2 2. Get a GPS for Time Machine
"So do you accept?"
"Huh?" I was still in daze when he asked me again.
"Do you want to go to past?"
I just couldn't think of what to say. I had just lost the most precious people to me and now I was being offered a chance to prevent what happened.
"You can't go less than hundred years in past neither more than two thousand years. So think carefully"
"You had to pour ice cold water on my just rekindled hopes didn't you? And Why can't I just go 3 days back and prevent the attack ?"
I was getting hysterical just thinking about what what could be.
"The machine is not capable of such short distance time travel and If you go into past after you have been born the world's laws will consider you as doppelganger. Hence creating a desire to murder each other in both the past Rajas and present you as soon as you learn of the existence of each other. It is unknown what kind of catastrophe you might invite on yourself. So decide on a century you wish to go to"
"I want to witness the birth of a religion. Any Religion."
Finally I clenched my teeth and said. If I can't get back my Dad and Girl at least I can try to understand what makes these terrorists so fanatic.
"According to my calculations you can witness the birth of Islam which happened in 7th century A.D. Come to me once you are ready. Get some gold as normal currency would be of no use. Also carry some rations and water. Who knows how long your journey might be before you see water and food."
Rajas was in complicated mood. Beck the Idiot had promised to build Time Machine 8 years ago. And now he had delivered. Things had changed way too much between them and so had world because of Beck's inventions.
Rajas reached home. Not too big not too small that's how Sarvesh wanted his home to be. And so they bought a flat with just three rooms. As he looked at decorations all the past memories came flooding. He could see the years pass by in photos. He always wondered why he didn't have a mom but Sarvesh always dodged the question. Now it didn't matter.
Rajas decided to start packing from his dad's room. All the diaries and notes were stacked neatly besides cupboard. As he went through each of them he found out that two of thee diaries actually described the quest line of Archer's Hidden class. He laughed derisively. He who had never played Myths Galore, was still in touch with game happenings through his friends and Dad. All of his friends had a common opinion, Archers class was too hard and hence was trashiest class. Every time he heard them he felt bad as it was a class developed by his dad but soon he grew numb to such gossip. And now he had the Holy Bible which would let archers ascend the heavens.
He was undecided whether he should throw it or keep it. Seeing as everything other was from before the complete development he decided only the two diaries are worth keeping.
Next he went to his own room. All the souvenirs from his dates with Dad as well as Shirin filled his vision. Thousands of memories were attached to each one. The Bow and arrow his dad had brought him. He realised even though he had a great aim, Cold weapons like Bow and arrow were obsolete in today's age. So he switched to laser rifles. He remembered he had one which Shirin had helped him smuggle from the armoury. He rummaged his cupboard and finally found it along with an old frame dad had gifted him.
There was a quote in it.
"Past is nice place to Visit but certainly not a good place to Stay"
Bitter smile formed on his lips. How ironic as he was going to past to stay.
Soon Rajas had packed up everything he thought he might need. He called a real estate agency putting the flat on sale and made his way towards Supermarket to gather necessities.
In around two days all the preparations were done and Rajas was ready to travel back in time. When he reached the lab, he dumped all the things he couldn't bear to part with but also couldn't take to past with him in one of the store rooms. If Beck had problem he could do whatever he wanted with them after Rajas was in 7th century.
"Ready to travel buddy?"
"As ready I could ever be"
I replied half heartedly.
"Cheer up a bit. You will be the first man to Time travel you know."
Even though I could understand his enthusiasm I couldn't find it in myself to feel happy about anything now. Still I mustered up some enthusiasm for my friends sake.
"Congratulations you are the first to build Time Machine, Mr. Idiot."
"That's more like it. Remember our bet. You have to speak truth to the first person you meet for whole day."
" Are you out of your mind? I will be executed on spot"
"Who knows what might happen but you have been calling me Idiot for past 8 years. You owe me that bet."
"Fine. I'll see."
