Pat, Himself and Patrick

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A rather long English Ext1 SciFi Creative dealing with Time Travel. I'm going to cut it down heaps so I can produce it in the exam.
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  Pat, Himself, and Patrick   Lachlan Brown “Gentlemen, I am going to collect your essays today.”There was a shuffling of papers as the boys searched for their work. Ms. Fitzgerald began to prowl up and down the aisles of two-seater desks, collecting essays as she went.“Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!” Pat was sitting down the front of the room, on the other side to wherethe teacher was. He was shifting nervously in his seat.“Have you done it?” Asked the boy sitting next to him. There was a smug tone in his voice thatsuggested he already knew the answer.“No, what do you think?” Came the reply.“What are you going to tell Fitzy?”“That my printer broke, Mum recycled it, my dog ate it, and aliens invaded my house.”“And you think she'll buy that?” The second boy's voice was now scornful.“No!” There was a frantic tone in Pat's voice that caused the second boy to chuckle.“You're screwed, mate.”“Thanks, Tom.” He gave Tom a sarcastic glare and then went back to fidgeting. Ms. Fitzgeraldgot to their table and accepted Tom's essay. Tom couldn't hide his superior grin. Pat opened hismouth to start making excuses but was cut off.“Now I've got yours already, haven't I Pat?” It wasn't really a question, and Ms. Fitzgeraldmoved on leaving Pat open mouthed, now in shock.“You bastard!” Tom started belting Pat's right arm. They both started laughing uncontrollably.“What are you going to tell her when she finds she hasn't got it?“I guess I'll have to say 'Oh, have you lost it miss? I'll print you out a new one then.' And then goand do the essay.”“Pat, you are one lucky bastard.” They sat in silence for a while. “Oh, I forgot to ask you. Whatwere you doing with that huge egg thing yesterday?”“What?”“You know, you were walking towards a big egg and then you turned around and waved at me.”“What are you on about? I haven't been near any large eggs that I can recall.”“Maybe it was someone else.”“Or maybe you're just insane.”The next day, they were still chuckling about the mixup with the essay, and were telling the storyto a friend as they took their seats in English. Ms. Fitzgerald banged her hand on the table for silence.“I'm handing out your study guides on  Hamlet  . You can start work on that today.” Again, shewalked down the rows of two-seater desks, handing out study guides as she went. When she got tothe table on which Pat and Tom were sitting, she stopped. “You finished yours early didn't you, Pat?And I've got it haven't I?”Pat was dumbfounded.“I... ah...”“Yes, I remember you coming to the staff room to give it to me. You can spend this period polishing your   Animal Farm essay.” She walked back to her desk.“I would punch you for handing in work early,” Tom began, “if I didn't know that you haven'teven read the book yet. So I'm going to punch you for however you got away with that.”“Ow! Piss off, man. My arm still hurts from yesterday.”“Tell me how you did it.”“Did what?”“How the hell does she already have all the work you haven't done?”11  “I honestly don't know. But I'm not going to complain about it.”When Pat arrived home that day, he was welcomed by a huge explosion coming from the basement. He dumped his bag on the table and ran down to see what was happening.“Dad! Dad are you OK?” His father stumbled out of the green smoke with purple sparks thatfilled the basement, coughing and spluttering as he came.“Yes, yes, I'm quite alright. But I want you to come and have a look at this thing that I found.”Intrigued, Pat followed his father up to the work bench and gazed in wonder at the thing that sat onit. It was cylindrical in shape, about the size of a cardboard wrapping paper roll, but its ends wererounded off. It had a transparent shell; probably some sort of super-strength fibre-reinforced polymer Pat thought; with a solid, thin, purple cylinder running through the middle. That wascovered with a thick, translucent green liquid. Pat reached out his hand to touch it.“Don't do that!” His father pulled him away. “Last time that happened it exploded with all thatsparkly smoke. Tasted horrible.”“What did you do?”“Nothing! It just sorta appeared in my hand. And the 'Poof!'”