Time Warp By Don McLeod

Note: Whenever you see text LIKE THIS, death is speaking.

Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Scarlet Hawk, the orbital headquarters of the Chroniclers and all time, dimensional, and fictional1 travel. Its 5-year(barring time travel after-effects) mission: to explore strange new times, to seek out now pasts and lost civilizations, to boldly go when no man has gone before! Observe the Hawk's enormous beak. That's not just for show. It opens up to launch the starfighter squadrons, deploy ground troops, fire the superlaser, load cargo, and on one occasion, grab on to a smuggler ship and take it back to base. Several hundred feet behind the beak, in the main experiment room, the first research mission into time is getting underway. The mission consists of archeologist/historian Steven Wells and remaining on the ship is Crackpot Inventor 2nd Class, Larry Kipling. "You're sure this will work Larry?" "Oh ja, ja. Ven I flip der switch du vil be sent beckvards-" "What's with the funny voice?" "Sorry, just trying to get into the spirit of things. Now, here's how it works. You put this armband on-" "-like this?" "-yes and then you step on the platform, I set the date and press this big red button over here," indicating a button 2 feet across with "Big Red Time Travel Button Thing" written on it, "and you're off. If this works I'll make 1st class Crackpot!" "Yes but is this machine safe?" "Of course it is, I tested it on 5 lemurs." "How many came back?" "Only 4. They're fine, though, except for the 3 extra legs. But Stephanie's fine, isn't she?" "Yes, now but she was a boy when you sent her out wasn't she, and 5 years older?" "Look, I know there's been some problems but I've fixed them now. So if you would just stand on the platform, yes, good. And don't worry, at most you'll come back with 2 left feet." "What?!" "Bye Steve, good luck." He said as he was pushing the button. "Hold on, you can't-" he was abruptly cut off as he was thrust into the fabric of the Trousers Of Time(tm). "Let's see, I suppose I'd better make it up to him for playing Chinese checkers with his DNA. Ah, this sounds like fun, "World Party 2000." Just enter the destination date to send him back 43 years to'99 and-Stephanie! Get off the keyboard!" There were a few taps, some whirrs from the computer, and a bright flash from the time platform. "Now look what you've done! You sent him back to-" he paused to look at the computer, "-199,900,000 BC! Just imagine what's happening to him now! Oh well. Igor! Get another volunteer!". "It's Dennis!" "Tradition!"

It is 200 million BC, in the darkest jungles of Pangea. The Jurassic period has ended, and the Cretaceous has begun. A lone velociraptor sent on a "Quest of Adulthood" by his pack is stalking a young triceratops. See its graceful, birdlike, movements. Rather like "Jurassic Park" but with worse effects. From the way the media portrays them you wouldn't know that this one has an IQ of 99, is 17, male, British(he lives on what will be Britain) , and named Iggy. He's been wanting to get his parents back for that for years1. As it prepares to make the final kill that will make him an adult he is suddenly attacked from the air. By a 28-year-old human male. "Wow! They said things were wild at the turn of the millennium, but I didn't expect this!" "Now what'd you go an' do that for?" he snarled, showing his collection of long, red steak knives. Considering the circumstances, there are better places to store them. "I would've finish'd it if you 'adn't pounced on me!" "Wow, A talking dinosaur! This must be either," he paused to look at his standard-issue datacomp, ""Diz-nee-land" or "Las Ve-gas"" "No it's not, this's 'raptor territory. You're trespassing so I'm afraid I'll 'ave to eat you." "Eat me?!" "If you insist. Could you take off all your clothes and hit yourself with a rock a few dozen times. Nothing personal, but monkeys taste better squishy." "Look, sorry about the kill but I've gotta be going. Bye!" He reached over to his armband and pushed the return button. With a kind of disappointing twurdle sound nothing happened. He pushed it again. Nothing continued to happen. Again and again. Nothing realized that it was being watched and began to happen impressively with sparks flying everywhere. "Why won't this work?! Oh, wait there's a warning label "Warning: This doohickey will not function in an age without electricity. Sorry."" "Oh that thing's electrical, we've got lots of that electricity stuff lying around with nothin' to do." "How can you have electricity, it won't be discovered for 200 million years." "What're you talkin' about, we've had it for decades." "Really, can I borrow some?" "Sure, I'll take you to the boss. Hop on my back." "I've always wanted to do this!" "Oof, you're 'eavy. 'Ow many rocks do you eat daily?" The grumbling continued as they entered the foliage.

