inkitt would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Treasures from Tomorrow

By inkitt All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Scifi

1. The Shot

“Once confined to fantasy and science fiction, time travel is now simply an engineering problem.”

Michio Kaku, Wired Magazine, Aug. 2003

Los Angeles, August 2029

Wednesday morning

Less than one minute before the armed man broke into coffee shop, Nick stood behind the counter and tried to coax the espresso machine into cooperation.

Nick's head was filled with the rich smell of coffee as he investigated the car-sized apparatus. He was trying to tune out the sirens, the music and the shooting, and he was making progress: by now, the drone of the helicopters, the blaring megaphones and the cars racing past were an ambient background noise. He had more immediate concerns, such as getting the measurements of ground beans right.

The sunlight filtered through the café’s windows and turned the dusty air into a faint, honey-coloured fog, driven into a leisurely spin by the air conditioner. A private, gentle cyclone, mirroring the turmoil on the street outside the café, just as the chaotic street reflected the havoc that gripped most of planet Earth.

His first attempt at making a single espresso had seen him showered in coffee powder and scorching hot steam. A dozen trials and errors later, he’d figured out how to negotiate the temperamental machine, and after a string of near-perfect brews, he was seeing the end of the world as he knew it through a hyper-alert, caffeine-glazed haze.

When he had squeezed through the back door twenty minutes earlier, the café had been empty but intact; looters, revellers and others in different but equally volatile states of mind had not yet thrashed the place. Green tables and chairs were neatly arranged around square franchise-standard tables in white plastic. The spotlights still worked. The view over the plaza and the cityscape beyond was great. It was as good a hiding place as any other. And it had a range a syrupy-sweet drinks, too, as well as a small mountain of cookies the size of dinner plates.

Nick refocused on making his coffee. He was on his seventh cup. Another roasting, a new rush, and a slightly different experience.

On the counter, near the cash register, lay the gun, untouched since he’d made his way into the cafe. He’d found the weapon tossed into the gutter on a side street, and he’d kept it for the simple reason that he did not know what else to do with it. Someone had probably discarded the gun during the first mad hours of the previous night. Despite the current tumult, leaving such a dangerous item behind had felt wrong, and he’d known picking it up would not change anything.

Or rather, he had known that his decision would not matter. He still had to find out whether the gun itself would play a part of what was about to happen. Since the night before, he’d the feeling that there was an enormous clockwork-like mechanism hidden under the surface of the world, each cog controlling the motion of the next. That sensation was the worst, and he could not shake it off.

Nick sighed and breathed in. He’d tried and failed to make sense of his current journey without coming close to a perfect metaphor. He craved a picture that both his soul and his demand for an explanation could accept. Two paths curving together behind the bend, perhaps. Maybe thousand different roads twirled into a single blind alley. Or a headlong, wingless flight down a tunnel to a new and much stranger place. He carefully wiped a drop of coffee from the small porcelain cup, inhaled the aroma, and looked up when one of the shadows outside stopped at the front door.

A moment later, the door exploded in a hail of shattered wood and glass.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...

DarkWolf .12: Very interesting plot! Had me up for the entire night. Keep up the good work 👍

NRF: This was a very interesting story line, although the author did not go far enough in explaining the war and why some received special powers and some didn't. I really enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more of this author's writing.

Laraine Smith: This should be a movie! You are talented! It is that good! Keep it up! It is visual! It grabbed me! Don't give up!

mray2174: I did like this story. I would totally recommend it to a friend, but it didn't seem like a book. Your writing style reminded me of a fan fiction writer, always adding in tiny details and making things like "Oh, my name is [name that no one would ever name a child] and here is my life story. Oh, d...

Erica: La trama es muy interesante y original y eso ya dice muchísimo cuando todos tratan de triunfar con ideas ya trilladas.No puedo opinar en detalle sobre la gramática, porque a pesar de entender el inglés a la perfección, la falta de uso en cuanto a lectura y diálogo hacen que me maneje bastante mal...

More Recommendations

Pablo Rojas: Love the story, at the end it is a western story, simple, yet giving hints and pieces of the situation that is happening all over ravencroft´s universe. easy to read and always keeping with the main stream story I want to keep reading about, Olafson´s adventures.

Jordano Quaglia: I was taken to the future, to the shock of worlds among the people in the underground versus the mutants. The characters are well defined and rich in details, as I felt that I empathized well with them and envied their adventures while being scared by their predicament. It i a world that I would ...

Ali Albazaz: I started reading "Caged" few hours ago and I'm on chapter 7 now. Caged is definitely one of the most addictive stories I've ever read. Thank you so much for writing this novel.

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.