GForceHangover t1_izovlq6 wrote

I had expected awe in quietly seeing the supposed Son of God; the highlight of my long life of dedication. To touch Him. To hear His voice. I could treasure an experience as the only person alive in my time to do so, perhaps even to bury myself and the machine in the sea to disguise my experience. I did not expect to be scolded, huddled in the fetal position as 2,000 Israelites stared with fear as their Prophet berated a stranger in a language that would not be spoken for 1,500 years.

I finally found my voice, “L-Lord, how do you know me?”

He glared down at me, seemingly indecisive for the first time since I had seen Him. He turned and spoke quickly to the group (the Apostles?) standing fearfully behind Him.

The men began to shout at the crowd and shoo them away. The man I believed to be Jesus looked at me again and extended His hand. “Come. Lots broken. Walk.”

The crowd disbursed unhappily, but also with deference and awe. I took His hand and he pulled me up, then hurried me back in the direction of my machine.

I tried to get me bearings. “Are you Jesus?”

He glanced at me and kept walking, hurrying me along.

“I… I need to know!” I planted my feet. “If you know me I have traveled further than anyone ever has to see you. I have to know.”

He stopped, braced Himself and turned with fury in His eyes. “Sad question. You hear stories and think I am God? SMALL thinking! TOURIST! Come!”

He continued down the beach and I hurried to catch up. I spoke again in Koine, “Why is my thinking small, Lord? Help me understand.”

He spoke in Greek while maintaining a hurried pace, “We can’t catch all of you. People who want to grab a piece of the history and take it like a barbarian, a thief. You understand nothing of our work.”

I ran ahead, blocking Him. “Then make me understand! I’ve come so far!”

“Does it occur to you that there is more to life than knowledge and the small-minded memories you collect like the ornamented tombs of the rich? More than mountaintops and records to be broken? I am here to keep billions from tragedy and disaster! To you, I am some artifact who seems strange and antiquated because you have no context! You could live a thousand times and still not comprehend the simplest lesson because you are a vapor! A mist! Your existence is only meaningful because you, a child, use the fundamental structures we have built as a toy when it is equipment built with purpose. You see a single page of a book and presume to know the whole text! You are an irritant! An insect that bites the horse and crashes the cart. People need to hear the words I tell them. A single brick among billions is put in place. Do you understand? You interrupt the infinite.

I stood in silence. The language lacked the complexities He likely needed to convey the grand ideas He referenced, but it made me feel like a scolded child. I was just a tourist, transgressing on a sacred space for my own petty wishes, touching the face of God like it was a trophy with no grasp of what I interrupted. Grander purposes could truly be at play and I, in 30 years of pursuit, could only think of my own narrow, tawdry wishes.

We walked the rest of the way in silence. He walked to my covered craft and threw back the burlap sheet. He disappeared inside a moment, spoke quietly to Himself, then emerged.

“Your ship will get you home now. Do not return.” I looked inside to see that several wires had been removed and reconnected with other parts broken. It looked rather like a hot wired car as the familiar whine began.

I paused and looked at Him and took Him in for the first time. He seemed so ordinary. I had to ask.

“I… I have to ask before I return; are you the Christ? Is it true?”

He shook his head. “When you look at a mirror or an image of yourself, is that you? Would a person who looked at you know your fears?”

He turned away and spoke looking at the sun. “That’s what you say I Am. I suppose that will do.”

The whine reached its apex. I closed the door. Bang. The sting of ozone filled my nostrils. I had touched something that filled me with awe; both wonder and terror. As I opened the latch, I found myself back at the Sea of Galilee with Israeli soldiers headed my way. They shouted at me, but I ignored them. I suddenly felt very small.


GForceHangover t1_iznwmqd wrote

I’d spent twenty years on the design and another ten years begging, borrowing, and stealing for the nuclear fuel and capacitors, all for one shot. Mercifully, all the time spent waiting in dark Bulgarian alleys, fields in Kazakhstan, and in the foothills of Pakistan gave me lots of time to think about how I would use the machine. There was no way to travel more than about 2,200 years in the past due to load calculations. Odds of a capacitor failing were high and there wouldn’t be enough time to make another from scratch before I died even if I had all my tools and equipment from a few years in the past. My hands were withered, my body twisted by the time and effort. I’d given everything for this moment and I wanted it to count. I shipped the machine to Israel.

It was no small feat getting radioactive material past the inspections. The last of my money went to bribes and all the lead shielding, but, finally, I stood by Galilee next to the rusted shipping container holding my machine, the gentle lapping of water by my feet as the engine’s low whine steadily rose in pitch.

I entered the tiny hatch and crammed myself inside. Instruments and displays jammed uncomfortably into me as the whine became deafening. The year was set. A small light on the panel shifted to yellow, then green. I felt my finger depress a key and there was a loud bang, tremendous disorientation, then… nothing.

I came to in the dark, gently rocking back and forth. I was alive! As I cracked the hatch, smells of ozone and burnt plastic gave way to the soft spice of spring wind. The shore was barely visible in moonlight. Of course! Galilee was deeper then! A foolish oversight. I removed a small life vest from the seat, my carefully chosen robes, and a small, inflatable raft and began to tow my creation to shore.

A few carefully placed cloths concealed my work and I stood, exhausted on the shore. A couple of young men had come down to the shore to push off and regarded my elderly bedraggled form quizzically. They spoke in… Aramaic? I’d had to make choices about what I studied. I responded in Koine Greek.

“I am looking for someone. Can you help me?”

The first man glanced at the second who spoke up in heavily accented Greek.

“You’re a traveler?”

Success! I responded.

“Yes. I have come to seek the one they call Jesus of Nazareth. Does he teach here?” I held out a coin I’d paid a small fortune to obtain at a pawn shop as a tip for information. The man affirmed. “I have half now, half when we get to him.”

Fishers must have been as poor as it was recorded as both men enthusiastically led me further down the shore. It was a mercy their Greek was so poor that I didn’t have to explain my own stilted skills or attempt to fall back to my high school Latin. They were quite hospitable, fed me, and allowed me to ride in their cart as they led the ass along a Roman road. What a privilege to see one with my own eyes. The past! I could scarcely drink it all in before I heard an increasing din of a crowd.

There had to be two thousand or more people all waiting on a hillside. Children playing, old men gesturing angrily, and others seem to have made a picnic out of it. After a few confirming conversations, I paid my guides who enthusiastically made their way from me into the crowd. I would be unlikely to last here; strange food, strange disease, cultural misunderstandings, broken equipment, but it would be worth it. In moments, I would see Him.


A voice boomed in Greek over the din and the crowd silenced.


All eyes turned to a slight man with a small entourage emerging down by the shore. Could it be?


I suddenly became aware of this man’s outstretched hand, pointing my way. Members of the crowd fell prostrate as this man walked past.

“YOU DO NOT BELONG!” That… was not in Greek. That was accented… Latin?

The crowd parted and suddenly I was aware of this man’s fixated eyes as he marched toward me, seemingly blind to his followers. I was too frightened to speak.

“You are out of place, traveler.” Not Latin… Italian? He looked frustrated at my face. Then he spoke in halting English, “You understand me now?”

I nodded. It seemed the world stood silent around me.

“No much time. You… break it all. You go. Back to your machine.”

I stammered in English. “Y.. you know me?”

“I heard of you. Told to look for you here. Father watches. You go back to your machine NOW!”

(I’ll add more shortly. Off to work!)