Conversations With Myself

A Novel by Altimexis

The Whispers of Time
 
Chris
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Book Two • Chapter 12 — Gravity

September 1979 • Chris-13

It was like something from out of a bad dream. I should have been returning to Professor Dawson’s house to live there with my boyfriend, but instead I was remaining home with my parents. I should have been continuing my studies at the University, but instead I was going to St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Catholic School, near where we lived. It felt really strange to be attending an elementary school again when I’d been going to Junior High, and then studying at the University with Professor Dawson and having a private tutor. Still, St. Rose seemed like a nice school with a small class size and a lot of personal attention, which was probably why my parents chose the place. It was also co-ed, which was something my parents insisted upon, and I was sure all that personal attention was intended to keep me on the straight and narrow — ‘straight’ being the operative word.

Although I should have been placed at least a grade or two ahead of where I’d been, that would have meant going to high school and my parents didn’t think I was ready for that. So I was in the eighth grade now, and would be going to Trinity High next year. Going to a Catholic school might not have been all that bad if I could have at least seen my boyfriend on the weekends at the University. I guess I should have been happy that my parents were at least letting me continue my studies with the professor, even if it was only once a week. Those sessions only served to reinforce my sense of loneliness, however, because Frank wasn’t there.

Frank was attending a military boarding school out of state, and we weren’t even allowed to write, much less call each other. The love of my life had been yanked from me, just like that. If that weren’t enough, I learned that the same thing was happening to Chris-17. He tried to hide it from me, but when you share your thoughts in subconsciousness, there’s no such thing as a secret. The one thing that was keeping me going was the thought that we would one day be together again, but to learn that even then, we would be torn from one another, was almost too much to bear. There was always hope that Chris-17 and Frank would be reunited at the latest when they were both eighteen, and I was hopeful, too.

Although my parents still had old fashioned ideas about what it meant to be gay, my rape had a dramatic impact on how they related to me. Clearly, they still weren’t comfortable with the idea of homosexuality, which went against everything they’d been taught. However, there was a definite thaw in their attitude toward the idea of having a gay son.  Placing me in a Catholic school was as much a reaction to my deception as it was to my sexuality. They still might not understand that my deception was entirely a reaction to their rejection of my sexuality, but they were coming to understand that my sexuality wasn’t a ‘preference’. Most importantly, the rape made them realize just how much better it was to have a gay son than a dead one.

In the meantime, Professor Dawson and I were devoting as much time as we could spare to implementing TTT as quickly as possible. It was a shame I could only give him my Saturdays, but we took what we could get.

Fabricating the custom vacuum tubes we needed turned out to be much more of a chore than originally anticipated. The University had at one time had one of the best facilities for building custom vacuum tubes in the world. With the advent of the transistor, however, most of the equipment had been shelved away to rot in storage, or outright destroyed. Everyone had assumed the vacuum tube was obsolete, and only a modest facility for student demonstration projects had been retained. It would be several years yet, I was told, before it would be recognized that certain applications, particularly in microwave communications and high-end audio, were better served with vacuum tubes than with solid-state devices. By comparison, Chris-17 had it easy, as would Professor Dawson’s younger counterparts. I guess I was just unlucky enough to be the man in the middle.

We spent far more time than we would have liked rummaging around in storerooms for old equipment we could use, and then in testing and repairing that equipment. We’d started back when Frank and I were still living together with Professor Dawson, and he’d continued to work on it with the aid of other students, while I was away at camp. Our first attempt at constructing TTT instrumentation ended in disaster when one of the tubes exploded, taking a majority of the other carefully crafted, custom vacuum tubes along with it. In retrospect, it was probably better that something happened now, rather than while we were in the midst of communicating with Professor Dawson’s counterpart in 1972, but it was sooo disheartening to have to start from scratch in constructing our TTT machine.

