Flash Fiction: Late for the Meeting

by Chris McGinty

The vortex opened up and the aliens passed through. They had the ability to travel great distances all along by using time travel methods. They just had no interest in many of the other life sustaining planets in the universe. That was until a clever man suggested that they should hold a meeting where time travelers showed up and proved their validity.

The idea was that if no time travelers showed up then it meant that time travel was impossible. This was maybe the most reasonable experiment this species had come up with, though it had a couple of flaws. The first was what if all time travel happened in the past? But it didn’t, so even being an oversight to the logic of the concept, it didn’t matter. The second was what if time travel happened so far in the future that no record or memory of the meeting still existed? But it did, so even being an oversight to the logic of the concept, it didn’t matter. The third was what if time travelers thought it too soon in the species’ evolution to learn time travel existed. But they were fine with letting them learn of time travel, so even being an oversight to the logic of the concept, it didn’t matter.

These time traveling aliens packed up and set off to attend the meeting. It was a big undertaking, but they were optimistic that it would be worth it. They arrived after a long, long trip. They found the location of the meeting. The clever man was not there, nor was anyone. It was clearly just a thought experiment that they had no intention of following up on. This enraged the aliens.

I need to explain for a moment that it had been so many millions of years since the clever man had held the meeting that the aliens had the correct location, but the wrong year. This was why no one was there for the meeting and made the tragedy that followed so much more needless.

In anger, the aliens turned their weaponry on the planet and razed it so thoroughly that the atmosphere burned for years, and the planet mimicked a sun. No life on the planet survived. But the aliens would travel back in time to watch the destruction of the planet. It was an amazing time that never got old to watch and they thought it amusing that one of their best time traveling tourist spots was based on a fraudulent event. The aliens call it Fyre Festival and when your civilization develops time travel, you too can go and see the destruction.

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