Author : Roger Dale Trexler
Carpenter awoke in a tree, but the body he was in was no longer his own. They had taken that away from him, too…. just like they had stolen and plagiarized his work and called it their own.
He moved, but his motions were not human. Not quite. Then, he looked down at his hand.
He screamed, but it came out as an animal cry.
His hands were covered in coarse brown hair. He looked at his torso and saw that it, too, was covered in hair.
He screamed again.
Then, he sniffed the air and his mind went blank for a moment.
He jumped out of the tree with an agility that no human could possibly possess…. and he ran aimless. He knew that there was no logic in running, but his animal body could not help it. Instinct had taken over, and his sophisticated mind, trapped inside an animal’s body, was being overpowered by nature, the will to survive.
A minute later, regaining his senses, he stopped running. Whatever odd scent he had picked up was gone. He was safe.
He looked around.
The plants, he thought. They’ve been extinct for a million years.
I’m somewhere in the Jurassic period.
He walked cautiously though the jungle. He was frightened, but his analytical mind was also fascinated by the fact that his theories worked. He recalled the day, a month ago, when he walked into Bayer’s office. Harold Bayer was the head of the project. He had no love—or, for that matter, knowledge—of science. He was appointed to the position because he was related to someone with an iota of power. A senator’s son or some such clout.
Carpenter had been reluctant to announce his discovery.
“It’s what?” Bayer said, bewilderment on his face.
“A mental link over space and time,” Carpenter told him. “Look at it as a form of mental astral projection. That’s as simple an explanation as I can give, really.”
Bayer nodded, but it was clear he did not understand.
“We can’t travel through time physically,” Carpenter said. “It just isn’t possible. The energy requirements would be staggering.”
Bayer continued to nod, reminding Carpenter of one of those toy birds that drank water from a glass.
“But,” Carpenter said, “no one ever thought about mental links with people from the past.”
Bayer was still clueless, but the inkling of a thought was flowing through his head. He saw a chance to make money and acquire power, and that was enough for him to say: “Keep up the good work, Carpenter…. and keep me informed.”
Carpenter had kept him informed…and that was his downfall.
They perfected the process a few days ago. Carpenter sent a chimpanzee’s mind into the past, but there was no way for him to know where it had gone. Upon trying to retrieve the chimpanzee’s mind, it died.
There was no coming back.
They found a prisoner serving a life term for murder for the next experiment. He, too, died upon attempted retrieval, but they were able to access his brain via Carpenter’s device. What they saw was prehistoric…and amazing.
Carpenter wanted to do more trials, but Bayer wanted to go public. They had an argument and, somehow, Bayer overpowered him.
Carpenter awoke in the past, in a strange body.
I can’t go back, he thought as he reached a stream. He bent over and looked into his ape-like face.
Then, he smelled something.
But, it was too late. The sabre tooth tiger jumped out of the bushes and attacked.
As the tiger ate him alive, Bayer knew the true nature of mankind: survival of the most underhanded.