The Infamous (Time-Travelling) Capnscar


One afternoon last year, my mate Ben and I decided to play a spaceship game called Freelancer and go online, where there are other players zipping about in their ships doing the kinds of things spaceship owners do. It was the first time either of us had played it, but for our part we’d decided we were going to be space highwaymen. It was one of those kinds of afternoons.

Ben chose the moniker ‘capnscar’ (because ‘Captain Scarlet’ wouldn’t fit) and with myself as the somewhat less enigmatic  ‘Talyn’, we picked a server at random and headed into the universe to make our fortune.

So, we start the game and float up into space, and before we know it another player flies over and hails us.

“Woah…” he types.

“Your money or your life,” I say.

He ignores this, and turns his ship towards Ben. “OMG, it’s the infamous capnscar :O”

In real life, we poke our heads round our doorframes to exchange looks.

Back in the game, the player is continuing: “The infamous capnscar that led the assault on Sector X317!”

Of course, there’s only one possible way for Ben to respond to this.

“Yeah I am.”

And that just sets the little guy in his spaceship off. “That was so cool! Wow! You’re a legend!” etc. while we laugh our arses off. ‘The infamous capnscar‘, indeed… Needless to say, Ben had never flown his spaceship out of orbit before, never mind organised raids on Sector wozzname.

The reign of terror that followed this encounter need not be discussed – suffice it to say that even though we never played the game again, the infamous capnscar disappearing once more into the shadows of the universe,  the incident became an oft-repeated source of hilarity.

The reason I bring this story up, is that yesterday, we were talking about it, and he said something about having never played the game before, and I said, “well, what if you actually have? What if, at some point in the future, you end up travelling back in time and it transpires that your time-travelling self is, in fact, the capnscar of such infamy?”

And then it dawned on me.

“Or…  what if you were in the future, but playing the game in the past?”

And this led on to all sorts of thoughts… surely it would be, although ‘easier’ might not be the right term, more likely that it be possible to send computer data back in time than, say, people? The internet, and data transferral in general hasn’t been around long, so it might be that the window for such an event hasn’t been open long enough yet – we could wake up tomorrow to find we’ve been contacted by people from the future by data packages sent back through time! Or perhaps it’s just a matter of unwittingly developing a network / computer setup that future humans can use to send computer data back?


As usual, complete conjectural bollocks from me, but hey… why break the habit of a lifetime? 😉


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