Date: February 23rd, 2028 Subject: James, age 36
“What the blue blazes? I did NOT push the panic button! I wasn’t ready yet! Who’s bright idea was it to bring me back?” I paced back and forth angrily on the platform. “I did.” Levi replied meekly. “It was time someone brought you home.” In a moment of blind fury, I shoved him against the wall and pinned his throat with my arm. “That’s not your decision to make! Do you have any idea what you’ve done?” I growled and shook him. “What’s happened to you, James? You’re not acting like yourself.” He managed to choke out.
“Have you lost your mind?” Elizabeth squealed from behind me as she tugged on my jacket. “You better let him go now! Or I’ll call security!” I dropped him to his feet and moved towards the door but Levi jumped up to block my path. “We have to talk.”
“Look…I don’t know what’s going on with you. Maybe you saw something in there that you shouldn’t have and now you keep going back to try and fix it. Well, I’m sorry to say that you’ve done all you can…now you need to leave it alone.” He told me.
“I can’t do that.” I shook my head.
“Now move. There are things I need to do before I go back through the machine. “Back…again?” He repeated after me. “James…this has to stop!” Elizabeth cried. “You’ve been jumping back and forth for over a decade and I’m sure it’s taking a toll on your body.”
“Oh please. I’m fine!” I insisted loudly. “No…you’re not.” Levi challenged me. As I stared back at him, I realized how much he’d aged since I’d seen him last. His dark hair was now speckled with gray and there were wrinkles around his mouth and eyes. Then I noticed the boy through the window behind Levi. “Is that your son…Ian?” He nodded his head and smiled. “Yeah. He turns eight this year.” Suddenly I felt as tired as he looked. “I’m sorry for roughing you up.” I reached out to fix his tie. “No big deal.” He shrugged. All was forgiven.
“You know…the doc tried to go through and find you. And after he failed, I tried.” Levi admitted. “But the machine…it only responds to your DNA. The only way I could bring you back was to initiate the panic button.”
“Well maybe you should’ve just left me in there…for good.” I sighed and ran my fingers through my hair. “You know better than anyone that it doesn’t work like that. You’ve researched the subject most of your life. You can’t just stay in the past.” He told me. “And why not?” I huffed in annoyance.
“Because you’ll die. You’ll just vanish into thin air..like you never existed at all.”