^Across the Time-Stream^ [The Eternal World] (Synopsis)

Clark Ashton Smith

A man invents a mechanism, utilizing a force which can project him laterally in universal time, thus achieving instantaneous space-transit. The force projects him beyond time and space, as we know them, into a universe with different properties, into a sort of eternity, peopled with strange, frozen figures, where he and his machine are unable to function, as if they were caught in a block of ice, though he maintains a sort of consciousness, such as might characterize the unmoving things about him. Into this timelessness, there come invading entities, who, by means of some sort of super-magnetic force, are able to move and live, albeit sluggishly. They take the time-explorer in his mechanism, and certain of the timeless ones, back to their own world, intending to enslave them and release the dynamic power of the eternal beings in a war against rival peoples. Evidently they have taken the explorer for one of the timeless things.

In this world, subject to ordinary time-space conditions, the statue-like entities become instantly alive and tremendously active and defy all control of their captors. They burst like genii the time-traversing mechanism in which they are confined, catch up the human explorer, and proceed to devastate the planet by means of cataclysmic and varied force-manifestations, before going back to eternity. On their way to the timelessness, they drop the human back into his own world.

^xxx^ xxx was added by Smith.
[xxx] xxx was deleted by Smith.
{plotted September 22, 1931}

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