First of all i have to apologize for this very long delay in the 2nd part. Life's been quite happening since last few months - got a new job in consulting, relocated to bangalore and got stuck with hectic schedules and lots of travelling. I will now try to keep this blog alive and update it at least once a month.
For now, i hope you will like the final part of the story. Please give your honest comments. (Which my wife already gave me in form of grammar lessons :D )
-Continued from Part-I-
“Wha…..What?...but how can it be?...”Now- it was my turn to stammer
“A trick once is a trick twice” It was his turn to smile
“But I eliminated the existence of the time machine…its ….its never invented. I made sure that he finally agreed to me ..then…then how did you?..”
“Universe is not dependent on us to change its course- myself. So little was understood about time when you invented this machine. Isn’t it? Well I have made some progress in that area in last 10 years. I discovered many things …time is…its…enlightening… its a way to God’s mind...its not a simple eraser to correct your mistakes…I made a mistake by trying to correct it…and now so did you”
“But I changed the past…I changed the cause of the future which I saw happening…didn’t I?” –I asked…”Didn’t YOU?” I added suspiciously
“Yes yes..i did..i did exactly what you are doing now. I changed the course of the world but only for some time…I changed the cause but I couldn’t change the end. Time works in mysterious ways !”
“What do you mean?”
He was 50 now and his withered face reflected what he has gone through. He took a big sigh and stared at me.
“I was very happy when I changed the course of time. Just as you are now. And so I thought. After going back I found what I expected ….time machine was not invented…I was an average man with a desk job…I had my family…I had my life back…and I was quite happy …but only for a few years. And then I received the biggest shock of my life when I found out that our dear professor has disappeared. The report was identical to what it was when I was eliminated by GRAW in the original timeline. …only the characters were different. And then I realized that….that..”
…and then it hit me.
“That he also knew about it ” – I mumbled to myself
‘Yes…you only prevented yourself from going further on those equations but the professor advanced the knowledge. And succeeded.”
And then, I was scared…not for myself or the professor but scared from the realization that Universe had corrected itself. I realized that I tried to alter something which was far beyond me. I did not realize how and why, but that happened. And then I was scared that Universe will correct itself to what would have happened. There was a bigger force of which I knew nothing about but which was always working to set things right. Maybe wrong.
“But there is way even this can be corrected. Now let me begin from the beginning and then I will tell you what to do next”
“Do what? ..now wait a minute. I came here taking a big risk to set things right..i can’t even yet absorb the fact that you are standing in front of me. I don’t understand anything now and I don’t want to mess with timeline anymore. And you too shouldn’t myself. Now keep me out of it. I will go back to my time and won’t dare change anything…whatever may happen. Moreover don’t you realize that whatever we do we won’t be able to change the future. “
“Don’t jump the gun. Listen to me patiently first. ” – He interrupted me with a serious tone in his voice
“Ok ok…I am listening”
“You remember how we thought that Universe branches out going forward in time.” – He said matter of factly
“Once you stand at a decision point in time, Universe will divide itself into multiverses corresponding to the choices you have”
“I know that much. Our choices change the variables which decide the future course of the universe. “ – I added
“Yes. In fact remember the quantum physics’ interpretation of many-states-universe where multiple Universes exist and all decisions keep splitting the universes on the basis of their probability”
“Now since you have raised this point isn’t this the basic assumption you and me made when we tried to alter the past to change our present Universe. “ – I asked
“Yes we did. And the physics is right. But we were wrong. More specifically our interpretation of underlying physics was wrong. We failed to realize that once time machine was invented- all the border of time dissipated ..the words like past, present and future hold no sense after that. Take yourself for example…you are standing in your past talking to your future. “
“So whats your point?”
“My point is that Universe does not distinguish between time at all ! Universe in fact does not simply split going forward but it just splits. Forward and backward in time are just our notions. It’s a self aware system which only tries to maintain a consistent relationship between its various dimensions…including time.”
