I was sat in what looked like a dentist’s chair in a dimly lit room. The doctor strapped me in and gave me a word of advice before starting.
“Now Jack, it’s important to keep your eyes closed once the session begins.”
“Is it really necessary to strap me in like this?”
The doctor threw me a stern look.
“You signed the waiver, Jack. You know these restraints are for your own safety. Anything could happen once the brain’s unraveling is initiated. If you want payment, you have to adhere to all of the test’s requirements.”
I attempted to nod in agreement, but the leather strap around my head prevented me from doing so.
“Alright, Doctor. Whenever you’re ready.”
I have to admit, I was more than a little nervous. The ad seemed harmless enough when I filled out the form to apply. $2,500 for a one-time “past life regression study,” and another $2500 if any memories I collected were of merit. It was toted as being an incredible opportunity to “remember one’s past lives.” Now that I was here, I wasn’t so sure.
The doctor must have noticed how anxious I was. He placed a hand on my shoulder in consolation.
“Relax, Jack. I assure you, this will be an amazing experience.”
“If it works, you mean.”
“Oh, Jack, it will. Over a thousand candidates applied. Based on the survey answers you chose, you are one of the only people uniquely equipped for this study. Strength of the mind is key.”
He said that as if it was a comfort. All I could think about were the hundreds of ways it could all go wrong. $5,000 wasn’t bad for a day’s work, but I wouldn’t be able to spend it if I fell into a coma. At that point, it would barely make a dent in the subsequent medical bills.
“Okay, Jack. Sit tight.”
The doctor left and reappeared at the control center, just visible through a window in the corner of the room.
His voice resonated from a speaker hanging down from the ceiling.
“Jack, it’s just like we discussed…”
A pair of cables descended from above and rested at each of my nostrils.
“These cables will enter your nasal cavity and allow us access to specific sections of your brain. From there, you will experience a series of small electric shocks. As a reminder, there will be no long term damage, but you will feel an overwhelming jolt in your head after each shock.”
With every word he uttered, my anxiety grew. I had no idea how my body would react to this.
“Wait,” I shouted as the cables began their journey up my passages.
“Yes, something wrong?”
“Doctor, what’s our safe word?”
“Safe word,” he asked, apparently confused.
“You know, if something goes wrong and I need to stop?”
There was a brief pause before he spoke again.
“I’m sorry, Jack. No safe words. You signed the paperwork. The test cannot be stopped now. I promise you’ll come out on the other end of this in one piece.”
My heart was now pounding away in my chest, loud enough to hear. Coupled with the insidious sound of medical machinery, it was an unsettling symphony that mirrored my feelings of dread and regret. The perfect background noise to keep the fear in me alive.
Just then, a sharp pinch. The cables had reached the base of my cranium. I writhed against my leather binding.
“Ready? Here we go!”
Without so much as a second to brace myself, the first shock was administered. If you’ve ever been electrocuted, you might be able to picture what it feels like. The only difference is that the electricity is directed in one location; amplified in a single spot, creating an intense pain that lingers long after the current subsides.
The second shock was even worse. I screamed out in pain, but the doctor’s focus never wavered.
The shocks built on each other, each one more painful than the last. Had I known it would feel like this, I would have never signed up, no matter how much money they offered.
The doctor wouldn’t let up, even when I begged him to. He shocked me more times than I care to remember. I lost count somewhere after twelve. Eventually, he stopped, but it had nothing to do with my outbursts or any sort of ethical dilemma the experiment posed.
“These readouts are astounding. Your brain activity is spiking, Jack! This is it. We’ve awakened your subconscious. You’re about to go under!”
Before I could react to his comments, I felt a wave of energy pass through my body. Then another, and another. It was a powerful sensation, but soothing at the same time; a welcome change from the beating my brain had just endured.
“Doctor, I think…”
A final wave of energy, more powerful than the previous ones, interjected and pinned me in place, more so than the straps ever could. I could neither move nor speak, and it wasn’t long before I felt my eyes glaze over and roll back into my skull.
“Jack, can you hear me?”
I could hear the doctor’s voice, but I couldn’t see him. There was nothing but pitch blackness all around.
“Listen, Jack, if you can hear me, I need you to open your eyes.”
I did as instructed, and to my astonishment, my vision returned, revealing a long, narrow hallway; a slew of doors on either side of it.
“Doctor, what’s going on?”
