Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer
I hunt the Time Killers.
I am the person they call in when they have a chronovore infestation. These creatures are bright blue and frog-like with the giant faceted eyes of an insect. Millilocular lenses, each one seeing progressively further forward and back in time.
The smaller a beast is, the less it can see into time. The babies can see ten minutes in either direction. The big ones can see for days. I heard of one giant beast that saw a week and a half in either direction.
It’s like how a fly’s eyes are giant hemispheres, giving it a nearly 360 degree field of view for warning of incoming danger. These chronovores see a lenticular time-field to give them warning of imminent attacks.
These chronovores, being quantum animals, need to see the chunk of time that they are going to eat. If they can only see five minutes forward and five minutes back, then they can only fit that ten minutes of time into their gullets before moving on. If they eat more than they can see, they untether from the timeline and are never seen again. Greed keeps their numbers down.
It’s when a pack of them get together and start grazing that the problems really start.
The fields they emanate can take up entire city blocks. The area where they eat gets shuffled back in time and their bellies get full.
Most humans blame their dodgy memories on inattention or drugs or lack of sleep. One day looks pretty much like the next in most people’s numbing drudgery of an existence. The small chronovores pass without much damage. A few minutes here, an hour there. If people notice a discrepancy, they figure they just dozed off or zoned out for a second. It’s the big ‘C-vores’ that cause problems with history and create timefaults.
I’m from the Core. I have perfect recall. When a chunk of my time goes missing, I know it. My scanner says that there are ripples here. The beast must be close. I warm up the looptrap and place it near –
– Wednesday for lunch. It’s not much but I’m hoping that they don’t linger. Wait. Wait. What day is it? I check inside and compare streams. I lost a month. That can’t be! A month-eater would be the size of a shuttlecraft! I’ve heard no reports.
Wait. The television. It’s talking about a giant blue frog in the downtown core. The helicopters of this era are circling. Jesus. The chronovore’s field emanation must be the size –
– tranquil, almost summertime breeze. I’m looking forward to the barbeque and seeing Marie. Damn. It’s happened again. I wonder if it’s yanking the entire city backwards a month at a time. It’s going to continue on its path, leaving month-sized holes across the seaboard like a ravenous moth making its way through a closet of expensive clothes.
Maybe they can drive it into the ocean. In the depths, a month of time isn’t going to make too much of a difference one way or the –
-peanut butter. I can’t even be sure that the supermarket is open. The queue is taking a long time. How did I –
– given my orders. Apparently there’s a large chronovore in LA. I’m not looking forward to it. I don’t like the heat in that city.