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1000 years before < 10 years now.

Imagine if somebody could travel 1000 years back in time and be in a war with a machine gun in hand. He could bring a whole empire down. A gun would scare the living daylights out of warriors who fought with a sword. The rate at which we’re progressing today, a person doesn’t need to be 1000 years ahead of time. He can be 10 years ahead and that’s enough to give him superhuman status.

Afterall, everything is evolving so quickly and it’s tough to predict what will happen in the future. Smartphones and internet have become a necessity today, but they were unknown commodities 20 years ago. A single bitcoin was worth around a dollar in 2011, but its value has gone up to $55,838 today. We have been evolving at an unprecedented rate but we still have a long way to go. “Maybe our future holds the answers that we require today,” Jinzung wrote in his journal before going back to working on his time machine. He had been called a mad man for trying to build it, but Jinzung had far greater ambitions that couldn’t be subdued with unscientific comments. So far, his machine could see the future hazily, but not enter it.

Every day, he would go to a date and place randomly. He would look for clues to extend mankind’s existence on this planet but would usually end up seeing mundane incidents. “I need to be more accurate with my choices,” he told himself before entering a day exactly 10 years from now – 11th May 2031. He saw a dystopian era where people were dying of hunger and their skin was disintegrating as a result of a biological war. J1, a deadly virus released by USA, had killed crores of people across the world. It multiplied quickly in the air and there seemed to be no answer available to people. He had to go there and get hold of this virus in order to create an antidote before it wiped out mankind.

His time machine though didn’t allow him the privilege. He had to keep working on it and he had to keep screening the future. An antidote that worked against J1 was made by USA. They wanted to protect only their own people so they kept its formula a secret. Jinzung spent months spying on their labs and he had a faint idea about the formula that could save the world but he was helpless. He could still not enter the future despite several sleepless nights. One day, while eating a plate of hot porridge, he felt someone sit on the bed beside him.

It didn’t take much time for Jinzung to realize that the other person was him. Maybe he had succeeded in building the time machine, but only as an old man.

“Don’t worry, I am here to help,” the man said.

“Are you me?” Jinzung asked.

“Yes, I finally did it,” the man answered.

He had come from 2041, an era where scientific discoveries had made time machines common. Almost everyone used them to correct their mistakes, fix their relationships and save the lives of their loved ones. That said, these machines were regulated and time tourism was not allowed. One needed to get a permit before taking any journey which was given based on a person’s karma. If a person’s karma was above 100, only then were they allowed to book a journey. Criminals couldn’t change their past, but rich philanthropists could.

“How did we end J1?” Jinzung asked his older self.

“That’s what I am here for,” the older man said.

He gave Jinzung the antidote and helped him rebuild his time machine. He also told him the story about his life. He had reached 2031 with a solid formula in place to avert the J1 virus. Before USA could release it, he had informed several authorities about the antidote. It turned out to be a false move because they were now going to assassinate him.

Jinzung looked for ways to escape, but he would keep running into situations where his life was at risk. He looked into the future and saw his own death but he couldn’t do anything until he found a way to travel through time. One day, while experimenting in his lab, he saw a fire break out near some explosive chemicals. He reached for the fire extinguisher but it was too late. The lab had exploded and Jinzung’s body was reduced to smithereens.

The hitmen contracted to execute him came to inspect the place and were satisfied. They saw the remnants of the time machine (which had not been introduced to the world in 2031) and stepped over it thinking it was insignificant scrap. Little did they know, Jinzung had figured the way to enter into future just the night before. He had hatched a plan to save himself, save the world and save the time machine.

The antidote won’t be given to authorities but released on the internet. He wouldn’t go to his lab on the night of explosion.

“That’s how it happened,” the older man said after ending his story.“Well, it starts from today. Let’s rewrite the stars,” Jinzung said and looked at his time machine.

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