The Path of a Chronomage
Previously on "The Passage".
Klark, a student at the Chronomage Academy, was quickly going over some notes on time traveling with his professor. After a bit of studying and waiting for his turn to come, Klark finally got his chance to take the final exam. Entering a room filled with the lifeless bodies of his classmates, he was given ten seconds to live being told that his instructor had changed his past. With a small chant Klark went back in time and found himself back in the classroom, his teacher emerging from the test room.
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"How can I still be in this room when my lifeless corpse is behind that door?" I was beginning to shake; I was scared and confused.
"Have a seat Klark, and I'll explain everything to you." The instructor pulled a chair beside mine and pulled out a small binder from his desk.
"Everything you could ever want to know about time travel is in that binder, but for now I'll cut to the important parts. Open it to page seven."
The instructor watched as I quickly flipped to the correct page. It was filled with diagrams, quick tips, and loads of information on various subjects. The instructor pointed to one of the diagrams and began to explain.
"You see this one here. It shows what happens when you travel back in time. When a Chronomage is born, their body is merely a disguise. You look the same, grow up the same; nothing about you seems different. When you arrive at this school however, we begin to teach you the ways of time travel."
The instructor cleared his throat and pointed to another diagram. "When we administer this test, we go back in time and change it so that you were never born. When time is changed, it takes exactly ten seconds for it to reach the present. This is why you only have a ten second period to figure out how to survive."
I looked up from my book. "Does that mean that..."
"Yes, your fellow students do not exist anymore, they are mere memories, But only to us. Chronomage have the ability to retain memories of the past and present, despite what another Chronomage does to the flow of time. Their parents and other friends however, will have no recollection of them. It will be as if they never existed."
He pointed back to the diagram. "Look, it shows you right there."
I glanced back down at the pictures and started scratching my head. I still had no idea what they meant, I just pretended to understand them as I listened.
"Now, when you decided to go back in time for whatever reason, you stopped your spirit from dying. Your mortal body is no more, as is your memory. You don't exist anymore, and that is the most important step to becoming a Chronomage. If you don't exist, you can't be remembered by anyone you once knew. You will never be missed, you will never be remembered."
"However, anybody that you meet after this point, whether you know them or not, will be meeting you for the first time. These new memories will stay with them which is why you must keep things simple. No intimate contact, no attempts to make them remember, no falling in love. Being a Chronomage is a hard life, and binds you to a social life only found with other Chronomagi."
I closed the binder and looked up at the instructor. "So, my family doesn't know me, I can only fall in love with another Chronomage, and I'm technically dead."
The instructor shook his head. "I'm glad I only had to explain that once. I've had more then my fair share of students who try to run to their families, only to be arrested for breaking and entering."
My brain started going a thousand miles an hour; I had so much to ask but so little time. Well, I had an eternity and then some but that's not the point. After a few moments I came up with a couple questions I absolutely needed answered.
"Professor, what would happen if I tried to revert time too many times, or I breached the code of not loving a normal human?"
The instructor got out of his chair and walked to a window. "Well, if you breach any codes of the Chronomage, you will be hunted, captured, and brought back to this academy for questioning and detainment. If it is a serious matter such as reverting or traveling with a human, you will instantly be surrounded by an anti-time cage and Marauders will be dispatched to remove you and your companion from existence."
I sat for a moment, taking in what I had just accepted as my new life. I had completely forgotten about my other questions; Only wonder filled my thoughts.
"That's all I have to ask for now professor. What do I do now?"
He turned and made his way for the test room door. "Well, I have some unfinished business, and your a brand new Chronomage. Why don't you head to the cafeteria and chat with the other new Chronomagi. Once I am finished here I will summon you and give you your first mission."
"My first mission, but professor..."
The instructor raised his hand to silence me. "I will give you your first mission when I am done. It won't be anything hard, so don't worry. You'll be working with another Chronomage as well, and you'll be under constant surveillance by professional Chronomagi that will be following you, although you won't notice them."
The instructor opened the door and began to walk in. "O, and from now on you can call me Harold." With that he closed the door behind him, leaving me to my thoughts.
I Entered the cafeteria and looked around. There weren't very many people. I guess a lot of students didn't make it. As I was scanning the room I saw a hand waving towards me, ushering me to the same table as it's owner. I made my way over and took a seat.
"Hello! My names Sherry! Nice to meet you!" A hand grabbed mine, shook at, and dropped it before I knew what was happening.
"Calm down Sherry, He doesn't even know you yet." She stuck her tongue out and started stuffing her face with a sandwich. The guy looked over and offered his hand to me.
"My names Leon, and you are?"
I shook his hand for a brief moment before responding. "My names Klark, nice to meet you two. I guess you guys are from the same class?"
"Hey, I'm not a guy! How dare you! Would you like some of my lunch, you look hungry?"
Leon shot Sherry a "what's wrong with you" look and I laughed. Sherry joined in for a few moments, then instantly stopped laughing and started eating again.
"Yes, we're from the same class. Half of us made it this year, I was so surprised. Where is the rest of your class?" Leon started eating some soup without taking his eyes off me.
A half of a sandwich flew past my view and landed on the table beside me. I looked over at Sherry who smiled before going back to her food. I picked up the sandwich and began eating. Food would be good for me after what I just went through, although I suppose they went through the same.
"I'm the only one who made it in my class." I dove right into the sandwich. A few moments later I noticed both Leon and Sherry were looking at me, not moving.
"What?" Crumbs fell out of my mouth and on to the table.
"I'm sorry Klark, really I am." Sherry got up from her seat and went for a walk.
"That's rough. That has never happened in the entire history of this academy. If you want some time alone..." Leon went to get up and leave but I stopped him.
"The last thing I want is to be alone right now." I cupped my hands over my mouth and yelled for Sherry. She came back to the table and sat down again. "Yeah it sucks to lose friends, but at least I can make new ones."
Sherry and Leon started smiling again. "Who knows, maybe we'll be partners one day, and if not we always have the academy right." I was never really friends with my old classmates anyways. It was like one of those things where you mourned out of respect, not out of loss.
I just finished my half of the sandwich as I heard a voice in my head.
Are you ready? 3, 2, 1...