'I' had just appeared in my bedroom.
Of course, it wasn't really ME, because I was sitting at my desk struggling to finish my research assignment. The 'I' that appeared out of thin air was older, and taller, and much more curvy than me.
I dropped my pen to the desk and began to rise, halfway between fight-or-flight, but the other 'I' just raised a calm hand.
"Now you're probably wondering what I'm doing here," she said, looking at me with a knowing gaze. She was dressed in a body-hugging suit of some kind, pearlescent and smooth and criss-crossed with glowing lines. Her hair was the same curly brown mop as mine, but with perhaps a few more streaks of gray splashed across it. She quickly examined her outfit, chuckling softly.
"And you're probably wondering who I am."
I nodded carefully. "You're... me!?"
'I' nodded happily back. "I'm you, hun."
Somehow, in the middle of my room, underneath the posters of emo bands and stylized cartoon characters, I was sharing space with a slightly more futuristic version of myself. Despite the unreality of it – or rather, the <INSANITY> of it - I had a horrifying suspicion that it was true.
"Apologies for the sudden arrival," Future-Me smiled, clasping her hands together in front of her. "I remember it gave me quite a shock back in the day."
I wanted to deny it, but I supposed she did know the truth.
"This is the best method we have for time displacement in the future," she continued. "I would've arrived in some grassy field somewhere and tried to get a period-costume together, but it's just so much easier this way. Besides, I consider it a challenge: in order to get here, we need to calculate the exact terrestrial coordinates, calibrate the positron flux, account for the gravity well of the Earth, the Moon, and of course, the Sun. I tell you, if you forget about that big yellow guy, you'll be displaced a few trillion miles beyond Jupiter." She smiled wistfully, as if such a cruel fate was little more than an inconvenience.
"Landing safely in the bedroom of my eighteen-year-old self was no small feat, believe me."
I tried to think of something clever to say to that, but there was little I could do beyond staring.
Future-Me casually glanced around my room. "Did I really like these old goofy bands? I guess we all make mistakes, eh, hun?" She revealed a small, cigar-like instrument from a previously hidden pocket.
I wanted to be insulted, but considering the source, I wasn't sure I should be. Besides, her flippant behavior seemed to have clogged up the reasoning centers of my brain.
"How did I come here? Well, I can't tell you now because you'll be spending the next 30 years working on the science behind it. I don't want to spoil the surprise, after all." She grinned widely, pointing the little instrument at me.
"As for why? That's easy. Because of <THIS>."
It was only a split second after she activated it that I realized what it was. A pulse of energy rippled out from the device, enveloping the room, and causing my curtains and posters to flutter ever so slightly. An instant numbness washed over me, as if my brain was suddenly in control of a stringless puppet. Still seated in my chair, my limbs drooped like spaghetti and my head lolled back. Breathing was suddenly the most active part of my body, and that was about all I could do.
Terror should've been coursing through my veins at this point, but my curiosity seemed to override it.
"Uhhmm.. thlp?" I gurgled to the ceiling.
Future-Me laughed. "No worries, you won't choke on your tongue or anything. At least, that didn't happen to me."
She stepped into my field of view, and looked down with her – <MY> – blue eyes.
"Unfortunately, you'll need to be restrained for this next part. It won't hurt, but it'll keep you secure for the time being."
"Rghhhlll..." I drooled in reply, my wandering eyes about the only movement I could muster.
She gently and effortlessly hauled me over her shoulder. With my nerve endings deadened and muscles reduced to gelatin, I felt like little more than a sack of potatoes. Future-Me carefully placed me onto my bed, rolling me onto my stomach so that my head and mouth stuck out to the side. My breasts were squished underneath me, and my limbs flopped about.
She fumbled with something from her pockets. Out of sight, I could only wonder about what she planned to do to me. But the mere fact that my abductor was 'me' seemed to dampen any fear I had, and instead, questions upon questions swirled in my brain. If this woman truly was me from the future, then how was she able to travel through time? Or, equally disturbing, was she me from an alternate reality? And if she was indeed from this alternate reality, did that mean the flow of time was malleable, or could it diverge like branches in a river?
