Author : Desmond Hussey, Staff Writer

17th Day, 8th Lunar, 1860 N.E. (New Earth )

09:47:23 I look to the west; to the future. I meditate on how close we came to not having one. Our predecessors, our degenerate, self-obsessed ancestors destroyed themselves. We’d be naught but savages now if not for the Founders. They changed the course of history; gave us a second chance, a chance to build a better world. They found the Crystals, which in turn, supplied us with endless power. All praise the Founders!

09:56:43 My droids hum industriously, completing final diagnostics on the Chronoscope. The sound is vivifying. I’m so close! I’ve longed to know what minds could have constructed such monuments to civilization as this long-dead metropolis spread out before me, now crumbling into ruin. High in my laboratory atop the only structure remaining of this vast, ancient city, I wonder: What was life like in those massive, overcrowded cities? What happened to our ancestors who disappeared mysteriously so long ago?

A dark veil has been cast over history, obscuring any knowledge of that time. The Second Dark Ages. Overnight, they simply vanished.

All but 500,000. The Founders of New Earth.

If little is known about Old Earth, less is known about the Founders. No historical records exist before the year 100 N.E. Seemingly intentionally, as if the Founders deliberately wanted to forget the past. Why? Why did they survive and an estimated seven billion disappear without a trace? These remain mysteries to this day. Mysteries I aim to uncover.

10:03:56 Alerts chime. Diagnostics complete. All systems green.

10:05:04 The brass and silver Chronoscope resembles a telescope suspended from the ceiling of my observatory by a multi-jointed, mechanical appendage. A complex array of spider-like, titanium limbs encases its objective lens. I aim it west.

10:06:03 Activate Chronoscope. Rpms accelerate rapidly. The Temporal array spins, whining and blurring.

10:06:45 Engage Temperal-Field Distortion. The tip of each limb flares into an incandescent blue spark, carving a ring of electric fire just beyond the Chronoscope’s lens. There’s a strong smell of ozone as tachyons bombard the fabric of space/time, penetrating deep into the past.

10:07:14 I step up to the eyepiece and look away from the future. I look to the past now, seeking answers.

10:08:32 Through the viewer I see a long tunnel, its walls rainbow-hued quicksilver, which terminates in a glorious spectacle – a vision of the past!

I’ve pierced the veil!

Wherever I aim the Chronoscope a thriving civilization fills my vision. I watch amazed as the ancient necropolis surrounding my tower springs to life, it’s citizens moving in real-time. Their lives are written on their faces. So indomitable! So intrepid!

10:18:27 Recalibrate the Temporal Dampeners to 1 yr/sec.

Days strobe endlessly past. Sunrise. Sunset. Buildings get taller. The city expands.
The population flourishes. Then multiplies. Again. Again. Again.

10:23:23 Then they’re gone. I stop. Rewind 5 yrs. Recalibrate: 1 mo/sec.

10:27:35 Nothing different but for a slowly settling fog, even in fast-motion. Bodies appear. Many bodies. A black flurry of activity. Something from the sky. Then nothing. They’re all gone. It’s over in seconds.

10:35:57 Rewind. Recalibrate: 1 day/sec.

10:38:46 I watch, horror-struck, as the city succumbs to the killing fog, released by black planes criss-crossing the skies. Black dump trucks arrive with white-clad drivers. The bodies are removed and piled in parks and parking lots. Ships come. Many ships. Alien ships. All bear the sygil of the Founders.

The bodies, millions of them are quickly loaded. Then the ships are gone, leaving behind great, pulsing green crystals.

Our payment.


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