Later on that day, Martha and Monica went home. As soon as Martha and Monica entered the house, their parents stood by the door with their arms folded.
“Are you two okay?” Martha asked. “You two look crooked.”
“You talk to them, Nina,” their father said.
“Where have you two been?” Nina asked.
“Looking for a prom dress,” Martha said.
“Somebody told us that you dropped by a drug house.”
“Who told you that?”
“None of your business! How could you drive your sister there, Monica?”
“She’s the one who went inside,” Monica said.
“But you fucking drove her there!”
“Everybody shut-up!” Martha and Monica’s father said.
“Don’t tell anybody to shut-up, Jerry,” Nina said.
Jerry took a deep breath.
“As soon as you two graduates, Martha’s going into rehab, and Monica’s moving out,” Jerry said.
“We’ll be eighteen in September,” Martha said. “I don’t have to go to rehab if I don’t want to.”
“In that case, the both of you can just move out!”
Jerry stormed upstairs and Nina followed him.
“I’m sick and tired of getting into trouble because of you,” Monica said.
“You’re getting on with foolishness,” Martha said.
”Look at you. You’re turning into Mom and Dad. Except they’re not druggies like you.”
Martha ended the conversation and she stormed off.
Over the course of a few weeks, Martha and Monica only talked to each other when they needed to. However, a few days before the prom, that’s all Monica and Martha talked about. They even made plans for the prom. Larry and Emily would meet with Martha and Monica at their home. They would all take a limo together, and they would sit at a table together. While Martha and Monica became sisters again, they didn’t talk about the car accident, nor Martha’s drug problem.
The prom took place a few weeks later. Martha arrived wearing a teal dress.
“Love the dress,” Larry said.
“Thanks,” Martha said. “There’s something I want to ask you. Why have you come to our school one month before graduation?”
“What are you talking about? I came to this school when I was in grade 10.”
“How come I’ve never noticed you before?”
“I used to be the invisible kid. But then I hit the gym and I gained some confidence.”
“Oh! That makes sense. Have you’ve noticed me around?”
“Yes. I wanted to ask you out a few times, but I was too nervous.”
Martha gave Larry an innocent kiss on the lips.
Meanwhile, Monica sat at a table by herself. That is until Emily joined her.
“What’s the matter?” Emily asked.
“It’s Martha,” Monica said. “I keep getting into trouble because of her and
I’m sick of it.”
“Quit being so emo.”
“It’s something that will be popular in the 2000’s. Never mind. The point is you’re living in your sister’s shadow. If you stop that, she won’t get you into any trouble.”
“Maybe you’re right.”
“You know I’m right. Come on, let’s dance.”
Everybody danced the night away. Toward the end of the night, though, Martha brought Larry outside, to the side of the school where nobody would see them.
“Wanna puff?” Martha asked.
“I don’t smoke,” Larry said.
“There’s no harm in smoking weed, but okay. So, what are your plans after graduation?”
“Ever hear of the internet? I want to design websites for a living. I heard there’s a lot of money in that.”
“What’s a website?”
“I’ll explain later. What about you? What do you wanna do?”
“I might become an English teacher. That was the one subject I’m good at.”
“Sounds wicket. Would you want to have kids someday?”
“Yeah, but not anytime soon.”
“You can’t have kids if you smoke weed.”
“When I’m ready to have kids, I’ll stop. It’s not like I’m a drug addict.”
“Weed is not a drug.”
“Okay, if you say so.”
Martha was not even half-way done smoking her joint and she just snuffed it out. Then she shoved her tongue down Larry’s throat.
“I tell you what,” Martha said. “Every time I smoke a joint, or a drink a beer, just take it away from me.”
“Why?” Larry asked.
“I don’t know. Maybe there are more important things in life. Or you can just let me be.”
Once again, Martha shoved her tongue down Larry’s throat.
The graduation ceremony took place one week later. Martha was valedictorian.
