Today feels like the last day of my life, even though I have no evidence that it actually is. In ten minutes, an employee of mine will appear in this room with a version of myself from ten years prior, knocked unconscious from the shock of time travel.

Of course, since I was unconscious during my journey, I couldn't have possibly known that I would be brought to this point, here, today, simply from the fact that I was transported to 2017. So let me reference an event that happened exactly 10 years ago.

I was in bed, trying and failing to get to sleep, when a man wearing a metallic helmet suddenly appeared from thin air in my room, carrying a human with a body that looked exactly like mine, and a head covered with a similar helmet. When he removed the helmet I could tell that the face was mine as well. He placed the helmet on my head, and then said "Don't take it off. Your brain could be damaged by the teleportation." I assumed he was joking and took it off.

The next morning I woke up, assuming it was a dream because I had read similar science fiction stories and I knew that a loop like that would violate both the first and second laws of thermodynamics. But a week or so later, I started remembering things that hadn't happened yet. At first, when it was just next week's lottery numbers and equations for a theory of everything, I didn't make the link to my time-travel incident. Actually, I didn't make the link at all, it was made for me.

I saw myself being carried by the employee, now with helmet off, nine years, eleven months, and three days before I actually experienced the event. It was five minutes before the time travel machine was supposed to be activated.

"Good, you went straight to my office. You're going to give my body to yourself and then both of you are going to stay in here for about ten minutes while I explain what's going on to the confused audience. I'll let you explain this to yourself." I knew he would say the best words for him, since if there were better words for him to say he'd remember and then he'd say it. (And I think he actually repeated parts of it under his breath.)

I was now on the stage, just outside the time travel area. "Now you may think this means the time machine is working incorrectly. Actually, it means it will work correctly. The person who came out is John Miller, one of my employees. John was the one who was scheduled to enter in five minutes, and he will enter the time machine with the body that came out of it. The time travel will continue just as planned."

I returned to my office. "Did he take off the helmet? Yes. His memory is damaged. We'll need to take him to the top-secret room to transfer my memories in." We said it in unison, because both Johns knew what I would say because he told himself, and I knew what they would say because of the memory transfer.

I strap myself into the machine, place the transfer dome onto my head, and brace myself for the first time in ten years that I will not know what is about to happen...


Note: I write these in advance, but I check them on the days the things happen and decide whether I would want to change anything. I never do.

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