To My Dearest Mister Floyd Claire

The first in a collection of nuisances

{Translated into 21st century English by s.panth}

December 14, 50,932,088³

To my dearest Mister Floyd Claire,

On the seventeenth of September it is on record that I travelled back in time, under strict legal regulations, on a research project to find the missing link between ape and man. It was on this voyage that I encountered an error A-8973*53.330G/E, and as a result suffered and error T-17L/D. This I could fix, but did not, and therefore I am in jail.
I would like to request that you bail me out.
I know that it must vex you a great deal to read this, but it is true, and before you burn this Instant Virtu-Letter I implore you to reconsider. The errors listed above mean, in simpler terms, that there was a small explosion in the F-PS/349 unit, and as a result the R03 short circuited, and I found myself in a different time period than expected. The reason I did not repair these immediately is a very strange thing. And I hope you read on.
I’m in jail because of a depressed caveman.
I ended up writing a report as planned, but upon the subject of this peculiarly despondent cave-dweller. (You can read it here.) Separate from the report, in this letter I will construct a narrative as to convince you to bail me out.
I found myself in the first year of the caveman times. These humans had progressed from early primates into the modern form that defines us now. They were living in caves, shivering in the winter, not praying to any Gods as yet—I’ve realized that people only have hope when they’ve seen better.
It was during one particularly freezing winter. I realized that it was not the correct year, as my disguise (essentially a monkey) was not adequate for these temperatures. I attribute my failure to repair my device to my talent of procrastination. I was enthralled. The ice on a lake was frozen and some saber-toothed tiger things were skating on it with their young. The sight was heartwarming, and it was a few minutes before I snapped back to attention. I was about to get out my toolkit when some young humans raced across the lakes, laughing and jeering at a small wimp of their tribe as they pushed him towards the tigers. The predators growled.
The wimp shivered. I shivered, too, and used a Translation 34254600.65648T/GTH to transform my clothes into that of this time period, and, overcome with warmth, downloaded the tribe’s language. I was going to save this person.
Now, I know that it is illegal to alter any timelines. But I had not thought of that. I supposed that I could maybe save the boy and then proceed to report to headquarters.
I know that in section 67532-098I/TEYRYY of the Time Travel Regulations and Rules it is specifically stated that “…a time travelling person may NEVEREVEREVEREVER alter a timeline or interfere with any other timelines or this will result in death by FireblasterXYGA vomit (which, by the way, is acidic)…” and I will admit that it was wrong. But it really did cause those pangs in my heart that is often attributed to watching that Martian rom-com My Many Burps of Love to You on CD. Have you seen it, my dearest Mister Floyd Claire? I highly recommend it to you. It is very touching, especially when the Arsgurdieenlifgejegian grandmother bakes a live coconut worm into the wedding pie for Dieen and Joedi and then the dog slips on a banana peel, removing the blithely un-melodic screams of humorous expression from the Ganjapodic Spiders.
Oh, I am so excited for the sequel!
To return to the original purpose of the letter, I essentially saved the caveman and his tribemates looked at me, dumbstruck. Immediately after recovering from shock, they chased the boy and me into the forest, until we were able to hide, and when we did, the troubled youth spoke to me.
“What did you just do?” He then began to rant, quite unintelligibly.

