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stories & literature


"Lost in Time"

by Christofori

(The IRC Version of this story is also available!)

Time is a strange concept. Yet, it governs our everyday lives with such control that we would be truly lost without it. What would happen if someone built a time machine? Would it be something used for good or evil purposes?

The time is now. The setting is in the #modarchive channel, which (of course) always has some rather interesting people in it.

One of these people, growl, enjoyed her time there so much that she was given channel ops. She could monitor and maintain the channel for hours on end, and often did so.

Well, one day, growl was sitting in the channel, as she often did, watching the idlers idle, the chatters chat, the pr0n-bots spam, and the tumbleweeds tumble aimlessly by. That is, until something happened. Something that... changed her life forever!

Now then, in order to understand all of the events which took place to change her life, we must first gain some background knowledge on some of the patrons of #modarchive.

AcidDose is a patron who likes to idle in the channel, although he sometimes spends a great deal of time mindlessly babbling about something called a 'tracker.' James-Bond is the king of idlers; sometimes he is in the channel for days without saying a word! There are, of course, all of the others, but we should now focus on two rather interesting characters.

These characters called themselves TOffe_ and MyztiQue.

TOffe_ and MyztiQue were friends who liked to talk about things in the channel. They talked so much one night that growl decided to ask them what the hell they were talking about.

growl asked: "What is this you guys are talking about?"

You see, growl had to ask because they were using some strange words she had never seen before. Words like 'quazinod' and 'bumpfulsnorf' and.. well, you get the picture.

So, the two active chatters were not really surprised when growl finally DID ask them what the heck they were talking about.

"We're talking about our new project!" said MyztiQue excitedly.
"Yes, you'd love to hear about it, I'm sure!" exclaimed TOffe_.

growl sighed, as she usually does when people talk about things so excitedly.
"OK," growl said. "Tell me all about your new project."

"I'm glad you asked!" said MyztiQue. "You see, TOffe_ and I are nearly finished with our Time Machine!"

growl was skeptical, to say the least.
"Time machine, eh?" she queried.
"Yes! It's the best one ever created!" said TOffe_.

growl let out a bit of a laugh, but of course no one could hear it because this was, after all, #modarchive on IRC.

So anyway, to make a long story short(er), TOffe_ and MyztiQue spent a rather long time explaining the intricate details of time travel to growl.

growl had decided that they were just pulling her leg before too long, however. After all, how could someone create a time machine?? I mean, really!?

Well, TOffe_ and MyztiQue were quite intelligent, after all, and could somehow tell that growl was feeling pretty skeptical.

"Let us prove this to you," pleaded TOffe_. "We'll send you somewhere in time!"
"Yeah!" said MyztiQue. "Let's do it!"

Just then, a thought occurred to growl.

"Wait a minute, you guys," growl began. "You can't show me how it works, because I'm in Cantaidia and you are both... NOT from Cantaidia!"

"Well, this is true," began TOffe_.
"But, actually," MyztiQue took over, "our magnificent time machine is so cool, it can also transport us to any place on the planet, at any time!"

growl was surprised.
"Oh really?" she asked.
"Yes!" they both replied in unison.

"Well, then, I guess you can show me how it works, if you can make it over to my house before I go to bed!" growl stated.

Just then, something quite peculiar happened. Something quite peculiar indeed.

Out of thin air, TOffe_ and MyztiQue appeared, with a small remote control.

growl was beside herself with shock.
"OK, tell me how the hell you did that!" she demanded.

"It's quite simple, really," began MyztiQue, about to explain the intricate details of time travel to growl for yet a second time.

However, TOffe_, knowing MyztiQue's love of the technical side of things, interrupted just in time.

"Well, you see, we put your information into our computer, stepped into the receptacle, and transported ourselves here. It didn't take any time at all, really.." TOffe_ explained.

"OK then, I guess I can understand that part," growl said, eyeing MyztiQue questioningly.
"I have one question, though," she added.

"What's that?" asked TOffe_.

"Well, just how are you going to get back home now?" she asked.

"Hahahaha!" they both laughed in unison.
"Don't worry about that, we've set the computer to recall us in about..."

Just then, something else (also quite peculiar) happened.

