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Approaching 2019

By: Jy Hung Ong

Timen was mad. No, not mad. He was furious. The time machine had been hijacked by an unknown entity. The date was changed from 2008 to 2019. He had no idea if the supercomputers had malfunctioned or if something more sinister had happened.

While dwelling, Timen suddenly noticed a ghostly white head. It floated in midair. Timen realized this was the hijacker.

“Who are you?” Timen asked with definite anger.

“I am the Force of Chaos. I have overpowered my family just recently, and I am the reason humanity has suffered,” the head said in a venomous and high-pitched voice.

“Overpowered your family? What do you mean?” Timen asked, now a bit more curious.

“My family are the Forces. We control humanity and have been watching them since they were created. We are their Emotions but maintain a physical form. Peace, one of my brothers, has been leading the family until now. Together with Hatred and Vengeance, I managed to overpower Peace. I then managed to destroy Envy and Vengeance, and now I rule our family. Your precious ‘humanity’ is currently at war,” said the head. It bobbed up and down as it spoke.

“Humanity in 2019 or 4200?” Timen asked, afraid.

“You’re going to find out,” the head replied. With a sudden pop, it vanished.

Timen swore. Luckily, he was still in the time machine. Otherwise, he probably would have been sent to the top floor of the Instint Tower, the jail, if he had been in 4200. Thinking about 4200 made him think about what the head had said. “Your precious ‘humanity’ is currently at war.” Timen assumed the ‘humanity’ was in 4200. He would probably find himself in a battle zone when he returned to his own time. Yay.

The time machine suddenly spoke. “Approaching 2019 in 30 seconds,” its loudspeaker said. Timen was not sure whether to feel relieved. As he waited out the final 30 seconds, he thought about the many ways this trip could go wrong. The time machine could malfunction and send him to a completely different time. It could get bugged by the “Forces” and destroy the world of 2019. It could…

“Arrived. Hope you enjoyed your time with the time machine. Please give it a rating,” the time machine said. Zero for letting a random hijacker enter, Timen thought, still mad about the “Forces”. Clearing his mind, Timen exited the machine and entered 2019.

2019 was surprisingly not destroyed. Timen felt disappointed with New York City, though. It was a city full of skyscrapers, and the tallest one was maybe only 2000 feet tall. The cars did not fly, though Timen anticipated that. There were basically no trees. It looked barren.

He was trying to make sense of how to get back to 4200. He figured he might as well try to stop the Covid-19 pandemic while he was in 2019. How did it start? Thankfully, it was drilled into everyone’s brain as a child in 4200.

“Timen!” his had teacher shrieked. “Were you listening?!”

“Ummm…,” Timen had said.

“What date was the Covid-19 pandemic?” his teacher asked him.

“2103?” Timen guessed.

“You weren’t paying attention, were you? I swear, you will never amount to anything in life!” his teacher shouted. Timen smirked when he remembered this. His teacher had scolded him in front of the class, which made Timen study harder than ever.

Something about Wuhan, China. The virus spreads through bats, and then spreads to the rest of the world. Scientists created vaccinations, which helped to slow the spread.

He needed the scientists to believe him, and he thought he might try to warn the CDC. The organization was centered in Atlanta, Georgia. Its location was also drilled into everyone’s mind, not because of disease but instead AI. AI’s takeover of the world had started in Atlanta, and they would have almost succeeded had humans not prepared and hid in bunkers while literally nuking the world.

Back to business, he figured he would first head to Atlanta and figure things out later. Especially the “Forces”. What on earth were those?

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