“Graduating high school is bittersweet, because we’re like a family,” Martha said. “We see each other every day. We don’t always get along, but we’re there for each other. When this day ends, we will all go different paths. But we have nothing to fear, because life never takes you where you expect it to go. Instead it takes you somewhere better. Thank you, class of 1993.”
The crowd cheered.
After Martha’s speech, the class of 1993 received their diplomas. After the ceremony, the class said their tearful goodbyes.
One year later, Martha got pregnant with Larry’s first child. As a result, they landed multiple jobs each, while attending college.
Meanwhile, Monica shared a two-bedroom apartment with Emily.
Martha and Monica got their lives together. But eventually, their lives would be turned upside down.
One evening, Monica had coffee with Emily.
“When was the last time you’ve been on a date?” Emily asked.
“I don’t know,” Monica said. “Why?”
“I know a guy you might like?”
“Why not? He’s no Brad Pitt. But he’s cute, nice, and funny.”
“I don’t want to hook up with anybody.”
“Why? Are you gay?”
“What? No! I’m happy being single. The only thing I don’t like about it is everybody pressuring me to be with somebody.”
“How about he hangs out with us sometime and let’s see where things go?”
“Fine then. But why do you want me to hook up someone so badly?”
“Honestly, it’s because you’re always tense. You really need to get laid.”
Monica rolled her eyes. “Whatever,” she said.
A few days later, Monica and Emily hung out in a restaurant.
“So, where is this guy?” Monica asked.
A man with short orange hair met with Monica and Emily.
“Monica, this is John,” Emily said. “John, this is Monica.”
“Hey,” Monica said.
“Hey,” John said.
Monica and John didn’t say much to each other at first. In fact, Emily did most of the talking. But eventually, John and Monica ended up having a real conversation.
“You like science fiction,” Monica said. “Let me guess, you like Star Trek.”
“No, not really,” John said. “I used watch Doctor Who when it was on TV.”
“So did I! Who’s your favorite doctor?”
“I liked Patrick Troughton.”
“I really miss that show.”
“Same. Maybe it will come on TV again, some day.”
“Yeah, in 2005, maybe. Although I heard it will be made into a TV movie in a year or two.”
“I hope that’s true.”
John and Monica were so into their conversation, they forgot Emily was there.
“Where’s Emily?” Monica asked.
“I’m sitting next to you,” Emily said as she seemingly appeared out nowhere.
“Where did you come from?” Monica asked.
“I was here the whole time,” Emily said.
“This is like a moment from a bad rom-com,” John said.
“So, that’s like 90% of them,” Monica said.
John and Monica went on a few more dates. Eventually, John invited Monica over to his apartment. The moment John opened the door to his apartment, the first thing Monica noticed was a giant bookshelf.
“I see you like to read,” Monica said.
“Yeah, I do,” John said.
“Mind if I take a look?”
Monica looked through John’s bookshelf. There was nothing that grabbed Monica’s attention, except this one book: ‘History of Planet Oberon.’
Monica held up the book in front of her.
“Where did you get this book?” Monica asked.
“My grandfather wrote it,” John said.
“Mind if I take it home to read it?”
As soon as Monica went home, she sat down on the couch and she read the book immediately, but she returned the book a few nights later.
“Interesting book,” Monica said. “Very entertaining.”
“Thanks,” John said. “What did you like the most about it?”
“Good question. I guess I like how your grandfather wrote it like a history book. I also liked how Oberon is divided into different countries. You normally don’t see other planets divided into countries in science fiction.”
“Yeah. My grandfather had an active imagination.”
“It’s funny. When I was a kid, I’ve convinced myself that my sister and I were from a planet called Oberon. I guess I must have seen this book somewhere and that’s where I came up with the idea.”
“What else did you used to say?”
“About Oberon? Not much. My sister and I came to Earth through a plot hole. I also told people the grass was pink. I guess I also had one active imagination.”
John laughed nervously.
“Will you excuse me?” John asked. “I got to make a call. You can watch TV in the meantime.”
