Nexus

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Mookrham Chopra could not stand people who acted as if they were the center of the universe. Mookrham always tried to accommodate people as best as he could, but some demands were just unreasonable. It was just inconsiderate to assume that you were so important that everyone else should bend their schedules to suit you.
This particular character flaw seemed to run rampant in the world of Defense Department acquisitions. Mookrham worked in the reliability department; he determined when different components on an aircraft would fail, and how. Then he passed that information on to various admirals and high ranking officials, who completely ignored his safety warnings and determined whether or not an aircraft would fly based on what their schedules looked like. Admirals were the worst. They seemed to think engineers were magicians, and could pull working aircraft out of hats if only they were yelled at loudly enough. Admirals seem to think that reality would bend itself to their wishes, and that the world revolved around their desires.
This was particularly troublesome in no small part because Mookrham was, in fact, the center of the universe.
Actually, universe was not exactly the right term. ‘Center of all creation’ was perhaps more accurate. Or perhaps ‘center of the multiverse’ was the most accurate. Either way, it seemed that all that was and ever would be revolved around him.
That was too arrogant a statement, he knew. In fact, he had deduced that the multiverse seemed to revolve around him, the week of November 16, 2022, and the new particle accelerator at the University of Maryland’s Immerman Center for Quantum Physics. For reasons beyond anything he could fathom, the first test of the accelerator on November 22 would jump him back in time six days and…sideways…into another reality. Sometimes the differences were mild and hard to notice. Other times they were more pronounced. The realities where he had a wife and family were particularly odd, as they seemed to remember him, but he didn’t even know their names.
Mookrham wasn’t entirely sure of the count, but he thought he had jumped through seventeen realities so far. The first few times, he had assumed he was going crazy. It seemed the logical conclusion. He had ended up in a mental hospital three times. He had landed in prison once. But each time he woke up and lived the week as if the last one hadn’t happened.
After that he decided that he wasn’t crazy, or at least there was nothing he could do about it. Those next couple weeks he spent a lot of time reading about multiverse theory and quantum physics. He also spent an embarrassing amount of time watching Groundhog Day and Quantum Leap, at least in the realities where those things existed. Coincidentally, he was perfectly fine jumping away from any realities where Bill Murray was never born.
After about ten jumps he had formed a working hypothesis for what was happening. The next logical step was, of course, to try to stop it. Mookrham figured that since he couldn’t change the date, and certainly did not want to take himself out of the equation, he needed to stop the particle accelerator from firing. He made several trips to the University of Maryland, and a few times even got close to the particle accelerator. Each time something would foil his plans, and he would start over the next week.
Then, on what he had guessed was the sixteenth jump, something unexpected happened. He succeeded. Mookrham found himself alone in the test center, and all he had to do was break some computers and he could delay the firing, and perhaps end the purgatorial cycle he was in. Fortuitously, the reality he was in was pretty tolerable. Not the best, but certainly a fine reality to spend a bit more time in.
And Mookrham could not do it. If what he had read was to be believed, each of the realities he had jumped through was a unique universe created as the result of choices made. What if he wasn’t jumping into universes? What if he was creating them? If he stopped the cycle, would those realities cease to be? Or would they never come into being in the first place? Would each of these individual realities, with all their myriad inhabitants, never get a chance to exist because he wanted more consistency in his life?
And so Mookrham Chopra, center of the universe, the multiverse, and all creation, had decided to be accommodating. He decided to let…whatever it was…revolve around him for as long as it chose to do so.

About the Author: 
Benjamin Hance is a husband, father, outdoorsman, and writer. He also works as an Aerospace engineer to pay the bills. He lives in Maryland with his wife and son.
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