[Note: The following missive, translated from the original Russian, was recently recovered among singed rubbish removed from the 33rd floor of the Hotel New Yorker, lodgings once occupied in the final years of Nikola Tesla - world reknowned inventor.
The historic residence, room 3327 inclusive, was partially destroyed by a fire of unknown origin, arson under investigation.
The editor of this newspaper expresses regret that Tesla's document suffered significant damage, allowing for only brief fragments reprinted, as does follow below:]
Jan. 12th, 1939
... success at last! Good God, have I the courage to proceed? I have been called many things - genius, madman, inventor. But this? Will the great Nikola be deified or defiled? I give a whit less, for everything within me calls my attention to this matter.
Proceed I must. Ah, Nikola, what shall the future say of the past? We will discover this as we go forward.
................. the pinnacle of science. The ultimate time-machine ....
dozens of these devices, small enough to fit in the hollow of a monkey's paw, and scatter them across the African Savanna .....
No, nyet! I could just as well travel to the future and leave a trail ....[followed by multiple paragraphs too damaged for translation: Ed.]
[document resumed:Ed.] The die is cast, I have dared the unthinkable. I have left a total of 10 dozen minaturized wave-skips across a span of no less than 5,000 centuries. If I am correct in my surmise, one of two probabilities must occur:
A) The past will influence the future and vice versa, nullifying the seeming cause and effect nature of sequential events experienced as linear time. All human experience will manifest as a singular 'now'.
B) God, if indeed such exists, will be forced to show His hand to correct my subversion of His Perfect Plan. Thus, I will have proved conclusively the existence of a Supreme Creative Force.
It would be prudent to this, my Great experiment and Contribution to the moral attribution of mankind, were I to sequester these notes until that point in time that probability A or B, whichever of the two should manifest, establishes ... [end of legible document: Ed.]
ZOMBIES DISCOVER FIRE
Homo erectus, as well as a handful of other transitional primate species, was in the process of dying out. The plains of Africa no longer were the verdant paradise which had once birthed the rising star of the primate genus to flourish unabated and with celestial rapidity unsurpassed since the Mesozoic era.
Neanderthal was stricken as well, along with his straggling cro magnon cousin.
Hunger became a daily pestilence, and many were the dead gathered in groups, bloated and fly-covered masses, in a final huddle beneath the scorching sun where grasses and game had ceased to thrive.
Those with the strength left to walk, ventured out of the dying trees and became nomads across the face of the dark continent.
JonVori5 knew he was sick. JonVori5 also knew that unless a miracle occurred within the next five minutes, his fluctuating heat-signature would expose him to the WorldHealthPolice where he would be apprehended, impounded, and, ultimately, disposed of.
The Good of the Many and all that propaganda. Betelgeuse balls!
JonVori5, hearing the whine of a fast-approaching WHP air jail, ducked into an alley and slumped beside one of the city trash incinerators. He was done. There was nowhere left to run. Eyes closed, he briefly muttered a small recite to the Higgs-Boson particle, not sure, even in these final moments of freedom, if such a Perfect Creation existed to hear him or even care.
JonVori5 felt something small and quite firm hit him on the head. The object bounced once and landed center in his questing left hand. Automatically, without thinking, he pressed the round crystal center of the object.
It began to glow.
Roughly 240,000 years in the past, Ori wasn't feeling too swift either. He lifted a thick, short-fingered hand and cupped his brow, watching in sorrow as the remainder of his dwindling tribe left him dying in the dust while they searched the distant plain for foodstuff.
His belly hurt. It protruded like one of the females with young, and it ached like fire ants had made a mound inside it.
This was hunger. Ori knew he needed to eat or he would die. But there was nothing left to eat. What plants had managed to survive the endless drought had long since been rooted out. And along with the green growing things, so had gone the herbivores and with them, the carnivores quickly followed.
There was nothing left but dirt.
Ori collapsed to his knees and scratched a hoary nail across the brittle ground. He squinted one eye and looked at the dirt. He imagined the dirt looked back at him. Out of curiosity, or delirium, or primitive sense of humor, Ori lifted a few granules and placed them on his tongue.
The result was precisely as he'd expected. Dirt tasted like dirt.
Ori shut his eyes in disgusted surrender.
C236,000 & 1 minute later B.C.
JonVori5 felt his bones turn to jello, then water, then air and then something less than air, all in a single Plank's length or 1.616252(81) X 10 to the -35 meters. In other words - mighty damn fast.
