“I’ve pinpointed the place, the time, the man. Permission to travel, sir?”

“You know this is against all the laws of time travel.”

“Yes, sir. Even still, permission to travel?”

“It can’t possibly work, Adams. If by some miracle you should succeed, your ‘slight change’ might destroy everything we know.”

“There’s no other choice. Everything we know is endangered as it is. We have to try, sir.”

“Are you sure you want to take this risk?”

Ensign Adams looked directly into the Captain’s eyes, seeing his fear but also a glimmer of hope.

“I’m sure, sir. Permission to travel?”

“Permission granted.”

While Ensign Penelope Adams prepared to travel, the Captain reviewed her notes. She had omitted all specific details, so that the Overseers wouldn’t be able to find her if anything went wrong. Even the Captain didn’t know exactly where she was going, or what year she would visit. He scanned the summary one last time.

“At that time, the electric car was far more popular than the gas-powered vehicle. A race between Henry Ford’s car and the streamlined electric car, the Silver Bullet, was attended by a consortium of investors. The Silver Bullet easily won the race, and gained enough investors to go public and begin production. We now know that the largest investor was secretly in the pay of the oil companies. Later that day he bought out all the controlling shares, transferred his investments to Ford and put the plans for the electric car on the shelf.”

The plan was simple: change the actions of one man on one day – stop that investor. Without the venture capital, Henry Ford and his noisy, dirty gas-guzzler would fade into obscurity. The Captain had to admit it was worth a try.

Penelope knew that if she succeeded she might also wipe out that bit of history that had led to her own birth. Saving the planet might mean that she herself would cease to exist. To put the world on a path of clean transportation seemed a worthy exchange.

She stepped into her time machine and spun the dials.

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Voice-Team
Voice-Team(@voice-team)
Admin
1 year ago

A time-travel story with big ideas, high stakes, and a clever strategy. Would love to see this one in longer form!  Hopeful ending. Good mix of past (Henry Ford) and future (time travel). Fun proposition!

Paul Lewthwaite
Paul Lewthwaite(@paul-lewthwaite)
Reply to  Voice-Team
1 year ago

Many congratulations, Fuji! Great story! ?

Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
Reply to  Paul Lewthwaite
1 year ago

I’ll second that, another great story! Congratulations, Fuji!

Juma
Juma(@juma)
1 year ago

How I wish this story could really happen. Thank you Fuji for letting us imagine, even for a moment, an alternative present.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

How I wish the invention of the electric car continued and not hidden in the cabinet. Because that invention will help a lot not to ruin the world because it will reduce air pollution and reduce the expenses of humans for their treatment due to the diseases they get from… Read more »

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Fuji
1 year ago

You’re welcome, Fuji.  Sending my apologies to Henry Ford, Fuji.

Paul Lewthwaite
Paul Lewthwaite(@paul-lewthwaite)
1 year ago

I love time travel stories Fuji, so liked this take on one. Very clever not to go for the obvious e.g direct action against Ford, but aim for the more sinister forces behind him. It did leave me wondering what the world might have been like if fossil fuel hadn’t… Read more »

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 year ago

The term ‘money talks’ immediately came to mind when reading your story Fuji. I wonder what else has been influenced over the years, the tobacco industry for instance. Time travel is such an exciting subject and your story really drew me in. What a hero you have created in Ensign… Read more »

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
1 year ago

I was indeed touched by the paragraph penultimate to the last. I love time travel stories. I wrote one of recent. I’m still waiting for its approval. Nice story, Fuji.

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
1 year ago

I loved this time travel story! Penelope is ready to sacrifice her very existence in order to save the world. I loved the picture so much, it made me think about the car from ‘Back to the Future’ (only cuter!). Sometimes we concentrate exclusively on the story, without picking up… Read more »

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 year ago

Fuji, this is such a lovely story. I liked how your protagonist was willing to possibly sacrifice herself for others to survive. I really like the picture of the car too. If only we could turn back time and right our wrongs.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Love this story Fuji, though I’ve always loved time travel stories. You’ve done this so well, and I love that your protagonist is aware of the issues around whatever she does threatening her own existence. Until you get into the paradoxical argument that she’s there now to travel back in… Read more »

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

An intriguing and very well-written story, Fuji! Like your protagonist, you have done a thorough job, identifying the problem and aiming for it in an eloquent way. Knowing your concern with details in your stories, I was wondering about the name of your protagonist. Are Penelope’s initials connected to EPA… Read more »

Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister(@alan-kemister)
1 year ago

Hello Fuji, very interesting basis for a story. There have been many forays into electric vehicles from the late 19th century to the present. Interesting idea to have someone go back to the early 1900s and influence history so that an electric car got a better chance to succeed. The… Read more »

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 year ago

Congratulations on winning the Grand Prize Fuji, I loved your story and I’m so pleased for you.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Wow! Congratulations on winning the grand prize, Fuji. I am so happy for you.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Fuji
1 year ago

You’re most welcome, Fuji.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

Congratulations, Fuji! A clever and courageous mission which ended with great success.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
Reply to  Fuji
1 year ago

Thanks for sharing that piece of information, Fuji! It’s a wonderful song and it brings up a specific memory for me. When I came to Wisconsin and the US, I took all kinds of jobs just to earn some money and survive, including delivering pizza for a couple of months.… Read more »

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
1 year ago

Congratulations Fuji. A well-deserved win. The first entry taking the first prize. ?

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