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Conrad's Perfection (standard:science fiction, 0 words)
Author: AJAdded: May 31 2001Views/Reads: 2075/1370Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Conrad builds a time machine to go back in time and right all the wrongs in his life.
 



This is Conrad’s story, exactly as he told it to me.  I’m not saying
whether it happened or not, that’s for you to decide. 

The word blinked on and off on the computer monitor in front of Conrad’s
face.  “TIME,” the letters glowed.  “TIME”.  Conrad’s heart skipped a 
beat.  Was it finished?  Could it finally be ready?  Eighteen years of 
hard work were represented in that single, pulsing word.  That one word 
would enable him to change his life forever.  With that lonely word, he 
could finally put an end to the nightmares and phobias that had plagued 
him since his miserable childhood.  With that pure, uncompounded word, 
he could transform himself from a sulking, uneducated genius, living in 
a disgusting rat’s nest of a home, into a successful, wealthy, family 
man, whose life was filled with love and happy memories. 

This one word may not seem so very important to you.  But think about
it.  How would your life change if you could manipulate time?  If you 
could go back and change your past, what would you make different?  
These questions may seem useless, because in your knowledge, there is 
no way to do these things.  But for Conrad, these questions were very, 
very relevant.  You see, Conrad had invented a time machine with which 
he could travel back, back to his childhood, and make all the bad, 
unfair things right. 

Of course, the concepts involved are very complicated and scientific, so
much so that I could not understand them as Conrad explained them to 
me.  But I understood his general idea.  After he’d eliminated all of 
the bad memories that plagued him, he would have a perfect life, 
somehow existing in blissful ignorance of his once horrible past.  For 
the first time in his life, he would be at peace. 

And this essential word, “TIME”, was the key.  It was all set up.  He
was ready to go back.  But before I tell you what happened, let me 
explain to you a little something about Conrad.  He was an absolutely 
brilliant scientist.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, he didn’t have a piece of 
paper declaring that he was a scientist. And other then a patent here 
and there for one of the small inventions he’d made while not working 
on his time machine, he got no recognition or money from being a 
scientist.  Nevertheless, he was a brilliant scientist.  But brilliant 
or not, he still had to do his life’s work in the murky basement of his 
poor home, while less intelligent men worked in sterile laboratories. 

This plight was solely because Conrad had never received a college
education.  His stepfather had refused to pay for Conrad’s higher 
education, even though after high school, Conrad had received a partial 
scholarship at MIT.  After he failed to raise the money himself, Conrad 
started work on his time machine, with thoughts of revenge on his mind. 


His only real hope for making the money had lay in a statewide science
competition, in which the winner would acquire a large sum of money.  
He’d spent weeks developing this solution that you could drop onto a 
substance and see what chemicals are in it by whatever colors it turns. 
 But, unfortunately, Conrad did not win the contest.  He took second to 
a buffoon who’d been related to the head judge.  If he had won that 
contest, he would have been a college graduate by now. 

Just the thought of the possibility of his becoming an educated and
respected man filled Conrad with awe.  Even the thought of his 
stepfather’s displeasure, even the thought of severe beatings could not 
sink Conrad’s spirits.  There was plenty of time to fix that problem.  
But for now, he was ready to get his long-due education. 

The program for the time travel was already entered into the computer,
but the most important part was a tiny chip, concealed in his otherwise 
ordinary wristwatch.  This chip, no bigger than a sunflower seed, would 
enable him to travel back to his own time the instant after he 
performed whatever task he’d set out to do.  When he returned, he’d 
remember nothing of the trip, but he’d have a whole life filled with 
different memories.  He’d have a better life. 

Conrad took a deep, shaky breath as he tapped his finger on the word
“TIME” on the monitor.  Pages filled with unintelligible combinations 
of letters, numbers and symbols flashed rapidly across the screen.  A 
searing white light was emitted from the computer, enveloping Conrad.  
Suddenly, he was plunged into a thick, velvety blackness, but 


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