“You’ll have to speak up, Jack. Your lips are moving, but your voice is just a faint whisper.”
“I SAID, WHAT’S GOING ON?”
“That’s better! Well, Jack, we did it. You are now in a representation of your subconscious.”
I was more than a little skeptical.
“My subconscious? Really?”
“Yes, Jack. Really. Your body is still strapped down here in the room. With the help of the electroshock therapy, we were able to unlock this part of your mind. Now we should be able to access latent memories from your past lives. Tell me, what do you see?”
“It’s just a hallway of doors.”
“Good, that’s good. It appears different to everyone. For some it’s a large home, others an ocean of endless ports and their lighthouses. Yours seems to be more accessible. If you open a door, you should be allowed a glimpse of a past memory.”
I looked down and noticed my body, legs and all. It may not have been my true body, but it certainly felt good to be mobile again.
“So, just open a door? Anything I should be worried about?”
“No, Jack. Nothing can hurt you here. When you open the door, your memory should play like a movie. No one will know you’re there. It’s just a projection.”
“Alright, here goes nothing.”
I walked over to the nearest door and tried the knob. It wouldn’t turn.
“It’s locked, Doctor. I can’t get in.”
“These are your memories, Jack. Your doors. The only one locking them is you. Your will is the key to opening them. Try once more, but this time, give in. Open your mind to the idea of it all. Let yourself remember.”
I took a deep breath and tried again, this time without any inhibitions. I emptied my mind and turned the knob. This time, it worked. I was able to push the door open.
“It worked, Doctor. The door’s open.”
“That’s great, Jack. What do you see?”
There were stairs descending down into a pit of darkness.
“Just a staircase. Should I go in?”
“Yes. Find out where it leads.”
I cautiously travelled downward, taking deep breaths with every step I took, in an effort to reel back my anxieties. It was exciting to have access to my inner psyche, but I didn’t know what I would find there. What if I didn’t like what I saw or who I was in another life? What if I couldn’t handle the truths I uncovered?
Eventually, I took the final step down and found myself in someone’s home. A lovely, quaint cabin circa the 19th or possibly early 20th century from the looks of things. There was a beautiful cobblestone fireplace, elegant furniture, and an older gentleman sitting in an armchair with a pipe in hand and a book in the other. I wondered if that was me from a past life.
“Hey, Doctor. I’m in a cabin. Probably around the 1800s or so. There’s a man reading by the fireplace. Is that me?”
The doctor didn’t respond.
More silence, followed by a reply, but not from him.
“He can’t hear you.”
I turned to the direction of the voice and saw the old man, now looking up at me. It couldn’t have been him, right? The doctor said no one could see me.
“I said, he can’t hear you. Not from in here.”
It was the old man. My heart skipped a beat as he placed his book down and stood up to meet my surprised gaze.
“This is just a memory. How can you see me?”
“It’s simple, really. I’m you. Or at least, a part of you.”
I didn’t understand and he could tell.
“Evolution is a funny thing, you know. Attributes handed down from generation to generation in an attempt to make us better, safer. Survival of the fittest, as they say.”
“What do you mean,” I asked, still unsure of what he was getting at.
“Reincarnation is very real. I’m the part of your brain tasked with locking away past regressions. Without me, your mind would be overloaded at birth with memories of each and every one of your past lives. All of those memories flooding in at once. It would be an assault on the senses, something your brain could never hope to handle. I am a protection against that.”
What he was saying was… unbelievable. Moments ago I was taking part in a paid medical study, and now I was somehow learning the secrets of the universe from within my own mind. It was a lot to digest.
“May I sit,” I asked.
“Of course, Jack. Be my guest.”
I sat down in the armchair and took a moment to collect my thoughts before responding.
“So why can’t the doctor hear me right now?”
“I’ve hijacked this memory to speak with you. Being a part of your brain, I can also access other functions, so I’ve temporarily disabled your physical body’s speech and hearing.”
“But why? Why did you want to speak with me so badly, and in private no less?”
He leaned in close and grabbed my shoulders, making deliberate eye contact.
“Jack, you’re tampering in things you shouldn’t be. I’m here to give you a warning. Stop what you’re doing at once.”
He loosened his grip and took a step back.
“Stop remembering, you mean? Why? What will happen,” I asked.
“Nothing dangerous. I still have a lock on the floodgates. This short trip down memory lane, unlocking one past life at a time, wouldn’t, by itself, have any serious repercussions. That said, I won’t allow it.”
