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Riders of Time: A Short Story

Waiting to transfer my consciousness into a bio-synthetic humanoid.

2695AD: The last naturally-born human has passed away. The Legion- a coalition of the world's governments, had started genetically 'manufacturing' children two centuries earlier. Disease and genetic disorders have been eliminated in one fell swoop. Scientists, emboldened by their success, have started introducing their own edits to the genetic code with varying degrees of success...and some astonishing results.


The year is 3100 AD. It is a dull, smoggy morning; but then again, they are always dull and smoggy mornings. Silvio is banging on the bathroom door. He is a short chubby kid, with a rotund frame and small, fleshy limbs. His long pale hair falls to his shoulders, framing a mousy face accentuated by the most startlingly electric-blue eyes. He presses his ear to the door, grunts in frustration and resumes his banging. "Hurry up in there!" He yells.

The bathroom door slides open, Silvio pauses; his small, beefy fists still clenched and held in the air. Sam, his twin sister, walks out- she is very unlike Silvio, with at least 4 inches on him in height and a slender frame. The only indication they're siblings is that Sam has the same startlingly blue eyes her brothers does.

"All yours Slug." She says, playfully reaching out and ruffling Silvio's hair.

"Don't- Don't call me that!" Silvio retorts, pushing past his sister and scurrying into the bathroom.

"Oh and don't be long in there!" Sam calls out. "We don't want to be late!"

Ten minutes later and Sam is bounding down the short flight of stairs, taking two at a time in long, graceful strides. Shortly behind her, huffing and looking disheveled and grumpy, Silvio struggles to keep up. "You sure you showered?" She calls back to her brother. "You still have a...musk." She continues.

"Well if somebody hadn't reached the water quota...and girls love a musk!" Silvio replies, his chubby cheeks turning red. His sister chuckles and turns towards the front door, reaching it in three quick strides and throwing it open. "Let's get going Slug. We need to catch that bus."

They sit at the very back of the bus, Silvio engrossed in the hand-held game he's playing. Sam sits right next to him, playing with her flowing, naturally-purple locks and trying to catch the attention of the boy sitting across the aisle. Occasionally Silvio looks up, catches his sister flirting and grunts. He murmurs under his breath and returns to his game, his features scrunched up in concentration. Sam loses interest in the boy and turns to face her brother, "Hey what did- " She halts, a look of alarm crossing her face and her eyes going wide with shock.

"Silvio?" She starts.

"Hmm." Silvio distractedly replies; on his console, he makes an alien's head pop and smiles. He glances at his sister and sees the look of alarm on her face. "What?"

"Silvio where's your bracelet?" Sam whispers, leaning in close and grabbing her brother's arm.

"What do you mean where's my-" Silvio starts, looking down at his arm. A look of horror registers on his face and his arm goes slack, the game console clutters to the floor, but neither sibling pays any attention to it.

"Maybe it- Maybe it fell off in the shower." Silvio stutters, his chest heaving, trying to repress the panic he feels rising within. "Maybe-"

"It can't fall off Slug!" Sam retorts, "We're getting off on the next stop and heading back."

"But- but what about-" Silvio starts, looking confused and utterly lost.

"School? You're really worried about school right now!" Sam barks, then notices the glares the other passengers are giving them and smiles. She leans closer to Silvio and continues, "You can't even get in school without your bracelet. If they scan you and find it missing, they're going to call the Legionnaires and you'll be sent away for intent to illegally use your abilities. Understand?" Silvio nods then hangs his head. Sometimes it's hard to believe they are actually twins. In fact, he is forty-seven seconds older, yet Sam is so...motherly. He glances at her hand, now resting on his arm and he feels the repressed reservoir of panic in his chest threaten to break.

"Uh, Sam? Where's your bracelet?"

At the next stop, the two siblings alight. Silvio has pulled his shirt sleeves down, Sam is wearing her synthetic-fleece jacket. In silence, the two siblings start their brisk walk back home. "Sam? What's going on?" Silvio asks, head hung low. He does not even turn to face his sister as she sighs heavily and replies "I really don't know Slug." "Don't call me that," Silvio grumbles under his breath. Sam catches his retort and manages a slight smile, Silvio replies with a lopsided smile of his own and holds out a beefy palm for his sister to take. Sam reaches out and takes her brother's hand, she has time to think "Why is his palm so sweaty?" Then everything goes horribly wrong.

All around them, reality seems to buckle and shudder, Silvio looks up at his sister and she returns his incredulous stare. He tries to pull his hand away but can't. Some force binds them together. Everything seems to drag along, a cloud of dust Silvio had absently kicked up rises so slowly that he can see the movement of every fleck. "What the-" Silvio starts. He is partly surprised his voice still works. But the surprise doesn't last long.

Reality shudders again and the siblings are jerked back so violently that Sam gets whiplash. All around them, life passes along in a blur, a mixture of colors like a kaleidoscope spinning too fast. Sounds filter through, distorted whispers blended in with familiar noises and words neither of them can quite comprehend. Then suddenly they stop. Silvio blinks, his eyes trying to adjust to the sudden glare of harsh sunlight. Sam groans and bends over retching. Silvio looks around him then frowns, confused. "Sam? Are those... Sam, are those trees?" His sister turns- a sour expression on her face, her free hand holding back her purple locks. Then she sees what Silvio is pointing at and an incredulous expression replaces her sour face, she blinks, her long lashes fluttering rapidly.

Sam opens her mouth, but then a sound behind them catches her words before she utters them. Slowly they turn, hands still linked. Behind them, a group of men is milling about, dressed in the weirdest coveralls the siblings had ever seen. But they both stare, awestruck, at the colossal figure the men are working on.

They watch as a thirty-foot statue takes shape. A massive figure of a seated man, with one massive foot placed on an equally gargantuan footrest. The figure sits with its old-fashioned frock coat unbuttoned and something draped across the back of his chair. The workers fashion an oddly recognizable face wearing a solemn expression. Silvio grips his sister's hand tighter, "I- I know that statue!" Silvio blurts out, a mixture of excitement, awe and fear equally splattered across his face.

"What-?" Sam starts. She shakes her head, trying to recollect her wandering thoughts, then winces at the movement. "No forget the statue. Where are we?"

Silvio turns, his mouth agape. "Don't you get it? That's the old Abraham Lincoln statue! They're building the Abraham Lincoln statue." He continues, registering his sister's face as the truth dawns on her. "It's not where we are..."

"It's when." Sam finishes.

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