Author Topic: Snowflake days of futures past- a Scientia-fiction Christmas special- complete!  (Read 2884 times)

Offline betabee

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Chapter 1- The time machine

“Finally!” the exclamation came from Einstein’s room, echoing around the science lab. “It works!”

“What has he come up with this time?” Pasteur sighed. “A sentient robot? A cure for the common cold?”
“Let’s go and find out!” was Franklin’s reply as she put down her sculpting tools. “He’s never been that excited before.”

Franklin and Pasteur rushed up the stairs as fast as their elderly legs would carry them, and burst into Einstein’s room just in time to see him leaping into a purple mist inside a strange large box-shaped contraption standing in the middle of the room.

“What on earth is this?” Pasteur asked. “It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”
“Hmm . . .” Franklin pondered for a moment. “I think I’ve read about these. You may not have encountered the concept before, but I believe this may be an example of a time machine?”
“A what?” Pasteur questioned.
“A time machine- a machine capable of transporting persons between different periods in time. H. G. Wells wrote a fiction book on such a topic, probably a bit after your time-”

“When did he write it?”
“I think I was feeling a bit too poorly that year to read it.”
“You were still alive then?”
“I died that year.”
“Ah. Sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it, mama. So, if this is indeed a time machine, and Einstein has gone inside, what course of action do you propose?”

“I’m not sure,” Is Franklin’s reply. “We don’t know where he’s gone to, or if he’s going to be able to get back safely. If he isn’t able to get back safely, the entire dynasty is in jeopardy.”
“Would following him be a good idea?” Pasteur responds, “We may be able to persuade him to return sooner and thus minimize the effect on the continuation of the dynasty.”
“It might be dangerous.”
“What is danger to us? If Einstein doesn’t return safely, we’re dead anyway!”

“Fine. I propose, though, that we keep this from everyone else for now. If we need rescuing, it’s better that we don’t all go through at once.”
“We should at least leave them a note- if Papie and Newton find us disappeared, they will be less worried if we detail the circumstances for them.”
“Okay. We’ll leave a note on Einstein’s workbench- they should spot it there if they come looking.”

Note duly placed, the two immortals proceeded to prepare themselves for the journey.

Not all preparations were practical- partly their delay was to see if Einstein would return by his own accord, but it was also partly because of fear of what they would find the other side of the portal.

Eventually, however, their journey could be delayed no longer. Pasteur entered the strange portal first.

Franklin’s entry to the temporal portal was more cautious. She wondered what she would find on the other side for a moment before summoning her courage and leaping bravely into the unknown . . .
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Offline betabee

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Chapter 2- Sidewise in time

The two intrepid explorers found themselves in an empty field, with the wind whistling past their ears and the air chill on their faces.
“Well, we’re certainly not in Riverview any more,” Pasteur said, inspecting the grass.
“I agree. I don’t recognize any of this landscape. I didn’t know the machine transported you in space as well as time.”
“It’s just as well really- if we had transported to the same space, but to a time before there was a building there . . .” Both Franklin and Pasteur winced at the conclusion of the thought.

“So, what do we do now?” Franklin asked her son.
“Find civilization, I guess,” he replied. “It’s not exactly warm out here. We can get help with finding Einstein if we find other people.”
“Good plan. Which direction?” Franklin replied as she glanced around the field and into the distance.

“That way!” was Pasteur’s response after a few seconds of scanning the horizon. “There’s a building or something, I think.” The two turned to trudge towards the distant lights of civilization as the sky darkened with evening.

They arrived at the house they spotted after a few minutes of walking. Pasteur rang the doorbell; it was a few minutes before they got a response from within.

The door was opened by a middle-aged man with a gleam in his eye, suggesting they had arrived at the house of a supernatural. Thus Franklin was cautious as she began to speak.
“Excuse me; my companion and I are lost, far from home. We were wondering if you could tell me where we are and where we might be able to find shelter?”

He considered Franklin’s words for a few minutes before replying.
“Well, you’re on the edge of the fair town of Moonlight Falls. The trains and buses aren’t that frequent at this time of night, so I imagine you’ll want to rent a room at a local hotel.”
“I’m not sure we’ve got any money on us,” Pasteur piped up.
“I knew we forgot something!” Franklin turned back to the man. “Have you any idea where we might stay without needing to pay?”
“Hmm . . . You could stay in the fire station, I suppose. I’ve used their beds on occasion when I’ve forgotten my keys on a night out hunting. Or when the wife is angry with me. It’s not really comfy accommodation, but it keeps out the cold and wind.”

“That sounds brilliant for our current needs! How do we get there?”
Franklin and Pasteur listened intently as he gave directions towards the fire station, then thanked him and set off into the ever-darkening night.

It didn’t take them long to arrive at the fire station; once inside, they took the time to sit and think over their current predicament.
“Have you any ideas about how we can find Einstein here?” Pasteur asked.
“Well, we could try asking at the local tavern, I guess. Most people in Moonlight falls can be found there in the evenings- your father told me that much.”
“My father?!”
“Didn’t I tell you? Billy spent time in Moonlight falls before he came to live in the Science lab.”
“Hmm. What else did he tell you about this town?”
“Not much really- we didn’t discuss it much. I don’t know why.”
Pasteur checked the clock on the wall of the fire station kitchen. “Well, it’s still quite early in the evening despite the darkness. We could try and find the tavern tonight, I guess.”
“Sounds good. I think Billy said it was down the street from the fire station once, so it can’t be too far.”

