Paradoxical (Superhero Black Hole, Pt. 31)

I stumbled over my words. “When I…when I flashed way back.”

“Precisely,” Me₃ responded. He pointed at Me₂. “When he came back, he came back prior to his departure from the timeline and in the so doing ran into you.” He clicked the control again, and a new line, neon blue in color, emerged, a spur off of the original reddish-orange line.

“And what are you doing here?” Me₂ asked antagonistically.

“Simple,” Me₃ answered. “I’m you. Or, at least, I was you.”

“Duh!” Me₂ spat. “So’s he!

“No,” Me₃ replied, “I’m not quite him.”

Neither of us could speak.

“There’s a soda fountain in back,” Me₃ informed us, clicking the control forward. “One of you go get each of us a cup of Coke, would you?” As Me₂ slowly arose, Me₃ continued. “As you have found through experience, if you do not return from this place, to wit the In-Between, to the exact moment you left, you fork off a timeline, and then there can exist two of you.”

“So how come there’s three of us?” I wondered.

“I’m getting to that,” Me₃ assured.

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