Time Bastard is the second story in the second episode of Nightmare Time. It is the fourth story of the three-part live streamed reading. It was performed live on October 17, 2020 and released on YouTube on February 14, 2021.
The story opens with Ted attempting to flirt with girls at the reception of Paul and Emma's wedding. After failing to successfully pick up Emma, Sylvia and Charlotte, Ted wallows in self-pity in the corner with Professor Hidgens. Ted laments to the man about how he's begun failing at picking up women and then begins to tell him about the only woman he's ever loved, Jenny, and how he eventually ended up losing her after she moved to Clivesdale with some 'pushy bastard'. He then tells Hidgens that in order to prevent it from happening again he became that pushy bastard. Hidgens seems to understand Ted's pain and begins to reminisce about his own youth, implying he had a relationship with Chad. However, Ted doesn't care and pushes his way to the from of the open bar. He gets a bottle of vodka and begins to wallow in self-pity at an empty table.
It is at this point that the DJ asks for the married couple to come to the dance floor for their first dance. Ted spots Paul and encourages him to go to the dance floor much to Ted's confusion. On the dance floor, Ted finds Jenny in a wedding dress and realises somehow that the wedding has shifted to being his wedding. Ted and Jenny dance and then go to sit at the place of honour where they eat wedding cake together. Jenny pulls out a small gift and gives it to Ted. The man opens the present and pulls out the Bastard's Box. Suddenly the wedding is gone and Ted finds himself alone in the wedding hall surrounded by piles of rotting food. On the dance floor, he sees a figure in a baggy, matted, rotten fursuit that looks like a goat. Ted is terrified as the thing points at the box he holds telling him that it's the Bastards Box where he (Tinky) keeps all his little toys like Ted. The thing suddenly appears in front of Ted pulling him up by his jacket and warning him that he's coming to get him.
Ted wakes up screaming and finds himself once again at Paul and Emma's wedding. Paul comes up to him and asks if Ted will be able to go find his weekly reports and put them on Mr Davidson's desk for him as he forgot. Ted agrees and heads to the CCRP office but is unable to find the reports on Paul's desk so goes into his own office to print them off himself. Ted begins to get annoyed with how long his printer is taking stating that it's going to take 85 years. As he says this he begins to get sleepy and falls asleep. Ted wakes to his phone alarm going off and realises that he must have fallen asleep in the office. He gets up and heads to his usualy Monday morning meeting, however, he finds that he's unable to open his door. After hitting the door multiple time Ted finally manages to get it open and finds that it had been nailed shut. Ted then heads to the meeting, he walks in late and slides into a seat at the back.
In the meeting, the CCRP scientist is showing plans for CCRPs new android revealing it to be in the likeness of Emma. Ted laughs at the design and makes a remark about boning it. The scientist is disturbed and tells him that no CCRP employee will be having sex with the android but Ted insists they will. Irritated by him the scientist asks what department he's from and he tells them he works in tech support. However, the Tech Head stands up and says he's never seen him before in his life. The scientist then orders the Tech Head to scan Ted's implant and the man is slammed onto a table. They scan Ted's neck but are confused to find that they get no reading. Confused the scientist tasers Ted.
Deep in the bowels of CCRP, Executive Andrew Kilgore is almost surprised when a message slides across his holo-screen, his long wait is finally over. Kilgore walks into the holding room where Ted is being held and introduces himself as head of CCRP section 19 and tells him how he's in charge of all operations in the western hemisphere and that it's 2104, not 2019. He realises that Ted doesn't know who he is and realises that he may be able to stop events in Ted's future from happening and attempts to kill him however, Ted throws a chair at him causing his rebreather tube to detach and runs away through the door. As the intruder alarm goes off Ted is chased by CCRP employees and one almost disintegrates him but is stopped by Kilgore who insists he needs Ted's DNA intact. Ted is able to pick up the employees disintegrator and uses it to kill Kilgore. He then manages to escape back to his office.
Once in his office, Ted thinks about how to get home realising that in saying '85 years' he managed to travel 85 years in the future. He's about to go back to his normal life when he realises that, as Kilgore told him, he's been aborted from the flow of time and he can go back and fix things with Jenny. He then sits in his office and focuses on going back to October 17 2004.
Ted is awoken by an employee of The Hatchetfield Gazette who questions why he's in his office and realises that he successfully managed to travel back in time. Ted then goes and knocks out his younger self using chloroform and then goes to find the 'pushy bastard' who took Jenny. A young Andy Kilgore is walking down the street with some flowers and a locket for Jenny when he is hit over the head with a crowbar. Ted mocks the man and tells him that he and Jenny are going to be together. Ted walks away as the man swear vengeance.
In another place in town, Jenny writes a letter to Ted detailing how she loves him but she can't see him anymore as it hurts too much and how she's moving to Clivesdale. As Jenny posts the letter, Ted runs up to her. She confused about his changed appearance but ignores it as she tries to tell him that she's leaving. However, Ted doesn't let her speak and instead begins to make sexual advances on her. Jenny is confused and attempts to push Ted away but accidentally hits the disintegrator in Ted's pocket. It goes off and hits Jenny and she dies in Ted's arms.
Distressed, Ted travels back to the Hatchetfield Gazette office which will one day become CCRP and attempts to travel back in time once again. He once again wakes up in the guy's office but realises that it's October 18 2004 and he failed to travel back in time.
Tinky appears and mocks Ted telling him that the temporal rift didn't open until 2019 and so Ted is trapped in 2004. Tinky tells Ted that he's trapped inside the Bastard's Box and holds it out to Ted who can hear himself screaming inside as well as the screams of everyone who ever lived and died but who had also never existed at all. The top of the box opens and Ted looks inside and his mind is shattered. Ted is kicked out of the Hatchetfield Gazette building and finds himself all alone and homeless in 2004. It is revealed that Ted is really the Homeless Man and he never manages to get a home and instead spends his days begging on the streets.
Ted manages to get caught back up to 2019 where he spots Paul and Emma walking down the street. He realises that Emma is actually the android he saw in the future CCRP and decides he needs to warn Paul. In a full-circle moment with Forever and Always, the Homeless Man bursts into Emma and Paul's wedding yelling about how Emma isn't actually Emma and is removed from the wedding by Tom.
Ted sits alone in an alley drinking whisky when suddenly Tinky appears and tells Ted that he going to be inside the Bastard's Box very soon. Then, when Tinky disappears, Ted finds himself facing Emma Matthews and Paul Perkins with knives in their hands. The two then stab Ted and he dies. However, Ted lives on in a way, he spends the rest of his days trapped inside the twisting impossible maze of the Bastard's Box.
|Corey Lubowich||Technical support|
|Matt Dahan||Musical accompaniment|
|Time Bastard||Kim Whalen|
- This episode story a full loop with the other episode 2 story Forever and Always.