He has not been here before and neither had himself. Not ever had he seen this room before.
He stands directly beside himself and strains his eyes in the soft neon glow of the museums light. Behind a sheet of glass, smudge with little children's finger prints, in a white wooden box secured to the white wall in front of him is a collection of insects pinned to a cork board. small little labels with (difficult to say) scientific. names like;
Phasmatoptera, Exopterygota and Neoptera.
Himself doesn't need to point but he knows he is looking directly at the Phasmatoptera, better known as a Stick Insect. You know these things about yourself. Without speaking or pointing, himself says the name, pronouncing it perfectly, even accented in a slight Latin enunciation. Without opening his mouth or lifting his tongue he says
"The stick insect was destined to imitate the twig of a branch before it had ever even seen one, before it knew what stick was., before it even knew what the concept of being a stick was... Molding its body as an embryo to mimic wood, the entire symbiotic and evolutionary process destined to become the exact organic replica of a single strand of wood. A survival mechanism. An instinct before his brain had the ability to consciously act instinctively."
"Becoming a stick Before it even knew the concept of a stick..."
Himself turned to face him, still not speaking, narrowing his eyes on his teeth; just a couple of snapped rotten brown and gold semi ivory stumps in his small broken and round lipped mouth.
'and millions still believe in the concept of a participating god. All these dead insects a very clear proof there is no creator but our self's, yet here we are. Standing next to each other, the same person - just separated by our years in the tubes. A new version of me - you, and an older, forgive me for saying, disheveled version of myself."
His self said quietly, inaudibly, like electricity. A current in His brain. Himself (Nico of the future) was Dressed in a woolen knit jumper over a red shirt, the material at his neck pressed sharply, nearly popping from his collar and spread open on his breast, his perfect teeth white and bright reflecting the sterile room with a quarter crescent moon on the bulge of each molar, incisor and cuspid.
In that small moment of mutual adorned silence, a small pistol, the single shot of a Steyr Mannlicher M1901 slipped from him self's (Past Nicolas) pocket and in a single arched motion pressed gently against Nico's head and in a boiling hot pop, a sliver of metal pushed the entire contents of Nicos head; The face bones, eye ball liquid and brain matter across the fresh white walls of the museum. A two second red and white splash and 2 more seconds of silence before he opened his freshly formed eyes by the side of a turquoise and light blue pool in Istanbul. He was in Istanbul for sure. He had been here before. The old yellow stone stacked walls are convexed around him.
He looked at the watch on his wrist that wouldn't be invented for at least 200 years and watched the zodiac hand click from a odd to even number and subconsciously sighed. Wouldn't be long this time, a few minutes, half of a clock watch if he was lucky. Knowing the environment meant that this moment in time had already happened. It wouldn't take Nicolas long to find him. At his feet, gingerly but sure footed, traipsing across the mosaic tiles of the sauna room a Persian cat rubbed its ear across the peak of his fresh white, red trimmed 2014 Reebok Cross fit sneakers. He looked again at his watch, in a few moments Nicolas would be walking through the arch to the right of the Blue Mosque in his shabby brown coat with his hands in his pockets.
The kitten mewing at his feet was irritating him, terribly. It was someone's cat - it had a piece of string with an Arabic symbol carved into a small piece of steel tied to its neck. Nico picked up the cat gentle and wrapped his beautiful soft white hands around the cats neck and tightly squeezed the throat for a few thrashing moments until the cat hung limp in his hands, like a wet sock alone on a clothes line he remembered once, many years to pass yet, thinking now, in the past about a future that hasnt yet happened; when he was a small child.
As the zodiac clicked over to the exact time that Nico had anticipated, in walked himself. Dressed exactly as he knew he would have. Putting the kitten gently onto the floor, taking a long drag of and stubbing out a cigarette in an ash tray beside him, he did not remember lighting, he stood up, brushed white cat hair from his shoulders and stood, slightly turning so his back heel was just hanging over the lip of the swimming pool.
"It would be a lie to say this is an unexpected surprise, wouldn't it friend."
He said, staring straight forward, hands behind his head.
"Don't shoot, I'm un armed and i come in peace."
He said laughing loudly and raising his hands palm open to the sky.
"I love Istanbul in the morning, I wish we could stay longer. Well, you at least, it fazes me not where ever i am and for ever long. You, my Carman Santiago, I know you are a man of France at heart. Don't be silly, you know this wont hurt."
A small boom, like the strike of a match head, or a flint stone rubbed together and there it was again, the split second infinite red hum. Like a car crash sped up 10000x, then nothing, then nothing. not even a thing.
Nicolas woke up again somewhere in the future, sometime after 90k. He knows this because he remembers the TV ad for womb on T.S.E.V.N that's broadcasting on the airport terminal television screen. The television brightly spews out the pop out hologram of a white woman in a lab coat and her blonde hair tied in a bun above her head. Smiling. Smiling, really, really big. As she opens her arms in a welcome hug, a collection of other white, blonde clinically dressed woman huddle behind her. Same stupid arms out, same stupid smile.
He would have to find Nicos sometime soon but he knew where he was and was happy to rest in his chair shortly, watching the television screen as the modern age hustled around him. He sighed
Perfectly queued the television says;
"Welcome to The Womb (tm)".
The idea of WOMB, was simple.
Starting in Japan, basically the company offered any one over the age of 50 the opportunity to crawl back into your mothers vagina and be reborn.
Not even digitally, the whole concept was physical, small clinically white rooms, thousands of them, in an conglomerate set of ware houses that would eventually take up 1/5th of the entire country.
On the television the smallish slit of the pink womb, more like a ribbed salvial cocoon was yawning and slowly vomiting the fully grown larval human embryo, soaked in shimmery translucent goo, his adult eyes full with the bewildering wonderment of a freshly developed child. The new born already born licking the slimy gel from his hands and rubbing a hooked hand over his face like a grooming cat. thin sinewy ropes of rubber like mouth spit bridging from any convex angle the twisted fragile unit of humanity squirmed into. The throbbing mound of polyester meat pulsing out the grown man like the split side of a whale and its blubber. A hand full of WOMB nurses smiling like proud mothers, TSEVN filming for a real "take home and re live" DVD experience. Re live you re birth. Re live the reliving of your re birth. Live anything but your life.
We come out and after a, million, million years of the same thing, it just is. All we want to do is reverse the process. Crawl back into the warm, wet, safe crevice of our creator and sleep forever in the unconscious abyss of pre birth. But we can't, well, not yet anyway.
The slight running text at the bottom of the television rolled across with news stories. The time stamp in the corner read 2:4-25. At 91:13 he would see Nico stumble over a couple leaning in to hold hands. This time he would not greet him, he will not even let his presence be known. He will watch him pass, enter the departure lounge to France and use a payphone nearby to call Womb. The time now was not for death, but for rebirth. Everything else could wait, he had all the time in the world to kill himself another day.