Daniel reads, or rather translates, the scripture again. As he does So, Mark re-lights his cigar, which had gone out. As the translation finishes, he takes a big puff, blows the smoke out slowly and says, "Yeah, O.K. So, get to the point."
"The point is that if we could go back there to that time, we could warn those people and thus prevent the whole thing."
"We would be able to eliminate all evil and disease from the world!"
"Gentlemen!" With a look of astonishment in his eyes, Mark sets his glass on the table and flicks the ashes off of the end of his cigar. "Gentlemen, are you serious?!"
"Very much so!"
"But time travel has been proven only theoretically, not as an actual fact."
"Well, that’s exactly what we intend to do." John sips his wine for a moment and then continues. "Perhaps the reason it hasn’t been proven in actuality so far is that there hasn’t been enough motivation. Well, now we have the motivation."
"Think of it," adds Will, "the whole course of history! No more sickness, disease or evil, no more war or killings, no more misery of any kind because no more sin!"
"Now wait just a minute!" Mark takes a sip of his brandy and another puff on his cigar. "Let me see if I can grasp the whole picture here. What you're saying is that by a single act of communication on your part, once you get to where you’re going, all of history will be changed. Is that correct?"
"--So that when you arrive back here, things will be different in all three tenses, so that not only will our time be different, but also the history books will be different, and the future will be different than it otherwise would have been."
"Boggles your mind, doesn’t it?"
Mark takes a rather large gulp from his brandy snuffer. "Are you certain that such a change is possible, or that it would indeed result from your activity?"
"We are certain of nothing. But, if there’s a chance, isn't it worth it?”
"Well, I admit that the prospect does sound promising." Mark sets his brandy snuffer on the table and takes another puff on his cigar. "But, how sure are you that you will be able to go back to that particular time?"
John sips his wine and sets his glass back on the table. "At our present state of experimentation, there’s about an 80 per cent chance."
Mark shrugs his shoulders. "High enough to run with."
"But, there are two drawbacks. Number one is that with our present thrust capabilities, we could go back probably only about 200 years at a time, give or take 50 years. Thus, new coordinates would have to be set at every stop. Also, the thrust would tend to partially destroy the cylinder, so that we’d have to repair it each time before attempting to go back further. The repair material (as lightweight as possible) and the fuel supply (powdered fuel, of course, to be mixed with water at every stop) would be carried with us in the cylinder, thus adding to the weight and helping to limit the thrust capability. Thus, with each stop we should be able to go back a little further than the last one.”
"Sounds like you’ve got this pretty well figured out."
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