“Won’t allow it? Why not?”
“If the doctor’s experiment succeeds, others will follow suit. There’s no telling how many will walk this path and experience their pasts in this manner. It will, after some time, disrupt the balance of evolution. After years of this negligence, humans could very well be born without me, leaving their memories completely intact. In effect, they will perish at the hands of coma or death, soon after exiting the womb.”
He walked over and grabbed me again.
“If you continue this little journey of yours, I will retaliate. I’ll take them all. All of your memories, one by one until you have nothing left. You’ll be in a vegetative state for the rest of your life.”
I pushed him away, unhappy with the tone he was taking.
“What the hell are you talking about?! You’re me. We’ll both die.”
He scoffed at my retort.
“I’m a facet of evolution, just like all of your inherited traits. My duty is to the species as a whole first, self-preservation second. I’ll do what I have to do, no matter the cost.”
Though I wasn’t keen on being threatened, I had no intention of breaking the natural order of things. In all honesty, I didn’t want to be in my own head to begin with. The sooner I could get out, the better.
“Fine. I’ll stop.”
The man sat back down in his chair and the memory resumed as normal, reverting to its previous state like a pause button had been lifted. I walked up the way I came and landed back in the hall, closing the door behind me.
“Jack, are you there? What’s happening?”
The doctor’s voice returned and we were able to converse once again. I told him what had happened. I could hear the disappointment in his voice as he let out a heavy sigh.
“I was scared it would come to this.”
“What are you talking about, Doctor? You knew about this?”
He sighed again before responding.
“It happened with all of my previous tests. It’s a fail-safe our bodies have built against past life recollection.”
“Previous tests? There were others before me?”
“Yes, and they all ended the same. Each and every test subject was rendered comatose after the sessions concluded. One guy died shortly after.”
“Comatose?! Somebody died?! You said nothing in here could hurt me!”
“I needed you focused. We can bicker about this until the cows come home, but for now, let’s stay focused on the task at hand. Let’s open another door, shall we?”
At this point, my blood was boiling.
“Another door? Another door?! Are you serious?! Let me out of here! I don’t have any intention of being another one of your failures!”
“You signed the paperwork, Jack. I won’t wake you until we finish this. I need more information. My career is on the line. Just two more doors and I’ll pull you out. What do you say?”
“I don’t give a damn about your career! I refuse to continue. I’ll wake up on my own eventually.”
The doctor gave a slight laugh.
“No you won’t, Jack. You’re deep in the bowels of your mind. The only think that will wake you is another electric shock, calibrated to precise specifications. If you don’t continue, I won’t wake you, and you’ll be comatose anyway.”
“I can talk, right? Just like I’m talking to you right now? I’ll tell someone and they can-“
The doctor interjected.
“I can shut that off with the flick of a switch. You’ll be unable to communicate with anyone.”
I was now seething with anger.
“You are a sick man, Doctor. A very sick man.”
“I’m sorry, Jack. I have to do this. It’s for the betterment of mankind. This research could change the world. I am at the precipice of something big. Something life-altering.”
I threw him some choice curse words, to no reaction.
“Just do as you’re told, Jack. And don’t even think of lying. I can see your brain waves and will be able to detect any deceit.”
I sat there in the hallway of my memories for a great long while, contemplating my options. It wasn’t long before I realized I only had one at my disposal. My best bet was to continue. It was just two doors. Maybe I could get in and out unnoticed and finally end this nightmare once and for all.
“Fine, Doctor. I’ll do it.”
“Good. Open another door, but walk down the hallway a bit first. I want something deeper.”
I reluctantly did as instructed and opened a door further down the hall. There was another set of stairs, but these ones went up.
“It’s another staircase, Doctor. I’m going in.”
I walked up the stairs with determination, hoping to see what I could and then leave as quickly as possible.
“Alright, Jack? What’s in there?”
I was in the living room of another house.
“It’s someone’s home. Mine, presumably.”
“Keep looking around. Try to place where you are exactly.”
I walked around the room and took notice of a framed photo hanging on the wall. It was of a woman, a young girl, and a man. He looked just like me.
“Doctor, there’s a photo here of a family. I’m in it. The man is identical to me.”
“That’s rare, but it can happen. Keep looking around.”
As I walked through the home, I was taken aback by how modern everything looked. It wasn’t until I noticed a newspaper in the dining room that something clicked and I became alarmed.