John went to his room while Monica flipped through the channels. But she overheard John talking. Monica muted the TV and she listened closely to what John was saying over the phone.
“Y’ ave geoan uni o’ zea gemis,” John said. Translation: “I have found one of the twins.”
Monica couldn’t tell what language John spoke. It almost sounded like French or Spanish.
“Ye dems meh da varle zir,” Monica heard John say. “Okay.” Translation: “You want me to tell her. Okay.”
John then came out of his room.
“Monica, there’s something I have to tell you,” John said. “You should sit down.”
“Uh, I’m already sitting down,” Monica said.
“Okay. Good. I’m just going to come out and say it. Oberon is a real place. You, your sister, and I are from there.”
“Yeah. Okay. Did my sister or Emily put you up to this? Emily always loved playing pranks.”
“No. It’s all true. That book that you read is proof.”
“I don’t believe it. I was right all along.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah. I guess.”
“Good, because we need your help. We’re looking for a machine called a reality engine. It’s a machine that people can use to manipulate time. They can also use it to see throughout time and space, that includes multiple universes. Centuries ago, scientists from the country of Kratos (one of the countries on Oberon, invented the reality engine. But the Libertas government tried to take it from us. To prevent war, the governments from both countries sent their best MMA fighters to compete in a tournament and Libertas won. As a result, they took our reality engine. According to our Intel, the reality engine is located on Earth. Will you help us find it?”
“I can finally get back at my sister. Yes. I will help you look for this reality engine.”
Years earlier, on Oberon, Angel joined the Libertas military. That’s where she met David.
Once David and Angel graduated from basic training, they trained together in the martial art of solider combat. That’s when David and Angel realized that they liked each other. Cadets at the Libertas Academy were forbidden to date, so they dated in secret. While David and Angel dated, they continued to train in Libertas soldier combat. David and Angel eventually became black belts.
Eventually, David and Angel they got married. After their honeymoon, David and Angel were deployed to the country of Tookistan, where they competed in the tournament between Libertas and Kratos, for control of the reality engine.
In David’s match, he competed against a man named Bruno. He was a tall man, who was a weightlifting champion. He was also the heavyweight champion in the Kratos Iron Fist Boxing League, the most dangerous boxing league in all of Oberon. Not only does the Kratos Iron Fist Boxing League have very few rules, it’s also a bare-knuckle boxing league as well. Even though Bruno had to wear gloves, they were only designed to protect his fists, and not to soften his punches.
The match between the two fighters was fierce. David relied on dodging Bruno’s punches, and counteracting with his own punches. However, Bruno landed one hard punch to the side of David’s head. David managed to get back on his feet before the referee counted to ten. However, as soon as David got back to his feet, Bruno gave David a powerful, three-hit-combo to the head, knocking him unconscious.
“David!” Angel screamed. Angel jumped into the ring to check up on David.
“Ma’am, you need to get back,” one of the paramedics said.
The paramedics rushed David to the hospital and Angel followed.
Angel was in the waiting room for what seemed like hours until the doctor came in.
“How is he?” Angel asked frantically.
“The blows to the head caused serious brain damage,” The Doctor said. “He’s on life support, but he’s brain-dead.”
“No!” Angel screamed as she fell to her knees, crying profusely.
Several minutes later, Angel regained her composure, and she went inside David’s hospital room.
“This is so unfair,” Angel said. “We both knew that when we joined the army that we would be putting our lives on the line, but I didn’t expect this. I wanted to start a family with you some day. But I’m not mad at you, David. You did your job. You served your country. Goodbye, my love.”
Angel told the doctors to take David off of life support. Because David died, Angel withdrew from the tournament and she took time off to grieve.
A few days later, Libertas won the tournament. A few months later, Angel rejoined the army.
“There’s a possible future where the Kratos Army may steal the reality engine from us,” Admiral Adams said. “For that reason, we’re bringing the reality engine to Earth. It’s on the other side of the galaxy, so it will take five years to get there. It’s also a one-way trip.”
“I volunteer to go to Earth, Sir,” Angel said.
