You're up before dawn on a Saturday when the doorbell rings. You haven't brewed your coffee so you wonder if you imagined the sound. Plonking the half-filled carafe in the sink, you go to the front door and cautiously swing it open. No one there. As you cast your eyes to the ground, you see a parcel addressed to you ... from you.Just a single piece of paper. At the top is a short note signed by a symbol that makes me know with certainty who sent it. It says:
You scoop it up and haul it inside, sensing something legitimate despite the extreme oddness of the situation. Carefully, you pry it open. Inside is a shoebox -- sent from ten years in the future -- and it's filled with items you have sent yourself.
What's in it?
"In a year or two, you'll have the ability to install a program on your computer that will alert you immediately (with as loud a sound as you desire) if and when you type a certain phrase. Install it, and make it scream bloody murder if it detects the following keystrokes:Below that note is a scan of the abstract of a scientific paper that's dated from the early 2020s. I read it once, then I read it again, then I hit my forehead with my hand.
I'd really like to *, but *
It doesn't matter what the asterisk wild-cards are. Just freakin' do it."
Then I get to work.