Sunday, February 28, 2010

“Well, putting my thoughts onto paper, or hard disk as it were… it’s kind of like leaving my mark on reality.”

31/ 03/ 01


I didn’t feel like having dinner and watching the movie for ‘fun night’ tonight. I was too wrapped in writing my Astronomy assignment on Ley Lines, Circular Stones and other land marks and their position towards the stars and the universe. I think this kind of stuff is absolutely fascinating! So far my classes with Dr. Kell are a little on the kooky side, but I love how he blends into understanding Math, Astronomy and their part in History.

I had a nice surprise tonight. As I was working on my essay, Pat came in with some Mexican food they had served in the cafeteria. He had saved me a plate and brought it in for me.

“Thanks.” I smiled at him, then immediately started stuffing the burrito into my mouth. I hadn’t realized I was hungry.

“How are your classes going?” he asked me.

“Pretty goo’.” I said with my mouth full. “Yours?”

“Yeah, same ole, same ole.” He picked up my note book and started perusing through it. He paused at my diagrams of spherical space time and at the layers of time in a pond analogy. “We’re actually working on the same thing at the moment.”

“Yeah, but while you’re doing the calculating of the phenomenon, we’re just getting the basics.” I said. “But we have got to use examples where we’ve actually seen through time.”

“No way.” He looked up at me in surprise. “We haven’t even got that far yet!”

“Yeah, but our classes are on the practical side, remember?” I reminded him before taking another bite.

“Yeah, I guess.” He put my book down again.

“At the end of the semester, we’re going to go on our first excursion through time.” I told him.

“Really?” he asked impressed. “Which time period?”

“Any.” I guess. “Whatever we choose I guess.”

“That would be cool.” He agreed.

“Hey Pat, can I ask you a question?” I asked him after a moment.

“Yeah.” He shrugged.

“What was it like for you when you were 13 years old and Hamilton appeared and offered to bring you here at Hamilton’s? Into the future?”

He was quiet for another moment, before saying, “it was a surprise. I mean, my father had been dead for six months, my mother had just been hung and only moments before I ran a knife across my wrists. I was about to pass out when this strange man approached me, spoke to me, picked me up and the next thing I knew, I was in the hospital wing at this school.”

“Really?” I asked surprised. “That’s almost the same way it happened to me! Then what happened?”

“Hamilton and Dr. Knight told me where I was and offered to let me stay here.” He said.

“Did you need to think about it for a while?”

“Nup. I mean, I didn’t have much of a future staying where I’d come from. I thought I’d give this time frame a go instead. I certainly had nothing to lose.”

“I guess not.” I saw his point. “I think that’s the way how I felt too.”

“Can I ask you a question?” he asked me next. I nodded and he continued. “Why do you always write in your diary?”

“I don’t know. My mother first gave me a diary when I was 12 years old. It just caught on, that’s all.” I answered.

“Sometimes, watching you, it’s like you’re documenting this time frame now, for later on in the future.” Pat said to me.

“That’s kind of true.” I shrugged. “But do you ever get the feeling that none of this is real? That you’re not really here? Well, putting my thoughts onto paper, or hard disk as it were… it’s kind of like leaving my mark on reality. To show that I was here, that I existed.”

“I always thought that you wrote in your diary because you were marking down how you perceived your existence.” Suddenly Nelson showed up in my doorway.

“Well, that too.” I confessed.

Nelson came into my room, shut my door behind her and put my window up a tiny bit. Then we all took out our cigarettes and lit them. We hadn’t done this all together in what felt, a very long time. It felt good getting together again.

“How are your classes going?” I asked her.

“Good.” she shrugged. “How about yours? Little Miss Circulator of

“Good.” I shrugged again. “But there is one thing I’m a bit nervous about.”

“And what’s that?” Pat asked me.

“Well, when we Circulate, dispersing and rotating through the circle of time, our bodies actually dissipate into energy, or light waves. How am I physically dispersing myself into light waves? It just sounds impossible right now.” I pointed out.

“Well, you saw Dr. Knight go all through see-through, I guess that’s how.” Nelson said. “Her molecules speed up in the process.”

“Have you guys studied the Friedman model yet? How gravity is so strong that space is bent around itself, making the universe with all the galaxies inside of it like a sphere? How space is 3 dimensional and time is the 4th dimension?” I asked them.

“Yep. Covered that in Astronomy two weeks ago.” They nodded.

