Elias Rochon convulses as the aftereffects of the Shift roll over him like a tsunami following a deep-sea quake. A synthetic voice reads the article with inflectionless calm that makes the content even more grotesque.
He reaches for the Shift-band lying on his desk, strokes the gleaming metal of its surface. Every trace of Elias Rochon has vanished from the universe he inhabited before the Shift - when a bucket of water is scooped from a mighty river, the hole it leaves is quickly filled.
He aches when she weds a former colleague, a Literature professor aspiring to write the Great American Novel. Elias drags his crippled consciousness back to the current timeline and feels the moisture on his cheeks. Panic swells in Elias Rochon's beleaguered mind; he battles it halfheartedly before it swallows him. There is another way: he can choose a timeline where he and Carly and Caulder are already locked in their deadly menage a trois, go out in a blaze of glory. He remembers Jeffrey Caulder from his Intro to Temporal Physics class: third seat in, fourth row from the back, solid grasp of the material.
Elias Rochon's voice barely rises above a whisper, but the words roar like thunder in his head.
Caulder's lips twitch into a snarl, then quickly settle back into the condescending smirk that seems so comfortable on his face.
Caulder's eyes shine as brightly as the metal band in Elias's palsied grip, its intricate web of microcircuitry reflecting the light like a thousand mirrors. He stares at Caulder's quivering body, trapped by his own morbid fascination - wondering what the moment of convergence will be like. He launches himself at the twitching figure on the bunk, grabs Caulder's arms, tries desperately to hold them down. A flash of white brighter than a thousand suns exploding in a thousand universes engulfs him just as Caulder wriggles free, burning away the pain and grief and rage, burning away everything.
Elias wrestles frantically with someone he cannot see and calls out for his wife until a voice whispers in his ear, a voice so sweet he cannot believe that it is real.
He has never been a man who readily displays emotion, but Elias is crying; not from fear or any recollection of the horror he endured, because the memory grows fuzzy even now, but from the sheer relief of staring into those wide mahogany eyes and knowing that she is safe, his beautiful Carly is alive and safe. He hugs Carly with all his might, savors the warmth of her skin, the gentle music of her voice.
Eli no longer cares about proving anything to anyone, because the shadows are melting - the monster cannot touch them now. When searching, simply set the maximum distance you are willing to travel to an event and results will be restricted to local venues. This is the location where we think you might be, but it could be some distance from your actual location. Luckily that's not the case today, with plenty of free dating sites offering a great service totally free! Boasting over 300 000 new members each month, Oasis offers plenty of choice and is 100% FREE! One of the longer running free dating sites, Smooch is relatively popular with regular new members.
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His office appears much the same: littered with texts, papers, printouts, CD-ROM's, arcane trappings of Academia.
An unfamiliar model - similar to ones he has used in other timelines, different enough to give him pause.
He probes the recesses of his jumbled post-Shift memory, until the answer blossoms in his mind with bittersweet clarity. A chime announces that the search has been completed and a new window opens, displaying a list of articles. He floats, insensate, in the cold and lightless void between the galaxies, a chunk of ice dropped into an ebony sea. He follows Caulder's fate with relish as the little psychopath is caught, convicted, and summarily executed.
That is what he labels the effect, cruel corollary to his mathematical framework for navigating time and space.
In every one, Jeffrey Caulder lurks nearby, blackening the landscape like a demon's shadow.


He has beaten his brains against its impenetrable armor for three days now, rarely leaving the refuge of his office, hardly eating or sleeping. By colliding with himself, he can end the suffering of two Eliases at once and save Carly from that twisted little psychopath on both timelines. Hope bubbles up from the depths of his despair; tiny, fragile spheres that he must catch before they burst. Time Traveler's Rule Number Two, the Rochon Uncertainty Principle: observing the past or future of one's own timeline with any degree of accuracy is impossible. The air inside the cell thickens, pulses with invisible energies beyond human comprehension. The effect reaches out across the chasms that separate a thousand timelines, drags a thousand thrashing, moaning Jeffrey Caulders toward a fatal convergence.
If he does not let go, he may converge with the other incarnations of himself; he may join Jeffrey Caulder in the oblivion of never-was.
She hugs him, the swell of her belly pressing against his own, and he feels a little kick, a tiny spark of life that starts a wondrous chain reaction as joy ripples out from the center of his soul in wave after healing wave.
He cannot stop the tears from spilling down his cheeks, as if to wash away the last traces of some psychic poison. When you want to catch up with friends it’s Facebook rather than phone, when you want to do business its Skype rather than business meetings.
You can choose to smile at it or even take it seriously, but you definitely can’t ignore it. When I am not bugging my readers with my thoughts I am trying to make sense of my overworked and underappreciated life. Modernwomenworld is your world, with women lifestyle tips and information to keep you on top all the time. The room has the musty smell of a museum, or perhaps an Egyptian tomb, redolent of secret knowledge, of mysteries barely glimpsed.
The nature of his research - his peculiar blend of physics and metaphysics - has made him an icon of popular culture and a pariah to most of his colleagues. He must first scan the proximate timelines, searching for a universe where Carlita Kelly exists - and he does not. When he Shifts, his entire lifeline - from the tip of the cradle to the tail of the grave - is spliced out of the old universe and into the new. He has spent every penny of his savings to bribe his way into the jail cell of Jeffrey Caulder. Scanning a specific time distorts the specificity of place; scanning a specific place renders the time of observation proportionally imprecise. Unremarkable, really, except for the eyes: they sparkle with the cold effervescence of root beer poured over ice. He pulls the Shift-band free of the mangled fabric, holds it out with hands that will not stop trembling.
Elias grips the boy's wrists so tightly he can feel sinews grating against bone, but he cannot match the strength of a maniac. He is tangled in the covers of his own bed; morning sunlight streams through the cracks between the blinds to form a glowing nimbus around the face that gazes down at him.
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A framed cover from Time Magazine hangs above the desk - his own profile limned by stars and nebulae against a glossy field of black, spiral galaxies spinning in his eyes.
A desktop graphic fills the screen, covered with icons, some of which he recognizes, some of which baffle him completely. He scans the titles, praying silently to whatever god rules this corner of the multiverse as his eyes race down the list. He can describe the theories in detail: the relationship of consciousness to space-time, the role of the observer in collapsing the cosmological wave function into one discrete universe.
Time Traveler's Rule Number One: two incarnations of the same entity cannot coexist on a single timeline. But now, with Elias Rochon gone, Jeffrey Caulder's list of victims does not include Carlita Rochon, or Carlita Kelly, or Carlita anyone. Some times, Caulder commits suicide before the trial, or is slain by the grief-mad husband of a victim, or is killed in prison awaiting appeal… or escapes arrest entirely to continue his killing spree across a dozen states. Her lips curve into the slightly crooked, slightly self-conscious smile of a woman who has no idea how ravishing she is.
He stares at the diagrams and calculations on the screen and moans softly, not wanting to believe the tale they tell. Timelines are fluid and unique, each flowing with different currents, but his own consciousness exerts pressure on the flow. The laws of probability say this cannot be, that somewhere in the vast constellation of timelines, there must be a place where he can rejoin Carly without destroying her. Just the opposite, in fact: he has uncovered several ways to intensify it, to heighten the effect. He does not look closely at the fedora in Elias's hands, does not see the Shift-band sewn inside the lining.


