Perhaps my long-awaited moment of respite is finally upon us. No we are not home. We actually find ourselves the guests of a band of Native American braves whose conflict we inadvertently stumbled upon. I am not a trusting man, that simply not possible when you spend your days rubbing elbows with executives and corporate attorneys, but I will take the peace where I can get it…even if that peace is fleeting.
I’ve gotten ahead of myself. We’ve left another world behind, simultaneously accomplishing two great feats. The first was to miniaturize the machine. It was never meant to be moved, so Henry never took efficiency into account his design. We are ever on the move, so something had to be done to make it smaller, lighter, and able to sustain its own power. Though we had to dodge looters and killers to do it, Henry’s machine now fits in a simple backpack and has been equipped with a solar panel. It will collect power slowly, but over time this should keep the machine charged.
More importantly, we’ve introduced a whole world to the wonder that is immunology. The local media was correct in calling Walter “patient zero”. Perhaps due to an illness as minor as the common cold, or the bacteria on his skin, Walter inadvertently unleashed a plague upon a people who had never known disease, who had never built immunity or had known the science to generate a vaccine. Now they have that ability. With a little time and lot of luck, they may very well turn back this plague and restore the peace.
As a scientist, it is humbling to be reminded that history’s most significant breakthroughs were often nothing more than accidents. This is the very reason scientists theorize and experiment constantly, why their work is so vital. This world, nearly felled by an insignificant virus, could very well have been our world. Antibiotics were a happy accident, but they entirely changed the equation. Humanity was no longer at the mercy of nature, no longer just lives waiting to be snuffed out by an invisible threat.
Our intervention undoubtedly saved countless lives, but I still question the morality of it all. Should we even have this power? What impact could our influence have the fabric of all realities, of space-time itself? We are entirely ignorant, stabbing at the dark and hoping nothing bad will happen. Eventually something will, and it will be on our heads.