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In the world of literature there is one conclusion that is looked down upon when writing or telling a story; the ‘it-was-all-a-dream’ ending. However, my story is one of these stories. It was all just a dream, but it felt so real, and it seemed so plausible, that the story just needs to be told.
In the world of science, almost anything is possible. I would know, I was one of Tan co.’s top executives. We had just made a breakthrough in time traveling technology that day, and there were hundreds, maybe thousands, of protesters outside our main factory. They held signs that spoke to their underlying principles of nature, those of which we had none of. And yet, production continued, and the next day Tan co. released an official press statement that the world’s first time machine would be up and running within the next month. People had mixed reactions to this fact. Some became more excited than the mob of fans that waited a week outside the movie theaters just to see the final Harry Potter film. However, according to a nationwide poll, most people were very, very upset about it. They said things like “Terrible things will happen!” and “You’ll destroy the fabric of time!” but what did they know? We were the scientists, we knew the facts, we had the answers! Or at least that’s what I thought.
The day the time machine was completed and ready to test was on a sunny day in the middle of summer. Due to the massive nationwide dislike of our great and mighty invention we, the executives, decided to run the test of the time machine in our factory, in order to avoid a nasty riot. The time machine was displayed on a chrome, circular platform in the presentation hall where we often held scientific press conferences. It looked like a simple ‘photo booth’ from 2011, complete with a curtain and everything. It also sported the company’s logo: a bright, orange tangerine. It glowed with a hint of gold. The scene was set, all the executives stood surrounding the machine, and the head honcho stood on the stage where the chrome platform lay.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to make history!” the head of the entire company spoke with gusto.
The crowd of executives cheered and clapped, we were all very excited.
“Let us get straight to business, James, get up here,”
Hearing my name, I walked up the few steps that led to the oval shaped stage. “Thank you, Robert,” I said to my boss. He and I were good friends, we usually called each other by our shortened names, but this was a historical event, which called for more formalities.
“How does it feel to be the first man to successfully time travel?” he asked proudly.
“I don’t know, I’ll tell you ten minutes ago,” I said with a smile and a chuckle.
“Ha ha ha!” Robert boomed, “Let’s get going then,” as he said this he held the curtain open welcoming me into the time machine. I walked in, and sat down.
The interior was almost identical to that of an early 2000’s photo booth. I could remember being in them with my father when I was a kid, making memories in the form of snapshot photos. Sitting in this time machine almost felt nostalgic to me, kind of ironic.
“Ok James, show us how this bad boy works,”
“Well, as you can see there is a touch screen here,” I pointed at the computer monitor sized touch screen directly in front of me, “First I touch ‘Start’ and then it asks me if I plan on going back a large amount of time, or just a short amount. Since I’m only going back ten minutes I’m going to click ‘Short Amount’. Next I punch in ten minutes, and now I’ll push ‘Go’,” I paused and looked out at the audience. They all looked up at me in awe. It was then that it hit me. I was about to make history. This was the single most defining moment in scientific history since the first moon landing. I was going to be a household name like Neil Armstrong. I took a moment to absorb all of this, and then I said “See you ten minutes ago,” and then I pushed ‘Go’.
What happened next is almost indescribable. First there was an incredibly bright, almost blinding light. I had to close my eyes in this moment; and then I was able to purely focused on what I felt, and that’s when I could feel my body being torn to pieces, and then I was nothing, I was one with my surroundings, and I couldn’t open my eyes because there were no eyes left to open. I was now nothing more than billions of microscopic particles in space. I knew by this time that the time traveling devise had failed; it had failed to separate my atoms and reassemble them in another time. I was now forever stuck in space, one with the world. But then I felt a tear, it didn’t feel like anything I had ever felt before as a human, it was literally like I was just there, and being torn, no other words could describe it. Then I realized that as a result of trying to time travel we had ripped a hole in the fabric of the universe, ultimately destroying everything I knew. The world had probably ended the second I pushed ‘Go’ and I never knew it.
The next second I woke up, sweaty and confused.