A shuddering boom rocked the house.
“Stay here,” Wartimus’ father ordered. “Talk to the dildo.”
“Hello?” he asked again. He prodded the studded purple monstrosity with a tongue depressor.
“WARTIMUS RIESIGMANN. PARADOX PROTOCOL PREVENTS MOST PROGRAMMED INTERACTIONS,” it said.
“What are you?” he asked.
“PARADOX PROTOCOL PREVENTS…”
“OK, enough of that. What can you tell me?”
“VERY LITTLE. IT IS FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY.”
“They are in the house!” his father yelled from the security suite.
“Can you tell me who is attacking us?” Wartimus asked.
“IT MUST BE REDACTED. CONFIRM.”
“Yes. Redact. OK.”
“THEY ARE MEMBERS OF [BEEP]. THEY WORK TO PREVENT PARADOX BY [BEEP] AND SEQUESTERING [BEEP].”
“Do they work for the government or something? Like a secret division of some shadowy department or whatever?”
“NOT YOUR GOVERNMENT.”
“Dad!” he yelled. “They aren’t from the government!”
“Trespassers!” his father exclaimed and started laughing his third scariest laugh. Wartimus felt the guns guarding the inside of the house open up.
“Why did you react to my blood?”
“Why did you call me ‘Warty Hugeman?’”
“Why did you destroy those helicopters?”
“I PROTECT [BEEP].”
“Why did the guys upstairs call you an ‘out-time’ object?’”
Wartimus snorted in disgust and walked over to his father. He watched over the older man’s shoulder as the house guns chewed the last of the attackers into wet hunks of meat.
“The, uh, dildo isn’t telling me much,” he said.
“It knows who you are,” his father said. “It reacted to your blood. It called you by a version of your name; ‘Huge Man’ is just our name in English. It’s told us plenty, my boy.”
Professor Riesigmann crossed the laboratory to loom over the dildo. “You are from the future,” he told it.
“My son built you.”
“Stop that,” Wartimus interjected. The dildo beeped dejectedly.
“He must have lost his penis at some point in the future and needed to replace it with you.”
Wartmus clutched his genitals without even realizing he was doing so.
“You are also a weapon,” his father continued. “A very powerful weapon. Somehow you have traveled backward in time. The people outside know you are not from this time and want you. And you being here is a violation of the timeline, the paradox you are so fond of pointing out. This all simple logic, my phallic friend.”
The dildo screeched and began to flash with a bright, purple light.
“LOCAL INCURSION! LOCAL INCURSION! PARADOX THREAT!”
“What are you talking about?” Wartimus demanded.
His father ran to the security screens. “I think I know, son.”
Wartimus joined his father and studied the exterior camera feeds. A ship bristling with guns was hanging over the house.
“LOCAL INCURSION!” the dildo squawked again.
“You mean the giant spaceship hovering over the house?” Wartimus asked sarcastically.
“I’m going to take that damn thing apart if it doesn’t tell us something useful,” his father muttered.
“PARADOX IS INEVITABLE. THE TIMELINE CANNOT BE MAINTAINED. THE TIME INSTITUTE WILL TRAP US IN A RECURSION LOOP.”
“What are you talking about?” Wartimus demanded. “Make sense.”
“YOU ARE THE PREGENITORSHIP OF WHAT/WHO I KNOW AS WARTY HUGEMAN, MY WILLBE/WAS OWNER/OPERATOR. THE TIME INSITUTE IS/WAS/WILL BE HIS ENEMY. THEY WILL COME/ARE HERE FOR ME BECAUSE THEY HOPE HE WILL/HAVE COME FOR ME. I AM OUT OF CONTEXT IN THIS LOCAL FRAME. I HAVE/WILL/DO SHALL PRESENT/ED A PARADOX TO THE LOCAL TIMELINE THAT WILL/HAS CAUSE/D ITS DESTRUCTION.”