TOffe_ and MyztiQue disappeared into thin air!

growl was immediately suspicious. She began to look all over her house for them, suspecting that they may have tried to make off with her valuable (and quite precious) jewels (after all, growl wasn't just a normal channel operator in #modarchive... she was a very wealthy aristocrat who liked to talk to normal people).

After an exhausting search of her house, growl decided to sit back down at the computer and watch the channel some more.

Surprisingly, she found TOffe_ and MyztiQue, actively chatting using their favorite big words, yet again.

growl was beside herself (again) and decided to get some answers.

"OK you two, what kind of madness is this? What have you been up to? How'd you do that, anyway?" she demanded.

"Well, it's quite simple, actually," began MyztiQue.
"OK OK, I get it. You were really here, and you really left. Yeah, I can believe that," growl stated.

Somehow, though, TOffe_ could tell that growl didn't really believe that they had just been in her room.

"Look, we know you probably think we were playing some sort of trick on you. Would you like to visit our lab, to show you that this technology is real?" asked TOffe_.

growl sat and thought for a moment.
"Well, I guess it would be OK.." she said to herself.

She was about to type "OK then, but I need to be back in time to go to work tomorrow!" when suddenly, she disappeared!

When growl opened her eyes, she was immediately amazed. She looked around and saw massive supercomputers, blinking lights, and some kinds of technology she couldn't even begin to understand (even if MyztiQue had already explained it all to her).

growl was standing in the center of the room in some kind of glass jar-like thing. She was so busy looking around at all of the technology that she didn't notice TOffe_ and MyztiQue come up behind her.

"Do you believe us NOW?" asked MyztiQue.
Startled, growl jumped a bit. "Don't DO that!" she roared.

The others shared a brief laugh, and then offered to take her on a tour of their lab. growl agreed to the tour, and soon she had seen everything she ever thought she would see.

After the tour, TOffe_ asked: "So, you want to try it out?"

growl thought for a moment.

"Sure, why not?" she said. "Where should I go?"
"Well, we like to experiment with things," began MyztiQue

TOffe_ continued: "Yeah, we set it on random mode and see where we end up! It's always pretty cool. Once we ended up in the middle of WW3!"

growl was shocked.

"Yeah," added TOffe_. "We will monitor your progress the entire time! You will even be able to communicate with us, using this personal communicator," he said as he handed growl a small metallic device.

growl thought it over again for a moment.

growl made up her mind. "OK, but you'd better not send me somewhere dangerous! Oh, and make sure it's not raining wherever (and whenever) I'm going; I don't wanna get my hair wet!"

"Ah, don't worry!" MyztiQue began. "We will set the time and coordinates for you, just to be on the safe side."

So, growl stepped into the jar-like receptacle as the other two busily worked at the controls.

"Don't forget to keep in touch!" TOffe_ yelled, as growl closed her eyes.

MyztiQue and TOffe_ set the controls, and enabled the machine. There was a large thrumming sound as the machine powered up. growl felt all tingly for a moment, and then...


Well, actually, it seemed somewhat warm.

growl was almost frightened to open her eyes. She soon decided to, however.

The only problem was that she couldn't see a thing!

growl started fumbling around, looking for the communicator that TOffe_ and MyztiQue had handed her.

Soon, though, she could see some light. Everything seemed to be really blurry, though.

Finally, growl found the communicator. Instantly, she enabled it, shouting "Where the hell am I, and why can't I see anything?!"

She heard nothing but silence.

Before long, however, TOffe_'s voice could be heard.

"So, how was your trip?" he asked.
"Finally! Why can't I see anything?!" growl roared.

Just then, growl's vision cleared enough for her to get her bearings.

She found herself standing on a sandy beach, on a bright and sunny day. The ocean roared as the waves began to topple onto the massive beach. growl thought it must have been the most beautiful thing she had ever seen!

Suddenly, she remembered the open communications link, and tuned her ears back into the sound of TOffe_'s tinny-sounding voice.

"...and the whole effect can be numbing to your senses," he was saying.
"OK OK, I can see again," growl informed the communicator.

"Where exactly am I?" she asked, to no one in particular, as she again looked around at the beutiful scenery surrounding her.

"Well, we sent you back into the past!" said MyztiQue.
"Yes! You're standing near your home town on a bright summer day!" TOffe_ explained.

