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By Davichito. A time travel tale.
It was dark. Darker than he could ever see. This was the darkness of void. As he was now out of the known universe, a place called Metaverse. Metaverse was thought to exist beyond the Big Quantum Singularity. He, who had the alias of Ormuz in the project, suddenly felt anxious and afraid. Afraid of the ever present darkness. He could not see anything. He could not even blink because he did not feel his eyes. He was unable to feel his eyes, his head or his body. He felt he had no body at all. The equations and the model they had created had not prepared him for this. It was the strangest thing on the world, or on the Metaverse, because he was out of the universe. He was on a place that no human had been before. He was very much like Yuri Gagarin, the first man on space. Ormuz was the first human out of universe and out of time.
He did not know how much time had passed. 0 seconds was the correct answer, as out of the universe time did not exist. It was horrible, the feeling of not sensing anything at all. He tried to move his body, which was connected to a machine on the Earth, on the Experiments Room. But he felt nothing. It was worst than when people dream about flying, because they can still sense their body. He just felt nothing. Maybe tetraplegic people would feel like that, he thought. He did not know how much time had passed neither how much time would pass before he reentered the universe. Mental time would be as he would the only one to notice it.
The mission was simple, as they had planned. They had found a way to send objects to the Metaverse by opening wormholes. Those are like 2 way holes in which matter can pass through and exit in another part of the universe or time. But they found that the transmission of matter or information was not instant, as with entangled particles. The objects exited to some unknown place and then went back to the real world at a random position in time. At first, the scientists had discovered a way to travel back to time, not to the future neither to distant stars. Nevertheless, it was the greatest discovery of humanity, maybe only comparable to the discovery of relativity and quantum mechanics.
Ormuz was remembering this as he lied outside of space and time. He started to feel very afraid. He did not feel cold neither any sensation but on his mind it was as if he had started shuddering. What if he never came back? Maybe they had sent the objects to the Metaverse and they would never come back. But he volunteered for the experiment. No man could know if there was anything beyond that.
Meanwhile, he was supposed to be filming what he was seeing (absolutely nothing). The scientists had given him a camera and he was supposed to use it, but he had no hands to use it. They concentrated on making a camera that would stand different radiations but no one ever thought that nothing could exist in material form on the Metaverse. Ormuz kept on remembering because he could not do anything else, locked in that borderless jail.
"When will we find out where the animals go?" Ormuz asked, in a scientist meeting.
"I don't know" said Vahram.
"Then shut up, OK? I want to device an experiment in order to know where things go. We could put a device on the animals which will film everything so we can know what the animal sees"
"And how do we recover the film?"
"That is the main problem. For instance, we could make an experiment the day after tomorrow and we could receive the animal right now".
"Maybe it is broken due to time travel. Maybe causality functions in a bigger picture. I mean, causality must not be aware of time as we understand it. The cause can be in the future and can travel back to past, just like traveling in space."
"That is not what Einstein said."
"Einstein could not even imagine quantum mechanics and it has been found to be true, in spite of him. He even discovered the EPR paradox along with Rosen and Podolski. It is about non causality or non locality, the way want to see it".
"Fine. I just think like Einstein. I don't believe that we will receive the animal prior to sending it, it is not logical".
"But that is the way Quantum Mechanics works, they don’t work as our brains do. Some scientists have made experiments with tachyons. They are photons which can travel faster than light. And you must know the results of that. They sent a tachyon and they could detect the tachyon before they sent it."
"Yes. But you are not aware of the full theory. Tachyons are not meant to exist like all particles exist. Moreover, we cannot transmit information faster than light and tachyons do not violate causality.”
“There has been some research on the matter. The theory has been modified almost completely. I am not an expert on that field but I can assure it would work the way I say. Causality is beyond time. It is relative.”
“It is not a theory, it is a hypothesis. I will not discuss it until I see real evidence. Talking about the experiment they did to send a tachyon to the past, what would happen if something forbade them from sending it. Would it still appear?"
"Of course not. But it occurs in a fraction of a second and I cannot imagine an explosion or something that acts faster than that."
“And if we receive the tachyon and then we decide NOT to send the signal?”
“We would not receive any signal on first place. It sounds mind boggling but it must work that way to preserve causality.”
"OK. I do not trust those tachyons, anyway. It could work for brief fractions of a second, but we have no proof that it is still valid for longer periods of time. And it works for tachyons, not other particles, particles with mass. Maybe chaos theory goes against it. We cannot know for sure."
"That is why we must make some experiments. I suggest that we test it with the camera. Right, most of you will say that it will film for no one but we could make it send us signals."
"Through the wormhole? We do not know if wormholes transmit two ways yet."
"They have to do it. Wormholes were theoretical but we now they exist now. By the mere definition of a wormhole they have to allow travel in both ways. They are not black holes. So, we will test it. If we make it, we will be able to detect where the animal and the camera have gone."
