Hello Phans! I have an all new phic for you to read! Hurray! This one is a concept I came up with ages ago and have been toying with writing it for some time. I would love for it to be a short little story, but like most of my stories, they turn out to be short novels. Oh well. Please be patient with this first chapter. I have to get a lot of technical stuff out of the way before the fun can truly start.
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Disclaimer: I do not own the Phantom of the Opera characters. Any new characters are of my own making and I do own them. They are my slaves. They bring me tea and slippers and massage my feet after a long day of work. They are locked up in my basement right now. . .
Just kidding! Read and Review! I need reviews to know if I should continue!
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The spinning came to a dizzying halt as I suddenly felt the blast of cold air around my naked body. I vaguely remember wretching on the chilled stone ground under my bare palms and knees then collapsing. I struggled to focus my blurry eyes on my surroundings. Why did it hurt so much this time, I wondered? All the other times I had transfertimed hadn't been quite so nauseating. My stomach cramped once again, this time with nothing left in it to vomit, hurting even worse than before. Slowly the world around me began to materialize through the typical grayish haze one saw after transfertiming. I would have to find clothing and fast. The chill in the air would soon freeze me to the bone and you never know what sort of people you will come across and how they will react to a naked woman lying in an alleyway.
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I lifted myself to my feet, my body screaming at me to stop moving. I could hear in the back of my mind the voice of Professor Jake telling me, "Remember that birth is very painful." I groped around the alleyway looking for something to cover my body with and at long last I found some scraps of a man's clothing. Tattered and torn in places and covered with filth, they were the best I could find and I looked forward to replacing them with more suitable clothing. Once covered properly, I walked barefooted out into the street to observe my surroundings. I must find a newspaper, I thought to myself. I had to be certain of the date. It was difficult enough to calculate the precise year, let alone the precise month and day. I had to be sure before I continued.
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The street scene was just what I had expected. I had made certain to transfertime into the poorer section of Paris. I would stand a better chance at finding help here than had I done it to end up in the ritzy downtown society. They would have turned their nose up to me and my appearance and left me alone. I walked among the shabby apartment buildings, the alleyways lined with rubbish and filth. I could hear people starting their daily businesses and children laughing as they bunched off to school. I walked several blocks, ignoring the stares I got from even the poor at seeing a woman in mens rags. I finally found a boy selling newspapers and took the liberty of borrowing one. I was correct in the date. It was late September,1880. I found my way over to a fire burning in a metal barrel surrounded by three others, trying to warm themselves from the morning chill. Ignoring one woman's raised eyebrow, I saddled up to the fire and warmed my hands. As I stared into the flames, my mind traveled back (or forward to the future) to when I had determined to set on this mission.
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We had just begun merely 5 years ago after the invention of Professor Jake's Transfertime Machine. It was truly an engenious machine. I was part of the research team that put together the data needed to build it. A Russian scientist had discovered the mathematical equivilant to figure the passage of time in the fabric of space. Everything in the past had been recorded, much in the same way that radio transmissions will continue out into space endlessly once they have been broadcasted out into the universe. Eventually, if you traveled far enough away from the earth, you would catch up with that broadcast and determining the distance from the earth, you could properly date it. The Transfertime Machine basically calculates how far from the earth it has to make an opening in the fabric of time and space in order to go back to that date. With the universe the size it is, it is very difficult to measure out to a single day in history. Of course this process cannot be done in reverse. Regretably, we discovered that travel into the future was impossible.
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Time travel was painful. I had not been the first to try it. The first man they put through space disappeared. His locator beacon which lay embedded inside his body, malfunctioned and he could not be found for retrieval. He was permanently transfered into the past. Of course since he did not return we could not be certain that he had been transfered to the right time and location. It took the next two years to perfect the process of determining location. A second homing becon had to be placed in present day and time at the location of arrival. It had to be a place that would still have been there in the past. If it were put in an open space today, without proper research, the traveler could be deposited into the wall of a building or a lake that used to be there. There were many complications to begin with, but after more trial runs with the disguised probes, they were ready to try it on another human being.
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Naturally, I volunteered. I had no family or ties to hold me back from going. The first time I remember waking after tranfertiming and recognized myself in an open field of farmland in the middle of where today stood Los Angeles. It was 1925. They only allowed me to stay for 24 hours before they brought me back. Upon my return, I reported to them the amazing tale of what it felt like and how things looked.