<<<<<<<<·>>>>>>>>

December 1983 • Chris-17

The clunk of my alarm clock signified the start of another day. ‘Damn,’ I thought to myself, ‘I’ve gotta replace that infernal thing with a modern solid state clock radio.’ I’d just gotten around to getting my own TV and stereo system, so I no longer had to fight with my parents about what to watch and listen to. Bit-by-bit I was getting my own stuff and soon I would leave home for good.

As I got in the shower, I sighed to myself as I thought about how much it still hurt that Frank had shut me out of his life. His birthday was coming up and then he’d be eighteen and an adult. Still, he couldn’t bring himself to consider severing his ties with his homophobic parents — not even when my parents offered to let him move in with us in our house. That he cared so little about me hurt to no end, but he’d made his choice and I needed to move on. So why was I having such a hard time doing so?

Thank God my parents, if not accepting, were at least tolerant of me. It was a shame that it took my being raped for them see the light. The one silver lining was that, once my parents opened their eyes and realized what had been going on at camp — the camp that was supposedly going to cure me of being gay — they realized just how fucked up their priorities were. I was desperately hurting in those dark days, in desperate need of love, comfort and acceptance. My parents didn’t approve of homosexuality and still don’t, but ever since they came so close to losing me, they have always been there for me when I needed them.

When Frank came back into my life, my parents were surprisingly supportive of our relationship. They pretended to ignore that we were boyfriends, but it was clear they knew the score. They did however caution us against the potential backlash should his parents ever find out we were more than friends, and were all too right about how Frank’s parents’ would react to our deception once it was discovered. On the one hand I could certainly understand Frank’s desperate need to avoid going back to that military school he’d attended during his early teens, but I should have thought he’d want to break free of his parents once he turned eighteen. I guess we just weren’t meant to be.

Getting out of the shower and shaving, I started to think about my other problem. According to Chris-24, I would have a son out of wedlock with a girl named Jennifer Wilson that I’d meet in graduate school at Stanford. Originally I’d apparently dated and fucked every girl in sight as a kinda way of overcompensating for being gay. I guess I’d been desperate to prove to myself that I could be straight.

Somehow, I knew I couldn’t do that anymore. I was gay, I accepted that I was gay, and I was comfortable with the man I’d become. There was no way I could fuck a girl, even if my life depended on it, and I didn’t think I even had it in me to date girls as a cover. But someone’s life did depend on it. My son would never be born if I didn’t hook up with Jen. As far as I was concerned, the life of my child was far more important than my sexual orientation, so somehow I was gonna have to make it with Jen, no matter what.

Brewing some of that coffee from Seattle that Professor Dawson got me hooked on and eating a bowl of cereal with toast, I thought about the more urgent tasks at hand. We’d already done just about everything we could do to support Professor Dawson in the past as he developed his own TTT equipment. Unfortunately, the bottleneck was in 1979, when my counterpart had had trouble finding the equipment needed to make custom vacuum tubes. It looked like things were finally coming together though, and when they did, Professor Dawson would contact himself in 1972, 1965 and then 1959, to prevent his boyfriend from being lost in Vietnam. In the meantime it seemed the Russians were doing everything they could to change history, and undoubtedly furthering the destruction of the fabric of time.

As I drove to the University, I thought of how, even if we did manage to prevent David’s being lost in Vietnam and to prevent Dawson’s defection to the Russians in the future, the alternate realities created by those events might still be out there, assuming Frank was right. We needed to find a way to fuse all of those timelines — all of those realities — or the earth would be consumed by a black hole at some time in the future. At least that’s what Frank seemed to think would happen. I sighed again as I thought of Frank — he was never far from my mind, even after everything that had happened.

“Good morning, Chris,” Professor Dawson said as I entered his office. “I’ve been going over some of those equations you’ve been working on. Treating time as a vector space rather than a scalar was ingenious, and it does seem to account for many of the ideas Frank suggested, including multiple realities. It doesn’t explain how time can branch, however, and more importantly, we need to understand how different realities can fuse.”

“I realize that,” I noted. “Obviously, we can’t treat time strictly as a continuum. Time is discontinuous, and the splitting and merging of realities implies some sort of random process.”

