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27 Nobody Understands Me Better Than Myself

 Mortimus Lupin sat on the commander's chair in the Poseidon's bridge as if it was natural. Surrounding him were Ivan, Mazur, Iris, Valeria, several hunters, and the scientists working under Mazur. Several other hunters were just outside, keeping Major Harold and Captain Argentear hostage out of earshot so they couldn't eavesdrop.

"Explain yourself," Ivan commanded. "It should be impossible for there to be two of me. So who exactly are you, and why come after me?"

"I am indeed you, and vice versa. My name is Ivan Storme," Prime Minister Mortimus said with a smile. "Mortimus Lupin is a false name. After all, the Prime Minister sharing the name of a criminal, and looking similar, is pretty bad for publicity."

"How can there be two Ivan's?" Mazur squinted his eyes and inspected the Prime Minister for flaws. If it wasn't for Ivan being absolutely positive they were the same person, he would never believe it.

"It is long and complicated, and I can only say so much. The be exact, while we are the same person, we aren't. I am Ivan Storme from the future. As for the specific date, I cannot say."

Ivan looked at the Prime Minister, the supposed himself from the future, and chose to ask, "Even under the assumption that is true, I still can't understand the motive. Nobody understands me better than myself, and for me to do that, it's incomprehensible."

"What if I told you I did it to save the human race?" Mortimus(Ivan) jokingly asked.

"Bullshit," Ivan immediately replied.

"Well, you are right, nobody understands me better than myself, right?"

Mortimus' expression suddenly became stern and serious.

"The reason I came back, why I gave up everything, was for none other than myself. I truly do intend to save the human race, but for selfish purposes. I also intended to help you, who is me, in building Celestial Trade Incorporated."

Mortimus' words, containing information that was impossible for an outsider to know, shocked everyone in the room. The entire time travel theory was preposterous at first, but it rapidly became less of a joke, and more of a reality.

"Allow me to recount my story first, what I hope to change. I started building the company in subspace with a thousand employees. Every year, for several years, in accordance with the planet's orbit, we would return to the planet for vacation, during which time I, Valeria and Mazur woud raid pirate bases to increase the number of stasis pods we had."

"We accumulated a total of ten thousand by the end increasing the rate of transforming Vulpes into Celestials. Birth also slowly began to happen within subspace, the first fourth-dimensional babies. The company began to grow and take shape, four-dimensional technology advancing rapidly once the methods of harnessing energy were discovered."

"Methods? You mean there's more than one way to use it?" Mazur and several other scientists caught onto the keyword used, but Mortimus(Ivan) simply shook his head and continued on.

"Alas, I didn't realize that the growth I was originally so proud of, was simply too slow."

Silence reigned in the bridge as Mortimus(Ivan) looked into blank space with despair.

"What I didn't realize at the time of starting the company, was that our galaxy was under attack by the Scalians, a race from the cluster next to ours. It started off as skirmishes at first, and none of the people in the federation took it seriously at the time."

"Coming from the next cluster over takes an enormous amount of energy, and as such, humanity held a massive home ground advantage. Even though humanity lost more ships than them due to a technological disadvantage, the calculated energy loss was more severe on their side. What they didn't realize was that the Scalians were a war-like race who didn't care. Their population exceeded humanity by a factor of ten thousand. They were more than happy to throw soldiers at the human race, as it would ease the strain of their overpopulated cluster."

"The attacks became fiercer and fiercer, until the point humanity could no longer resist. By the time I had grown my company enough to release our services and products across the galaxy, humanity had already fallen."

"The Scalians had already defeated humankind and populated its galaxies. They didn't take prisoners and slaves, merely killed them all to allow their population to become less crowded. While we were Celestials, we were still recognized as humans by the Scalians, and none would trade or employ our services."

Ivan frowned in consternation. It was a lot of information to take in, but he still found an inconsistency. "I would have retreated into subspace then, not gone back in time."

"That is exactly what I did. But without humans to transform from the third dimension, the rate of birth and proliferation of Celestials was exceedingly slow. A longer lifespan due to a stronger, higher form of body drops fertility by an equal amount. The race was growing, but incredibly slowly."