Franklin and Pasteur ended up walking around the town centre for a good half an hour before locating the bright lights of The Toadstool, which was indeed only a street away. Pasteur headed inside, but Franklin paused by a bin, spying a newspaper inside.

After fishing out the paper, she sat down to check what the date was. What she saw was alarming; they had travelled back to the winter of Franklin’s youth! She got up quickly, abandoning the paper to go and find her son inside.

“Pasteur?” she said as she entered the tavern. “I know when we are!”
“So do I,” her son replied from his place by the door, pointing subtly towards the bar. Her eyes followed where Pasteur was pointing to see a sight she thought she might not see for a long while:

Her husband, Billy Caspian, but not as she knew him.
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Offline betabee

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Chapter 3- When worlds collide

“What do we do now?” Pasteur asked.
“We can’t let him know who we are,” Franklin replied. “We don’t want to alter the time-line. Your father at this point in time hasn’t met me, and certainly hasn’t seen you, especially at your current age. Nevertheless, it’s probably a bad idea for me to talk to him.”
“We still need to find Einstein’s whereabouts. It would look strange if we asked everyone else in the pub except for him.”
Franklin sighed, then responded, “Fine. You ask him about Einstein then. Don’t give him your real name, though, or Einstein’s, or mine. Maybe use pseudonyms?”
“Okay. I can handle this, don’t worry. Do you want to ask around everyone else? Tell them you’re looking for a boy called Bertie- if we can keep our stories straight, that should help.”
“Good idea- for future reference, I’m Rosie and you’ll be Lewis.”
“Deal with it. It’s better than ‘Rosie’. Or Rosalind.”

And with that, Franklin wandered away from the door to talk to some of the people seated around the pub. Pasteur took a few moments to gather his courage before walking over leisurely to sit beside where his father sat.

The bartender came over to Pasteur, and he ordered a glass of water before turning to Billy.
“Excuse me- can I have a few moments of your time?”
Billy started at being talked to, and turned to Pasteur. “Erm. . . I suppose so. What do you want?”
“Well, I’m trying to find a young friend of mine who recently went missing.”
“Oh really? Wouldn’t that be a problem for the police?”

“We really don’t want to get them involved. Our situation is unusual and I don’t want to get too many people in on the situation.”
“And you’re asking around the pub?” Billy scoffed. “Fine way to keep things secret.”
“We were hoping we might get more information faster if we asked around here.”
“Sounds sensible. So, who are you looking for?”
“A teenage boy by the name of Bertie. About yea high, mop of yellow hair, Riverview accent-”

“Riverview accent, you say? I might have seen him around a day or so ago.”
“Really? Where?”
“In this very pub. He was chatting with that Van Gould girl, her first name escapes me.”
“Hmm . . . I’ll have to ask around further, but that helps. Thank you!”
“It’s fine, glad to help. So, you say you’re from Riverview?”

“Yeah.” Pasteur replied warily.
“You should probably move,” was Billy’s response. “I heard there’s an immortal dynasty going on in that town. My friend Jon got forced into helping them, made to paint and sculpt his days away. You wouldn’t want your Bertie to be forced into a dynasty household.”
“Why-ever not? They’ve done quite a lot to help out the town, I heard. And spending your days being an artist can’t be that bad.”
Billy turned to look at Pasteur. “You’ve never been a dynasty helper, have you . . . What’s your name?”
“I’m Lewis. And no, I’ve never been a dynasty helper. I probably never will.”

“Well, take my advice, Lewis,” Billy said as he got up from the bar, “and keep that boy as far away from dynasty life as possible. It’s not something any kid deserves.” And with those morbid words, Billy left the tavern.
Pasteur sat at the bar for several minutes in silence, staring at his glass of water until Franklin joined him.

“I didn’t find out much,” Franklin said as she sat beside her son. “Did you find out anything useful?”
“Yes- but you’ll probably want to hear this in a more private location.”
“Fine. It’s getting late anyhow. Let’s get back to the fire station.”

Once they had returned to the gloomy station, Pasteur proceeded to relay the entire conversation to Franklin. She listened in silence as he spoke, then after he finished, she asked, “I wonder why he was so negative about us dynasty people? He was never that negative when he was in the science lab.”
“I’m unsure. Maybe we need to do some more investigating.”
“The thing is, now is very close in time where Billy moves in, which is back in Riverview. So why is he still here in Moonlight falls?” Both immortals stood in silence as they considered Franklin’s question.
“Well, there’s not much we can do about it tonight,” Pasteur eventually replied. “Let’s try to get some sleep, and we can sort out this mess in the morning.”

