Elder Hall (1925 -> 1908)
You reach the university, the time machine clutched under your arms. The Professor didn’t even say goodbye! All this time travel must have done something to his brain.
Strains of music drift across the courtyard from Elder Hall. With its turrets, archways, stained glass windows and steeple, it looks more like a church than a university building.
You hear the sound of two bickering voices approaching from behind the hall. A young man and an older man, both in mortarboards and black gowns are gesturing as they argue. They look somehow… familiar.
“But if we bounced something off the crystals, something that could reflect their structure…”
“No, no, no, boy, it’s nonsense! What are crystals made of?”
“And how big are atoms?”
“So it would take some kind of high-energy radiation! I mean, the kind of rays that pass right through soft matter and bounces off dense matter!”
That sounds familiar to you. “Oh, like x-rays!” you say.
“Exactly,” says the older man, grumpily, “like x-rays.”
The two men look at each other, their expressions changing.
“X-rays! Of course! Why x-rays could be the secret to the whole nature of crystallography! Oh, ho, my boy, I could win a Nobel Prize for this!”
“What do you mean you could win a Nobel Prize?”
And the bickering starts again. Then you realise why you recognise their faces: they look like the Professor! They must be his distant ancestors!
“Are either of your names… Bragg?”
“Yes!” they both exclaim, turning to look at you. Then the younger Bragg catches sight of the machine under your arm.
“Dad, look at this!”
He snatches the machine from your hands and turns it over, admiringly.
“Well, well, well, son, if I didn’t know any better I’d say it’s a portable-trans-temporal-teleportation device.”
“No,” you say, disappointed, “it’s a time machine.”
The older Bragg sniffs and pokes at it. “It’s a bit worse for wear.”
The younger Bragg pulls open a panel and starts picking at the components.
“Nothing that can’t be fixed. Look, this must create the electromagnetic field.”
Now both their faces are buried in the machine, father and son tinkering with its insides.
“And here’s some sort of wireless transmission gadget.”
“Which means, by my calculation…”
The older Bragg twists something inside, and the machine buzzes, fizzes, and whirs into life.
“You fixed it!” you cry. But the Braggs are already deep in conversation again.
As they walk away, the courtyard twists and blurs for a moment. You feel giddy, then… modern cars, modern clothes, a plane flying overhead: you’re back!
“Excuse me,” says a voice behind you. It’s your old friend, the descendant of the Braggs!
“Professor!” you say.
But he looks at you, blankly. “Yes? Do I know you?”
Your heart sinks. The past has changed, the Professor doesn’t know you any more!
“No, I guess not. What did you want?” you ask.
“Oh, I’ve come to the university looking for an assistant to help me with my experiments. Say, you wouldn’t be interested, would you?”
Well, maybe things don’t change that much, after all.
Congratulations! You made it back. Don’t forget to upload a pic of you on your adventure to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #StoryCity #TimeCaper
This is the end of your adventure but you can head back to the starting point to explore a different story path, or you can try the other Story City: Adelaide adventure, Ready or Not: Hide & Seek Alien Style.