In the tech cave beneath the garden in the Sample house, the time machine exploded with light. Gamora emerged and landed lightly on her feet. Finally she could travel through that thing with style.
“Are you all right?” she asked Emmett. “Wait, where’s Fenton? Why is he on the floor?”
“Dunno,” Emmett answered, staring at the baby. “Time distortion? He’s fine, though. Didn’t even wake up.”
It was just minutes after she had left — over a year of subjective time ago. The paradox of time travel made her feel a little dizzy.
So much had happened since she last stood in this lab….
Oasis Landing erected a statue to commemorate her funding of generations of planetary conservationists.
(“I think I like it,” Gamora said.
“Somehow, I thought you would,” Emmett said.)
She filled her days cataloguing life forms that had evolved in this clean, safe, environmentally responsible timeline and comparing them to the flora and fauna of the less-hopeful timelines. She was in the unique position of being able to remember the branching of the timeline. Emit almost certainly could do this too, but they never spoke much after the Cloning Incident.
Here, there were luminescent caterpillars that chirped out encouraging messages when you picked them up.
And enormous flowers that gave off a nectar with amazing psychedelic effects. No wonder the people here seemed to be perpetually high.
In due time, Emmet proposed marriage at just the right moment.
And soon after they had a sunset wedding….
…at her absolute favorite place in the city.
Gamora’s new research direction in genetic splicing…
Resulted in little Fenton, a plantsim baby blended from genetic material she collected from herself and Emmett.
(“Are you using my genes or the Time Traveler’s?” Emmett demanded.
“You want the truth?” Gamora asked. “I don’t know, and I don’t really care. It’s all the same genes.”)
At first, she thought she would never return. Life could have been perfect in the future for the rest of their lives. But as time wore on, she thought about Sawyer more and more. She’d never told him goodbye. He didn’t know where she had gone. Without her, her dad would finish his life all alone. And… she missed him.
Emmett didn’t turn out to be as difficult to convince as she’d expected. “Life’s easy here,” he admitted. “I could use a challenge. Plus, everyone looks at me and thinks I’m that other Relevart guy.”
Gamora looked over the time machine one last time. “You sure you’re ready to do this?” she asked.
“I said I was ready,” Emmett said. “You don’t have to ask again.”
She took a deep breath and flipped the switch at the base of the time machine.
It erupted in a fountain of light that continued up into the heavens. Then it went dark forever.
“Here we go,” she said. “I hope you love my dad, because now we can’t go back. I did enough messing with downstream time by accident. The future’s in a good place. Let’s be sure it stays that way.”
Emmett shrugged. “I’m up with it. Let’s go meet this old man of yours.”
Gamora’s all-terrain hovercar was parked outside the Sample estate, just where she left it. The quick drive to her father’s new house on familiar Avalon roads finally made it feel real that she was finally home.
She burst through the door. “Dad! You won’t believe everything that’s happened since I last saw you. The whole family’s moving in with you, so get ready for company. And come meet your grandson!”
Ugh. I assembled this post about a dozen different ways, and this was the best I could come up with. The gameplay was fairly straightforward, but for some reason nothing I did made a coherent narrative.
So this is the best I can do, but I hope at least I’m out of writer’s purgatory.
This is Gamora’s farewell post. She has triumphantly left the active household.