And so, Pasteur and Franklin retired to bed. Pasteur dropped off to sleep immediately, but Franklin couldn’t sleep nearly as easily, her thoughts on their predicament keeping her awake a long while into the night. Why was Billy so negative so close to when he should move in? Why was he even still in Moonlight falls? And where on earth had Einstein got to?
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Offline Eldridge

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Time travelling as concept is wonderful idea betabee as I love to see one story that featuring this! That was interesting but I'm afraid I have nothing on my mind but enjoy your story. I also wonder where Einstein goes.
“Sometimes the little things in life mean the most.” ― Ellen Hopkins

My Stories:
1. The Demosthenes Immortal Dynasty: Kev's Corner #08 - Thankful (31/12/13)
2. The Goode-Rotter's Life Story: Case Eleven - Signs of Love (27/12/13)

Offline betabee

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Time travelling as concept is wonderful idea betabee as I love to see one story that featuring this! That was interesting but I'm afraid I have nothing on my mind but enjoy your story. I also wonder where Einstein goes.

I'm glad you're enjoying this so far!  :)
As to where Einstein's got to . . . Well, you'll find out in the next chapter, which is posted below.

Chapter 4- Fallout

The sunlight gently streamed into the fire station as Franklin and Pasteur woke up. They felt much refreshed in body, but less so in mind. The questions from the previous day still hung unsaid in the air as they made their way downstairs to try and find some breakfast.

Pasteur prepared some cereal for the both of them; Franklin sat and continued to ponder what to do.
“Maybe what we should do is split up,” she eventually piped up. “We can search for Einstein better that way, and maybe also investigate what’s up with Billy.”
“Surreptitiously, of course.”

“Of course. What would you like to do?”
“I think I’ll try to find these Van Goulds Billy mentioned. If Einstein was talking to them they may know something about his whereabouts.”
“Sounds like a plan. I might go and ask around at the arboretum in town- Billy mentioned it was one of his favourite hangouts, so I might be able to meet some of his acquaintances there. Maybe they’ll have some information on Einstein, or even Billy.”

The two finished their breakfasts, washed up, and then left the building, agreeing to meet up again at the Toadstool that evening. Pasteur started walking towards the centre of town, eventually locating the library.

Luckily, the Van Goulds were relatively easy to locate using the internet; Pasteur simply researched the history of Moonlight Falls after guessing that the Van Goulds were quite an old family, and eventually found a webpage detailing the oldest buildings in the town, including a map showing where the home of the Van Goulds was.

Pasteur walked along the streets with his printed map, and eventually came across the grand mansion detailed on the webpage. It hadn’t changed too much from the victorian photographs on the internet, and he approached with trepidation, hoping he was at the correct house.

His intuition and research proved correct- he quickly spotted the blond mop and green beanie of his grandson. He ran over.
“Bertie! There you are!” Einstein looked up, startled.

“Grandpa? What on earth are you doing here?”
“Looking for you, of course! Frankie and I followed you through- we wanted to make sure you were okay.”
“Hmm. Thanks, I guess? And ‘Bertie’? Really?” Einstein questioned as they began walking away from the Van Gould house.
“It’s less conspicuous. How are you? What have you been up to?”
“It’s a long story. Walk with me.”
Einstein was silent for a few seconds before beginning his tale.

“I’ve been in Moonlight falls for about a week now. I guess the time machine didn’t take you to exactly the same point in time as where I arrived. Upon arrival, I realized there was no obvious way to return to my own time, so started trying to acquire the resources to rebuild the time machine so I could return home.

“My encounter with Emmaline Van Gould was a stroke of luck. I explained some of my situation, and she took pity and offered me lodging in her mansion. However, my project requires a bit more secrecy than her home can provide; I managed to persuade her to lend me use of one of her families other houses on the premise of her father not being happy with my presence.

“I’ve been spending many of the last few days trying to find sufficient scrap to reconstruct the time machine; the search has been quite slow so far, since there’s only so much scrap I can carry at once.

“I’ve also been using some of the scrap I found to construct gadgets. I’ve been selling these gadgets in the tavern each evening so I can earn sufficient money to purchase food.”
“You haven’t done any cooking, have you?”
“Of course not! I wouldn’t want to endanger your supermax! I’ve been sticking to a diet of dry cereal- it’s far quicker (and cheaper) than attempting to burn the house down. Though this has given me an idea for creating a robot that could do the cooking in my stead-” 

“I wouldn’t worry about that right now- what we need to do is focus on getting the three of us home safely. But I have a question.”
“Go ahead.”
“Did you at all talk to Billy Caspian?”
“The guy on the Mortal Wall?”
“The one and only.”
“A little bit.”
“What did you talk about?”

“Well, I was feeling a bit down at the time. The time machine wasn’t making much process, so I went to the pub to take some time out. I vaguely recognized him from the portrait at home, and we got talking while I was eating my tea (I thought I deserved a pub dinner after a week of working). He said he quite liked Riverview, but I set him straight- it’s quite a ghost town really, not worth the bother.”

“Einstein! Do you realise what you’ve done?” Pasteur exclaimed.
“What’s the problem?”
“You might have persuaded your great-grandfather to not return to Riverview, not meet Franklin and thus never become your great-grandfather.”
“Hmm . . . That doesn’t quite sound right. How are we still here then? I would have thought that would be a paradox.”
“It is. I think we need to go and find Franklin as soon as possible.”

Einstein nodded in agreement as he realized the enormity of the situation, and set off after Pasteur as they ran in the direction of the Arboretum.
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Offline betabee

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Chapter 5- The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy

The walk to the Arboretum was quite long, but Franklin managed to arrive in the late morning. Spying a man standing by the main entrance of the building, she approached him at a gentle pace.

