Chapter Forty Nine: Goodbye

4 0 0

The moment Hiro entered the time stream, he felt like he'd been hit with a billion jolts of electricity. Every atom in his body felt like it was being torn apart. The pain was excruciating, unlike any he'd felt before, even with the memory reintegration. And yet, he knew the worst was yet to come. Somehow, he had to pull himself back together, at least enough to reattach that last strand of memory.

Everything exploded into an array of bright colors as he tried to focus on pulling his body back into some semblance of itself, though he couldn't be sure he'd done it correctly. It felt like his body had come together like a nightmare jigsaw puzzle put together by a mad scientist trying to recreate Frankenstein's monster. But at least his mind was intact. That's what mattered, at least for the moment.

"That's it," a voice encouraged in his thoughts. "You've got this."

"T-tadashi!" Hiro exclaimed, realizing his brother's spectral image had not left him. At least there was that. He wasn't sure about anything else, let alone if he still existed.

"Reach out for that last strand!" Tadashi instructed as everything seemed to slip and slide like some psychedelic dream jigging out to the fastest pace song on the planet. Everything vibrated like crazy, making it all that much harder to concentrate. "It's right here!"

Hiro looked in the direction of his brother's voice and saw the tendril in question. It somehow looked different, thicker, longer, like clotted blood or poured tar. Part of him held back, not wanting anything to do with it. But another part of him knew he had to or everything would be for naught. He reached out one hand, not sure if it was his normal size or still toddler in form, if it had any form at all. He grasped the fragment as tightly as he could, clutching it to himself as if it was an anchor.

The moment his fingers made contact, he knew he was dying. Every particle of his body felt like it was on fire. The flames were so hot he would melt and then vaporize into the atmosphere. And the pain was ten thousand times worse than when he'd entered the stream. He would fly apart from the sheer force of it.

"Hang on!" Tadashi called out urgently. "Don't let go!"

Hiro couldn't have let go even if he'd wanted to. He no longer had hands to let go with. Every part of him had changed into particles of light, streaming out to all parts of the universe. Despite that, he couldn't help but scream with such intensity he didn't know how it was possible that every living thing in the known universe didn't hear him.

We are the Makt. As requested, we give you the chance to change your past. But be warned, should you do so, consequences may arise for which you are ill equipped to bear.

Where had that multi-harmonious voice come from? He couldn't remember having had any such encounter with the alien entity.

"I don't care," he heard himself say. "Let me try. It can't end like this. Not like this."

Very well.

The world turned upside down and inside out. He felt as though he was being propelled through the cosmos at record speeds, his consciousness tracing along every hairline fracture he'd created by going back in time over and over again. His consciousness was split into so many parts he couldn't keep track of them all. But each one sped along the cracks, heading to one central point.

And sitting at that central point floated a familiar form with gangly legs, messy hair, and soft brown eyes. But he was going too fast. He would collide with it, shattering his own body beyond repair. Mentally, he braced himself as various parts of him reconnected down the fissures as they came together. Still too fast! Too fast!

When All Q Breaks LooseRead this story for FREE!