The sun comes up, earlier than expected because the solar system is still being shown the ropes and the day is only 21.5 hours long. This means less time for school but some very interesting clocks. Assorted grumbling and muttering is heard from the forest and is getting closer. "We're here, finally." "It wouldn't have taken us so long if you hadn't stopped to hunt those 5 babies." "Hey, survival of the fittest. Besides, the way that one anatosaur kept repeating all those words was starting to bug me. You don't usually see that though." "What?" "Those babies banding together. I think there were a brachiosaur, a triceratops, a stegosaur, an anatosaur, and one of those flying ones." "Yea, it was neat when they started singing like that." "Yes, it was. Did you 'ave to push the boulder down the hill an' trap 'em inna cave?" "Did you have to drop me in the ivy?" "Sorry, it was that or the tar." "I think I would have preferred the tar, it didn't have spikes. Ouch!" "What?" "A mosquito bit me. Oh, look, it got stuck in the sap on that tree. I can't wait to see the faces on the scientists." "That'll 'ave to wait, we're 'ere." In front of them was a small village, reminiscent of most small villages in England. What's more interesting is that this happened all over the world. For example, in what would become France, a group of Maiasaurs had built a very small version of the Eiffel tower out of sticks and spit. In what would become New York, the sauropods had built a huge version of Manhattan, right down to the Will-Be-Brooklyn Bridge, which was sold every month to Naïve Apatosaurs. But most impressive of all was the Great Wall of Will-Be-China, built by Compies to defend against the T-Rex armies. Since it was 6" high and made of dirt it wasn't that big a benefit. "Hi there Captain Grimlock, I'm back!" "Queen tell Grimlock to tell Iggy "Stay out until Iggy finish Quest!" Grimlock eat Iggy!" "Is he always like this?" Steve asked, trying to hide under a rock. "Only on days ending with y," he muttered, "Wait, I've got something the Queen might want to see. It's another pet monkey for 'er!" "Pet monkey?!" "Just play along." He whispered, winking. "Oh , right. Um... Ook! Ook ook ook ook-ook! Ook-ook!" "Hmm, Grimlock not eat! Grimlock take Iggy and monkey to Queen!" They breathed a sigh of relief. "Then Grimlock eat!" "Oh smeg."

The Queen turned out to be, as expected, female. She was similar to the other 2 raptors except her colors were more subdued, she was slightly bigger, and the left side of her face was covered in scars. Her first pet monkey turned out to be Vincent, the missing Lemur. "Hmm, this is a big pet you've brought me. It doesn't have a lot of hair though, is it sick?" "Your highness, if you don't mind me asking, how did you get that scar?" The assorted hangers-on gasped at this since the last person to ask that was now decorating the Queen's throne room and digestive system, but the queen seemed to be amused by this and said so "Oh, it's a talking monkey. Well done Iggy, you'll make Lieutenant for this." Grimock, who had a napkin around his neck and was holding cutlery, looked visibly disappointed, "Alright, if you must know, the R branch was testing an invention called "Fi-er." They said it would make food taste better but they forgot to mention that you shouldn't look at it up close." "And this fire, it's hard to make?" "Oh yes, you have to keep banging rocks against your head and hope for a spark." "Well, if you let me borrow some of this electricity you have, I will give you this!" As he said the last word he whipped a lighter out of his pocket with a disconcerting rip and managed to get it alight on the 5th try. "This will give you all the fire you need, as long as you pour tar into it when it doesn't work." After a discussion with her aides, involving a lot of growling, roaring, and a slight case of arm loss, the Queen turned around and said "That sounds fair, but I'm warning you, electricity is a little hard to get." "Alright, what do I have to do?"

