The sign flashes: Dec 31, 2029, 8:17am, 52° F, 12°C, over and over.
“My name is. . . what? What? How can I not know my own name? Where am I? Some city, looks like it’s big. Large, very tall buildings in every direction. People everywhere, dressed in grey jumpsuits, a sea of grey. No wait , there’s a red one. And over there a blue one. I look at what I’m wearing. Grey jumpsuit. Where am I? Why can’t I remember? Every question my mind forms hits a blank wall.”
The man speaking to me is small, dressed in the same grey jumpsuit, and much older than I am, I think. Except. . .
“How old am I?” Another blank wall.
“Follow me, Doc, stay back about twenty feet, somebody’s probably watching you. Just keep your eyes on this piece of red ribbon on my collar. We’re going about six blocks in that direction.”
With that, the man turns and walks away, disappearing into the mass of grey bodies.
“Who was he? Who’s probably watching? Where did he go?
There he is, the crush of bodies parts a little and I can see him now, walking away. He called me Doc. Was I a doctor? A doctor of what? He obviously knows me, so I follow, hoping he has more answers.
“In here, Doc.”
The man suddenly appears in a doorway beside me and I follow him into a darkened hallway, up some stairs, another hallway and through a door, indistinguishable from other doors that appear randomly along the walls. Through a room and out onto a fire escape, down a flight and across a makeshift bridge into another building, down more stairs and out onto a different street. Much fewer people here. We get into a vehicle and drive off. The man has a syringe and sticks me with it before I can react.
I regain consciousness in a very large room, maybe a building, dressed in a black jumpsuit this time. In front of me is a table with some kind of machine with a view screen and a keypad.
“Sorry about the needle, Doc, but I couldn’t take any chances of you being found. I had to knock you out and search you for homers and mikes.”
“You know, for as bad as it is, that stasis stuff is amazing, you haven’t aged a bit! I bet you’ve got a million questions. All the answers are here. I hope.”
The man holds up a small square piece of black plastic.
“This is called a zip disk, Doc. It’s yours, you gave it to me 40 years ago for safekeeping until you returned. You’ve been in stasis jail all this time, and your memory has been picked clean and erased.”
“What does this do?”
“Stick that plastic thing in that slot there, uh, that side up and let’s see.
Sit down here, Doc, and push that button, I think you’re going for a ride down memory lane.”
That’s exactly what happens for the next twelve hours.
I am Dr. Nathaniel LeClerc, a biophysicist, with secondary doctorates in Astrophysics, Quantum Physics and Exotic Metallurgy.
In 1985, while employed at CalTech in Pasadena, I secretly constructed a self-energizing time machine in an outbuilding behind my home. It was capable of moving forward and backward in time and point to point simultaneously, and I used it extensively to explore many past events, and the future of mankind.
The future is not pretty, so I won’t go into many details here, suffice it to say, that I would not want to be alive around 2055 and beyond. The dead will be the lucky ones. I did use future knowledge to amass a sizeable fortune in my present and deposited it, all as bullion, in the past. The military of 1987 found out about my machine and intended to use it as a weapon. To prevent this, I sent my machine into the future, safe from them and was arrested for destruction of government property - never mind that it was my personal project. I had seen my arrest was unavoidable, knew I survived, so I did the next best thing and prepared for my release date.
While I was in stasis, the military constructed a replica of my machine designed from the memories in my brain. Apparently they missed something, The design was flawed and while it did indeed travel through time, it ripped holes in space/time as it went and much was destroyed by it. While my machine could move controlled and safely through time, their machine randomly transported far and wide across the universe as it moved through time, wreaking havoc on other galaxies and solar systems and attracting unwanted attention from civilizations we weren’t even aware of. It will finally return to earth and manage to destroy itself and us. Or what will be left of us.
Today is December 31, 2029, 11:25 pm. I was released from prison today, I’ve regained my mind and remembered your future today. My machine is due to appear in five minutes and I’m off to 1880 Paris and my beloved Juliette.
Surprisingly, it seems that I’m my own grandfather.
As for the rest of you, first contact with the Yumaloks from Andromeda’s Beta Quadrant occurs tomorrow afternoon at 3:10 near Marseilles. The French surrender immediately.
Goodbye and Good Luck to you all - it’s not going to be a happy new year for very long.
I remember. . .