Dear Sutter Bennett,
Congratulations on your recent employment in Switzerland. We at The Archives are ecstatic to see that your candidacy was not hindered by your recent publications in The Metaphysical Lancet. We hope that this signifies the start of a new era in mainstream science where men of original thought can have their merit recognised. You are duly qualified and a man of great intelligence; we hope that your time in Geneva presents you with many opportunities to peer behind the veil of reality and reveal the innermost secret workings of reality. Needless to say, everyone here at The Archives have always maintained the utmost faith in you and your works.
Still I would be remiss if I did not mention that we are all disheartened to learn that you must publicly distance yourself from some of our most eminent members. We respect your decision as it is often necessary for many of our own members to do the same in the public sphere but your spirited defences and virulent writings were something we all looked forward to. Nonetheless, we appreciate that such public displays of affiliation must be ceased almost immediately. We do, however, expect to see a continued support from you in a more discretionary manner. We, of course, will continue to reciprocate; let us not forget that many of our members continue to hold high ranking positions in academia, industry and government but we caution you to always remember the role The Archives has played in your success.
In the spirit of this mutually beneficial relationship we have decided to address one of your long-standing interests. You have, in the past, made financial contributions in the hope that our unconventional contacts would be able to provide answers to your unconventional questions. For the most part we delivered and provided information on the whereabouts of numerous artefacts and instructions on a variety of rituals and obscure entities. However, one of these requests was always denied; at the time we explained to you that we knew very little on the matter but that is simply not true. As you approach a new life pushing hard against the laws of reality we would like to explain that the answer to this question will make it clear that sometimes the laws of reality push back.
When we first met in that dingy café in Nice you asked me if there was a resolution to a specific paradox regarding the existence of time travel. You provided me with one of two possibilities; either time travel is possible and we have been visited but were unaware of such a fact, or time travel is not possible. You spent a great deal of time arguing with yourself over whether we would, or would not, be aware of such visitations but you eventually settled on the argument that the odds favoured it not being possible. Specifically, your argument rested on the idea that the mathematical odds of future time travellers never being discovered would be so slim that it would border on being totally impossible.
Mathematically speaking this is a reapplication of the Fermi Paradox to the concept of time travel and you are largely correct, but your vision was limited. We at The Archives can confirm that time travel is possible and by engaging with the correct entity certain movements can be achieved even now in this era. Typically, we at The Archives have been limited only to the transmission of information. But nonetheless the principle remains the same. Conventional time travel is perfectly feasible given the right techniques. Instead the answer to your question lies not in whether all men or no men have access to this technology but is rather focused on the one individual who achieves it. For you see Mr Bennett only one person ever needs to discover it and from there they can guarantee that no one else ever will.
On this note we would like to introduce you to A’lswa’all M’thengen.
He may or may not have contacted you at this stage in which case if this letter is late then we offer you our sincerest apologies. However, if you receive this correspondence first then we would like to take the time to warn you about a few idiosyncrasies A’lswa’all possesses. First, he is physiologically a man. It can be difficult to ratify his nature with the notion that he is not an alien being nor is he from an alternative dimension but rather he is simply one consciousness spread across numerous minds dotted throughout history. His capacity to travel through time is not a biological process. At some point in one reality or another one man built a machine and travelled far enough backwards that he was absolved of any concerns regarding potential ‘competition’. From that point onwards he had infinity at his beck and call; if he needed to achieve something he simply rewound the same day over and over until it was accomplished.
What followed were a series of prehistoric scientific advancements which led into greater and greater developments. Cloning, telepathy, teleportation, transmutation; all of these and more unfolded before him in no more than the space of a month or so (at least in the eyes of an outside observer). It is hard to place an exact limit on his capacity but we know for sure that A’lswa’all has put telepathy, teleportation and cloning to great and effective use to create a hive mind composed entirely of duplicate versions of himself.
This brings us to the second point; A’lswa’all is infinite. He exists, simultaneously, in the past, present and future. This can be difficult to imagine or grasp and as far as A’lswa’all is willing to discuss it he has confided that only the combined processing efforts of hundreds of thousands of his clones have enabled him to survive it. He also disclosed that it also required thousands of millennia to be able to master this tremendous gift. Interestingly, once he had mastered it he just went back in time and achieved it right from the start.
