Author : Bryan Mulholland
“I’m afraid I can’t stay long Doctor Einstein, I really must go, I’ve stayed here for far too long” I apologised.
“Time, I have studied it, explained it and theorized it. Now it slips through my fingers” he muttered as he looked into the spring sunlit grounds.
Not looking up from my diary I explained “Yes, well it happens to us all I’m afraid. Now I really must go, I have to visit Planck, McIntyre and Lord Kelvin today, it’s a busy one”.
“I am not going to ask how, but can you tell me when?” he asked calmly. A little too calmly I thought, almost as if he was asking the time of day.
“A year precisely, as is our policy Doctor Einstein. Many thanks for the notes again” I said packing them away, “You have helped our cause greatly”.
He was still sitting gazing out the window when I pulled the cords connected to my backpack. All at once the world around me dissolved into red dust and all too soon I was back in my office.
The view from my windows was obscured by The Cloud. Must be low lying today. I missed the view; I hadn’t seen it since the weather shifted. I missed seeing the shuttles leaving for Col2 as it circled our grey marble.
Walking past my non-existent view to the data entry slot, I fed in the notes Einstein had given me. “I wonder where that boy has got to” I thought to myself as I fed the notes in and heard that strangely satisfying whirr click as the computer accepted them. The panel on my desk lit up confirming their acceptance. “Alistair!” I shouted; as soon as the words left my mouth I knew there was no point shouting for my assistant, he was probably off on one of his “personal visits” as he often was while I was away. I wondered who he was with today. Asimov? Wells? Hell, it might even be Adams, knowing Alistair.
After flicking through the notes on my display and not seeing anything new (what with time and fourth dimensional travel being my speciality) I decided it would be best to head to my next source. Checking my diary (I am old fashioned that way), I found that next was McIntyre, someone I had been looking forward to interviewing since I created the Archive Project. His complete notes would make a fantastic addition to our library, plus I had a few questions for the man who kick started my development in fourth dimensional travel and brought this project into existence. The father of time travel himself, next to him Einstein was but a pre-schooler. There were a few kinks in my backpack design I wanted to smooth out, and who better to ask than him?
There was a sound, a strange sound, as if the air itself was quietly being rent asunder. Looking up I noticed Alistair. Looking a lot more weathered than when I had last seen him not to mention a scar on his face. “Alistair!” I exclaimed “What the devil happened to you? Where did you get that scar?”
“Freud” he said simply, as if it explained everything. That’s when I noticed the backpack he was wearing. It was not of my design, although it looked like it incorporated many elements of it. “Alistair what…” I began to ask when he interrupted me and said the words I knew I would hear one day.
“Dr Corban, I am from the future, I am here for information only. I will not harm you”