“Are you sure of this?”
“Alright. Thank you, solider.”
Angel went aboard a ship with the reality engine and she spent five years traveling to Earth.
Earth – 2000.
Larry and Martha had a five-year-old son named Steve, and Martha was pregnant again. Larry and Martha lived in their two-bedroom apartment for years. Since Larry and Martha had another baby on the way, they looked for a house.
“Hi, I’m Angel,” the real estate agent said. “You two must be Larry and Martha. Let’s take a look at the house.”
The outside of the house had new siding. There was also a beautiful garden in the back of the house. The inside of the house had three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a modern kitchen and a moderate-sized living room.
“What do you think of the place?” Angel asked.
“It looks nice,” Larry said. “But can we afford this place?”
“Actually, the house is not that expensive,” Angel said as she handed Larry and Martha a sheet of paper.
“Is that cost of the house or your phone number?” Larry asked.
“That’s actually my phone number. If you think this house is expensive now, imagine what the housing market will be like by the year 2017.”
Larry’s rumbling stomach interrupted the conversation.
“I’ll be back in a few minutes,” Larry said.
Larry ran to the bathroom as fast as he could.
“I would like to show you something,” Angel said as she opened a door by the staircase.
“Why haven’t I notice this door before?” Martha asked.
“It’s because of a perception filter.”
Angel opened the door to show Martha a small room with a control panel and two screens: a big one and a smaller one. She then went inside and pushed a few buttons on the control panel.
“There, I stopped time,” Angel said. “That will give us more time to talk…ironically.”
“What’s going on?” Martha asked.
“Martha, I’m from a planet called Oberon. So are you and your sister.”
“Yeah, okay. Excuse me a minute.”
Martha stepped outside and she saw a teenage girl with bangs covering the upper-half of her face, walking down the street. Martha also saw cars on the streets, and birds in the air. But the girl, the car, and the birds were all frozen in place.
“What’s on the go?” Martha asked.
“I told you, I stopped time,” Angel said.
Martha ran back inside the house.
“Is this a time machine?” Martha asked, pointing to the room with the control panel.
“It’s called a reality engine,” Angel said.
Angel told Martha the history of the reality engine. Angel also told Martha about Oberon and how it had different countries. According to Angel, Martha and Monica were born in a country called Libertas.
“Thanks to a plot hole, the Libertas government finally found you and your sister,” Angel said. “I’ve been in charge of protecting the reality engine for a few years. But our government re-assigned me somewhere else. I want you to keep the reality engine safe.”
“How am I supposed to do that?”
“Just don’t tell anybody about it, not even your family.”
“What if I refuse?”
“I can’t make you do something you don’t want to do. But if you agree to it, you can use this machine to make sure your kids have bright futures.”
Martha looked around the living room.
“I think the living room would look nice if I paint it teal,” Martha said.
“Will you keep the reality engine safe?” Angel asked.
“Yes. But how am I going to convince Larry we should buy this house?”
“I have no idea. But you better think of something.”
“Okay. I have a question, why is it called a reality engine?”
“The ruler of the country of Kratos, Glacier named it that for some reason. She’s also a demigod.”
Angel went back inside the control room and she showed Martha how to use the reality engine.
“Those look like buttons on a DVD player,” Martha said.
“Exactly,” Angel said. “Just like a DVD, you can slow down time, rewind it, fast forward it and pause it. You see those lines on the small screen? Those are the different timelines. You can also accelerate and reverse the age of any object.”
Angel spent the next half-an-hour explaining to Martha how to use the reality engine.
When Angel set the time back to normal, she and Martha quickly went outside of the reality engine control room and they closed the door before Larry came downstairs.
“Larry, I think we should buy this house,” Martha said.
“But we can’t afford it,” Larry said.
“We both work two jobs each,” Martha said. “We can afford it.”
“But you’re pregnant. So you’ll go on maternity leave soon.”
“Larry, do you trust me?”
“Then let me worry about all of that.”
“Fine. We’ll take this house.”