Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Ripple Effect - short stories online

Dr. Steve Duff was an inventor with a mission in mind. He was attempting to build a time machine and he was very close to getting it to actually work. He was extremely bright although slightly mad. Working on the project for a long time, he had long since worked out all of the mathematics. The calculations needed for time travel are seriously complex in nature. Not only does one need to compute the location in time, but also the location in space as well. After all, the Earth is rotating on its axis. It is also revolving around the sun. In addition, the Milky Way is rotating and flying away from the center of the universe at the same time. It took years for Dr. Duff to complete the computations. His machine worked great on paper. It was just a matter of time before he would be able to produce a working prototype. He had built the basic structure, a large stainless steel cylinder, and was working on all the complex electronics and power system for his nachine. After a few years, he had gotten it ready enough for its first live test. He called his test chimp, McKenzie, over and placed him into the steel machine. Dr. Duff closed the door and set the remote control unit for five minutes into the future. He stood back and activated the time machine with his fingers crossed. A large blue arch of electricity slowly began to circle the cylinder. It spun faster and faster and the image of the cylinder slowly began to fade from existence. After thirty seconds or so, it disappeared all together. Steve jumped for joy as he celebrated its apparent successful operation. Five minutes later the blue arch began to slowly materialize into existence again. After the arch stopped, Dr. Duff opened the large stainless door of the cylinder. McKenzie hopped out and into his arms. The machine had worked! Finally, after all those years of work Dr. Duff had successfully completed a working prototype. He quickly performed a similar test with himself as the subject and reappeared thirty minutes into the future. He stepped out of the cylinder with a great big smile on his face. The trip was almost instantaneous to him, but his watch read thirty minutes slow when he compared it to the clock on the lab wall. Finally, a lifetime of waiting would pay off and he could attempt to complete his original mission. Dr. Duff was a very strong believer in the Christian faith. Unfortunately, his views were slightly warped from the rest of the church. While his motives were good, he did not realize the far-reaching effects his plan would have if it were successfully completed. He believed that Christ should not have to die on the cross. He had started on his quest to build a time machine after vowing to save Christ from the humiliation of being crucified. This, however, would change the very nature of Christianity itself Dr. Duff, however, was determined to save Jesus and did not realize that the very reason God allowed his son to die on the cross was to save all of humanity from damnation. God knew that Dr. Duff would succeed in controlling time with his machine and had set a counter plan into motion to try to stop him from effectively destroying all of what Jesus had done for humankind. If he were to succeed in preventing the death of Jesus, it would cause a massive ripple in the very fabric of time and space and change all of the events that were affected by his death thereafter. Dr. Duff loaded several items, one being an automatic pistol, into his time machine and set the dial for the year 33 and the place of Calvary. The machine came to life arching electricity and faded out of time. Slowly it materialized and came to rest just outside of the city. Fortunately, nobody was around to witness the appearance of the strange object. Dr. Duff stepped out and noticed he had landed in a rather highly visible and open spot. He reset the coordinates for a small cave that he could see in the side of a nearby mountain. The machine disappeared again and reappeared near the cave. He quickly hid the machine in the bushes just inside the cave entrance and headed to the city. Dr. Duff had gotten a minor in Hebrew while in college and was able to understand the bulk of the conversations around him, though the dialect was somewhat different than he had known. He questioned many people of the whereabouts of Christ. Most of the people were looking at him as if he was from a far off land. His long white lab coat was particularly intriguing to many of them. Fortunately, Dr. Duff was able to barter some of the trinkets he had brought for some less conspicuous clothes. He gave a merchant a sheet of hologram stickers and a pack of bubble gum for the garments. The fact that he was there was already having an effect on what was to happen later. Eveiything he did in his search was magnified deep into the future. A small change far in the past causes a large change in the future. Nevertheless, Dr. Duff was not concerned with the effect his presence was having. His only mission was to save Jesus. Eventually, he was able to locate him. With his pistol hidden under his tunic, Dr. Duff followed Jesus around as if he were one of the twelve disciples. He never let him out of his sight for very long. Just as the Bible was written, the events of the final weeks of Jesus’ life were unfolding right in front of Dr. Duff s eyes. Judas obtained the silver pieces and told the Roman soldiers where they could find Jesus. That is when Dr. Duff then took action figuring if he stopped these soldiers from finding Christ, he would stop his death as well. He pulled out his pistol and pointed it at the leader of the small pack of Roman soldiers. He yelled ‘halt’ in Hebrew and the soldiers stopped even though they spoke Greek. Unfortunately for Dr. Duff, the soldiers had never seen a gun and did not know what it was. They were amazed that a Hebrew commoner would have the gall to stop them from their official business of the Emperor. He did not have a sword, so they did not fear him or his handheld metal device. They pulled their swords and immediately attacked him. Dr. Duff quickly fired his pistol several times at the leader. The 9mm bullets zipped through the soldier’s shield and punched through his ancient armor as well. Before the others realized that the noisy device had killed their leader, they had run their swords through the unruly Hebrew. The Roman soldier fell next to the cut up doctor and both of them quickly bled to death. The strange gun was taken to the Emperor as a precious weapon just after Jesus was crucified. This changed history some, but not excessively so. The Roman ruler quickly ran out of bullets while testing the gun and its abilities to penetrate the thickest of their armors. Then he gave it to one of his blacksmiths to see if he could make it work again. Of course, the gun was useless without any bullets and eventually was melted down to make more swords. The Roman soldier who was killed fortunately had already had all of the children he was going to have in his lifetime and nobody was eliminated from existence. The time machine is still well hidden in a cave and has not been discovered to this day. God was the one who made the soldiers attack Dr. Duff and therefore continue the events already set in motion. All of the changes he made while he was there were swallowed by the never-ending ravages of time. Only smallest of changes still exist that do not matter in God’s grand plan for all of mankind. However, if Dr. Duff had succeeded, we would certainly live in a very different world; a world without Jesus’ saving grace.


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