“Excuse me,” Franklin asked the fairy, “I was wondering if you could help me out with something?”
The fairy turned around in surprise, and examined Franklin for a few seconds before replying, “Sure, ma’am. How may I help you?”
“Do you know a fairy by the name of Billy Caspian?”
He took a moment to respond. “Yes. . . Why do you ask?”
“I’m trying to find a friend of mine- a teenage boy called Bertie. Blond hair, looks a bit unusual? Billy apparently saw him a few days ago, and I’m trying to investigate who else may have knowledge of his whereabouts.”

“Hmm . . . I might be able to assist. Billy talked to me about talking to such an individual a night or two ago. It seems to have inspired Billy to finally consider buying a home here.”
“Buying a home? Really?” The despair in Franklin’s voice must have caught the man off guard.
“What is Billy’s house-buying to you? There’s something you’re not telling me . . . Who are you?” The fairy looked at Franklin with suspicion.
Franklin sighed, recognizing that she would have some explaining to do. It would be incredibly hard to convince this fairy to help if she wasn’t truthful, due to the abilities of fairies in detecting lies.

“My name is Rosie.”
“Really? You don’t seem to be a Rosie . . .”
“You can call me Rosie- I don’t fancy divulging my real name.”
“And you can call me Pip. A pleasure to meet you.”
“Likewise.” She paused before continuing. “I am more concerned with Billy’s welfare and actions than most because it is linked with the welfare of my friend.”
“How so?” Pip questioned.

“I will only tell you if you promise not to tell Billy what I tell you.”
Pip paused for a second to consider this, then nods. “I promise on my fairy wings not to reveal the secrets you divulge to Billy Caspian. Continue.”
“I and my friend are from the future.”
“That seems to make sense- Billy mentioned that your friend talked about things yet to come. I thought he may have misheard originally.”
“Bertie recently created a time machine and transported himself here. I followed with another friend to try and ensure his safety.”
“Hmm. And what does this have to do with my dear friend?”
Franklin hesitated before continuing. “Billy is a direct ancestor of Bertie. But the events leading up to this require Billy to return to Riverview- hence my concern about his permanent settlement in Moonlight falls.”

Pip was silent for a good few minutes after hearing Franklin’s speech, and took a while to ponder what he just heard. Franklin’s worry was just reaching its peak as she watched Pip in silence when he started to respond to what she just said.
“Well, that sounds like quite a pickle. But how do I know I can trust you on such information?”
“Would I tell you such a tale if it weren’t completely true?”
“I can’t see a circumstance in which that would occur. I take it you’re part of the immortal dynasty occurring in Riverview at present?”

“Yep.” Franklin said in a small voice as she stood by Pip. “But if I can’t fix this, I won’t be for much longer.”
“That explains your worry for Bertie, at least.” Pip takes a moment to stretch. “I’m not sure how much I can help you out with your temporal problem- Billy isn’t the easiest person to persuade to do anything, and he sure isn’t fond of immortal dynasties, from what I’ve heard down the pub.”

All of a sudden, Franklin heard Pasteur and Einstein running into the park at some speed. She turned around quickly and went over to them.

“I see you found Bertie,” Franklin said as she approached Pasteur. “Is everything alright?”
“It’s really not.” Einstein replied. “I might be the reason Billy won’t return to Riverview.”
“Isn’t that a paradox?” Franklin asked.
“Probably. We’ve got to persuade Billy to return to Riverview as soon as possible, otherwise . . . Otherwise I have no idea what’s going to happen to Lewis and I. But it’s not going to be good.”
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Offline betabee

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Chapter 6- Nineteen eighty-four

After that bombshell it was mutually decided that a cup of tea and a sit-down would be an excellent idea. To that end, the four walked over to Pip’s house because, as he put it, “It’s warm, and cozy, and my mother loves having guests around. Plus it’s more private if we want to try and plan something.”

They wandered inside the house.
“Hi mum! I’m home!” Pip called up the stairs, and was rewarded with an elderly voice replying,
“Down in a minute, dear!”

“Did you have a good time down at the arboretum, Phillip?” she asked as she came down the stairs a few minutes later.
“I had a lovely time- really cleared my head. Listen, I’ve brought a few friends over; we need to discuss some work-related stuff, is that okay?”
“Of course, dear!” Flora replied. “I’ll make you all some tea, and then I need to take Fawn over to her friend’s house for the afternoon. That should give you the time you need to finish your work.”

A few minutes later, everyone was seated with hot cups of tea and Flora was heading out the door. Once the lock had clicked, Pasteur asked, “So . . . Any bright ideas for getting Billy back to Riverview?”

“Billy’s always seemed quite a stubborn soul to me- you’re going to have a difficult time persuading him to go voluntarily.” Pip replied. “Maybe blackmail?”

“No way!” Franklin exclaimed. “There must be a way of getting him home without resorting to illegal activities.”
Pip thought for a few seconds before he responded, “Hmm . . . You could try asking some other friends of his within the fairy community, I guess.”

“We haven’t really got time to go chasing around town,” Einstein suddenly spoke up. “How many days is it until Snowflake day?”
“It’s tomorrow,” Was Pip’s reply.
“Well, from what I know of what was happening around this time, Billy has to move into the science lab a day or two after Snowflake day. So we’ve only got a couple of days at most to persuade Billy to get home.” Einstein summarized.

