Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer
Timecasting is a strange way to travel to the future. It ‘throws’ a person forward. In this case, me. I’ll be the world’s first temponaut soon. The scientists keep playfully calling me a ‘temp’ and they think it’s hilarious. If all goes well, I’ll be the first person to see the future.
By using a ‘time anchor’, they can nail a temponaut to one single here and now. It’s like putting your back against the elastic of a slingshot and walking backwards until it stretches tight. The further backward you walk, the further forward you’ll go when you relax.
The flow of time dams behind the person like putting a clamp on a hose and having the water build up behind it. After a few seconds, the time anchor turns off and the temponaut re-enters the timestream. The backed-up time behind them shoots the person forward. The longer the pause, the further into the future he or she goes.
You could also say it’s like dropping a huge weight on one side of a seesaw. Whoever’s on the other side of the seesaw will go flying upwards into the air but the seesaw itself stays where it is. The fulcrum of the seesaw is our present moment, and the temponaut is what gets catapulted.
Everything that goes up must come down, to use the seesaw metaphor further, and so the person will slow, pause and then reverse course back to our lab.
At that perihelion, that tip of the parabola in the future, the person can stay still long enough to take a picture and have a quick peek.
That person is me.
I settle in the timechair and give the thumbs up to the technician.
Time cannot stand anything going against its flow. The resistance increases exponentially. The most they’ll be able to hold me back for is five seconds. That’ll be enough power to shoot me one year into the future.
The scientist in the body condom hazmat suit off to my right throws the switch. My timechair immediately goes cold. The lab around me throws into reverse as I am held back. My vision develops a blue tint. I have the horrible sensation that my hair is reverse-growing back into my head and I hope it’s just psychosomatic. Every slows to a quivering standstill five seconds in the past and then…
SNAP I’m flying forward in time. The lab smears around me in streaks of light and pops of blinding, saturated colour like I’m watching every single frame of a year-long movie all at once. An orchestra of rattling and ambient noise builds to a rattling, banging crescendo. Just when I think I’m about to suffer from a full sensory overload…
I’m hanging in a dark cavern. My nails, beard, and hair are a year longer. The lab has disappeared. There is a strong stench of ammonia. Stalactites dot the entrance to the cave and there is a low subterranean humming. Something glows in front of me.
It’s a tongue. The perspective flips and I can see that I’m inside a giant mouth. The glowing tongue darts out and touches my ankle. The whole interior of the mouth lights up like the ribs of a deep sea angler and I scream.
We’re not timecasting. We’re fly fishing and I’m bait. There must be giant creatures in the time stream that eat time travelers and I’m on the end of Earth’s first fishing line.
My last thought is that I hope the timechair acts as a hook and brings this beast back to the lab.