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During the research phase, they discovered that in order to transfer a human being through space, they had to be broken down on the molecular level according to their DNA pattern. When they were deposited in the appointed time and place, their bodies were basically put back together from scratch. The results were amazing. When you transfertimed and were put back together, you retained your age, but your body might as well have been just born. You have the same ammount of hair and your fingernails don't grow more than when you left with them, but any scars you accquired in life, any ailments, are all gone. Your body starts out fresh and new. I had trouble hearing out of my right ear for as long as I could remember. A bad headcold as a child if I remember correctly. When I traveled back in time, I could hear perfectly again.
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The sound of an oncoming carriage shook me from my reverie. I had to be on my way. Due to the extensive research needed to travel on one of these trips, I knew exactly where I had to go. First I needed money. The other researchers had informed me how to enter a certain bank's vault without being seen. I walked north towards it's location, severely wishing I had been lucky enough to find shoes as well. The cobblestones cut my tender feet. I found my way to the edge of the sewers. Grimacing at what I must do next, I gritted my teeth and slid past the bars of the sewer's drainage path.
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This was by far the most disgusting thing I had ever been forced to do. I waded through the filth exactly 50 paces down til I reached a small grate. I crawled through the narrow passageway beyond it and found myself in the floor drain of a bathroom of the bank. The owner had not yet opened for business that day. I quietly crept through the hall until I reached the back room vault. I carefully listened as I turned the combination knob that would open the door. These old safes were very easy to learn to open. It's a wonder they didn't get robbed more often. Once the door had been unlocked, I tiptoed inside and stole a large bag of currency. With this, I was going to be able to buy some decent clothes and rent a place to stay while I completed my task. I made my exit the same way I had come, being very careful not to make much noise. The last thing I needed was to be caught and arrested. Then I would never get home. I exited the sewer and washed off in the nearby river, ignoring the looks on people's faces passed. I know how badly I smelled, but I really couldn't care less.
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I entered a small secondhand clothing shop in a less populated area of downtown, buying some decent ladies clothing and the toiletries I needed. I found the nearest hotel and rented a room for one day. I simply needed it to wash up and make myself more presentable. I would later buy more fashionable and expensive clothing. I had to fit the tastes of where I would be spending my time. After freshening up, I ordered a cab and ordered the driver, "To the Opera!"
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The Opera house stood grand and immense in the afternoon sun. The sunlight glinted off the rooftop's ornate sculptures, making me squint my eyes. I took a deep breath, hoping against all doubts that my travel's here would not be in vain. He simply had to exist. There was simply too much lingering evidence, even in my time, for him to be a simple fairy tale. I purchased a ticket for the evening performance at the box office. The office attendant stared down his long nose at my choice of dress as he pushed the ticket through the slot. "Good day to you mademoiselle," he said haughtily as he closed the shutter in my face. Apparantly, I was correct in assuming that I would need to purchase some more fitting clothing if I were to continue without futher rudeness.
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Later that evening, after having purchased some very fine clothing to attend the opera and rented out a room at the hotel across the street, I walked up the opera steps nervously. The other patrons of the opera were all dressed in their finery and chit-chatting about the local latest gossip. I elbowed past them all and entered the hall. The opera looked so bright and new compared to when I had spent time there researching the building. The banisters and steps were all hightly polished marble and the candelabras smelt of burning gas as they lit the entire entryway. I walked up the grand staircase to the top entrance of the theater and handed the usher my ticket. Le Prophete was playing tonight, but I had no interest in the opera. As soon as I was seated my eyes stayed glued to box 5. HIS box.
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Halfway through the first act, I thought I had seen some movement in the box, but I was mistaken. Like the legend says, the managers had not sold box 5. I asked a woman who sat beside me during intermission if she had ever seen it sold. She laughed nervously, and said, "My dear, don't you know that is the Opera Ghost's private box? Everyone around here knows that!"
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The Opera was nearly over and I was close to falling asleep. My neck hurt terribly from turning it towards box 5 for such a long period of time. I paused for a moment to stretch it, then just as I turned my head back to look into the box again, I saw a momentary flash of a white glove on the edge of the balcony. Just for a moment, then it was gone. I thought it was my imagination, but I saw the curtains to the right swaying slightly, as though someone had just disturbed them.
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