Just then, growl remembered that she didn't live near any oceans. She was about to explain that to TOffe_ and MyztiQue when they continued:

"You see, you are now in the distant past. The topography of the surface of the earth was much different back then," MyztiQue informed her.

Suddenly growl noticed a large flying bird-like object in the sky. She couldn't quite tell what it was, but she quickly noted that it seemed to be flying along the beach, straight for her!

"You guys.. you guys!" she started babbling wildly.
"There's this huge.. um.. thing... flying through the air at me!" she exclaimed.

"Ah," said TOffe_ suddenly. "Yes. That's a pterodactyl."

"A who?" growl asked. Just then, she saw the thing veer off in another direction, and immediately her heart started beating somewhat more normally.

growl was overwhelmed with this place. She could not wait to tell the others from #modarchive, not to mention her mom, about this place!

Just then, growl started to feel dizzy. She tried to speak, to say that something was wrong, so that TOffe_ and MyztiQue would retrieve her. Somehow, though, she could not make her lips form the words; could not produce any sound at all!

growl noticed that the whole world seemed to be spinning around her as she collapsed to the ground.

* * *

When growl opened her eyes again, she found herself back in her room at home. She began to wonder what was going on, when it hit her. She remembered! She had just been on the most beautiful beach, when...

The details were somewhat fuzzy. growl could not remember exactly what had happened, or where she had been. It was as if she were waking up from some sort of dream.

growl did, however, remember chatting on #modarchive. So, she went over to her trusty computer and fired it up.

growl logged into IRC and went into the #modarchive channel. Something was wrong, though.

ChanServ had not op'd growl when she arrived, which seemed to be odd. After all, ChanServ always seemed to be on top of things when she had been in the channel before...

Just then, growl noticed that she didn't recognize any of the names of the people who were in the channel. Not even any of the ops!

"Hey there, what's going on?" she typed into the channel.
"Hey there growl!" someone named 'BuzzFakToR' said.
"Hey" she typed back.
"You're new here, aren't you?" BuzzFakToR said.
"Um.. no, I'm an op here!" growl exclaimed.
"hahaha right" said the other.

growl was confused. She immediately knew that something was wrong.

Just then, she noticed that she was carrying a small metallic device of some sort.

Suddenly, all of the details started flooding back into growl's mind. She remembered everything, from MyztiQue's excessive techno-babble to the beautiful beach...

Just then, an idea hit her.

"Hey, do you know MyztiQue or TOffe_?" growl asked the channel.

Most of the channel occupants who weren't idling informed her that they did not know anyone by those names.

Suddenly (almost as if on cue) the communicator beeped. It happened so quickly that growl was startled, and jumped slightly (again).

growl immediately answered the communicator. "What the hell is going on?!" she roared.
"OK, OK, don't worry!" TOffe_'s voice could be heard, trying to calm the now frenzied growl.

"Don't WORRY?! How can you tell me not to worry when the whole channel is messed up?!" growl shouted.

"Yeah, well," MyztiQue said. "We seem to have had a slight problem with the..."
growl immediately cut him off.
"What do you mean, a SLIGHT PROBLEM?!?!!"

"Well, we can't quite get a fix on you," TOffe_ said, after a short amount of silence.

"You WHAT?!"

"Don't worry! Everything will be back to normal soon!" they both kept trying to assure her.

Just then, there was a knock at growl's door. growl knew that it had to be her mother, because that was the only other person who lived with her.

"What is it?" she asked.
"Honey? Is that you?" growl's mom asked, as she entered the room.
"Yes, of course it's me!" growl said. "These weirdo's just did something to mess up the channel, and..."

Just then, growl noticed her mother's face.

She noticed how much older her mother appeared.

"Mom! What happened?" she asked, beside herself with worry.
"You've come back!" was all her mother could say, over and over again.

"Come back? I didn't go anywhere..."

growl decided to make her mother a cup of tea to settle her down.

After a time, growl's mother was more talkative.

"Honey," growl's mother began, "where were you?"

growl took some time to fill her mother in on the details.

Then, something occurred to growl.

"Mom, what year is it?" she asked.

"Honey, it's March 25, 2048 -- you've been gone for almost 46 years!"

The End!
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