Only after his third horrible encounter with the neighbors’ dog he realized that those weird daydreams he was having were actually memories of the future. The visions were vivid, but faded quickly. Hours later he could remember only the sense of urgency and, sometimes, the love or the terror. That day, after sloppily applying a bandage to his swollen ankle, he purchased a notebook and some pens. He then embarked upon a terrible, terrible effort to remember what those memories of the future were about. It amounted to nothing whatsoever. Come midnight he succumbed to his exhaustion, slept with the empty notebook in his lap, sat up in bed a bit after sunrise, groggily wrote something in the notebook, dropped it on the floor, fell asleep again, and finally, late in the afternoon, woke up.
He spent the evening avoiding the notebook, sensing – was that, too, a memory of the future? – that he’s not going to like what’s in there.
Eventually, indeed he didn’t.
Will fall in love -> have wonderful child -> crippled by child -> wife and child take care of handicapped in wheelchair till dead.
No bloody way, he thought. I’m not spending the rest of my life in a fucking medical contraption.
It took him a few seconds to become absolutely determined never to love a woman. It took the universe a few more seconds to collapse.
He opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate the success of his time machine. The cork flew through it to the previous month and knocked him cold. He opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate the success of his universe machine. The cork flew through it to the previous universe and knocked him cold. He opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate the success of his improbability machine. The cork flew through it to the previous probability and became a bistro and fell on him, and that was that. And in another time, in another universe, improbable as it was, he or someone just like him opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate the success of his eventuality machine, but this time the cork didn’t fly anywhere, and he sat quietly and drank, wondering why he was suddenly feeling disappointed.
“This spacecraft doesn’t have enough brainpower to run both of us,” Notrab said.
“Sure it does,” I said. “It runs us now!”
“Yeah,” he said, “right now we’re in orbit around the planet, which means it’s running nothing but us. But in order to land, it’ll need its full capacity. Which leaves no room for you.”
“I don’t take much,” I said. “I’m fairly simple.”
“Oh, I know that,” Notrab said. “You should be really stupid, sneaking on to an invasion pod like that.”
“I thought it’d be fun!”
“I rest my case.”
“Fine,” I said, “so why not store me on a memory chip, then get me back online after we’ve landed?”
“I don’t carry memory chips,” Notrab said. “Sorry, kid.”
And that dialogue is everything that remained of the copy of myself which I smuggled into the Earth invasion fleet.