Not everyone knows what it's like to travel in time. Plenty speculate, but none truly agree. There was no knowing, one way or another, until 1873 (possibly before, for the men went into the past in their futures), when the Club was formed. The men who formed the Club, faceless reclusive gentlemen of study, named it the Temporal Club. How they began to travel through the oceans of time no one is quite sure; but their first journey began December 18th, two weeks before Christmas.
The events are recounted in a crusting, blackened, worm-eaten record book of the Club as follows:
We . . . [Names eaten away by worms or fate] . . . finding the most peculiar machine at once alighted upon it with curiosity or en[coura]gement. A note was attached to the device, reproduced here: "We, [these names are burnt off] welcome you, ourselves, to the Temporal Club, a stronghold of knowledge and understanding of human history and Time. We welcome you, as we were welcomed before, at this very night. The controls of the machine are precisely labeled, and you need only follow its instructions to drive. Fulfill your destinies and our histories tonight by stepping on board.
This text was crossed out, and another account was transcribed below it in emerald ink, nearly illegible from being marked out in a different pen.
December 18th, 1873
We, the Temporal Club, have at long last completed the machine that will steer ourselves into the twentieth century; a machine that will travel through time itself. We have not attached the plans which we used to build the machine. Instead, they will be kept upon the Chairman's Person, out of prying hands, for this knowledge is too powerful to be used for only good. We write this before testing the machine ourselves, so that if we fail, others will know of our fate. Attached is a list of contacts to contact in the event that we fail to return. If we do succeed, there will be no use for this record and it will be burned. God help us.
Below this it reads in blue ink:
It has come to our attention that we mustn't burn this note.
The day's entries continue onwards. This time, it's in blue pen whose edges fade to orange. It, too, is crossed out and nearly illegible.
Upon the eighteenth of December, 1973, we, the men present, create the Temporal Club, a society for the creation and exploration of Temporal Travel. Using the ATGTD (Alternate Temporal and Geographical Transportation Device), we endeavor to travel to and explore the year 1776 AD, the year of the founding of The United States of America. The world will not know or remember what we will accomplish, upon this night, for the betterment of humanity, but may our accomplishments spell a new age of man.
[The bottom of the paper is burnt away.]
Accounts of this sort continue on the next page as: December eighteenth, 1873 . . . and so forth, thousands of pages through the worm-eaten, smoke-blackened book. Not a single one of the founder's names are recorded in the book; each is worm-eaten or purposefully blackened. Nevertheless, people speculate. None of it matters, though. Each founder is erased from time.
Furthermore, not a single person besides these lost men, knows which, if any, of the accounts is the true one. Many have speculated and many more have attempted to travel to that historic night, but none have succeeded. The day, December eighteenth, 1873, has been sealed off from time; a Temporal Bubble has been erected to secure, one might say, the moment.
Nevertheless, from all accounts, one thing is certain: that day, they Time Traveled. They opened doors to mankind leaps beyond Armstrong, light-years beyond Einstein; their travels changed the view of time itself. No longer was it a one-way river that it was fruitless to paddle against, but time became an ocean of foreign currents and frightful waves which man fervently wished to master as he had the other oceans of earth.
Thus, the Club expanded; burrowing throughout the depths of the earth, bringing life to the myths of Tibetan Monks and of Tunnels below the oceans. The Club sits today, bustling like earth's greatest anthill. Lonely wanderers rub shoulders with the wealthiest men, while weary travelers rest with their fellows at inviting Locals. This is the world the first travelers created, the world in which nothing dies, nothing is settled, and consequences don?t always come tomorrow.
Welcome to the Temporal Club.
Author's Note: This is merely an introductory story and I may write more from this universe in the future. If these stories peak your interest, please comment in the BBS. Thanks.