Residents of Last Hope shielded their eyes as they watched fragments of the moon streak across the sky. Muffled chatter filled the night air. Justin listened and watched with everyone else who had made it to the bunker in time–billions did not. He hoped that other countries built underground bunkers like Last Hope. The survivors truly are the last bastion of humanity. How long it would last was the unspoken worry that filled most minds. Last Hope had been operational for three months, but residents had sixty minutes of freedom above ground in the evening only recently.
As the night sky glowed, he looked at the trees that surrounded the facility. Barren limbs in the middle of summer. Signs of life were also eerily missing in an area that should have been teeming with birds and deer. He hunted in those woods every year for the past thirty years. Nothing was the way it should have been. Regardless of their host’s assurances, Justin knew they were not safe. No one was safe anymore.
Sirens blared, signaling their nightly outing was over. Justin returned to his room on level thirty-seven near the engineering lab. A single room–a perk that came with the job. Justin filled every nook and cranny before their arrival with his private work. One last trip to the engineering lab that night and his time manipulator would be complete.
“A quick trip, a well-placed explosive, and I can save everyone.”
Justin slid an iron chest out of a secret compartment in his wall and opened it. He looked at the explosives and redesigned pocket watch. Years of watching Twilight Zone and Outer Limits proved valuable. He picked up the watch and smiled. “Not long now.”
“You know, Justin, –”
Justin jumped off the bed and spun around. “HOW –”
“The problem with time travel is that you never know what future you will create.” Justin raised his weapon and pointed it at his other self and pulled the trigger.
Passersby heard the weapon fire and pounded on Justin’s door. Mr. Franklin kicked the door in and Julia rushed to his side. “What happened, Justin? Who did this?”
Justin’s eyelids fluttered as he gasped for air. “I did,” he whispered.
As he took his last breath, Justin entered the engineering lab at the University of Los Angeles and started his research on lunar mining techniques.