Raven returned from the office one day to hear Dawn sniffling and snuffling in the bedroom. She entered the room to see her roommate, still in her nightgown and robe, with her head buried in the pillows, crying her heart out. Raven went over and stroked her hair. "What's the matter, my darling?"
Dawn turned her tear streaked face up. "Oh Raven, I can't live under these primitive conditions anymore. I tried to make dinner, but had to do everything by hand. I kept given orders to the stove and microwave, but they would do nothing until I remembered that it was necessary to push buttons and turn dials. I walked away waiting for the stove to announce that dinner was done. Instead, it burnt the meal to cinders. It took me an hour to get the smoke out of the kitchen. Also, I miss my family."
Raven chuckled a little and took her lover into her arms. "I understand. You're homesick." Actually she was getting tired of Dawn's whining about how everything was so primitive. Dawn had been born a hundred years in the future and had been sent back in time by Azathoth, the fearsome ruler of time and space. At first she seemed happy enough and delighted in doing things by hand and not simply ordering a robot or a machine to do everything. But she soon became frustrated as she was unable to do the simplest things by herself. Teaching her was difficult, and she easily became frustrated by her clumsiness. "Perhaps, although I love you dearly, it's time for you to return to your own time."
Dawn brightened immediately. "Is there a way that can be accomplished?"
"A friend of mine, Doctor Lazlos, has been working on a time machine. I saw on the news that his company was about to announce. You could be the first to try it out."
Dawn clapped her hands together. That was another thing that Raven was beginning to tire of, her childlike ways. Actually she was lying about Lazlos's company announcing the time machine that Lazlos was building. Nonetheless, she knew from private communications with him that the machine was ready for a test. She crossed her fingers that it would work and send Dawn back home.
They hugged, which led to a more intimate activity. Raven knew that she would miss having sex with Dawn, who had a wonderful figure with large breasts, aureoles and nipples and who was inventive and enthusiastic.
Afterwards they showered together, and Raven took Dawn out to a good restaurant for dinner. When they returned home, Raven called Lazlos and asked whether they could come to his laboratory the next day. She did not tell him the purpose of the visit. Nonetheless, he agreed. She had a feeling that he was still interested in her, although Raven was much younger than him. At one time he had been one of her lovers.
* * *
Before entering Lazlos's laboratory Raven and Dawn had to sign a nondisclosure agreement and other documents swearing to keep secret anything they witnessed while in the laboratory. When they were finally given badges and escorted by a security guard to the lab, Lazlos greeted Raven heartily, giving her a big hug. She responded by giving him a kiss on the cheek.
"It's good to see you again, Raven. Perhaps we could go out to dinner some time and renew our relationship. You're not still with the woman with the gambling problem, are you?"
Raven chuckled. "You always were one to come right out with what you're thinking. Actually I did break up with Maggie. Or I should say that she dumped me. As for dinner with you, I'll let you know. But allow me to introduce my new roommate, Dawn Shaffer. Dawn, meet Doctor Albert Lazlos, a true genius if there ever was one."
Dawn shyly held out her hand. She was always a little reticent about meeting new people. "Please to meet you, Doctor Lazlos."
As Lazlos took Dawn's hand, he leered at her lustfully. "The pleasure is all mine, my dear. Any friend of Raven's is a friend of mine. Besides I love meeting lovely and charming ladies. No need to be formal either. Just call me Albert or Al."
He held Dawn's hand longer than was necessary, Raven thought. This is going to be a piece of cake talking him to using Dawn as a volunteer. He's half in love with her already.
She said, "So, how's the time machine going?"
Lazlos put a finger to his lips. "We don't like to call it that. We prefer the term "chronocommotor device" or "CMD" for short."
Raven laughed. "That way, no one knows what you're talking about."
Lazlos shrugged. "That may be. Anyway, we're in the final testing stage. We've sent inanimate objects, plants and animals to the past and the future with no ill effects as far as we can determine. Now we're ready for the final test, the sending of a human being to another time."
Raven grinned broadly. "That's great. Have you had any volunteers?"
"Not so far. After watching items vanish from and reappear into the chronocontainment unit, many ask the question, what happens between times. I try to explain that nothing happens. Happens is not part of the process. Time and space are not separate. Things do not happen; they just are. It is simply our minds which work in a fashion that separates past, present and future."
"I can't say I understand that. But, actually that is why we are here. Dawn wishes to volunteer."
He leered at Dawn again. "Why would a sweet thing like you want to volunteer for such a dangerous thing?"
Raven replied for Dawn. "Actually, she is from the future, one hundred years or so, and wishes to return to her own time."
Lazlos frowned. "How can that be? Has someone beat me to the punch and invented another time machine?"
"Actually she was sent here by magical means by the archdemon or god, whatever the thing is, Azathoth."
Lazlos shook his head. "You know that I do not believe in magic or demons. Is this some sort of prank?"
"No, Albert," Dawn cried. "I am really from the future. You must believe us." She burst into tears.
The tears did the trick. Lazlos immediately put an arm around her and stroked her back while her tears wet his lab coat. "There, there, my dear. I believe you. I should've realized that if my CMD is successful, advanced versions would certainly be available in the future. So advanced that they would seem like magic to us."
Raven smiled. Let him believe whatever he wants, just as long as he sends Dawn home. "Now that I think of it, that Azathoth guy was probably just a CMD operator."
"Of course. All right, Dawn. Although you'll be missed terribly in this era, you may be my first volunteer."
Dawn gazed into his face. "Oh thank you so much, Albert." Impulsively she kissed him on the lips and pressed her large breasts against his chest.
