Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

We failed at time travel.

We created an engine that would theoretically propel the automated craft forward in time. It started properly when we turned it on but instead of snapping the craft forward in time, it folded four years of time back into the craft. The ship rusted and weakened right in front of us, giving a little shudder as four years of time ran through it like a train.

That’s as far as the experiment got. Nothing we tried could make something actually go forward in time. But we could age things.

The experiments that were done on people brought the military back to a whole new dark age. The Nazis would have recognized the gleam in the eyes of the scientists that were given political dissidents and random homeless people to play with.

We couldn’t make it go in reverse. We tried but in only created a reality-feedback loop that drove the subjects insane.

What was fascinating was what happened when we pressed fast forward on people. They’d go from twenty-six to thirty right in front of our eyes and when they opened their eyes, they’d have four more years of memory. Memories of the life that would have happened if we hadn’t tied them to the chair and hooked them up to the temporal engine.

We sent people further and further forward, interviewing them when they opened their eyes. We aged one person 70 years. He ‘came back’ with a new heart, new hips, and partial brain implants. He remembered another world war, ten presidents, and two emperors.

The only real problem we encountered is that no two people that we sent forward came back with similar memories. That was still under investigation. We couldn’t get accurate future predictions if no two subjects agreed.

Plus the process was irreversible. For a while, our black ops sub-basements churned out seniors by the dozen every day until we realized it was fruitless.

Never let it be said that the military will let anything go to waste, however.

We invented a temprowave weapon. It was a focused beam of the time-propellant collapsed waveform. It aged whatever it hit and it aged it as long as contact was maintained.

We only used it in one battle. I’m a veteran of that battle. I have scars of sixty-year-old skin that criss-cross my thirty-year-old chest. I wonder if the cells in that skin have another thirty years of memory. Timebeam scars.

My left hand has liver spots. I have a patch of grey hair. Shrapnel from a time bomb.

If we turned the beam on to focus on someone for a long time, their heart would age and die.

It was too unwieldy in the end, though. Bullets did the job quicker.

The ‘time guns’ are in a basement with the other failed experiments. I go down and look at them sometimes, nestled in amongst the other failed weapons deemed too complex or esoteric for battle, wondering what I would see if I sent my own mind into the future.

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