A young Sue Hirsch is watching a cartoon of Time Ryder and the Crono Teens, created by Wally Nash. Time Ryder sends his arch enemy Lord Entropy to prison. Sue recites Time Ryder's line about how his teenager followers are special. She then tells her mother that she'll do her homework after watching one more episode.
10,947 Episodes Later
In college, Sue tells her professor Dobkin that she needs just one more day to do her paper. Dobkin says that each semester he gets one student with potential but they never get their act together. He tells her to turn something in by midnight if she wants to graduate. Sue calls her mother, who is expecting her to graduate.
At her home, Sue is working out that she has eight hours to write her paper on wormholes. As she starts to work, she hears something behind her but sees nothing. The doorbell rings and Sue goes to answer it after tripping over her Time Ryder memo eraser. Her friend Alex Bhargava is at the door and has already finished his paper on quantum paradoxes. He asks about Sue's paper, and quickly realizes that she hasn't started yet. As she insists that she's going to finish it, the door blows open and Sue jokingly says that if someone from the future invites time travel then she'll go back and place it in a drawer. There's nothing in the drawer, and Sue lectures him about the errors in his paper.
Sue mentions time travel from Time Ryder, and Alex has no idea what she's talking about. She describes how Time Ryder uses the memo eraser to erase people's memories, and says that they should watch one episode. She starts to bring it up on the computer but hears something crash outside. When she looks outside, Sue seems some overturned garbage cans across the street. She goes back to her computer and smells something, and does a Net search... but finds nothing for the show. When Sue turns back to look at her Time Ryder shelf of items, there's nothing there.
The two students search through Sue's room but there's no sign of any Time Ryder memorabilia. She calls her mother and asks her if she remembers Time Ryder. The phone buzzes and then Sue's mother says that she's never heard of it. Once she hangs up, Sue asks Alex if she's crazy and then prepares to ride to Sundial Cartoons, the company that created Time Ryder. Alex warns her that she's throwing away her future for a cartoon. Time Ryder appears in a burst of lightning and staggers forward, and says that history needs Sue's help before collapsing unconscious.
Back inside, Sue gets Time Ryder coffee. He explains that he comes from a future where mankind has reached its full potential but is in peril because of something that happens that night that changes the course of history. Time Ryder asks them if they've seen any weird shit going on. Alex whispers to Sue that Time Ryder is nut, but she insists that he's Time Ryder. Time Ryder activates a hologram and explains that Time Ryder is a cartoon that inspires children, including the inventor of time travel. Sue explains that the show is disappearing from existence, and Time Ryder says that it's the most important piece of children's entertainment in the universe. If it disappears then Time Ryder's future is history. He says that they have to go back to the moment it began, find out who is erasing the show, and stop it. Time Ryder swears them in to help them preserve the past and defend the future, and Alex reminds Sue that she has to finish her paper. She figures that she can use Time Ryder's time machine to write it, and they all join hands.
Time Ryder activates his time travel device and they travel back four hours. As past-Alex rings the doorbell of Sue's house, the trio appears behind him and quickly hides. He gives them invisibracers so that no one in the past can see or hear them. Past-Alex rehearses what to say to Sue, and past-Sue finally opens the door. Time Ryder renders them invisible and they go inside, and the door appears to blow open. The trio goes upstairs and search for anomalies, and Sue sees her toys on the shelf. Time Ryder realizes that his memo eraser is gone. Lord Entropy appears with the memo eraser and prepares to shoot them with it. However, a future Time Ryder appears, grabs Entropy, and they both disappear.
Alex demands to know what's going on, and Time Ryder explains that Entropy comes from a future that sucks. He's using Time Ryder's memo eraser to erase the show, and realizes that they need to go back again. They return to the past behind their past-future selves, and hide separately. They spot Entropy using the memo eraser on past-past-Alex, and Time Ryder leads them after their past selves. They peer in through the window and watch their past selves realize that Sue's toys haven't appeared yet. Entropy appears and steals the past memo eraser, and then he disappears and teleports back in. Time Ryder then teleports in and grabs Entropy, and teleports away with him. The past trio teleport away, and Sue suggests that Alex captured Entropy and is hauling him back to Time Base One.
A handcuffed Time Ryder appears out of thin air and crashes into the garbage cans. As Sue goes to check on him, Alex sees Entropy use the memo eraser to erase past-past-Alex's memories of Time Ryder and Sue's toys. Meanwhile, Sue takes Time Ryder's Crono Gauntlet, grabs Alex, and teleports them both away. They appear on past-past-Sue's bed, but she doesn't see them because of the invisibracers. Sue picks up the discarded memo eraser and realizes that it's the same thing.
