The blinding lights streamed past me as I was hurled through the very fabric of time itself. My stomach clenched as the colours flashed and danced around me as my little pod span along. Bang. Suddenly everything halted, time slowed down for a moment. I gazed out of the heavily enforced glass as a bird moved gracefully through the air, gradually speeding up as I caught up with time. This mission was built on hope. The world I’d left was bloody and barren. Humanity was on the brink of existence and my heart broke recalling the nightly terrors and screams that would break out, things got worse before they got better. I remember the first animals that began to die out, Polar bears, tigers, Snow leopards, the economy was at the brink of collapse. My task was to look to the future in hopes for a better world, a world beyond mine and a way to prevent an insufferable end. I emerged from the capsule and gasped. I couldn’t help but tear up as I smelt air purer than light itself and birdsong chimed around me. Not a car, nor a road, nor a human. I greedily rushed to a nearby stream, the babbling brook was clear as glass and rushed merrily through the fields that were carpeted with the brightest green grass you could dream of. Having drank, I put my helmet over my head to hide my appearance and I gazed in awe at the flowers that dappled the field in splashes of red and white and yellow. It was like the world was alive again. And humans were nowhere to be seen. My eyes widened when I heard the distant hoof beat of a stallion. The rider came into view from a nearby thicket of towering pine trees and her horse galloped to a halt at my side. She wore simple clothes, they looked old and had been patched with leaves and woven from grass. Her stormy grey eyes looked just as shocked as I when she leapt gracefully from her snow coloured horse. There were no saddles at all, just the horse and the girl. I tapped the pad on my arm with uncertainty, scanning the life forms on the planet. I staggered backwards in horror for it was just the girl. The last human on earth.
“What happened here” I murmured, adjusting my fine metal helmet and watching the readings above her head that told me everything about her health and age pop up before my eyes. “People..” the girl sighed heavily, running a hand through her deep brown hair that was long and wild. “How are you.. why are you alone?” I was afraid of the answer. Afraid that the solution to our problem was the end of ourselves. “Everyone else left for other planets. Everyone that remained after everything got much,much worse. Which wasn’t many” her voice was high and cold, hatred seeped from her and seemed to darken the sky overhead. I blinked behind my mask, remaining emotionless to her. “So this is it.” I watched her as she stroked the uncomfortable horse and her eyes narrowed in confusion as she took in my attire. It was perfectly normal in my time. I had been a Bounty hunter in the past and had earned my weight in money. It was the highest paying job where I came from and it was one of the only ways to earn the money to survive. I was clad in full metal armour, reinforced with various digital mechanisms that were intended to help me track down anyone and anything breathing. “I’m all that is left. And I use next to no Human Resources in order to survive”. She eyed me coldly. “Why have you come here..”. I swallowed hard. “I want to save the world from this fate”. I held my breath as she laughed hysterically, her eyes snapping to mine with burning passion. “Don’t you see? This world is the BEST outcome”. She chimed as she gestured to the untainted hills and clear skies. “No it’s not. We can change and humanity can still live in a perfect world. It doesn’t have to be this way”. I stepped backwards as she began to weep. Clutching the grass beneath her with unclipped nails and pressing her head into it with desperation. “Humanity is a waste. They NEVER change” she curled up pitifully and I sighed. Removing my mask, I ran my hand through my jet black hair and crouched beside her. She looked into my eyes with terror. “You..” she stammered. I nodded with a small smile, the gashes along my jaw that revealed my teeth must’ve shaken her. I felt her warm hand touch my cheek, shuddering as she did so. “You’re.. you’re eye” I rubbed the eye I could see from and pulled away. One of them is white from battle and I can no longer see from it, my helmet has detectors to sense people and outline them to help my slight disadvantage. “Don’t worry young girl. Humanity can change and they shall.” I felt her clinging to me weakly, my bloodstained armour wasn’t fit for this. I took a final breath of the world and decided what I had to do. I had to take my last energy sphere and send myself to a time before even mine. “I can prevent everything” I realised. My heart light up and I thought of the future I wouldn’t be able to see. It’ll be worth it.. in the end.
I felt the similar waves of nausea as my capsule halted and I checked the year. “2022” I read out. Stepping out into the world. I was in a bustling city, fumes from cars that raced by choked my nose and I winced as I remembered the helmet that I left in the other time zone. I staggered around, being pushed around by the bustling people that raced past me with concerned expressions. They goggled at my armour and some children pointed and asked for pictures or began to cry while their parents furiously watched me. I tapped my screen and swallowed. My time was close. Too close. The cancer in my body was growing stronger and I coughed pathetically. I shook my head. This had to be it. I ran with force and purpose until I came to a park and opened up my recorder pad that floated before me. Many people stared in awe and some pointed. I didn’t have time. I clicked record and set it to play from ALL devices in the world. I gazed into it for a moment and knew a planet was gazing back, I drew in a breath and began. “People of Earth. You may find me alarming to see but I am your fate. Believe it or not I am from the future and it’s no future believe me. Please. Don’t follow the path you’re taking. You know what you need to do to get better so just stop. Your government must act NOW. Because you must know what will happen if you don’t”. I projected my entire life into flashed through the screen, wincing as I saw my kills in cold blood and feeling my heart leap at the sight of my deceased lover. It ended with the girl, sobbing on the ground. And then I collapsed. Who knows if what I didn’t actually achieved anything, the disease in my heart had eaten it’s way through my brain and I just as it began. It all ended with tears.
I gasped as the world around me began to change. The man in the helmet had vanished as soon as he arrived and I held onto my horse. I began to wail because it’s all I knew to do, for I was afraid. My life was changing and I didn’t want it to. I didn’t want to die. I closed my eyes tight. It felt like a century until I opened them again and with it, I saw something incredible. People. There were people and I was in a village and there were solar devices everywhere you turned. Dogs and cats and other critters danced around me and the fields behind were still untouched. I heard the chiming of a bell and two boys in shorts and wool caps came rushing to me, giggling and pushing each other mischievously. “Come on sis! It’s lunch” they chimed in sync and I instantly remembered. The twins.. my brothers. They were alive. Does that mean? I sprinted after them, Sparky, our old dog, bounded around me with his charming brown eyes never leaving my face. When I reached the cottage, I hesitated. “What if I’m wrong. What if this is all wrong. “ I panicked. “Woof!” Sparky leapt onto me and was licking my face lovingly, the slobber running down my cheek as I ran a hand through his long brown fur. The door swung open and there she was. She smelled just as she used to, of fresh baked bread and soap. I leapt into her arms and she span me round, laughing. Her voice made me tear up and I began to silently sob in her arms. “Mother? What’s wrong with Aria” the older twin, Jake queried, his shoulder length, dirty blonde hair was covered in dust and Aria smiled. “I don’t know sweetie. Aria dear what’s wrong?” Her mother’s soft whisper was enough to make Aria melt. This was heaven. “Tell me mother..” she smiled. “Tell me about this world”.
Outside lay a helmet, it was untouched and the paint was slowly peeling off. But it still remained. The world was finally as it should be. Polar bears were still alive, yes. And tigers roamed their habitats with the freedom any creature deserves. The majority of humanity did move on to another planet for the population couldn’t handle itself. But those that remained stopped travelling and lived in little villages. Big cities were long gone and technology was powered only by renewable sources and luckily, scientists managed to separate the power from sources like methane so it was no longer harmful. Technology was only for healing and war didn’t exist. It was a paradise where everyone could live in peace and where animals had their homes. And in the sky at night you could stare up at the constellation that everyone called “the man in the helmet” that walked alongside a woman forever in the stars.