Beyond the Western
There was no denying it. Timothy Wilkins was the top coder in this country and beyond. He had proven it on several occasions. Winning top honors in prestigious competitive programming challenges around the world.
He was a twenty-two year old prodigy who had caught the eye of the NSA. They approached him with a challenge he couldn’t refuse. They needed his programming abilities to help complete a software program for a top secret project they were working on.
It was a nearly completed project, but due to issues with developing a functional computer code, it had been moved off the fast track. There was talk of losing their funding if they didn’t come up with an answer to their problem soon.
Past coders had been unable to complete the project. The NSA needed to show some real results before it was too late. They needed someone capable of working out the bugs. Timothy Wilkins looked like a promising candidate.
The projects hardware was complete. It had a simplistic look about it. Most would agree it looked like nothing more than a glorified helmet. A glorified version of the virtual reality headsets one could find in most department store electronics departments.
But this project wasn’t a novel toy used for playing video games. It was highly sophisticated and had more advanced applications. Much more advanced.
The movie titled “The Matrix” only hinted at the truth of what was really possible.
Recent advancements in the understanding of quantum physics had made the project more than theory. It was very close to becoming reality. It was all in place except for one last piece, the missing code that would tie it all together.
If Wilkins could complete the code, the NSA would be in possession of a helmet that could do what up until now was impossible. It would be able to bend time.
It was in essence, a time machine.
In the past, time travel theory fixated on the body moving through time in some sort of a craft. The new thinking was a radical departure from the past.
The New thought was that physical travel didn’t need to happen. The body would stay put and the mind would do the traveling. The new thought went way beyond Lucid Dreaming or Out of Body travel. That was mere child’s play compared to this new technology being developed.
The problem wasn’t that someone couldn’t be sent forward. That part of the equation had been solved. The problem was twofold. They couldn’t bring the traveler back to current time and they couldn’t communicate with them in real time.
A few experiments had been attempted. Someone was sent forward by a week. They would leave a message in a predetermined location acknowledging their arrival. A week later the message showed up. It was a slow system.
Currently four people were stuck in time, unable to return. They were virtually alive and living in the future. But their physical current time bodies were now being housed in a secure room, comatose and waiting for the day their minds could return home. That wouldn’t happen until the software was complete.
Wilkins was hired to figure out a real time communication system no matter how far in advance future travelers were sent. Communication was the top priority.
As far as the NSA was concerned, bringing them back was secondary.
Wilkins worked tirelessly on the project for close to a month. Twice the attempt was made. The secure room body count rose by two.
Wilkins had never been challenged like this before. He knew he was close, but like those who tried before him, he couldn’t seem to put his finger on the fix.
He kept at it. He had never given up on a challenge and this one wasn’t about to be his first. He had been offered a huge bonus if he succeeded. That only made the challenge more interesting.
Unbeknownst to the NSA, Wilkins was moonlighting on his own side project. One the NSA wasn’t much interested in. How to return someone from a future time.
Over the next month the body count grew by another two. Even though Wilkins had gotten them closer, it looked like the problem wasn’t going to be solved any time soon. Eventually the bodies disappeared along with the funding. Wilkins was let go.
But not before he had secretly downloaded all the information he needed to build his own machine that could bend time.
Over the next year, Wilkins spent a lot of hours in his basement. He built his own version of a time travel helmet and tirelessly worked on perfecting the necessary software.
He believed he had solved the communication problem and figured out how to bring travelers back home. Of course for now it was all theory. He had no one to test it on. No one except himself.
He wasn’t about to ask someone else to take the risk. This was something he needed to do on his own. Early one morning Wilkins decided it was time to do or die. He strapped on the helmet, made the proper settings and using a verbal command he took the ride.
A minute later Timothy Wilkins was still sitting in his basement. Had it worked? He wasn’t sure. Nothing seemed to have changed. He went upstairs and stepped outside to get the morning paper. He wanted to check the date. The box was full. There was a weeks worth of newspapers waiting for him. He had indeed traveled a week into the future.
He took the latest edition and went back into the basement. Now for the return trip. Would it work? He believed it would. He reset the helmet, put it back on and made the return trip. The readout said he was back to his original time. He went back to the newspaper box where he found only one paper. It had worked.
Wilkins wasn’t about to hide or sell his invention. His intention was to release all the information onto the internet. Free for anyone and everyone to use.
Before he did, he decided to play the lottery with the winning numbers out of the paper he had brought back from the future.
It was a multi-million dollar prize. He used the money to purchase a nice house in a secure location where he could continue his work. He was already thinking of modifications he could make to improve the helmet.
He used the helmet to determine winning stocks. He knew just when to buy and when to sell.
He won more lotteries and collected the money anonymously.
His intention to release the helmet information onto the internet never materialized. Once he had taken financial care of his family he expanded his benevolence. Timothy Wilkins spent most of his time in the future setting up real time events that would financially benefit organizations helping those in need.
© Copyright 2020 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.