Adventures of the Man Who Was Not Jasper
A scientific experiment goes wrong...or does it?
1. The Experiment
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Adventures Of The Man Who Was Not Jasper
Just a couple more adjustments and the experiment could finally proceed. After all this time, after all the weeks and months of enduring ridicule at the hands of my colleagues, I would finally have the proof. Then the fools who laughed at me would be begging me for forgiveness! They would be fighting for a chance to link their research with mine, instead of laughing at me. Yes, once my Demoleculizer was fully functional, it would be me who was pulling in the big grants! All the humiliation I had been subjected to would be worth it. At last, my research would be vindicated!
OK, I know it sounds a little mad-scientist-ish. But that’s how it felt at the time. I’m not really a bad guy. It’s just that constantly being mocked for months on end tends to get you down. Plus, I hadn’t slept for a couple days, because I was pushing to try and get the Re-atomizer done by my self imposed deadline.
Thinking back now, I wonder if that’s where I went wrong. I mean, I was so tired that I could easily have switched a wire or two, causing the Re-atomizer to go slightly out of whack. Which would explain how the time-space continuum got messed up. For decades I’ve been trying to analyze what exactly happened, and that’s the best I could come up with. But then, what is it they say about happy accidents? If I hadn’t been so tired, if I hadn’t crossed some wires accidentally, I never would have met—her. Funny how after all these years, I still revere her so much, and I’m so in awe of her, that I can barely say her name--even to myself. Of course, she says it’s so sweet--my doting over and utter adoration of her—that it brings tears to her eyes.
Still, sometimes I wonder. Sometimes I think about what happened to the other guy. The real one. The one I replaced. But then, I just think of her, and I get selfish. She’s mine, and I wouldn’t give her up for anything! She’s my everything, my life—well, my life in a matter of speaking, since the way they describe it to me I’m actually dead. After all these years, I still don’t really get that part of it, since I feel more alive than I ever did before the accident.
Then I think, maybe there wasn’t someone I replaced. Maybe it was just me, in an alternate universe or something. I don’t know. But then, where do these memories come from? These thoughts of a life I never lived? I have two sets of memories in my head, and that gets confusing. I’ve tried to sort it all out, but it never makes any sense. One minute I’m remembering fighting in some old war, and the next I’m thinking of the day I got my first research grant! It all seems impossible.
Carlisle has tried to help me out. He’s an MD, not a shrink, but he has incredible insights into the mind. He tells me I’m not crazy, and that things happen the way they’re supposed to. He really understands, although I’m not sure even he knows exactly what happened. I really only talk about it with Carlisle and her, but I think Edward must know, the way he reads minds like most of us read a book. He doesn’t talk about it, but he has to know. Sometimes, when I’m in a reflective mood, he looks at me all sympathetic like, and pats my shoulder.
She just holds my hand, or hugs me, and tells me everything’s all right. It doesn’t matter how I came to her, she says. All that matters is I’m hers now, and always will be. Then she usually kisses me. Or ruffles my hair. Or both. God, how can you have so much love for one person? Sometimes it scares me, in a good way, knowing that we’ll be together for eternity. Especially since eternity is so...eternal. Deep thought, isn’t it?
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself here. It was actually her idea for me to write it all down. So, since I would literally do anything for her, I’ll try.
Like I said, I had just finished connecting the last set of wires. I stood up, and stepped back, stretching my aching back. I’d been hunched over for hours, and the sudden movement had sent a searing pain through my body. And I was starving. Well, I could eat as soon as I did a few tests, I told myself as I rubbed my back. Then my foot went to sleep. One thing after another. I stood looking at the glorious device I had built.
The De/Re-moleculizer would end the need for gasoline, cars, and airplanes. It would be great for the environment as well, by eliminating the need for those things. Of course, I foresaw conflict with the oil companies and the airlines, but I wasn’t bothered. See, with this device, you could zap yourself from one place to another almost instantly. Just set the controls for your destination, get in the chamber, and Bam!—there you were! I wasn’t sure of the range yet, though.
As I gazed at the machine, I became so eager to test it that I decided to break the first law of scientific research—I would use my self as a test subject. Remember, I was really tired, and obviously not thinking straight. I set the controls to send me to the lobby. I thought it would be fun to give the night watchmen a scare. Well, as long as they didn’t shoot me it would be fun. I climbed into the chamber. I could hear the humming of the electronics as the Demoleculizer powered up, and closed my eyes, a smile on my face.
Next thing I knew, I was standing on the sidewalk in an unknown part of town, and it was raining...what the heck? Well, I overshot the lobby a bit! But where was I? Looking around, I didn’t notice anything at all that was even vaguely familiar. And it hadn’t even been raining a few minutes ago! Well, first order of business—get out of the weather. I started to walk...