July 29, 2014


File:SCC 101 time machine bubble.jpg

Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

SF Trope: Time Travel

Anton Naoumov shook his head. “You’re not going to get me into that thing. I signed aboard this ship to practice being a paramedic, not to have my atoms scattered back and forth across space by this gadget.”

Piia Takala grinned, “You’re not going anywhere in space, Anton! It’s...”

“I know – it’s a time machine. But didn’t Einstein have some theory that space and time are related? Intimately.”

Piia blinked in surprise and managed to say, “I’m sure you got that wrong. You never had a physics class, did you?”

“I didn’t need the class. I’m not a total idiot, you know! Medical majors can dabble in other stuff, so I did. And I didn’t get it wrong,” he said, tapping his handheld computer. “It says right here that Einstein wrote about it and W. K. Clifford described the effect of gravitation on space and time. He figured out it was easily visualized as a ‘warp’ in the geometrical fabric of space and time, in a smooth and continuous way that changed smoothly from point-to-point along the fabric of space and time.”

Piia pursed her lips. She’d never get him into the thing to go back with her if she let him dig any deeper. She said, “Granted. Space and time are intimately connected. But this isn’t going to be scattering your atoms anywhere. The only things that will be scattered are the quanta that make up the atoms. Those are only going to be shifted a little...”

He held up his hand and said, “What do you want me to do this for anyway? What’s so all-fired important about me doing this?”

She sat down on the stool in front of the control board. The time-shift chamber wasn’t really a chamber at all – it was a platform made of ultradense matter that was so massive, it was making a tiny dimple in local space-time. Above, a bank of high energy lamps pointed downward to an EM lens that would focus them on the head of the subject with enough force to shove the person through the dimple and into another time. The time period was pinpointed by the tightness of the focus and the depth of the dimple. Piia’d done the calculations three times. She took a deep breath and finally said, “I want you to stop the Finnish Civil War of 1918.”

He scowled then said, “How am I supposed to do that?”

“You have to let the one man who can stop the whole mess die.”


“It has to look like a natural death, too. I figured all you paramedics know how to keep people alive when they’re on the brink of death, you probably know how to push them over, too.” She slipped the stun gun from her pocket, flicking it on to maximum strength and minimum dispersion.

“You want me to commit murder?”

“Don’t worry about it – if you’re successful none of this will ever happen.”


“I want you to let my great, great, great grandfather die,” she said as she stunned him.

Names: ♀Finland, Thailand ; ♂ Bulgaria, Iceland 

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