"How will you know the time in which it arrives?"
"Nice question. I had thought I had seen everything..." Ormuz said, in a sad voice. He completely stopped talking and he felt insecure. He was not used to remain silent, but he had just not thought about it. He had prepared by studying tachyons and he was that concentrated that he had not meditated on that important matter.”
"Yes. You are right" Arta, one of the scientists, said. "I did not want to interrupt both of you before. I think it is a good idea. We have to build a successful experiment, otherwise the company will cut our salaries or even our jobs. It is a good idea. We will have to think closely about that. It could be simple, we simply put a clock next to the camera. If the camera comes back here after we have put the clock, it is ok. But if it goes farther in the past... That is the problem. Atomic clocks only measure passed time. And time is relative. We have no way to know in which time we are, it is a convention."
"Not a convention. The distance to the sun is the key" Atar, another scientist said. "The day we are in depends on which place the planet Earth is. So, I think the only way to achieve it is to make a device for that. We would have to know where the Earth must be on January 1st. only, the rest is calculations."
"Of course" answered Arta to Atar. "The problem is to invent it."
"Someone has to have already invented it. For instance, how do computers synchronize with time?"
“Through a public time server. They connect to the Internet and they receive the time by connecting to the server. They ten translate UTC time to local time. We could put a wireless Internet receiver on the animal. But it would not work on a time prior to the invention of the Internet.” Atar answered.
“Yes. But it could be a beginning.”
“I think my idea of the orbit of the Sun is better. Not because it is my idea, because it would work for any time, even back to the dinosaurs.”
“And the device to measure it? I don’t think it is an easy-to-build apparatus. It may not have been invented yet.”
“Yes, but it is our only hope. Another thing we could use is radioactive decay, but it is only useful for more than 10.000 years, back to the Wisconsin Glaciation. So, we would have to build a brand new device to measure the orbit of the Sun”
“I am not sure. There must be another way to overcome this."
And they could overcome it. They invented three devices to test the date and time. They found out that a device to calculate the position of the Earth in the orbit around the Sun already existed on some satellites. They added a balloon to the device so it would go to the atmosphere and could make the measurements. To confirm the results, there was another device which analyzed radio stations. This device would work only back up to XX century. Anyway, scientists believed, by some calculations, that the wormhole end on the past was not prior to 1900. So it would only travel 150 years back to the past, maximum. The second device, called the radio-analyzer was basically a radio with AI speech recognition technologies. It would scan all the stations it could found and would analyze any voice it could hear, searching for dates and times.
The two devices would be joined to a computer who would control them. The computer would send a signal to the present by means of radio waves when it had found the answer. As it would use a balloon, it would send a message to a radio repeater on land and the repeater will retransmit the message to the wormhole. Alternatively, the transmitter would stay on Earth until present time, when it could send a signal to the scientists. They had tested the equipment on several environments and it could calculate the date of the year with extreme accuracy. They had invented a third device that basically analyzed the position of the stars and would compare against star maps, introduced into its database, to find the year.
The mission was simple. They set up everything to be able to send the computer, the TimeFinder, as they called it, to the past.
The whole team of scientists was outside the Time Transfer Room. They were seeing it through a window. There were few objects on the room. There was a table with the TimeFinder on it. There was the Wormhole Opener, the machine that did it all. That machine would create a wormhole and would keep it open time enough for the object to enter. There was no need for a spaceship as the TimeFinder itself was protected against radiation.
“Everything is ready” the technician said.
“Proceed to sending it. 5…4…3…2…1…0” another technician completed.
And the scientists watched it again. They would not get tired of seeing that disappearance. They tried not to blink during that. They watched closely. The count got to zero and they watched as the object disappeared in a fraction of a second. Their eyes still saw an optical illusion of it, seconds later.
Then, they watched the film of the experiment in slow motion. They could see how the Wormhole Opener created the wormhole and how it gradually got bigger and bigger. It was completely black, like a black hole. When it was the needed size it completely swallowed the TimeFinder. And the film was over.
After many experiments they could know the exact date at which the wormhole had gotten to. But they were not able to control it yet. The time the TimeFinder sent was always different. It was a random date and time between 1900 and the present day, approximately. The team studied the dates to find patterns or clues to a function to describe it. But the team finally concluded that the end of the wormhole was completely random.
They sent a lot of animals and with a camera attached to the TimeFinder they could detect the animals were alive. The camera directly filmed the past, there was no trace of the interior of the wormhole. They could know what happened inside the hole and some scientists have even predicted, with equations, that the inside of it was outside the universe, in a place called Metaverse. But it seemed that electrical devices could not film there. Maybe because time would not exist there. They did not find a way to test if the animals were conscious during the trip. So they thought of sending humans to the past. It was a logical step, as it was the main goal of the project.
