Marianne stood on the steps of the National Science Institute and took a deep breath

on

She could already feel the pull to the National Science Institute. It was a
familiar place- a place she could spend eternity in. Perhaps she could even
go through her days not in her present, but instead in the past, and even
experience a lifetime in the past. “I think I’ll start there first,” she said
carefully, adjusting the blue colored cap over her red hair. It was a new
style, she noticed. Her hair was styled into a tight bun which accentuated
her face and narrowed her eyes. She made her way to the National Science
Institute as silently as she could before leaving behind some of the people in
the street.

The Institute was where she was supposed to meet her contact that was supposed
to take her into Quasar Fashion. A flash of lightning and a booming whooshing
noise caught her attention. She looked around. The street was quiet now,
and although there was a small crowd of people on the sidewalk, she saw no
one outside the Institute. She looked at the building through the windows and
then up at the building’s façade. It was a glass-and-steel complex that
surrounded the National Science Institute. She looked out over the square
building and noticed the strange, blinking neon signs above the double doors
that were meant to announce her time-traveler status.

There were three doors. None of them looked familiar though. She was too busy
wondering what those three doors were and what they would look and feel like
when it was time for her to make the journey into the past.

Marianne walked back to the National Science Institute and entered. As she
approached the door, she saw that a huge mechanical arm had opened the
door. When she approached she could see that it looked like it was a robotic
limbed in which there were glowing lights that pointed out at her as though
it were trying to speak to her. When she entered, the mechanical arm shut
the door.

It was a large room that she could only see through the glass wall of the
building. It was full of people and equipment. There were rows of computers
on the wall, and several people at random stations in the room. She could
see that they were all typing furiously and talking on the phone while they
greeted new visitors.

She had come here for a reason, she was sure of that. But all that she saw
was that the place was full of people and equipment, and there was no one
who she could see who looked like the person she was supposed to meet in
the morning at Quasar Fashion in twenty-two hundred. She looked at her
watch and noticed she had been gone for a full minute. She had been gone
considerable.

She took off the backpack that she was carrying and walked toward the
interaction booth that she was standing in front of. A mechanical arm opened
the door and she walked in. A man and woman stood there looking at her and
showing her into the booth. “Hello, I’m in an information booth, can I help
you?” She waited, and then asked, “I’m looking for someone from Quasar
Fashion, I am not sure which building this is, but I assume it is in the
National Science Institute.”

The man looked at her with a strange expression on his face—almost
surprise or disappointment. He said, “Okay, so if this is your first time
coming into the National Science Institute, I’m really sorry. I can’t help
you. You can find somebody in the Quasar Fashion in Building 5 in Building 10.
You can see that all the way at the end there.”

“Thank you. Thank you for your help. I just had to know which Building
this is so I could begin my time-travel journey.” She smiled as she handed
him her card. “There are many things that will help you find those people,
and many things that will make my trip into the past more comfortable.”
She thought of something. “Can you please add that you are the first-
time-traveler here?” “Ah…no, not really. You have to go back to your past.”

“I don’t understand.” She was beginning to get frustrated, but she stuck
with her question and waited. She saw that the man was getting nervous, and
she could tell he wanted to get out of the booth but he was too scared to
say anything. She had gotten the feeling he had come here with a plan so he
could find the people. Now he was waiting to hear that he was the first
time-traveler, and now he was scared to say what she wanted to hear.

She pulled out her card and extended it. “Thank you. I have come here
to meet a person. This is no ordinary person. This is a person in the
future, and I came here to begin my journey, and I am supposed to have a
contact in the future to take me into the past. That contact is now, here,
and I will not make any contact with him until I am able to give him my
card. So, I am here looking for a contact that I can meet to get into the
past and then return home. That card tells him something. You, the
first-time-traveler that is here, can help me, and with your help you can
help me. Thank you again.” She smiled as she extended her card again. “Thank
you.” She started walking back to the street with her backpack and some
change.

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