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Our future, our universe, and other weighty topics

Friday, February 7, 2014

Phone Call From the Future: A Science Fiction Story

On June 12, 2025, Joey Martinez was awoken from a sound sleep at 3:15 AM by his cell phone. He considered letting the phone ring unanswered, but then he got up and picked up the phone.

Who is it?” said Joey.

Is this Joey Martinez?” asked a woman.

Yes,” said Joey. “What's up?”

Joey, I'm glad I got you,” said the woman. “Joey, I have a warning for you. Your life is in danger.”

Who is this?” asked Joey, sitting down on his sofa.

My name's Karen,” said the woman. “Joey, I have to tell you something you may find very hard to believe. This morning everyone in your city, Smith City, is going to die. You've got to get out now, or you'll be one of the people who dies.”

How do you know this?” asked Joey.

You wouldn't believe me if I told you,” said the woman. “Please, just take my word for it. Jump in your car, and start driving. You can save your life.”

No way am I going to do that,” said Joey. “Not unless you tell me how you know that everyone in the city is going to die. Is it some terrorist plot?”

No, it's not that,” said the woman. “OK, I'll tell you. It's going to be a meteor. It will hit this morning at exactly 9:15 AM. It's going to wipe out your entire city.”

Joey had a fancy new digital phone that allowed a user to engage in a conversation and check the Internet at the same time. Joey checked the news. There was nothing at all about an incoming meteor.

You're full of it,” said Joey. “I just checked the news, and there's not a word about a meteor heading for Smith City.”

That's because they don't know about it,” said the woman. “It's not one of those big asteroids that the astronomers can detect way ahead of time. It's just a little chunk of rock the size of a small building. But it will hit your city with such kinetic energy, that everything will be destroyed.”

So how come you know about it?” asked Joey skeptically. There was a pause.

OK, I'll tell you,” said the woman. “But you'll never believe me. I know about it... because I'm from the future.”

Oh, that explains it,” said Joey incredulously. “So you're a time traveler from the future?”

No, we tried to do that, but it didn't work,” said the woman. “I'm not someone who traveled to your time from the future. But I am from the future. You see, I'm not calling from your time. I'm calling from 300 years ahead of your time.”

You seriously want me to believe that this is...a phone call from the future?” asked Joey.

“That's the truth, incredible as it sounds,” said the woman. “Let me tell you the whole story. In my time, three hundred years from your time, in the year 2310, scientists started a huge program designed to create a time machine. They put together all kinds of fancy technology. Then they tried to create a spacetime wormhole they could use to send a robot back into the past. But it didn't work. Every time they tried it, the wormhole destroyed the robot, rather than sending it back in time.”

Go on,” said Joey, not believing a word of the tale.

The scientists were about to shut down the program, but then I got involved,” explained the woman. “I studied the technology, and realized that it would never work to try to use the spacetime wormhole to send a robot back in time. But I also realized that the technology could be used for another purpose. It could be used to create a communication channel allowing someone from my time to talk to someone in your time.”

So I decided to test my theory,” continued the woman. “I got a list of all the victims of the Smith City Meteor Fire of 2025. I found your name on the list. It took some more time to get your phone number, but I also got that. Then I tried using the spacetime wormhole technology to make this phone call. The phone call worked. Don't you realize how important this call is? It's the first phone call ever made between two different time eras.”

What is this, some kind of prank?” asked Joey.

No, it's no prank,” said the woman. “You've got to believe me. That meteor is heading right now for your city – not in my time, but in your time. You've got to get out of your city, or you're going to die.”

Don't call this number again,” said Joey. “Haven't you got something better to do than to pull these kind of pranks? Get a life!”

Joey hung up the phone, and went back to sleep.

He woke up the next morning, and dressed, showered and shaved, not in any particular hurry. After eating his regular breakfast, Joey got in his car, and began driving toward his job in downtown Smith City.

But after driving a short while, he looked at the clock on his dashboard. It was 8:45. What if the phone caller was right? He would have only 30 minutes left to live.

Somehow that calculation did the trick. He turned his car around, and began driving away from the city as fast as he could.

After driving for 30 minutes, he suddenly saw the sky light up mysteriously. It was as if the sun was streaking across the sky.

Joey heard a deafening sound, a sound like nothing he had ever heard. He covered his ears, and looked towards Smith City.

There in the distance he saw a giant orange mushroom cloud, the aftermath of the meteor striking the city and incinerating it.

meteor explosion