An unexpected tragedy may not be exactly what it seems...
|Word Count: 498 of 500 MAX
DAY 4 Prompt: "The time machine broke down"
And just like that twelve years of hard work, untold endless hours, one failed marriage and two doomed follow-up girlfriends became all for nothing. He watched in horror and dismay as his crowning achievement slowly imploded. The transport chamber shook violently before crumbling and folding into itself. Sparks ignited as the electrical systems failed but just as quickly disappeared into the small powerful void forming in the center of the chaos. The six inch thick transparent aluminum window rattled dangerously in its housing causing everyone to take several steps back. Everyone but Simon. Either he hadn’t noticed or just didn’t care. His career was over. Twelve years gone in as many seconds. He stared at the space where his time machine had been. The wormhole’s containment field had failed almost immediately. The vortex quickly consumed everything around it before collapsing into itself and vanishing with a small but powerful sonic pop. No one said a word when Simon turned and walked out the door, moving dispiritedly to his office.
He stared at the dark computer screen, his thoughts overlapping as he tried to make sense of what had happened. They had triple checked everything. He tapped the ESC button and the screen brightened. The words “Don’t worry you’ll thank yourself later” were still up, typed on a WORD document. It had been there this morning when he came in. Someone’s failed idea of a joke maybe. Whatever. It hadn’t made any sense to him.
The door opened and Herbert Grimes walked in, the CEO of Bancroft Global, the world’s largest private scientific research company and his employer. Following close behind was General Langdon who represented the Defense Department and two soldiers that Simon didn’t recognize. Grimes and Langdon stopped in front of his desk while the newbies moved around either side of the desk.
He quickly stood up stammering, “What’s going on? Sir?”
One of the soldiers spun Simon so they were facing each other and the other pulled his wrists behind his back and handcuffed him.
“What the Hell Herbert! What’s going on? Stop this at once!”
“You’re under arrest for treason Wells,” hissed Langdon, “I’m going to bury you so deep you’ll forget what the sun looked like.”
Simon began to panic, his voice breaking. “I don’t understand sir. Please…what the hell is going on!?”
Simon watched the recording for a fifth time. Everyone stood silently behind him, waiting. The security video clearly showed Simon entering the chamber late last night and placing something inside the field generator. He stopped by his office for a moment then left, pausing only once to wave and wink at the camera. It was him…but…not. He looked a little older, his hair thinner and shorter but he had no doubt about who stared back at him from the screen. He suddenly remembered the message left on his computer and realization overwhelmed him.
He turned, looking back and forth between Grimes and Langdon with awe. “It worked…”