In a desperate attempt to change her life, a woman goes back in time to save the world she hopes to have.
The bustling of a city and the constant noise of angry and impatient drivers is all she can hear. The people, walking down the street, going to and coming from work, all tired. The sun, shining through the clouds, like a young plant struggling to break the mass of dirt above it.
Her eyes open, waking from the dream. She smiles. A good memory, one from the way things used to be before. Before the meteor hit earth, before the world humans and all living organisms loved, got turned end over end into a dark abyss, full of changing temperatures and darkness.
Sitting up, she takes in her surroundings. Pristine white walls, a uniform desk and chair, the door to the bathroom in the corner. Her home, circling in what was earths orbit was the Artemis 1, the substitute earth, per say.
"We lost earth long ago," the woman remembers her father telling her when she was young. "A man had been in a crash that took his life. That man was going to create a particle beam laser that would have destroyed the meteor that crashed into our earth. Because he didn't make it to work that morning, no one saw his blueprints for the laser. And the best everyone else could do was create our home, the Artemis."
The woman recalled the story, wishing the man had made it to work that day. That way she could feel the cool breeze, smell the fresh air, and touch the roughness of the protection of an oak tree. To listen to the howling of wolves on a full moon, or the song of a blue bird, looking for his love. To hear the trickle of a river, alive with all the animals inside it. Instead, she only has the memories of the world before.
With a silent cry only she can hear, she runs to the front of the ship, desperately believing a rumor that has haunted her for years. 'There is a machine at the front of the Artemis,' people would say with hushed whispers. 'It will take you to any time you wish. Past or future.'
Hoping with a warm heart, yearning to feel the wind and hear the howls, she opens a door that is forbidden to open. Tumbling through, wearing only a robe and slippers, she takes in the sight before her. A machine alright... But old, for the Artemis had existed for centuries. With a trembling hand, she opens yet another door, but this one is to the machine. Pulling herself in with a renewed strength and determination, the woman starts up the mechanical beast. Dates fly in front of her, thousands of videos of what has happened, and what would happen... Even one of her, moment for moment in this machine.
Gasping, she randomly pushes a button. The videos dissipate. Solely blinking is a month, day, year, and time in front of her. Praying to the only God she knows of, she presses the 'go' button.
Stars. Bright lights... There's no other way to explain what she saw, for the machine was taking her hundreds of years into the past. She could feel the moisture from her eyes leaving her, the skin on her face being stretched, tightening over her nose, her body, pinned to the chair she sat in. And just as soon as the pain and speed started, it stopped.
She was sitting in a taxi... Or at least she thought it was a taxi for it looked much like the kind she saw in her memories. Stumbling out of the machine, for it had disguised itself, the woman runs desperately to the location of the mans house. She was watching him leave his house hurriedly, rolls of paper falling out of his arms, his tie done incorrectly, his hands and fingers fumbling for his keys... And the woman knew exactly what she needed to do.
Jumping up from the tree she was hiding behind, she sprinted to the man before he reached his car.
"Wait! Mister! Please stop!" She yelled breathlessly as she waved her arms crazily and ran to him. The man, looking up, stammered a reply.
"Please ma'am... I'm... I'm late for my meeting... I really must go!" He starts to get in his car even faster. The woman, tears streaming down her face, for fear of failure, jumps into the passenger seat of the car. The man's head snaps to face her.
"Wha... What are you doing in my car!?" The man says.
"Please... Just wait for a few minutes!" The woman begs. Deciding that he's too scared of her, and that he'd rather be late to work than be killed, the man waits.
After a few moments of awkward silence, the woman decides that maybe the man has waited long enough.
"Thank you," she says. "Now I'll be able to feel the wind, and hear the singing of a blue bird. Thank you." As the woman gets out of the car, with a smile on her face, the man nods. Finally starting up the car, he slowly pulls out of his driveway, warily waving at the crazy woman.
Feeling satisfied, the woman walks to the machine, the thing that brought her to this time, that gave her the chance to watch the waves of an ocean be held back by the land.
Reaching the machine, the woman skips a few hours ahead, watching the man make it to work safely.
With a relieved sigh, she sets the machine to go back to her time, to her home, but this time, she had a glimmer of hope that it won't be on the Artemis. That it will take her to an actual house, with a dog, or a cat maybe. Her head fills with possibilities of what her life could be like on Earth. Pressing the button to send her there, the woman stands the temporary pain while the machine takes her to her time.
A sudden halt makes the woman hesitate for just the slightest of moments. With a hand hovering just over the door handle, she takes a deep breath. Thrusting the door open in one swift motion, the woman takes in the sight before her... Although it's more of a lack of sight, for all she sees are shadows.
For it was a small hope, and a false truth that the mans invention would have saved the Earth. That instead of time and money being put into the creation of the Artemis, it was put into the construction of the Laser... The Laser that ultimately failed. Humanity didn't survive... Didn't survive any of it.
And all the woman could see was darkness.