“Well, I’ve got a list of contacts in the fairy community here. I’m sure I could ask around.” Was Pip’s response.
“Yes, but exactly how much does he share with you and the other fairies about his reasons for staying?” Franklin asked.
“Not much really. I’ve not heard of other reasons why he left Riverview in the first place other than he didn’t like the atmosphere there. Which isn’t exactly helpful to your cause.”

Pasteur then spoke up. “What about his friends from the dynasty helper support group? Maybe they would know something. We could call Jon?”
“That would be a lovely idea, except he’ll have died a few days ago.” Franklin replied.
“We could travel back to when he was alive and then ask,” Einstein added.
“And cause more temporal trouble? No thanks.” Pasteur responded.

As their heated discussion continued, all of a sudden they were interrupted by the ringing of the doorbell.
“I’ll get it,” Pip declared as he walked over. They sat in silence for a few seconds as Pip quietly conversed with the person outside.

Eventually, the door opened again and Pip reentered. “I think you might want to talk to these people, my friend. They’ve got a few very interesting things to share with you . . .”

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Offline Luna

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So far, I am enjoying your side story betabee. This is interesting project to take a break from dynasty for a while. I'm glad to find out about Einstein whereabouts I thought that he'd be missing!
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Offline betabee

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So far, I am enjoying your side story betabee. This is interesting project to take a break from dynasty for a while. I'm glad to find out about Einstein whereabouts I thought that he'd be missing!

Thanks!  :D I came up with the idea for this story a long while back, but only recently actually wrote it down and took the screenshots (mostly because Einstein now can make time machines).
Onto the next chapter!

Chapter 7- War of the worlds

Billy halted as he saw the group of people seated in Pip’s living room.
“Pip?! What’s this about?”
“These people need to talk to you, I told you just now!”
He sighed. “Fine. Ten minutes, then I really need to get back to my painting.”

Billy sat down on one of the sofas with a sigh. “I see you found Bertie, then.” He said to Pasteur. “And who’s your friend?”
“I’m Rosie. Good to meet you.”
“Likewise. So, what did you want to talk to me about?”

Silence reigned for a few seconds, then Einstein piped up. “We wanted to bring you a message, actually. From the future.”
A look of surprise appeared on Billy’s face at this. “The future? Really? You said you were from Riverview.”

Franklin shot Einstein a ‘what have you done?’ look before answering Billy, “We are. Or more accurately, we will be.”
Einstein continued. “You need to move back to Riverview for a while. It’s essential to the future time-line.”

“Wait, weren’t you telling me it was rubbish a few days ago? Why should I trust you?”
Einstein sighed. “I didn’t mean it! I was just stressed ‘cause the time machine isn’t finished yet and it’s messing everything up-”
“Bertie, you don’t need to go into so much detail.” Pasteur cut off Einstein’s mumbling.
“Okay. But there still remains the question- who are you and why should I trust you? Riverview holds nothing for me really.”

“Well, I can show you the time machine if you like- it’s work in process but it will be working soon.”
“Oh, I believe you on the time travel front,” Billy responded “I’ve seen the stuff you’ve been selling in the tavern; it’s way beyond anything I’ve ever encountered. I mean, floor hygienators? You only really see those from watched households these days . . . Wait, are you watched at the moment?”
“I don’t think so,” Pasteur replied. “Our Watcher has been mysteriously quiet the whole time we’ve been here.”

Billy ponders for a moment, and then started thinking aloud. “I mean, if you’re a watched household, I guess you’re a part of the dynasty household there at the moment. Correct?”
The three time travellers exchanged looks with each other, and a silent agreement was made to maintain the silence on where they were from.
Billy kept talking, oblivious to their gazes. “Or the dynasty household in the future, obviously. But why do you want me to move back to Riverview? Because if you have designs on me moving in and being another dynasty slave, it’s just not going to happen.”

Franklin had been silent for a while, but finally decided to speak up. “William Tumnus Caspian, what makes you so afraid of Riverview? Why do you not want to return?”
“You wouldn’t understand my reasoning. It’s not as if you’ve ever been a slave to requirements.”
“Try me.”
“Have you been made to sculpt for days on end with no sleep or proper food or company?”
“No, but I’ve had to fish in the deepest winter for hours on end without sleep. I’d say fishing beats sculpting in terms of monotony, given I’ve had to do both.”

Billy’s voice went quiet. “My friend Jon was forced to sculpt and make potions for days on end. I don’t want to end up the same way.”
“Reality check- have you talked to Jon about his experiences?”
“A bit- at the support group meetings. He’s more positive about it than I am, I guess, but then he’s always been an optimistic soul.”

“Jon was one of my classmates on my fine arts degree many years ago, before we’d even heard of Riverview. He was a mature student, but very thoughtful and we became good friends. We both moved to Riverview by chance, and we spent a good many afternoons catching up at the art gallery.

“And then, circumstances changed. Jon moved in with the newest dynasty household to rock by, and I became a fairy. We still met up at the support group, but I was quite sad that he had to have been caught up in the whole dynasty thing.”

