The Dark Chronologist stumbled backwards, tripping over himself in his hurry to make way for the gaseous figure that had suddenly billowed into his laboratory.

“Still at work, I see,” said the Wraith, assuming a humanoid shape that didn’t reduce the Chronologist’s discomfort in the least. “And it still doesn’t look like we’ll see a return on our funding, does it now? Forgive me for saying it – but you are running out of time, Tempus.”

“My… my apologies! Ah, my work, it is a delicate thing, ah, and I have had progress, yes, as you can see, I just wished to, ah, refine things before presenting anything… to… you…”

His words trailed off under the burning, slightly spongy gaze of the Wraith, who breezed past him to inspect the apparatus he had assembled. Wires sprouted from every side, and it was adorned in dozens of buttons, at least half of which likely served no true function. A small metal basket rested atop it – beside the basket were a dozen ripe apples.

“Tell me what your device does, and I’ll judge your progress for myself.”

Wringing his hands, Tempus (or Theodore, if you went by his birth name) walked up to his machine and nervously looked it over. “Well, it is, a, uh… time machine.”

A moment of silence followed. Then: “You’re kidding.”

“Well. Hmm. As I said, it isn’t quite… finished. We are, of course, always travelling through time, after all, so creating a device that can also do so is no great challenge, aha! Aha… um. Yes. It is not yet quite capable of reversing the timestream, as it were – thus far, all it is able to do is speed it up. Move people forward in time, as it were.”

Glancing at the Dark Chronologist’s sweat-covered forehead, the Wraith was almost tempted to smile. “That actually has possibilities, Tempus. I’m impressed – being able to acquire technology from the future, learn what our enemies moves will be, seek out-”

“No! Ah… you misunderstand. It can send someone forward, but it can’t bring them back. A one way trip. So… it still needs some work, as I said.”

The Wraith grew fully solid, forming a large grey-skinned man in business attire. He was physically imposing, and Theodore flinched back – but instead, the Wraith merely grabbed one of the apples by the device.

“Hmm. Still, not a total loss. If we could harness it as a weapon, that could be an easy way to remove our enemies while we consolidate power. Or as an escape device – almost caught by some capes? Pop a few hours into the future, and I bet they’ll be gone when you phase back in. Yes… we might just have to let you live, Tempus. Let’s see your machine in action.”

Theodore’s eyes grew wide as he realized what the Wraith intended – but even as he opened his mouth to give a cry of warning, the apple had already been tossed into the basket, and the device was already beginning to flash and pulse with power…


Due to temporal anomalies, further writings will be on hold for a period of at least nine days.