- A Time to Kill
The building had a cold sterile vibe.
It felt more like a hospital than a office. Someone said it was to keep the equipment clean.
Which made sense, with what they were doing, I wouldn’t want any hiccups.
It was kind of the dream assignment. I was surprised when the editor gave it to me. The Mnemosyne Corporation was heavy hitter territory. They were the biggest company on the planet and had their hands in all kinds of new tech.
There were rumors that sounded closer to science fiction than reality. I heard whispers they were messing with suspended animation, and integrating human conscience with technology.
But it was their new division that drew interest from my editor.
With the advent of legal self euthanasia, the big play was to be the company that did it the best; the one making it as easy as possible. Whoever made it as painless, as less scary as possible would be the winner.
All the major players were in on it. McDonald’s even came out with the Suicide Burger. It looked like a hit until some cook mixed up the burger patties.
And then Mnemosyne blew them all out of the water.
Because they had the ace of all aces.
Some researcher cracked the code on the holy grail of technology.
Eli Shane-Fields, Mnemosyne’s brilliant young founder announced it to a world wide audience showing off what his team achieved.
The only problem was that sending someone in the past was incredibly unstable and within an hour you’d be ripped apart at an atomic level.
Not the best way to go.
And so Shane-Fields saw an opportunity with the advent of euthanasia. What could be better than not existing at all?
So they started sending people back to take out their ancestors.
Poof, the theory was they’d just fade away.
Now I was here to talk to the man himself.
I walked through the lobby of the Mnemosyne building where a young woman met me and took me to Eli’s office.
The office was sparse like the rest of the building.
For a man who was a billionaire a hundred times over I expected a more opulent room. But there was only a sleek black desk and a pair of chairs, one occupied by the man himself.
The young woman disappeared back through the door and I was alone with the richest man in the world.
“Please sit down,” he said and gestured to the only other seat.
“My name is-” but he cut me off.
“I know who you are.”
“Yes, my security team doesn’t let anyone near until I get a full run down.”
That made sense.
“I like the office…” he cut me off again.
“Let’s dispense with pleasantries. I’m a busy man.”
“I’m here to talk about the new division.”
“I surmised that already. What do you want to know that hasn’t been in a million other articles.”
This was my chance. When I was trying to work my way in to get an interview I was stonewalled until I was floated a theory that Mnemosyne caught wind of. Hence me sitting down with the founder.
“I have a theory.”
“I have many theories. Most of them make me billions. But I believe I know what yours is.”
“I figured it made it’s way up the food chain.”
“Let’s get down to brass tacks. Spit it out.”
“It’s all bullcrap. The whole thing’s a sham.”
His eyes narrowed, “And why would you say that.”
“Because it’s not possible.”
“We do many things that people deem to be impossible.”
“Which is why everyone gave you benefit of the doubt.”
“I see. And you’ve come here to call me a charlatan. That I pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes?”
“And are you going to explain yourself?”
“I said it’s not possible.”
“You’ve said that already. I’m growing weary of this.”
“You can’t send someone back to kill their grandfather…”
“It’s rarely their grandfather. It’s usually a generation previous. Most people have no idea what their great grandparents looked like when they were younger. Makes the job easier.”
“Anyway. Still. You can’t change the past. Only the future. If you go back to kill someone it means you were always going to do that. That person was always going to die.”
“And that means that whoever you send back will still exist because they were always going to be sent back. It’s all part of the same timeline.”
“So there’s no way they’re doing what they thing they’re doing. And you’re taking advantage of people trying to commit suicide.”
He smiled, “Well, I figured you were close, but you really nailed it.”
“So you’re saying I’m right?”
“For the most part.”
“What I don’t get is why?”
“Why do this big production?”
“It’s rather simple.”
“It hardly seems like it.”
“Well its simple to me at least. It might take you longer.”
“I resent that.”
“I don’t care. We have found that certain people in the past needed to be taken out. And when we discovered the time travel it made it easier.”
“You’re essentially running a time traveling hit squad.”
“That’s a little fanciful, but pretty much.”
“So they aren’t killing their relatives.”
“Who are they killing?”
“Mostly bad people. People that would go on to do bad things.”
“Well we don’t bat a thousand. There’ve been a few accidents. Plus it’s handy way of taking people who are threats to the business.”
And now I got how Mnemosyne became the king of the jungle, by killing all the other animals.
“I still don’t get it though.”
“It seems like you get it entirely.”
“I don’t get the euthanasia angle.”
“Ahhh, when they started letting people off themselves and all the other companies were working on it we saw an opportunity.”
“Well you see the part that was true was the atomic break down. If you get sent back you will break down in a few hours.”
“So you you wouldn’t get many volunteers.”
“Precisely. We needed people that already wanted to die.”
“So they don’t just peacefully fade away?”
“Oh god no. It’s rather excruciating. A truly awful site.”
“This is terrible.”
“You’re a monster.”
“The world is full of monsters. Might as well make money from it.”
“One last thing.”
“Why are you confirming all this?”
“Oh that’s very simple.”
“I have no intention of letting you leave.”
“In fact,” he said looking at his watch, “Three, two, one…”
Suddenly there was a small burst of light an a man appeared.
He was holding a picture in his hand and syringe.
“What’s going on?” I asked but the new man stabbed me with the syringe.
I sank to the ground.
I could barely speak.
Eli Shane-Fields stood up, “You see how elegant the system is? I get rid of you, well my future self does. I got a message earlier today that you were a problem.”
“How did I get the message you ask? My future self sent someone and they left a note on the desk. It’s so simple. And now our friend here will be caught red handed, so I’m not suspected but he’ll disappear before he ever goes to trial.“
He walked around the desk.
My breathing was labored. It was getting dark.
“It was a pleasure having you here at Mnemosyne. I hope you enjoyed your stay,” he said with a wicked smile.
And it all went black.
- Date of publication:
- Tue, 05/04/2021 - 00:00
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