Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer
Time travel has always been possible. We’ve been doing it for centuries. Even the most archaic craft in our earliest space faring ventures used to bring back brave voyagers aged a fraction of a second younger than they would have been had they never left.
But to really traverse time, to cover a temporal distance that can be measured in actual years rather than fractions of seconds, would take some extra ingenuity. And consequently the first singular photons were successfully sent back down the time stream in the early spring of 2240. Initially it was just a few seconds, and then minutes, and then hours. And then pretty soon those seemingly insignificant tiny travelers were spanning the years at our command.
But when it was suddenly discovered that we might be able to actually infiltrate antique fiber optic cables and send our own messages back into the past, we all hesitated, and approached this realization with extreme trepidation and concern… and then we plowed on ahead anyway.
We still weren’t able to boost the signal enough for video, but audio was working perfectly, and that was just fine. The newly targeted period of the early 21st century was a time of almost complete global coverage by audio communication systems.
We continuously searched for a likely subject in the archives. “How about this?” said my assistant Harland one afternoon.
“What do you have?” I asked.
“An old 2D site run by an early 2020s woman. A Beatrice McLean of eastern Canada. Her society called, simply enough, ‘The Time Travelers Club’ once celebrated the possibility of, and more importantly, its members’ belief in, time travel.”
“Interesting,” I admitted. “Is there anything else?”
“Yes.” He looked back at me, one eyebrow raised. “There’s a phone number.”
* * *
“Hello, Beatrice speaking.”
* * *
I yelled into my cheekplant. “It’s time to open our trap and see if we’ve caught anything. All associates into position please!”
As we pushed forward down the long hallway Harland led the way with his Eyepiece’s strong flashlight. According to our research the old New Brunswick family had owned this place for centuries, but the power had now been off for decades. At last we came upon the ancient storage room.
They had all waited for me. The two maintenance workers had their prying tools jammed into the cracks on either side of the crumbling cinderblock. I stopped, took in the dusty scene for a brief moment, and then nodded toward the workers. In unison they wrenched the old block loose.
It came crashing down and fell into near powder. I stepped forward, waving the cloud away, and covering my mouth I coughed several times. Then through the dispersing fallout I saw it.
It was a flat rectangular piece of white plastic, nearly upright, leaning ever so slightly in its cubbyhole, extremely non-biodegradable, as per our original instruction, perhaps the lid of an antique food storage container. I had a dozen team members standing behind me shining their lights over my shoulders. As I pulled it free from its hiding place and shook the centuries of sediment away with a flick of my wrist, we could all now read the message that had been faithfully carved deep into the plastic with a 350-year-old wood burning tool, by a staunch and serious practitioner of science and science fiction, all those years ago.
The message read…