“Sir, we’ve discovered time travel, but it seems we have to sacrifice a baby goat every time” [Link to post.]
“Wait. What? How in the hell did you even figure that out? What the hell is going on down there?” Eric Leeds, the department head stood from his high back leather chair and glared at Jack. The young intern that delivered the report.
“I’m going down there!” Eric walked around his large desk and past Jack, without any sort of acknowledgement. Jack caught up to Eric in the elevator and tried to explain the details.
“It’s not what you think, Sir. I mean, it’s not like we’ve been killing different animals to get something to work.” Jack fidgeted while he explained.
“Then what? A baby goat just happened to be wandering around the lab, then keeled over and, poof portal? I highly doubt that, Jack.
” Since you’re going down, I need to tell you something,” Jack said. He took a deep breath. Mr. Leeds chose the top floor of the 50 story building for his office. The lab they headed to was in sub-basement six. Jack knew he had plenty of time to explain properly.
” First, we have not killed any animals at all. Goat or otherwise. Obviously we’d need your approval for that, which is why I brought you the report.” Jack’s nervousness was made apparent by sweat beading on his forehead.
“Then how did you reach this conclusion?” Mr. Leeds seemed to calm after learning his lab wasn’t a slaughter house. Jack released a heavy sigh into the elevator. The smell of funyuns tickled Mr. Leeds’ nose.
“Well. Uh. You told us, sir. Future you. He’s in the lab waiting for you. He said the report would get you down there fast.” Jack stared down at the white tile floor of the elevator.
“Oh. I’m definitely looking forward to this.” Mr. Leeds said with a smirk. The rest of the elevator ride was spent in silence.
Upon entering the lab, Eric Leeds recognized an older version of himself. The man could not have been more than 10 years older than him. He had a few more wrinkles and a touch of grey lapping at his side burns. His future self was surrounded by white labcoats. Poking and prodding him, while asking about the future.
“Hey, I remember you!” The future Mr. Leeds beamed a smile at his younger self when he noticed him. The crowd of lab coats parted.
“So. Baby goats?” Eric asked once the room quieted enough. The future Leeds chuckled and nudged one of the labcoats in the side.
“That’s right. I had a stick up my ass back then. Uh, now, I guess. Don’t worry guys,” future Leeds gestured at the gathered scientists. “That stick is going to come out real soon.” He looked at his watch. “In about two minutes.” The scientists chuckled with him, nervously. Unsure of who was in charge.
“Sacrifices?” Young Leeds said, sternly. Elder Leeds shrugged.
“What’s to explain? I’ve given them the design to set up portal containment, I know you’ll go over those. Just kill a baby goat, and you’re good to go.”
“Why? Can’t we just use blood? We can draw that out and still keep the goat alive.” Young Leeds asked. He searched his older self for clues that he might be fake. Deep down he knew this man was really him.
“It’s not the blood. The portal is powered by souls. When a soul leaves the body this harnesses it to punch a hole in time. It doesn’t have to be a baby goat, any mammal will do. Goats are just the most expendable.” Elder Leeds sighed, and Eric recognized a deep sadness in himself. The future version kept talking.
“The first time it happened was an accident. A horrible accident that we don’t need to revisit. It wasn’t a goat.” Tears rolled down his face.
“Mary…” Eric asked. He thought about his new, perfect wife. He would do anything for her, including slaughtering any number of animals or people. Elder Leeds shook his head.
“Mary’s fine. Dead, but fine.”
“HOW IS DEAD FINE??!” Eric lunged at his older self, but the labcoats stopped him before he touched himself.
“This machine expends all the energy of a soul. It CONSUMES it, do you get that? No heaven, no hell. Just.. gone. Never to be born again. Mary died of grief. She stopped eating, I couldn’t help her.” Elder Leeds hung his head.
“You’re here. What could cause her that much grief?” Eric’s phone rang, and he reached into his pocket. The display said “Shmoopy” and showed a picture of his beautiful wife.
“Answer it.” Future him said. He did.
“Eric? Oh my God! I’m sorry to tell you this over the phone but I can’t hold it in! I’M PREGNANT!!”