Caught in Time-7

by Aditya Sengupta

The story so far (see Caught in Time!Caught in Time-2Caught in Time-3Caught in Time-4, Caught in Time-5 and Caught in Time-6): Eleven year-old Ajay starts out for school in Kolkata and boards a bus that takes him to World War II France. Forced to train as a German pilot, he is hit by a RAF Hurricane on his maiden flight and crashes into Ancient Greece in the eve of the ‘Wooden Horse of Troy’ episode. Caught and imprisoned by Trojan soldiers in an ante-chamber inside the wooden horse, Ajay finds himself  at the foot of a pyramid in ancient Egypt. Negotiating the murderous defense mechanisms of the ancient pharoahs inside the pyramid, he is taken prisoner and pushed into a room where a poisonous gas is released. Choking, he blacks out  … 

Chapter 7: The Lord of Time

Ajay opened his eyes. Not slowly, but rapidly, within one second. He arrived at the conclusion that he had not been sleeping–or at least, he had not been sleeping normally.

He sat up and looked around. He appeared to be on the peak of a mountain. He was not wearing warm clothes, but he did not feel cold at all. Looking around he saw a middle-aged-looking man standing nearby.

“Where am I?” asked Ajay, bewildered. He remembered the time-warps. “When am I?”

“You are currently on top of Mount Olympus, but time has no meaning here,” was the reply. “Everest may be the highest peak in the world, but Mount Olympus exceeds it, as it is here that time begins and ends. It is probably the most important place on the surface of the earth.”

“But who are you?”

“Aristotle.”

“What? The ancient Greek philosopher? How –”

“Were you going to ask how I am alive now? I already told you, time has no meaning here. After my death, I was made the Lord of Time. And since time has no meaning here, it seemed the ideal place to rule over it.”

“Time-warps surround it on all sides. To the gods in other places, like lower on this mountain, I have been Lord of Time for two thousand years. It is a very important position.” said Aristotle.

“So, if you’re the Lord of Time, you would have seen what happened to me.” said Ajay.

“Of course. A boy going backwards through history is very interesting.”

“So can you explain what happened to me?”

“Yes, I can.” Aristotle sat down on a chair that had not been there a minute before and began his explanation.

“Time-warps occur in two situations. Either you are trapped in a place with no sense of time, or you are in an object that is moving at extremely fast speeds, such as the bus or the fighter plane.”

“You travelled much further back in time on the second occasion because the rate of time travel, which is the ratio of real time to amount of time you go forward or back, depends on the speed of the object. A falling plane would travel much faster than the bus. An object that is the medium of a time-warp is also invisible. That is why there was no news of an extremely fast bus in Kolkata,” said Aristotle.

“Not many people would have seen it anyway. It was 5 a.m.” said Ajay. “But tell me, why wasn’t I time-warped in the pyramid? And another thing–in the wooden horse, I examined everything very carefully; yet, one of the men still managed to find a small room which was definitely not there before. How did that happen?”

“You weren’t time-warped in the pyramid as there you were concentrating on reaching a time-warp, not entering one,” replied Aristotle. “Even if you had reached a time-warp, you would just have been transported somewhere else”.

“Once you are in a time-warp cycle, the only way to get out of it (if you’re not a god) is to die,” explained Aristotle. “You would then be brought here. As for the small room, I create time portals for the gods to travel through time–the one thing that they cannot do naturally. You must have been wishing that a time-warp would appear at the time.”

“By the way, I must also thank you. You created two key time-warps which had completely slipped my mind, even after more than two thousand years of thinking. Gods can be quite absent-minded, you know. Despite our divine powers, we still haven’t been able to create a mechanism for remembering things!” Aristotle chuckled.

“Being the Lord of Time sounds like a difficult job.”

“It is. And now, I’m sure you would like to go back to your own home, in your own time. You will be transported to your school, to five minutes before your History test. You will be in your school uniform and all the contents of your school bag will be with you.”

Ajay was about to mention that the History test was next week, when he decided against it. He didn’t like Maths and would gladly miss a test.

On Aristotle’s instructions, Ajay walked through a gate and was time-warped.

***

The teacher was handing out test papers as Ajay arrived. Nobody seemed to notice Ajay’s arrival, appearing from thin air. He took his paper and sat down.

The first few questions were:

Q1. Describe the flight techniques of the pilots of the Luftwaffe.

Q2. How were the Trojans tricked by the Greeks using a wooden horse?

Q3. What sort of defense mechanisms did Egyptian pharaohs use?

Ajay took out his pen (which was with him, like Aristotle had said) and began to write.

***

Aditya Sengupta is 11 years old and a student of class VII in New Delhi, India. He loves reading, writing, music and watching cricket.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Smiti Gupta
    Jul 04, 2011 @ 06:57:13

    This is a brilliant story! Wonderful!

    Reply

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