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Tue, Jun. 2nd, 2009 | 03:58 pm  slavezombie


Time Travel
slavezombie

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INT. OFFICE - DAY

BIER

Did anybody feel that earthquake?


Donna has a look of terror on her face as if she has seen a mouse.

DONNA

Where?! Now? Oh my god... now?!

She cowers in search for an empty desk where she can take cover under.

Bier

No. Last month. Uhh. I think it was the week of the eighteenth. Monday, at about 3:30PM.

Aaron

I felt it. I heard on the news that it was centered somewhere near Long Beach.

Bier


Yeah, I heard it was four point seven.

DONNA

I didn't feel anything. I probably would've been in my car making deliveries.

AARON

I don't know why, but people who are driving don't seem to feel earthquakes as much as people that are stationary somewhere inside a house.

BIER

It makes me wonder about poltergeists if, when earthquakes occur and the first thing you notice is the furniture jiggling back and forth.

AARON

People can still feel them while standing outside.


BIER

It would have to be fairly strong, centered around the same city, because nothing jiggles outside. Strong enough for a car alarm to go off.

AARON

There was supposed to be a sonic boom last Sunday when the space shuttle came in for a landing at Edwards Air Force Base. Did anybody hear that?

BIER

Nope.

DONNA

I saw that on TV.

AARON


Did you notice how weird the astronauts were walking on the ground when they finally came out of the space shuttle? I was trippin' on that. They looked like aliens expecting something out of the Twilight Zone to happen, like thinking they'd landed on earth only to discover that the people here aren't what they seem to be.

BIER

I didn't get that at all.

DONNA

Were you smoking the funny stuff?

AARON

No, I swear. I was watching the NASA channel and trying to time how long it would take for the astronauts to come out from their spaceship. It must've taken an hour because the landing crew at Edwards apparently wanted to scan their vital signs. I sat in front of the TV watching this funky bus on stilts pull up to the ship where the exit hatch is.

DONNA

A funky bus?


Aaron

Dude, you didn't see it? it had a red stripe running thru it, like an ambulance, but this truck had some hydraulics that allowed it to rise about ten feet from the pavement and it had fins on top like a shark.

Bier looks up from his work a bit distracted by this?

BIER

Fins?

Aaron

Eventually, the astronauts come out and make a routine check around the spaceship. It's tradition, but the moment the set foot on the ground, they're like "Wow, this feels weird" and I'm thinking, after thirteen days in space, it's no wonder they're feeling so awkward. You know, I kinda wish I did have something to smoke. I sat there for an hour watching people going about their business on the tarmac which looked as if they were holding a car wash. There was no narrative by a reporter explaining what was going on.

BIER

How did we start talking about this.


DONNA

The sonic boom. I didn't feel it.

AARON

Neither did I, and I was watching for it. I even thought of digging out my old telescope to try to see if I could spot the shuttle on it's return home to see what it looked like at the exact same moment when the sonic boom occurred.

BIER

I didn't notice anything this weekend.

AARON

Hey, I just had a thought. What if time travel was possible and the earthquake we all felt... except you, was actually a sonic boom from the landing?

DONNA


Huh?

AARON

Yeah, don't you see. The earthquake happened on the eighteen, the astronauts return on the 26, they spend thirteen days in space, which explains their quirky walk, and Julie Payette must've been so nauseous from the landing that, during the news conference, she's the only one missing from the group.

Donna

What? Who's Julie?

BIER

Well, they were playing mad scientist with the Hubble telescope.

DONNA

Who's Julie Boyette?


Aaron

Yeah, you know how people say that the rays of the stars take hundreds, if not millions, of years to reach us, so if a star goes supernova, we wouldn't find out about it until after the fact.

BIER

Yeah, so if we had a telescope large enough to discover life on an orbiting planet from one of those stars, we would be watching their history.

AARON

Exactly. So maybe the astronauts were playing around with landing their spaceship and avoiding a sonic boom by making it happen eight days before they land.

DONNA

Who the fuck is Julie Boyette?

AARON


Payette. I think she's the chick who was the only female astronaut on the hubble mission.

DONNA

Oh.

BIER

Dude, that's freaking me out.

AARON

Yeah? Hey, what do you think about the space shuttle entering the atmosphere in reverse. In other words, free falling from space into the earths atmosphere and, logically, having the spaceship fall rear first since it's probably the heaviest part of the aircraft, and once it's well inside our atmosphere, burning those rockets to slow it down and get the spaceship flying right?

BIER

You mean, like lighting fireworks and instead of pointing them into the air from a stationary point on the ground, throwing it in the air and letting it take it's own course after the fuse ignites the rocket portion of the fuel?


AARON

Kind of. When I was watching the tiniest speck of a plane, I couldn't make out the shape of it and when I heard one of the telecaster say it was falling at a rate of 18,000 miles per hour, I completely spaced out. How can a plane that is falling to earth at that speed slow down with engines that serve as booster rockets?

BIER

Yeah, it's not like it has a parachute to slow it down and it certainly isn't making the landing anywhere near that speed.

Donna

Why wasn't Julie Payette part of the group of astronauts giving the news conference?


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