Author : Kevin Richards
I stepped up the walk of the gravel drive, breathing in the cool, quiet night air. Ringing the doorbell, I was greeted by a sharply dressed woman with a pleasant smile. “I’m here for the party,” I said, pulling the invitation out of my jacket.
“Right this way.” We went down a hallway, and she opened the door to a ballroom. Balloons and a banner marked the door. I stepped inside, eager to meet the guests.
I’d spent some time trying to look nice for this. I had gone shopping and got designer skinny jeans, new sneakers, a silk black tie, crisp white shirt and a tailored blazer. “Evening,” I said amicably as I stepped into an empty room.
A bar sat in one corner, and tables with an assortment of hors d’ouevres sat on one wall. The only other person was a man slumped in a wheelchair. His only movement was to dart his eyes suddenly to me. Without moving a muscle he looked shocked.
“Party is a little dead professor,” I said. “Perhaps you should have sent the invitations out a little sooner. Says today’s date alright, the 28th, but it’s a bit of an issue since you sent these out on the 30th.”
“To tell the truth, I wasn’t expecting anyone.” The professors synthesized voice sounded bemused.
“And, trust me, you weren’t disappointed. At least in my timeline anyways. This one seems much more interesting. I like it already. Champagne?” I popped the cork and poured two bubbling glasses.
“I’ll pass. We have a lot to talk about.”
“Indeed we do. In fact, I’d propose a toast- to you professor, for laying the groundwork that made this possible.” I drank a generous amount, grinning. “I’d expect this place to be packed. If travel backwards along this timeline is possible, where is everybody? I even went so far as to get 2009 Summer Quarter GQ so I’d look appropriate.”
“Perhaps it’s because you are the only person in this timeline to travel backwards this far. Or maybe the only backwards time traveler ever.”
“Interesting. Anyways, I thought I’d give you this.” I reached into jacket and removed a stack of papers. “Copy of Klein and Li’s paper on String Theory. Won the Nobel in ’34. They cite you quite heavily. See, you aren’t so much wrong as you-”
The doors burst open. Two men in black suits marched in. “You! With us! Now!”
“Who the hell are you? What the-” The suit on the right snatched the stack of papers, and the one on the left slapped a cuff around my wrist. What looked like a solid steel bar molded around my wrists. There was a prick on my neck and everything began to slow. Pointing back, they yelled “You didn’t see anything!”
As I was dragged from the room, everything fading, I heard the professor’s synthesized voice, “Or perhaps Time Travel is better regulated than most industries…”
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