Chapter 9 -- Paradox Revealed!
Back at Winter Camp, things weren't going very well. Jeff hadn't returned yet which caused some worry, but more importantly, no one could find any reason to doubt the veracity of the photos other than the fact that they couldn't possibly exist. Doug, Ron and Steve went over them carefully and couldn't find anything that didn't look right -- the activities were right, they looked right, and the camp looked right.
Dave Woods had dug a magnifying glass out of his gear and they were carefully studying the photos for some signs of fakery -- Jeff was pretty good with a computer and had his own darkroom, so it was conceivable that he could produce fake photos. Thus far though, there was no sign of anything unusual. Mark had turned one of the photos over and was studying it carefully. After a few minutes he disappeared to the back of the cabin.
A few minutes later he returned, his face looking somewhat pale.
"I believe, based on the appearance and markings on these photos, as compared to those from Winter Camp II, that these are, in fact, genuine pictures of Winter Camp I. I looked carefully at some pictures from the album, and the aging looks the same, as do the developer marks. If I had to guess, I'd say Jeff used the same service to develop these as he did those, maybe even at the same time."
Everyone was rocked by this announcement. Of the lot of them, Bollman had been the most skeptical. He was also the most knowledgeable about chemistry and many of the physical sciences. If he believed it, there was a good chance it was true. Everyone just sort of stood or sat where they were and pondered it.
"Time travel in our life time," said Woods, "that means he could do anything. He could even be watching us from the future right now. Maybe he's outside taking videos."
"But why didn't he do something good?" asked Jared. "I mean, if he could do anything he wanted, why didn't he tip himself on the stock marker or save Kennedy or something important? Why just leave some stupid pictures?"
"Paradox" intoned Steve, and several of the campers nodded their heads. Jared just gave him a blank look. "Paradox is when your actions in the past change the future and alter your own past. It's like what happens if you go back in time and shoot your own grandfather before your dad is even born. On the one hand, he's dead and that's it, but then again, since the guy who killed him can't be born now, he should still be alive."
"Well that's dumb" said Jared, "I mean, how could you do anything then?"
"No one is sure you can," replied Woods. "I'm sure one reason no one is really into time travel is no one knows if it'll do them any good."
"The big question now is 'What happens to us?'; after all, we've seen the paradox, we're part of it. We're sitting here looking at something we all agree can't exist." said Howey.
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