Time is a web

What came before: Capt. Poppy Spector

After weeks recuperating from her near-fatal shipwreck, Poppy was finding life in an agrarian settlement a welcome change from the rigid routine of space travel. She was healing in body, mind, and spirit.

Once she was feeling stronger, Poppy joined the ovine herders. It was the shearing season and she was learning how to trim wool from the rams and ewes. Some of the younger settlers promised to teach her how to spin and weave the yarn.

Poppy still couldn’t shake her feeling of deja vu, especially when she was near Arun. He treated her with respect and deference as fitting a ship’s captain, but there was an undertone of something more, something she couldn’t quite unravel.

As welcoming as Arun had been, Rowan made no effort to hide her disdain. She found fault in every new task Poppy attempted, and her unpleasantness extended to Arun. Poppy saw Rowan and Arun in heated discussions several times, only to fall into an uncomfortable silence if she happened upon them.

Their feud came to a head one evening after Poppy and the herders finished shearing and a gathering brought everyone out to celebrate. Their argument was loud enough for the entire settlement to hear.

“What’s got Rowan so tetchy today?” said Silas, the lead shearer, asked putting away his hand clippers and combs

“Our newcomer has her vexed,” said Constance, head shepherd, watching the fireworks with glee.

“Why?” Silas asked. “ She seems harmless enough, and Rowan’s never been upset before when someone shipwrecks here.”

“You haven’t heard?” Constance reveled in passing along a tidbit of gossip.

Silas shrugged.

“Our guest is none other than Captain Persephone ‘Poppy’ Spector.” Constance lowered her voice in a conspiratorial tone.

“The Capt. Spector? Arun’s Capt. Spector?” Silas spoke a little too loudly.

“Yep, in the flesh.”

“No wonder Rowan is perturbed, she’s got serious competition.”

“The way I see it, Rowan lost the moment Capt. Spector’s ship splashed down in Bleak Lake.”

The final stand-off between Rowan and Arn ended with Rowan stabbing Arun in the chest with her finger, pushing him back with each thrust.

“If you don’t tell her now,” Rowan threatened, pointing toward Poppy. “I will!.”

Before storming away, Rowan turned to look at Poppy with an expression so dark that it made Poppy take a step back.

Stunned by Rowan’s vehemence, Poppy tried to escape to the privacy of her cabin, only to have Arun follow close behind her.

“We really need to talk, Captain,” Arun said through the door Poppy had slammed. “Please, Poppy.

There was something in his voice that made her open the door, letting him inside.

“What dire thing are you supposed to be telling me?” Poppy said. “….

“It’s elementary quantum physics,” Arun began. “Time isn’t linear, time isn’t cyclical. Time is a web. At any given juncture in time, separate, distinct realities fan out like the radial threads of a spider web, each line connected to a different physical existence.”

“I know all this,” Poppy said. “It doesn’t explain anything.”

Arun took a deep breath.

“At every critical moment – when each of your crew met death for instance – each decision they made, each one you made, sent all of you through space into one of dozens, hundreds, of possible outcomes, until you finally made your way here… again.”

After weeks recuperating from her near-fatal shipwreck, Poppy was finding life in an agrarian settlement a welcome change from the rigid routine of space travel. She was healing in body, mind, and spirit.

Once she was feeling stronger, Poppy joined the ovine herders. It was the shearing season and she was learning how to trim wool from the rams and ewes. Some of the younger settlers promised to teach her how to spin and weave the yarn.

Poppy still couldn’t shake her feeling of deja vu, especially when she was near Arun. He treated her with respect and deference as fitting a ship’s captain, but there was an undertone of something more, something she couldn’t quite unravel.

As welcoming as Arun had been, Rowan made no effort to hide her disdain. She found fault in every new task Poppy attempted, and her unpleasantness extended to Arun. Poppy saw Rowan and Arun in heated discussions several times, only to fall into an uncomfortable silence if she happened upon them.

Their feud came to a head one evening after Poppy and the herders finished shearing and a gathering brought everyone out to celebrate. Their argument was loud enough for the entire settlement to hear.

“What’s got Rowan so tetchy today?” said Silas, the lead shearer, asked putting away his hand clippers and combs

“Our newcomer has her vexed,” said Constance, head shepherd, watching the fireworks with glee.

“Why?” Silas asked. “ She seems harmless enough, and Rowan’s never been upset before when someone shipwrecks here.”

“You haven’t heard?” Constance reveled in passing along a tidbit of gossip.

Silas shrugged.

“Our guest is none other than Captain Persephone ‘Poppy’ Spector.” Constance lowered her voice in a conspiratorial tone.

“The Capt. Spector? Arun’s Capt. Spector?” Silas spoke a little too loudly.

“Yep, in the flesh.”

“No wonder Rowan is perturbed, she’s got serious competition.”

“The way I see it, Rowan lost the moment Capt. Spector’s ship splashed down in Bleak Lake.”

The final stand-off between Rowan and Arn ended with Rowan stabbing Arun in the chest with her finger, pushing him back with each thrust.

“If you don’t tell her now,” Rowan threatened, pointing toward Poppy. “I will!.”

Before storming away, Rowan turned to look at Poppy with an expression so dark that it made Poppy take a step back.

Stunned by Rowan’s vehemence, Poppy tried to escape to the privacy of her cabin, only to have Arun follow close behind her.

“We really need to talk, Captain,” Arun said through the door Poppy had slammed. “Please, Poppy.

There was something in his voice that made her open the door, letting him inside.

“What dire thing are you supposed to be telling me?” Poppy said. “….

“It’s elementary quantum physics,” Arun began. “Time isn’t linear, time isn’t cyclical. Time is a web. At any given juncture in time, separate, distinct realities fan out like the radial threads of a spider web, each line connected to a different physical existence.”

“I know all this,” Poppy said. “It doesn’t explain anything.”

Arun took a deep breath.

“At every critical moment – when each of your crew met death for instance – each decision they made, each one you made, sent all of you through space into one of dozens, hundreds, of possible outcomes, until you finally made your way here… again.”

Inspiration Monday icon
Inspiration: Time Web
twowordtuesday
Tetchy and/or Ornery

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I believe all good fiction includes an element of truth, and all good photography includes an element of fantasy. In this journal I hope to give voice to the stories swirling around in my head, and to capture the images I see through my camera’s lens.

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