the_benj: (Tripe on tap)
[personal profile] the_benj
Last Night’s Dream (actually Saturday night, but I didn’t find time to post yesterday):

More time travel, although this time I’m a native. The first time travellers arrive on vehicles somewhere between a Tron lightbike and a spokeless Penny-farthing. They leave trails of luminous rings in their wake, like a larger, parallel version of the perpendicular rings that Jetsons cars leave. Glowing clock hands sweep in the front wheel.
Silver-jumpsuited, the travellers come as researchers, intending to quietly observe and record our culture. They overestimate their ability to keep their presence unknown and their peers’ dedication to their goals of secrecy. Someone among them decides to profit by their knowledge of the future, makes some investments, gambles on some sporting events, gets too much attention, gets into trouble, makes some changes to deal with their problems. Others catch wind, decide to profit by taking on tourist passengers.
Now, and tomorrow, and yesterday, our culture and economy continues to adapt, warps to meet the needs of the tourists. More and more resources come from them, more and more jobs serve their needs. Many of them are just tourists, but enough of them have an agenda that things are changed. They didn’t come back with the intention to make a change, but when they see that people are living with poverty, living with disease, they decide they have to do something. They bring back medicine, but they also keep coming with diseases that haven’t evolved yet. They’re immune and we’re not. Every time they come back to try to wipe out the common cold, they bring back a virus we haven’t even imagined yet.

Richard and I are “zookeepers”. We take care of people who host the last samples of viruses that have been all but wiped out. It would be wrong to destroy them, and people come to see them in their “native habitat”, inside a human body. They look at the hosts and observe their symptoms and look at slides and listen to lectures about the history of these once-noble diseases, now on the brink of extinction.

The time machines continue to get bigger, their designs redone across cycles of invention, travel and pre-emptive acquisition. They bear thousands at a time and are vast as cruise liners now, and always have been.

The 22nd century will never be the same and never was. History is written by the visitors.

October 2015

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