“The moment at which you and 10 years before you I, changed the initial conditions, Universe branched itself backwards to create alternate initial variables which resulted in the same final outcome”
“Are you saying that Universe forced the professor so that the ultimate timeline remains the same” – I was shocked at my own words. If what my future self was saying was right then there was a deterministic universe…there was a fate , a destiny for everything… existence of ‘The One’..even a God perhaps” – I just shuddered even imagining the physical and philosophical implications of such a discovery.
“But that means nothing can be changed. Its all decided for us?”- I managed to ask
“Yes and No. Actually here you are missing one very important point” – He smiled again. Like teasing me to solve a complex puzzle
“The change which we did…the dent which we made in the Universe…the delta we created in initial variables …took ten whole years to heal. In other words we delayed the ultimate timeline itself by 10 years. The creation of timemachine and events that followed were all delayed by 10 years. The Universe took a definite time in trying to self correct itself.”
“Had the dent been bigger or in other words had the change done by us being significantly large it would delay it even further. Think about it for a moment – a simple lecture given your past self delays the invention of time machine itself by 10 years. So theoretically…a very drastic change in initial variables will have such an impact that Universe will not be able to heal, and time machine will never be invented. Well… at least not by you or the professor”
“Which now brings me to the task of creating a bigger dent which you’ll have to do. “
“Wait a minute. I don’t agree with you. Even if you and I manage to create “a bigger dent”, how can we be sure that this time it will correct everything. We have seen that Universe corrected itself out. What if this doesn’t work. We have messed up with time too much as it is. Theres no guarantee that some other guy will not uncover those fundamentals anyway. Its quite a simple fundamental you know and the equations have been around for 100 years.”
“EXACTLY” – He smiled as if he knew that I’ll say it.
“You don’t think that you are the first person to unravel those fundamentals and build a time machine. Do you?” – He was grinning now
“I have travelled Vaibhav…I have travelled a lot…been to times unheard of…seen things in time…past and future.” – For the first time in the evening he looked tired now. There was a definite pain on his face. Pain of knowing things which should have gone unnoticed through history books. Pain of living through the times and watching the human civilization grow and probably eventually die in the course of thousands of years.
“I also thought of myself as the first time traveler of humanity….but I have met others…Yes. There were others. Some of them well before even our great-grandfather’s times. I shouldn’t tell you more about them but this is one thing you should understand- the reason why time machine did not exist before your time is because the ones before us, came to the same conclusion. They travelled and tried and experimented with time. But they realized that the only option left with them is elimination of the prime mover – the time machine. It happened again and again and again at various times and timelines without a fail. And today you too won’t fail me. All of time travelers before us made a dent on the universe …so that time-machine won’t be invented again….and today we’ll have to do the same. We will have to……”
He paused for a moment.
“….. kill the professor”
“What. Are you mad???”
“See myself…that’s the only way. We have to do this. Nothing else can prevent this from happening. All time travelers bear a responsibility…this is ours”
“But why? There should be other options. Lets try talking to him. I did that with my past self. We can do it again.”
“You think I haven’t tried that ?” – He said
“The Universe is a paradox Vaibhav. The more we try to deny it the stronger it becomes. If you delay it….a bigger dent will be required later…this is the only way…and trust me this is not the first time I am doing it.”
“Yes. You heard it right. I have done everything to bring Universe to the normalcy. It was just hit and trial…the bigger my delta was….
“But I am very tired now” – he sighed
“….and I can’t do this on my own now. I need your help. Do you trust yourself?” – He asked
I weighed my options. What if he is wrong. But I sure was definitely not right – and he was a living proof of that. I thought about the knowledge which will never be found again. And what about those time travelers. Will they continue to try and prevent this Universe from inventing the time-machine forever. I did not have any answers but only a future self to rely upon. I guess probably this is the ultimate timeline which Universe drives. Perhaps this is what the Universe wants. But if this fails- I’ll end up like him…a time traveler trying to change the course of timeline forever. I guess he won’t want anything bad to happen to his past self.
“Ok. I’ll do it” – I said looking into his tired eyes