by G. M. Worboys
Published by G. M. Worboys
First published August-2015
Copyright © 2015 G. M. Worboys
G. M. Worboys has asserted his right to be identified as the author of this work.
This book may be reproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes provided that the book remains in its complete original form.
I don't like time very much, don't suppose you do either. One of Stephen King's books says prison time is slow time. I don't think any of us are going to argue with that. But that's not the thing I really hate. What really gives me the shits about time is that it's not on my side. I intend to change that.
“You're talking through your arse,” Frank says to me. “If brains were dynamite you couldn't get off a good fart.”
As you can tell, Frank's doesn't even make it up to scratch as a moron. That might have been me before I got inspired. So I ignore his insights and ask him to hand me the soldering iron.
Some smart guy said you must know your enemy, can't remember who, think he might have been Chinese. So I used slow time to learn about the enemy. There was lots to learn. The science and engineering stuff was necessary, you can't get far without it, but I didn't stop at that. I reckon that science is never going to get all the answer. I read and watched everything I could. There's loads of the shit, seems like time is on a lot of people's minds. But I had time, more than I wanted. I was inspired and had only Frank for company.
My first thought was time travel, it seemed an obvious way to get time onside.
“If it was me,” Frank says, “I'd go forward to be at Judge Hiney's death bed. I'd pull faces and tell him all the ones he didn't get me for.”
“Retrospective revenge is for idiots,” I tell him. I immediately see flaws in that, but I doubt if Frank will notice.
Anyone can go forward in time, you're doing it as you read this, all it takes is patience. Urban legend has it that Walt Disney, that creator of Mickey Mouse theme parks – pun intended – had himself cryonically frozen, to be woken up again when the technology exists to fix him up. Uber crap, of course, but it makes a good story and shows that any bozo can go forward in time.
“Even better,” Frank continues, he hasn't let me down, “I'd get together with his granddaughter first – you seen her? she's hot! – and I'd have my hand on her arse as he tried to gasp out his objection. 'd probably kill him early. That'd show him.”
Despite how he talks, Frank's not really like that. He took a set against the judge for convicting Frank for one of the few things he didn't actually do. I point out, “The judge might get killed in a car accident, Frank. Or a plane crash.”
Going forward is no fun, you don't know what's there – it could be the end of the world for all you know. Going backwards is where the real treasure lies. You know what's back there, you can be ready for it. In the movie Galaxy Quest they even find a way to make use of travelling back just thirteen seconds! Imagine what you could do with an unlimited amount of time.
“Roll out that chicken wire, Frank.” Science would never have thought of the chicken wire.
So I read about the most obvious option, I call it “pretend time travel”. This is the one invented by Albert Einstein. We take advantage of his theory of relativity to go somewhere, it doesn't matter where, at speeds approaching the speed of light. When you come back you find out lots of time has passed back at home, and you're now a relic of a bygone era. Everyone else has moved on – or died. You have, sort of, travelled forward in time, but with all the downsides of wearing out-of-date clothes and not knowing what happened on last week's episode of The Simpsons. And it doesn't get me going backwards.
“If we go backwards, we could bet a bundle on the last game. We could be millionaires.” Frank grunts as he pushes the heavy roll of wire.
“Put the toolbox on the end to stop it rolling up behind you. Neither of us have had a job since we got out, Frank, we don't have a bundle. What would we bet with?”
Another theory concerns wormholes that let you step through to some chosen time and place. Or there's the Star Trek trick of taking a slingshot trip around the Sun – not sure how that one is supposed to work, but the Trekkies all believed it. These days they prefer vortexes and black holes and stuff. Whatever. If you've followed me this far you probably got to the same place that I did. If they can do this sort of stuff in the future then where the hell is everyone?
“Not the whole bloody lot, Frank! I only need about six metres.”
“About? Shouldn't we be measuring in nanobots or something?”
“Nanometres, but it doesn't matter. It's just something for the field to focus on, it only has to be big enough to fit over me without touching.”
“Us. To go over us.”
“Sure, Frank. Us.” Sometimes Frank is not as thick as he looks – almost, but not quite. “You better make it seven metres.”
Has the last century been so boring that no one wants to come here? You might think that time travellers are under oath not to change the past. Since when has an oath stopped anyone from having a good time, or taking advantage? Maybe you think there have been time travellers but news has been suppressed by the “gubment”, and the evidence is being kept in secret basements, or America's “Area 51”, along with all those alien visitors. Yeah, right.
“We could go back and get secrets. You know? Take pictures as proof of stuff they've been covering up. We could sell the pictures to the newspapers and use the money to place the bet.”
I think Frank and I have been together too long, sometimes it's like he's reading my thoughts. But Frank doesn't read too good. “Hold that still while I join it. Watch your fingers. What if we got caught – again? The gaols of the past aren't any better than what we got now, and some are damn sight worse.”
Anyone that believes the governments of the world have been keeping aliens, and maybe time travellers, secret for the last sixty years don't seem to be paying attention. About the only ones that believe governments can keep secrets are the same ones that believe God created the Universe a few thousand years ago – complete with a fossil record and background radiation from some imaginary big bang in a non-existent past. Did He want to keep the doubters guessing? In court that would be called entrapment or something.
“Maybe we could go back and tell the cops where to find Butcher and his gang,” Frank says. “You know? When he first moved into that place on Tombs Road, but before he got it all decked out. We could collect the reward money, and then we could bet on the game.”
Frank can be like a terrier with bone about some things – gambling usually. “We could just hand ourselves in,” I offer as an alternative – it would be safer than having Butcher set his knife at us.
“I don't think they give you the reward money for that,” Frank says seriously.
And who said Frank was stupid? “We need a few more pieces to make a roof for this thing,” I tell him.
“You sure we gonna both fit in that.” Frank looks dubiously at my circle of chicken wire.
“We shared a cell for years, Frank, a few minutes huddled close inside that is nothing.”
“So it's gonna be fast then?”
I think of telling him to ask Einstein, but that isn't likely to help much, so I just nod.
Back to the point. Does the lack of time travellers prove that it is impossible to travel backwards in time? Maybe. Or maybe not.
Einstein tells us that time is relative. I say that's bullshit. I say there is such a thing as absolute time, it's the concept we all carry around inside our heads. Where the scie
“Aren't we supposed to be inside it?”
“No, Frank, not while we're building it.”
“But there's no door. How're we s'posed ta get in?”
“We'll just lower it over top. It's chicken wire, Frank, it's not heavy.”
Some people see time as a single continuum, so if you do go back you have to be careful not to tread on the mosquito like Homer Simpson does, or when you come forward again it might be raining donuts. You see it in other shows too, with guys starting to fade out as their history changes. Some of the shows talk about the danger of meeting yourself in the past. According to Dr Who all sorts of bad things might happen – apparently the Universe doesn't like paradox. But if that was the case it would have blown up the Tardis a long time ago (that's another “ha ha”, in case you missed it). I don't like this theory much, it doesn't fit in with my plans.
“I've been thinking,” says Frank.
“Oh God,” I mutter under my breath.
“If this thing takes us back in time, it must have to take us somewhere. I mean here isn't here in the past or in the future, is it? The whole shebang has moved.”
Now I really am surprised, he's been listening to me! “That's right, Frank.”
“So could you, like, take us to the inside of a bank? We can grab some cash and leave the same way we got
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