Cassidy couldn’t tell if her skin was boiling or frozen. Maybe it was both. Probably, it didn’t matter. Whatever that status of her exposed epidermis, it was the first distinction in a lifetime of serial unknowns that Cassidy didn’t care if she had wrong.
She’d been wrong about a lot of things in her life. Wrong about brown crayons tasting like chocolate. Wrong about bottle rockets making her bicycle go faster. Wrong about viral vectors being the cure for cancer. But she never gave up. Every wrong answer was a baited hook luring her toward a state of newfound understanding and undiscovered truths.
Her colleagues, friends and family all said she was crazy, that time travel was impossible, but her work required viable tissue. Ancient tissue. Cassidy was determined to get it. She explored the fields of physics and engineering, seeking to unlock the secrets of time travel. Only then, might her experiments on human physiology and disease bear fruit.
She was prepared to be wrong again—she was, after all, operating far outside her area of expertise—and it never occurred to Cassidy, as she calibrated her untested time displacement chamber, that consideration of the Earth’s location in space on the desired arrival date might be an important factor.
Displaced in time, but not in space, Cassidy drifted in a silent vacuum. Through a watery crimson veil, she could appreciate the jagged outline of a single landmass stamped onto the surface of a young blue globe. Pangea.
Maybe burning, maybe freezing, but definitely out of breath, Cassidy acquiesced to an encroaching darkness as she gazed down on an Earth two hundred million years younger than the one she’d left, proving time travel was possible.
About that, at least, she had been right.