“Maybe that’s why you should move back, Billy.” Franklin interrupted his musings.
“You and Jon are- were- the two best artists of Riverview, correct?”
“Pretty much, yes.” Billy said, confused. “The art gallery only had our work in it after my mentor Hank passed on. I don’t see what this has to do with anything.”

“It’s got everything to do with you moving back, Billy.” Franklin declared. “Jon died a few days ago.”
Billy’s head snapped up. “Pardon?!”
“Today is Snowflake eve, 2013, correct?”
His gaze fell to the calendar as Pip said, “Correct.”
“Well, Jon died at least a week ago. Maybe even two.”

Billy grabbed his phone. “I’d like to check this before you continue. Excuse me.” He left the room with his phone in hand. They sat in silence for a few minutes before he returned to the room, visibly shaken.
Pip spoke up. “Are you okay, Billy?”
“Yeah. I called the Simovitches. They confirmed it. He died on-”
“- his 90th birthday.” finished Franklin. “And now Riverview is devoid of artistic talent. Other than his adopted daughter, but she’s busy raising a child in a dynasty household.”

“What are you suggesting?” Billy asked.
“That Riverview needs art. That the world needs art, and literature, and music, to make life bearable. With Jon gone, who is going to brighten the snowflake days of futures past in Riverview?”
“Surely other artists will live and grow in Riverview?”
“But who will inspire them? Who will encourage them?”
Billy was silent at Franklin’s words.
“At the very least, you could go back to visit Jon. I’ve heard that ghosts are more frequently seen in neighborhoods with watchers- you might get to say goodbye.” Pip suggested.

It was several more moments before Billy spoke again.
“Fine,” He said. “I’ll go to Riverview for a while. Visit Jon’s grave, go check out the art gallery. But I doubt I’ll find much there to keep me in that town.”
“Yay!” Einstein declared. “I’m not going to vanish!”

At Billy’s startled look, Franklin glared at Einstein, then turned to Billy. “Don’t ask,” she said. “It’s future stuff.”
“Right,” he replied slowly. “I guess I should be off to book a train ticket?”
“Yeah, you need to be in Riverview in two days time. Is that okay?” Franklin asked with concern.
“It’s okay, I’ve got the funds to get there.” Billy stood up and headed to the door. “I trust the three of you can get yourselves home safely?”
“I’ll have fixed the time machine in a couple of days. We won’t bother you again- I don’t think I’ll go meddling with time travel again after this.” Einstein replied.
Billy smiled at him. “Good idea, kid. Take care.” And with that, Billy left.
Scientia Immortal Dynasty    -Christmas special: Snowflake days of futures past
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Offline betabee

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Snowflake days of futures past- a Scientia-fiction Christmas special- Chapter 8
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2013, 05:41:44 PM »
Chapter 8- The day after tomorrow

The next morning, Franklin decided to check the post. The mobile phones she, Einstein and Pasteur carried in their pockets were next to useless at this time (due to their simcards being several years too advanced for the satellites and mobile networks present) so she had told Puck their temporary address at Einstein’s borrowed house in case he needed to contact her.
She expected an empty postbox; what she found was not what she expected. The letter contained within was clearly in Billy’s hand; she hesitated a moment before opening it.

To Rosie,
My train for Riverview leaves tomorrow afternoon; I have arranged to stay with some old friends in Riverview for a while (I sold my old house a long time ago). Before I leave for such greener pastures, however, I would like to talk to you. If you can, meet me at the arboretum park at 10 o’clock. I have many questions, but I understand if you don’t want to answer them all.
Best wishes,
Billy Caspian

Franklin wandered inside, thinking about the letter. Should she respond and meet with her husband, despite her foreknowledge? Should she not go, and leave him to ponder alone, and miss out on the opportunity to spend time with him for the first time in many years?

“Hey gran,” Einstein piped up as he shovelled waffles into his mouth. “What’s up?”
“I received a letter from Billy,” Franklin replied. Pasteur promptly dropped his fork in surprise.
“What was the letter about?” Pasteur asked as she sat at the table.
“He wants to meet up with me before he leaves for Riverview.”
“Well, you’ve got to go, then.” was Einstein’s reply. “You’re not going to get another chance to talk to him for a long while.”
“I didn’t take you for a romantic soul, Einstein!” Franklin said.
“I’m not,” he responded. “I just want to see my gran happy. You’ve looked melancholy ever since yesterday.”
“He’s right. Mama, you should take some time to talk to him. I can help Einstein get the parts he needs well enough. We’ll sort out building it, you go talk to Papa.” Pasteur patted his mother’s hand as he spoke.
“Are you both sure about this?” Franklin asked. “What if I accidentally say too much?”
“We trust you enough to do this.” Einstein replies. “Go and take the time to be happy for a little while, gran. Please?”
“Okay, then. Have fun building the rest of the time machine.” Franklin hurriedly finished off her breakfast, then went to get dressed in time to meet her appointment. 

The taxi ride to the park was mercifully short, and Franklin arrived at the park a good quarter of an hour before ten. She seated herself on one of the frost-covered benches and watched the world go by, listening to the birds and cars and humdrum of the wintry landscape.

It was several minutes before she heard the footsteps on the frosty ground approaching; looking up, she saw Billy arrive, and watched silently as he sat on the bench next to her.