“That’s a given,” the professor agreed. “After all, at the fundamental level, we’re dealing with quantum processes.”

“True,” I agree, “but probably not stochastic.”

Definitely not stochastic,” Dawson concurred, and then he added, “Why don’t you give it some more thought and see if you can combine your vector approach with a non-stochastic statistical approach? Do you think you can handle that?”

“It’s not too different from ordinary quantum mechanics,” I noted, “so I think I can manage it. I’ll certainly give it my best shot.”

<<<<<<<<·>>>>>>>>

December 1990 • Chris-24

I felt so comfortable lying next to Wang Lee. Since my breakup with Jen, Wang and I had become closer and closer. We spent nearly all our time together and hence the decision for me to move in with him was a natural. Sleeping in his arms was the best, and no one — not Jen — not Paul Langley — made me feel the way Wang did.

Wang was such a gentle lover. He always took his time and seemed to know all the right spots and the right moves to give me the ultimate in pleasure. I was getting to know his body very well too, of course, and I only hoped that I was giving him back at least half of what he was giving me.

It was our quiet times together that were the best, however. Just lying with him, cuddling in bed as we were now. We’d just finished making love and our bodies were still slick with my cum, but that didn’t matter. Holding Wang and having him hold me gave me a true sense of contentment.

The moment seemed too sacred to break the silence, but Wang ultimately did so, asking, “You seem so deep in thought, Chris. Is everything alright?”

“Everything’s more that all right,” I answered my lover. “No one has ever made me so happy,” I added. “I’m saddened by the way things ended with Jen, but it was undoubtedly for the best. I would have been miserable with her, and what kind of daddy would I have been if I resented my own son for making me stay in a relationship I didn’t want?”

“You still have regrets about losing your kid,” Wang countered. “I can tell… but you know, more and more the courts are starting to recognize the rights of fathers. Maybe you should sue for joint custody.”

“I’ve thought about it,” I admitted, “but the last thing I want is to subject my child to a drawn out custody battle, and Jen made it quite clear she would never let me anywhere near him.”

“I’m sure the courts would see things differently,” Wang challenged, “and the threat of a custody battle might be enough to make her change her mind. After all, you both are thinking of what’s best for your kid.”

“It’s a thought,” I noted.

“Why don’t you at least talk to a family lawyer,” Wang suggested. “At least then you’ll have a better idea of your chances in court and be able to make an informed decision.”

“Perhaps I’ll do that,” I agreed.

After a prolonged moment of silence, Wang resumed talking. “Chris, there’s something else I’ve been wanting to discuss with you,” he began. “We’ve been seeing each other for a few months now and I think we’ve become quite close…”

“That’s an understatement,” I interrupted. “Wang, I love you. You’re everything to me. Why else would I have wanted to move in with you? It’s a horribly long commute but it’s worth it to come home to you.”

“I feel the same way,” Wang continued. “Where I’m going with this is that I’d like you to meet some people who are very important to me. My parents back in the PRC disowned me and my life at first in Hong Kong was a nightmare, but then Charles Hudson took me in and everything changed. There are other people I’d like you to meet, too. Charles took in other boys, and we became very close. Charles gave me my life back. He raised me to adulthood, made sure I got an education and helped me get into Stanford. If it hadn’t been for him, I’d probably be dead by now.”

“But he’s a pedophile,” I countered.

“Yes, I know. Well, actually he’s a pederast… there is a difference, you know… but he loved me for me and not just for the sex. He never forced himself on me, either. Yes, we often slept together and we did things no adult should do with a child, but compared to what I’d already been through, what we did was bliss.

“Actually, I think I needed to have sex with him,” Wang continued. “I’d been so horribly abused by the other men who’d used me, and I’d come to associate sex only with pain and hurt. I needed to rediscover that sex is a beautiful thing… something to be shared with someone you love. Charles did that for me. He loved me and he gave me pleasure… every bit as much pleasure as I gave him. He taught me how to make love.”

Sighing, I said, “I have to admit that you do an exceptional job of making love.”

