Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
The laboratory is filled with the sound of slow drops landing. The smell alone is enough to drive three officers back. Seeing the mess does for the next five. Officer number nine moves his torch in slow arcs, picking only edges and highlights from the sanguine layer covering everything.

On his third pass, he sees movement.

“Professor?”

“No. The mess was him. I’m Peter Luan.”

“What are you doing here?”

“I was invited. Do you have your witness app?”

“Yes.”

“Activate it. I need to get this down before it fades.”

“Your confession?”

“No, what he said before,” Peter waves a blood-covered arm about, “this.”

“Very well. Citizen, you’re about to make a legally admissible declar-”

“I know. Witness running?”

“Yes.”

“Last night, Professor Gregory Pane invited me to witness a ‘demonstration of concept’ as to why our eight years of time travel research has been without result.

I don’t know why he chose me, nor do I know why he decided to do this without a permanent record. When I arrived, he was standing by the workbench with a device resembling a bulky glove on his right hand. In answer to my queries, he offered the following statement:


‘Time travel has been a powerful desire for almost as long as it could be conceived of. Fiction has chronicled its pitfalls and paradoxes. After a lifetime of research – and knowing that an aggressive brainstem glioma will soon affect my faculties – I offer the following theory and demonstration as to why I am sure time travel is not viable.

In summary: time itself does not possess the granularity that we need for effective reference. Our detailed concepts of time are arbitrary divisions that have become finer and more numerous as our preoccupation with placing value upon every moment of our existence increases.

How can we, who ‘time travel’ in our individual perceptions of its passage, hope to grasp something that has no real measure bar day, night, and similar universal markers? Each of us has a realisation of time and the events that fill it that differs slightly from the next person. Eight billion subjective chronologies. How can a traveller choose which to use for their journey? Against that ratio of billions-to-one, no matter what is attempted, the inertia of the many overrules the single intent.

However, travelling to the future is possible, but it would be a self-destructive act. The would-be traveller tries to simultaneously reach every instance of possible time that could exist. Over eight billion tomorrows multiplied by the branching of every possibility within them. I say over eight billion because who knows just how many other things have a temporal sense sufficient to exert influence?

This is why I contend that time travel is either impossible or suicidal, depending which direction you attempt. Therefore, using this experimental gauntlet modified from the proposed Steinberg-Du accelerator, I intend to travel to tomorrow’s dawn.

If I am successful, I will probably die. However, if I fail, I’ll see you tomorrow morning and we can discuss the sudden advance in chronological transit over breakfast.’


Then he raised the glove, clenched his fist, and silently exploded. Since you’re here, I presume someone heard my incoherent yelling.” Peter looks at the officer: “End of statement.”


Forensics are still combing the scene at sun-up. As sunlight touches the uppermost windows of the lab, a hideous scream followed by the sound of a tremendous explosion temporarily deafens everyone in the room. Apart from that, both events leave no trace.
My second for October on the mighty 365tomorrows.com - of time travel and why it doesn't work.
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2017-11-01
About Time by Rafellin ( Featured by BeccaJS )
:iconfaolsidhe:
FaolSidhe Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2017
Entertaining. I happen to have the same opinion about time travel.
Reply
:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner Edited Nov 7, 2017  Professional Writer
Easy win for me, then. :) Thank you.
Reply
:iconchiba-kun:
Chiba-kun Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017
Nice little piece you've wrote here! I especially like the brief, subtle mention as to WHY Pane would be willing to attempt such a self-destructive act. Again, good job, and congrats on the DD! :)
Reply
:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Professional Writer
That was a late inclusion for exactly that reason...

Thank you!
Reply
:iconsimonjm:
SimonJM Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017
Your're like Annabelle now; a pair of DDs ... ;)
Congratulations on the DD, well-deserved!
Reply
:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Professional Writer
Thanks, I think...
Reply
:iconpennedinwhite:
PennedinWhite Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Fantastic! Congratulations on the DD! :heart:
Reply
:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Professional Writer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconpennedinwhite:
PennedinWhite Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
You are most welcome!
Reply
:iconlipsterleo:
LipsterLeo Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Unexpected ending, nice twist. Congratulations!  Clap Clap Clap 
Reply
:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Professional Writer
Thanks!
Reply
:icongameuniverso:
GameUniverso Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
So, basically, you can't change your time because you may change your mind, which is connected to time only by the weight of experience.
Reply
:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner Edited Nov 1, 2017  Professional Writer
Nope. In short, you can't time travel because time itself has no consistent reference framework to enable the action.
Reply
:icongameuniverso:
GameUniverso Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
True. It takes experience in order to tell time. Reading old books is like going back in time sort of, but the reality that was there is simply gone.
Reply
:iconericvonschweetz:
EricVonSchweetz Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on the DD!
Reply
:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Professional Writer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconlindartz:
LindArtz Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on your much deserved DD!  Enjoy the limelight. :)
Congrats on DD By Marphilhearts by LindArtz
Reply
:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner Edited Nov 1, 2017  Professional Writer
Thank you! Still getting my head round it. The first was unexpected. This is... Yeah, excuse me while I hunt for words.
Reply
:iconlindartz:
LindArtz Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:) ^^
Reply
:icondanielaivanova:
DanielaIvanova Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017
There are some details that really attracted me, like that little sci-fi element. I must say from my recent reads this has been the one with the most complete visualisation of the setting. I am amazed that you have achieved that with so little actual text. The whole format is quite unusual and interesting - how did you think to make it like that, it's an absolute win for me. And also the whole concept of time travel you developed is something I'm interested as to how you reached. Overall, brilliant writing, I'm glad it got featured for us to read.
Reply
:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner Edited Nov 1, 2017  Professional Writer
High praise indeed, thank you.