At the front door, Entropy tries to wipe past-past-Alex's memories but realizes that his "memo eraser" is the toy. Sue and Alex arrive, grab him, and teleport away. They appear in their present, and Time Ryder is waiting to punch Entropy unconscious. The hero thanks them for leaving a note, and then realizes that he left a note for himself. Sue gives him the memo eraser back and Alex remembers the show again. Time Ryder figures the timeline is back on course and prepares to depart, but Sue figures that can't be it. Meanwhile, Entropy wakes up and flicks his ring through the air, chuckling. Sue asks if Time Ryder will ever see him again, and Time Ryder says that only time will tell and departs with Entropy
Alex suggests that they get back to work, and Sue points out that they were just Crono-Teens and she can't go back to the way things were. She sees Entropy's ring and picks it up, and says that it's their duty to pass it off to the right authorities. Alex doesn't want to go with Time Base One with her to turn in the ring, but grabs her when he realizes that she isn't going to cooperate.
Sue and Alex appear at Sundial and Alex realizes that they're in 1995. They tell the guard that they're there to see Time Ryder and show him the ring. When Sue gives her name, the guard invites her in and says that he'll give the ring to Captain Ryder.
As they walk through the studio, Sue tells Alex that everyone there is from the future. She sees Wally Nash working and goes over to talk to him. She asks for his autograph, and Wally recognizes her name and stares at her with awe. He introduces himself and says that it's an honor to meet her. Wally says that they're all starstruck because they're meeting the mother of time, and all of the animators stare at her. Sue's picture is on the wall, showing her inventing time travel. All of the animators come over to get her signature.
A guard tells Ryder that they can't get a signature lock to send Entropy to the time jail because it appears to be flickering in and out of existence. Entropy laughs maniacally from within his cell.
Alex shows an animator Sue's paper and figures that he can finish it now that he has a time machine. The animator says it doesn't work that way.
Entropy says that he had eternity to think of the perfect plan.
The animator says that Alex's present is continuing to move forward without him.
Sue reads an article about how she discovered time travel, and remembers Dobkin telling her to turn in her paper.
Alex realizes that in his own present time, time is still moving forward. He runs over to Sue and she says that she knows her present is continuing on without them. An alarm goes off announcing a timeline breach.
Entropy tells Ryder that Sue lied to Ryder, and all he needs to destroy the future was to give Sue the chance to star in a real-life Time Ryder adventure. When Ryder points out that Entropy is imprisoned, Entropy says that he's going to get himself out. The guard comes in and shows Ryder the ring, and the future Entropy appears to grab the ring, kill the guard, and toss the ring to his past self. The imprisoned Entropy dons the ring and teleports out of the cage.
Ryder brings Sue in and asks how she could have destroyed the timeline by flunking out of school. If she never gets to grad school then she'll never invent time travel. Meanwhile, Sue tells Ryder that it's 11:30 pm in her timeline and she hasn't started her paper yet, but she's worried that she's going to let everyone down so she puts it off. Sue insists that she's a failure, and Alex tells her that if they can get Dobkin out of his office then they can buy Sue time to write the paper. Ryder agrees and Alex assures him that Sue can get the job done because she's a Crono-Teen.
Dobkin is in his library office grading papers at 11:47 pm. Alex sneaks in using the invisibracer and takes the papers, and Dobkin goes out and finds Alex's glasses on the floor. Papers blow through the library, and Dobkin goes to investigate.
At Sundial, Sue tries to write her paper
Dobkin finds his papers scattered through the library. Ryder and Alex stay ahead of them and scatter them out.
Sue continues working on her paper.
Entropy attacks Ryder and the two men struggle. Dobkin doesn't steal them and continues collecting his papers and then goes back to his office. Alex catches up to him and says that he dropped some more papers. Dobkin flunks him and tells him to go away, and Alex contacts Sue and says that she needs to finish the paper. Meanwhile, Ryder and Entropy continue struggling and Alex sees the fire alarm. He runs to it, while Ryder starts to fade away as his future disappears.
Entropy gloats that nothing can stop him, and Ryder fades out long enough for Entropy to escape his grip. The villain teleports in front of the fire alarm, grabs Alex, and teleports away. Ryder tells Sue that it's too late and she needs to get. Sue runs to the platform so Ryder can send her to her present, and he says goodbye to her. The computer says that it's detected a paradox, and Sue realizes that she's the paradox and can't return to her present until the paradox is resolved. Ryder sends her the memo eraser and says that it's her only option, and she has to face the future on her own. Sue says that she can't do it without her, but Ryder says that she's special and recites the line from his show. He tells her that she doesn't need him anymore, and Sue takes the memo eraser and shoots herself with it, erasing her memory of the show.
Sue wakes up at her desk, holding the memo eraser with no idea of what happened. Alex arrives at her door and as she goes to answer it, the memo eraser disappears from time. He shows Sue his paper and asks about hers, and realizes that she hasn't started yet. This time she finds a note in the drawer, telling her to write it herself.
Written by Gadfly on Apr 8, 2017