Unscrupulous

Chapter One

"Suppose an unscrupulous man were to gain certain knowledge of man's future. Such a man could manipulate key industries, stocks or even nations, and, in so doing, change what must be..." -Spock

Author note: Since nobody has physically gone to Saturn yet, in this story, Spock will be wrong about Captain Christopher's son going there. In this story, it will be his grandson who goes there.

The year was 2050. The son of Colonel Sean Jeffrey Christopher had inherited his grandfather's property, including a mysterious sealed trunk. His father, who had been killed in a traffic accident, had never revealed to him what was inside the strange box. He only told him that it was something unique and not of this world, and gave him instructions on a piece of paper on how to open it before he died. The instructions were now handed to the colonel's son, who was also an astronaut like his father, by their family lawyer during the playing of his last will and testament. Now, the box was in the possession of Sean Christopher Junior. Not very curious about its contents, he had the trunk stored away in the attic of the house he had inherited. It was a large house; almost a mansion, for his father the colonel had been rather wealthy. He had acquired his wealth by getting lucky at the stock market, investing in computer technology and high tech and amazing gadgets, that were now in wide use in many fields.

Sean Jr. turned the key inside the ancient keyhole to his inherited house, thinking to himself how lame this old technology was. In the house where he had lived before this one, one gained entry by touching a hand on a sensor pad. It was one of many inventions that his grandfather had dreamed up. Sean quietly opened the door and stepped into the old house. The dark wooden floors creaked as he walked on them, but he wasn't worried. The old house was very well maintained, and there was no danger of falling through the floor boards or anything like that. As he made his way into the spacious foyer, the television switched itself on in the living room, and Sean heard the voice of his deceased father. He was startled at first, but then realized it was just a recording, probably set to go off when he stepped inside his acquired property. As he made his way into the living room, he stepped over to the TV to shut it off. As he did so, he was stopped in his tracks and knocked on his butt by a force field, another one of his grandfather's creations. Sighing but unhurt, he got up and plopped down onto the luxurious leather sofa, which was covered by a dusty off-white sheet. Just for fun, he punched it with his hands and watched the dust fly into sun beams streaming through the living room French door faded blue curtains. His father's voice droned on until Sean heard an unusual inquiry from his dead father on the television screen.

"I trust you are having fun playing with the dust, son." Sean's eyes widened. The image of his father smiled at him, his blue eyes sparkling with amusement. "Don't be shocked. I know you very well...or, I must say I knew you very well. Now that I probably have your attention, listen carefully. If you bring the trunk down from the attic and open it, its contents will make you as wealthy as they made me. The items inside come from the distant future, but you must not tell anyone that. In my will, I also had Cedric my butler leave before you finally got around to entering your new house. He knows nothing about the box or its contents, and he doesn't need to know. What's inside is yours to do with what you want, but you must keep everything you find in it a secret. That is very important, son. In the near future, if someone comes knocking on the door claiming to be the actual owners of the property in the box, tell them you don't know what they are talking about and get rid of them in any way you can. Oh, and by the way, good luck on your mission to Saturn. Take care, Sean. I love you." With that, the screen went black. Sean sat there for a few moments, awed by the fact that his dad also knew that he did not possess the curiosity they had and had stored the box in the attic. Finally, shrugging it off as coincidence, he stood and walked to the stairs that led to the second story of the house. He climbed them slowly, knowing that there was also a stipulation in the recorded will that said that only as soon as he opened the trunk, the property would be officially his.

The attic was dustier than he had expected, and as he opened the door, he sneezed. As his eyes grew adjusted to the decreased light, he found the box, took out the instructions from his pocket, and opened it. What he saw surprised him, and he began to wonder if his dad and grandfather had had a few screws loose. Inside was a neatly folded gold and black replica of a Starfleet uniform and props from the original science fiction show he had heard about all his life but never watched. There was a phaser, a communicator, a tricorder and some kind of scanning device that resembled a salt shaker. There was also a computer printout of all the gadgets that would be invented in the next two centuries, and their blueprints. As he saw these, he began to wonder if the devices in the box were really props at all.