“Do you believe it?”

“Well, since they, the teachers, know what it’s actually like in the future, do you think that they would teach us something that’s incorrect?” Nelson raised her eyebrow at me.

“I’ve got a question for you.” Pat looked at me as he exhaled smoke. “That night you, Sally and Zack followed Peter into Alpha building on Halloween. How did you sense what was going on?”

“You’re like the fifth person who’s asked me that, and the answer’s still the same. No f**king idea.” I said annoyed.

“Well here’s one. Space and time are dynamic quantities, so like when a body moves, or a force acts, like a reverberation, it affects the way in which other bodies move or other forces act. Space and time not only the effect but are also the affected. You felt the change in the time line, like a reverberation.” Pat explained.

“Oh yeah. I think that’s what Dr. Knight was trying to point out to me. That goes with the ripple effect in the pond of time.” I nodded.

“Hey, I want you to promise me something.” Nelson suddenly grabbed my arm.

“Yeah? What?”

“When we’ve finished at this college, that you’ll take me to New York in the 1980’s.” she said.

“What? Why?” I asked her, nearly laughing.

“I’d love to be apart of that disco, punk, retro thing and live in a Fifth Avenue apartment. Didn’t you ever see the movie, ‘American Psycho’?” she looked at me.

“What, you wanna become the psycho and kill everybody?” Pat laughed at her.

“OK smart ass, where and when would you wanna live?” Nelson turned on him.

“The future. After World War 3 when the whole planet goes through its second Renaissance.” Pat stated.

“You know about World War 3? When does that happen?” I asked, shocked.

“You’ll learn about it in History in Senior year.” Pat stubbed out his cigarette.

“Is it in our life time?” I asked him, suddenly worried about my family… Dad, Jen, Uncle Ben and Aunt Gabby… even Mark.

“Chill out. You’ll find out later.” Pat wouldn’t say anymore than that. “Well I’m gonna go downstairs and watch the movie.”

He opened my door and closed it behind himself.

“Well, that’s a cheerful note to end the conversation on.” I grumbled to Nelson.

“F**k the world. Human kind has always been a disaster waiting to happen. Now, tell me about what’s new with you and Zack…” Nelson poked me in the ribs.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

“We suspect that you sensed the ripple in time when we changed the time line…”

26/ 02/ 01


Tonight when I had just finished my sanitizing duties, to my surprise, I found Dr. Knight waiting to talk to me.

She made both of us a cup of hot chocolate in the kitchen before motioning for us to sit at one of the tables in the empty cafeteria.

I sat and waited, almost cringing, waiting to hear what she had to say. I think I was worried that she would bring up my behavior over the past few weeks. I wasn’t far wrong, but what further surprised me, was how she wanted to discuss it.

“Your homework has picked up. I guess your study sessions with Maya and Brett are helping.” She smiled at me.

“Yes.” I said flatly, not wanting to go into it with her.

“It’s OK if you can learn better in a smaller group. That’s what we’ve tried to provide here at this college. But I just want you to know that if you ever need more help, you can always come to me. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, Elisha.” She said seriously. “My room is on the bottom floor of Beta building, I don’t know if you know that or not. Most evenings I’m free. If you or Zack would like to come and ask me any questions, I’m certainly not going to turn you away.”

“OK.” I said plainly, still feeling a little uncomfortable.

“I also need to know where you get confused, or need help. There’s no point you sitting in class, lost, while the rest of us go on without you. You’d be surprised to know that you’re not the only one who feels left behind sometimes. But I need to know where you get lost, before I lose you behind me, so it won’t be hard for you to catch up.”

I didn’t say anything and I just stared at my marshmallow melting in my drink.

“Even if you don’t want anyone to know if you’re having difficulty, come and knock on my door in the evening if you can’t do it in class. I’d like to help you as much as I can.” She continued, trying to catch my gaze

But there was something else weighing on my mind, which I thought I’d try asking her instead.

“What were you and Professor Hamilton talking about a few weeks ago when you were talking about me? About the night Peter was sprung for the drugs?” I blurted out.

“The night of Halloween?” she asked back.

I nodded.

“We were talking about your ability to sense what Peter, Brett and Sophie were going to do, and what may have happened. We suspect that you sensed the ripple in time when we changed the time line and prevented Sophie from using the drugs and ultimately overdosing. We also suspect that was how you sense the ghosts, when you sensed us moving through time. Are we correct?”

