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October 19, 2006


You can send six words back to any person at any point in time in the past. What words do you send and to whom?

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Tanya: Set Sail

It’s 7am, and I step outside and hail a taxicab. It’s April, but still cold, and the wind pulls at my cloak. My sister is watching my daughter, still asleep upstairs, as the cab rushes me to the docks. Edward left an hour ago. I leap from the cab and run to the ship, up the gangplank, where I must introduce myself, Sarah Eleanor Smith, to these new stewards who don’t know me. They let me pass, and I run to my husband’s side. I didn’t come last time. This time, I’ll fix it.

“Darling, let’s take the southern route.”

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David: If Only

“It taps into the collective unconscious,” he explained to his brother. “Every human mind, past, present, and future, is linked through it. My invention lets you implant a message into the mind of literally anyone you can think of, at any time in history.”

The other looked up at the massive dynamos. “And it works?”

“The message must be fairly short, otherwise it gets garbled, but yes. What should we do first? Tell Lincoln to duck? Tell Hitler to stick to painting?”

“Target Dad, 3:30 PM, the day of the homecoming parade, 1986. Send, ‘Doc wrong. June Nine, Two Thousand.’”

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Ted: Party On

She could not only see the future, but the past as well. She could even communicate with someone for a very brief period, altering the past or the future to suit her plans. She would spend months drawing flowcharts, researching trends, trying to decide what little push where would make things better.

Of course the Empire wanted her talents, so they sent plenty of guys with gold. When she refused them, they sent soldiers.

The soldiers pounded on her door. Her research wasn't complete, but she had to try.

Finding the past, she said "No taxation without representation, toss tea."

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From the Comments - By PB McCoy

“A time machine?”

“More like a time-message machine.”

“But it’s limited to six words?”

“Right. Brilliant isn’t it? You could tell anyone anywhere, at any time, anything you wanted!”

“But only six words.”

“There are some inherent limitations to the technology.”

“For the money spent, it’s kind of weak. Were there other project options?”

“There are always options. Slipstream remote viewing. Phantom tickling. That ‘Change the Text of Famous Works of Literature’ project was interesting.”

“Okay. Dial me up the date of the project decision vote, and give me your ear.”

“Me? What message?”

“Reject time machine. Support phantom tickling.”

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Stacy: Hysterical History

He walked down the long drive to their mailbox, whistling. He couldn’t recall when he’d been so happy. His career was hot, and his agent was talking Oscar for his last role. Angie was happy, with her collection of kids. Hell, he loved them, too, even the ones that weren’t his. Yes, life was good.

He opened the mailbox, retrieved the usual junk. A black envelope caught his eye, it’s silver lettering proclaiming it was from Future Fixers, Inc. A sheet of paper inside read:

Save the future… kill your wife.

He shrugged and went off to find the shotgun.

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Jim: Saying Goodbye

“It looks like a suitcase with dials,” Jack said. “Does it work?”

“Perfectly,” replied the man in the lab coat. “Your money was well spent.”

Jack grinned. “So I can finally warn my parents before it’s too late!”

“I’m afraid not.”

“I thought you said it worked!”

“The problem is with the structure of the Universe, Jack. History is immutable. No matter what you say, the past will never change.”

“Turn it on,” Jack sighed.

* * *

Two decades earlier, an elderly couple heard, “I love you, Mom and Dad,” just moments before the drunk driver ran them down.

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