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August 6, 1945
“Time. What is it?” It was the strangest way Professor Chiyoda had ever been greeted. He had never even seen the man who had opened the door, all he knew was his name, Doctor Tanamachi, and his profession, an international archaeologist who spent the majority of his time abroad. He was only there because Tanamachi had insisted on him meeting him at his house, telling him it was a matter of urgency.
“Time” Chiyoda answered skeptically, but without giving any thought, “is the aspect of change, a moving image of reality. It’s what connects the universe and its model.” The doctor nodded, “yes, yes, but what is it geometrically? A loop? A segment? A form unknown to our three dimensional physics? Shapeless?”
“A line” Chiyoda said with tentative suspicion.
“Because all out knowledge of time, however limited that may be, points to a line; we cannot assume it is anything but linear.”
“So we could assume that an object could not be in multiple positions in time simultaneously. Do we know for sure it is a line?”
“Not in an absolute sense, of course.” Chiyoda became anxious “But why are we discussing this? You are Tanamachi, correct?”
“Doctor Tanamachi, yes. And time, professor, is exactly what I wanted to see you about. I have acquired a mechanism which I would very much like you to see. Please, come in.”
Tanamachi opened the narrow door wider and Chiyoda followed him slowly into the hall, closing the door carefully behind. The house was impressive from the outside, as it was very old and large. Striking mature cherry blossom trees surrounded the estate. Inside, it was equally impressive, although not seemingly as ordered. Historical relics crowded even the hallways. It was dark and musty, with no air movement. When Chiyoda shut the door, Tanamachi began.
“I have been researching you for several weeks.”
“Me?” Chiyoda was puzzled. “why?” Chiyoda struck his knee against a tall metal device resembling a typewriter that bore a Nazi Swastika on one side, but Tanamachi did not notice.
“To affirm that you are trustworthy. You have great experience in the subject of time. So I have chosen you to see my find first, the greatest of my life! You will enjoy this, as you are a man of science, like me.”
But Chiyoda was skeptical. He was led down to a circular basement that had nothing in it except a small rectangular table with a cloth draped over an object on it.
Tanamachi explained as he walked behind the table, facing Chiyoda. “I have traveled on archaeological exploits with the Third Reich for over two years. I have been to sights in Archangel above Finland, Vilna in Lithuania, Bizerte in Tunisia, and many more in between. I was forced to learn German, for translation was difficult; I was the only Japanese employed, as far as I could tell, by the Nazis. They had assembled the top archeologists, geologists, naturalists and other scientists from not just Europe, but around the world. When they contacted me, I readily accepted. They promised I would work on finds of great importance. And I did, and was valuable to them. One of the finds I processed was several hundred feet underwater in the Sea of Azov in Ukraine. It was a sort of ancient water-craft. Nazi engineers designed methods to raise it. But after I made the report, I never saw the priceless and mysterious vehicle again. The matter was deemed of the highest secrecy, and I was taken to another sight at Mt. Elbru in the Caucasus Mountains. I later found out that the Nazis were not as interested in history as they pretended to be.
“At a cave in Krasnovodk next to the Caspian Sea, we found very old ceremonial jewelry made with copper and strange unknown crystals and jewels, one of which grew black in sunlight. My team, however, found the walls of the cave just as interesting. An unknown dialect, similar to Farsi while retaining some traits of Assyrian, but also to hieroglyphics, was carved into the walls. The characters, still preserved well, had been dyed different colors. The connotations of such a find were monumental beyond imagination.
But when our linguist declared there was no hope that he would ever be able to translate it and it was most certainly a new language that was an astronomical find- not just to linguistics but also history- for we may have found an unrecorded ancient people group- and must be made known to the world, the Nazis used T.N.T. the destroy the cavern after they removed everything valuable. When the linguist tried to kill the German officer who gave the order, he was executed. One shot from a carbine through the back of his skull. The rest of us stayed silent and thus kept our lives. I do not know what they did to the other sites when they found out they were of no more monetary value or of occult origin. I retained the impression that Hitler was not just searching the world for valuable items, but for a specific object of some kind out of mythology. Hitler seeks perfection like the Spartans did, but he does not realize it can never be achieved through human means.
The next and last find I was taken to was by far the greatest, because it concerns the foundation of existence.”
“What is it, an old clock?” Chiyoda tried to not sound intrigued.
