Friday, January 1st, 2010 - 10:39 pm
I’m in a artistically designed, yet not overdone building, in a broad, gently curving hallway. The ceilings are somewhat lower than average. The walls are a brick red, with a light grey patterned carpet.
I’m standing in front of what looks very much like an over sized ATM inset in the wall with a brushed stainless surround. It features a slightly pitched back large touch display with some peripheral buttons. It’s well past normal operating hours and I am working with a colleague at this terminal.
We are about to conduct an experiment in time travel.
“Here we go the moment of truth!” *click*
Time lurches forward. The perceived world slowly stretches before it snaps back. We brace ourselves clutching each other’s shoulders and reaching for the wall.
“I think we did it! We just traveled in time!”
By the next morning we realize our experiment was a success. We had, in fact, jumped 15 minutes. Perhaps not a huge step, but it was undeniably a huge step in our research. Now we have to share our findings with our superiors.
They are unimpressed. Apparently it’s very difficult to prove you traveled 15 minutes into the future. Since the facility is fairly isolated, and we were the only ones there at the time, we lacked any outside observers. Having only jumped 15 minutes we were not missed.
What they do know is that somehow during the night we had managed to use an enormous amount of energy. In fact, we are in trouble. We have racked up quite a bill for our department. Our research is ordered shut down.
“But, we did it, didn’t we? I’m sure we did.. How else can we prove it?” My colleague is beyond consolation.
“George, I think I’ve got an idea. They aren’t going to like it. We’re going to do it again. This time we’re going to have evidence.”
We cook up a plan that we will accelerate a volunteer and her dog. There are a few factors we aren’t quite sure of yet though. How localized is the field of effect? Is it possible that the space time bubble could somehow adversely effect the integrity of the building and our surroundings? Will the dog corrupt the field of effect and somehow end up partially integrated with our friend? The dog is the most important element. He will prove that time travel is possible!
The plan is fairly simple. Jill will walk with her terrier past the the interface. We will set the interface to go off at this precise time. Since the building will be populated, we will have independently observable results!
We do still have questions concerning the field of effect, though, and how the dog will effect the experiment. We decide to down scale the energy component. We predict the jump will only be 2 minutes, but it doesn’t matter, it will provide clear proof!
Everybody is in place. The experiment is about to go off. I have very serious concerns about what effects will be caused by altering the parameters of the experiment. Here she comes! It’s got to work!
The clock ticks and..
The moment seems to freeze.
Unlike the sensation of lurching forward like we had had a couple nights earlier, time seems to nearly stop. I continue to think in the speed of non-augmented time, but everything is moving incredibly slowly.
Suddenly we snap back into normal time.
Alarms are sounding, everyone is running in a frenzy.
“Something went wrong? What’s going on?”
Having lowered the energy components, we didn’t have the snap in and out of normal time like we did last time. The experiment sent a ripple in space time that temporarily separated our facility from NORAD. It triggered a nuclear retaliatory strike against China.
Maps projected on the wall show missile launches all over the world.
It’s the doomsday scenario. Mutual Assured Destruction.
There’s no time to stop and think, we have to head for the shelter! We are in a government facility running high profile scientific experiments. We have a bunker that can withstand a direct strike.
We run through the spiraling hallways to the entrance of the shelter.
A spiraled iris is closing a hole in the floor. It’s the entrance. There’s no time to lose. We are about to be hit. We jump in a hole and slide down to the shelter. An enormous underground vault, built like a late Victorian neighborhood. Apartments, barber shops, this was made to be a place to live while waiting for the world to be survivable.
I slowly wake up to this world with the me of that world wondering if the world above would ever be survivable. After our weapons, sleeping dragons we’d dare not wake, just destroyed everything we know. Would anything survive? Would our world become a frozen museum marveled at by visiting space faring people who reached our world hoping we’d be here to give them a home.