A Brief Encounter
by Eric J. Krause
That moment didn't register with me until years later. Now when I tell the story, someone will invariably ask if I wish I had a time machine, and I can truthfully say I do. But it's never for the reason they think. I don't want to kill the guy, but befriend him. That statement loses almost everyone. If looks could kill, as the old adage goes, I'd be dead a hundred times over.
I ran into him 20 years ago, and nothing about our meeting stood out. We shared an elevator down and made brief small talk. That was the extent of my encounter with the evil that would one day construct a neural bomb and release it over the Internet, resulting in the death of half the world's population. Why I even remember those three minutes from all those years ago baffles me. I'm the type of guy that can barely remember what he did a few weeks ago.
So why wouldn't I want those moments back to put a bullet in the monster's head before he had even the seed of the idea to decimate the world's population? Think about it. What if I could have made him my friend? What if that's all he needed? What if I could have turned him in a direction to help humanity instead of hurt it? He obviously had the smarts; he obviously had the drive. He only needed direction. Instead of this hell, the world could have been in a much nicer place. We may have been in or on our way to a utopia. Think about it. Kindness stops violence, not more violence.