Princess Angel came with a time machine from 2323. Her mission is to tell humanity how horrible global warming has played out. And about the even more severe threat.
Unfortunately, she has a hard time convincing people that her story is true. And, as a consequence of time travel, she has only one last week left to live.
Will she be able to get her voice heard in time? Or will humanity just ignore her?
Tuesday, February 7, 2023, 3:07 A.M.
“Ten. Nine. Eight…”
Angel heard the man read out the countdown. She was confined in a narrow space, waiting for the machine to ignite.
“Seven. Six. Five…”
Now would be the last chance for her to panic and stop her one-way journey to the 21st Century. She had some last doubts. But she had thought this through thousands of times. She was not going to chicken out. Not now.
“Four. Three. Two. One. Zero. Ignition.”
Just as predicted, in that moment the giant coronal mass ejection from the large solar flare they had waited one week for hit the time machine. Right as they delivered a massive burst of energy to the device.
Angel lost consciousness.
The boardwalk before the New York Stock Exchange was almost completely deserted. Only one lone woman headed for the subway, shivering in the cold. The subway was running again after a couple of days of closure whilst the third flooding in a year had been dealt with.
All of a sudden, there was an ear-shattering burst of thunder. There were no clouds in the sky. And no lightning descended.
The thunder continued. It grew louder by the moment. Then, the fourth balcony from the right at the NYSE building started to glow with an intense green, pulsating light.
If you are not familiar with the NYSE building’s balconies, let’s just note that there are seven small balconies located about four meters above ground level, just under the main six Greek columns.
The green light pulsated stronger and stronger. The thunder got louder and louder. Then, after another few seconds, an intense flash of green light went down from the balcony to the boardwalk. The thunder reached its maximum level.
Angel appeared out of thin air in the space below the balcony. She missed the other woman by about forty centimeters.
That was a near miss. They had no way to absolutely make sure she wouldn’t end up in a space occupied by somebody else when sending her back from 2323. It was a calculated risk. And it was the reason they chose this time of the day as the destination.
If that had happened, that would have been the end of this story right there. She would have been killed instantly, as well as the woman she had barely missed.
Angel blinked, waking up from her trance. She smiled and raised her right arm in a gesture of triumph. Yes! She had made it! She had survived the most dangerous part of the mission. The rest would be much easier.
Angel shivered from the cold February night. Global warming had progressed somewhat already in the early 21st Century, but it was still freezing right now. She would need to get some shelter soon.
The other woman had been stunned by the thunder and the strange green pulsating light. But when she saw Angel appear out of thin air really close to her, she screamed and started to run. She was around the corner to Wall Street in a couple of moments, heading for the subway station. She would be one very confused woman for a couple of days. Nobody would ever believe her if she told that story.
Angel looked at the sky. It was dark. When she entered the one-way time machine in 2323 a couple of moments earlier, it was two o’clock in the afternoon. They had needed the large solar flare that had happened at that moment. It induced a coronal mass ejection which was one element absolutely necessary to make the time machine work.
But it was good timing anyway. Angel knew instantly that the time machine had really achieved its purpose. There was no other way that nightfall could have come so fast.
She had made it safely to her destination. 21st Century New York, still in the Paradise Era. That was the good news.
The bad news was that she would have only one last week to live. The effect of the time machine was limited to this one week. After that, she would just disappear without trace from the 21st Century World.
And she would not be able to get back to the future, either. She would just disappear completely after that week was over. She had exactly 168 hours left for her mission.
Which was to have some fun in the Paradise World of the 21st Century. As far as she was concerned, that was the main purpose of the exercise. There was one other minor thing she needed to get done, though. One week would be ample time for that.
“Too late to change my mind,” Angel said to herself. She had thought a lot about this before she had accepted the Emperor’s wish.
The Emperor. Nathaniel Glyde, Emperor of the World, and her father. She was a Princess back in the 24th Century. Born to his favorite wife. That was one of the reasons she had got the chance to volunteer for this mission in the first place.
She shivered again. She had trained for this moment. It would of course have been easier on her if they had chosen a warm summer night as the destination. But that would mean potentially more people on the street. And the biggest danger to her was appearing in a space already occupied by somebody else. A bit of freezing was nothing, if they could reduce that risk somewhat.
Angel recalled all those hours she had prepared for surviving cold temperatures. She started doing the exercises Zyana had taught her, to warm up her body somewhat. Zyana Zack, her personal teacher since the moment she was born to the Emperor.
Then she got going. She had nothing but her glasses right now. She would need to start getting herself settled in this new World.
The glasses. She called them the Glaring Glasses, as did everyone else in the 24th Century. They looked like normal sunglasses when not active. But if she activated them, they would change to a dazzling luster, pulsating in 70 shades of green. She counted on the hypnotic force of the Glaring Glasses to help her with her mission. Which was to have a lot of fun in her last week.
It worked in many cases in the 24th Century. The only problem was, most people would obey her anyway. She was a Princess, after all. So if the Glaring Glasses didn’t work on someone, in most cases there was no way she would know. The other person would just pretend to be hypnotized and follow her orders.
The Glaring Glasses’ hypnotic powers were working most of the time. But there were exceptions. She would never be able to completely rely on them. Some people were immune to their powers. And others would actually be induced to do exactly the opposite of what she suggested.