top of page

[CLASSIFIED] RE: NEW YORK CITY


[Internal and confidential files New York 366 Publishers] Not for public release, internal and confidential communications only At 03:55 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, 2023, NY366P staff found the following photo in a Reddit thread that was quickly taken down by 04:02 p.m. The photo is believed to have been leaked by a staff member of the United Nations. When NY366P staff attempted to contact Reddit staff, their accounts were deleted. The United Nations has declined to comment on the photo. Both NY366P and United Nations staff have indicated the photo was likely created using Midjourney AI and is in no way associated with the United Nation’s on-going time travel project. Audio file from the New York 366 Publishers Archives Date: May 18, 2023; 14:32 Location: Times Square Building - Headquarters, Hudson Room Recording Equipment: Handheld recorder (Tascam DR-40) Interviewer: Camila Menendez, NY366P Senior Reporter Interviewees: Alahnna Alvarado, United Nations Staff Futurist; Vicenté Ricci, United Nations Quantum Physicist I [recording at 00m 45s] Camila: I imagine you’ve both been insanely busy since the jump -- is that what

you call it? A jump? Vicenté: [chuckles] It’s a bit sci-fi, but I guess “time travel” is too, so sure, let’s call it a jump.


Camila: Alahnna, what do you call it?


Alahnna: [reserved laugh] I’m partial to the term “vacation” -- the crew joked about that a lot.


Vicenté: Ah, yeah. A lot of “Enjoy your trip!’s and “Bon voyage!’s”

[skipping to 02m 13s]


V: I guess I can give you the regular spiel. A few weeks ago on a---


A: Monday.


V: May 1st. We walked through a time travel portal into New York City, 2055.

[laughter fills the room]


C: Not a regular Monday in the City then, I guess.


A: More congestion than usual, I’d say.


C: [chuckle] I can only imagine. [a pause] So how were you chosen for this, and how did you prepare?


[skipping to 04m 25s]


V: -- we’re more than happy to share with you what we can share.


C: Can share? Meaning…?


[a silence]


[skipping to 06m 17s]


C: Okay, then let’s do this. Why don’t you tell me everything you can? And we’ll just go with that.


V: Sorry, Camila - it’s NDA stuff, you know, but we really are glad to be here.


[a pause]


A: [clearing her throat] I’ll start. We each brought a large backpack. There were a few necessities: ibuprofen, passport, chapstick, water bottle, pictures of my husband and cats. Then just a few other things… you know, typical things like if you were to go camping or something.


C: Like what? Sleeping bag, hammock… fishing pole?


V: I actually did bring a sleeping bag because I wasn’t sure exactly where or how we’d sleep.


C: So…accommodations weren’t made before you jumped?


[Alahnna and Vicenté laugh, Camila joins a few seconds after]


V: That would’ve been nice, but… we were the guinea pigs, so maybe in the future, they’ll figure out how to hold reservations for 25 years… into the future.


A: Can you imagine? "What do you mean there aren’t any vacancies? I booked a suite here back in May 2023 -- let me speak to the manager."


[skipping to 08m 20s]


C: Actually, do you mind if we switch gears here? I really just want to get into the meat of it and we’re a bit constrained on time.

A: By far more interesting than knowing whether or not we packed trail mix bars and if peanuts were still a public menace in the 2050’s.


C: Were they though?


A: No idea. I don’t eat peanuts. They’re a public menace.


[skipping to 09m 47s]


C: You both spent about 54 hours there, but could’ve spent 72. I want to know more about that.


[a pause]

V: Why don’t we tell you about a few of our favorite things from the trip? [a pause]

Central Park was a lot different -- they expanded it a few blocks East and West so there’d be more greenery. They upgraded the Statue of Liberty. She’s bigger than ever, really towers above the City, not sure how France felt about that one though…


A: They did a really good job of that, actually.


C: Sorry, who are they?


[silence]


[skipping to 11m 45s]


C: [speaking lower] Okay, look. Can we level here? I need something to write about. We

pulled an arm and a leg to get this interview, so I need something that isn’t regurgitated from the last five interviews you gave this week.