I began to be confused and slightly offended (!) but kept calm valiantly as the primitive ape-man expressed his familial disagreements and general dissatisfaction. You will not believe the calmness with which I handled this confusing, uncomfortable situation. I was so calm that it is hard to believe. I will not be offended by your admiration to my calmness. Such calm people as I surely do not mind!
I sat through his scolding. He seemed to blame me for many things, because I somehow ‘infringed his honor’ by rescuing him from a visibly dangerous stunt that served as a rite-of-passage. At the peak of it, he turned red and slammed his elbow painfully against a frozen tree, causing me to flinch, and his expression did not, as expected, soften, but his fine features twisted into anger and then defeat, and he sunk to the ground.
The snow coated his hair lightly and dropped puffs of light, powdery snowflakes onto his fur coat and moccasins, causing his bare ankles and wrists to redden and turn light blue-gray, like the skies. The wimpy cave-boy (?) shivered again, and I prepared to dash off, return to the current year, and report my error so that I may be refitted with another device.
It felt quite heartless to leave him there, freezing, and not offer him my fur coat, but that would just define the heartlessness in the Board of Time Travel’s members—but not you, my dearest Mister Floyd Claire, of course not!—so I did just that, and offered him my coat.
I, however, do not understand why I gave him my coat in the first place, because it didn’t solve my problems at all and I promptly started freezing to death (and I matter, because all you bums on the Board—not you, of course!—want my report because you know I’m the best researcher you’ve got. I suppose it is partially because of the fact that I am the only one left, after that accident with the Venusese protesters).
Anyway, this boy took my coat and kept shivering, and I, overcome with a saintly generosity, smiled in that wise manner which may be expected accompaniment by a light aura around the figure. As a friendly reminder, I am fully eligible for the bail, as determined by court, and the bail itself is only a small fee of c/20,000! What a bargain! I was greatly pleased when I heard the news.
He looked at me, as if expecting for me to leave, but I stayed.
“You wanna leave me, yeah?”
“Oh, everyone leaves me! Woe! I am woe and woe is me, for the fates must have been watching some crazy weird Asian soap operas!”
I am not quite sure why that statement was translated to include soap opera, but it was, and made me greatly uncomfortable and my brain’s alert centers were switched to Leave Right Now.
“Go! Just go, I’m hopeless, so hopeless! Leave me alone! Oh! I’m so unbearably depressed! Leave like they all do, or stay to hurl politically incorrect insults at me!”
I stayed, foolishly.
“Oh, that’s it, I’m useless! I’ll be off to my lean-to, but you wouldn’t care where I’m going, would you?!” He frowned.

“What! I don’t care anymore, please, leave! I’m going!” He rose and ran off, stumbling in the moonlight. It had gotten quite dark.
“Wait!” You now surely understand that I only stayed to retrieve my jacket, which had my reporting materials in it (God forbid it fell into the hands of someone unqualified!) and therefore completely deserve to be bailed out of jail. It is only logic!
Please get me out of here. I am unfortunately in the unofficial wing of idiots. Now, I wouldn’t be so desperate if I had some smart serial killers in here with me!
Please get me out of here.
To return to my subject, I followed my caveman. We stumbled through the snow and the clear crystalline air, which had a coolness to it that would’ve manifested into an unpleasant sting if it had decreased by a single degree. Undeterred by the frozen vegetation in my path, I followed closely. He led me—reluctantly, I divined, for he knew I was following him—to an artfully constructed home, which he had described as a mere lean-to. It had two floors and spiraling onion-domes, all made from sticks and wood covered with a leaf-and-skin plastering. He had wisely chosen reptile-pelts (they are fairly watertight), dyed them black from what seemed to be squid-ink, and used rocks to press designs onto the material. I went inside with him, lifting the door-pelt, and inside, in place of a staircase, a sturdy ladder led to a sleeping loft. The floor was covered with a collection of plush gray fleeces. Even the inside walls were reinforced with skins and mud. There was a lively oven-hearth in the corner. A saber-toothed tiger cub slept on the rug in front of it. There was a wheelbarrow as well, which contained dried corn and was carved from wood. A wheel! Do you not see, my dearest Mister Floyd Claire, how brilliant he was? And an outcast to his savage society! The wheel, fire, the abundance of fur pelts, surely from a method of hunting that surpassed the primitive skills of his tribe!
He looked at me angrily. “What’re you doing? I’m so depressed, really. Please. Leave or I’ll get a lot more depressed and you wouldn’t care would you? No one does, leave!”
“Can I have my coat back?”
“No! Leave.”
“Oh, now I’m getting depressed. And cold.”
“Good. Great! Neato! You’re depressed, let’s have a party!”
“Shut up and give me my coat!”
“Your coat?”

I was greatly taken aback.
He threw at me multiple inventions, and then my coat. I took the coat and the inventions, and walked to the lake and dropped the things by the other humans. I had also taken a flaming stick, and left it to be extinguished in the snow. A few tribesmen knuckle-walked and hooted towards me, and reached the fire. My acquaintance, the angsty cave-boy, ran onto the plains of snow where I was, and stared at me, out of breath, pale, bluish-red cheeks puffing uncontrollably. His chest heaved. I walked on, into the woods on the other side of the lake, and turned round once more—this allowed me to see the tribe gathered around the depressed caveman and his inventions. He saw me for a moment, and managed a smile. I waved and turned around. Snow swirled around my form in a great, convenient (to the element of dramatic effect that it created) gust of wind.

I returned to the Central Board Headquarters.
You surely now realize that I may have accidentally given most humans the wheel, and the gift of fire, and sped up our evolution through the Ice Ages like stepping on the gas pedal of a jumbo jet.
This is why you should bail me out. Thank you.
Sincerely yours,
The Prometheus whom you know and love, ∆

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