Time Travel Genie

This is one of those days where I don’t want to write a thing. But I’m treating it like exercise. Sometimes you don’t want to do that last rep, but you feel better for it in the end. Just 100 words. That’s all I’m asking of myself.

Israel Bolt, Space Trucker

Israel Bolt cursed his ancestors for setting him on a path that lead to him serving on the Earth to Calisto milkrun, but it was honest work.

               “Kaptroller failing,” the computer intoned. “Cutting propulsion.”

               “Goddamnit.”

               Without the kaptroller extending the lifetime of the breakdown of the nuclear pellets that fueled the low-impulse ion thrusters, he’d never make it.

               With time running short, he called on his genie.

               With a poof of acrid, boysenberry coloured smoke and a cough, a miniature version of himself appeared on the dash.

               “Weren’t you just cursing your ancestors?”

               “That’s besides the point. I need your help.”

               The genie locked and cracked his thin fingers and rolled his neck like his head was on a gimbal. “Alright. How far do you want to go back?”

               “Two hours?”

               The genie removed a cue card from his sash, took a deep breath and repeated the contract in a monotone voice.

               “You have the right to travel through time. Anything changes you make will effect your future. You have the right to change your mind right now before we go any further. You have the right to ask one question about the outcome of your actions. If you cannot think of that question right now, you may not use time travel to affect a question after experiencing the outcome. If you decide not to ask any questions, you have the right to kiss my ass.”

               “What?”

               The genie stuffed away the card. “Just checking to see if you were listening. Do you accept these conditions as I have stated them?”

               “As have all of my ancestors before me,” Israel said. “Aside from the kissing your ass part.”

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