Calla's Journal: December, 2009

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

It took me until December to read all of Frank’s journal. I’m not a slow reader, but neither am I an emotional one. I had not expected to be overcome with love and grief while reading words, not ever in my life. Frank’s words overwhelmed me on a regular basis and it took time to deal with.

I compared his story to my own journals, for clarity and perspective. At the end of it all I realized that, at the start, I had been operating under the assumption that my sister Dahlia had been involved in romancing Frank to get him interested in me. My own experience showed that what she claimed was a con, “me” visiting Frank from the future, was in fact the truth. He had been in love with the real me, not my sister. I’d needed to invent a time machine to make that happen, but it had happened.

How had she known it would happen? Apparently, because he saved her from the fire that destroyed my childhood home and took her to the future. I found that idea bewildering – I had met Frank as an adolescent, yet possessed no memory of the event. He had met travellers from the future with the capacity to alter memories, and I could only surmise that they had erased mine after this Zebediah character attacked my parents. That was a disturbing thought.

Frank had gone through periods of confusion, so I wondered how often they had eliminated his short term memory as well. To what end? It seemed as if Zebediah had been actively trying to train and recruit Frank for a mission – one to create the situation where I would develop time travel and apparently found his future society. He was willing to kill my parents, Frank’s father, and apparently countless other opponents in order to arrange history in the direction he wanted it to go.

This bothered me, for several reasons. First of all, it meant that he had murdered my husband, my parents and my husband’s father. Zebediah had set up countless manipulations to strip Frank of his entire life. His friends, his family, his job. The more that all got stripped away, the more he was devoted solely to me. His devotion drove me to work on my machine and use it, which would ultimately result in creating the society Zebediah seemed to want.

Worse, I had learned that I could not change the past. That meant it was a probability approaching certainty that the things Frank had seen in the future would come to pass. Very shortly there were going to be tribulations in my own time period that would threaten the existence of the United States, and I had an obligation to try to prevent and alleviate the damage.

I would be playing into his hands but I could see no other avenue thus far.

There was another thing from the journal: I had assumed Dahlia had been visiting Frank to con him. I had learned that was not the case by my own time travel. There was an instance in the journal where Frank saw the “future me” and assumed it was the “present me.” I knew from my own memories that this was not the case. Given that all the rest of the trips into the past had been me, this suggested one thing.

I had to go see Frank one more time.

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