Ted decided to jump ahead one month at a time, reporting back after each mission. Up through July, six months from when he was assigned to the project, things on Earth looked pretty normal, even boring. On Ted’s seventh trip, to August, he noticed a strange whining sound as soon as the time machine started up. He ignored it and set a beach in Australia as the machine’s destination. He’d never been to Australia before.
A bright flash in the sky caught his attention. Ted frowned and squinted upward until he picked out a strange light in the sky. The light resolved itself into three lights. Then five. Then fifteen. Forty. He lost count.