Time For Sale
Madame President Allison Perez was convening yet another emergency council of her economic advisers. Interest rate payments on the national debt now exceeded the total budget. With no money to spin the wheels the mechanisms of government and society at large were grinding to a shaky stop.
The walls of the oval office were barren, and the blue carpeting with the stitched in seal had been pulled up. All the relics of the nation's heritage that had once adorned the office had been practically given away to visiting VIPS, who held vast sums of the country's crushing debt.
They held these meetings every time the 11th hour was at hand when the hungry wolves came banging on the door demanding blood. They usually found a way to delay their inevitable devouring by the hungry financial leviathans for just a few more weeks, but now they were running out tricks.
Thier meetings were silent gatherings now. Every so often someone would speak up only to dismiss a half-formed idea that possibly never existed to begin with.
The first of the month had come again, and the nation's bills were due. Only this time there was nothing left to cut, to privatize, or auction off. The clock was ticking towards the deadline. They could do little but wait as helplessly as condemned men waiting for the warden to march them to the execution chamber.
The president and her advisers were sitting around the oval office sipping whiskey and contemplating the imminent earth shattering announcement she was going to have to make. The anticipation felt like an anvil sitting in the madam president's stomach. She gulped down her glass and quickly poured another hoping the liquid fire would burn away the tension.
“Do you think I'll be impeached?” President Perez asked breaking the silence.
Her advisors all glared at each other hoping the other would answer first.
The yes men were spared from the awkward conversation when Senator Ted McNiel head of the armed services committee burst through the double doors of the office tailed by pleading secret service agents.
“They rejected my goddamn expense account card!” Shouted the stout, gray-haired man.
“What?” The droopy-eyed president replied as she rested her chin in her hands.
“My credit card was declined while I was dining with one of my constituents.” The senator hissed.
“If it was your constituents shouldn't they be the ones buying you dinner?” The president mumbled.
“Madam President the United States government no longer has the credit line to pay for dinner!” McNeil huffed.
“I don't know what to tell you. We've been here all night and haven't come up with a damn thing. Do you have any idea floating around in that little head of yours or does viagra cause brain damage?”
There was the sound of snickering and the senator's eyes bulged and his teeth clenched tight enough to crack. Suddenly he let out a sigh.
“As a matter of fact I do. Meet me at the Pentagon,” he calmly said as he walked out of the room.
“Oh and Madame president. You might want to leave your dildo here. I don't want you getting held up at the metal detectors."
Carved into the earth and encased in reinforced concrete was a room that existed on no blueprint of the military industrial complex's most prominent fortress.
It was buried too deep to be touched by the beaming cellular signal or any other part of the invisible digital net of modern existence that wrapped itself around the globe. The room was a simple cinder block cell with a door on either wall.
“Through that door,” Senator McNiel said pointed to the door on the right wall. “Is a machine that can send people through time.”
“A fucking time machine?” Presiden Perez said skeptically.
“Yes, a fucking time machine,” McNiel said rolling his eyes.
“I'm the president why didn't anyone tell me about this time machine?” Perez demanded.
McNiel shrugged. “Yeah, I was a bit surprised you didn't know about it.”
“Can we see it?” Allison asked.
“Unfortunately no. The only people who know how to operate it aren't here today.”
“Figures,” muttered Perez. “So what do we do with this go back in time and warn people to be more financially prudent?”
“No, we can rent it out.” the senator said with a grin.
“Wouldn't that be dangerous?” Perez asked.
“You rode in here riding the waves of this country's fiscal ruins. Do you really want a reality where no one sees any reason to make you president?”
“Hmm, you make a good point.” Groaned Perez. “Why do you want me to stay president though?” She asked.
“Because there's the chance for me to skim tens of millions of dollars from the deals we're going to be making!” McNeil declared gleefully.
Left with little choice Madame President Allison put out the call and within the hour representatives from a half-dozen Fortune five hundred companies were in the oval office. They all brought contracts with payouts to keep the country afloat for at least another 3 months. Surely a solution could be found by then. If it weren't, everyone involved had enough money to live in obscenely luxurious exile.
Amongst the new time tycoons were the emissaries of the world's most powerful interests from every sector of the economy. The contracts gave these respective companies exclusive province over the period of time they purchased.
They were each writing a part of a new history. The development of society and the world was completely left up to their whims. The evolution of civilization was molded by their greed as they set about writing a more profitable history of the world. There were plans ranging from an atomic strike on the Soviet Union to Apple sending back record producers to recording the Beatles with auto-tune technology.
The frontier of time was now open and conquered were swiftly racing across its plains, determined to establish mastery over the very momentum of reality. Each of them gave assurances that by reshaping the past they could mold a better future, but the builders of utopia never turned out to be anything but harbingers of the apocalypse.
They carried back through time all the hi-tech suicidal wonders of the future that the people of the past had been fortunate enough not to have. The histories they wrote all ended in the world and a species being destroyed long before its time, however, this created a paradox.
The destruction of humanity in the past created a world where time travel was never invented hence the means to create the nightmare never existed either. Again and again time reached the same conclusion. It could never move any further. Eternity's loop always came around when the president made her fateful decision to put the power of God into the hands of man. Sometimes the President was haunted by a sense of Deja Vu, but she quickly shook it off. Never did the familiar chill stop her fire sale of our most valuable commodity, time.
Forward motion ceased, and so did the rhythms of existence. Left at a stand still time itself began to atrophy and all matter dissipated across the infinite darkness that is the backdrop of existence.