Real or Unreal

Tessa didn’t understand what happened; she knew sometime ago she had another name, another life. But here… she wasn’t so sure. The worst about it was she didn’t know which was real and which wasn’t.

She’d only tried to escape the janitor after a stupid prank and entered a room in the school she’d never really noticed. It was just past the girl’s bathroom; it was really weird not to have seen it before. But when she stepped in, it was as if she’d entered another world. Well, not as if. She was standing in a giant room, nothing like the cupboard she was expecting. And she was looking at stars… at least she thought it was stars.
“Where have you come from cadet?”
Cadet? What? She faced a… man? No he had the face of a reptile but the hands of a man.
“That a planet? Which system?”
“What? No.”
“Whatno? Never heard of that one. What’s your name?”
“It’s alright. If you cannot remember your name, one will be provided for you. Let see…”
“Cadet Saurina. Perfect. You’ll be assigned to the Reptile team. We’re the best.”
“Wait! Where am I?”

The man… reptile… looked down at her with surprise in his eyes.
“Why you’re on Atlantis of course. You’re one of the chosen. You found the door.”
“I’m from earth. I want to go back.”
“Oh you’re from Earth. Ok I thought Sorry wasn’t a planet. Move on cadet Saurina. There are others waiting.”
She turned and saw that a couple of… people – one looked like an overgrown kitten, the other was from earth she guessed – who seemed just as baffled as she had.

It turned out that the universe was a lot more complex than her physics classes would consider. Over the course of the next year, Saurina learned a lot about her new world and mission. During the universal exposition when the Eiffel Tower was introduced, someone had thought it was possible to use the giant structure to emit some weird rays that opened paths to other planets. And it worked. Technology had developed differently and more efficiently. Multiple planets were discovered. A side effect was that the paths opened also created ways through the different realities existing at the same time.

And right now there was a war between the Atlantis Council and some rebels who would use their technological advance to conquer or destroy all the other realities. Those who could travel between worlds became spies and experts. Only sometimes the travel was confusing.
“Tessa, you do realize this is crazy…”
“What? What did you call me?”
“Tessa. It’s your name.”

She looked around at the room; at her arm. There was an IV… Was she sick?
“Where am I?”
“You’re at the Deliverance Rehabilitation Centre. Your parents brought you here. You’ve been sick Tessa.”
“My name’s Cadet Saurina, Reptile company, Atlantis contingent.”
“No, no. Your name’s Tessa. You’re a 17 year old teenager who went through some traumatizing experience and who’s trying to deal with it.”
It must be a plan from the rebels. She must have been captured one way or another. Or had she? Which world was true? Which was an illusion? Or were they both real? She didn’t know anymore.

527 words

This is my response to Deviant Art’s Flash Fiction Month July 2 2017 prompt.
On the theme of parallel universes.
Prompt: “If you cannot remember your name, one will be provided for you.”


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