“I see. How long has that been there?” Pat was pointing to a large egg shaped object in the corner of the room. It about the size of a man, made of metal, balancing on the larger end. It had two rowsof small lights about six inches from the highest point on the egg, blue on the top and red on the bottom. There were two similar rows the same distance from the lowest point on the egg, red on thetop and blue on the bottom. Pat's father stared at it.“I don't know. I can't remember ever seeing it before.” As if in reply, a hatch folded down out of the egg with a hiss, exposing the interior. Pat slowly went in and sat on the padded seat. A display infront of him read “Thursday 25 th June, 2009. 4:38pm”. He checked his watch. It was 4:46. As near as he could guess, the machine had appeared ten minutes ago. He looked around the small cabin andfound what he was looking for. An panel in the wall that looked like it could be taken off to reachsome sort of engine. Removing the piece of metal, he found an intricate electrical rig that seemed to be sucking power from a small cylindrical object with a purple rod in the middle covered withthick, translucent green liquid.“Bingo.” He said to himself. “Hey Dad, come and look at this! That thing you found must besome sort of battery to give this machine power.” Carefully, his father extracted the object and took it over to compare it with the srcinal find. In the meantime, Pat sat at the controls of the machinefiddling with the various buttons and levers. Suddenly, a cool female voice sounded from inside themachine.“The Chronium Gauge has been depleted. Please insert chronium to begin Era Peregrination.”“Era Peregrination?” Pat's father had come over to have a look. “You know what that meansdon't you, Pat?”“Nope. I've never heard of it before.”“Era Peregrination is another phrase for Time Travel. This thing must be chronium, a missingelement...”“And that powers this Time Machine.”“Yes. But the question it: Who sent it to us and why?” They sat and considered this question for awhile. They could understand using a Time Machine for one's own purposes, but why wouldsomeone send one back unmanned?“Well. There's only one way to find out.” Pat said after a while.“What's that?”“We have to go back to when it came and find out.”“We can't go back.”“Why not?”“Because it hasn't happened yet. Time Machines haven't been invented yet. We'll have to go22  forward to when it came if we want to find out.” Pat looked at his father blankly. “Is your head beginning to spin?” Pat nodded.“I get the feeling it's going to spin a lot more before this is all over. Let's go.” His father shook his head.“There's only one chair in there, kid, and I'm not rocketing through time without a seatbelt. Yougo. I need a nap.” He gave Pat the bars of chronium and Pat connected them up. He set the date tothe place and time it had just come from and was about to send it through time when a second TimeMachine, albeit one that looked quite damaged, appeared with a puff of green smoke, next to thefirst one. Pat and his father watched in surprise as the hatch opened and Pat scrambled out, shortly before the machine fell to pieces.The first Pat and his father looked at the second one in surprise. The second one was the first tospeak.“Crap. I knew I was going to get back here too early. Quick! Get out of here before Time starts tocome apart.” Not needing further encouragement, the first Pat closed the hatch and sent himself off through time.“Would Time really start to come apart if you were in two places at once?” Pat's father asked.“Not really, but I had to tell me that because that's what I remember being told by myself before Ileft.” There was a pause as father and son looked at each other, both trying to get their minds aroundwhat Pat had just said. “That was one heck of a journey.”“Pat, you got back before you left.”“Well, from your perspective yes. But from my perspective I've been busy for days.”“Tell me what happened.”“I can try, but most of it hasn't happened yet.” His Dad raised a quizzical eyebrow. “I can giveyou a highly accurate prediction of what will happen in the future, though.”Pat stepped out of the Time Machine into his father's workshop. He saw a man standing at thedesk who looked like his father, although a little younger. The man turned to look at him.“Ah, Pat. I've been expecting you.”“How did you know I was coming?”“I remember stepping out of that Time Machine and seeing myself like it was yesterday.” Theman smiled to himself. “I bet your feeling quite perplexed, wondering how I know all this, andwhether or not the machine worked properly.” Pat nodded silently. “I remember feeling the sameway when I heard myself say that to me.”