My thoughts were interrupted as a silver cord plopped onto my bedsheet just beside my face. Future-Me held one end of it.
"This is a kind of 'smart' plastic, hun. It can be programmed to have certain material properties, like different densities or tension, all triggered with a simple electric charge. It can even self-terminate after a pre-determined set of time. Quite ingenious, really." She spooled a bit in her hands. "I'm glad we helped design it."
Despite my non-functional nerve endings, I could feel her collect my hands and adjust them so that they crossed at the small of my back. She began to wind the smart-plastic cord around my wrists, applying an even tension as she did so. After a few moments of fiddling, she ended the process with a final tug.
There was a small beep from somewhere, and the cord began to buzz gently. Within a moment or two, a distinctive metallic odor filled the room.
"That, my dear, was the polymer matrix of the cord rearranging itself," she placed a warm hand on my rear. "If you could look at the molecules of the material, you would now see no difference between it and a diamond."
Still paralyzed, I had to take her word for it. "Ughhnn..."
Future-Me playfully slapped Present-Me's buttocks. "That's right, hun. It's amazing, and it's one of the first projects you'll be a part of, you smart little cookie. Now, I'll get the rest of you nice and bundled up."
True to her word, she pulled out multiple coils of the 'ingenious' cord, and began to systematically bind me.
Ankles, knees, and upper arms were tied next, all the while my captor playfully mocked my clothes and my taste of music. A rapidly-increasing puddle of drool was growing beneath my half-opened mouth. If it were any other person doing this to me, I may have been concerned. But since 'I' was so gentle to myself, it was hard to get too worried. She even gave me a few nuggets of advice.
"Don't worry about your body so much, hun. It'll get better, as you can see," she said with a motherly tone. She rolled me onto my back and gave my captive form a quick scan.
She motioned towards her chest. "Your boobs will get bigger too." Despite my paralysis, I'm pretty sure I blushed.
Laughing with a hearty bellow, she shook her head. "Enough girl talk. Up you go." Future-Me said, pulling my body into a sitting position. She placed one of her gloved hands under my chin, forcing my eyes into her own.
"Once I activate the smart-plastic, you'll be locked in place for about an hour or so. That should be enough time for my purposes, I think." She paused, scratching her curly brown hair with her free hand. "At least, that's what I remember."
She pulled out one last length of the futuristic cord, and gently pried open the rest of my mouth. With quick hands, she looped it a few times so that it ran between my teeth and around my head. Tying the cord off at the back of my neck, she patted my hair softly. "Don't worry hun, I won't use the diamond-level density for your gag. <THAT> would not be fun to bite down on. Ouch! I'll set it to be more like leather or something."
Future-Me examined me one last time, as if double-checking to make sure everything was in place.
Satisfied, she revealed yet another device from a hidden pocket, and made a few tiny adjustments with it. She clicked it, and the cords that bound me started to buzz gently. Within moments, the familiar metallic smell drifted up to my nose, and I could sense the change in hardness of the bindings.
"The paralysis should be wearing off soon," Future-Me said, guiding my strictly bound body to the bed. "And that means I've gotta run."
A tiny moan emerged from my semi-paralyzed and fully-gagged mouth.
"Everything should be in place," she said, slowly looking around my room. Looking down at me, Future-Me nodded happily. "As long as you can't answer the doorbell in ten minutes, everything should be fine."
My eyes must have widened in surprise, because my captor-self smirked a little.
"Yep, that's right. You need to skip the big party tonight, hun. If you go out drinking, you won't ever complete this little research project," she pointed to my desk, and the half-written assignment on it, "...and you won't ever get your PhD. If you don't get your PhD, you aren't able to help invent time-displacement."
The paralysis must have been nearly gone, because my eyes expanded like saucers.
"And, if you're wondering how I know that, it's because I was told by myself 30 years ago. After she tied me up, of course."