“I don’t know.” I shrugged and looked down again. I thought I might as well say it and say it now and get it over and done with. “I think you’ve all made a mistake about me.”

“In what way?”

“I don’t know… that maybe I can’t do all of these things that you think I can. I’m pathetic at Math’s, I’m hopeless at calculating space-time in Astronomy and me stumbling upon you as a ghost going through time was pure coincidence! Me seeing the Roman soldier was sheer luck! Me sensing what Peter, Brett and Sophie were up to was a dumb guess!”

Dr. Knight sat back and looked at me quietly for the longest moment before speaking to me again.

“When you saw back in time at Government House in Parramatta Park, when you were 12 years old, that wasn’t the first time, was it?”

“How do you know about that?” I asked her in surprise.

“A few years from now you tell me. You also tell me about the time you knew your mother would never recover from cancer, even before she was diagnosed. You also tell me about the strong feelings of deja vue you would receive when walking down the street and looking at a building you’ve never been to or seen before, or your way of just knowing about something you’ve never even heard before. Professor Myles has told me that you do struggle with the calculations in his class as well, but if he told you that space was green and not black, and which galaxies have black holes inside of them, that you would just nod as if you had already known that. You can see space time in effect Elisha, it doesn’t matter if you have difficulty working out the quantum mechanics in your head. We simply teach these principles because there are students here that want or need to understand the nuts and bolts of what they can do rather than just do.”

“Really?” I looked up at her.

“You simply know. You can see. You don’t need to pull it apart to see the grand picture. You don’t need to know what exact colors they used to paint the picture. And you have the ability to walk through the canvass with out cutting it first with a pair of scissors.” Dr. Knight stated.

“Can I ask your a question?” I asked her again. She smiled and nodded, taking a sip of her drink. “Is traveling through time, how we go all see-through, is that because our molecules are speeding up, and we can dissipate and rotate through the layers of time that way? Is time like this huge circle, with lots of other circles inside of it, like layers in an onion skin? And we move through the layers that way?”

Dr. Knight just looked at me.

“Did you get one of your ‘guesses’ from this?” she asked me.

“Yeah…” I slumped back into my chair, wondering if she must be thinking I’m talking rubbish.

“That is exactly right, Elisha.” She stated. “When did this idea come to you?”

“In Astronomy when we were talking about light speed and the Maxwell Water Ripple example.”

“And this theory gave you another sense of deja vu?” she asked me and I nodded. “Then Elisha, how can you have any doubt at all that you belong here?”

“Because I may be able to ‘see’ all of this crap, but I can’t explain how I see it. And when somebody tries to explain the mechanics of seeing it, I have no idea of what they’re talking about!” I said frustratedly.

“OK.” She sat forward. “I’m going to bring this up at our next teachers meeting. We will try to revise our teaching methods to explain the basics to you, and see how you go from there.”

“No, don’t do that! Everyone will know I’m an idiot!” I said, going bright red.

“As I said before Elisha, you’re not alone in this. I can think of at least four other students who are in the same boat as you. They can also ‘see’ and will become some of our most important Circulators. I think it’s more important that we cater our teaching to their learning techniques.”

“What do you mean, ‘your most important Circulators’?” I asked curiously.

“As we mentioned that night in the staff meeting room, there are students here at Hamilton’s who will be able to circulate through time, and there are others who will be able to calculate. Those who can see and calculate, work in a special place where they can monitor any changes in the timeline in not only just our planet but in the universe. Then there are those who are able to see and to circulate through time. Interestingly, not many of those who can Circulate can accurately use quantum mechanics with their seeing, which is much more than mere understanding. But in fact only a third of our community can actually manipulate time rather than just read it, which we call Circulators. All of the teachers here can manipulate time, only our counselor cannot, she can see through time.”

“So you have Circulators and Calculators?” I asked half jokingly.

“That is correct.” Dr. Knight stated. “Though we do call our organization of people the Circulate. In the Circulate, we all hold our members prized and esteemed. We are democratic community with elected council members.”

“What about the Roman soldier, and when you were going back in time to visit your family… you may have been traveling through points in time, but what about points on earth? How did you travel from 2000 AD Canada to 1700 AD England?”

Dr. Knight looked a bit hesitant to tell me at first, or was she trying to find the words to explain it?

