Depth And Taxes
By DJ Cline
July 2, 2012 Point Loess, California
Marsha Colton looked through a small porthole at the naked man covered in tattoos sleeping in her yacht’s decompression chamber. The tattoos seemed to move on his skin in a way that reminded her of a screen saver on her phone. Suddenly they stopped moving. He sat up and hit the intercom switch.
TEN KAY: I’m awake.
MARSHA: How are you feeling?
TEN KAY: Better. I get better every time.
MARSHA: Can you tell me what happened?
TEN KAY: I was out in the ocean about ten kilometers offshore. I detected an unusual signal over thirty meters below the surface. I dived down and saw a gold tower. There was some kind of sphere around it. I got sucked in and entangled in the rigging. The next thing I know, I’m on top of the tower, all the water drains away and I’m on the surface. I did not want to get the bends so contacted you.
MARSHA: How did you know to contact me?
TEN KAY: Because I’ve been through this before. A lot. I’ll try to keep this short. You thought you were building a technology that is always looking for open bandwidth. Your software found it… a hundred years from now. You invented a time machine and I’m an early adopter, or a late one, depending on how you look at it.
MARSHA: Why a hundred years from now?
TEN KAY: Because civilization is collapsing and nobody is using much bandwidth anymore. No more blocked calls but nobody to talk to.
MARSHA: What happened? What caused it?
TEN KAY: A case of depth and taxes, but basically greed. There were billions of poor people and a few rich guys. Those guys made sure we burned every lump of coal, every barrel of oil, every fart of natural gas. It got hotter. Governments did not have the tax revenue to pay an educated workforce to deal with the crisis. A hundred years from now that tower is more than a hundred feet below sea level. That’s why I almost got the bends. Listen, for some reason this time machine thing keeps happening over and over, that’s how I know I’m getting the bends and already know who you are. I also can change things a little bit each time. If you help me I can give you access to technology that will make you rich enough to save the world.
MARSHA: Where is the technology?
TEN KAY: You are looking at it.
His skin turned completely black except for a Colton Technology Corporation logo on his chest.
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Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.