Spectators of the Time Machine, Chapter 1
It was a very strange time. Storrs was once just a small college town in the middle of the woods known for being a secluded place to get drunk in a dorm room. After time travel was invented in the university’s physics department, a once pet-project by a professor became the intellectual property of the board of trustees who monetized the technology.
And so, the town soon became well known for its tourism trade for the wealthiest travelers on earth. Aside from the rich and influential visitors, luxurious hotels and restaurants, the local residents noticed even odder changes to their little town as the area around the time machine found itself in a bit of a time bubble generated by the energy of warping time and space. This meant the people in the bubble were able to notice changes in the timeline as tourists traveled back and people outside of the bubble lived their lives as though the changes had been in their history from the beginning.
The local paper would even give accounts in the lifestyle section of the travels that were made so that the residents could better understand the changes around them. As illuminating as that was, it became a much more confusing place to get drunk in a dorm room.
At Mastermind Comics, fine purveyor of comic books and video games, Dan Miller and his employees Rickey and Charlotte, all former graduates of the university, struggled through the daily strange science and history around them to make a business sending their customers to other outlandish worlds. ‘Your escape to another strangeness’ may have been their motto but they would congregate around the front counter and read over the lifestyle section of the newspaper just like everyone else in every other storefront on their block.
“Oh that’s pretty cool,” Rickey sat with his feet up on the couch by the door.
“Dinosaur fight?” Charlotte smiled, leaning behind the counter.
“Yeah, that’s just nuts. It says some guy went back to see dinosaurs. He happened to see a T-Rex and some kind of large horned thing, something like a triceratops slashing and biting each other,” Rickey said.
“Who won?” Dan was looking out the window listening.
“I guess the T-Rex latched on to the other one’s back, lifting it as it bit down, crushing it to death,” Rickey said.
“No, I bet it bled to death,” Charlotte said.
“Either way, it was awesome,” Rickey said.
“Who went back?” Dan said.
“Some dude named Snodgroo…” Rickey said.
“Snodgrass,” Charlotte corrected.
“…Snodgrass, this dude’s dad owns a chewing gum company. I think the one that lights up when you chew it? Anyways, he’s on the board of it. Whatever that means, they seem to pay him well,” Rickey said.
“He got so scared by the fight he tried to run away and as he turned he kicked a small dinosaur right into a hole,” Charlotte snorted.
“Yup, I thought so… you guys have to check this out,” Dan waved his employees over to the window.
Right there on the sidewalk strolled a woman with a dinosaur, walking on all fours, eight feet long, five feet high with a spine of dull plates on its back. The woman walked nonchalantly with a leash in hand taking her dear pet out for a walk. It seems the dinosaur Snodgrass kicked learned to hide from danger underground and taught this to its offspring who used this learned instinct of burrowing to survive mass extinction. After the extinction these little lizards were the biggest lizards left around and they thrived to evolve into bigger dinosaurs who were able to be domesticated and loved by families. It was a very strange time indeed.