“Thank you for coming, Rosie.” Said Billy after a few seconds of silence.
“That’s okay. Lewis and Bertie are arranging our transport home. We will be gone from here by tomorrow as well, I imagine.”

Franklin hesitated before she asked, “So, what questions do you have for me?”
“Erm . . . Well, Bertie told me yesterday that you and your companions are from the future, correct?”
“That is correct.”
“So why did you and your companions come back here in the first place? I presume you’re something to do with the dynasty happening in Riverview, is that correct? I can’t think of any other organizations around the town that would get together enough for time travel.”

“Well, Bertie is a special and unique individual,” Franklin began.
“I thought as much. He’s quite a strange boy.”
“Indeed. But he is a genius. He recently invented time travel, and went exploring. I’m not sure why exactly he came here, you would have to ask him; but Lewis and I followed him to ensure he didn’t do anything silly.”
“He doesn’t strike me as someone who would be particularly stupid.”
“Yes, but he is notoriously unpredictable.” Billy chuckled upon hearing this.

“Why do you three want me to go back to Riverview anyway?” Billy suddenly asked. “It’s strange you came here and asked me to go if you came randomly.”
“Well, we were afraid that Bertie might have dissuaded you from returning there, and it’s important to us that you do go. I can’t tell you any more at present.”
“Oh. Really?” Billy looked disappointed.

“The fact of the matter is, the three of us have too much foreknowledge. Bertie already nearly influenced events by telling you Riverview was rubbish- I don’t want to change things further and endanger the future by telling you too much.”
“I guess that makes more sense,” Billy replied, “but why then did you come?”
Franklin was quiet for a moment. “Erm . . . I wanted to make sure you’d definitely go to Riverview?”
“Okay. I guess there’s more from your tone that you’re not telling me?”
“I can’t tell you. I told you this already.” She sighed with exasperation.

“I guess I’ll have to stop asking questions for now, then.” Billy answered.
“Okay. But before I go, I’ve got a question for you. . .”
“Really?” he looked surprised. “Go ahead.”
“Why did you address the letter to me alone, not to Lewis or Bertie?”

“Well . . . A couple of reasons, I suppose. One, you called me by my full name when we were talking the other day. I don’t let that many people know my middle name, so it might be that I might meet you again someday. Is this anywhere near correct?”
Franklin gave a non-committal shrug. “If you do meet my past self in the future - I’m not saying you will- you’ll have to be careful not to say anything about this time travel thing.”
“I guess so. It’d only confuse matters.”
“So, what’s your other reason?” Franklin asked.

“You’ve got the same eyes as Jon.” was Billy’s response in a small voice.
Their gazes met, and they sat there for a little while. Eventually, they were distracted by the chiming of the distant clock at the town hall.

“Well, I must be off.” Franklin declared, getting up. “Lewis and Bertie probably need help searching for parts, and you’ve probably got packing and whatnot to do-”
“Rosie-” Billy walked after her.

She turned back to him. “I really have to go now, Bill. I don’t want to tell you too much.”

He muttered under his breath with exasperation, then pulled her unexpectedly into a hug. “I’m not sure who you are to me, but take care anyhow, okay?” his words were a bit muffled.

“You too.” She replied as she let go and turned away. “Safe journey!” She called as she walked out the park and towards the junkyard to rejoin her son and great-grandson.
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Offline betabee

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Snowflake days of futures past- a Scientia-fiction Christmas special- complete!
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2013, 05:52:47 PM »
Chapter 9- Back to the future

Franklin arrived at the junkyard to find Pasteur and Einstein with a large pile of bits and bobs to drag back to the house Einstein was borrowing.
“How was it?” Pasteur asked as she approached.
“It went alright, I guess. I think I managed to get the message across that I couldn’t tell him everything. How’s the search for parts going?”

“It’s going very well!” Einstein replied as he came over. “I think we’ve got just about everything- we just need to get it all back to my workshop.”

It took the three of them several hours and many trips back and forth to move all of the parts collected to the house. Eventually, though, it was time for Pasteur and Franklin to sit in the kitchen and listen to the occasional bangs and crashes from the room Einstein had converted into a workshop.

“How are you doing in there?” Pasteur called after one particularly loud bang.
“Fine thanks! I’m just trying to connect the polarity router to the spatial oscillation dampener-”
“Keep up the good work!” Pasteur replied before Einstein could get too technical.

It was after nightfall by the time Einstein finally opened the door with a smile.
“It’s finished!” He said, slightly breathlessly.

“What do you think?” He said, standing in front of his remade creation.
“It’s . . . Well, it looks just like the other one.” Franklin responded, clueless about how to react.
“I’m glad you like it. I fitted an extra few circuits to make it unusable once we’ve passed through- that should ensure no-one tries to use it for ill. If we take it over to Pip’s, he can ensure it’s properly destroyed after we’re gone.”

A knock on the front door interrupted their discussion. The three of them traipsed through to the kitchen, and Einstein went to answer it.

“Albert! I just managed to escape from the mansion to come and see you!” Emmaline Van Gould barreled past Einstein and into the kitchen, though was brought to a halt upon seeing Pasteur and Franklin.

“Albert, who are these people?”
“Erm . . . they’re my grandparents. They’ve come to take me back home.”
“Oh no!” she exclaimed. “I thought you’d be able to stay here longer, Al.”

