“No. If you were a woman there would be the chance you could get pregnant. Since you’ve been given the universal STD vaccine, you can’t catch anything. The only way us having sex could alter the timeline is if you were physically injured or someone walked in on us.”
“And that includes my family?”
“Ethan, baby, your family can’t know of my existence. God only knows what problems that could cause.”
“No one would just barge in here without knocking, so as long as your clothes and your time travel thingy is within easy reach I think we’ll be okay.”
“Thingy?” Ryan asked, his eyes twinkling with amusement.
“It’s an old term. I know how it’s used, but I couldn’t actually give you the definition.”
“I like it. I’ll have to remember it and use it back home. I’d love to see the look on people’s faces.” He snickered.
“Oh, you mean the look on your face when I said it?” Ethan asked with a smirk which earned him a pillow in the face. “Seriously though, won’t using an archaic expression affect the timeline? I don’t understand this time travel stuff.”
“I honestly don’t know. Since the future changes with each decision everyone makes, there’s no way of knowing. There are literally millions of future paths being created, changed or destroyed constantly. We have enough problems as it is maintaining the past and present without worrying about the future.”
“My head hurts just thinking about it.”
“Mine did too when I started thinking about it.”
“Why did you become a… what are you called?”
“Timeline Preservation Commission or TPC Agent.” Ryan paused, thinking how to best answer Ethan’s question. “I don’t really know. The TPC is not a secret organization, and when word got out they were looking to recruit new agents I thought it would be interesting so I applied.
“I went through all the medical screenings and background investigations and was hired. Training was a little over ten months then I started shadowing other agents on their missions for a couple of months after which an agent would shadow me for about a month then I was good to go.
“I was curious as to how it all worked, so I got trained in all aspects of the operation, particularly the control and monitoring systems. Nobody could tell me how the travellators could transport people through time, or how we can detect changes in the timeline though.”
“You mentioned something about paradoxes being nasty. How so?”
“With some paradoxes, it can be relatively easy to find the problem and correct it. Others, not so much. The ones that are a real bitch to resolve are the result of what we call temporal causality loops. TCLs as we call them are when the effect precedes the cause.” Ethan just looked at him with blank look on his face.
“Let me see if I can explain it.” Ryan thought for a bit before coming up with an explanation he was sure Ethan would understand. “The best way I can think of to explain a TCL is this: you drink a glass of water before you get the glass and fill it.”
Ethan took a couple of minutes to process Ryan’s explanation. “How is that even possible?”
“I wish I knew. I’ve only had to deal with one of them in the ten years I’ve been with the TPC, and that was one too many.”
“How did you finally figure it out?”
“I didn’t. It was a lucky guess on my part. It took almost a week with all of us going back and forth through time, but none of us could figure out the cause.” He shuddered at the memory.
“So, you’ve been with the TPC ten years? Wow, that’s a long time to be dealing with this stuff. I don’t think I’d be able to do what you do. On second thought I know I wouldn’t.”
Ryan gave him a lopsided grin. “If you had the right training you would. You’re very smart, in some ways smarter than me.”
“I highly doubt that. I mean, you being from the future and all you must have some incredible technology. Can you watch events from the past in your time?”
“Sadly, no. I’d love to be able to watch the ancient artifacts be created, like Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids and the Maoi of Easter Island.”
“The what, the what and the what?”
“Stonehenge was a circle of land where there was a huge stone slab kinda like a table surrounded by stones and these giant structures consisting of two tall supports and a board across them. There were several of these in a circle and I believe they were made from some kind of stone.
“You know what a pyramid is, right?”
“Yeah, I found some in an antique desk that were made from some kind of plastic. I believe they originated around the twentieth or twenty-first century” Ethan rummaged through a drawer and pulled out a tiny plastic pyramid and handed it to Ryan.
“Now imagine this being a million times bigger, and I think it was three of them. Those were the great pyramids. There was an island in what used to be the Pacific Ocean that had many stone statues of human heads, many kilometers high. These were the Maoi of Easter Island.”
“Wow. I’d love to be able to see these things.”
“I wish I could take you back to my time. I’ve seen images of these in the historical archives. They’re amazing.”
“You know what’s really, really amazing? You inside me.”
“Hm. Possibly. I think I’d need to investigate this claim of yours.”
Smirking, Ethan responded, “Let’s forget about the investigation and jump right to the claiming part.”
“Works for me!” Ryan exclaimed as he rolled on top of Ethan and began making love to him.
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