is that even possible?”
For the first time in thousands of years, a small smile crept across Johnny’s face.
“Because I go out of my way to make sure it never happens.”
“What! You exist in all timelines and you spend your infinite lives making sure I never achieve anything in mine?”
“Do you realize that in no timelines do you ever do your dishes or replace the toilet paper when it runs out? You are by far, the worst person I have ever met. Also, I’m kidding, you’re actually just so lazy that no version of you has ever worked up enough energy to even try.”
“Yeah, that makes sense.”
The room fell silent for a minute as they both contemplated their place in the universe.
“If it makes you feel better though, one of you does eventually beat Zelda.”
A smile spread across Josh’s face.
“Sweet, is it this one?”