The impact people have on one another is immense. They can change the world. The threads that link us all is so intricate, they is almost impossible to comprehend.
But what if someone could ...
Time is tricky. Throughout history, there have been stories of people who saw their fates and tried to change them, inexorably causing the futures they saw by their actions. Every decision we make, both conscious and unconscious, affects our daily lives. From the clothes we wear to the things we say. The people we meet and the ones we avoid.
One of the biggest decisions we make is judging people. We are often told not to, but we do it anyway. It’s a survival instinct. We look at people and within microseconds, our subconscious has judged what kind of person they are. Whether they are trustworthy or not. If they are normal or not.
Judgement like this can often be pivotal. It can decide the fates of millions. It can affect the way some famous words are spoken, words that have impact years after they are utttered. It can change the way ideas are spread, the way the world is shaped. Every decision alters the lives of others, and human judgement is the bulk of these variations.
Cillian Doherty was not aware of how quickly his mind was working on that September afternoon, as it scanned the faces of his fellow passengers. Its proccessing speed would have put the latest computer to shame. It was fueled by the adrenaline coursing through Cillian’s veins and arteries.
What he was aware of was the speed of his heartbeat as it drummed inside his chest. His left fist gripped the remote in his hand so tightly he could easily have broken its fragile, shoddily made frame. His right hand clenched the support pole on the bottom floor of the bus. The straps of his backpack seemed to clutch at his shoulders, as if they were trying to drag him down to hell.
Hell’s too good for me, Cillian thought, and immediately berated himself for thinking like that. He was here to do a job, and was going to do it right. It would be the first and last task he would carry out to the end. He forced himself to calm down and tried to think clearly.
As the bus neared his target, he spared the rest of the commuters one final look. His brain set to work, passing judgement on all of them. Cillian tried to convince himself that what he was about to do was perfectly justifiable. He told himself that everyone aboard deserved this, and that if they didn’t, they would want it to happen. They were traitors or martyrs, one or the other. And he would would be a hero
“More like a ghost,” a cynical voice inside him whispered, “forgotten in the wastes of time, nothing more than a miniscule factoid in a history book.”
Cillian tried to ignore the voice. He had his orders. His masters had explained everything. What Cillian was about to do would change the world.
The bus stopped outside the building, Cillian’s target. His sub-conscious had reached its verdict on the the passengers. He glanced at them, summoning whatever loathing he could for them. His thumb hovered over the button on the remote, the one that woulld detonate the four kilograms worth of plastic explosive in his bag.
And taking a moment to contemplate the enormity of his next descision, his thumb began to descend, like a judge’s gavel as it passes its sentence . . .
And Cillian Doherty made his decision.