Next he led me to choose various gizmos like universal translator, Underwater breathing mask, and strangely youth pill.
Youth pill made you de-age 5-7 years. It was also the reason for longer life spans now.
After I packed everything in my bag, he gave me a suit which was silky smooth and translucent but fit me tight as hell. It would his explanation was it would transport me in one piece to the past. That sent chills down my back.
He had me stand in the center of a large cylindrical tube.
"Keep your limbs close to your body"
"Ready to zap out of existence ?"
Rajas rolled his eyes and gave him a thumbs up.
Soon the Cyan blue light light filled the tube and Rajas body could be seen flickering. He was being transported to past molecule by molecule. The last words he heard were "Remember our bet."
Beck checked the watch. Time was 15:17 of 21st October 2279.
Rajas felt like he was grinded in a Mixer and then he had the worst hangover of his life. And now he was drowning.
_Wait, I am drowning?_
Rajas panicked and started looking around. He was somehow underwater, naked. His backpack was intact. He wore the underwater mask right away and started to make his way to surface of water. Soon his head broke through the surface of water and what greeted him was bluish green water in all directions.
_Where the hell am I?_
Mental note; Ask Beck to add a GPS to his Time Machine.
Far away he could see a massive familiar monument. It looked eerily similar to the 'Land that was lost' from afar.
He had his hopes rekindled. He swam towards the land he could see expending every bit of energy in his body.
The Landmark became clearer. It really was the monument 'Land that was Lost'.
He increased his speed and swam as fast as he could. But soon he was out of stamina. Even though Rajas was fit for his age, he was not on the level of professional atheletes. If not for underwater breathing mask, maybe his corpse would be floating in sea by now.
Soon he was near the shore. He searched for secluded are and came out of water. He looked for a big enough hiding place and went there quickly.
And then he started to take some clothes out from his bag. Soon he realised that even though the backpack was the same he had brought but the contents were different. For one thing all the gold he had brought was replaced with credit coins. Coins which were no longer in use since last 3 years. There was a note tucked in the coin bag.
"Welcome to the Past Rajas. Save all the people you want to save. But don't become part of their lives before 21st October 2279.
And stay away from your past self at any cost.
Your Idiot Friend - Beck
P. S. Don't forget our bet"
Tear drops fell like rain on the paper. He was so moved by that idiot. Quickly wiping away his tears he took inventory of his new backpack. Except for gold being changed for Credit Coins (CC), everything he packed was there. Few extra additions like a plasma blaster which was also called the pistol of new age and the smart watch of older version were found in bag.
Smart watches were very important in this era as they replaced all the older methods of proving identity. The Smart watch already had a fake identity installed in it. After the fateful date mentioned on note he can go and get himself a new watch that would be based on his original identity.
As he was rummaging through his bag he heard the sound of people talking. After peeking from between rocks he realised they were walking towards him. He became still as a statue while he observed them. It was a middle aged couple with their teenaged daughter who were taking an evening walk.
As they walked nearer he could recognize their faces. His eyes were focused on the teen besides them. Pony tailed hair and drooping eyelids which suggested nothing could hold her interest; These were the traits used to describe Shirin.
_She is alive. I really travelled to past_
Rajas was elated but he couldn't enter her life just yet. She didn't even know his past self yet let alone him. Who knows what might happen if he interfered before time.
He sneaked away from the people as he made his way towards the City. Now that he knew he was really in the past all he needed to know was exactly how far in the past. There was a Giant Digital Clock on the bus stop just near the entrance of monument. He soon reached there. The clock showed the time as 18:14 and date was 21st October 2272. He was so elated he almost cheered like madman. And then he saw a person he should really have avoided at the bus stop.
Killing intent surged in him as he saw that boy. He was so consumed by it that he almost stepped forward to strangle him. Fortunately he was able to restrain himself as he managed to mix in crowd and sneak away avoiding the others attention.
Now that he was able to confirm he was in past and Becky's warning was to be taken with utmost seriousness, he was in need of a residence.
