"Before we go through the final test, I want to cover the basics real quick." The instructor rose from his chair and turned towards the blackboard.
It was your typical college classroom. Row after row of chairs all facing a solid wall of blackboard with a single desk in the middle. The people looked like your typical students, varying in height, weight, style, etc. You really wouldn't be able to tell us apart if it wasn't for the tips and tricks now being scribbled onto the blackboard.
"The first thing I want you to remember is the very first thing I taught you. Everything you do, no matter how big or how small, is only reversible once." The instructor turned and pointed at some girl across the room. "Shannon, tell me why something is only reversible once."
The girl in the back rose to her feet. "If something is changed, it becomes permanent. The flow of time is immediately altered to change everything necessary up until the current time period. If you reverse this action, the flow of time reverts itself to it's original state." She cleared her throat and continued. "Once something is altered by the same person a second time, the flow of time becomes unstable and if a revert is attempted, will crash forming anomalies and collapses all throughout time."
Shannon returned to her seat and the instructor turned to the blackboard once again. "Alright, what else is there to remind you about. A yes; Klark, is there a limit to the changes that can occur when the flow of time is rearranged?"
I rose to my feet and quickly answered the question. "When the flow of time is rearranged, anything that would have happened does not happen, and new things are created to take it's place. When something is changed, and equal reaction will occur in the new time frame, although when and where is impossible to predict. Something as small as picking an apple off of a tree can cause forest to burn or oceans to vanish."
"It seems like you guys got the hang of this stuff." The instructor sat at his desk and pulled out a list. "Before I administer your final exams I want to remind you about I.R.S.H."
"Interactions must be kept to a minimal. Chatting with people will not warrant a massive change, or any change at all, but helping stop a robber or impregnating a woman you will never see again can disrupt the flow of time. Also remember that when you time travel, you must keep 'to the times'. If you show up in western times wearing bell bottom jeans well lets just say, I'll be one of the last faces you'll ever see."
The class laughed as the image of a hippie on roller blades cruisin' around a western saloon came to their minds.
"Reversions should be kept to a minimal as well. If you aren't entirely sure of what you are doing, then I suggest you don't do it. You have one chance to change it back but that's it. After that, it becomes permanent, and should you attempt to revert it again you won't know what hit you."
"Simplicity. The single most useful tool to a Chronomage. It applies to everything you do in the past. It can mean only saying hi or asking for directions, it can mean stealing a twenty or breaking a door. It can make the difference between a small rain shower or a tidal wave. Make no mistake, even the simplest of things can create the biggest disasters. What may seem small may in fact be something very big. This is why I urge you to consider your actions at all times."
"Finally, we have honesty. If another Chronomage needs to know your objective, or things you have changed in the time you are in, it is imperative that you give them a full and honest answer to avoid disastrous results. While time can be reverted multiple times using multiple chronomagi, it is highly unrecommended and should be avoided at all costs."
"One last thing. At no time, and I mean absolutely no time, should somebody that isn't a Chronomage be taken back through time. They do not fully understand what is happening and can be the single cause of the destruction of the world. The same goes for bringing people to the future, although you'll find they are merely bones when they get there."
The instructor rose from his feet and walked over to a doorway. One by one he called students into the room and conducted their exams. I sat and watched as people began filing into the room one by one. He must have only been giving instructions, or there was another door inside the room, because people were being called every twenty seconds or so. Finally it came around to my turn. I entered the room, closed the door and turned to find bodies scattered everywhere.
"What happened in here!"
The instructor looked at me with a stern and concerned look. "You are the last student this year. The others have failed and have died as a consequence. You are this years last hope for a new Chronomage."
I gulped and looked at the instructor, trying not to think about the bodies of the other students.
"I have gone back in time and changed several things in your past. You now have only ten seconds to live."
Ten seconds! I started racking my brain for answers. Is this a trick? What if it isn't? How do I fix it? Can I avoid my classmates' fate? I needed time to ask questions but I only had a few seconds left. That's it, time!
I closed my eyes and began the chant. "The flow of time's where I must go, to find the things I need to know."
I felt a gush of air go past me as I entered the flow of time. I opened my eyes and found myself beside a cart, images of the past lined all around me. I got into the cart and spoke out my destination.
"Earth, Chronomage Academy..." I glanced at my watch; 14:45. "Cancel. Earth, Chronomage Academy, 12:00."
The cart sped off in a series of awkward directions before coming to a halt. I turned to find my classroom in the Chronomage Academy, students sitting around studying. I could see myself in my chair and knew that entering would be a bad idea. If I was to see myself, well, lets not get into that. I re-entered a new time, and went through the portrait.
I found myself outside of the test room. I glanced at my watch; 14:46. I would be dead inside that room according to the instructor. He emerged to find me standing beside his desk.
"You figured it out! Congratulations!" He came up to me and shook my hand.
"I should be dead, I don't fully understand how I am here."
"Have a seat Klark, I'll explain everything."