"We weren't alone in subspace though. We came under attack. We were technologically superior, but at the same time at a major numerical disadvantage which our technology couldn't compensate for."

"We survived but the company fell. We could never rebuild it again, and even protecting ourselves became difficult due to the lack of manpower. In fact, it was you, Mazur, who developed the theory to move back in time and fix it, although you weren't sure of the consequences of doing so."

Mazur raised his brow in surprise and asked, "How exactly did I do it?"

"I only know how you initially explained it to me," Mortimus(Ivan) said in thought.

"So it's the idiot's explanation," Mazur grumbled under his breath, making Ivan not know whether to laugh or cry.

Mortimus(Ivan) cleared his throat before explaining, "As you told me, time can be considered to be flowing either forward, or backwards, depending on your viewpoint. If you picture yourself moving through time, you are heading toward the end of time, meaning it is moving forward."

"However, if you picture time as the one that is moving through you, just like a river flowing down a mountain, the origin of time is actually moving toward you. This means that eventually the beginning of time would arrive, and thus time is moving backwards."

Mazur nodded in a rudimentary understanding before stating, "Go on."

"Ahem, through the Copenhagen interpretation, as it cannot be observed or measured, it can be considered to exist in both states until it is, moving both forward and backwards at the same time. I'm not sure about the rest, especially how you explained calculating something that can't be measured, something about unspecified variables, but that's roughly it. Although, unless it is a final desperate attempt, don't use this method."

Mortimus(Ivan) had a grave expression as he said, "To move through time, means you must step outside of it first. It also mean losing your entire future, I can no longer return back to where I can from. If I was to move back into the future, it wouldn't be my world, but still yours.

Ivan frowned and asked, "I understand becoming the Prime Minister now, you can direct the Galactic Fleet in resisting the Scalians, but what do you need from us?"

"Mazur must go research their technology, break it down and come up with countermeasures for the Galactic Fleet. You, Iris, and Valeria should also join him on the trip."

"If you're from the future, you should know what their technology is and how to counteract it. Can't you just tell them what it is?" Ivan asked suspiciously.

Mortimus(Ivan) shook his head helplessly before standing out of the chair. He suddenly started to unbutton his shirt before pulling it open and displaying his body to everyone present. Large holes could be seen going through his body, like swiss cheese. There was no blood though, as only a faint gold and purple oil seemed to be present around the wounds.

To make matters worse, everyone could see them slowly getting bigger, consuming the Prime Minister's body one spot at a time. Everyone took a sharp breath at the state of his body.

"I told you, by moving to the past, I lost my future. By changing history though, I destroy my own past. With no future and no past, my very existence is consumed as that existence becomes an impossibility."

"I can guide people in the right direction without any great consequences, but directly revealing information that isn't known bears a large cost. You can visibly see it getting worse, just from what I told you."

Ivan nodded in understanding at this, secretly vowing never to attempt time travel. "So what did you bring to help me? You obviously can't bear the price of much."

"Everything I have done is for the development of Celestial Trade Inc. In order to speed up progress, I have this," Mortimus(Ivan) shifted his hand in an odd way as it vanish in thin air, re-emerging shortly after with a bright blue cube the size of a palm in it. "It contains the basic energy circuits for harnessing energy. The industrial age began with the steam engine, this is that, so I'll leave the rest to you. I will also provide 100,000 stasis pods for you to remodel and prepare to increase population."

Ivan briefly saw to holes in Mortimus' body rapidly growing to almost four times the size before the latter hastily buttoned his shirt back up.

"Very well, there are many questions I want to ask, but I'll hold off. How long is this trip to examine the Scalian's ships going to take?" Ivan asked seriously.

"Approximitely a year, as estimated by my knowledge of how fast Mazur will solve the problem with several federation scientists.

"...Then let's depart shortly."

"Very well, I will return to the cruiser and await you. Bring the Captain and Major with you. Our fleet is much faster than the Poseidon after all."