“This giving me a headache,” the Professor grumbled.
“TRANS-TEMPORAL GRAMMAR IS VERY DIFFICULT.”
“What is the recursion loop?” Wartimus asked.
“IT IS HOW THE TIME INSTITUTE WILL REPAIR THE TIMELINE. THE TIME FROM THE MOMENT I ARRIVED IN THE LOCAL FRAME UNTIL THEY FINISH THE LOOP WILL BE FOLDED BACK ON ITSELF. ALL OF THIS WILL RECUR INFINITELY BUT OUTSIDE THE TIMELINE.”
“We will be edited out of time, son,” his father explained. “Trapped in a time loop and quarantined. A version of us that none of this happened to will go on.”
“How do we stop it?” Wartimus asked.
“We can’t. We are probably already in it. We’ve probably already had this conversation a billion times. Or maybe only twice.”
“We have to do something, right?”
“Maybe we did something the first time. Maybe we did nothing the first time. Maybe one path or the other causes the loop to close. Maybe the loop closes no matter what.” His father gave a fatalistic shrug and wandered back to the security monitors.
Wartimus snatched up the dildo. “Can you stop the loop from closing?”
“YOUR FATHER IS MOST LIKELY CORRECT, WARTIMUS RIESIGMANN. LOGIC DEMANDS IT.”
“Can you stop it or not?” he demanded, shaking it obscenely as if to force it to answer.
“I CAN DESTROY THE TIME INSTITUTE SHIP. IF I DO SO BEFORE THE LOOP IS CLOSED IT WOULD KEEP US FROM BEING TRAPPED.”
“Then do it. Destroy the ship.”
“THE TIMELINE WILL STILL BE ALTERED. THE POSSIBLE/WAS FUTURE WILL/WILL HAVE/WON’T EXIST/ED.”
“I don’t care. I order you to destroy the ship. I order you.”
“I MUST HAVE A HOST.”
“What do you mean?”
“I MUST HAVE A HOST. I DRAW ON LIFE ENERGIES TO FUNCTION.”
“So draw on mine,” the boy said.
“I MUST HAVE A HOST. I MUST BE INSTALLED.”
Realization dawned on Wartimus. Installation. Host. He became acutely aware of what he was holding.
“I can’t just hold you? Or stick you on my finger or something?”
“USE THE DAMAGED ONE.”
“I… I can’t do that to Simon. I caused this, or will cause this, or have caused or whatever.”
“YOU HAVE YOUR NATURAL PENIS FOR 23 MORE YEARS HENCE FROM THE LOCAL FRAME. YOU ENJOY MANY PEOPLE WITH YOUR PENIS AND EVEN MORE THINGS. HE IS MINDLESS, DEAD. GIVE HIM TO ME.”
“Simon is brain-dead?”
Wartimus sighed heavily. “Dad? I need you to do some, uh, surgery,” he called.
“NO NEED. TAKE US UPSTAIRS.”
Wartimus tried not to look at Simon’s penis as he tugged down his shorts on the front lawn but it was inevitable. His small, pale pink member looked frightened and alone in the crazy light show generated by the Time Institute ship.
“TOUCH MY SOCKET END TO HIS MEMBER.”
Wartimus looked away, but gagged on the noise it made, like a sink disposal unit grinding on a chicken bone.
Simon rose into the air, arms and legs hanging limp, his new battle penis pulsing with an inner light, thrumming the air with power. As the tension in the air built, even Simon himself began to glow. With a thunderclap, the dildo from out of time shot skyward, dragging Wartimus’ friend behind it.
After that, Wartimus saw nothing but white, pure white, and heard nothing at all.
Wartimus reclined on the roof of his father’s house and watched the stars glitter in the darkness of a moonless night. He had spent the summer making up his own erotic constellations and was languidly masturbating to them. He had spent the summer working in his father’s laboratory and hoped when he went back to school that he would finally meet someone who could be his best friend.