“So, what’s it gonna be?”
Eric’s mind raced with the possibilities he had contemplated, if he was sent back to study the past he would most likely die of disease, or he’d die of a horrible infection when he stubbed his toe on a huge wooden table. He wouldn’t be able to trust anyone, he’d have to work manual labor, he’d have to get used to rarely taking showers and picking dirt layers from his skin.
“Send me to the future.”
“Alright, he’s made up his mind. You’ll be sent back here within a months time, we expect a detailed report.”
On the other side of the room a synthetic voice began to count down from 10. His heart began to beat faster as the excitement and fear escalated in his mind. Flying cars? A colonized moon? Cyborg-like implants? There was no telling what the future held in store and he was eager to find out.
“Just go already!”, he yelled in a moment of anxiousness. If he played his cards right he might end up escaping the present and finding a way to never get back, a way to live in the future and not worry about sickness or maybe even aging ever again. He’d live forever with the rest of humankind and together they would populate the stars.
“3”, the voice echoed in the chamber.
“2”, everyone stared at him unsure of how to say goodbye.
“1”, He felt a strange electric static around him and the tiny hairs throughout his body stood on end.
A white flash blinded him and for a moment he felt vertigo as if falling off a cliff. Falling through time.
Another white flash went out before his eyes and he found himself inside a decaying building. Its walls and celing were ripped apart showing their innards. Cables and twisted metal hung from them. The ground was covered in grey dust and an acid smell permeated the air, as if a chemical bomb of some kind had gone off inside. He grabbed his shirt and brought it to his mouth and nose, trying to filter out some of the smell.
“What the fuck is this…”, he whispered to himself.
He could see a vast desert outside through a hole in the wall in front of him, a blue sky extended over the sterile ground as far as he could see. What time had they sent him? Did they make a mistake? Was this some strange post-life time? Maybe 10,000 years in the future?
He walked towards the hole and leaned against the wall, listening for movement. He didn’t want to be surprised by a wolf, or a god damned lion walking around this alien place. Silence reigned around him, only the passing wind whistled softly as it crashed into the old building’s side.
Ok, let’s see what’s out there.
Eric took a step outside and looked left, nothing. He looked to his right.
“Hey! Get him!”, a small child yelled from behind two large men.
That was the very next sound he registered and he found himself looking up at the blue sky with his head on the ground. A numb sensation begin to spread out from his neck around his body and face. He quickly grabbed his neck as his brain struggled to tell him something was wrong with it. His felt wet strings and jelly protruding from it.
That’s not jelly…
He dropped his hand back to the ground, unable to keep it up, unable to move it even. His sight began to darken around the center and he understood what had happened.
I should have taken my chances with the plague…