Foreword

My advisors and Bond Mates have been on my ass for the last 10 years to sit down and write this story. I'm 280 years old and I think they are afraid I will die of old age before I write it, if I keep procrastinating. I kept telling them there is nothing to worry about, but I finally got tired of being nagged and agreed to write the story.

The reason I knew I could not die before I wrote the story will undoubtedly be confusing to someone who is not aware of the story's history. You see what happened is that my historians found the electronic files of a story that had been posted on the internet in 2016 Old Calendar. Since I had not written the story and since it was obvious I wrote the story, it would be impossible for me to die before I wrote it in the future. Otherwise, our timeline would self-destruct and timelines don't do that, or at least I don't think they do.

Perhaps I should explain that in a little more detail. I first learned of the story in 2182 Old Calendar, which was about 100 years ago, when our historians were going through computer files that I had them archive before the Week of the Meteoroids.

They immediately notified me when they realized that a group of those files was a story that provided a detailed history of the Ark and the Ark Foundation that began in 2026 and ended in 2279 Old Calendar. When they realized they had a historical document that described the future, it scared them so bad that they stopped reading the files and notified me. At least they said they stopped reading and claimed that they had not opened the subsequent files other than the last file, but I have my doubts.

When I skimmed through several of the document's files, I realized that we had a copy of a document written by me that I had no recollection of ever writing and it contained information about our future. I immediately had those files stored in a restricted area of our computer that required special permission to access. I needed to think this out before I read the story. To be truthful, the ramifications of knowing the future scared me; perhaps the historians were being truthful about not reading the files.

Once all the computer files were safe in the restricted area, I convened an emergency meeting of my Advisory Council to discuss what we should do about this situation. Several Advisory Council members believed we should read the document and use the knowledge to avoid making the poor decisions that we suspected we would make in the future. Most of the Council opposed this idea for if we did something different from what was written then it would change our future. They rightfully said that changing any of the future events described in the document would create a different future for us, and that future may not be as advantageous as that described in the document. That of course assumes the contents accurately describe our future.

My council may have been split on what to do with the document, but we all agreed that the historical knowledge of the future was too dangerous to reveal to the members of the Ark Society. Therefore, we agreed that the files should remain locked away so only I could access them. Once that had been done, we could discuss what we should do in the future.

I made a hard copy of the electronic document without reading it, and I had Bob store it in a secure location that only he and Sharna could access. I then observed as our network specialists moved the document's electronic files to a removable hard disk that was given to me. Bob and Sharna stored the hard disk with the hardcopy where no one could access it. I directed two of our network specialists to delete the files from our disk drive and overwrite the file locations so no one could retrieve the files' contents. I also had them search all of our storage devices to see if there were other copies of the files. Of course, I made sure that the network specialists doing this work were part of the group that believed reading the files might lead us to our destruction.

During our next regular Advisory Council meeting, we discussed the document. My advisors were worried about our timeline if we failed to close the time loop. I suggested that we make a copy of the document and send it back in time to close the time loop. That set off several heated discussions.

The first issue raised was, 'How we could send a document into the past when time travel was impossible?' Someone asked the obvious follow-up question, 'Do we know that time travel is not possible?' The obvious answer to those questions is we have a document from the past that defines our future. The only way that could happen was, the document would be written in the future and sent back to the past. Therefore, it is only logical that someone in our future would invent a means of time travel.

The second issue raised was 'Would sending a 'COPY' of the document back in the past create a time anomaly?' Everyone agreed that it had to be written by someone, so since I had written the document, I would have to write it. Back then, I was not a writer and had no desire to become one. So I said, "Okay, I'll do it." I knew that it would be a losing battle to refuse to write the document; besides, by the time my amateur time loop experts were finished, I had become somewhat concerned over what would happen if I didn't write the document.

I confirmed the last event in the document occurred in 2279. So I told them I would wait until after 2280 and use the current document to retype the document into new computer files. That way by creating the files, I will have 'written' the document.

At that point, our somewhat calm discussion became an intense argument. The council was split almost 50 – 50 on that idea. The group that I came to think of as the purists took the position that retyping it was no different than copying it. It had to be created not copied. My group, the group I thought of as the practicalists, believed that as long as I typed the words there would be no problem. The dividing line was so clear and the arguments so angry sounding that we had to end the meeting before we came to blows.

The argument continued for several weeks. What finally ended the argument was a conversation I had with Bob over our mental link.

"Jon, this argument everyone is having is silly. Why don't you just write the story? Sharna and I will help you."

"You don't understand Bob. I haven't read the document and don't know what it says. Therefore, I can't recreate it by just sitting down and just writing whatever comes into my mind. What will happen to our timeline when the two documents are compared, and they are different?"

"You are worrying about nothing Jon."

