Time Capsules

By David Scholes

sfgenre“There are a lot of them,” I said looking at the long rows of time capsules.

Joy and I opened the two units closest to the entrance to the Vault.

“Crude exo-skeleton-boosted light armour,” I said examining the first capsule. “I’d say circa 2025.”

The next capsule contained a very early teleportation unit.

“Circa 2075?” offered Joy.

I nodded.

We went along the rows, skipping a capsule or two in our impatience.

Further down, we discovered a capsule with chilling contents. “An alternate reality viewer and this,” I pointed to something small, “is a miniature inter-dimensional transporter.”

Alternate reality viewers hadn’t been created in our time and our inter-dimensional transporters had been a wee bit larger than the tiny object lying before us.

“It’s from our future,” said Joy, stating the obvious.

Strangely, these capsules from the future didn’t bear their origin year, though they did all purport to originate on Earth, and the technological level seemed similar in all of them.

Inevitably, we came to capsules stuffed with contents we did not understand. It was not simply that they were too advanced. There was also an alien aspect to them. We left them well alone.


“I can’t see any future for human civilisation now,” said Joy. “I can’t see any of the future time capsules representing levels we will attain.”

“You think this is a sick joke of some kind?” I asked. But then realisation hit me. “Alternate futures,” I said, “ That must be it. That’s why there isn’t much difference in technology level in the capsules that aren’t clearly alien. Some of the capsules are from alternate futures rather than the same time line.”

“It’s possible,” conceded Joy.

“You don’t think it’s a coincidence that you and I, Earth’s two greatest futurologists, stumbled across these future time capsules? “ I asked. “Never mind the past time capsules,” I was trying to sound enthusiastic. “They are meaningless now. We should examine all of the future time capsules and prepare a report. As Earth’s two greatest futurologists it is our duty to form a conclusion as to which of the alternate futures is best for Earth.”

“That could take a lifetime,” said Joy, but she was already smiling. .

“Someone will come for us, probably from the Einstein/Newton Institute,” I said. “We need to be able to advise them when they come.”

I was lying to Joy. I was pretty sure no one would ever come for us and almost as sure that there wasn’t even anyone left to come. Yet if this lie gave my lovely wife purpose and happiness for a few of her remaining years it was well worth it.

Besides, it was going to be a lot of fun looking through these future capsules and we didn’t exactly have anything better to do.

Conveniently, there was even some future food and drink in the capsules. I chuckled to myself. It couldn’t possibly perish before it had even been made.

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About The Author

David Scholes

david-scholesDavid has written over 180 short stories and published eight collections of short storiesand two novellas in the 9 years he has been writing speculative fiction. All of these booksare on Amazon.

He has been a regular contributor to the AntipodeanSF, Beam Me Up PodCast, and Farther Stars Than These sites. He has also been published on a variety of other sci-fisites including Bewildering Stories, 365 Tomorrows, the WiFiles, and the former GoldenVisions magazine.

He is currently well progressed with a new science fiction novella expected to bepublished later this year.


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Retirement Is Not The Last Word
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Square Musing
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The Game Of Lifes
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To Serve The Master
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The Master
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The Passengers
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SF Quote

...today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups...So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms...it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.

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