“OK, now you've totally lost me.”“I'm you, Pat. You as you will be in 2028.”“Really? So do I end up going to the Year 12 formal with Anita?”“I can't tell you that.”“Why not?” He sounded disappointed.“Hypothetically, let's say you don't. If I told you that, then you wouldn't bother asking her and sowouldn't meet her attractive friend who you do end up going to the formal with and subsequentlymarrying a few years down the track.”“I marry Anita's friend?”“Not necessarily, that was just a hypothetical situation. On the other hand, let's say you do end upgoing to the formal with Anita, but now that you know that you have a more cocky attitude whenyou asked her and she was only going to go with you because of your humble attitude so nowyou've completely screwed up your future with her.”“I'm not sure I follow.” Pat couldn't help but notice the lack of a wedding ring on his older self'sfinger.“Just accept that it's better if you don't know your future.”“OK. So now we come to the main issue. Why did you send me the time machine?”33  “Ah, there are a number of reasons. Firstly, you won't build it unless I teach you how. You clearlyhave built it because it's here, so therefore I need to teach you how.”“A paradox?”“Not quite, it's merely a cycle. Paradoxes have an effect on the very fabric of the realities, whereas this only affects our reality.”“There a multiple realities? Wanna clarify that for me?”“All in good time, Pat. The second reason I sent the time machine is that there is the matter of some unfinished English work.” A wry grin began to spread across his face.“Oh yeah. That. Can you help me with that?”“No, I can't, I'm busy working on an experiment. Pat will explain everything though.”As if on cue, another time machine appeared with a puff of green smoke. Out stepped Pat.“Hey, Pat. Hey, Pat.” The third Pat nodded at each of the others in turn.“Hey, Pat.” The older one nodded back.“Well come on, don't just stand there looking like an idiot,” the third Pat said to the first, “wehave a lot of things we need to cover.” Grumbling about the confusion of it all, the first Patfollowed the third into the Time Machine. “Now, what you need to understand is that Time has threedimensions, just like Space. Forwards and Backwards are about the future and the present; Left andRight are about the different choices that you make; Up and Down are about the choices that other  people make that affect you.”“That doesn't make any sense.”“Think of it this way. Everyone is always moving Forwards in Time.”“Yeah...”“The only way to move Backwards is to use one of these things.” He tapped the side of the TimeMachine. “Each choice you make as you move through Time moves you Left and Right on the paths of Time. Every conceivable path is a different reality, so if you decide to have chocolateicecream one day, there is an alternate reality where you chose strawberry, an alternate reality whereyou chose vanilla, and so on and so forth.”“Oh, I think I understand. So Up and Down are when other people make choices that limit theavailable choices you have, thus pushing you onto a different path.”“Yes. What this Time Machine has, is a matrix of every conceivable reality, and it allows you tomove between them.”“So if everyone can just move to whichever reality they choose, how come we all don't live inour own utopian realities?”“Who knows? Maybe someday we will. In the present, however, you can't survive outside your Reality Zero for more than twenty-four hours. You simply begin to fade away because you are nolonger connected to your own reality.”“You're trying to tell me that there's a Five Second Rule for time travel?”“I'd say that that was an amusing way to put it if I hadn't come up with it already, but that isessentially true.”“Someone should've told that to Marty McFly.” The third Pat sat down at the controls and bootedup the matrix.“The settings default to your Reality Zero,” he explained, “so you only need to change two or three choices to get to a reality that you want to manipulate.”“Are you going to explain what I have to do?”“Honestly, Pat, I refuse to believe I was as slow as you. You'll work it out. But I have to get back home.”“It's OK. I think I understand. See you later.”“Yeah, not really.”The first Pat made the appropriate adjustments to the matrix and closed the hatch. His lastthoughts before he shot through time dwelt on the fact that his future self was apparently alone and44
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