"What do you mean worrying about nothing?"

"You currently have the document's files. Right?"

"Yes."

"Those files were put on the internet back in 2016. Right?"

"Yes."

"Where did the person who put the files on the internet get them?

"Well, I suppose they are the files we sent them."

"That's right Jon, and those files are the ones that you will write. Right?"

"Well yes, but what if I make a mistake in what I write?"

"If you write something different than our actual history, then the document will contain the same error because it is what you will write. You need to keep in mind that the document does not control our future. The only problem will be the teasing you will get for making an error."

"It sounds okay Bob, but I want to think about it some more. My gut feeling is that I am missing something."

"Hey, no problem Jon. You have almost a hundred years to go before you finish living the history that you will put in the document."

At the next council meeting, I agreed to write the story of our history without referring to the document we had locked away. Despite Bob's assurances, the idea of having to write the story disturbed me. I was afraid of what might happen to our timeline if the story I wrote did not match the document we had locked away.

During the next 100 years, I agonized over writing that story. The first 70 years were not too bad for I was busy guiding the Ark's people so we would survive and I knew I had plenty of time to write the book. However, during the last 30 years, my Bond Mates and all of those self-styled time loop experts were a pain in the ass with them telling me that I should at least start the story by writing the part that occurred before the 'Week of the Meteoroids'. I kept procrastinating until late in 2280.

Hum, now that I think about it, the existence of a historical document in our past that would not be created until sometime in our future has to be some form of time anomaly. To put it in perspective, at least the perspective I would use to present it is, this document exists but it has never been created. Will that fact have any affect on us before I create the document, and if so, how will it affect our current society?

My self-styled time loop experts, who have annoyed me for years about closing this time loop, may not have considered that, for it has nothing to do with time loop theory or at least I don't think it does. They need a good problem to worry about, so if I phrase it right, they will be tearing their hair out for at least a good three years trying to determine what it means and how it may affect our timeline. Payback can be a real pleasure!

Why did I finally give in and start writing the story, well the simplest answer is my Bond Mates, all 181 of them, were adamant that I do it. I wanted some peace and quiet, and if you have ever been nagged by 181 women, then you know the real reason why I gave in.

I was 278 years of age when I started writing the story. And if I recall correctly, I was 24 years old when my part in the story began. My memory of everything that has occurred during the past 254 years is vague in many areas. The only reason I can produce an accurate account is that Bob and Sharna have total recall of everything that has ever happened to them.

The entire time I was writing the story, I was bothered by one thought, 'Why did the document need to exist?'

No, I'm not talking about my creating the document to close the time loop. What I mean is someone or something determined that the existence of the story was necessary for some reason. It feels to me that that someone is using me as a puppet for a reason that I cannot determine. Obviously, someone created the open-ended time loop to force me into writing the document. I can think of no other reason for the document's existence. Since it is of no importance to the past, existence of the document and time loop infers it is important for the future. So I ask myself, why a document describing the past 254 years is important. I find it extremely disturbing to be trying to find an answer to a question that should not even exist. Namely, why was the time loop created and what does the answer mean for my future, the future of my family, and the future of humanity?

Well, all this philosophical bullshit is getting me nowhere. For what it is worth, I hope that you will enjoy the story of what will occur during your future, even if you don't believe the events I describe. If you do believe the events, then you have my condolences for the fears and emotions that you will undoubtedly experience in the coming years.

Oh well, like many good stories, there are several places I could begin this tale. I have chosen to start it with a description of Bob and Sharna's arrival on Earth and then continue it with my learning of them in the year 2026.

Yours truly,

Jonathon Reppa

P.S.

All 182 of my Bond Mates are impatiently waiting for me to finish this introduction to the document, so we can send it back into our past. When I agreed to start writing the document, I told them they would not be allowed to read it. Some may say that was cruel of me, but in my opinion, 30 years of nagging is cruel also. That explains their impatience; they want Bob and Sharna to recover the document, so they can read the document I locked up so many years ago, but there is one final thing I need to say before I give the document's electronic files to our Time Travel technicians.

Early in my life with Clara, who was my first Bond Mate, I believed that the larger our Bond Group became the more difficult it would be for she and Sharna to find new Bond Mates who were satisfactory to all of us in the Bond Group. Needless to say, things didn't work out as I thought they would. Sharna and Clara are still finding and adding new Bond Mates to our relationship. I keep telling them that I have all the Bond Mates that I will ever need, but they just ignore me and continue looking for and finding us more Bond Mates.

Since I started writing this document, they have only added one new Bond Mate to our Bond Group. I guess they felt I was too busy writing to give her enough attention. If that is true, I think I need to become a writer. If I stay busy writing, perhaps they will stop adding Bond Mates to our Bond Group.

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