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By Ndagi Abdullahi

The year 2036 was a historical one in the history of NASA. It was the year the Kennedy Space Center achieved the incredible feat of constructing the Atlantis – the first spacecraft that can travel faster than the speed of light.

I was one of the three astronauts travelling aboard the Atlantis to Neptune, the furthest planet from earth in our Solar System.

The days before our takeoff were characterized by both fanfare by the public and pessimism by the academia. While the media and the politicians celebrated us there was a gnawing apprehension on the part of some research scientists that travelling faster than light will lead to a dilatation of time tantamount to zapping through time against the dictates of Einstein’s Law of Relativity.

But the politicians at the White House dismissed the doubting Thomases as treasonable accomplices to Russia and China both of whom were not happy that they were not the first to beat the speed of light.

Professor Hackney Johnson, professor emeritus of physics at Harvard, was particularly lampooned by the American media as an envious Dr. Octopus whose failed research into time travel was fuelling his frustrations against the success of NASA’s Atlantis project.

On the 26th of July 2036 the Atlantis rocket was launched at the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39B with the three of us on board. NASA expected us to get to Neptune in three hours, to take thirty minutes to land, spend two hours on the surface of Neptune, and to take another three hours to get back to earth. It was calculated that in just nine hours we will be back on earth.

We took off at 6am in the morning and it was expected that we will be back by 3pm in the afternoon of the same day. In fact the President of the USA sat there at the Situation Room in the White House watching our takeoff and saying that he will not leave the Situation Room until we are back some nine hours later.

The space journey went as NASA planned it. In three hours we had reached Neptune. In thirty minutes we had landed on the planet Neptune and have alighted from our rocket Atlantis and began to walk around on the surface of Neptune.

We were in perfect communication with the NASA control room back on earth and we spent the next two hours following our space vehicles and space robots foraging for various objects on the surface of Neptune.

After two hours of foraging we went back with our robots and vehicles into our spaceship Atlantis and took off for the space journey back to earth.

But the moment our Atlantis rocket left the atmosphere of Neptune we suddenly and unexpectedly lost all contacts with NASA scientists back on earth. Our radio and video communication system had malfunctioned.

We were at first alarmed but eventually got over it when we realized that every other thing about the rocket is in good form. We consoled ourselves with the thought that in the next three ours we will be back on earth.

Our Atlantis rocket was self navigating and we were sure the NASA scientists back on earth will be doing everything possible to ensure our safe landing. So, the three of us went back to relaxing with Maxwell even falling asleep for close to two hours.

But as we approached earth we got another shock, we saw from our rocket that the geophysical features of the earth have changed slightly. Most of Canada and the Northern states of America were buried under massive glaciers and the rest of America is looking desolated and overgrown with gigantic forests.

How could the earth have suddenly changed in just some eight hours?

We were so shocked and so alarmed we didn’t noticed that when we re-entered the earth’s atmosphere our rocket Atlantis veered off its projected path of landing at the Kennedy Space Center and instead we crash landed in the center of New York city.

With extreme shock we clambered out of our spaceship and saw ourselves standing at Times Square in the very center of New York city.

But this was a ghost city New York that is completely and totally desolate with no living thing in sight. We dared not remove our spacesuits as we can see that the air is filled with a deadly radioactive material that have killed off all animals and only some very resistant plants and fungi were alive.

After much effort we brought out our space vehicle and began to drive round the ghost city of New York. It didn’t take long before we realized that the city of New York, and the whole of the USA and North America for that matter, had been destroyed by a thermonuclear catastrophe.

Was there a nuclear accident like that of Chernobyl but a larger scale? Or was there a nuclear warfare between the USA and Russia or between the USA and China or North Korea? And did all these happen in just the eight hours we were out of planet earth?

We were at the entrance to the Times Square subway when we unexpectedly saw a vehicle coming out of the subway. The covered vehicle stopped in front of us and Professor Hackney walked out of the vehicle. He was wearing some spacesuit-looking clothes to protect him from the deadly nuclear radiations.

We were happy to see Professor Hackney alive. We asked him what happened and he told us that the Middle East crisis and Islamic terrorism eventually set off the Third World War in which Russia and NATO released their nuclear warheads on one another. The result was the catastrophic end of Western civilization through a Northern Hemisphere-wide nuclear warfare.

But, to our greatest shock, Professor Hackney told us that the Third World War took place over a hundred years ago and that we are in fact in the year 2236 now!

Our eight hour space journey had actually lasted two hundred years from 2036 to 2236!

Professor Hackney said his objections that our faster than light speed will make us zap through time had come true.

So, we asked Professor Hackney how comes he has also survived for two hundred years without getting old. He said he was working on his time travel machine when there was an accident and he got teleported into the future. He arrived the future just last year and had been reading books written by people who survived the thermonuclear warfare by hiding in underground tunnels and bunkers.

Professor Hackney said the center of civilization have since shifted to the South with Africa, West Africa in particular, now ruling the world. The Black African Negroes have gone back to ruling the world the way they did thousands of years ago before the rise of the White man.

The last remnants of the Whiteman, now known as the Last White Man or the Tunnel Man, now lives as a degenerated subhumanoid in the underground railway tunnels dug below the capital cities of North America and Europe in the days of the now extinct Western civilization.

Professor Hackney said the Black Africans don’t visit North America or Europe anymore because of the hazardous radioactive material that had poisoned the atmosphere of the Northern Hemisphere. But he said in the stead of Western civilization the Africans have built and established their own Southern civilization that is far more advanced technologically and scientifically than the bygone Western civilization.

He said some 120 years ago, immediately after the WWIII, the Nupe people of what used to be Nigeria in the days of Western civilization, became the harbingers of the new Southern civilization because their superior and outmatching spiritual system became the foundations for the building of a new world order of Southern culture and civilization.

Nupe spiritual and technological sciences now rule the world while Nupe culture and system of government are practised in all parts of the world from South America through the Mediterranean to China and Oceaania.

The Nupe language is now the Lingua Franca of the world much the same way that English used to be some two hundred years ago.

He said the world is now ruled by the Etsu Nupe known as Gborigi who is now the most powerful man in the world.

Professor Hackney took us into his vehicle and drove us down into metro tunnel of New York City. Inside the tunnel we came face to face with the last White people. After over 150 years of living inside the subway these people have been reduced to less than animals rummaging the tunnels for rats to eat. They dare not go outside the subway.

TAURARUWA