Time Is Not Self-Healing
by Eric W Knight
I wait here knowing that if I succeed, I will cease to exist. Will I be able to carry through, knowing that I’ll never know if I succeeded?
Those who sent me have already made their choice. They can no longer influence the outcome. They can only wait for oblivion. Perhaps they are already gone, but I don’t think so. The outcome is still in doubt, and I could still choose not to follow through.
The time travelers who created my nightmare world are coming again. This time they will step into a sterile environment so that nothing goes back with them except a message from a future that will no longer exist if they are successful. That sounds like a paradox, but we have found that the knowledge from the contact will survive, even though our future is erased. In its place will be the future that should have been. Their lives will be saved, and ours will be forfeit.
They will see the devastation they caused, and although it will seem to them that this is their first time, they will have to understand that they have created a loop in time.
The loop in time, of course, is not what created the disaster. That was set off when they returned with some hitchhiking microbes from their first time travel. These hitchhikers from the future had already mutated past the natural defenses available in the era of the time travelers. Mutations in microbes are normally countered by advances in the defenses of living things, but the microbes from the future were so far ahead of the defenses of living things from the past that the past never caught up.
The time travelers never traveled time again. They were probably wiped out by their own folly. But the ecological disaster they spawned still continues. It left a dry and almost lifeless world with monster dust and lightning storms because there are no plants to hold down the soil. The few of us who survived the devastation did not escape the scourge. I am young, but I look old, and I feel old. Life as we know it will cease to exist if the time travelers are not successful in permanently stopping time travel. Time is not self-healing. Those who thought otherwise probably don’t exist anymore.
Once time has been changed, positive steps must be taken to return it to the path it should have taken. The time travelers will have to take the steps to stop themselves from taking that first trip into time, thus breaking the loop and assuring their future. It is strange to think that out of all of this, only the knowledge will survive.
They are coming through now. To those of the new future, I bequeath to you your future. May it be what it should have been.
Copyright © 2008 by Eric W Knight