“I’m sure,” said Ivy, her voice firm. “I have to see for myself that everything turns out better this time.” She stepped toward the strange bluish-white flames, which blazed and crackled with energy.
“It may not be better to know what will happen,” said Adao.
“I know. Let’s do this,” said Ivy. She took a breath, then stepped into into the flames. Adao followed, and was quickly overcome by the sickening sensation of a sharp roller coaster drop. The air around him was squeezing him like a boa constrictor. He flailed his arms in the nothingness, fighting…then suddenly, all was still. He and Ivy stood on a rooftop thirty years in the future, the electric flames of the time machine dying behind them.
“It looks the same.” said Ivy, staring out at the barely recognizable city. “No snow. Hardly any water.”
Adao shrugged. “Maybe that’s just the effect of global warming.”
“We may as well be in the Sahara desert. Or worse, Texas.” Her voice was full of disappointment. “Oh well…let’s go track us down. Hopefully future me didn’t turn into some crazy cat lady.” Their cell phones turned out to be useless in this future (“New communications protocols,” Adao explained), so they ducked into what appeared to be a robotics shop to ask directions.
“Of course I can direct you to the house of the great Adao Rocha Morinho,” said the bot behind the counter in a smooth, human-like voice. “He and his lovely wife were the inventors of the modern A.I. companions and assistants which you see for sale in this very shop.”
“I’m famous!” Adao told Ivy as they left the store.
Ivy rolled her eyes. “Fame isn’t everything.”
“Jealous much?” he grinned.
“I’m never jealous,” said Ivy. However, an hour later, when they arrived at future Adao’s house, she changed her mind. “Okay, maybe I’m a little bit jealous.” Future Adao had a beautiful, amazing house. He also had two perfect children, named Harry and Holly, who shook their hands and made polite conversation. (“Maybe they’re robots, too,” Ivy whispered to Adao when the children were out of earshot).
But most impressive of all was Future Adao himself. He didn’t appear to be in the least bit insane this time. In fact, he had become fit and good-looking, and confidently strode around, showing off his home and his wife.
“Melanie!” Adao was speechless. Sure enough, Future Adao had married Melanie. His eyes shining with pride, he told the story of how the two had fallen in love, gotten married, and created life — both biological and artificial.
“Any new inventions in the works?” asked Adao.
“I’ll take you there myself,” said Future Adao. “Just turns out that those crazy kids are throwing a huge party tonight, which Melanie and I were planning to attend. And trust me…you do not want to miss the entertainment!”
Filled with excited anticipation, Adao and Ivy agreed to join them.