Alex

Written by Dice

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Time. A tricky topic for sure, but incredibly intriguing.

Alex was your average mid-twenties young professional. He was tall, slim with short brown hair and blue eyes. He worked nine to five every weekday before returning home to his one bedroom flat to watch TV or browse the internet.

Today was different, lo and behold he had turned off the TV, finally bored of watching the same old rubbish. He sat for a while staring at the black screen, glancing occasionally at the remote which sat within easy grasping distance. He glanced at his watch: 9:58pm, that new comedy would be starting soon…

Alex was brought out of his battle of will by a knock on the door. Confused at who would visit at this hour, but glad of the distraction, Alex peeled himself from the sofa and made his way to the door. He stopped at the sound of another knock. The knocking wasn’t coming from the front door, but the door to his bathroom. He sighed, clearly he’d left bathroom window open.

“Come in,” called Alex joking to himself. His laughter was cut short when the bathroom door opened and a man who, in nearly every way, looked exactly like him. Apart from the clothes, the Alex doppelgänger wore an expensive grey suit which fitted to this man’s clearly more toned body.

“Thanks,” replied the doppelgänger whose voice was also exactly the same as Alex’s. Alex stood perfectly stunned, after a short silence the new Alex held out his hand and spoke, “I’m Alexander, good to meet me again.”

Alex fainted.

When Alex woke he was sitting on his sofa looking at the black TV screen. For the briefest moment he believed he had dozed and dreamed the appearance of his double. But that reprieve was dashed as he noticed Alexander sitting on the coffee table, sheepishly waving at him.

“Now I know what you’re thinking, and no it is not a dream, it is a scientific improbability rather than impossibility.”

“What?”

Alexander sighed. “Have you heard of the multi-verse theory?”

Alex nodded in answer. He had seen many sci-fi films and books that spoke of parallel universes where every possibility in life was played out.

“Well then you know every decision you make in life creates a new timeline, or branch if you like. That’s where I’m from, a nearby branch of the same tree. I have the same mother and father as you, almost everything in our lives was the same until you chose a career in programming and I in espionage.”

Alex nodded dumbly.

“You’re probably also wondering,” he continued, “Why I am here?”

“Yes,” croaked Alex.

“It’s simple really, sure you’re a programmer by day, but a pretty damn good hacker by night.”

Modesty prevented Alex from agreeing, but it was true, he had gained access to many government and corporate networks, not for any reason beyond the challenge.

“And we need one of your skills.”

“Whose we?” asked Alex.

“Ah, I mean me, or you, of course, let me get them,” replied Alexander standing up. He brought up his right hand above him and with his index finger drew a rectangle two meters tall from the ground and a bit more than half a metre wide. Lines of light glowed where he had drawn. Then to Alex’s astonishment the rectangle began to rotate, pivoting on its left-hand side. As it moved it revealed a doorway into a plain room with brilliant white walls and no furniture. Alex sat with his mouth gaping open as people began to walk out of the white room into his flat.

“Let me introduce you,” he said, gesturing to the new arrivals. Alex felt he knew what was coming, both had one thing in common, they both had the same face; his face.

“This is Al,” resumed Alexander. The first new doppelgänger was built like a brick wall with an impressive set of muscles. “Also known as Muscles, you’ll never guess why.”

“Hey.” Greeted Al with Alex’s voice, it seemed wrong on a body so different from his own.

“Next we have Zander.” Alexander saw Alex’s expression and quickly explained. “Yes he is the eldest, but he’s still just another branch of you. And he knows just about everything about Multi-verse.” Zander looked to be in his sixties with white hair and a well-kept beard to match.

“Evening.” Chimed Zander. Alex just nodded in reply he found it disconcerting to see an older version of himself.

“I would look that uncomfortable,” came a female voice, “Zander’s refined and mature appearance promises more than father’s balding overweight appearance.”

Alex looked back towards ‘door’ where two identical women entered the flat. Both had bodies that would turn a man’s head while leaving their gaping mouths behind. The only difference between them was their brown hair. The first had short boyish hair, the other had long straight that reached her shoulder blades.

“Are you sure about this one Alexander?” questioned the first woman.

“He’s very scrawny.” Agreed the second.

“Alexys and Lexi,” explained Alexander, “turns out in one universe an ‘X’ sperm reached the egg first.”

Alex stared aghast.

“Yep,” affirmed Alexys, “we’re you too, in every way but female.”

“If you hadn’t noticed,” added Lexi, standing in a way to remove any doubt she wasn’t female in every way.

“So what do you think?” asked Alexander excitedly turning to Alex. “Oh, not again.” He exclaimed. Alex had passed out in shock, again.

“I told you,” accused Lexi, “not even Zander here fainted twice.”

“That doesn’t matter, we don’t have time to wait, Muscles, grab him, we’ll just have to explain it to him when we he wakes.”

“Everyone back through,” commanded Zander, “the link will break soon.”

“Ladies first,” intoned Alexander, waving the twins through. They did so, soon they were followed by Al carrying Alex and then by Zander. Alexander stepped through the door last. “What time is it?” he questioned. “21:59” came the reply from Zander.

“Good good,” replied Alexander as he shut the door behind him.

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