Preview of “Who Invented Time Travel?”

The first Tomorrow News Network story of the New Year is nearing completion.  It’s called “Who Invented Time Travel?” and will be posted on Monday, January 28th.  Here is a brief preview.

* * *

Like Dorothy caught in a tornado, Alice spun through a vortex of light, seeing colors unlike any she’d experienced before: golds more than gold, reds more than red, whites brighter than white.  A few hazy images flashed by, ranging from cavemen to spaceships.  Alice gripped William’s hand tighter.  In this chaos without warmth or gravity or common sense, he was the only solid thing to hold on to.

Then with a sickening lurch, Alice fell, landing on a mound of earth and rolling down one side.  She heard William crash somewhere nearby.

Alice didn’t know much about physics–she was a philosophy major–but she could confirm they had indeed traveled through time.  A moment ago it had been night; now she stared up through leafy greenness at a day-lit sky.

Something cracked.  William groaned.  Some critter squeaked in panic and scurried off.

“What happened?” William said.

“You tell me,” Alice replied.  “I thought you said work in the lab was boring.”

“We’re studying quantum entangled iota particles, subjecting them to identical stimuli to observe their reactions.  According to one hypothesis, tachyons might connect the iota particle pairs.”

“Okay, you were right,” Alice said.  “That does sound boring.”

Alice attempted to sit up, but her head kept spinning, going both clockwise and counterclockwise at once.  She shook her head.  That only made it worse.

She heard more of that cracking sound as William tried to move, the sound of something both brittle and moist breaking open.

“Tachyons travel faster than light,” William said, “which means they also travel backwards through time.”

“So a bunch of tacky-things exploded, and now we’re time travelers?”

“I guess.”

William didn’t say anything else.  Alice heard another moist crack followed by an astonished grunt.

“William?” she whispered.

“Are these… eggs?” William said.

Alice crawled on her hands and knees and looked over the top of the mound, only it wasn’t a mound.  It was a nest.  Alice had landed on the side, but William lay right in the middle, surrounded by shattered eggshells and thick, sticky yolk.  Several dead embryos the size of half-grown chickens oozed in the dirt.  A pair of Tyrannosaurus parents stood over William, dumbfounded expressions on their faces.

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