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Professor When: Chapter 4

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Interspatial Station

Earth, Quadrant 8

June 9, 3020 A.D.


Take my word for it, this place is creepy: all the walls are transparent. As we limp towards the med-ward everyone can see us and we can see them. A couple of waves and sympathetic looks, come my way and even some empathetic winces on my behalf.  I look awful and everybody knows it because this is like living in a glorified fish-bowl.  This peeping-tom paradise was created by the first Professors. Frowning, I remember that they weren’t originally called that but like most things, names are so easily lost to time. Somethings did survive them though, like their obsessive desire for transparency. They didn’t believe in secrets, lying, or even omission of the truth.

” We should really consider redecorating. At least, opaque doors on the bathroom stalls. Have pity on me I’m the only female here and every time I want to do some number counting I have to enter a different dimension which….”

Sighing he shifts my weight to better accommodate me.

” You know that will never happen.”

” I’ve always speculated that those Professors were a bit mental .”

” I know you’re ridiculously hard to kill but one of these days your mouth is going to encourage the wrong person to give it a very good try.”

Shrugging is a mistake I realize as astounding pain lances through me. I’ve only ever used the Time Void to remove painful energy imbalances. Curing physical wounds take longer and put me at a greater risk of an existential erasure; the one time I attempted it I lost my memories of the previous five months. Needing something to distract me from the pain I decide to reopen a conversation that we probably should have left forgotten.

We first started it 200 years ago after I’d come back from a mission dealing with two rogue time-slips in the Gorgola Complex. That time was different though the time-slips weren’t human. I don’t remember what they were though as the injuries I ‘d sustained from that mission were what led me to try physically healing myself in the time-void.  I’d materialized in the Interspatial Station as a pile of shredded skin and exposed bone. Apparently I gave Aruway such a fright that he lost his lunch right beside me. After four days I woke and except for my memory loss I was completely fine.

But that got me starting to think about the impossible.

“What if there were no more professors?”

Furrows in his brows but he still forces a smile.

” Then I’d finally get some peace and quiet.”

” You’d be dead.”

” It’d be a shame if that’d be what it a take.”

” You’re not prepared to let me go.”

“We have a contract.”

” And a wonderful begrudging friendship.”

The first professors disappeared after the second generation came into being. The origins of my kind are unknown, quite literally I woke up one day and was a professor: Professor When.  If I hadn’t suddenly become a professor, the first in almost 50 years,  I would have been executed 3 hours later for my perceived dimensional and interspatial crimes. Dark thoughts always sneak up on you, don’t they?

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