Continued from the August 2018 edition of Nonahood News…
Year 3005? Could it really be? It seems as though my time machine blasted me nearly 1,000 years into the future.
So many questions began to race through my head. Why were we on Mars and is Earth okay? Why is Mars overpopulated? Why was the architecture and technology not advanced in the future? Everything practically looks the same as 1,000 years ago.
I began to frantically flip through the newspaper that I had picked up. A news headline read, “Mission X Digs Out Last Remains on Earth.” Another one read, “Martians Pave the Future.” As I kept flipping and flipping, the more I read about catastrophes on Earth and new life on Mars. However, no article explained what actually happened to Earth. Maybe it was old news…
With trembling hands, I dropped the paper back in its stack. A terrible rush of hopelessness came over me. The planet I grew up on and loved had now vanished into nothing. I had suddenly regretted building this time machine that sent me into the future. I wasn’t ready for what this future had in store. In my mind, the future that I had imagined was still on Earth and everything was advanced. There wasn’t such a huge state of chaos. I needed answers and fast.
I looked up to see the concierge taking phone calls and assisting people walking into the building as if it were just another day to them. I helplessly pushed everyone out of the way and stumbled back outside. Everything seemed to close in on me. My heart was beating more rapidly by the second. I couldn’t breathe. It felt as if I was suffocating.
“Who can tell me what happened?! What has humanity come to?!,” I screamed at the top of my lungs.
Everyone seemed unfazed and went along with their business. No one stopped to look at me. But then, suddenly, a body emerged quickly out of the crowd. They grabbed me by the arm and pulled me away. It happened so quickly, I couldn’t react. By the time I collected myself, we were in an abandoned alley.
“Who are you?” I asked incredulously. My question was ignored, but the man spoke. He wore a black hood, his face unseen. “What is the matter with you? No one wants to discuss what happened on Earth here.”
“What are you talking about? Wait … how do you know what I’m talking about?”
He slowly removed the hood and looked me into my eyes. I knew him. It was my old friend Pach, the one who had dropped by my house to give me the red crystals that I used to put in my machine in order to blast me through time.
“Pach!” I exclaimed in disbelief. “How are you here? How are you alive?”
“The red crystals I gave you. They are very powerful stones. They gave me eternal life. You were the only other person I trusted giving them to. I suppose that is why I find you here. I know when you died. I went to your funeral. So, I am assuming you come from your own time period. What did you muster up with those stones I gave you? A time machine?”
“Yes, in fact, I built a time machine. I placed the gems in a radiator. It emits energy in the form of heat, and it creates a phenomenon I am yet able to explain. Somehow, the wave is able to shoot things into the future or past.”
“It doesn’t surprise me,” he said.
“So Pach, what happened to humanity? And why do people refuse to talk about what happened? It’s all in the paper. I don’t get it.”
“The Martians don’t have an attachment to Earth. The people you see here today were born on Mars. Mars has been populated with the human race for more than 500 years. There is no one here who is originally from Earth, besides myself. The humans here evolved to withstand the elements of Mars, and their bodies no longer needed oxygen to breathe. The only reason we are still breathing is because the red crystals are now in our bloodstream. Your body absorbed it by radiation. As for me, I injected myself with the mineral.”
“So, what happened to Earth?”
Pach looked around as if to sniff something out. “It isn’t safe to discuss anything further here. We have to go somewhere else. Follow me.”
Tune in next month for Part Four of the A Million Miles Away series.