A trip to the future and the past

Arthur Jenner
20th January 2009, 22:17
By A. J

This story is initially set in the year 2010. Henry, an ninety year old from New South Wales, Australia, has volunteered for a time travel experiment. Albert Einstein showed that if you could travel away from the Earth at close to the speed of light (which is about 300,000 kilometres per second), when you arrived back on earth you would be at some time in the future. You would have aged very slowly because time for you will have slowed down, but the people you left behind will now be very much older than you or most likely dead.
The space ship took off from the new Woomera Space Centre with twenty men and twenty women volunteers of various ages and was gone according to Henry’s watch for fourteen days. They had travelled, in a large circle, about 3,600,000,000,000 kilometres at near the speed of light. Back on Earth it was now 3010 and everything had changed beyond recognition.. They landed at the Congo Time Travel Refugee Transit Station where they had to be disinfected, re-oriented and re-educated before being allowed to join the general populace. This took several months. Because there was nothing to eat or drink in this new world and people were fed by in-built drip systems that were surgically-inserted into them when they became adult, our time travellers had to undergo this operation. The drip tanks needed refilling with nutrients once a month. Scientific computers were working on a system that would only require topping up only every ten years.
There are no longer separate countries. Everywhere in the world is virtually the same as everywhere else apart from climate and scenery. Global warming has melted the poles. The sea level is higher and some low lying countries have become submerged. Normal life has become unbelievably boring. Religion and politics have become totally obsolete and unnecessary, and crime no longer exists. The world is governed by a super computer in Switzerland. There are no different races, everyone is the same light brown colour and they all speak a kind of English. Professional sport has disappeared and most people play games just for pleasure. Disease has also vanished and life expectancy has increased to a point where many people just want call it a day after two hundred years of playing games all the time. Sex is no longer used for procreation: only for pleasure. In fact, since everything is now done only for pleasure, pleasure itself has become as boring as everything else.
All work is done by computers and robots. Computers do all research and make all decisions. Money no longer exists. Everything is free and everyone is equal in status. People can have whatever they want so no-one takes more than he needs.
Our time travellers were all, needless to say, utterly disenchanted with all this and badly wanted to return to their own time, but they knew that to travel backwards in time, however, is not possible because in order to do so it would be necessary to travel faster than the speed of light and the speed of light is the ultimate velocity.
After they had undergone the drip insertion operation and the re-education, they were eventually allowed to travel to whatever part of the world they chose by vehicles flying at lightning speed.
When Henry arrived at the Sydney Terminal he was met by a group of immigration robots who looked after him until he was capable of living by himself in a flat.
Modern technology has reached such an incredible sophistication that Virtual Reality has become indistinguishable from reality. Virtual reality has, in fact, become the only sensible and enjoyable pastime. Several people can participate in the same VR scenario and can remain in it indefinitely: only coming out to recharge their drip feed tanks.
Henry decides that he would like to use VR to go back to the twentieth century and try to find the friends he left behind. This is his what happened.

Enter the Bosun.
“Come on lads, Time to turn to. What is that you are writing Henry, a letter to your bird?”
“No Bose. It’s a story about the future”
“Lot of bloody nonsense, Henry. Come on get your backside up on deck.”
“Bosun! Don’t you realise we are in the future and that this is virtual reality?”
“For God’s sake Henry. Who ever heard of – what did you call it – virtual something or other?”
“I don’t think I like this. I’m going back to the future"
“If you don’t move yourself very soon, Henry, you’ll be just a thing of the past.”

Henry tries a number of different virtual phases of his life, even going back to childhood, but eventually realises that he has idealised the past and knows he will now have to learn to fit into the new reality of 3010 where a ninety year old is regarded as a virtual child.

PollY Anna
21st January 2009, 09:59
Hi Arthur

You have done it again

Regards Ron

21st January 2009, 13:16
Arthur I like your nautical stories far better.

Arthur Jenner
21st January 2009, 20:26
Arthur I like your nautical stories far better.

I'm running out of Nautical stories. Perhaps I should go back to sea!

John Briggs
21st January 2009, 23:39
I enjoyed it Arthur, a good read but your stories of tramp ships etc. are far better.
Please try and find some more nautical stuff.

Arthur Jenner
22nd January 2009, 01:31
I enjoyed it Arthur, a good read but your stories of tramp ships etc. are far better.
Please try and find some more nautical stuff.

Like Henry, I have been idealising the past. It wasn't all plain sailing. I should write about cleaning tanks on a tanker. Cleaning the deep tank bilges half-full of rotting wheat; I being the only one with a long enough arm to reach the rose box. Cleaning a hold full of the black stinking sludge of rotted potatoes. I don't suppose they would be interesting reading though.