“This” Tanamachi’s hand quivered over the hooded object “Is much more than a clock. The Nazi took us to a region in the Qattara Depression near El Alamein. To them it was little more that a tunnel. But it was obviously ancient and appeared to have been widened and extended by humans, so we were sent to examine it. It was a passage that extended down a very old, dead fault. The heat deterred most from attempting to travel very far down it. We explored the passage several times. We, after being given clothes and supplies that would allow us to beat the temperatures, took a two-day expedition to try to reach its bottom. The German’s would not risk their lives with us. And we did reach the end of it, thousands of feet down in the very pith of the earth, after two days.
“We immediately found some precious metals that we were unsure if humans had put there of not. I found, however, something in the antechamber that was far more valuable than every ounce of precious metals in the earth. I and the four other explorers examined it and swore together that Hitler would never touch it if it meant every one of our lives. For since the character of the master can be determined through the character of his servants, we realized that Hitler would use it for his humanistic purposes and destroy it if it became unneeded. We could not stay long because of the heat and the lack of air. We carried the device, all five of us, and put it in a crevice near the top of the fissure so that it could be retrieved later. We brought the Nazis back the precious metals. That night we risked our lives to smuggle it out. I convinced the Germans to let me go; sighting the exhaustion of the trip into the earth and my poor health which could not take much more strain. I was surprised and relieved they let me go, but a few weeks later of securing the device from where we sent it and several months’ travel, here I am, back in my native Japan. The noble scientists who allowed me to save this are somewhere in Germany-for that is where the team was being sent next- or perhaps they are dead.
I only tell you this so that you believe what you see. The history of this is not important, because this” he set his hand on the object “is history.”
He removed the cloth and Chiyoda saw the item of Tanamachi’s praise.
It was an eye- a giant eye.
“This will answer many questions about time, but will also create many.” Tanamachi assured him. “And it will, at the very least, revolutionize and utterly change our simple view of time.”
Chiyoda stepped up to it and looked into the eye. A scene played with startling definition, like a T.V., only with color. Chiyoda became frightened of –it appeared so unnatural, so otherworldly. The ‘eyelid’ was semi-transparent and light emitted from the black core of it. A very high, barely audible humming came from it. Chiyoda watched the scene it displayed- a mountain range completely foreign to his mind and memories.
“What is it?” he asked with spellbound awe, his manner now devoid of resignation.
“I do not know, to be honest. All I know is that it is old-very old, perhaps thousands of years. I have been studying it and…” Tanamachi stopped as the scene suddenly switched and Chiyoda spun around, started, for what the eye had shown was Chiyoda peering into itself from behind. When he turned back to the eye, finding nothing behind him, it played a view of Chiyoda getting off his bike and knocking on the door of Tanamachi’s house. He stepped back from it, fear and confusion clearly apparent in the etches of his face, and looked at Tanamachi.
Tanamachi chuckled. “As I was saying, my study of it has only confused me more. The Eye shows views throughout time, past present and future. It shows mostly things of the past. It often, as you have just found out, shows views of happenings immediately around it, usually present. One of its favorite subjects is me; it is very intrigued about the things I do to it. . I engineered a web of mechanisms once, in an attempt to detect what captures its views; it’s ‘camera’ if you will. But I failed to discover any energy readings when it watches itself. It used to startle me as well. Keep watching. It may show you leaving. But if you do see something of the future you can alter, it will also offer alternate scenes.” Chiyoda undecidedly obeyed.
“What the Eye shows is governed by unseen laws. I cannot find a common thread in what it looks at or at what time. It is inclined, however, to watch happenings pertaining to itself. To me, it seems almost intelligent- like it can comprehend what it is seeing. One of its favorite subjects is me. As you watch, you’ll notice it does not just show scenes from one position, but follows entities. And it does not follow humans any more than it follows animals, or inanimate forms of energy, like monsoons. It has shown part of this war we are in, I believe. I once saw a ship- a Japanese ship with the inscription the Yamato. I think it is in the future.”
“No, it has already sunk. You do not about the sinking of the great ship?”
“I have only left my house for food and I have no radio. All my time is spent with the eye. Has the Musashi sunk?”
“Yes, it also. The war, I hesitate to say, is lost. But our forces will protect the motherland to the last.” Chiyoda looked back into the eye. It was watching a man trek across a frozen tundra in thick reindeer pelts across a frozen tundra. “What powers this?”