For a moment, JonVori5 fought the urge to upchuck. Then the vertigo passed and JonVori5's surroundings materialized just about the time his body started feeling more like a body again and less like something poured through a sieve.
By Jupiter! He seemed to be in a vast wasteland under a brilliant Sol. And there, not three feet away, was stretched out the prone form of some type of man creature.
Puzzled, JonVori5 reached in his striped, WHP hospital-grade sicksuit and extracted a contraband pack of cigarettes. With a flick of a techno-Bic, he had one lit and took a deep drag, exhaling through nostrils eager to eradicate the unpleasantly heady odor eminating from ... whatever that creature was.
JonVori5 was not a seasoned smoker. He coughed.
C236,000 & counting B.C.
Ori heard a cough from somewhere to his right. He opened both eyes and beheld the strangest animal he had ever seen. Like one of the striped-hoofed ones, this one however stood on two legs. Frail, slender, long of fine white hair and with stripes that ran across instead of up & down. It appeared to be staring at him. With a flaming stick in it's mouth.
Ori couldn't believe his luck! The Gods had seen fit to send him a striped-hoof ... though a deformed one of unusual habits, it seemed ... on which to assuage his hunger.
He was saved.
Stumbling to his feet, sweat pouring from his heavy brow, he bared his teeth in anticipation and lurched quickly towards the striped-hoof.
C236,000 & still counting B.C.
It was to JonVori5's disadvantage that he had no previous experience with time traveling, starvation, or primitive man. Having been reared in a future time where brains triumphed over brawn, where man's physical attributes atrophied in direct proportion to his technical prowess and - more importantly - where the greatest enemies were too small to be seen - biological weapons & viral aberrations being a constant hazard of life in 3088 A.D. ...
Having all the above working against him, JonVori5 was a few crucial seconds too late in recognizing the glaze of hungry intention in Ori's face. To be exact, JonVori5's neck already broken and his flesh torn by the time he understood what the short, stocky primitive was about.
His cigarette and lighter dropped to the ground, no longer of much consequence.
Yet either by reflex, or deliberation, JonVori5 depressed one last time the liquid crystal in the strange object still clenched in his fist. As his form quickly dematerialized to appear somewhere on the streets of America in the year 1775, the damage was already done.
Both to Ori, himself, and all those who would come before, during or after.
The hungry homo erectus, mouth smeared with blood, with an aggressive viral disease courtesy of the future already coursing through his veins, and feeling very, very disappointed to lose his meal so soon, sadly groped the ground where JonVori5 had vanished. His meaty hand closed around the techno-Bic.
Hours later, a few of the more compassionate members of Ori's tribe returned to check on him. They were understandably surprised to discover that not only was Ori not yet dead, but that he was displaying a rather puzzling degree of robust health and unwarranted aggression.
In a word, he ate them.
Days later, the *futuristic blood infection* had spread far and wide. For amusement, when there was nobody around to eat, the primitive zombies would play with JonVori5's Bic.
Eventually they got the idea.
Early zombies discovered fire.
Which gave them a distinct advantage over all the other non-infected primitives.
And things weren't much better in 1775 after the arrival of JonVori5's broken body in the midst of the Great Battle of Lexington - anti-bacterial hand gel & antibiotics having not yet been invented.
Further more, Tesla's damn time machines - those little wave skip gadgets that looked so much like a child's toy - were popping up all over the Great Time Continuum like mushrooms in the Spring. It wasn't too long before God's Perfect Plan had morphed into a Perfect Mess.
Bemused, God watched for a while before turning His attention back to the massive ranks of dazzling white unicorns waiting in the distance.
"There you have it," He said. "Now all across 'time', the whole lot's been infected".
God shook His magnificent shock of hair and ran a hand through His beard, pensive.
The unicorns rolled huge eyes at one another. Tension spread through the herd like fire. A few of the more agitated whinnied in protest.
"Right then". God pointed at each and every unicorn in turn. "All of you get down there. Split up the centuries evenly, I don't want any patchy eras left to flourish. And don't be seen if you can help it!"
Powerful hooves shook the heavens, horns long and powerful pierced the shimmering ether as the celestial herd readied itself for war.
A wave of glorious beasts vaulted over the edge of a lake of silvery mist to be lost to sight in the thickening of that nebulous thing called Time.
With a sigh redolent of long-suffering, God settled His golden-glowing form into the depths of a rather comfortable looking throne. He motioned to a still, shame-faced figure hovering uncertainly to his left.
God arched a holy eyebrow and gently patted the cloud in front of Him, "Mr. Tesla, does the expression FUBAR mean anything to you?"