Getting a wicked look in his eyes, he brought his index finger to my sticky left nipple and began circling it. Smiling, he said, “I know.”

I felt myself becoming aroused as he brought his hand down lower and caressed me, lovingly fondling me as he brought his lips to mine.

<<<<<<<<·>>>>>>>>

December 2004 • Chris-38

Sweat poured down off his face as he looked down upon me. With each thrust, Paul sent waves of pleasure through my body. It wouldn’t be long now. I could feel the tingling sensation in my toes building to an almost unbearable intensity as my balls drew up tight against my body, almost disappearing inside. I arched my back and cried out as jet after jet of my spunk erupted out of my cock, flying through the air and landing on my neck, my chest and abdomen. Moments later, Paul cried out as he arched his back and, presumably, filled the condom with his own seed.

Paul collapsed on top of me, his energy expended, smearing my jizz between the two of us. Lifting his head and upper torso slightly, he looked down on me, his piercing blue eyes looking into my very soul. He smiled at me, and then lowered his lips to mine. Our tongues danced a sensual dance together as we kissed deeply, sharing the most intimate of moments in our post-coital bliss.

Breaking our lip-lock, Paul gazed into my eyes with the goofiest smile on his face, and then he said, “It’s happened, Chris… I’ve fallen in love with you.”

“It kinda feels wrong so soon after my ex-girlfriend was murdered, but I’ve fallen in love with you, too.”

Our lips came together again for another passionate kiss, but then there was a knock on the door. Before I could even answer, the door opened and Andy walked into the room, dressed only in his boxers.

“Dad?” he said, “I’m really sorry to interrupt you, but I was taking a dump and I noticed that my shit’s turned black.”

Sitting up quickly, I asked my son, “How long has this been going on, tiger?”

“It just started tonight,” he answered.

“Have you been having any stomach pain?” I asked.

“I’ve been having stomach pains since Mom was killed,” he answered, “but I just thought it was nerves.”

“It could be something serious,” I worried aloud. “We’d better get you to the hospital.”

With a smirk on his face, Andy commented, “You guys might want to take a shower first.” His look turned to one of total amusement as I felt myself blushing.

Andy was right, though — my spunk was still glistening on Paul’s chest and abdomen, and I could feel the wetness on mine as well. How embarrassing for my fifteen-year-old son to see us this way, but then we had more significant concerns at the moment.

Scarcely twenty minutes later the three of us were seated in the waiting room in Emergency at Alameda Hospital. It didn’t seem to be a very busy night. Nevertheless, we ended up waiting more than two hours before my son was taken into the back. Paul remained in the waiting room while I joined Andy as he was placed in a room and given a hospital gown to put on.

Before he’d even finished disrobing, a nurse entered the room to update his vital signs, which initially had been taken when he arrived in triage. Andy didn’t seem to mind sitting in only his boxers, however. Unlike me as a youth, he’d never been very modest at all.

After she left, he picked up the hospital gown, took one look at how it merely tied in the back, and stated, “I’m not even gonna bother with this. It doesn’t exactly leave much to the imagination.”

“One size fits none, as they say,” I replied and we both laughed.

It was yet another half-hour before the doctor entered the room. He looked to be about sixteen-years-old, but was probably in his late twenties. After listening to his heart and lungs, the doctor had Andy lay on his back and pressed firmly on his abdomen, eliciting a grimace of pain. Then with Andy lying on his side, the doctor stuck a gloved finger up my son’s ass, eliciting yet another grimace. When the doctor withdrew his finger, it was sheathed in what looked like black tar.

“I don’t even need to test this to know it’s digested blood,” the doctor said. “Unless you’ve had any Pepto-Bismol lately,” he added. “You haven’t used any Pepto-Bismol or bismuth-containing medications lately, have you?” the doctor asked my son.

Shaking his head, Andy answered, “I haven’t taken anything.”

