The Time Traveler looked at his chronoscope, sighed, and twisted a dial. His self foamed across space-time, sudsing into a million-million viable worlds, as determined by his nifty gadget.
Fifty percent of these instances he stood in still sunlight that made his face glow with heat as he squinted into the epitome of commerce: bustling business types along glittering skyscrapers and flashing taxi cabs.
Twenty five percent of these instances, he wiped his brow and looked down a windswept avenue littered with tumbling newspapers and battered vehicles piloted by desiccated corpses. A dog barked in the distance. A storm swept overhead, the clouds grey flags in high wind.
Nineteen percent of these instances, he died.
Face askew on the fractured windshield of a car, stunned driver mumbling he came from nowhere, nowhere.
Skull split open from a falling vase.
Screeching human sacrifice of natives whose piercings hung with transistors and diodes.
Abdomen trailing intestines, rent open by the jaws of wild dogs.
Beaten to death with calculators in a siege of accountants.
Carved up with bottleglass in an inter-city tribal war.
Torn to shreds by feminists wracked with penis hate.
Boiled in the gastric symphony of a hideous beast that burst from the torn maw of a shattered hotel.
Five percent of these instances found him in a wasteland. Utter emptiness, sometimes cold and sleepless in a harsh wind, sometimes sleepily contoured from the lullaby of constant zephyrs. There weren’t always cities, stinging particles always stung his eyes.
One percent of these instances left him in an austere void, bursting apart in a parody of dance, then crystallizing to float icily in a vacuum. Often the rictus of his corpse was illuminated by a sun, usually a G-type. Less frequently, he drifted amid the giant shards of a world. Mostly, it was the blackest black, cold and empty.
It was time to regroup, he mused. He had found what he was looking for.