[a pause]

A: You were a lot more fun before you put your reporter hat on, you know.


V: Alahnna --


[skipping to 17m 20s]


[the sound of pens writing on paper]


C: Fine. Okay. In return for what we just discussed and you agreed upon. You’ll answer ten --


A: Five --


[Camila scoffs]


A: - five questions, Camila.


V: You did your research: you know what we’ve already shared publicly. You’ve probably talked to those other reporters, so you know what we’ll say.


C: I do. My favorite is this one [the sound of rustling papers] -- you told The New York Times, “The future is a place you can only imagine. We hope you’ll all take the time exploring and waiting until you can see it for yourself.”


A: That really is what we hope.


C: But do you think they should jump into a time machine like you did to “see it for themselves?”


[skipping to 20m 34s]


C: Okay, let me level with you both since you’re really good at wasting my time -- and our resources. I personally think this is dangerous, and there’s a lot of risk. It’s just a bad idea - and plenty of other people feel the same way… I don’t even really know what a futurist is or does, much less a time travel scientist. What did you get your PhD in anyway?


V: Quantum physics.


C: Right. We haven’t heard anything about you then… poof! Suddenly the United Nations has funded this giant global project that’s been under wraps for decades? No way it takes two or three years to pull this off. Musk founded SpaceX in 2002, didn’t have his first successful launch until 2010.


A: That’s only 8 years and it’s one guy who destroyed Twitter. We’d really rather you not compare us to Elon Musk.


V: Speak for yourself.


A: Gross.


C: Can we focus? The point is that anyone who is capable of critical thinking should be really worried about this, and a lot of people are… but the public loves this shit, so of course there’s all this buy-in. But there's more to it and I want to know what this all means for us - here and now.


[Vicenté clears his throat]


V: Camila, how much farther do you think there and then is from here and now?

C: In the same City, in about 32 years. Speaking of thirty-two… Isn’t that how old you are right now, Alahnna? So, what… you’d be around 64 in early May 2055?


[a short pause]


A: 64 years, 6 months and 18 days,

actually.


[skipping to 23m 45s]


V: Look. Camila. The reason we’re withholding is because we don’t entirely understand the relationship between the present and the future… [a pause] Or the past and the present.


C: So, do you think this was a good idea?


A: Is that your first of five questions, Camila?


C: Fine. Okay. [a deep inhale] I’ll ask my five questions. Give me what you can and we’ll honor the contract. I’ll expedite the funds to be wired to both your accounts by the end of today. [a pause]



C: [she clears her throat] First question, what was the air quality like in 2055? A/V: [at the same time] We wore masks. C: I know that that’s what you said in the last few interviews, but I’d like to know what you did… Neither of you got curious about what breathing would be like in 30 years? V: Would you have taken that risk? Pollen, pollution, microbes… ? A: Viruses? COVID-19 was only a few years ago. Did you think we were going to risk bringing back COVID-55? Influenza X? C: [a sharp breath] Second question. What was the temperature on May 2, 2055 in New York City? [the sound of fingers tapping on a table] V: [an exhale] I respect what you’re trying to do as a scientist, Camila, but it’s really hard to base a trend off one day in a span of thirty years. What if that day was an outlier? A: It was ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit. High of 102, low of 90. [at the same time] V: Alahnna… C: In May? A: Next question, Camila. You have three more to go. C: Fine. Can you share if there will be any nuclear warfare in the next thirty years? V: We can’t, and you know that. A: But it wouldn’t be a bad idea to stay plugged into global news and have a plan. V: Alahnna – [skipping to 28m 22s] C: You have an opportunity to warn us – the entire world – of what might happen in the next thirty years. Don’t you think it’s your responsibility to do that? V: [clearing his throat] The future isn’t just some destination, Camila. A lot has to happen to get there and if we give you too much information we risk changing that destination indefinitely. C: Which implies if you do, that it might not exist at all? So, I guess the vacation analogy doesn’t really hold up here, huh? A: Is that your fourth and fifth question? C: No. Did America have its first female president? V: Several, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. We already have political scientists today who know that’s just around the corner. C: Fair, but I just had to know. It gives me some hope. A: Then that’s something we can agree upon…

