I am your great, great grandson. I know you are thinking that to hear from me is impossible and this letter is a hoax of some kind, but it is not. If you persevere until the end, I will explain everything to you. I was able to send it as an e-mail as I have developed a system that allows me to correspond with anyone who has a computer without being restricted by the constraints of time. Unfortunately, my invention cannot be transferred to you so, should you wish to write back to me (and I already know you will), you must contact me through the ‘personal pages’ of The Age – see below.
I know you and yours are all well and the same is true for me and mine. It is August 2088, a day of celebration all over the world.
As religion has all but died, hate will disappear, as will most wars. The visitors from space that arrived in 2055 taught us many things. We are strong enough to stand-alone. There is no need for a self-sufficient people to lean on imaginary crutches. Our being, they taught us, is the result of the natural order of the multiple universes that make up our level of existence. We (I include you here) live within a mirror that hangs on the wall of an organism that is ignorant of us. Another mirror hangs on the opposite wall and the two reflect each other’s image to infinity. Whenever something wholly or partially prevents the mirrors from reflecting each other, a great catastrophe befalls those in the area of non-reflection. Our relative proportion and thus our perception of time is such that the catastrophes occur but twice or thrice in the average human lifetime.
The innumerable planets that are our existence are, in fact, the atoms that make up the glass in one of the mirrors. We know that a parallel set of innumerable stars make up the other mirror because a complete galaxy was transferred by what we surmised to be a cleaning cloth from the other mirror to our mirror. The ‘big bang’ theory of your day persists. Today however, we believe it was the heating of the sand needed to create the glass that was the means of our creation – all creation. Our planet, Earth, is but one atom in our mirror. As the organism is ignorant of our existence, why should we acknowledge it as a God? Better we take care of ourselves and travel from one atom to another in search of a fuller understanding of our miniscule part in the mirror.
I tell you this because what I am about to reveal to you will be difficult for you to understand. I, McAndrew Davies, am a direct descendant of yours. You would think of me as a scientist, although that word became so reviled, it has fallen out of use in the English language. Reviled? I sense your question. Scientists allowed corporate pressure to force them to create new drugs, robots and other devices, very futuristic creations to you, that caused the deaths of many people. The robots were particularly nasty creatures that learned to correct their own mistakes and to override instruction they did not like. If owners crossed or denied them, they slaughtered the owners. I digress. I have been working on an idea of corresponding with people in the past. You can see the advantages of such an idea. People in the future would be able to warn you of the times when the reflection between the mirrors became blocked; times of Great War, famine, floods and other cataclysms…even rebellious robots.
How can I convince you, Michael Andrew Davies, that I have written this letter on 10th August 2088? I can tell you that there will be a car crash tomorrow, 11th August (note that I do nothing to prevent it and neither must you) on the Monash Freeway, or M1 at 10:03 am. Two adults will die in the crash but their four-month-old son will survive. The sister of the child’s father is Antoinette Anderson, the future famous Australian opera singer. She will obtain permission from the courts to raise the child as her own. You, of course, will not know that tomorrow, but the woman’s minor celebratory status will cause the crash to be reported widely in the media. I ask that you place a personal advertisement in The Age newspaper on 13th August to confirm that you have received this message and that the accident actually happened. You can say anything you want but please mention our initials. From MAD to MD amuses me. As I have your message in front of me now, I know you humour me. Thank you. I will reply only on the fourteenth, merely to keep matters in timely order.
I can tell you of another invention. One engineered by my father; your great grandson. I recall that in your time, miscreants in sports games were punished for their actions. There are often debates as to whether some actions were intentional or not. My father, Brian Davies, invented a small machine that allows people to know what is going on in other peoples’ minds. One is able to hear thoughts just as a person hear peoples’ conversations. For instance, a referee could know of an elbow about to fly and perhaps stop it from happening. Imagine what that would do to player recruitment. My father named his invention Open Mind and he and my mother experienced moments of pure joy (and some monumental fights) when they each used the machine. What an advantage it would be for politicians to use in meetings with foreign leaders. Of course, politicians being politicians, they would also use it against their own people.
Your recent laws regarding intellectual property have been refined many times over the years in an attempt to make them more enforceable. The result has been that governments can now declare a mind to be state property. Some brilliant people have taken their own lives rather than become a slave to the government. My father did not take his life but he did destroy his machines and swore us all to secrecy over it. My need to tell someone is another reason for writing this letter.
I will not tell you of all that has happened to our family from your day forward. Let it suffice to say we have all led reasonably happy, if not, until the last two generations, immensely successful lives. I admit my main reason for contacting you is to satisfy my ego. I need to know I have spent my time for good purpose. Unfortunately, my invention is a tool for disaster and I must destroy it after I write again to you on the fourteenth. I dare not allow the central government to get their hands on it. They would claim my mind before manipulating the past to assure themselves of a permanent political future. Who knows? By using my gadget, they might so alter the past that I will not be born to invent it, and thus this letter would be merely the product of some over-imaginative writer!
With affection from your great, great grandson,