Through The Years

in writing •  8 months ago

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"It's not my fault! There were too many decisions, there was too much information and things happened so fast I made the best decisions I could! IT'S NOT MY FAULT!" These are the words generations have as a reminder of why life has become nothing more than stark existence."

John Colder: the world's most guilty man. The most guilty in that he was the one who literally ripped time to shreds as well as Earth's past, present and future creating, in return, our dystopian life.

We have discerned from the remnants of the recording he made that this was an attempt to explain his case in what one could only construed as an admission of guilt and plea for forgiveness from a man that the ages consider the most dangerous human to ever have lived.

This recording is considered the official proof of guilt and confession of John Colder.

It is our belief John Colder was, or is, an emotionally unstable individual. Whether caused by time travel itself or afflicted with a psychological malady prior to his travels is unclear. That he is unstable is clear as witnessed within these recordings.

As the ability to travel through time is undeniably possible, and the fact John Colder is somewhere within its stream, he is to be detained at all costs wherever and whenever found as adjudicated by many authorities of the past and present. This decree (Statute; 72.1395) shall remain extant until the capture of John Colder regardless of time or place.

-The History Council
 3rd Sector; Southern Hemisphere


Transcription of Historical Recording: John Colder; c. 2317


Begin recording


*Recording already in progress.

[Indiscernible commotion and screams in background]

... and I don't know the science behind it. I don't know how all the technology works together. All I know is it works and I figured out how.

[long pause]

I guess I should stop and tell this from the beginning to make it more understandable.

Okay, here goes. My name is John Colder and [I] am, I guess, what could be called a time traveler. As far as I can tell that's what this machine seems to do. I don't think it takes me to other dimensions or anything like that. Every place I go is very different but seems to still be Earth—just in a different time—I think.

As you can probably tell by the way I talk about it that it's not my machine—not my invention. This thing was invented by my uncle, Francis Colder. Needless to say; he was the genius.

Okay, so here's the history, no pun intended mind you.

From what I can tell, my brilliant uncle brought home what amounted to a micro black hole from one of his many excursions into deep space. That's not what it was but he said it did basically the same thing—bend time, but it didn't have the liability of extreme density which would cause massive gravitational pull. I guess that's true as he had this thing and it didn't swallow up the planet so, yeah.

Oh, I guess I should mention the year. It's, or was, I'm not in that time frame anymore, anyway, it was the year 3022 when this all began. Space travel was common and mankind was exploring the stars. We were on our way to greatness! The planet was peaceful and everyone was, for the most part, happy and productive. I mean it was pretty [expletive] good compared to where we came from. I say was because that's all gone now... all of it. It's not my fault an- [unintelligible].

[Pause]

So anyway, my uncle began to build this machine unbeknownst to anyone. Day after day he brought in bits and pieces and assembled his machine in secret. Apparently he knew the consequences if knowledge of it got out. Wish I'd been so smart. But then again, he did build [it] knowing the tech could get out and the dangers of it yet he built it anyway! Just another paradox in my life—is all this his fault or mine? Sometimes it's just maddening—all these [expletive] paradoxes!

I remember, as a child, watching as he played with his creation and as he manipulated the slides and buttons. I was only eight years old so I didn't understand what they all did but my uncle did have a pattern and certain settings which I remembered and used years later. Every time he jumped nothing seemed to change at all. But then again, if it did change, would we know it? Only he would, I guess.

It was truly amazing to watch—this time machine. I mean from the very first switch he turned caused this eerie hum. And as he fiddled more and more, the more it hummed in different frequencies. Then the blue lightning; FANTASTIC!

The process started as a faint glowing kind of blue mist that surrounded the whole machine and I could feel the electrical field as all the hairs on my body stood on end! And I could feel the pull of it—drawing me in. More and more he manipulated the knobs and sliders. More and more the intensity of the field grew. The blue mist turned to blue lightening and surrounded the entire machine in an intricate web. Then when the machine reached its harmonic balance with the universe, or time, or whatever it was doing, it began to shift. Becoming blurry, then there were two just out of phase, then the whole thing seemed to vibrate and as the crackling sound of the electrical field was almost unbearable, then, the machine and my uncle were gone. Then, a split second later, they reappeared! A split second for me, two days for my uncle.

I've been to so many times and they were all the same—chaos, every one of them. there wasn't a normal time except the prehistoric ones. I enjoyed those as there were no people and no chaos. Only dinosaurs and huge bugs! I couldn't stay too long though as I was afraid I'd get eaten! But I saw DINOSAURS! I saw the planet before people were people! It was HOT too! And loud. I mean insects and animals screeching and roaring all day long and some sounds were so strange they made me shiver in fear! Most of the time I was scared half outta my wits! But it was all so fascinating I couldn't leave. Not until it started to get dangerous. I now know what a true predator is. And they're all in the past!

