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Editorial

Andrew's Secret – THE CONCLUSION!!!


08/01/2005 - Dr. Patterson was startled awake by a loud thump at the front door. He wondered who or what would be pounding on the door this late at night. The cabin was so far out in the middle of nowhere. He checked the time on his cell, which was lying on the nightstand by the bed. It was only 11:05. Dr. Patterson couldn't remember ever having such a long night. Oddly enough, he didn't feel very afraid. He was past feelings of fear. He had surrendered himself to the fact that the world may never be the same again and was actually okay with it. As they say . . . "ignorance is bliss". He was rather looking forward to the time when he would lose the memory of all that had gone on and just be himself again. He knew he shouldn't feel that way, but he did. He was just weary of the whole deal. When the front door finally opened, he didn't even attempt to hide or fight, but when he saw who it was, hope welled up inside him again.

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Andrew plopped down on the edge of the bed and sighed. He hadn't realized how exhausted he was. Jonathan didn't even bother finding a bed or chair, but plopped onto the floor in a heap. "I had a bigger workout today than I do when I go to the gym!" he said. Then he turned to Andrew with a sly grin. "We should do this every day!"

Andrew shook his head and groaned at Jonathan's weak humor, but the doctor was distracted by the fact that no toddler accompanied them, and was unsettled. "I don't see Elijah," he pointed out, "What's going on?"

Andrew sat up and grew serious. "What's going on is, we need to get to work – and FAST! You know the old Chandler Building just out of town?"

The doctor sat up, too. "That dilapidated thing? What about it?"

"It's theirs – the men in black."

The doctor's eyes grew wide. "You know what that means, don't you?" he cautioned, "This is way out of hand!"

Jonathan sat up, too, and the three exchanged glances, unsure of their next move. Finally Andrew spoke up. "Let's start now. We have no more time! Just over a month, and that's not much, considering what we have to do."

Jonathan laid back down and put his hands behind his head. "Go ahead, then," he sighed. "I, for one, have never built a 'time machine'. I don't know what to tell ya."

"Oh, come on, guys. You're not going to put all this on me now are you?" Andrew whined. His complaint was met with blank stares. "Fine," he sighed throwing his hands in the air. "Leave the fate of the world in the hands of a nineteen-year-old boy, who just woke up from a coma yesterday! Don't ask the brilliant doctor or the future president for help!"

Jonathan looked at Dr. Patterson and rolled his eyes. Up until now, he'd thought Andrew was fairly reasonable, but . . .

Dr. Patterson intervened. "I think what we all need is a good night's sleep. We'll think better in the morning."

"Sleep well," Jonathan said sarcastically, knowing it wasn't likely that any of them would, but they all laid back right where they were and slept for a very long time.

Over the next few weeks, Andrew, Jonathan and the doctor tried everything they knew in an attempt to build a new "calculator". They took turns sleeping and working so they were never without a brainstorm in the works.

One night, Jonathan woke up to take his shift. It was one o'clock AM on March twenty-first. Dr. Patterson was asleep, curled u in the chair and Andrew was seated cross-legged on the floor amid a bunch of pieces of anything the men could find. Clocks, phones, even the moving van they'd stolen. Jonathan tapped him on the shoulder. "It's my turn, Andrew. You can go to sleep now. Make sure Patterson knows it's his turn to use the bed."

Andrew just stared blankly at the electronic pieces.

"Andrew, what's up?"

Andrew turned to Jonathan. "Jon, I know what they want. I've been thinking about it while I fiddled with the pieces," he said sincerely, looking straight into Jonathan's eyes.

Jonathan shifted uneasily. "What?" he asked, not entirely sure he wanted to know.

Andrew looked off to the side and appeared to be in his own little world as he spoke. "Before I left my time, when I was with the old man, he said something that really made an impression on me," he paused.

"What's that?" Jonathan prompted.

"He said, 'Elijah, I can't express to you how important it is that you do this and do it right. If you mess up, you would be responsible for ruining the world. Not a soul's life would be unaffected, and you would be the only one who could fix it. The fate of the world rests on your shoulders.'"

"It's true, but --"

"It's not true!" Andrew interrupted. "I thought it was true, but it wasn't, and I'm glad."

Jonathan had no idea what Andrew was getting at, but he listened quietly.

Andrew shifted thoughtfully, but still stared off to the side as he spoke. "When the old man said that to me, I don't know how to describe what came over me. It was like . . . a hunger . . . for power. I thought the weight of the world was on my shoulders, and I was glad." Andrew shook his head and began to mindlessly pick at the pieces on the floor. "I guess I always thought I was trustworthy and respectable, but when that power was given to me, I failed. I wasn't worthy. No one on earth is."

