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The Hitch-Hikers Guide to Time Travel by Peter

Notes: Bit like HHGTTG

Section 1

Far out in the grubby back-streets of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy is a small insignificant yellow star. Orbiting this star at about 90 million miles is a small blue-green planet. who's reptile-descendant life-forms have a very serious problem - they are supposed to be descended from apes !

Our story starts on a cold, red planet orbiting some 140 million miles from the same yellow star. Near the equator is a huge canyon covering hundreds of miles. Dangling precariously over the canyon from a long line is a very confused human male looking at a large damp patch on the vertical surface of the canyon.

This man has two problems. The first problem is that his one-way trip to Mars was made on the assumption that he only had a few weeks to live, but unknown to him at that moment, he would now live for millions of years. The second problem was that he was being secretly watched.

"I don't get this" he said through his comm unit to the other human standing by the winch at the top of the canyon.

"Why, what's up David ?" asked the other human.

"Those holds I drilled a few minutes ago to get Martian water samples have just been covered up with some weird plastic / metal plate !!" he exclaimed. "There seems to be some weird hieroglyphics on it too !" he continued.

"Stop goofing around !" said the other human getting a bit annoyed.

"Here, I'll show you" the man pointed the small camera on his comm unit at the weird alien plate.

"Well, I'll be darned ! how the hell did that get there ?" said the man by the winch "See if you can remove them and I'll pull you up so we can examine them." he added.

"OK, hang on ..." said David.

Thread-ID: 10, Next Threads: 11,12

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Alternative Section 2
By Peter (UID:1)

The man now had three problems as the line he was dangling from suffered a catastrophic existence failure.

"Ahhhhh .... shit ..." cried the man as he started falling.

"Caught you !" said a very peculiar sounding female voice belonging to a very odd looking woman.

"What ??" said a very confused David looking around at the room he was now in.

"You fell when I deleted your line." said Jazlar.

"Deleted ? " said David "Don't you mean cut ?" his eyes started to focus on the alien-looking woman.

"Jesus ! " cried David "Who ... what are you ??"

"Don't panic. I'm Jazlar. When you calm down, I'll explain everything to you."

"OK." Said David "so, what just happened ?"

"You were messing with one of our experiments. We needed Mars to be pure and untouched. Landing primitive space junk on it was bad enough but when you started to land humans and poke around on the surface we were forced to act." she said with just a hint of annoyance.

"The first machines you landed on the surface were simply destroyed and we faked their radio signals so you would not know anything was amiss" she explained.

"What do you mean by 'deleted' ?" asked David.

"I mean deleted from the time-line" she explained "We couldn't let them land and we couldn't keep blowing them up in space because you would get suspicious and give Mars far more attention than we could tolerate. So we used temporal re-engineering to make very subtle adjustments to things like your economy, education, public opinion, etc so the Mars missions wouldn't happen."

"Temporal re-engineering ?" said David "You mean like time travel ?"

"Not quite." said Jazlar "Your line didn't just disappear, the whole Mars mission disappeared along with the winch, your friend and your landing craft" she explained.

"Where is my friend ?" asked David, wondering if he would like the answer.

"He is safely back on Earth" she explained "The Mars mission never happened."

"OK ... what about me ?" asked David.

"You didn't have long to live so I caught you when you fell and faked your suicide on Earth." she explained, "For all intents and purposes, the people on Earth think you died - exactly as it would have happened." she added.

David was becoming overwhelmed with questions. "Temporal re-engineering ?" he asked.

"Yes, when things go off-track, we make very slight changes to bring things back on track." she explained.

"Oh ... OK. But what about me, won't I die soon ?" asked David.

"No, your 'incurable' cancer was easily cured." said Jazlar.

"What, with some kind of advanced treatment ?" asked David.

"Nothing as crude as that. We simply went back a few years and 'tweaked' the cells that would have become cancerous so your cancer would never happen." said Jazlar.

"So... I'm cured ?" asked David.

"No, in this time-line you never had cancer in the first place." said Jazlar.

Thread-ID: 11 | Add Section
Alternative Section 2
By Peter (UID:1)

"Oh ... wait ... it's moving" yelled David.

"It's what !" said Jason wondering if his friend had been drinking his rum again.

"Jesus, it's growing legs now !" said David wondering if he had drunk too much of his friends rum.

"Get a sample and I'll pull you up" said Jason, wondering if there might be a Nobel prize in it.

"OK" said David, scraping some of the damp goo from the Martian rock face.

"OK, pull me up !" said David. After a few seconds nothing happened.

"Jason ... wake up !!" shouted David through the communication unit.

"Ja ... what !!" said David as Jason flew down past him hitting the canyon floor below.

"Errrrm ... what the hell do I do now ?" though David dangling half way down a Marian rock face with no one to winch him up.

Thread-ID: 12 | Add Section

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