They designed a spaceship to travel the wormhole. They had improved the methods for avoiding the wormhole to close. Those methods included the newly discovered Higgs boson and the generation of antigravity. Antigravity kept the wormhole open for the time enough for a spaceship to enter. The spaceship or timeship as they called it was not as big as a real spaceship. It had a few computers, detectors, bathroom and space for a human. And Ormuz was the first volunteer, maybe the only one.
Scientists were much prudent and they did not want to risk their life on the experiments. Ormuz was an adventurer who had traveled through many countries and had known strange places. He had studied physics but he had gone through half Europe and America giving conferences. He liked challenges and new experiences, up to certain point. When the scientists asked for volunteers, he did not doubt it. He was going to be the first man to travel through time.
Now, he was regretting it. He was very impulsive. It was not the first time it had happened. He had repented from a variety of things decided in a hurry, like this situation. And he could not go back. There was no way to revert the decision. He was trapped there, into the void, and he did not have a clue of how to escape from there. Maybe if they sent another scientist… But Ormuz knew they would not do it. They would stop the experiments until they could contact him. Ormuz had agreed with them to send a message to the future if the travel was really to the past. The scientists were not sure. The experiments showed the animals had gone 10 years back in time, but they did not know if they had traveled to this very universe. There was a theory of the multiverse, that is parallel universes. Maybe the animals had gotten to a parallel Earth. If that would be the case, Ormuz would send a message to another Earth. But no one could be sure if he or the whole team of scientists existed there. Or if they were conducting those experiments.
With Quantum Mechanics everything was weird, Ormuz thought. That is what he liked about it, but the current situation made him thought the contrary. He was locked and did not know how many more time he would have to wait there. Maybe a whole eternity. Or maybe just a few more hours. He did not know what had happened to his body. He felt like he was only a soul with no matter, a ghost. Or he could be dead. But he did not know and nobody could know if a dead person thinks. Maybe the soul cannot think alone. But he did not feel his head with his brain. Where was he? How much time would that last? Would he come back to the past or the future? To the same universe or to an alternative reality? He was being desperate. If he had a body, adrenaline would be flowing and he would feel alert. But he had no body, and was nobody, for now.
While Ormuz was trapped inside the void, scientists were trying to find a way to get him back.
“We should have already received the signal if the travel were instantaneous...” Arta said
“Yes” Vahram said. “He should have gotten to destination and the computer should have sent the data. If not through the wormhole, through the transmitter on the ground, which will transmit it now. But we have not received any signal. Very strange. The equipment sent along with the mice sent the messages much faster.”
“I agree” Arta commented. “I think that time inside the wormhole must be proportional to mass or to some physics variable. This time we sent a bigger mass, so the duration of the travel must increase.”
Harlan went out running as soon as he saw the person closing the door, behind him. He tried to pursue him but he was unable to do so. He went directly to the Tubes and felt it was all over. He pulled the joystick and tried to accelerate, as usual. The cabin accelerated for a few minutes but suddenly it stopped completely, as if it had crashed against something. It was impossible, because matter does not exist the way we know it inside the Tubes. Harlan was stopped in an unknown century. He tried to make the cabin advance, so he tested it 10 times. He knew he could do nothing else inside, so he went outside to try to use another cabin, but he knew that the result would be just the same.
As soon as he was out he saw something very similar to a spaceship. Of course he had seen spaceships from the Centuries where they had them, but the amazing thing there was that the ship was inside the Time Tubes! He could not believe it. Tubes were used exclusively for time travel and by the Eternals. No one else had access. And the spaceship had a flag painted on its surface, the flag of the ancient USA, back in Primitive Times, in that era when the Eternity did not exist.
That was even weirder. That meant that Primitive Times had discovered time travel technology and the Eternals did not know it. Or maybe there was another organization, besides the Eternals, with the power to do that. Harlan knew what he had to do. He had to inform the Pantemporal Counsel and Programmer Twisell himself as soon as possible. But curiosity was stronger and besides, he was already a criminal by having saved Noys from the Reality Change... so he would check that spaceship and see what he could find without telling anyone. He had his Neuronic Whiplash ready on his hands in case of any surprise. He went directly to the spaceship, which was the apparent cause for his own cabin to have stopped.
The spaceship was very rudimentary for Harlan's standards. Even the ones from 567 Century were much better. But if the ship was from Primitive Times, then its design was very revolutionary for that epoch. The most probable thing about that ship was that it was not a spaceship at all, Harlan thought. It was not traveling to distant stars, it was on the Time Tubes. So, it had to be a Time Travel Spaceship, a Time Cabin, not very different to the cabin where Harlan was before. But why? Did Primitive Times have time travel technology? It was absurd and very strange. Now Harlan was closer the ship. He was searching for a door when the ship opened, slowly...
'To be continued...'