"This is what I have to do?!?" As the typist pans back you can see that Steve is standing in a lake, in the rain, wearing a primitive copper hat, holding on to a tree, and flying a kite. "Yes of course. It's the only way we know how." "Has anyone ever survived this?" "Yes, we think so. The only way we can tell is if the charred body moves." "Alright you two," this was the Queen, who was sitting under a wood-and-palm-frond version of the Royal Booth with her guards behind her and Vincent on her shoulder, "Now lets get started. Monkey-" "Steven." "Whatever. You climb up the tree and shout "All gods are herbivores!" and Lieutenant, you shake the tree hard while keeping your tail in the lake."

Meanwhile, well, not "meanwhile" meanwhile but "200-million-years-later-and-apperaing-to-happen-at-the-same-time" meanwhile, anyway, meanwhile, onboard the Scarlet Hawk, Larry is programming(will program)1 the time machine to bring(will bring) Steven back. The only reason he is doing(will do) this is after seeing the lemurs, all the volunteers spontaneously decided(will decide) that they'd rather kiss(will kiss) the big nuclear engines for an hour. Unknown to him, lightning is about to strike(has struck) Steven in the past. He reaches(will reach) down to press(will press) the "home" button just as lightning strikes(has struck) the tree. The sudden surge of electricity causes(has caused) a radius effect to form(has formed), sucking up Steve, Iggy, the Queen, Vince, the tree, the Booth, some shrubbery, and 25 pounds of water, dirt, and air. When, due to the aforementioned surge, they appear(will appear) in the oval office in the year 3042 it caused(will cause) quite a shock to the president for 973 years, Death. YOU AGAIN? DIDN'T I KILL YOU ABOUT 900 YEARS AGO? OH, MISS LEWINSKEY, Kim Lewinskey, a rather attractive intern, unlike her great*20-grandmother, YOU MIGHT WANT TO COME BACK LATER. REMEMBER, I'M JUST A SKELETON, SO NOTHING I CAN DO COUNTS AS SEX. NOW, WHAT DID YOU WANT? "Death? How did you get elected President?" THE PEOPLE WERE TIERED OF VOTING SO THEY DECIDED TO ABOLISH THE 4-YEAR TERM AND GO FOR "PRESIDENT FOR LIFE." OR EXISTENCE AS THE CASE IS. THEN THEY DECIDED TO ELECT INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE LONG LIFESPANS. THAT'S HOW THEY ELECTED ME. MY VP IS ARTHUR TREE, A TREE, THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT IS SOME TURTLE WITH AN ITALIAN NAME AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE IS DICK CLARK. "Hey, monkey. Who's the tall, thin guy in black?" "That's Death, Iggy. He comes and kills people." "Everyone?" both 'Raptors say together. "Everyone." "How can He find time to run a country. I used to kill 15 Vegos1 a day but now it's always "No time for killing, you've got to raise taxes," "No time for killing, it's time for your meeting with Mr. Sinclair," "No time for killing you've got to execute someone!" What's this bugger's secret, how does He do it?" I'M SIMPLY EVERYWHERE AT ONCE. "Lucky little omnipresent bugger." "Now look, we're from the past and-your Highness, stop trying to gnaw on the President-sorry, we need your help getting back to 2042." WELL, I MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP. AFTER THE FORMAL DINNER IN S PACE FORCE ONE. "Space Force One?" THE ORBITING SKYHOOK. "Hey, was' that big white mountain thingy doin' sticking out of the front lawn?" "Oh, that's the Washington Monument. It honors our first President, Denziel Washington. He won the Vietnam war when he, Elvis Presley, and Adolph Hitler flew down from the moon on a giant cow2." UM, RIGHT. ANYWAY, THAT'S THE LINCOLN MONUMENT. THE SHORTER ONES ARE THE OTHER PRESIDENTS. AFTER THE Y3K CRISIS WAS AVERTED, CONGRESS DECIDED TO HONOR ALL THE PRESIDENTS BY BUILDING THEM MONUMENTS. THE SIZE RELATES TO HOW MUCH THEY WERE RESPECTED. "I wonder how big the Nixon Monument is." History was surer on this President although they still think Nixon was a 6-year-old girl. When Death was elected, he helped make history more accurate, having existed through most of it (obviously something had to be born, and then die before he existed). HANG ON, I'VE GOT IT IN HERE SOMEWHERE. He said, rooting through his desk.

Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of-wait, I've done this one haven't I? I'll start again. (Music starts) It's cold outside, there's no kind of atmosphere. Blah, blah, blah, oh, just forget it. This is the Space Marine One, the President's personal Skyhook. As you look at it, you'll notice that it looks exactly like Deep Space Nine. Then we see that we're looking at a rerun of Star Trek. The real Skyhook looks like a giant, spinning top. As a passenger shuttle moves toward the docking bay, if they were lucky enough to be looking to their left, they would see what no creature has ever seen. A dinosaur, standing on a balcony, throwing up. "Hey, Iggy, are you alright?" "Do I look alright?! Do you think that I'm the kind of person who likes being up so high that I can see the entire flat world!" "Round." "Who smeggin' cares what shape it is?! I need to get down there!" "Well, if you try now you'll land as a pile of black dust." "We'll that's better than 'ere! At least on Earth we're not spinnin' around all the time!" "Um, right. Yeah. Definitely not spinning. Yeah. Come on. Let's just get inside, the banquet's about to start." "Is any of the food moving?" "No, but Death said you can chase after an ensign." "Alright. I'll eat, and then I'll jump."

In the main banquet hall, a long table was set up. Seated at the head of the table was President Death, VP Arthur Tree, looking fabulous in his ceremonial ornaments, the Queen, with the lemur on her shoulder, and 1 other person. Farther down, the cabinet(War, Famine, Pestilence, Death of Rats, Albert) the Chief Justice, and Speaker Clark were seated. AH, GOOD. I WAS AFRAID SOMETHING HAPPENED TO YOU. WOULDN'T WANT TO CALL OFF THE BANQUET FOR BUSINESS REASONS. THIS A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE, BILL GATES XXIII. He indicated the young, thin person wearing glasses and a bowl cut who said "Hello" "Hello" said the 3 guests. "Are you related to Bill Gates the 3rd, by any chance?" "Oh yes. He was my Great-great-great-great-great-" it continued on like this for several minutes, "grandfather. Oh, by the way, have you had your mandatory Microsoft brain control patch installed? It allows you to access computers telepathically," under his breath, he added "Also, it broadcasts our mind control frequencies." "Death, that's an interesting tie pin you're wearing. Where did you get it?" OH, THAT'S THE NIXON MONUMENT. I WAS WONDERING WHERE I PUT IT, he rose, tapping on His glass as He addressed the assembly, GENTLEBEINGS, I WOULD LIKE TO PROPOSE A TOAST. TO THE FUTURE! The others joined in wit their respective toasts "To world domination-I mean, um, to computers!" "(shaking branches)" "To the hunt!" "(roaring)" "Ook!" "To time travaagh!" this short and unusual toast was brought on by Larry pressing(pressed) the home button, causing, due to the radius effect, Steve, Iggy, the Queen, Death, Arthur, Bill, Vincent, 7 chairs, 7 meals and drinks(the seventh person was in the bathroom), a part of the table, some ceiling, and a good deal of the floor, to appear(appeared) spontaneously in Larry's lab.

