GENRE: Time Travel Romance
Jeff Blue – the victim of a time-travel conspiracy – wakes up trapped in the year 2095. The only familiar face is J0, a robotic copy of the wife he left behind in 1981. But can she be trusted? J0 could be the only key to unlock Jeff’s journey home, but it will require her to do something against her programming , something human.
During Jeff’s perilous journey through the future, he will have to discover the truth about J0’s origins, and solve the mystery behind how he wound up in 2095, in order to uncover the reality of his own destiny.
Armed with a one-way ticket to the moon, Jeff must race against the clock to seize what might be his last chance to return home to his time. A time without hover cars, Justice Computers, or TeleSkins – a time over 100 years ago.
“I need some air. Breakfast was fantastic. This has nothing to do with you,” I added.
J0 sat there unwavering as I stood up.
“When will you be back?”
If she had been programmed to keep me hostage indefinitely, then it was apparent that her emotional resurgence had taken control of any rational decision-making.
“Soon. I promise.”
“If this is what you feel you need to do,” she said solemnly.
This wasn’t the same J0 that I had been terrified of and had eluded just twenty-four hours earlier.
“Really? Are you sure?” I asked again. I was caught off guard.
“Absolutely. I’ll just clean while you’re gone. I know how to find you better than you think.”
Her tone implied that she was going for cute and playful, but I knew she was threatening me. Before I could leave, she opened a desk drawer and handed me a flat card that reminded me of a driver’s license of sorts.
“Your ELO card—Emergency Locator Output.”
“What does it do?”
I turned it over in my hands, inspecting it. I couldn’t find any buttons or switches. J0 took it from me and held it to her mouth.
The card made three small beeping noises, and she handed it back to me.
“Now what?” I asked, expecting something magical to happen.
“Your location has been transmitted back to me. You can also use it if you need to send me secret messages. One means you’re hurt. Two means you’re in trouble. Three means you’re lost. We can’t communicate verbally through it, so only use it when you absolutely need to. Once you initiate the appropriate emergency message, it will immediately track your location. That’ll help if you’re on the run from any of those protestors and I need to come get you.”
“Is it tracking now?”
“Yes. You can shut it off by repeating the passcode. You should hear three descending tones to let you know it’s off.”
I felt like I was put in an awkward position. I was trying everything in my power to get her to trust me so I could leave for a while. However, I also didn’t want her to know where I was planning to go.
J0 handed the ELO back to me. Although I decided to leave it on, I wondered where I could hide it.
“I think it’s safer if I just leave it on.”
J0’s eyes lit up like fireworks. I could see her relax. The reservation and tension just flew away from her.
“It’ll be good for you to have some time to yourself after everything you’ve been through lately.”
“Thanks. I might just sit somewhere nearby and read today’s ViewPaper.”
Such a blatant lie made me feel remorseful, so I leaned forward and kissed her gently on the lips. I tried to tell myself that the kiss was more for her than it was for me, but I just didn’t know what to believe about my feelings anymore.
“I won’t be gone long, I promise.”
I waved the ELO in the air before I put it in my back pocket. I wanted her to think that her digital leash on me was not going to come off. I hastily headed for the door, should J0 have a last-minute change of heart.
“Wait a minute,” she called out. “Just in case you want to grab something to eat.”
She handed me a roll of twenty-dollar bills that unraveled in my hand. Had the value of the United States dollar really depreciated that much since 1981? I hesitated for another moment to see if there were any more gifts or surprises. When it was apparent that there weren’t, I freely stepped into the Isabella Creek sunshine by myself.
I headed down Greenwood Avenue, past all the plastic flowers. I thought about the ivory towers on the moon as I slowly wandered through the town that I knew so very well but that also seemed so strange.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Brian Paone was born and raised in the Salem, Massachusetts area. An award winning author, his love of writing began through the medium of short stories at the young age of twelve. After almost 20 years of consistently writing short stories for only his friends and family to read, Brian’s first full-length novel was published in 2007, and he has published two more since then. Brian is married to an Officer in the US Navy, and they have 3 children. Brian is a Police Officer for the St. Mary’s GA Police Department and has been working in Law Enforcement since 2002. He is also a self-proclaimed roller coaster junkie, and his favorite color is burnt-orange.
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