The Spirit of Alternate Past

The Spirit and Screwge hovered in a stream of misty apparitions that flowed and melted like amateur watercolours.

“Romans invent gunpowder… Chinese settlement of American west coast… no… the British and French like one another… aliens don’t make it to Nazca… damn, I was sure I’d bookmarked it.”

“What’s that?” asked Screwge, pointing at a glossy stratum. It was composed of millions of small, sleek objects.

“Oh, those,” said the Spirit, distractedly. “They show up in a lot of timelines, we’re not really sure what they are. Maybe devotional objects of some kind – the stylised emblem is a fruit linked with Christian ideas about original sin. Doesn’t matter, whatever timeline they appear in conks out after about a decade. Ah! Here we are. Fezziwig’s radioisotope factory.”

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