Frank Plays Loose with the Morality of Time and Space

“Good. Bad. There is no difference,” the stone man replied to my utter dismay. “They are nothing. Time passes and everything is eroded. All acts are erased. What do I care for this world and its people? They are nothing. Organics vanish in a blink of the eye. All life is nothing. ”

I couldn’t believe he said that. I was expecting to be facing problems with him, but they were more running for my life type problems, not having to convince a million year old alien made of liquid stone that life had meaning. I didn’t know how to convince him. How could I make him care about the General when my species hadn’t even existed last time he had been conscious. “Fine. You don’t care about my world,” I said. “What about yours?”

Na Fru looked up at me. “My world?”

That seemed to grab his attention. I pressed on. “What if I could take you there?”

“How could you take me to my home?”

“I told you. I’ve been there before.”

“And you can take me there?”

“If you help us.”

“They will not accept me,” he said, but he didn’t sound as hopeless as before. I hadn’t lost this argument yet. “I have been exiled to this planet. I am forbidden to leave.”

“It’s been 70 million years, I think you can leave.”

“I am forbidden from ever leaving this planet.”

“And what’s keeping you here? Are you magically anchored to this planet?”

“This was the sentence laid out to me. It is my people’s law.”

I was amazed at things I was hearing. This did not seem like the same person I had met before, like night and day. “And you follow your people’s laws, do you? You’re strict adherent to them?”

“I am true to my people. What I did was for them, to improve them! If some saw wrong, then so be it! I did what I thought needed to be done.”

“So you’ll stay here because they told you to no matter how long you live?”

“I had hoped that punishment was already over.”

I didn’t like that answer. I had to say something quick to keep him interested. “What if your people needed your help? Would you leave then?”

“Are you suggesting, organic, that me helping you will also help my people?”

“No,” I told him. The last thing I wanted to do was get caught misleading him. I didn’t want him to get angry at me. He was much too powerful. I didn’t have ALAN this time to save me. “I’m telling you that if you help me. I’ll do what I can to give you the opportunity to save your people.”

The stone man looked up at me. “What is that supposed to mean? ‘Save my people’?”

“Last time I was there, I saw your star implode. It turned into a blackhole. One of your people tried to move the planet through a tear in space. He was prevented from succeeding.”

“If what you’re saying is true, then my planet has been consumed by a blackhole, how could you help me save an already destroyed planet?”

“Frank,” Tilly stepped in. “I don’t think this is a good idea. What I think you’re suggesting, it’s very dangerous. It’s one thing to want to change things back to the way that they were, but to want to change things that have already happened?”

“Has it happened?” I asked, playing semantics with a 16 year old. “That was the future.”

“And you saw it happen. You were there. It happened, Frank. You can’t change it!”

“This is a different reality, Tilly. Who knows what happened to that world? Maybe in this reality our friend here saves his people.”

“I may just be a teenager, Frank, but I’m not an idiot. You’re playing a dangerous game here.”

She was right, but I couldn’t give up. We were talking about reality here, about the fate of all mankind. “I’m playing the cards I was dealt. Are you with me, Tilly, or not?”

“…I’m with you.”

I turned to the stone man. “And what about you, Na Fru? Are you with us?”

“Am I with you? If I understand you correctly, you’re suggesting that in exchange for helping you, you will send me back home, yes? And to do that, you want to defy the temporal laws to send me to another time so that I can prevent my planet from being destroyed by a black hole? So not only are you suggesting that time travel is possible but also that altering already observed events is possible? Is that correct?”

“I’m suggesting I can get you home,” I told him. “Feel free to infer from that whatever you want. I won’t stop you. What I want to know is will you help us stop a madman who has already done too much damage to this world and wants to do so much more?”

“And in exchange you will take me home and give me the opportunity to save my planet and my people?”

“Yes.”

Na Fru sat there for several seconds in silence. I waited patiently. Finally, he stood up. “Agreed. What is it you want me to do?”

to be continued…

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