The next thing we did was look up Doc and things were even worse…for me. We not only found Jen, but we found her father, as well! David was alive! I couldn’t believe he was alive! He was my mentor, my best friend! I had the greatest urge to go and see him. Even if he didn’t know who I was just to see David again would be my greatest dream, but then I realized the implications. It’s because I wasn’t there that he was alive. Without me, he never conducted his experiments. It’s because I wasn’t there that he never got caught in the accident. I was happy that because there was no accident, he never died! I was. I was ecstatic!
I was overjoyed to hear he was alive. Even more, I was happy for Jennifer. She never lost her father. They were still a family. Things were maybe not so great for David. It looked like because I wasn’t there, there wasn’t anyone to support his theories. And without me there, he was relegated to the sidelines, labeled a crackpot. But living on the edges of your profession was still better than not living at all.
And Jennifer. She had a father. She had a career. Without me, she never had to quit her job to help me after her father died. Without me, she became a successful medical researcher. It was starting to look like my team was better off without me. Jennifer had her father, had a burgeoning career. Jamal was married, had kids, had a thriving business. David never died. Jamal never had his body torn apart. Twice. Look at the world without me. Everyone was so much happier without me.
Except Tilly, of course. Tilly was never even born in this world. And ALAN didn’t exist either. We never created his cybernetic brain. Not everyone was better off in this world. No, I reminded myself. This wasn’t a better world. In this world, Ramstov was on the march, snatching up European countries one after the other. In this world, the General was running rampant. And in this world, only I could stop him. Only Tilly and me.
“I guess we can’t count on the team for this one,” I said.
Tilly looked lost, distressed. This new world was getting to both of us. “But, Frank, how are we going to be able to stop the General on our own?”
“We’ll use what we have. Do what we have to.”
“What do we have?”
“We have you and we have me.”
“And that’s it. That’s all we have. Nothing else.”
“It’ll have to be enough.”
“How can it be enough, Frank?” Tilly asked. “The General has his own army!”
“Well,” I replied, as an idea came to me, “then we’re just going to need our own army then.”
“Oh, yeah? How’re we going to swing that? You going to just make one pop up out of the ground?”
“No. But Maybe we’ll have to go into the ground to get one.”
“Go into the ground? What are you talking about? There’s no one left, Frank. We’re on our own.”
“We might be on our own right now, but that doesn’t mean was have to stay that way.”
“We don’t have any friends left!”
“If we don’t have any friends, then we’ll just have to use our enemies.”
“Asking our enemies for help? That doesn’t seem like a good plan to me. That sounds like disaster waiting to happen.”
“Well, I’m hoping they don’t remember us. We don’t exist in this world, remember. So, that means they have no reason to hate us. You know, except for us being humans.”
“Except for us being…” Tilly repeated to herself. “Geez, Frank, you’re not thinking about…!?”
“The Dinozens? Yes, I am.”
“Are you crazy, Frank? Why would you even think about talking to them?”
“Why? Do you want me to list the reasons? Because there are a lot of them. Because they won’t want someone else to conquer the Earth. And because we’re desperate and have no one else.”
“This doesn’t seem like a great idea to me, Frank.”
“No, but I’m out of great ideas, so we’ll go with the only idea we have.”
to be continued…