"Who can fix this mess, then?" Jonathan asked, motioning to the vague resemblance of a calculator on the floor.

Andrew locked eyes with Jonathan. "Do you believe there's anything more powerful than us out there? Do you believe everything that happens is just us bumbling along? What I'm asking is, could there be a purpose for this? For everything that's gone on?"

"A purpose like what?"

"I know what they want. I saw it in the eyes of that red-haired man. I understand it. I've experienced it myself. I made a mistake when I invented this. I gave people power they shouldn't have, but now . . . I know what to do to fix it."

"The calculator?"

"No, the mistake, and I know what I learned in making it."

"What?"

Andrew shook his head. "I"m too tired to think about it now. Good luck with this," he said tossing the two shiny pieces he held back into the pile. "See you in a bit."

Jonathan watched Andrew walk over to the chair and shake the doctor awake. Then he turned back to the hopeless bunch of metal and sighed. He had his work cut out for him, but, if Andrew was right, he didn't have to do it alone.

March 22, 2005 4:00AM

"I have it! I have it! Andrew! Jonathan! Come here! Wake up! We're saved!"

Jonathan and Andrew sat up lazily and looked at the doctor with glazed over expressions.

"Did you hear me? Come here! We need to try this out!"

"That's well and good," Jonathan mumbled as he practically sleepwalked over to the doctor, "but who's going to be the guinea pig? NOT me!"

"Dr. Patterson and Andrew looked at each other. "I'm not doing it," the doctor said, "Not after what happened to you!"

"Well," Andrew said. "If I'm right, the reason that happened is, when you travel forward in time this little thing speeds you up so fast that you are traveling faster than time itself. If you want to go back, it slows you down until time passes without you and then, finally, you lose time. Get it? Just imagine what that does to the human body. But, I don't even care," he said with a sigh. "I just want this done. I'll test it." He took the calculator and looked groggily at the two men before him.

That's when he realized how privileged he'd been to work with these great men. "I don't know how to thank you," he said. "I would never have been able to get here without your help."

"No thanks needed," Jonathan said. "I'm always up for saving the world."

"There's just one thing, before I leave." Andrew said, turning to the doctor. "I don't believe that I know your first name!"

"Oh, well it's Roy. Roy Patterson."

Andrew smiled. "Just be glad for your future wife's sake that you didn't get killed by that gunshot wound."

"I'll get married?"

"More than that . . . I can't believe I didn't put two and two together before this. Your name goes down in history as the man who discovered a cure for cancer. You were so in love with your wife that you wouldn't give up until you'd exhausted every possibility. I'll never forget that broadcast on the news. That video of you and she hugging and crying, a cute couple in their sixties."

The three stood for a couple more minutes. Andrew really didn't want to leave. These were the first real friends he'd ever had, people who would help him through thick and thin even -- though he didn't deserve it.

And he knew his purpose now. His purpose. He couldn't stay.

"Here we go!" Andrew sighed and pushed the button. He squinted his eyes and held his breath. He braced every muscle in his body, knowing that he was about to experience quite a shock, but nothing happened.

"Why am I still here?" he wailed.

Jonathan sighed in frustration. "I thought you invented the darn thing!"

Dr. Patterson took the calculator - like object and fiddled with the knobs a bit. Finally he said, "Well, Andrew. We've invented something, but it's not a time machine."

Andrew winced. "What is it?"

"I don't know."

"Where did we go wrong?" Andrew sighed.

Dr. Patterson shook his head. "Don't be discouraged. Do you know how many times Thomas Edison failed before he invented the light bulb?"

"Yeah, there's just one problem. He didn't have only two months before the world would sink into the worst case of forgetfulness in all of history."

"Oh, come on." Dr. Patterson pressed. "Don't be so pessimistic. We could use this I'm sure." he frowned thoughtfully, "I'm sure I could transport something through time with this!"

"Just give it up," Jonathan said, "We're hopeless."

"No," the doctor said flatly. "You two go back to bed. I have five days to figure this out. I'm not giving up."

Jonathan said "Good luck," and the two went returned to bed.

Not an hour later the two were summoned again.

"This time I know I have it!" the doctor exulted. "I knew I was close! I could transport something through time with the other one, but it wasn't matter, it was sound waves . . . like an inter-time communicator or . . .whatever! Could be useful sometime, but this, this," and he held up another calculator, "is what we're after. I even invented a medical insert to avoid bodily trauma. Are you proud of me?"

