Author's Note: this story follows Chuck In a Moment. It was inspired by the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Remember Me" (1990, season 4, episode 5).
In addition, though this story does draw its title from a Fall Out Boy song, it will not be a "song title" fic, such as my last three have been.
Something was not adding up.
Chuck looked at the map in disbelief. According to Google Maps, the whole of the world was an area smaller than twenty square miles. If he went north, it ended at Sunset Boulevard. To the east, the 405 freeway; south, Venice Boulevard, and to the west, the Pacific Ocean seemed to go as far as the edge of the continental shelf – and then just stop.
"There's no way," Chuck breathed. "What the hell happened?"
He scrolled out – and the only thing that Google Maps displayed around the edges of the bounded areas was the graphic that said "No information for this zoom level."
And then, as he watched, it got a little bit smaller. Sunset Boulevard disappeared.
"NO WAY!" Chuck shouted. With trembling hands, he switched over to the directions option and asked for directions from his apartment to Sunset and Bundy Drive.
Google Maps is unable to locate your destination, it said. Sunset Boulevard was just plain gone.
And then it hit Chuck – what was bothering him about this.
"If this is everything that exists, then Google Maps shouldn't work," he said. "Google is located in Mountain View!"
Just like that, Firefox switched over to a 404 Not Found error page.
"This is just wrong," Chuck whispered.
Grabbing his keys, Chuck ran downstairs to the parking lot. He grimaced.
It was the Herder that sat there. The Corvette was long gone – disappeared to God knew where.
Chuck beeped open the Herder and got in. Starting it up, he pulled out of the complex onto Lincoln Boulevard.
The streets were littered with abandoned cars. Nobody was in Santa Monica.
The lights were cycling through – red, green, yellow – but no cars were moving. Chuck simply ignored the lights, and the occasional red light camera flash that accompanied them.
If he was right, there was no point in observing them.
When he reached Olympic Boulevard, he turned left to head east. Two blocks later, he took the ramp to lead him onto the Santa Monica Freeway.
The overhead signs told him what streets were coming. Twentieth Street. Pico Boulevard. I-405 Freeway.
But then there was the yellow sign at the bottom of the big green sign. FREEWAY ENDS 3 MILES.
That couldn't possibly be right. Interstate 10 ran all the way across the country to Florida – which quite possibly no longer existed.
And as Chuck approached the 405, he took his foot off the gas and slowly coasted to a stop. Putting the Herder in park, he stepped out of the car and looked to the east.
He looked – and then his eyes rolled back in his head. The Intersect flashed, and told him exactly what he was looking at.
"Oh my God…"