time travel - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
"Natalie, listen. We don't have long. When you get there the language will have changed and we don't know by how much, culture too. So play it safe, alright. Observe first, only activate the pulsar if it's safe for us to follow. Once you are there time is irrelevant, we'll get the message one second after you leave no matter what."
The weird thing about time travel is the limits. We can go forwards as far as we want, but backwards only works as far as the present day, or the time we left. Travelling back from "now" is impossible, as if the continuum was chopped right off - like we are sitting on a moving dot and can only "bungee jump" forwards and backwards to and fro.
"Damien, time travel and teleportation both rely on boosting the organism when the particles cycle into wave form, so yeah, both can happen at the same time if you get it wrong."
Peter stared from the window, everyone was in their homes living their lives - or at least believing they were. They'd get up, look in the mirror, get back into bed and do it all over again, cycling rapidly between night and day. Maggie stopped the engine at the next dawn. "They've had a few years, we've had a few minutes, kinda like time travel only we can't go back. Every jump forwards is a one way trip. So, when you go out today remember that nobody has seen you in ages... got it, Pete?"
Time travel is nothing like it is in science fiction. There are no swirling lights or tunnels, just a pain like you're being squeezed through something too small for your body. It feels like every bone is being pulverized, every living tissue feels shredded. Then you wake up naked, or else your clothes have become fused with your dermis and you have to wait until they are pushed up into the epidermis before peeling them off. At first you can't remember a thing, not who you are, not why you are there and certainly not where in the time continuum you are from or currently in. In that day before your memory returns anything can happen, we learned that the hard way. Now each traveller is loaded with a knock-out serum so that the amnesia phase has passed by the time they are conscious. So long as we don't accidentally send them to a dangerous environment everything generally works out alright. Of course there are the exceptions....
I'm back in 2015, the slave era and it's scary. I've reappeared in a western country mall and the people walk around dressed in clothing made from slave labour with plastics even being part of the fabric. They show no awareness that they are literally clothed in what are many children's tears and indeed death shrouds for the Earth. They wear these garments with no thought to their origins, the real human being who made them or where the materials came from and how they were extracted from the earth. Everywhere there are gadgets, the ones they used to make from rare earth minerals. I want to eat but I'm not sure the food will go down. How can I touch the plastic wrappers, smell meat from caged mammals? The best I can do is go to a bakers and a green grocers. So I'm heading out, casting my eyes low like the hundreds of people around me. No-one I know has been born yet and I didn't believe them when they said I was going back, but they showed me a history book and there I am, so I know what to do because I did it already.
Once outside the air looses the chemical perfume smells and instead I detect the gasoline the cars burn, back home that's just something they show a traveller to orient them to their new time and I had hoped that part was just a joke. The people move about as if free, but I can see their chains. They are on the bill boards of the mall, smiling at them with perfect teeth. They'll want to be those billboard people so much they'll hand their children over to daycare as babies. They'll willingly walk into cubical farms for ten hours a day or more while they dream of one week in the sun and rack up credit card expenses. This is the era when no-one questioned the money system. It was when the most basic level of workers could not afford the most basic level of housing and food. It was when children were put under so much pressure in schools and by the media that their mortality rates soared. I want to scream at these drones, yell, but they're still asleep.
Tyler was ashen, more grey than the silver capsule. "They're all dead. Everyone. We just outlived every person we ever cared about."
Ryan grinned, "Awesome, huh?" But Tyler was already bent double on the pebbled shore, retching. He heard Ryan scoff, "One way trip idiot, you knew that. Now get your arse off the shore or I'll end you. How old are you anyway, three hundred and twelve? Not a bad innings." Tyler heard the gun charge with the high pitched pre-discharge whine...
"The time shift isn't working. Oliver thinks it's to do with the atoms, that they already exist in the new time frame and can't double up. That cat we sent got splinched like some God damn Harry Potter scene. Look at the footage if you don't mind not eating for a week. Then our kitty disappeared, not a whisker left. So, Richard, you tell me, you sanctimonious son of bitch, how do we 'get around' that?"