Elias sees the knife-edge glitter of intelligence there, and something else… something that flashes to the surface, then dives quickly of sight.
It takes great courage to make the hard choices, to force the masses to listen to things they'd rather not hear. It is not enough for Elias to save Carly in one universe if that means feeding her to the monster in countless others. Her hair is so black it shines, wildly mussed from the night's slumber… and from the tender struggle that preceded sleep. Ann Arbor police announced today that they have apprehended a man they believe to be responsible for the gruesome slayings of at least seven pregnant women in the Southeast Michigan area.
His peers simply scoff as the tabloids boil away the jargon, condense it into science-fictional mythology. Her eyes: deep, hypnotic mahogany, gleaming from the backlight of intelligence and humor that shine from them in seemingly endless supply.
The horror of Carly's fate has imprinted itself so deeply on his mind that he enforces the pattern of those events on every timeline into which he falls.
Caulder slouches in the bunk, studying his visitor like some new species of amoeba oozing through the slime beneath a microscope.
He watches Caulder struggle, knowing the monster cannot escape: he has also adjusted the Shift-band to modulate synaptic activity in the sensorimotor areas, to induce a mild species of paralysis.
They are both panting like asthmatic dogs as they roll off the bed and crash to the concrete floor. But if you push someone off the edge of the Multiverse into the abyss of Never-Was, how can you prove the difference? He stares at the shifting patterns on the screen, then speaks, surprised by the raw timbre of his voice.
If he stays in this universe - if he has reason to stay - he will assimilate it all… as it has assimilated him. Elias Rochon is a shell: blood and bones and viscera are sucked into the vampire mouths of glowing pixels on a screen. Police sources report that Jeffrey Caulder, a twenty-year-old junior at the University of Michigan, has confessed to the so-called Maternity Murders that have terrorized Ann Arbor and suburban Detroit for the past eight months. To spite all who condemn him for transmuting science into a mystic art, to crush them beneath the weight of his success - that is why he worked so many late nights. He must search out his next target… but not before he scans the timeline from which he came.
He watches the scene in the hospital delivery room, shares her pain and jubilation as she strains and wails and finally rejoices at the birth of her first child.
The two central players in his cosmic tragedy are inextricably linked - light and darkness, incapable of existing without each other. The only way he can protect Carly is to abandon her, in a sense no human has contemplated before… irrevocably and totally, leaving her with not even a ghost of a memory that he ever existed. He has done work for them, scanned proximate timelines to help guide investigations that were going nowhere. He tries to reach out - to embrace her with a longing so profound it leaves him dizzy - but she slips past in a torrent, tumbles into the currents of a universe that must reshape itself around his intrusion.
His gaze falls to the picture on the desk: he and Carly in hiking clothes, standing arm in arm at the foot of Tequamenon Falls. According to investigators, Caulder provided specific details about the killings that were never released to the public. Extrapolations of his own precious theories define the boundaries of his prison, of his curse.
They follow separate paths, maintain an uneasy balance, until Elias Rochon is dumped into their lives. Elias has overlooked one crucial factor in his calculations: madness is more powerful than reason. As he and Caulder wrestle on the floor, Elias begins to see it: the overlay, the superposition of countless timelines slightly out of phase. Carly understood his obsession, forgave him those shameful periods when he drifted through their marriage like a ghost, his mind locked in combat with the forces of Creation. The truth - the frustrating, terrifying truth - is that the full meaning of his discovery eludes even him. Jeffrey Caulder may be a despicable monster, but Elias has become a serial killer in his own right. An army of Jeffrey Caulders collapse into one writhing mass, some grappling with other Eliases, others merely battling their own confusion. The band hums, its modulated magnetic field tuning his brainwave patterns to bridge the gaps between splintered branches of the multiverse.
Every time he Shifts, he murders his beloved wife again, as surely as if he swung the blade himself.



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