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  “The test subjects’ mental acuity, such as it is, and physiology are unaffected, the samples it obtained show little out of the ordinary, however it is quite agitated.”

  “Is it?”

  “Yes, seems it was spotted and chased.”

  “Did it do any damage during the escape?”

  “None that we are aware of or that it will admit to.”

  “And to what is its’ anger owed?”

  “The people who gave chase acted as if they had never seen anything like it before and were unafraid. It said it felt disrespected.”

  “Interesting, we’d better call the team together.”

  “Gentlemen I will assume that you have read each other’s most recent reports, collaborated, drawn conclusions and worked out the bugs.” In great haste the assemblage aggressively answered as one in the affirmative.    

  “Then as the means exist, and they are ours, we need not wax philosophical as to whether we have the right or duty to employ them?

  “I would say that we have no right to shirk the duty” responded one of the scientists; consensus was universal. 

  “If we were not meant to undertake this evolution providence would not have bestowed upon us the means to create the device” furthered another.

  “That is the truth of it, but, just a reiteration if I may? Gentlemen it would behoove us to remember that when we do this we will have changed some, if not all that we are familiar with and it is quite possible that, some of, or all of us may cease to exist. Are all present willing to take that risk?” Concisely and matter-of-factly all agreed.

  “And everyone comprehends the finality of our mission?”

  “Mostly.”

  “Mostly?”

  “Yes, isn’t the eradication of as much evil as possible a bit imprecise for a project whose basis is one of precision? Why would we not want be rid of all evil?”

  “For the reason that finding and destroying all evil would be impossible, particularly as it comes into being in the form of fad, entertainment, envy and ugly when the indolent are not properly tended too.”

  “Ah art!” Interrupted a scientist causing howls of laughter.

 Still laughing himself the engineer continued. “Precisely, but most importantly it is because there are no singularities in nature and the total eradication of evil would be destabilizing. It is a dark versus light, negative opposed to the positive, empathy in contradiction to intelligence and yang to the ying sort of thing.”

  “If we can’t be rid of evil what do we do, play the market, witness history, bet on ball games, nick future technologies or show collectivists the absurdities of their policies?”

  “I see nothing wrong with witnessing history as long as we do not interact with it for shits and giggles. As for the latter they’d do exactly as their predecessors have done, they would refute reality and ignore the experiences of others. Communalist indoctrination demands that they harbour notions of being superior creatures.” The room broke out in laughter.

  “We cannot dissuade them from being attracted to evil, nor can we stop those who are predisposed to it, but we can make evil less accessible.” 

  “How?”

  “We remove the arm and shoulder from which their predictable sucker punch will be delivered.”

  “Such a thing would primarily affect the New World and the Western Europe.”

  “It would, consider how much more accomplished our species would be without the impediment of the other.”

  “My god we would be so much more advanced than we are now… If we took out the big names we would be saving millions upon millions of lives.”   

  “I agree, but such an action would create as many potential independent variables, who, undoubtedly would have an effect on history. Disrupting the timeline to that degree would change the present into something unrecognizable. I think it highly likely that no matter what we do some form of those ideas are bound rise either from they who cannot see or by they who refuse to recognize the natures’ hierarchy. ”

  “True, and who can say if that would be better or worse?”

  “None here I would venture.”

  “Good, then can we all agree that there is a greater potential for havoc if we deal with history’s most infamous and that another course of action would be desirable?” All concurred.

  “We should then consider a target that consumes resources for no appreciable return, is recognizable by the destruction and decay of its presence…essentially the forbearer of those whose absence is their greatest contribution to mankind.”

  “Gentleman if we are successful imagine the amount of capital that would free up?”

  “The savings in law enforcement and social programs would be astronomical…technology would leap ahead by millennia!”

  “I recommend that we conduct our trials over again using one, some, or all of us. At this point we know that the experiments are successful so we may do two things, rid ourselves of the test subject as it will not exist in the succeeding timelines, we can then test the grandfather paradox. The non-existence of the test subject may mean that our original experiments did not take place, unless we are the first to explore to this extent.”

  “Valid points, we should be rid of all evidence that it ever existed then; the only remaining questions are “Were do we go and How far back?

  “The Levant…maybe Mount Ararat… the current interglacial period began approximately 12500 years ago... give or take. Melting ice would give us the flood we are looking for but fossils exist of the targets descendants before that.”

  “Isn’t there some sort of controversy about the fossil record as to when and where they began to appear?”

  “There is, and asking about it was also a good way to get your funding yanked.”

  “Then that’s where we’ll go, how long ago was the interglacial period before the current one?”

  “Approximately 41,000 years.”