OH, GREAT. I'M BACK IN THE DARK AGES. ITS NOT ALL THAT BAD. The second anthromorphic personification in the conversation is(was) the Death of this time period. OH WHAT DO I KNOW? I KNOW A LOT MORE THAN ME, THAT'S FOR SURE. HOW CAN I KNOW MORE THAN ME? I'M 1000 YEARS YOUNGER THAN I AM. YES, BUT I'M DEATH. AND I'M ALSO DEATH. AND DEATH DOESN'T AGE. OH, I WANNA MAKE SOMETHING OF IT? GO AHEAD, I'LL ONLY BE HURTING MYSELF! YES, BUT I'M ME FROM THE FUTURE. IF I BEAT ME UP NOW, THEN I'LL BEAT ME UP IN 1000 YEARS! Meanwhile, a more normal conversation was taking place. This one involved time travel, world domination, and the 7th dinner. "Man, what kind of sauce did they use on this stuff? There must be 25 ounces of garlic in the breadsticks alone!" "Yes, calm down Larry, it's only pasta. Now as I was saying Mr. Gates, this time machine allows you to travel to anywhere, anytime." "Fascinating, and how does it work?" "Well, you just type in the date, time, and location-" "-Like this-" "-yes, like that. Then you stand on that platform-" "-this one?" "Yes, and I just push this big red button like this." Bill Gates XXIII vanished wit a very impressive teleportation effect. "Oh, smeg! Did I just do that?" "Yes!" chorused everyone in their equivalents of speech except for Death who was in a corner, fighting with Death, to the death. "Perfect." "I don't see what's so bloody perfect abou' it! For all we know, he could be destroying the entire universe!" "Iggy, remind me to teach you about sarcasm. Now Larry, get the latest historical records from the holonet and check them against the backup records." "Roger Roger!" "It's Steve!" "Sorry. Hang on, there's no mention of Macintosh Computers anywhere in the computer!" "Ah, Bill must have stopped Steve Jobs from starting Macintosh Computers. He would have created a monopoly, and eventually taken over the world!" "It says that too. This is bad, should I call the Chroniclers?" "Yes, call everyone, the Chroniclers, Doc Brown, Sam Becket, Bill & Ted, the TSA, H.G. Wells and all 7 versions of The Doctor." "The Doctor?" Iggy asked, confused, "Doctor who?" "Exactly. Death?" YES? YES? "Look, Future-Death, you go back to the future with Arthur, and get some help, Iggy, you go with the Queen and bring the rest of the 'Raptors, and Present-Death you stay with me. The ship is impervious to time changes, it hasn't reached 3042 yet, and it won't affect the past. When you get help, call Larry on the temporal radio," he handed out 2 portable radios, with an hourglass insignia on each, "and he'll beam you to my coordinates. Larry, beam Present-Death and I into Microsoft HQ. Now!"