Poringsa was a small but very beautiful city. And it was much more expensive than any other larger cities. Large companies like Fantasy Builder Inc had developed smaller villages and most of the people living there were elite employees of the company who could afford the expensive lifestyle of such cities.
The total Population of Poringsa was about 20000. So probability of Rajas running into his acquaintances in this city was very high. Combined with the factor he couldn't afford the lifestyle here, Rajas had decided to move to the larger city in north east of Poringsa, Gilama.
Before he left he wanted to see his Father for one last time. His feet started moving down the familiar route of Myths Galore Branch office in the Southern part of the city. Within 15 minutes he was already near the entrance of the office. But then he realised that with his current identity he had no right to enter the office. So he could just wait near the gate, for office hours to end and see his father come out from entrance.
Sarvesh was swamped with work. After successful beta testing of one year, Myths Galore was to open officially on 31st October 2272. But only his teams had received so many complaints from players. All the complainants had same complaint; Archers class was too hard to play. If suitable modifications were not made soon it would have earned the epithet of Trashiest Class of Myths Galore.
In the conference room with Sarvesh were his other team members as well as the Group leader responsible to oversee all teams works.
"What measures can be taken to reduce difficulty of archer class before launch?"
Group leader asked in his imposing tone.
"Sir we can let players learn the passive <Lockon> at level 3"
"<Lockon> extraordinary skill. If we are making it common then we better nerf it"
" Instead of <Lockon> we could increase the drop rate of skill book <Aim>. That way the hidden quests which require <Lockon> won't be affected."
Even though it pained Sarvesh to make such compromise, he voiced out a suggestion which at least won't make the class too easy to play. As an Archer in reality, he had used reality's standards to make the archer class. He had a deep understanding of how OP a mastered Archer class could be even in the beginning. So he was against making anymore concessions. But player statistics showed that no Archer was as successful as he was claiming except a few who were Professionals in archery. A game company earns most of it's profits not from Professionals but from the casual players. So demands of casual players had to be heeded and concessions made accordingly.
Fantasy Builder Inc had already announced that the game would be completely run by AI after official launch and no significant changes could be made afterwards. So all the beta players were implored to submit their experiences 1 month before launch so that the Myths Galore is perfect for launch.
" Lastly the problem of arrows. In all the previous games released by our company, arrows were always made unlimited resource. Can someone explain to me why they are so rare in this game?"
Of course this was the Group leader again.
" Sir in accordance with our team leader's designs we have made various arrow types which can be forged. Each arrow type is different due to their attributes and materials used while forging. Hence if arrow forging is made common in early game, Archers can break the balance of the game in later phases."
"Then why are arrows not sold by NPC's?"
"It is to encourage players to use arrows sparingly and with caution instead of just spamming them without care. Also other skills of archers like traps and pets which are available to them at lvl 1 and lvl 10 respectively are greatly helpful in lowering the consumption of arrows. Also if used wisely Arrows are more than sufficient to last till players can go out of Novice Villages."
Sarvesh answered tactfully. He knew that most of the players never complete the tutorials and hence they are lacking in knowledge and skills needed to master the class. Most of the people who complained were part of this group. He could ignore the issue before but not now when the higher ups had taken note of this issue.
" If you say so Team Leader. So in conclusion of this meeting we are going to increase Drop rates of the skill books for <Aim>, and provide tutorials and guidebook on how to master the Archer class."
With this the meeting concluded. Now Sarvesh was free to go.
Outside the gate, the figure Rajas was eagerly awaiting for entered his vision. Feeling someone looking at him intensely, Sarvesh lifted his head. The moment they made eye contact, Sarvesh felt a jolt pass through his body. He almost called out 'Rajas' but the unknown person was gone in a blink of an eye.
Shaking his head, thinking it was just hallucination from overworking, he got into the bus which would take him home.
On the other side of road Rajas wiped the tears of joy as he bought a ticket to Gilama.