The thing was they could never prove it. That’s what happens when you’re in the business of messing with the future. Sometimes the records can get lost, or mangled, or manipulated, because under the pretty pictures, it’s all just numbers. It’s so mathematically complicated, that if you’re clever enough with the numbers, then it takes someone just as crazy clever to figure out everything you did. And Reynolds never had his Moriarty.
He left the Bureau before they could hire someone to outsmart him. Said he’d had enough of manipulating things, said the technology was infantile and crude. Really it was because he was spooked. She died anyway, four weeks and three days after he’d moved and changed over one thousand four hundred little things to redirect the outcome of that one day. Instead of being hit by the grocery lorry on the corner of her street, her coat was caught in the doors of the subway train, and she’d been dragged along the subway platform into the wall. As if she’d had a marked card. Maybe not that day, but this quarter, or this year. We were trying to prove that there was no fate, no God, no controlling hand, and time and time again, we uncovered these ‘unchangeables’, things that kept playing out in the same way. Was it just maths? You slice a circle and you get pi, every single time. Is it the same? Or is it something else?
No one has any answers, least of all Reynolds, and his desire not to even think about the question anymore is the reason he’s now living in a one room apartment in Soho, under the name of Tom Green, clearing dustbins for a living.