Stay in the know! Sign up to get Fauquier County news updates delivered to your inbox.
Advertise on Fauquier Now!
How has your household’s spending for groceries changed over the last year? Vote!
Free classifieds! Members can also post calendar events, news, opinions and more ... all for free! Register now!
Login · Forgot Your Password?
April 22, 2021 · OPINION

Time warp travel . . .  in memory of Earth Day

By Don Bachmann

The starship Enterprise dropped out of hyperspace, de-accelerating from superluminal warp to orbit a planet … a planet which appeared to be Earth. It had just performed a sling-shot maneuver around the moon to gain the necessary velocity to breach the time-space continuum. Its mission was experimental to prove the theory of dimensional time travel.

Assessing their status, the captain first deployed Enterprise’s long range scanners. She needed precise data to verify Enterprise had indeed passed through time-space and into another dimension. But, equally important, was to be able to calculate the return trip to their own time and their own reality.

Astral charts confirmed the planet was Earth, but, contrary to topographical maps, the surface was severely altered with water now covering over three-quarters of the planet. The land masses were barren wastelands, and the atmosphere was toxic. There were no signs of life … any life.

An away team, dressed in anti-contamination suits, descended to the planet. Archeologists examined crumbled structures, and life-scientists looked for any biological signs. The biologists only discovered the residue of life, while the archeologists found partially preserved digital disks that bore testament to the planet’s demise centuries earlier.

The disks spoke of societies continually in conflict over ideologies and religious beliefs. World governments were dominantly authoritarian. Major global issues were unresolved. The warnings of science were ignored, and technological development was stymied. The seeds of suspicion and hatred were sowed by despots clinging to power, and the harvest was endless war. In the end, they chose mutual destruction rather than co-existence. Theirs was the power.

Thermonuclear detonations destroyed all major population centers, and a nuclear winter suffocated all life on the surface. And, when survivors emerged from underground shelters, the planet was uninhabitable and incapable of regeneration. Oceans were polluted, fresh water was contaminated, and the land was without sun. The remaining scientists could find no solution. Religious societies prayed for deliverance; but in answer, there was only silence. Cultures disappeared; mankind descended into a subhuman state and slowly became extinct.

Enterprise scientists evaluated the data. They confirmed they were centuries into the past and in a parallel reality that mirrored their own. They also warned of a possible dimensional time transference affecting molecular cohesion. Could events in this reality somehow affect existence in their own? They were unsure; they had truly crossed into the unknown.

The captain contemplated options. Could Enterprise travel further back in time to bring about a different outcome? But, as she considered, the Prime Directive sprung to mind and challenged any course of action she might take. It did not allow her to interfere in the development of any species. But, was this not different? In whatever dimension Enterprise was in, was she not obligated to fight for the existence of her species?

The captain made her choice; the people of this dead planet had made theirs. She would attempt to return to her own time and her own reality. The navigator fed data into the main frame, and plotted a course for the time-space maneuver. The captain ordered maximum warp.

As the Enterprise completed the maneuver, it returned to its own time, but not its own reality. The captain was briefly aware of the disintegration of her ship and the atomization of her body. The last two words that went through her mind were not a complete thought; they were simply, “My God …”

The course of human history had come to its end … in another few billion years it would be time for another cognitive species to emerge on another world. Perhaps, they will do better than us.
Member comments
To comment, please log in or register.
Enter your email address above to begin receiving
news updates from via email.
Thursday, June 24
Total receipts in county increase 7.4 percent, with big retailers producing double-digit sales increases amid pandemic
Thursday, June 24
Piedmont Hertitage Area’s 25th, Emmanuel PopUp Market and Great American Campout among weekend options in Fauquier
Wednesday, June 23
Tom Davenport recognized for his folklore-inspired work and creation of streaming service to share independent films
More Fauquier news
© Copyright 2011-2018

50 Culpeper Street, Suite 3
Warrenton, Virginia 20187
Crime Log
Add Your News
The Big Picture
Ellen’s Kitchen
and Garden

Real Estate
For Sale
Legal Notices
Post an Ad
Terms of Service