Corey Kluber: Accidental Time Traveler – Part I

4 of 5

“So Mr. Blix, was it?”

Yes?” The man said distractedly, still not turning. He was pressing buttons on a small computer in his hand and pointing his flashing, humming ray gun at a panel beneath the seat of the machine where faint black smoke wafted.

“What, uh, what’s the plan here? I don’t imagine you meant to travel back to the time of the dinosaurs, and if I remember Jurassic Park correctly, this is prime T-Rex time. I’m not really looking to get eaten is all. You can understand that.”

“Mr. Kluber, I can assure you I did not mean for us to end up this far in the past, and I am working as swiftly as I can to calibrate the borer to get us back on track. The quantum stabilizer is out of whack and it is interfering with the Heisenberg compensator so we can’t achieve temporal equilibrium. As you can see, that’s an issue.”


“It shouldn’t be too much of an issue however, just give me a few minutes to reroute power from the reactor.” Blix was cheerful throughout the whole explanation. “All we’ll need is a splash of water in the fuel cell and we’ll be off.”

“Alright…” Kluber wasn’t too sure what just happened, the only word he picked up there was Heisenberg, and he was pretty sure Blix wasn’t talking about Breaking Bad.

Kluber left Blix to his work, anxious to get back to familiar surroundings but patient the man would have it set in no time. He strolled around the clearing, 30 feet from side to side like the last one, and got a better look at some of the plants. Really, not much different from some of the stuff he’d seen in swamps except everything, including the flowers, were just huge. He’d read somewhere it was because there was lots more carbon dioxide in the air. He supposed that made sense. Plants use it for food, maybe they ate more, got bigger. He glanced about him, seeing only Manafate in the clearing with him. Where had Jasper gotten off to?

“Here boy!” Kluber clapped twice, looking around for the dog. He couldn’t have gotten far. Famous last words, Kluber thought. This was the time of velociraptors and that thing that blinded Nedry he was pretty sure. Bad news for a curious dog like Jasper.

Mister, uh, Manafate?” he called. “How long you think you’re going to be fixing that thing?” The scientist was hunched over the machine, pressing buttons on his handheld and the control panels in turn..

“Oh, shouldn’t be too long,” Blix said without turning. “These things can be a bit finicky, but it’s nothing a little elbow lubricant can’t fix, as they say,” he chuckled at this.

Jun 16, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) delivers against the Washington Nationals at Progressive Field. Cleveland won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

“Alright, I’m going to go find my dog, he’s wandered off somewhere, can’t have gotten too far. It’s not dangerous or anything, is it? A dino isn’t going to eat me or anything, right?” The scientist paused at this, then straightened and turned. A faint grin again sat on his face.

“Why, I hadn’t thought of that. I suppose that yes, there are large, wild animals out there, and you do present the opportunity for a morsel” a faint laugh as Kluber winced “but have no fear, take this.” He tossed the ray gun he’d been using on the chair to Kluber. “It’s an anti-matter spanner, it should do the trick if you find yourself in a pinch. Just turn the actuator on the side up to weaponize it.” Kluber looked down at the spanner, idly thinking his son would love all of this. The thing looked just like one of his toys, right down to the row of blinking green lights on the top. It fit in his hand easily, no more than eight inches long with a white blinking pyramid on the tip of the barrel. It couldn’t have weighed more than half a pound.

“Alright, thanks. I’ll be right back. Holler if you finish.” Kluber made for a gap in the thicket that looked most promising.

Two steps in and the greenery was already overwhelming. Mosses and ferns taller than him where there weren’t massive trees filled his vision, and a constant buzz that wasn’t quite as audible in the clearing behind filled the air, a constant din. It smelled… wet, like an old basement but fresher. A faint hint of decay wafted by, Kluber was hit at how old this whole place was, despite it being prehistory. It was not a place for man. Still no dinosaurs, but Kluber did see a path of obvious destruction caused by his dog.

He opened his mouth to call whistle, then closed it. Making a lot of noise might not be a good idea. Who knows what might turn up. This whole being in the age of dinosaurs had to be pretty mind-blowing for the dog though, so many smells and odd new things to chase. Hopefully he didn’t come back with a bunch of velociraptors in tow.

Kluber stopped again about ten yards in, plucking a brilliant white flower to give to Amanda when he got home. Hopefully it wasn’t against some time travel rule, but the guy dragged him along for the ride, there’s got to be some kind of exception for that. Pocketing it, he looked down at the tool Blix had given him for protection.

“Oh, what the hell,” he said, and aimed it at a fern five feet away and squeezed the trigger. A flash of pure white light lanced out of the tip, searing the air and carving a hole six inches wide in the leaf of the fern. As Kluber watched the hole expanded, the leaf disintegrating and falling away till nothing. It took no more than a few seconds and the whole plant was gone, leaving a gap in the air and the faint smell of ozone.

“Whoa,” he said, looking at the spanner with newfound respect. This would do.

Some rustling to his right snapped Kluber’s head around, his hand half-raising with the spanner in it. He felt a little foolish all of a sudden despite what he’d just done to that plant, this tiny little thing hopefully his protection against a murderous raptor pack. He thought he remembered something from the movies, how they hunt in packs, which only made him more nervous. He started backing slowly toward the clearing, sweat popping from every pore, the air close around him,. The rustling came closer, the bushes and ferns falling and snapping up as whatever it was crept closer. Now ten feet away, now five, and Kluber backed into a gigantic tree. Cornered. He raised the gun at whatever was coming, crouching low to make a smaller target, and waited.