I'm a staff writer for 365tomorrows.com, writing flash fiction with a 600-word limit. The content is speculative with a bias toward 'tomorrows' - futuristic in all its forms. I do four stories each month, and publish an annual 'Visions of the Future' anthology which contains most of the 365 stories and all the other flash and short tales that arrived during the year. (This year's volume - the seventh, 'Six Degrees of Sky' - will be published before the end of November.)

I have what I can only describe as a 'gift'. My flash fiction is rarely plotted. There may be some looking up of technical terms, checking my science - if the science in the story has any relevance to this reality - or checking on details that strike me as important, but the story just comes. It's like I have a story-making engine in my brain: it's quite happy doing what it does and not bothering me, unless it needs to borrow my fingers to let a story out.
Reply
:icondanielaivanova:
DanielaIvanova Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2017
Wow, this sounds interesting! DO you publish that yourself or do you have a publisher? And is it only your stories or other people's as well?

This must be so awesome to possess! Were you always like this?
Reply
:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2017  Professional Writer
I am a UK registered publisher, but only publish my own work as I don't have the funds to set up decent distribution. Now Createspace book quality has reached a decent level, I use Createspace (distributed via Amazon sites worldwide) as the cost of sending a paperback printed in the UK to places like Canada is more than the book itself! Of course, I do eBooks for every device; available from Kindle, iTunes, and Smashwords.

Take a look at www.lothp.co.uk (my publishing site) and www.lizardsofthehost.co.uk (my home site).

Yes. I've always had it. Just didn't let it out for a long time. Now, I have half a dozen proofreaders and two editors to keep me honest and my work improving.
Reply
:iconformerselves:
formerselves Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017   Traditional Artist
My theory on time travel would be that it is impossible since time is a matter of personal perception. You always stay in the present moment, and even if you were to repeat past events or jump to future ones, you would still remain in the present - which is your constant personal location and really, only point of correlation.
(This still needs some serious over-thinking.)
Anyway, congratulations on the DD.
Reply
:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Professional Writer
Thank you.

You might want to feed some of Einstein's work on future viewing and suchlike to your over-thinking. :)
Reply
:iconformerselves:
formerselves Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017   Traditional Artist
You're welcome! :)

Ah, I've been wanting to get into Einstein's stuff for some time now, but tbh, I am kind of intimidated, I am not exactly a physics expert.
I am rather coming from a place of epistemology. Like Kant/Schopenhauer, but in this particular case mostly own thoughts and those not quite organized yet.
Reply
:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Professional Writer
Epistemology & time travel? That's not over-thinking, that's a recipe for a headache! :D Good luck!

Seriously, don't worry about the science, find one of the many layman's overviews. You don't need to understand the workings, just grasp the principles. Well, that's how it usually works for me, anyway. :)
Reply
:iconformerselves:
formerselves Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017   Traditional Artist
I actually think they go together rather well. :)

Will likely end up doing that. Although generally those basic break-downs tend to annoy me, because I feel one can never really get the full picture of something this way and I don't want to end up with half a grasp on something, possibly thinking I understood it.
Don't get me wrong, I think they can be great to get started on something, but if I really want to know about something I usually prefer "primary" sources. Which can be a recipe for a headache.
Reply
:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017   Writer
Congratulations on the DD. I like the tension-building in the story; also building another world, one where time travel seems close but is still a mystery. A fierce mystery. The names of items help set the sci fi surroundings. I still think about the scream and all at the end, trying to parse it.
Reply
:iconrafellin:
Rafellin Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017  Professional Writer
Thank you!
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

:iconrafellin: More from Rafellin


Featured in Collections

Written Work by catiescarlett

Great Writings from Other Deviants by LindArtz

Literature Daily Deviations by LadyLincoln


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
October 9, 2017
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
1,165
Favourites
27 (who?)
Comments
30
×