Gaia pushed the heavy metal door with her arms stretched.
A large man turned to her from his workbench. He was wearing a wooden monocle and was working on a watch with pliers and a tiny wrench.
May I be of help?
We need information about time.
It is five fifteen, the man said and returned to his job.
Gaia got closer.
I am sorry, we need something else. We are looking for the time that has disappeared, or slowed down.
What do you mean?
All the time that is forgotten by clocks and watches.
Why don’t you sit on the bench over there? I will get to you as I finish.
Gaia and Julia sat on the metal bench. They waited for almost an hour, the man then removed the monocle and came to sit on the bench with them.
Our watches are the most precise you can find. We do not forget a single moment. Let me show you what we make. By the way, my name is Karl.
Karl removed one of the watches he was wearing. Only then Julia noticed that he wore three watches on his right arm and four on his left. Give a look at this. It calculates mechanically the time and the day, but also the month and the year.
When do you reset it?
Well, if you charge it timely, you never reset it.
Almost never. Never in a single lifetime, maybe.
And then, what would make me reset it?
Minute differences in the movement of the universe, originating too far from here and too tiny to account for much.
Still over time a difference accrues.
Yes, over time a difference accrues.
And by accrual the minute difference becomes a larger difference.
Over a very very long time.
Enough to account for a month?
Enough to account for decades, centuries if you start early enough.
Thank you, thank you.
The girls left him on the bench, his precision tool in his hand and left running as fast as they could. Julia felt ecstatic.
I’ll talk to one last person before we talk to Mark. I think we are almost there.