“That was another reason we did not want Hitler to obtain this. It seems to have a zero-point module inside of it. It maintains a constant, exact temperature, and is not affected by the heat or cold around it. The power of unlimited energy and the ability to see into the future must not fall into the hands of men like Hitler. It must be used for science.”
“How long will it stay at a certain time or place?”
“Sometimes for hours. When I first started studying it, The Eye followed animals in a sea for half a day. It was not our sea- a sea in a different part of the world- or a different time. Many of the animals I had never seen before, like a type of squid- snail and countless other animals and insects. After following small animals and strange, colored fish, it saw a creature of gigantic size. It was a shark- not the type of sharks our fishermen catch which are eight or ten feet long- no, this shark was, I would guess, over eighty feet long. Its individual teeth were almost the length of my forearm. The Eye followed the monster deep into the ocean until all was black and it could see nothing. But this was the longest view it sustained. Some only last a few seconds.”
Chiyoda did not recognize Tanamachi was talking, the device utterly fascinated him.
“I have seen many strange things of a time I do not know about, and of civilizations I never have heard of. I’ve seen some terrifying scenes as well, other than just wars and Mayan sacrifices, such as a whale trying to eat a squid.
Chiyoda looked up “what’s terrifying about a whale eating a squid?”
“The squid was almost twice as large as the whale.”
Chiyoda glanced back up at Tanamachi to see him simper at his knowledge, then back into the eye.
“It showed a time when the earth is- it seemed to be- completely abandoned. I have seen the future when man has built things that are not even dreamed of now. It has followed strange mechanisms high around the earth- a view of the future I presume, or maybe of aliens visiting- but it has never left earth. Cities and flying machines beyond human comprehension! Watch and it might show the future. I do not recognize most I see.”
“Is it alien?”
Tanamachi had given this much thought and answered readily “The only evidence that it is of some intelligent species of unknown life is how advanced it is. It is far beyond modern understanding. The thought has occurred to me that maybe it is from the future that it was somehow teleported to now or it teleported itself. But that too has no basis. It may have been made by humans. It has shown nothing to indicate its origin, except one short scene of a man looking into it in a sort of temple. I did not recognize the dress. Perhaps it is foreign to this world, or in another time altogether.”
“Alternate timelines? You think it somehow got warped into a different time, our time continuum?”
“It is the most probable. The man it showed looking into it was very strange. Perhaps in another time a race like ours mastered time- learned what it is, how to control, warp through it, or view it abstractly. But like I said, it could have been made by humans.
The shell of it seems to be made of crystals perfectly cut and fused together. I do not know what is inside it. It looks like it does have some pieces of copper in it, but I cannot tell what else. I will never attempt to disassemble it. It is far too valuable.”
Now the eye was watching men debate on the steps of a white temple.
“If this really is what it seems to be- a record of everything that has ever happened on earth- then it is the most important find in the history of mankind, and it wholly irreplaceable. Our country is in the middle of a war. Do you think it is wise to leave it here?”
“I have considered it, but I have nowhere to go. When will the Americans be in bombing range?”
“They are almost in range now! There are reports that another port city like Nagasaki-called Hiroshima- has been destroyed. Nobody I talked to knows how, probably a surprise attack. We are very safe here, however. But when…I mean if… the Americans take control of the motherland, it may be in danger. But maybe an American will never set foot in Nagasaki.”
They both turned their gaze to the eye. “What is it doing?” Chiyoda asked
The Eye was displaying images of a very strange, complicated lab where scientists were studying something, then of a tower dropping a large white sphere, and then nothing but fire and more images of a similar nature very rapidly.
“I don’t know.” Tanamachi was now just as interested as Chiyoda. It displayed pictures of American aircraft carriers and bombs being loaded onto them. Then suddenly, it saw a great silver plane flying at a high altitude. It watched the pilot from a few feet away, and then the view was in the plane, watching the hand of the pilot alter the controls.
“This happening must be important in history.” Chiyoda said.
“It has shown many great events in history, but I have never seen it go crazy like this.”
The Eye now watched a strange bomb falling. It saw it from every angle as it fell, as if it was frantic about the action.
“This must be important to the Eye itself.” Tanamachi noted.
What the bomb was descending on came into view, now that the bomb was being followed from above. It was a city. “That looks like Kyushu bay-al…almost like Nagasaki.” Chiyoda stumbled.
The city could be seen clearly now, the individual buildings recognized. Tanamachi screamed “That is Nagasaki! It’s showing the present!”
He reached out to the now-black eye, but his hand never touched it.