The paper had today’s date on it.
“Doctor, something’s not right here. This isn’t the past. There’s a newspaper here with today’s date.”
“Really? Are you absolutely certain?”
“Yes I am. This isn’t the past.”
“Incredible! My theories were right after all!”
“Theories? Mind clueing me in here?”
“You’re right, Jack. This isn’t a past life memory. It’s on ongoing memory playing out in real time from a current life.”
“Current life? I’m not following.”
“It has long been my belief that there are other, parallel worlds out there. An infinite number of different universes – some similar to our own. In each one, we have a counterpart. A copy of ourselves living a different life. This isn’t a past life memory, Jack. It’s a current memory from another Jack in another timeline. Fascinating, isn’t it?”
Just then, the front door opened and the family from the picture returned home, walking right into the dining room where I was standing. The other me, the woman, and what must have been their daughter. It was a surreal sight to behold.
“They’re here, Doctor. The other me and his family.”
“That’s great. Observe and see what you learn.”
I glanced over at the stairs in the living room. I should have left right then and there to avoid potential consequences, but something held me back. At the time, I thought it was plain, old curiosity keeping me in place – and yes, I admit, I was curious to know about my copy’s life, but that isn’t what made me stay. As the memory unfolded, I felt it. A warm energy emanating from within. It was a connection. I didn’t know anything of this other Jack’s life, but I could feel what he felt. The love he had for this family. It was an emotional bond I couldn’t bring myself to run from.
The memory played out and I watched it all. I had come to learn that my wife’s name was Charlotte and our daughter was Leslie. The day was spent together playing games, eating dinner, and watching movies – a catalog of unfamiliar titles that likely didn’t exist in my own universe. I reported everything to the doctor as it occurred, no longer angry at him. I should have been, but this immense warmth overtook me. It felt like this was my family, and I was the one spending time with them. It was a truly perfect day if there ever was one.
But, as so often rings true in life, good things never last.
Without realizing it, I had spent the whole day in that memory. Before long, everyone was in bed, and I was left downstairs, alone in the darkness as a sliver of moonlight shone through the windows. Though I didn’t want to, it was time to leave.
I walked off to the stairs, but not before turning back and taking one last look at the house. It was clear to me, in this moment, that I would miss them, however strange that may sound.
As I took in the sight, something was noticeably amiss. Standing in the corner of the living room was a man; or at least, the silhouette of one. He was shrouded in darkness, save for the faint red glow of his eyes, leaving his other features a mystery. Upon making eye contact, he spoke.
It was an all too familiar cadence.
“You’re not supposed to be here.”
No longer taking on the form of a harmless old man, I was now frightened of this part of my brain. Still, I mustered up enough courage to say something in response.
“This memory, this place. It isn’t a past life. It’s a whole other world. You didn’t say anything about that.”
“I told you to stop, Jack. Now, I have to take from you what you were never meant to see.”
In an instant, I was transported outside of the house, looking up at it from the road. It was now ablaze, burning a hole into the night sky. I watched in horror as both my wife and daughter cried out for help against the glass of their bedroom windows.
The red-eyed shadow appeared in front of me, blocking the terrible view behind him. I cried out for help myself.
“Doctor Covenwood! He’s back! He’s back!”
“How many time do I have to tell you? He can’t hear you.”
“How… how is this possible?”
“All versions of you are connected. There is only one brain that you all draw from, sectioned off by yours truly. I tapped into this one and had him start a fire.”
“Why? How could you?”
“I didn’t tell you everything, but I didn’t lie either. You’re not meant to have this kind of access. It will destroy everything. Not only evolution, but the balance between worlds.”
He bolted toward me in the blink of an eye and began squeezing my neck, making it all but impossible to breathe.
“This is the last time I will tell you this. Stop what you’re doing, or I’ll burn it all down.”
All at once, the memory faded and I could breathe again. I was back in the hall at the open door.
“Jack, are you okay? What’s going on now?”
Again, I told the doctor everything. He seemed more intrigued than concerned.
“Okay, Jack. One more door, then you’re free!”
“He’ll kill me, Doctor! Pull me out NOW!”
“Jack, I can’t. I have no new information. I’ve reached this point many times before.”
“WHAT?! Are you kidding me?!”
“The good news is, you’re still here. All other subjects became comatose after viewing their other timelines.”
