Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer

“Tell me again, Welin, why you have to lie to the Captain?” asked the temporal assistant. “It doesn’t seem right,” she added with disgust.

“You’re not seeing the big picture, Molly. It’s not about a single ship; it’s about what happens afterwards. Malum’s great, great grandfather was working in the engine room of that ship. By killing Alexander Pravus five years before he fathered Malum’s great grandmother, we’ll ultimately prevent Malum’s birth, and save the lives of millions of innocent people that have been butchered since he’s seized control of the planet. I would prefer to have killed Malum as a child, but his scientists have set up temporal blockades that go back more than a century.”

“What if Pravus survives the sinking,” countered his assistant. “Have you thought of that? There is no guarantee everyone will die.”

“It’s a chance we’ll have to take. Please, Molly, it’s now or never. His henchmen could discover our laboratory at any time.”

With tears beginning to form in her eyes, she acquiesced. “I hate you for making me do this,” she cried. “Do you even know what you’re going to tell him?”

“Yes, Molly. I have it all worked out. Now please, time is running out.”

“Okay, damn you. Clip on your wings before I change my mind.”

Minutes later, a ghostly image appeared over the Captain’s bunk. “Captain Smith, wake up” it sang softly.

The groggy captain rubbed his eyes as he struggled to comprehend what he heard. “Who is it?”

The semitransparent apparition floated in mid-air, its wings beating rhythmically in slow motion. “Why have you shut down the engines?”

Suddenly terrified as he realized it wasn’t a dream, Smith’s trembling fingers clutched the covers to his chest. “It…’s too dangerous,” he answered.

“No, Edward, it’s not. Would God ask me to come to you if it were dangerous? You must believe me. It’s your destiny to complete this voyage as quickly as possible. Now, go to the bridge, and resume your original heading and speed.”

“But, Gabriel, please. It isn’t safe,” Smith pleaded.

Welin raised his voice and pointed an accusatory finger at the frightened captain. “Do not question the Holy Father. Do as he commands, or suffer his wrath. Now, GO, or spend eternity in damnation.”

Reluctantly, but obediently, Captain Smith scurried form the bed, put on a robe, and headed toward the bridge.

At 11:40 PM, the RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg. From that instant forward, no one remembered the original voyage, where the Titanic had steamed into New York harbor 18 hours behind schedule. Instead, the new reality was that the Titanic took 1,517 souls to the bottom of the Atlantic, including Alexander Pravus.

Although Dmitry “The Slaughter” Malum was never born, there were unforeseen consequences in the new timeline. Adolph Hitler wasn’t killed in WWI and subsequently rose to power, America reached the moon before the Soviet Union, the European Union collapsed, and then, in a desperate maneuver to lash out at the entire world, North Korea unleashed The Doomsday Plague. By 2048, there were no humans alive to invent time travel to rewrite history a second time.

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