Don't Mess With Time
Please make sure that you have read Money, Money, Money! before continuing
George found himself back in Hyde Park in 1998. Well that's what his Pocket Wormhole Creator indicated to him but somehow things didn't look quite as expected. For a start there was a very large leisure complex in front of him with a huge sports hall and an outside swimming pool right next to the Serpentine. That was definitely not there when he left.
He returned to where he had left his car. An empty space. Things were not looking good! Perhaps it had been stolen but that wouldn't explain the leisure complex. He walked for a while till he came to a newsagents. The headline in The Times read 'Branson Wins Landslide!' and on the back 'Morocco Win World Cup!' Where was he? George decided to return home to think and with no car he set off for the nearest underground station. It wouldn't take long with just a few stops on the Northern Line to Hampstead. Things were going fine as he headed down the steps till a glance at the map of the Underground network showed there was no such line. In fact the Elizabethan, Western and Regents lines were all new to him. Eventually he managed to get to Hampstead and walked along what at least looked a fairly familiar High Street apart from the W.H.Jones chemist and Shoes the bookshop.
George turned down into Mulberry Close and there at the end he didn't find his house. Just a small area of land used as the garden for next door. It was clear now that he hadn't returned to the same 1998 he had left. Things were different. His actions back in 1924, although small, must have started a chain reaction that changed events here and there, little by little. What had happened to the universe he had left? Was it the same? Was he in another universe? He set off for the library luckily in the same place as he remembered although it was in a Classical architectural style rather than the Victorian Gothic he remembered. Finding the Science section he was pleased to discover that the universe he was in still had the same nine planets even if the fourth seemed to be called Marathon.
So George appeared to be in the same universe that he had left. Or was it just similar? How could he find out? Next he decided to try to find his parents' house. It was there all right but his parents weren't. No one by that name had ever lived there. He went to the Public Records Office and just as he feared he failed to find a record of his birth. He didn't exist. At least not in this universe. No family. No home. No money. What about the bank account?
To his surprise the bank was indeed there. The same name and the same branch. The Manager explained to him that the account had been slowly gaining interest all these years and as long as he had proof of who he was and his relationship to the original person who opened the account he could see no reason why the money could not be passed on to him. It was quite a resonable sum now. Great thought George. The Manager could see 'no reason'. George did. He didn't exist. Here he was penniless in a universe where he knew a small fortune was waiting for him. But he couldn't get at it. How ironic. Well that would teach him to try and fool around with Time!
George at least had a choice. He still had his Pocket Wormhole Creator. He knew he could go anywhere and anywhen. It was just that he wouldn't ever be able to return to his 1998 universe. He was destined now to wander Time until he found somewhere and somewhen where he could settle down and live out the rest of his natural life......
Well that was just one of the many possible endings when parallel universes are considered. But what if George found himself back in the same universe he had left. Will he find the money or will freewill and restraints of the Laws of Physics prevent him from becoming rich?
Or if you have already seen the alternative ending please go to the summary page.
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Anthony Edwards - December 1996