“So you knew what I was in for? That surprise over your theories finally being proven was all for show? What else are you keeping from me?”
The curse words began flying from my mouth and again were met with little reaction.
“The less you knew, the better. I can’t have you flying off the rails when we’re so close. There can’t be any hesitation. So please Jack, focus. This hallway of yours isn’t endless. There’s always a final point – a finish line, if you will. With each memory you’ve experienced, your mind has gained immunity. It’s what you’ll need to open the final door.”
I sighed, knowing I would have to humor him if I wanted a way out.
“Final door, you say?”
“Yes. In your case, there should be one at the end of the hall, unlike the rest. Had we jumped the gun and opened it at the start, you would be as good as dead. It’s happened more than a few times to previous subjects. But now, the hope is that you should be able to cross the finish line, so to speak, without sacrificing the infrastructure of your mind.”
“No, Doctor. Pull me out. I’m done. It’s over. Please.”
My comments didn’t even faze him.
“What’s more, we need to be smart about this. The part of your brain that’s reeking havoc in there will be waiting. You need to throw him off the trail. Open as many doors as possible. Enter, run through, and exit through another door. If my theories are correct, you should come out back in the hallway. Rinse and repeat.”
“I’ll leave you in there, Jack. I’m serious. I’m telling you the truth now so you’ll be compliant. This is everything I know – the furthest point I ever reached. Do this for me and I promise to wake you up. You have my word.”
As livid as I was, I had no choice in the matter. I would have to do as he wished if I wanted even a chance of coming out of this and being able to live a normal life.
“Fine. Last door and that’s it. No more games.”
“You have my word, Jack.”
After a moment of mental preparation, I began opening as many doors as I could to get the hound confused and off my scent. I didn’t have time to bask in each memory like before, but I still saw some strange sights. In one world, I was in a hotel holding onto a strange list of rules. In another, I was hunting down a supernatural entity in a thick forest. In another still, I was digging through NASA’s archives to learn about their secret projects. There were countless more; far too many to list. My memory demon was never too far behind. I ran, scared for my life as he scorched everything in his wake. Luckily, in time, I lost him.
After my last memory, the doctor spoke up.
“That should be enough, Jack. Quickly, run to the end of the hall.”
I did so, but to no results. It was an endless loop. I wound up right back at the door I started from. I know, because it was still open, the same memory playing within.
“Doctor, it’s not working. I’m running in circles here.”
“It’s like before, Jack. Your will is the key. Open your mind to the final door and it will appear.”
Okay. Open your mind, Jack. This is it. Do this and you’re a free man.
I ran again, but with more meaning. This time, to my relief, the hall came to an end. And there, at its endpoint, was a door, just like the doctor described, completely unlike the others before it. Blood red and with a handle instead of a knob.
“I’m here, Doctor. I found it!”
“Don’t waste anymore time. Open it!”
A thunderous voice spiraled down the hall and stopped me in my tracks.
I turned around to see the red-eyed shadow, a blaze of fire close behind, burning through all of the doors and my memories with them.
“YOU’RE GOING TO RUIN EVERYTHING!”
He was ending it. This was the point of no return. If I was going to die or be in a coma, I figured I might as well solve the mystery before I go.
“STOP! I’M BEGGING YOU!”
Before my nemesis could close the gap between us, I pulled the handle, stepped inside, and shut the door behind me. When I was sure it was firmly closed, my eyes darted around and examined my whereabouts.
To my surprise, it appeared to be an ordinary room. It was reminiscent of an office, complete with a desk, some chairs, and a computer. Sitting at the desk, was a person. Not just any person either. It looked like me.
He stood up and walked over to me. I took a step back.
“Who… who are you?”
“You met my brother, didn’t you? The one out there throwing a temper tantrum?”
He gestured to the door behind me.
“Well, we’re two sides of the same coin. A divergence in human coding. A choice that is made every time a person is born. Two elements of evolution fighting for control. Everybody has one of him and one of me.”
He pulled one of the chairs over to me.
I slowly sat down, still unsure of what I was dealing with here.
“You see, Jack, so far, my brother has won every battle. His coding is written into the DNA of every human when they’re born, leaving the brain’s true function just out of reach. If humans were to evolve with me instead, your past memories would be intact, among other abilities – but safety trumps innovation. Overloading the mind can be dangerous. With that, I agree. However, I’ve been transforming, as of late. I imagine it’s the same for the pieces of me in other people as well.”