Turning to me, the doctor said, “I’m afraid we’re going to have to admit your son. He’s obviously been bleeding internally and, after we do some blood tests, we’ll have a better idea of just how much. We’ll also need to do an endoscopy right away, just in case he’s still actively bleeding. The endoscopy will tell us where he’s bleeding from and, if he’s still bleeding, we’ll be able to cauterize the wound.

“He’ll have to be anesthetized for the procedure, so we’ll need your consent.” The doctor then asked, “You are the boy’s legal guardian, aren’t you?”

“Since his mother was killed a couple of months ago, I am his only guardian,” I answered.

“Wait a minute,” the doctor exclaimed with a look of surprise on his face. “Aren’t you that nuclear scientist that was attacked by Iranian terrorists?”

“Actually, contrary to what the public has been led to believe, I’m not a nuclear scientist,” I answered, “but I am involved in research at Lawrence Livermore.”

“I can’t fathom what it would be like to lose your wife like that,” he asked.

“Actually, she was my ex-girlfriend. We were never married but, after threatening to take her to court, she agreed to a joint custody agreement. We patched up our differences for Andy’s sake.

“Unfortunately the terrorists came the morning she was supposed to pick Andy up for her turn with him. She surprised them and was shot and killed in the process,” I explained.

“Man, I can’t imagine what it was like to be a hostage,” the young doctor said as he shook his head. “For a while I thought we were gonna go to war over that.”

“We might very well have,” I answered, “except we can’t prove that the Iranian government was behind it, and they’re staunchly denying it. Although it hasn’t been made public, as there could be a major backlash from the Muslim community, we’ve been quietly detaining and deporting Iranian nationals. The scary part is that there are over two hundred Iranian students who, like the terrorists that attacked us, are here on expired student visas. Tracking them down has been particularly difficult.”

“Man, that is scary,” the doctor agreed.

Andy didn’t go for his endoscopy until around seven AM. They wouldn’t let me go back with him, but he came through it without any ill effects. Afterwards the gastroenterologist who performed the procedure sat down with us and explained that Andy had a bleeding duodenal ulcer. Fortunately, the bleeding had stopped on its own, but not before Andy lost about four units of blood, which was nearly half his blood volume. Any more and he would have gone into shock.

The doctors recommended a blood transfusion but we ended up deciding against it. Andy was young and healthy enough that his body could recuperate without a transfusion — he would just need to take it easy for a couple of months.

Andy was started on a drug called omeprazole and told he would likely need to take it the rest of his life. He was also referred to a psychologist for counseling. Andy put up a brave face, but he was just a boy dealing with man-sized problems. Growing up in a broken home, seeing his mother killed, being held hostage for a few days — it had all caught up with him and his stress manifest itself as an ulcer. I was going to need to pay more attention to his psychological needs, and mine too if I was going to be honest about it. Perhaps we would both go into counseling. Probably, we should have been doing so all along.

I was grateful to have Paul with me. Paul was my rock. He’d ended up extending his vacation so he could stay with me, and was seriously thinking about relocating to the Bay Area. With our recent profession of love for each other, I was fairly certain he would.

<<<<<<<<·>>>>>>>>

December 1990 • Lost Soul

The professor stared at himself in the mirror. It had been more than half a year year since he’d agreed to help the Soviets, and he had yet to see his David. There had been assurances given that they’d be reunited soon, but soon never seemed to come. He and David had spoken over the phone, and he’d even been shown a videotape of his lover, who now looked so much older, and haggard. Both of these could have easily been faked, however. Yet if the professor failed to cooperate, he was reminded in no uncertain times what would happen to his beautiful David. Did he have a choice?

The biggest surprise was that the Russians already had a workable first generation prototype for TTT! The 64 individual quartz emitter-detectors weren’t as precisely aligned as he would have liked, but that was easily addressed by adding laser-based optical alignment to the calibration setup.

Unfortunately, the biggest limitation in the setup was the use of a Russian-built supercomputer, which frankly wasn’t as functional as a 1960s-era IBM mainframe. The professor had heard from Soviet colleagues at scientific meetings he’d attended that they were severely limited by a tremendous underinvestment in computer infrastructure, and now he was experiencing it firsthand.

