Is it Saturday already? Then it must be time for Stream of Consciousness Saturday and today’s post is brought to you by Linda G Hill’s prompt, “light”.
2055, Princeton, New Jersey.
“It’s not possible I tell you!”
“Why, just because you say so? I don’t accept that.”
The same argument that Michael had every time they reached this point in the experiment was about to start all over again and he was heartily fed up with it now.
“Even neutrinos cannot exceed the universal speed limit, at least not enough to travel into our potential future, I’ve told you time and time again.”
“Yeah, so you said,” Michael shook his head in frustration, “but I’ve already carried out multiple tests that prove otherwise. You’ll see, this time I’m going to break that damn barrier and then I’m going to be the talk of the scientific community.”
His companion chuckled to himself and continued scribbling equations in his spider-like scrawl, now and then peering over his spectacles and favouring Michael with a sympathetic glance as he tinkered with the machine.
“You think travelling into the future will make you rich and famous? I don’t believe for a moment that faster-than-light travel is possible, but just for the sake of argument, let’s say it is,” his smugness made Michael grit his teeth, “do you really think journeying forward in time will have any benefits for mankind?”
“Well of course it will, just think of all the advances in science, medicine and mechanics we could have access to.”
“But how would you get them back to the here and now? All these discoveries would only be of use if we could utilise them in our present.”
Michael sighed. He was never going to explain his theory to this doddering old fool, he’d just have to give him incontrovertible proof, then he’d have to bow to Michael’s scientific superiority and accept his theory as the truth.
“Ok, I think I’m ready to try again,” he closed the final panel on the machine and threw the switch that operated the gigantic generator required to power the faster-than-light drive, “would you please at least run the console for me during the initial jump sequence?”
“But of course, I wish you luck, I’d love you to prove me wrong,” that twinkling, self-satisfied smile flitted across the old scientist’s face once more, “just you say the word and I’ll set the coordinates. When did you say you were aiming for this time?”
“Let’s try going forward 150 years to begin with,” said Michael, adjusting the settings on the machine’s main interface, “we can always increase the jump distance after we’ve confirmed that it works,” he shot his assistant a warning look, “and then we’ll really see what it can do.”
The scruffy old man ran his fingers through his wildly tangled grey hair and sat in front of the console, “Ok, powering up now. Good luck Michael, I really mean that.”
There was a gently rising hum as the generator cycled up to full power, followed by a loud crackling noise and the smell of burning ozone. Then a blinding flash of light filled the laboratory, causing the elderly scientist to squint behind the thick lenses of his glasses.
When he managed to focus on the platform in front of the console, the machine had vanished.
1905, Princeton, New Jersey.
A loud crash shook the empty lab as a bench covered in scientific instruments was crushed beneath the weight of the still-smoking chassis of the time machine, then a moment of silence, before the equally shaken man at the controls stepped out of the wreckage and looked around him.
At first Michael was elated.
He had done it!
He’d finally proved the cynical old professor wrong.
But then he took in his surroundings and frowned, this didn’t look right somehow.
The look of the place was wrong, not what he had been expecting at all.
He’d hoped for some obvious indication that he had travelled far into the future, and yet…this room looked almost primitive in comparison to his own laboratory.
He walked across the room until he reached the desk and for the first time noticed the blackboard on the easel beside it.
On the dusty black surface there was a scrawl he immediately recognised, that made his blood run cold before he even read the words;
I’m afraid that I haven’t been completely honest with you.
Faster-than-light travel IS possible, but only if you want to go BACK in time. To travel into the future, I’d advise you to start studying wormholes. Meanwhile I’ll be continuing your work, here in the lab. I’m sure you’ll have realised by now that I have already harnessed the power of wormholes, in what is now your future, and if you are as clever as you seem to think you are, I expect you to be joining me here shortly.
All the best in your endeavors,