This is the first part of a five part science fiction story I have been working on in my last module at university. It would be the beginning of a science fiction novel.
Antonius put on his dark green jacket. Wearing camouflage trousers and big black boots, that felt tight but comfortable over his muscular body, he looked ready to go to battle. And in a way he was. But it would not be here and now. It would be somewhere else entirely. Here, in the silver laboratory, he looked out of place.
‘They are coming!’ Helios shouted behind him.
Antonius turned around and looked with his cobalt blue eyes at his boyfriend. Helios pressed his right hand against the plasma screen and locked the steel door with his fingerprint key. Even if they got past the guards, it would take them a while to break through this door. Then Helios turned around and smiled at him. Antonius wanted to soak up every detail of him. Here in the present. He did not want to think about anything else. He was still here. He could only care for this moment.
There he stood in front of him. His light brown skin, his curly brown hair, those cute little locks, and his kind hazel eyes. Helios just stood there, out of breath, wearing a white coat, exactly like when they first met at university, when they had been two young naive students so many years ago.
As they looked at each other, their eyes filled with love and regret, time appeared to stand still. Maybe technology was not the only force capable of redirecting the laws of time and space. Maybe love could do that too.
‘Are you ready?’ Helios asked Antonius.
Nervously, Antonius moved his hands through his short honey blond hair and realised there was a film of sweat on his forehead. He wanted this more than anything, to break through the future and the past. But he also did not want to leave Helios. Not like this. Not now. He wanted to be with him forever. But as a time-travel scientist he knew that this thought was impossible. Nothing lasts forever.
‘I guess I just have to be.’ Antonius said and pulled Helios closer.
He kissed him. He kissed him like the first time and like all the times in between. When they moved into their first apartment together and they were so happy in love. He kissed him like when they got back together after they had separated. He kissed him like the time when they swam in the crystal-clear waters of the Atlantic and he kissed him like the time they had made the greatest discovery in science not knowing what it would all mean.
Their embrace lasted just a few seconds but it was filled with a billion moments of love. Helios and Antonius did not want to let go of each other but they did. Time was running out.
‘There is so much more I want to say. So much more I want to do.’ Helios said.
‘There will be time when I am back.’ Antonius said and a tear fell down his cheek.
They did not say it. They believed in science and they knew that this must work. Antonius embraced Helios and breathed him in one last time. He smelled like honey, like the warm summer sun. He would take that memory with him. As if defying all gravity of planet earth, he pulled away from Helios and said, ‘We have to start.’
‘We have to.’ Helios responded, his voice shaking.
Antonius turned around, put on his backpack and walked onto the circular platinum platform of the silver laboratory. He positioned himself in the very middle. He could hear the humming technology beneath the platform, all the science, all the cables connected to each other, all the work, Helios, Professor Mariella Marewood and Antonius had put into it.
Helios walked over to a dark silver cube, the size of a chair, next to the platform. Antonius looked over to him and watched him begin. He loved watching him work. This was when Helios was most like himself. When it was just him and science. This was the young scientist Antonius had fallen in love with.
With one wave of Helios’s hand, the cube began to hum and blue hologram images appeared out of nowhere. Silver signs and numbers were reflected in Helios’s eyes. It looked like a storm of science but Antonius knew Helios was its master.
With his hands Helios moved every number, every sign, every equation into the right position. Antonius admired him for his calm nerves. He could feel his hands shaking but when he looked at Helios, he could see he was in control. His boyfriend had his life in his hands and the fate of this world. In this moment, Helios was like a god. Antonius would not want it any other way. He breathed in and out and only looked at him. The trust in him grew from his mind through his body and his hands stopped shaking.
Antonius knew that Helios would not make a single mistake. Helios had left all his doubts, his fear of intervening in nature, behind him. He would make all the right choices. Helios had practised thousands of times and he did not make mistakes when it came to science. Every symbol would be in the spot where it belonged in front of him. And Antonius could see how every number was moved by Helios with such ease into the right position. He was not worried anymore. He wished he could watch him like that forever, seeing him in his element. He would miss it so much.
Helios’s fingers touched upon the last two signs to set time and place into the absolute correct order. This machine could circumnavigate all laws of physics. Everything was possible. His fingers touched upon divinity. Now the equation was fully formed and hovered in the air, both men looked at it in awe. All the numbers, signs and equations had created a shape. It was a lying eight, the infinity symbol glowing blue and silver.
Suddenly, they heard screams. For one moment, Antonius looked over at the closed door but then straight back at Helios. He would not want to look at anyone else but him. No matter the danger out there. Helios looked at the door for a moment too but then his hazel eyes found Antonius again. They were like magnets. They would focus on each other as long as time would allow it.
Then someone was banging at the door. But it did not matter. The finished calculations of time and space were precise. It was perfect. It was science.
‘Antonius! The beelator!’ Helios reminded him.
Antonius took a little white instrument out of his breast pocket. It looked like a remote. He raised it over his head and pressed a dark blue button. Nothing was visible to the human eye, but in this second, a protective layer of electromagnetic bacteria rained down on Antonius. It would protect him against any foreign bacteria or viruses he might encounter in the past. And none of the bacteria or viruses he might carry with him would be able to leave his body and spread in another time.
Someone banged at the door again, now with more force. But the two scientists just looked at each other, the perfect equation floating in front of them, waiting, ready to be released.
But Antonius was not ready. He would never be. He looked at Helios one last time, tears in his eyes. Helios looked at him with a smile. This was it.
‘There are only going to be 150 million years between us. It will be fine.’ Antonius said.
Helios laughed, tears running down his cheeks. For the first time he could not hold them back in front of Antonius.
‘You know what you have to do?’ Helios asked.
‘Only save the world as we know it.’ Antonius answered and grinned at Helios with his disarming smile.
‘And you have to come back to me.’
‘I will come back to you.’ Antonius said and wanted to kiss Helios again.
‘I will never forgive you if you don’t.’ Helios said and grinned.
Antonius laughed, ‘Don’t forget, never is a word that does not exist among theoretical time travel scientists. Never is a concept created by human culture not by nature. Anything is possible within nature. Never is obsolete.’
And Helios could not resist laughing as well. Antonius was happy. He always wanted to make Helios laugh, no matter what. Saying goodbye laughing was better than saying goodbye crying. And then one more time, it was just the two of them in love as if only the two of them existed throughout time and space.
‘You have to let me go now.’ Antonius said with the last strength that was left to him. He didn’t think it would be that hard.
‘Until I see you again.’ Helios said.
And with the tip of his finger, he touched the centre of the infinity symbol, where the two oval shapes met, released the information into the cube and let go of Antonius.
Remembering Helios standing in front of him, Antonius closed his eyes. The cube began to hum, filling every inch of the room with the perfect equation they had created. Antonius could sense with every breath, with every cell of his body, with every atom of his being that Helios had done it right. He felt a warm embrace of white light all around him and his body slipped through time and space, transporting him millions of years into the past, into another time, another world.