You’re about to hit the usual 24-hour time-jump button on your time-travel remote when you notice another button. It’s blue, instead of the usual red.
“Hmmm … maybe I’d get more emails if I pressed that?” you wonder aloud.
Your finger moves towards it.
Over from the corner of my lab, I look up from my laptop, and see you.
My eyes go wide in horror.
I start running across the room, and dive toward you.
“DON’T PRESS THAT—”
Just as my hand clasps your arm, you press it.
Suddenly the lab disappears and we both start tumbling.
“You complete IDIOT!” I scream, as we fall through the space-time continuum. “That was the 10,000,000 year button! I should never have entrusted you with this thing …”
We fall as multicoloured streaks whip past us. Before our eyes, worlds flourish, then in an instant, wither and die before our eyes. Stars are born, grow old, and go supernova. The light gets brighter and brighter and then—
Suddenly we both hit the ground.
You look around. There’s no sign of the lab. Just … a dim, hazy mist. And beyond it, the outline of some forest.
But it’s not any forest you’re familiar with.
The trees (if you can call them trees) look … wrong somehow.
Almost … alien.
“Where are we?” you ask.
“Where we were a moment ago — the lab. Except right now, we’re ten million years in the future,” I snarl. “And I’m stuck here with a total idiot!”
You look down sadly.
I start pacing, counting my steps. Then I stop … and start digging in the ground for a minute.
“Aha! It’s still here!”
I find a metallic box and hoist it out of the ground.
“What’s that?” you ask, wandering over.
“A time capsule,” I explain. “Buried in a very specific location … in the event of something like … this.”
I wrestle open the latch, open the box, and breathe a sigh of relief. My time-proof lining has worked. Inside is a bunch of weapons, electronics, tools, and computer parts.
I pull out a pistol and throw it to you. “Here … take this.”
You catch the gun. “Why do I need this?”
Suddenly you freeze.
From the distance we both hear a horrific shrieking noise … as if from some giant, demented creature.
“Because,” I say quietly, “in our time, this island was inhabited by some … unpleasant creatures. I’d hate to know what kind of things flourish here now.”
I start assembling the computer pieces I pulled out of the box.
“I’m going to try reversing this stupid mistake you’ve just caused,” I say. “Normally, the time-travel remotes are only meant to go one way, so I have no idea how long this will take. Keep watch and make yourself useful.”
You stand up and start pacing around, a few feet away from me.
In the distance, more things moan.
You shiver a little.
And then you remember —
Did you at least get an email?
You pull out your phone and look at the screen:
You really stuffed this one up.
But then a notification catches your eye:
From: Daniel Throssell <daniel @ persuasivepage.com>
Subject: Subject lines that get you fired
At least you won’t have to spend your time here bored.
You click over to your email, and start reading the new email in your inbox …
(To be continued)