(Re) Making History

Time travel is a tricky prospect. Your first issue is discovering a means to propel your physical form through the space/time continuum in a safe and controlled fashion. Whether you utilise a limited edition American sports car, an antique call box or a map allegedly left over from when the Creator was building the Universe matters not – you still have to possess the item.

Your second issue (and this is the biggie) is whether your actions in the past will effect the future. If you meddle with a past timeline, when you return to your starting point, will the World you encounter be the same as when you left? Will the inadvertent loss of a cigarette lighter in the distant past have caused an earlier technological revolution, resulting in you previous ‘present’ being reduced to a radioactive cinder? Will the wrong thing said at the Nuremberg Rallies have changed the outcome of the Second World War, with the majority of Europe now occupied by the Nazis? Will the Earth have been invaded by super-intelligent Koala-like aliens, who have subjugated the population and forced them to mass-produce soft toilet tissue? These are all things that the intelligent and responsible time traveller must take into account when venturing into the past, as even the most subtle of changes could have wide-reaching and devastating consequences.

However, if you have a Plan and a goal, if you know exactly what result you wish to achieve, then maybe, just maybe, you can carefully tweak the past to improve your own future.

But it would have to be an extremely cunning plan…

With a slightly disappointing displacement of air, a canvass and wood contraption, looking like a carriage clock writ large, appeared suddenly, then dropped to the ground. As the booth-like object settled into the damp earth of the churchyard, there came from within the sound of someone falling over, followed by what appeared to be a toilet flushing.

Lord Edmund Blackadder closed the heavy tome he had balanced on his knee and looked askance at the crumpled heap of his manservant, who had endeavoured to prevent his fall by grabbing the toilet chain.

“Given that we have made innumerable jumps through time and space and upon reaching every destination, the time machine always drops the last few feet to the ground,” he began, “it truly astounds me that on every occasion, without fail, you seem unprepared and fall over. Either you have the memory of a goldfish, Baldrick, or you are the stupidest man in existence. On past experience, I believe it is the latter.”

Yes, my Lord…sorry, my Lord.” Said Baldrick, clambering to his feet.

Now,” said Blackadder, “as we – and when I say ‘we’, I actually mean ‘me’ – have ascertained that the time machine is keyed to our individual DNA, wherever – or to be more precise when-ever – we have appeared, one of my ancestors should be in close proximity to our arrival point. We therefore need to find out when we are – and on this occasion, when I say ‘we’, I actually mean ‘you’.”

Er…I don’t understand, my Lord.” Stammered Baldrick.

Blackadder sighed.

You never fail to disappoint, do you, Baldrick?”

“Thank you, my Lord.”

What I mean is that it is time to stretch your legs, Balders…to venture forth into the World beyond and find out where we’ve ended up this time.”

Blackadder released the cord holding the door and lowered the gangplank.

But…it might be dangerous, my Lord…” said Baldrick fearfully.

Exactly,” said Blackadder, pushing Baldrick out into the crisp night air, “which is why you’re going instead of me.”

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14 thoughts on “(Re) Making History

  1. The dilemma of time travel, or the butterfly effect, should if we can go back in time and interfere or just observe and learn from history !
    I have a feeling that BA and baldrick will definitely fall into the former and interfere, another great piece Jez

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    • Blackadder unscrupulously using time travel to better his fortunes? Surely not! Although given WHERE he’s ended up, it may very well take all his cunning to get out with his skin intact.

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  2. But why would you want to better your present? Because you can! This new story line has such great potential.

    Lovely piece Jez. Makes me realize I need a simple-minded man servant to undertake any possibly dangerous take I set myself to. Preferably one with credible painting skills to help with my lead mountain.

    I’ve been checking your blog for days hoping for something new, and boom, an email notification. Happy me. Can’t wait for the next installment!

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    • Thanks Harry. A combination of various external factors have meant that “hobby time” has been pretty much non-existent over the past couple of weeks. Every time I open my cupboard, my figures cry “why have you forsaken us?” – it’s quite vexing. Hopefully, my schedule will change, allowing a bit more content to be posted.

      As for Blackadder, it should be interesting to see how his machinations impact on the denizens of Blackwell. I believe a certain “fat man” would be quite interested in getting hold of a working time machine…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Roger. The problem I have is that whilst posts like this can be done whenever I have ‘spare’ time and access to the Internet via the app on my phone, I haven’t had ‘proper’ hobby-time, where I can get out the paints, etc. and sit down for a couple of hours to paint or model or whatever. So the time machine itself is still unfinished and my proxy Blackadder is still unbased. I am hoping to get things progressed a bit further before I post again.

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    • Thanks Andy. My main concern with this piece was getting the tone right. As quite a lot of people are familiar with the character, I had to get his ‘voice’ right, otherwise it could be anyone. I feel that I have managed to capture the essence of the character, so…so far, so good. 😉

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  3. {{{{{{{ – “Now,” said Blackadder, “as we – and when I say ‘we’, I actually mean ‘me’ – have ascertained that the time machine is keyed to our individual DNA, wherever – or to be more precise when-ever – we have appeared, one of my ancestors should be in close proximity to our arrival point. We therefore need to find out when we are – and on this occasion, when I say ‘we’, I actually mean ‘you’.”

    “Er…I don’t understand, my Lord.” Stammered Baldrick.

    Blackadder sighed.

    “You never fail to disappoint, do you, Baldrick?”

    “Thank you, my Lord.” – }}}}}}}

    —————————————————————————————–

    THAT could be an actual Black Adder classic, you know.. like the ones fans have endlessly re-quoted to one another for years, in rapturous happy nostalgic harmony.

    excellent.

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    • Thank you, Steve, and welcome back! My main worry when posting this was that I’d got the language right. Anyone can endlessly re-quote the dialogue from the series, but having a well-known and much-loved character say something new and still sound like the character is a bit trickier. I THINK I’ve managed to pull it off on this occasion – I’m just hoping that future instalments will also follow suit.

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  4. Pingback: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something…Orange | Carrion Crow's Buffet

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