Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer
I didn’t want to write this, but here’s the thing: I have to.
Sitting in my study, looking out the window at a glorious sunny day, with kids running riot in the playground and old folk sat on benches watching the world go by, it’s what many would call perfect.
Which is the root of my quandary. It’s the 22nd July 1952. How can I tell them it’s not going to last? The wondrous future of leisure supported by advanced technology that everyone talks about is a lie. I’ve seen it: the computers, the prosperity, the inequality, the Nazi trappings. For the majority of people, it’s a dystopian ‘work until you die’ future, and it’s less than eighty years away!
The machine doesn’t have the ability to let me see how we get there. In truth, getting the view I have was a miraculous accident. Einstein had some ideas about the future being set, and viewable. I might have confirmed some of them.
What puzzled me is that what I see changes each time. Initially I thought it was because my act of viewing enacted some Heisenberg effect upon what I saw: either due to my observations, or possibly knowledge of what I have done and seen becoming public.
Then I thought it because of me viewing on different days – which may have some bearing, I admit.
I am now more of the opinion that Einstein’s fixed universe view is not entirely correct. I believe the view changes each time because I am seeing the various possible futures that could exist at that point, depending on which significant events transpire or fail between now and 2032.
My greatest horror is that not one of the futures I’ve seen differs in the fundamental composition of society. After all the sacrifices of the last decade, it seems the fascists will eventually triumph. The uniforms may differ, but the words, the targeted hatred, the cowed populations and ruling elite are unmistakable.
I intend to continue to document my work for a few more days, then prepare an initia
The man finishes reading, then reaches over the body to pull the page from the typewriter. He turns to the woman who is rummaging through the cluttered bookshelves that cover two walls of this small study.
“No need. The whole place will have to go. We can’t afford to miss a thing.”
She drops the papers in her hand with a sigh of relief, then waves to indicate the room.
“Is it that serious?”
“From what I just read, he’s a dyed-in-the-wool communist crank. Looks like another scientist driven doolally by his work.”
“Senator McCarthy might be overstating, but he’s not wrong. I’m beginning to wonder if all this science is such a good thing, either.”
He turns and pretends to check outside the window so she doesn’t see his smile. Turning back, he pulls out a lighter. She opens a slim silver case, extracts a pair of cigarettes, and puts both between her lips. He lights them. Then, with a little flourish, he sets fire to the page and drops it on the floor.
They step out of the room as the fire starts to spread. He takes the cigarette she holds out. After waiting long enough to be sure the place is well alight, they leave. Walking a short way down the road, they duck into a black DeSoto and drive off.