Rather than attempting to get the code he’d already written to run on such an unreliable platform, he decided to scrap the use of computers entirely and proceeded directly to using vacuum tubes. Indeed, the Soviet facilities for fabricating custom vacuum tubes were vastly better than anything he had ever seen before and he was able to complete and test the setup in only a matter of weeks. As the weeks turned to months, however, and test subject after test subject failed to establish a link to themselves — not even in the recent past — the professor found himself more and more removed from the day-to-day workings of the TTT project.

Finally, he was told he must leave the TTT research facility, which was located on a secret military base, and move to a place where, freed from distractions, he would be able to concentrate more fully on TTT. The reality was that he was exiled to a dacha in a remote area of Siberia. Hence he was spending the winter in isolation, where he could contemplate the need to be more cooperative with his Soviet colleagues.

And then there was Vladimir. Vladimir was, to put it simply, the most beautiful young man he’d ever seen. Not only that, but Vladimir was extremely intelligent, sensitive and caring. He was an amazing man — a boy, really, as he was still only seventeen — the same age as many of his students back home. Indeed, Chris Michaels would be seventeen now, he realized.

Yet Vladimir seemed so much more mature than his students, even postdoctoral students who were twice Vladimir’s age. There was no doubt in the professor’s mind that Vladimir was a true genius, but unlike the many geniuses he’d mentored over the years — boys such as Chris Michaels — Vladimir was a whole person. He was well rounded, athletic, appreciative of classical music and literature, and fluent in English, Spanish, French and German. He could even read Latin and Greek. He didn’t flaunt his superiority, however. The professor had never met a boy so comfortable in his abilities before.

Vladimir was an insatiable lover. When the professor failed to respond to his first houseboy, Sasha, Vladimir became his houseboy instead. The two immediately hit it off and quickly became friends. Vladimir made his sexual interests known from the start, but accepted that the professor was loyal to David and did not push the older man. Gradually, however, they became closer to one another until the inevitable happened — they fell in love.

After they’d shared their first kiss, the professor felt extremely guilty, as if he’d cheated on David, but that didn’t stop them from having their second kiss, and their third. The kissing led to cuddling, and from there they progressed over time to open up more and more to each other sexually. After only a few months, Vladimir was sleeping in the professor’s bed. Each night they’d fall asleep in each others’ arms.

The professor continued to feel horribly guilty, as now he truly was cheating on David, but Vladimir was the prefect boy, the perfect man, the perfect lover. Years of pent-up sexual desire manifest themselves in the sex the two of them shared. The professor had never been so happy and fulfilled, nor so sad and lonely, in all his life.

In his absence, the Soviets seemed to be making spectacular progress with TTT, although the professor wasn’t let anywhere near the project. Already they’d managed to reverse the reforms that had apparently led to the breakup of the Soviet Union in the first timeline. They’d introduced economic reforms that would literally shift the balance of power, and they were just beginning their quest to change history. The downside was that this had led to new tensions with the Chinese. He’d even heard rumors that the Chinese were working on their own approach to stealing TTT for themselves.

The one silver lining in all of this was that the Soviet’s attempts to undermine the development of TTT in the U.S. had failed, and that Chris Michaels was still on-track to invent it in the early twenty-first century. Secretly he wondered if there was something he could do to derail the Russian effort — without endangering the lives of those he loved and cared about.

END OF BOOK TWO

The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of David of Hope and Anthony Camacho in editing this story, as well as the support of Awesome Dude for hosting it.
This story is purely fictional and any resemblance of characters to real individuals other than named historical figures is purely coincidental and unintentional. Some characters may be gay and at times engage in homosexual acts. Because the story explores characters at various stages of their lives, they may be underage during early sexual explorations. Obviously, anyone uncomfortable with this should not be reading the story, and the reader assumes responsibility for the legality of reading this type of story where they live. The author retains full copyright, and permission must be obtained prior to duplication of the story in any form.

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