Friday, September 13, 2013

The Price Of Paradox

For The Project’s initial proof of concept, Strelnik 7 Stroke B had barred all but the most necessary technicians from the facility control room. This venture constituted the best and perhaps last chance humanity had for its continued existence. As such Strelnik could afford to take no chances with any external factor negatively impacting this momentous effort.

The enfeebled husk that was his body hung suspended from a specially-designed harness offering him both an unobstructed view of the central display screen as well as allowing his cybernetic implants to manipulate the transfer matrix interface. While he had no doubts regarding the scientific principles of the experiment, he did harbor some niggling concerns as to the moral rectitude of his work.

In simplest terms, environmental toxins, disease, and other factors had combined to ensure within two generations, humans would be at the point of non-sustainability. Since the present offered no solutions and future endeavors could not be depended upon, their only salvation lay…in the past. They would reach into Humanity’s past and bring to them an infusion of viable genetic material. Using a relatively-small sampling of “specimens”, the future of countless billions could be ensured. With so much at stake, moral sophistry could offer no objections.

Public Domain - NOAA photo
The preliminary subjects were to be taken from the early 20th century from a geographical region known then as Texas. Research had shown them to be strong, healthy specimens with virtually no cellular contamination. They would be little-missed in their own time and the chance of any paradox was deemed…minimal.

By remote telecast, the entire world watched as the equipment achieved the required power levels and was activated. The monitors showed the vortex form only moments before the entire transfer matrix facility winked out of existence.

It was most unfortunate that, in his desire to distance himself from the moral implications of transporting specimens without their consent, Strelnik 7 Stroke B failed to note one of the subjects to be harvested was his nephew 17 times removed. So, while the opportunity for paradox was minimal, in this case it was more than adequate to remove Strelnik from existence when his genetic line was so rudely…interrupted.

This story was written for the weekly Flash Friday Fiction flash fiction challenge photo prompt.


  1. I think that serves him right. Should have done more research.

  2. Hoisted with his own petard,eh? I love poetic justice!