But then I'd be forced to go into a time where I was more familiar and safe. And again—chaos! I even went way into the future to see if that was effected. The year was, according to the time meter, 11,293. There were no cities, no civilization as we know it. Nomadic tribes were everywhere and, apparently, mankind had become cannibalistic and very superstitious. Humanity had reversed to a way of life that resembled, in many ways, that which existed about 160,000 years prior. The similarities were uncanny.

So you're probably wondering what went wrong? How did all this get screwed up? [pause] Well, I know. And it wasn't me. It was the scientists in the future. They lied to me! They tricked me and used me! [Sound of pounding fist on table - (presumably)] They're the ones who caused all this! They did it! What you hear in the background; the world you live in—that's their fault! They did it! They did it! They [expletive] did it!

[long pause]

I just wanted help [pause] to better understand [audible weeping]. They tricked me! I didn't know wha- [unintelligible] [sniffling]

[long pause with intermittent unintelligible mumbling]

The first couple of trips I made were wonderful. I went to the early part of the 18th century. It was FASCINATING! Horse and buggy technology and lots of people interacting on a very basic level. I stayed for weeks getting to know them.

After that I decided to go back further to prehistoric. I already told you about that. And then I decided to go into the future. I mean who wouldn't? Everyone wants to know how we would progress, right? So I did. I went to the year 6053. There was no particular reason for this year. I just sorta hit the button and let the years pass until I let go and it stopped on 6053.

So what was it like? MODERN! I mean there was technology I'd never dreamed of! The way they powered everything by taking electricity directly from the air! It was incredible! Endless energy for all! Needless to say everything was powered electrically. All transportation was automated and available for everyone. There was no place on the planet that was secluded or unpopulated. And they all had whatever they needed in terms of food and shelter. In exchange, everyone was required to produce something of value to society. Not work - not a job, but to contribute in their own way, be it art or, well, anything they wanted, so long as it was an appreciable contribution. And for those who weren't sure how or what to contribute were found suitable tasks until they would figure out their true place in society. It was truly civil and workable! No poverty, no power struggles, no greed of accumulation. These last two, actually, were considered a high crime throughout the planet which carried a high price. I never found out what the price was as it had not been necessary to exercise that law for over 200 years. Must have been pretty bad though.

As I marveled at their accomplishments I happened across a couple scientists who seemed to be very interested in time travel. They thought it was possible! [laughing] I found it difficult to keep myself from being discovered as I had difficulty fitting in to this new way of life. There were so many small things about it I didn't know. All the common knowledge things everybody knew that I had no clue about.

Anyway, these two scientists had a sense I knew more than I was letting on. They kept probing. Asking questions and more questions. Throwing out wild theories and scenarios gauging my reactions and responses. I was on to 'em though. I knew what they were doing. What I didn't know is that they had someone following me everywhere I went. Needless to say I eventually led them to my machine.

I visited my machine one day and they were there! Studying it and taking notes and video! They were trying to turn it on!

As I had walked in on them I didn't have much recourse to anonymity. I was discovered along with my machine. Needless to say they pounced on me with questions and ultimatums. It seemed I had no way out but to explain everything I knew. Fortunately, they wanted to keep this just between us so I didn't have to worry about the authorities getting involved. Sometimes I'd wished they would've gotten involved as things may have turned out different—maybe.

These scientist learned pretty quick I didn't have a clue how this thing really worked or how it was made! I just figured it out by fiddling with it! And that's what I told 'em!

They weren't too happy with that but I think it was pretty clear I wasn't lying to them... much! [laughing]

After about a month of constant poking and prodding of the machine and test after test they had accumulated lots of data. I think it's safe to say they must've figured it out because on my next jump everything was different. And after they assured me they understood how dangerous time travel could be and how fragile the timeline is. I guess greed trumps all no matter how civilized you are.

So when I jumped it was chaotic, I mean it was really chaotic. Everything was in a shambles and people were desperate for the necessities and were willing to do anything just for something to eat!

Come to find out, after several more jumps, that there was this other traveler, or travelers, jumping and doing whatever they pleased by changing things and, consequently, changing the future, past and present! I also heard stories about travelers trying to reset the timeline but that didn't work either, obviously. So now there's I don't know how many travelers out there completely [expletive] things up!

I jump to a different time every day and leave this recording so as to explain what happened. This is all I can do. I can't fix this no matter what I do! I don't know how it really started. It's not my fault! I didn't do all this!

[sounds of items breaking in background - unintelligible yelling]

It's not my fault! There were too many decisions, there was too much information and things happened so fast I made the best decisions I could! IT'S NOT MY FAULT!


End recording


As you have read, John Colder is a mentally unstable and troubled individual with a time altering device in his possession.

Any information of his current whereabouts must be reported immediately to your local Crime Council under penalty of death.

-The History Council
 3rd Sector; Southern Hemisphere

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