Andrew looked skeptically at the device. "Your question is premature, but I'll give you the benefit of a doubt," he said.

Fond farewells relived, Andrew pushed the button.



When he opened his eyes, he was glad to be back in that old farmhouse he remembered so well. He remembered that smell. He remembered these chairs and those curtains. He sucked in a deep breath of the cedar-scented room, then began to look around for the old man.

He had purposefully returned to those last few moments before he left to find Jonathan, in order that he could decide not to go, so the old man should've been there. Andrew began to lose hope as he went from room to room and the guilt was overwhelming. He's made many mistakes in his lifetime, and those mistakes he could never take back, but he'd never wanted to more desperately than now. Then, he rounded a corner and the two collided. He clapped the old man on the back and knew he had set things right – almost. There was one more mission he had to fulfill with the "problem-making" machine. He only hoped he could do it well.

Andrew had realized that night in the log cabin in the woods that he had made a mistake. He should never have invented the machine. Power like that should not be his, and he wrestled with his conscience about whether or not he should use it – even to prevent a future mistake, nut he decided it was for the good of all mankind – not just him, and so it was justified in his mind. What he saw in the red-haired man's face that night . . . he just couldn't leave things as they were. He knew he would always struggle with regret, for though the alter-reality would soon be forgotten, it had still occurred and he could never take it back.

Andrew's next destination was forward, past his wedding day, past Jonathan's election to that fateful morning when he was tinkering in the basement. He saw an older version of himself working excitedly on a small object resembling a calculator. How stupid was I? he thought to himself as he watched. Everyone called me brilliant, but I must be the stupidest man in the world. Andrew's breath caught in his throat when he saw a beautiful woman descending the stairs. not only was she drop dead gorgeous, but she was the spitting image of . . . Lily Ann Moore. No way! Andrew thought. Her daughter? Who would that make the old man? But Andrew saw in a moment the answer to his question, for there, descending behind his beautiful future wife was a small boy with a funny grin playing at his lips.

"Junior, your daddy's working. You need to stay quiet." the woman said to the boy, but old Andrew immediately stood and enveloped them both in a hug.

"You think that work's more important than my precious wife and son?" he said. "Though I must say that I'm on the brink of an amazing discovery."

"Well, we won't disturb you long. We just wanted to bring you some milk and cookies!" she started to say, but Andrew cut her off with a kiss.

"Thanks, Dear. I can't work on an empty stomach, you know." he laughed.

Nineteen - year - old Andrew hidden in the corner was envious. Is this what his life would be like now? Cherished by parents, and a wife? He couldn't wait!

But, why would his own son kidnap him?

"I want to be just like you, Dad." the boy said with an admiration in his eyes that thrilled both Andrews to pieces.

Oh, you will be! Andrew thought. If you're who I think you are you're just as ignorant as I was, but now, things will change. He stepped out of hiding.

Instantly, the happy little family froze. He knew that the man of this family would be defensive, were he not seeing the spitting image of himself.

Andrew succeeded in preventing the invention of the original calculator, so he was automatically transported to his own time only this time, there was no farmhouse or old man. The old man was not erased, but he would come later and live a long and productive life in his own time frame. Andrew was being raised by his loving parents. The ones he had so longed for. He finally figured out that the old man had not lied or kidnapped him at all. He had, when he traveled back to that snowy January night, landed right in front of the car Andrew's parents drove. They had swerved into the other lane to avoid hitting him and had a head on collision with another car resulting in death to all involved. The old man realized who they were and when he saw that they were dead, immediately ran to Andrew's house. He "kidnapped" him because he knew that he would not be allowed to adopt the boy, being from the future. He had wanted to go back to the normal time and fix things, too, but he did not know how as he was not a scientist. In the woods he tried and tried to get it to work, but he couldn't. When Andrew accidentally erased the old man, the old man, then, did not fall in front of the Cohen's car, causing it to swerve. So, Andrew's parents lived, but the car they would have hit got into another accident a couple of blocks down - with Lisa's parents. However, the crash was not as bad and all involved eventually recovered.

As time passed, Andrew forgot everything that happened, but, as he thought, there was a purpose for it that was deeper than what even he had perceived and would become known to him before long.

In the meantime, Andrew's attentions were focused on Anna Moore, Lily's daughter.

Those carefree days were the kind Andrew had always longed for, but they were not to last long.

Look next month for the first installment of the sequel to Andrew's Secret, The Assassination!

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Andrews Secret
Andrew’s Secret - Part IX
Andrew’s Secret - Part VIII
Andrew's Secret Part VII
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