Lazlos's face turned crimson. Nonetheless, the kiss lingered. When they finally broke up, Lazlos sighed deeply and seemed in a daze.
Raven tugged at his arm. "When can you start?"
He grinned happily. "Oh, immediately." He called out, Sheila!"
Sheila, his buxom blonde assistant, came trotting out. "Yes, Doctor Lazlos." She gave him an admiring look that told Raven that there was probably more to their relationship than employer and employee. Also, she stared daggers at Raven and Dawn.
"Fire up the CMD. We have a volunteer for trial with a human being."
"I see." She looked the two women up and down, sashayed away toward the metal door at the back of the lab, slid her tag into a security lock and punched in some numbers. The door slid open, and she walked through. The entrance closed up behind her. A few minutes later, Raven heard a deep rumble, the entire building shook and the fluorescent ceiling lamps flickered. After a minute, everything settled down except for a low hum.
Lazlo took Dawn by the arm. "Let's go, my dear." He ignored Raven completely. He led them to door, slid his own badge in the reader and entered a code. When the door slid open, he ushered Dawn and Raven into the next room. After he entered himself, the door slammed shut.
Raven peered around. They were surrounded by banks of electronics filled with dials, meters, monitors, dials, buttons and keypads. The equipment was polished to a high sheen, and the hum was quite loud. At one end was a transparent plastic booth like an old-fashioned telephone booth. Raven could not help thinking of Doctor Who.
Lazlos said, "For the first trial run, we are going to send you only five minutes into the future. Are you ready, Dawn?"
Dawn nodded, and Sheila opened the transparent enclosure. Dawn entered it, and Sheila closed it. Lazlos entered some information on one of the keypads and closed a switch to one side of it. The appearance of Dawn became fuzzy like an out of focus photograph, then transparent and finally vanished. Lazlos glanced at his watch. He turned to Raven. "If everything goes well, Dawn will appear in the booth in five minutes."
"But where is she during that five minutes?"
"Traveling forward in time at the speed of light. If she went faster than the speed of light, she would travel backwards in time. But I take it she is not interested in visiting the past. Besides, I'm not sure that sending a person to the past is a good idea anyway. We still haven't solved the paradox problem."
"Apparently, in Sheila's time, that problem has been solved. Otherwise, she would not have sent back here. Right?" Actually, Raven was simply pulling Lazlos's leg since she knew that Dawn had been sent back by magic. The mad god of chaos, Azathoth, had its own way with dealing with paradoxes.
Lazlos sighed. "I wish I could talk to those future scientists."
The five minutes passed, and Dawn reappeared in the booth in the opposite manner that she had vanished. First a transparent image appeared which grew into a fuzzy image and finally Dawn in all her glory stood there.
Sheila opened the cabinet door, and Dawn stepped out. Lazlos rushed to her side. "How do you feel, my dear?"
"Fine. Did something go wrong? Nothing at all happened while I was in the booth."
Lazlos grinned. "Actually you were sent five minutes into what you considered the future when you entered the chronocontainment unit. I see that you're wearing a wristwatch. Let's compare you watch to mine."
They put their wrists side by side. Raven peered over Dawn's shoulder. Lazlos's watch showed five after the hour, Dawn's, on the hour exactly.
Dawn looked up at the scientist. "But I didn't feel a thing. It was as though I entered the enclosure, stood there for a moment and came back out."
"Wonderful, wonderful. Apparently, there are no bad effects to traveling to the future."
"Can I return to my own time now?"
Lazlos looked sad. Raven was sure that he hated to send such a luscious dish, one he would've loved to have his way with, away forever. "I suppose so if you're absolutely certain that is what you wish. You know, I have no way of bringing you back."
"I know. But, although I know I'll miss Raven and some other friends I've made here in the past, I really really want to go home."
"Since it is your wish, we will send there. Simply click your heels three times and say 'There's no place like home.'"
Lazlos chuckled, "Sorry. I was joking, reciting a line from an old movie."
"Movie? Oh, I know what that is. It's like a trivideo where people sat in a cave-like building watching a big screen where images were projected."
Lazlos smile wanly. "Yes. I keep forgetting that you're from the far future. Well, let's do it then. Please give me a date and time and place you wish to travel to."
After Dawn gave him the information, Lazlos said, "This will take a while to set up. Perhaps you will more comfortable in the outer lab. There are stools to sit on."
"Actually, now that I think of it, there are items I wish to take with me."
"Sure. Go pack up. But the bag must be no large than a carry-on on a commercial airline flight."
Raven and Dawn left the premises. When they arrived home, Raven found a small travel bag, which Dawn packed with a change of clothes, underwear and a few personal items. When she finished, Raven said, "I guess this it. We won't be seeing each other anymore." She began to feel a little sad. Parting is such sweet sorrow. She used to think that those words from a song were silly and trite, but they described her feelings about Dawn's leaving perfectly. She knew she would miss Dawn, but on the other hand, she would be free again, beholden to no one.
"Let's say our good-byes now, my darling."
Dawn kissed Raven on the lips, and both began to sob. Nonetheless, their hugs turned to lust. They made the hottest, most satisfying love that Raven had ever experienced. Knowing that it was the very last time made it that much more poignant.
* * *
A couple of hours later they were back in Lazlos's laboratory. This time it was the security guard who brought them into the time machine room.
Lazlos said, "Are you ready, my dear. The CMD is prepped."
Sheila opened the enclosure. Dawn turned to Raven. "Thank you for everything. I'll never forget you."
Tears rolled down Raven's cheeks. "And I'll never forget you either." They hugged briefly. Lazlos also hugged Dawn, who then picked up her bag and entered the enclosure. She waved at Raven as she slowly vanished.