This sort of marvellous learning is one of his greatest boons. With infinite time he is afforded infinite power. It is worth reiterating that if he needs three thousand years to learn how to travel faster than light-speed then he simply rewinds the same day over and over until he has achieved it; to anyone else involved it would appear simply as though his genius is unlimited and that he is capable of building a faster-than-light-speed engine on the first try.
Time simply has no meaning for him.
This brings us to the third point. For the most part A’lswa’all remains an affable man with a great deal of interest in people. He will know you long before you meet him and he will never falter or stumble in the words that he chooses. There is the real possibility that he might spend decades or even centuries trying out every conceivable combination of words until he finds the exact ones that allow him to acquire whatever it is he seeks from you. But to any normal human the end result will simply be a man who commands their immediate attention, affection, respect and obedience. It is hard to describe quite what this feels like but his presence is almost intoxicating. He will never fail to say the right thing no matter what it is that he wants from you. For the most part he usually has benign intentions for the people he meets, for they will merely form one link in an enormous chain of events that cascade throughout history. Perhaps he will make you late for a meeting and the consequences of that will result in a favourable outcome for him thousands of years from that point; there is simply no way to know. But thankfully he almost never seeks to elicit suffering and misery from one specific individual.
Of course, there may very well be exceptions to this. It is hard to know for sure since he may simply remove you from reality should that be a necessity. Whether this qualifies as ‘death’ is a complicated matter of philosophy that we can’t spend our lives debating. However, we can find solace in the idea that if you are alive today then you are already part of his plan.
Moving on; there is one last idiosyncrasy you might wish to be made familiar with. We cannot vouch for A’lswa’all’s true nature. You see he represents a real manifestation of a rather unsettling paradox. You might be familiar with the following idea from your numerous studies; if an author goes back in time and provides his younger self with one of his novels, who wrote that novel? At no point did he ever sit down and write the words contained within those pages; he merely received them from a future version of himself and he will go on to reciprocate that gifting when the time comes. The author of the book never wrote the words within them; this begs the question, who did? From where did those ideas come? From where did those words arise?
On a similar note, we are forced to ask the same question about our soon-to-be mutual acquaintance. He gave birth to himself but when you look at him and notice his Indo-European features and his tussled brown hair you might wish to consider the following; who or what wrote this book? From where did the information—the genetic template for this man—come from? Why brown hair, and not blonde? Why is he of Asian descent and not Caucasian or African? The answer to this is that no one knows; not even A’lswa’all himself who has declined to speculate on his origins stating that such linear interpretations of time bore him. To A’lswa’all he has always existed but to the rest of us who see time as a straight line we are forced to question his origin and are provided with one of the few examples of an enigma that no one in The Archives has even the slightest idea about. The best answer any of us have is that it was the universe itself that wrote this particular book and that his origin lies in the great void of nothingness from which some other contacts of ours have arisen.
Also we must ask one last thing; after you meet A’lswa’all please reread this letter. There is a temptation amongst certain people to worship him as a god but it is important to contextualise the man as a scientific feature of our reality comparable to the laws of gravity or thermodynamics. Please don’t idolise him; he dislikes attention. He has however taken a great interest in you and your work at the LHC! This is rather unusual but we look forward to hearing about the specifics of your time together.
We imagine you have a great deal to learn from him.
Good Lord I didn’t see that coming. Sutter was always a man of sound mind and while it can be quite disconcerting to encounter A’lswa’all and the existential threat he poses to our cosmic significance I did not anticipate Sutter responding to it so poorly. Needless to say, we should send our condolences to his family and we should all endeavour to keep the nature of Sutter’s suicide obscured from the public. From what I have heard it was quite violent.
Perhaps I should have mentioned to Sutter that A’lswa’all is far from an all-powerful entity. He is hardly God himself, and we know for a fact he is often vexed, confused, and even deeply troubled by a number of our other contacts. Then again, I imagine that directing Sutter’s attention to some of those would hardly have made him any saner. A’lswa’all is at least friendly; the same cannot be said about the likes of The Witch in Glasgow and her wretched kin.
Written by ChristianWallis
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