They had finally achieved it. For years, the group of scientists had worked tirelessly to achieve what no other man had before: Travel through time.
Admittedly, the machine was still small, and even if it was far larger, sending an actual human being back or forward in time without any previous tests would have been cruel beyond belief.
What if something went wrong? What if their body couldn't deal with the stress and they experienced pain or worse?
So the scientists began small.
They placed a series of objects in the machine and watched them come back looking the same they did before being hurled back in time.
No harm, no consequence. Or so they hoped.
That was until they decided to place an apple in the machine.
They set the time for the year 2519, set the parameters, and watched the apple disappear.
They collectively held their breath, waiting.
A few seconds later, it reappeared before their eyes.
Much to their shock, there was a major difference: A bite had been taken from it, and resting neatly by its side, a simple handwritten note:
'This apple is not ripe. Send another one.'