In the main entrance hall of the capital of the Gatsian empire, 2 figures appear in middle of the floor. One is 7 feet tall, thin, pale, wearing a black robe and carrying a scythe. The other is about a foot shorter, wearing normal, civilian clothing as well as body armor, a light blaster, and an armband. On 2 thrones are the similar, smiling faces of Bill Gates VI and Bill Gates XXIII, both wearing long, flowing robes. The other 3,500 people in the room are wearing Stormtrooper armor and carrying blaster rifles. One trooper, Davin Felth, proceeds to say his only line: "Look sir, Death!" "We've been expecting you, Steven and Death." Said Bill Gates XXIII. WE CAN TELL. "At last, your time has come." Said Bill Gates VI. "Hey, I wanted to say that!" "Well you got to say the last threatening line!" "So! You said two in a row once! I you owe me one threatening line!" "Okay, okay. Sheesh, kids today. Just because they're from 1000 years in the future they think they're so great." "Death," Steve whispered, "do you know when you'll get here?" I'M ALREADY HERE. "I mean the other you!" AS I SAID BEFORE, I'M ALREADY HERE. BOTH OF ME. "Silence!" "That's one," muttered Gates XXIII. "Did you think you had a chance! There is no possible-" "There is now possible way for you to succeed!" "Great-Grandpa, what are you doing?" "Well you had 2 in a row so it's my turn." I THINK WE CAN SUCCEED! Said Future-Death, missing his cue by 30 seconds, as he, holding Arthur like a lance, and the other horsemen rode in from Nowhere, with 125 Space Marines riding velociraptors. Several were pulling large catapults or driving hover tanks. "So! We still outnumber you by ten-to-one! Attack!" "Hey, that was 3 in a row!" "Shut up! Shut up!! Shut up!!!" As the villains were evilly bickering, a heated battle was taking place and the cleaners weren't getting very happy. They came, pouring in from the service closets, clubbing both sides with their brooms and spraying Lysol in their eyes. Meanwhile, an interesting fact will be learned about Grimlock, right now. "Grimlock, transform!" And he did so, in strange and painful ways. I won't describe it but at the end his tail had split to form his legs, his hips were up around his shoulders, his legs were now arms, and his head and neck formed a sort of crown, around his robotic head. "Ah, now Grimlock ready to smash eggshell-heads!" "Grimlock, you never told me you could transform!" "Iggy never ask!" Meanwhile, at the other end of this vast room, 3 sub-privates, Austin Lamb, Josh Windish, and Kenny McCormick were having a discussion. "Heh, look at those idiots getting killed. Huh, they're idiots," Austin appeared tall, but that was because of his extra tall helmet. He prefers to keep his hair in place. "Hehhehheh," he chuckled, "Yeah, they're idiots, real idiots," Josh was, as Princess Leia once said "A little short for a Stormtrooper," and that was because he actually was. He had a high, wheedling, very annoying voice that for some reason, could sound exactly like Dr. Evil. "Mmmph, mmh, phmm, mmhphmm," Kenny looked very odd as his armor was entirely orange, with a hood around his helmet. Suddenly, a giant beak crashed through the wall, right where Kenny was standing. "Oh smeg! You killed Kenny!" everyone in the room said suddenly, and for no reason. They stood around looking confused and embarrassed until the beak opened and the five Chroniclers came out, accompanied by 1000 troops and 2 starfighter squadrons. "I think it would be wise for you to surrender. Now!" Commanded Commander #1. Austin and Josh kicked their guns over to them, and raised their hands. "So! My Microsoft Stormtroopers will still defeat you!!!!!" Bill Gates VI was going crazy. The five !'s proved it "And there is absolutely nothing you can-" "Look out below!" Everyone looked up at the same time and saw a 19th-century whaling vessel drop right on top of Bill Gates VI, killing him. Instantly, everything went back to normal, the casualties came back to life, having never been dead. The Stormtroopers all turned into hackers. Grimlock changed back into a dinosaur. But then, it all started to reverse partially. A gangly figure came out of the giant beak. It was Larry. "Larry, what's going on?" "We've created a paradox! The universe will fold up like a paper hat if we don't stop it!" "'Ow do we do that?" "I have no idea!" I DIDN'T LIKE THAT GUY, Present-Death mused, HE'S NOT THE KIND OF PERSON I'D EVER INVITE TO DINNER. Suddenly, the reversing stopped, changing everything back to normal. "He did it!" Steve happily shouted, "Present-Death saved us all!" Everyone started jumping around, shouting happily. "Boy, how Ironic." "Say, what ship is that." "Why," said a strange voice, "It's the Pequog." "Look, it's McLDo ReiTo!" "Yes, I am," said the tall, red-headed man wearing sailor's garb and glasses, "And I've been writing this all along. Now that it's over, I think it's time for:

The End 1 This is difficult because in the year 2014, the brilliant scientist McLDo ReiTo(Don't ask about the name) proved that all works of fiction create alternate universes by stepping into the book Moby Dick. He was never heard from again but several readers noticed that the story now begins "Call me McLDo," and include a scene where the entire crew sings "In The Navy." The chroniclers were formed to ensure that nothing like that will ever happen again. Hopefully. 1 If you think getting beaten up at school is bad, try it against 6 150 lb guys with 3 inch long claws, big, serrated teeth, and nasty, long tails. He wasn't killed thanks to the principal, who came up to the other 6 and ate them. They were lenient in those days. 1 The most dangerous part of time travel is verb tense. To keep the readers sane, we will use the present tense with alternate tenses in parentheses. 1 Pronounced "Veg-ohs." Carnivore slang for herbivore. See also "Breakfast," "Lunch," "Dinner," "Snack," "Food," and "(dinosaur roar, unspellable)." 2 No, he didn't fail history. In fact, he was the best one in his class.