This short piece was originally intended to shed some light on the precise events which followed Andreas Kosogorin's suicidal attack in this is not over and I am not dead. I never found a good place to put it in the story.
Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 June 2009, 19:58 GMT 20:58 UK
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Second Klick box "could have killed millions"
The Klick device which was found in the possession of physicist Andreas Kosogorin this morning could have killed everybody in the city of New York, say scientists.
The box, which was found in a Starbucks coffee shop in Manhattan, is an empty platinum cube, just 2.1cm (0.8 inches) on a side, and now being held as evidence in a police investigation into the attempted attack.
Unlike Paul Klick's original device, Kosogorin's would have had devastating physical consequences, effectively destroying all of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens as well as much of Jersey City on the far side of the Hudson River, the water contents of the river itself and all aircraft up to an altitude of 15,000 metres (49,000 feet) (see map).
Kosogorin was shot by a police officer who confronted him while he was activating the device. He was the only person affected by the activation, "disappearing like a flash" at that instant. No body has been recovered.
A spokesman for the Ambient Layer Observatory at Medford, Oregon said that the cube created what scientists call a "semiclosed timelike loop". This form of time travel, first proposed in March 2007, allows anything to travel backwards in time, provided it travels back far enough that none of it survives to reach its "starting point".
A statement prepared by the observatory explains: "If you were to go back in time sixty years, you could find your grandfather and kill him before your father was born. That would cause a contradiction, which is called the grandfather paradox. However, this paradox only exists because you know that your grandfather was your grandfather. If you go back a hundred million years, you are in an era about which no concrete details are known, which we call a causal blind spot. There is nothing you can do to change history, because there is no concrete history to be 'changed'."
Like the Klick device, Kosogorin's device is now inert following its single activation, and it is believed that semiclosed timelike loops will remain impossible for the forseeable future.