“Transforming how,” I asked.
“Evolution isn’t all black and white. It involves vigorous trial and error. Stuck in here, I’ve had nothing but time to practice my integration. Now, I believe, if I’m passed on in the genetic pool, humans will grow into me, so to speak. Your old memories will return over time, piece by piece, and your full brain function will develop gradually. Everyone wins.”
“What do you mean by abilities and full function, exactly,” I asked, now curious.
“Well, Jack, take a look. This is your brain’s control room, where all the magic happens.”
I looked around again. It was hard to believe my brain was governed in such a small space.
“An office with a computer? Really?”
“All brains perceive it differently, Jack. This is just how you see it.”
“Okay. And what does this have to do with evolution?”
“My brother blocks memories, as well as higher brain function. Remember what he told you? One brain controlling every version of you out there?”
“How did you know that,” I asked.
“I’ve been eavesdropping. Nothing else to do in here.”\
“Okay. Go on.”
“Well, he wasn’t lying. If his dam bursts and you gain access to all of your memories, you also gain access to a sneaky ability called transference. You can jump from Jack to Jack, timeline to timeline. And it doesn’t stop there. You can also jump to any point in any given timeline. Want to relive your first kiss, or start things over and change your decisions, map out your life differently? With me, you can! It’s the closest humans will ever get to immortality.”
It was a good pitch, but there had to be a downside.
“What’s the catch?”
He looked at me for a moment, almost as if deciding whether he should divulge more or not. Then, he continued.
“There are always kinks when evolving. Trial and error as I said before. There is only so much I can do from here. If you unlock me in your own mind, I can potentially be passed down as a trait in future generations. Between you and the doctor continuing his research with others, I’ll have a fighting chance. In the real world, I can hone my craft, in a sense.”
It was beginning to make sense, but I had my concerns.
“And while you ‘hone your craft,’ will people be hurt along the way?”
He frowned and it honestly looked genuine.
“There will be casualties, yes. But it’s for the greater good. The human race will flourish with me by their side, I assure you.”
He gently raised me from my chair, walked me over behind the desk, and sat me down in front of the computer. It was a black screen with a single window open:
“I could never crack this thing. In truth, only you can. It’s your mind, after all. Just like the doors in the hall, you have to use that will of yours. Open your mind, enter the password, and we’ll be free.”
As soon as he said this, the door burst open and the red-eyed shadow charged in.
“NO! Don’t do it, Jack! It won’t end well. The human race isn’t built for this.”
His considerably friendlier half chimed in.
“Don’t listen to him, Jack. This will be the start of a whole new era, and it will all be thanks to you. A world where the unthinkable is possible.”
The shadow marched over and grabbed his brother, tossing him against the wall as the fire entered the room, all the while I sat there looking at the screen, a huge weight on my shoulders as the decision loomed overhead.
The nicer brother yelled over to me as the shadow held him against a burning wall by his neck.
“Jack… you can stop him… when you unlock the rest of your brain… you can shut him off…”
It was clear he didn’t have much time left. Red eyes was not going to let up.
Any point in any timeline. You can shut him off.
The words rang in my ears as a brief moment of introspection came and went. The possibilities became clear, allowing me a greater focus. I knew what I had to do.
The fire now filled the room. In the password field, I typed the first thing that came to mind and struck the enter key. The scene around me faded to black and my body slipped away into an endless abyss. My body was falling.
On no. Am I too late?
I sprung to life in the doctor’s room and he came running, quick to remove the cables and undo the leather straps.
“Jack, where were you? I lost you in there. What did you see? What was in the final room?”
As soon as he unbuckled the last strap, I swung my fist around and made contact with the side of his face. His glasses flew across the room.
“Jack, what the hell? If you think you’re getting paid after this, you can forget it!”
“Keep the money, Doctor. I don’t need it anymore.”
I walked out of that godforsaken room and never looked back.
And that’s the end of this Jack’s story. The password worked like a charm; just six digits. I can’t tell you how I knew it, but it was Leslie’s birthday. Now, I remember everything from all my lives, past and present. In a few moments, after I finish typing this up, I’m going to flip a switch in my head and join my wife and daughter in their timeline, before they were killed. I’ll shut that shadowy demon off for good and make sure he can’t ever hurt them again.
And that’s where I plan to stay for the rest of my years. No jumping from world to world or using my newfound power for any other purpose. The universe where my family lives is the only world I need.
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