“Nope, I’ve got to go home now.” Einstein replied. “I’ve a duty to my family to return.”
“Can I go with you then?” she asked. “I’ve been intending to move out of the family home for a while now- it’s simply not cool to still be living in your parent’s home at the age of 205. We could stay together forever . . .”

Einstein looked alarmed at this. “Erm . . . I’m sorry to break this to you, but you can’t come.”
“What?! Why-ever not? We’ve got something special between us! An undying connection!”
“I’m in a dynasty household.” He responded. “Vampires aren’t allowed.”
“We can work around that. There are potions-”

“It’s not just that, Emmaline. I’m . . . Not that interested in you.”
“I don’t like you in that way. My heart is already given, and my future bride awaits me at home.”

The resulting barrage of cursing and verbal abuse was loud and unpleasant . . .

. . . But was quickly over when Franklin used her magic to silence Emmaline.
“Phew. Thanks for that, gran.” Einstein said with relief as the vampiress was frozen.
“Anytime, kid. Let’s move her to another room- she’ll want to be away from the front windows when the sun rises, especially if she hasn’t thawed yet. I’m not sure quite how long it’ll last.”

After moving the frozen statue of Emmaline to the bedroom, the three proceeded by mutual consent to quickly leave the house with the time machine. It took a good few minutes to move it to Pip’s house, but they managed it.

“Ah, I take it you’re ready to depart, yes?” Pip greeted them at his front door.
“Yep,” was Franklin’s reply. “Can I trust you to take care of destroying the remains after we’re gone? We don’t want this falling into the wrong hands.”
“Of course.” Pip responded as they walked over to where the machine stood. 

They said their goodbyes to Pip, and then, after a bit of tweaking from Einstein, the three of them entered the machine- first Pasteur, then Franklin, and lastly Einstein.

* * * * *

Pasteur and Franklin watched as Einstein hauled his way out of the time machine stationed in his room. The doors closed with a snap as he fell onto the floor.
“Well, that was exciting,” Pasteur announced as Einstein got his breath back. “I think we all agree not to try that again, yes?”
“Definitely,” Einstein agreed. “It’s a bit too much adventure for a reclusive eccentric like myself.”

“So, what are we going to do with it?” Franklin asked. “It would be a shame to destroy it completely.”
“Well, I did recently receive a commission from the simnation government to make these for the use of their agents. Along with a few death threats.”
“Is it really wise to accept those?” Pasteur asked.
“It’s for the good of the dynasty- it should get me to the top of my career in decent time. Besides, if they really mess things up, we can work together to stop them.”

Einstein turned back to his workbench to start work. “Even with all that,” Einstein continued, “I’m sure the commissions will drop off when they realise the time machines don’t travel with them to where they choose to travel.”

Pasteur and Franklin chuckled at this as they headed back down the stairs.
“I’m glad that did occur,” Pasteur said. “We got to see my papa, we made a new friend, and I think Einstein learned a valuable lesson about experimentation.”
“And what lesson is that?”
“To pay attention, to read the safety briefings first, and not to leap headlong into things without backup.”

Franklin and Pasteur arrived at the bottom of the stairs just in time to see Newton arrive back from China, suitcase in hand.
“Hi dad, gran,” He said with a smile. “I’ve super-maxed martial arts. Did I miss anything interesting?”
“Well,” Franklin replied, “It’s a long story . . .”

* * * * *

Thank you for reading! I hope you've enjoyed this short story. Feedback and comments are appreciated!
Merry Christmas!  :D
Scientia Immortal Dynasty    -Christmas special: Snowflake days of futures past
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Offline Eldridge

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Congratulations on finishing your side story, betabee. Well, to be be honest Sci-fi is not my thing and Science is not something that I interested in, but there’s some exception for that (i.e like Big Bang Theory, Ender’s Game, Hunger Games, etc) and as someone who not into this genre, I feel you did a great job at presenting your story as I enjoy every bit story that you wrote there. I also learn new terms from your story to my own dictionary, I quickly opened my Oxford dictionary when I looking at unfamiliar words, lol.

A nice way to tell another untold story and looking at the story concept why it remind me so much of Marty and Doc so much from Back to the Future. I also love the choice of title that you used in this story, I suspect that lead to some reference in real world as I know the last is the reference of trilogy that I loved. Am I right?

I also love how you edit some screenshots, which just add more feel and glad to have Einstein back ;D

Good job!
“Sometimes the little things in life mean the most.” ― Ellen Hopkins

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1. The Demosthenes Immortal Dynasty: Kev's Corner #08 - Thankful (31/12/13)
2. The Goode-Rotter's Life Story: Case Eleven - Signs of Love (27/12/13)

Offline Luna

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I love this story so far; I thought there are more than 9 chapters, when I see this is the end I just want to say like ‘Awww’. To be honest, your story is good, it add more character detail from your story but it seems too serious, I expect in the next story of yours you’d add more spice. I found that spice in your Immortal story but I don’t find that spice in this one or I’m didn’t understand about scientific jokes after all, lol.

I guess that’s all.

And also Merry Christmas for you, betabee :)
Just enjoy being yourself, you're unique, special and no one ever create story like you ♥ - Luna -

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Offline Pam

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I'm moving this to the Completed Stories board.
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