  “Let’s go to forty and see what there is to see, but before we do I think placing four positioning systems satellites in orbit around the earth each capable of global, galactic and time displacement location would be a good idea…say one-hundred thousand years before the common era, as long as we stay this side of them they’ll be useful. Of course this is to happen after a short trip into the future, say one hundred years.”

  “Side trips?”

  “One earth orbit, no more than thirty hours…and get pictures.”

  “We would, I assume, have at our disposal a vetted linguist or two?”

  “We do.”

  “And the weapon?”

  “Fifty caliber, frangible bullets, its’ already onboard…and this.” The wet work engineer displayed an ice pick.

  “What the hell?”

  “Back up, in case I have to do some up close work.”

  Scientists and engineers alike looked on in awe as videos of megafauna in a world long gone appeared before their eyes, some gasped at the pictures of humans on North American Continent, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and a bright flash that seemed to hang in night sky over the Middle East.

  “What was that?”

  “We lost a satellite…meteor strike I think.”

  “The others?”

  “Retrieved.”

  “Good.”   

  “Which team wants to report first?”

  “Go with the past first.” Responded the team leader insistently. “Just do…”

  “Report” said the speaker pointing at him.

  “None of you have left the complex?” Asked the second team leader. “No? Has anyone had any outside contact? No?” A combination of worry and intrigue crossed the faces of all but the two men of the first team.

  “Except for the loss of one satellite the mission was a success. The target was located in the year 38969 BC, a bit further back than we had anticipated, but the situations were similar, retreating ice sheets and floods.”

  “Are you sure you got him?” The time travelers looked at each other nodded and answered in the affirmative.

  “Did you dispose of the test subject?” Asked one of time travelers.

  “What test subject?” The time travelers exchanged knowing smiles.

  “You know of the mission but not the test subject?”

  “Of course, we packed your bags as it were and we suspect that diagnostics were performed more than twice before, but in one instance we are uncertain on what or whom. We have sufficient information to extrapolate a reasonably good idea as to what it was and will figure it out assuming it or we do not blink in or out of existence in the future…wherever that might be. I can tell you that whatever the test subject was it was not human.” The men shared a laugh at mysteries’ expense.

  “Collins would love that sort of thing, turn the project over to him.”

  “He would and we would, but he isn’t here now.”

  “Not here?”

  “No, he is on the Titan colony.”

  “Titan colony…Saturn’s moon?”

  “Yes.”

  The engineer shook his head in approval and smiled. “You seem to know many of the details of the mission but not all and I…we, have observed some changes…apparently they don’t all happen instantly. Have you come to the same conclusion I wonder?”

  “That we are the first to do this and as such are on the conclusive end of cause and effect.

  “Yeah, that would be it.”

  “Then yes, we seem to be treading across the same paths.”

  “I am curious, why did you insist that the team who traveled into the past report first? It is not that one period interests anyone more than the other, but, your sense of urgency is of concern.”

  “There were changes, just as we suspected there would be, and we, like yourselves, wondered if the ripple effect would be instantaneous or gradual. We are here now measuring the rate of change and our awareness of it for future reference.”

  “A sound idea...both the immediate and measured change seem to be occurring simultaneously do they not. How will we know for sure?”

  “That brings me to the point of the need to prepare you.”

  “Please, continue.”

  “The future was not all wine, women and song but it is close.” The room glowed with magnetic inquisitiveness and quiet. The need to know was of the sort that aggressively consumed information and tolerated no impediment to that end. The silence was of the category that guaranteed certain disbarment, disdain or death to anyone impolite enough to draw attention to themselves by stating the obvious or posing time consuming insipid asinine queries.

  “Discoveries?” The table creaked under the strain as all leaned toward the speaker.

  “I’ll condense it so as to get to the point ASAP. The industrial revolution kicked off significantly earlier than in our original timeline, The American War of Secession never took place, there were three world wars instead of two and at 100 years, beyond the current time, most of us were there…I’ll not say who, but life spans have been extended significantly.

  “The third world war is the key isn’t it?”

  “Yes, it seems that a few multi-national internet corporations got together and decided that anything that didn’t meet their political criteria…that which was deemed offensive or not inclusive was to be deleted from the historical record. Places they suspected to hold information or were deemed offensive were nuked.”

  “The point is?”

  “The victors are coming here to retrieve that lost information.” There was a knock at the door, it was answered and in walked a group from the future; greetings were exchanged, then all eyes searched for and turned to one man. A single individual stepped forward and spoke.

  “You are the wet work engineer?”

  “Yes.”

  “We are very pleased to meet you, please tell us, who was this Ham?”

 

R.Scott Venegas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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