“As you said before, when traveling through the layers of time our molecules and electrons speed up and dissipate. Now, on our own, we can travel freely through time. But using future technology that won’t be invented for another 100 years, that technology is able to catch our matter and transport it to another location. While that future technology can only move matter from one point to another, using our own ability we also change the time frame.” She told me.

“So is that like using wormholes or portals or whatever?” I asked her.

“No, because stable wormholes or portals have fixed locations or points. This is more like a fax machine that can send our dissipated matter to an unfixed location where it doesn’t need another fax machine to print us out again. Imagine yourself fishing from the ocean, but with technology so finely tuned that you know how to detect where the fish will be, and when the fish’s matter dissipates, you collect their electrons and molecules in a special net. Then you put that matter and molecules back into another point in the ocean, and the fish reform into fish again, just at a different time and place.” Dr. Knight used the analogy to explain to me.

I could almost see those fish going all see-through in my mind. And that would be me one day? A see-through fish being scooped up and put into another country and time? Wow… that thought is just too weird.

“But what if you just want to travel through time and not country?” I ask her.

“Then you travel through time.” She shrugged, taking another sip from her drink.

“But how will the machine know that you don’t want to change countries?” I asked her worriedly.

She let out this really loud laugh and looked back at me. “The Calculators operating this machine will know.”

“So they know what we’re going to do before we do?” I asked in surprise again.

“Not all the time, but they do have a 99% success rate. As I like to remind them, that another famous man once said, ‘the future is not yet written in stone’.” Dr. Knight smiled at me.

Then a thought struck me. “What about Sally? Did a Calculator see her leaving this college?”

“Perhaps.” She said elusively.

“So what’s going to happen to her?” I asked Dr. Knight. “What was she going to be? A Circulator or a Calculator?”

“Sally is going to be a Calculator. Just as Abdul will be, and then Sophie will be a Circulator, like yourself.”

“She will be?”

“Sally will one day decide she wants to learn more about this ability she has, and she does join the Circulate.” Dr. Knight said confidently, as if she was stating a simple fact. “So does Sophie, and so will Abdul.”

“So I guess you’ve seen this happen.” I watched her face to confirm this.

“Of course. Elisha, all of your teachers met you long before your father or even yourself ever heard of this college.”

“In the future?” I asked her.


“How far into the future are we talking about?”

“Now that I can’t tell you.”

“Why not?” I leaned forward, impatient to know.

“That one you’ll find out for yourself eventually. I can’t give away everything right now. All I wanted to do was to assure you. You’re one of us Elisha. You are special, and you are in the right place right now.”


Thursday, February 4, 2010

“What happened to you in your childhood to wind up here at this school?” Peter demanded.

28/ 01/ 01


Things are changing around the school. Even the people are changing. Everything’s changed.

From the lessons we’re learning to why we are learning them, how we perceive the teachers who are teaching the lessons to us, to even if we want to learn the lessons anymore.

Even Sally has changed. She seems quieter, more reserved, or is that more introverted? The morning after the meeting in the staff room Peter wanted another meeting with all of us to talk about whether we completely believe what they told us. So we all convened in his room again, Sally almost unwillingly.

“So, what do you think? Are they being straight with us or what?” Peter looked at Zack, Nelson, Sally and I.

“It makes sense with what they said to what we’ve seen.” Zack shrugged.

“I believe it.” Nelson stated. “Coz last night reminded me of something that happened when I was a kid.”

“You still are a kid.” I pointed out.

“When I was younger you dick.” Nelson rolled her eyes at me. “When I was like 8 or something, I went to the bank with my Mom as she was running errands. I saw a cowboy walk into a crowded bank, pull a rifle on a bank teller, shoot him, then run out of the bank again with a bag full of the goods. Then I realized that I was the only one who just saw this.”

“Really? Wow.” I said in surprise.

“Yeah, the same s**t happened to me when I was younger.” Peter said next. “I was sent to my first boarding school when I was 12. It was some Church of England boys school that was once a monastery that got trashed by Henry the 8th. We had to go to services every Sunday morning. And I saw a monk dangling by his neck at the end of a rope from the church rafters. It didn’t take long to realize I was the only kid who saw it.”

“Yeah? Well my story is different.” Zack told all of us. “I saw a reflection in the window of my Grandma’s upstairs spare bedroom of this little girl in old clothes playing dolls. And I saw her pretty regularly, almost the same time of the day, in the afternoon when the sun was setting. You know how when it’s darker outside than it is on the inside, and the window becomes almost a mirror? Only I didn’t see my own reflection, I saw the little girl’s.”

