"Daddy, what if it doesn't work?" Charlotte stood in the teleporter as Derek attached the wire to her head.
"I've been a scientist for decades, honey. I know what I'm doing."
She brushed her blond hair out of her face. "Well, I've chewed food every day for six years, but I still bite my tongue sometimes."
That made him freeze. What if something bad did happen? This had never been done before. Never on a living creature.
Nonsense. He had chased his whole life for this. He had built his whole life on this. All the people the told him he was crazy; all the people who said he was too intense; all the people who said he didn't know when to stop: he would prove them wrong. He wasn't going to chicken out now. Charlotte would be perfectly safe. He had tested with other objects before, too. They had all come back in tact.
Derek flicked the power button and smiled. "You'll be just fine. Get ready to go to this spot, thirty years ago!"
The machine shuddered as the engine turned on. Charlotte's frown turned into a grin. "Okay, Daddy. I trust you, and you wouldn't let anything happen to me."
He pushed the button, and she was gone.
Derek pushed the second button, the one to pull her back into the present. For some reason, he was nervous. He had done this countless times with inanimate objects, why should this be any different?
And then she appeared in the teleporter.
For a second, he thought everything was okay. Until she collapsed onto the cold floor.
"Charlotte?" He knelt down and detached the wire. "Are you okay?"
Her eyes were blank.
His heartbeat quickened. "Charlotte?" He felt for her pulse, but there was none. Instantly, he started CPR. But it was no use.
After nearly thirty minutes, Derek gave up. He examined her, but nothing seemed to be wrong. She hadn't been harmed in the slightest. And yet, there she was—dead.
And then it occured to him. The electric shock that sent her through the fourth demensioin and into the past must have stopped her heart. Of course it wouldn't appear to harm an object—it wouldn't have a heart to stop.
Derek stood up. He wouldn't quit now. Not after his entire life's research was for this. He had to achieve time travel, no matter what it wook. He would fix the machine. It should be easy. He would dial down the electricity, and then try again with someone else. Perhaps it was good he tried it with his daughter first—her young, fragile heart was more seceptible to the shock, and trying it on his wife might have made the danger go unnoticed. Mistakes made you learn better, after all.
He grinned. Nothing would stop him from achieving his dream.