I took it out of its casing. There I was, in 1 TTE, holding the very last hard drive that contained a backup of the notes that would lead to the discovery of time travel. All I had to do was drop it onto the ground to destroy it.
Surprisingly, a time portal opened in front of me. Even more surprisingly, it was Matthew who came out from the other side.
"Stop!" he yelled at me.
I stared at him in surprise. "Matthew? How are you... how are you existing?"
"I don't know, Dr. Potter said something about paradoxes being caused by you going back in time and destroying everything that would make time travel possible."
"That's right, Matthew. I've destroyed the notes, destroyed all the prototype equipment they have, destroyed all the blueprints, and so on. All I have left to do is destroy this hard drive, and time travel will never exist."
"James, if you do that, you'll be changing every single point in time!"
"Yeah, yeah, I've heard Dr. Potter explain it."
"Do you know how many paradoxes you'll create?"
"I won't create any. In fact, I am getting rid of all the paradoxes."
"What are you talking about? You've how time travel 'works'. You're a walking paradox yourself!"
I laughed. "Didn't Dr. Potter tell you about the theory that time travel rules change because of time travel?"
"Yeah, we've discussed it. So?"
"Since time travel has affected every single point in time, then if I cause time travel to never have existed, the timeline will get changed so irrevocably that the new rules will be that time travel isn't possible. This will reset the entire timeline, from beginning to end!"
"That's just your theory!"
"No, from what I've seen, it's the only logical conclusion!"
"But... but why? Why are you trying to wipe out time travel itself?"
I laughed a sardonic laugh. "Isn't it obvious? I'm doing this because time travel should have never existed."
"What are you talking about?"
"Has anything good ever come out of being able to travel through time? We were part of the Time Patrol Agency, but we couldn't change things in the past, we couldn't stop tragedies from happening. All because we didn't want to create a paradox or further change the timeline. Meanwhile, any criminals or terrorists that get their hands on a time travel device have changed the timeline however they wanted. The only people that have benefited from time travel are the criminals and the terrorists!"
Matthew looked at me and decided to try another approach, "Look James, it's not too late. Let's just stop this and go home. Who knows, I came back, so maybe Judy and Stephanie came back too."
Angrily, I yelled at him, "It didn't work!"
"I killed the younger versions of Metis and Cronus, which means that Judy shouldn't have been killed. But when I got back to the future, she was still dead."
Matthew looked at me in shock. "H- how? That doesn't make sense."
"That's right! That's time travel, a fickle mistress that just decides how things go randomly. Do you know what happens in the new timeline? Judy just falls down dead, from a knife wound caused by thin air!"
Matthew and I stood there in silence, trying to make some sense of it all.
Matthew, with sadness in his voice, said, "You know, you might not even exist in this new timeline. I might not exist in the new timeline. Even Judy and Stephanie might not exist anymore."
I paused for a moment at that thought. Then, I said, "Worth it."
Matthew laughed a little, "I guess it would be, if there was even a small chance of them coming back."
I laughed along with my best friend, "Yeah, anything's better than what we've got now."
With hope in his voice, Matthew said, "Well, James, hopefully I'll see you soon."
"Yeah. See you soon."
I dropped the hard drive.