“That’s almost what happened to me!” I nearly jumped up and down excitedly, remembering. “I was 12 and my Yr. 6 class did a school excursion to old Government House in Parramatta Park. Before we did the tour inside the building, when I looked inside one of the windows, I saw a formal dinner party going on with everyone wearing olden day clothes! I could even hear the laughter. Then when we went inside, there was nothing there!”

Then we all looked at Sally for her turn. But she didn’t seem to want to join in with our soul sharing revelations. She seemed really uncomfortable.

“Well?” Peter asked her.

“Well what?”

“What happened to you in your childhood to wind up here at this school?” Peter demanded.

“Nothing, OK? Nothing happened. I shouldn’t even be here!” she said angrily, jumped up from his bed, then flounced out of his door for a second (and I was later to find out for a last) time.

Later on that afternoon after arvo tea I knocked on her door to see if she wanted to talk about what was bothering her. But she wasn’t in her room. Then at dinner she didn’t come to the cafeteria either. I was getting really worried about her.

Finally I found her in her room again, but she was packing up all of her stuff.

“What are you doing?” I asked her in shock.

“What does it look like I’m doing? For a school for the gifted, people ask a lot of stupid questions around here.” She glared at me and continued with what she was doing.

“Sally please don’t go. Don’t you even want to talk about this?” I asked her.

“I’ve just spent two hours in Hamilton’s office talking about this. I want to go home.” She said coldly.

“What did he have to say about you going?” I asked her.

“He tried to talk me out of it. But I think he wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to go blabbering about all this to the media. He kept telling me that this was a gift. What a laugh!”

“Why? Aren’t you exhilarated, or even curious, to learn what this thing we’ve learned we can do, do?” I sat on her bed.

“No. I came here because I thought that this school was a place where top grade students came to get into the best colleges around the world. I didn’t come here to join in a ‘Dr. Who’ episode.”

“Chickening out I see.” Nelson suddenly came to stand in her doorway. She’d just come back from the Cafeteria too. “Why aren’t I surprised?”

“Nelson! Not now!” I growled at her, but Sally had had enough. She walked up, shoved Nelson backwards out of the way, then slammed her bedroom door shut in her face.

Then this morning I saw Sally off on the mini-bus to be driven to the local airport just outside of Brownsville. As the driver was loading Sally’s suitcases in the back, I made Sally promise me something. I made her promise that she would at least email me occasionally so I would know she’s all right.

“Yeah, sure, I’ll email you.” She gave me a hug, then became tearful. “Look Elisha, I loved meeting you. But this just isn’t my thing. I was never a good ‘Ghostbuster’ and I certainly don’t think being a ‘Timelord’ is my thing either. See ya, OK?”

Then she got on the minibus. But the bus didn’t pull away immediately, and I soon saw why. Both Sophie and Abdul were leaving too. They both came down in tow with their luggage and friends to farewell them.

Brett was helping Sophie carry her suitcases and I tried not to obviously watch them say their farewells, as Jordon and Numu saw off Abdul. Wow, from our 21 students, we were going down to 18 of us left. I wonder how many others are thinking of leaving now?

Then the minibus started up its engine, and away it went, with Sally inside.

I waved as it drove around the oval and up the driveway to the main gate. Then it was gone, hidden by snow covered pine trees. I sighed and turned, about to go back inside Beta building.

Brett charged in front of me and pushed in first.

“What are you looking at?” he glared at me when I opened my mouth to tell him off.

As I went back to my room, I walked past Nelson’s room as usual, and I heard two voices coming from inside. One of them had an Irish accent. Well, I guess she and Pat are on speaking terms again.

My room felt too lonely, and classes had been suspended for the past 3 days, so I wasn’t sure what to do. So I went looking for Zack to hang with. I knocked on his door, but he wasn’t in. I knocked on Peter’s door, but he wasn’t in either. Maybe they were in the library, which I didn’t want to go to right now. So I went back to my room and played some music.

Oh yeah, I guess I didn’t tell you. Classes had been suspended for today, yesterday and the day before so the teachers and Nell could have one on one appointments with us students to make sure that we could handle what they told us. To make sure we wouldn’t go schizo or into shock or whatever. Like Sally, Sophie and Abdul did. Like their refusal to accept such things. Like their determination not to be involved in this.

I miss Sally.


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