V: But last question, Camila, we’ve got to go to our next appointment. C: Right. [a deep breath] Alahnna, leaked records indicate that you packed a wig and prosthetics. Did you meet with anyone in your family, or even yourself, sometime during this mission? [a pause, the sound of a chair shifting and the muffled sound of knuckles cracking] [a loud inhale and exhale] A: If you read our contract, then you’d know that meeting any genetic relatives, including ourselves, was strictly off-limits for this “mission.” [a pause] …and if you read the UN’s public debrief, you’d know neither of us packed either of those things. C: Yes, but I also know that the public debrief says you completed 72 mission hours, but you’ve indicated that you only completed 54, and I want to know why V: Actually, you implied we completed 54 ho-- [three knocks at the door, the sound of the door opening] [a low voice from afar: “Mrs. Alvarado and Mr. Ricci -- we need to move to your next appointment.”] C: [clears her throat] Just one last question, then. [the same voice: “Go ahead Ms. Menendez, I’ll be right outside.”] C: Thank you. [the sound of a door closing]

A: Well, since we’re giving you a sixth question freebie. What is it? C: Final question: Would you both do it again? [a short pause] [at the same time] A: No V: Yes [the sound of chairs moving across the floor, and the door opening] [low voice: “Sorry, Ms. Menendez, we’ve been instructed to bring Mrs. Alvarado and Mr. Ricci back to the Tribeca office immediately.”] C: I understand. [a pause] Alahnna, Vicenté - thank you for interviewing with New York 366 Publishers and taking your precious time to tell us your stories. A: We look forward to reading your story in the future, Camila. C: I’m sure you do. [end of recording] Audio file from the New York 366 Publishers Archives Date: May 18, 2023; 15:05 Location: Times Square Building – Headquarters, Elevator C Recording Equipment: Elevator C security camera (AXIS P9) [beginning at 15:05] A: Do you really think she’s going to take this and [the sound of papers rustling] “turn it into a creative piece marketed as speculative fiction?” V: I don’t even think they have a creative writing column here… And here I was hoping to get a cool character named after me or created in my likeness. A: What, going down in the history books isn’t enough? [the sound of shoes shifting on elevator tile] A: Also, why do they always come after me and not you, when we did exactly the same thing? V: You know why… but it’ll be different in the future. A: With women presidents? Of course, it will be… still, next time I’m just going to look into a mirror instead of doing that. V: You kidding? I’m thinking of visiting again. I was a great conversationalist. A: I’m sure Camila Menendez wouldn’t agree… [a pause] We can only hope she’s a better creative writer than interviewer. V: She signed the contract, I’m sure it’ll work itself out. A: Right. As if a binding contract has ever stopped someone from doing what they want to do. [the elevator dings, sound of people walking out of the elevator] [recording ends] Excerpt from a piece to be published in SciFun Stories, subsidiary of the New York 366 Publishers Written by Cam Mendoza “If you could ask the future you one question -- what would it be? Would you press that person -- you, for all intents and purposes -- to give you answers? Or might you respect the person you will one day become? Do you think you’d recognize yourself? Imagine you are sixty-four years old. In your lifetime, you have married, had children, lost and loved, cried and conquered. Without a photo to reference, could you recognize the half-life of you? If you were walking down Canal Street on a Monday rush-hour, would you notice your former self -- exactly half your age -- peering at you from across the pavement? And if you did, would you look back and wave: beckoning your younger self to ask you burning questions -- only for you to withhold? Or would you run in the opposite direction, knowing running into yourself could only be bad news?” __________________________________________________________________________________



Alahnna Alvarado


Alahnna Alvarado was born in California to Filipino-American first-generation immigrants. She lives in the New York City Metro Area with her husband, their two cats and one ghost-cat. In her free time, she enjoys perusing sale racks, antagonizing her family and ignoring the Oxford comma. Her most treasured futures to ponder are the futures of myth, re-indigenization and zoos. You can find her published poetry scattered across the Internet.

9 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page