Last Night: You message Future Steve to meet with his past self in ‘99 in Yosemite. You are in a helicopter now with Jobs and Woz.
“Hi I’m Steve. But you can just call me Woz since there’s two of us here tonight.” Woz extends a hand.
“Thanks for helping my friend tonight, sometimes he and Larry take too much and go a bit nuts. So what brought you out here tonight?”
You’re sitting in the front, and take a quick glance at Jobs in the back of the helicopter before answering.
Steve Jobs is mostly sober, coming down from his trip, and muttering to himself as he alternatively swipes and pecks away at the iPad.
You’re dimly unsettled by how unfamiliar the iPad seems to Jobs. He must have had the seed of this idea before he saw it, right?
“But it’s so obvious” you hear as he pinch zooms in and out of a map and rotates it, “It’s just all direct manipulation. Genius.”
Steve’s stroking the screen now. “You just push shit around and they move. With inertia.” He flicks a photo. “Boom. Magical.”
Woz snaps his fingers next to your ears instantly gaining your attention. “Uh yeah, so this is going to sound crazy and all but…”
You explain the story so far. The discovery. The chase. And the strangely scheduled appointment for tonight with Jobs.
But to be safe, you consciously leave out the part about its strange connection to the future.
Woz is nodding along. He’s smiling jovially. And he cracks up as you finish the tale.
“WOW, I don’t know what it is you guys take, but it must’ve been some really strong stuff tonight!” He doesn’t believe you.
“Haha, a computer from the future. Now that’s a great MacGuffin. It’d even make for an all right movie. I’d watch it!”
Woz’s guffaws die suddenly, and you’re conscious of how awkwardly and uniquely quiet a throbbingly loud helicopter can suddenly become.
He’s suspicious. “So cut the bull, how do you actually know Steve and Larry? I’ve never seen you before.”
You lean over the back of the seat and grab the iPad from Jobs’s hands, and show it to Woz.
The screen is blindingly bright in the dark, enough that it disorients Woz for a moment causing the helicopter to swerve back and forth.
But his eyes have adjusted and now the situation is even more dangerous. Woz is giddy and flying a helicopter is the last thing on his mind.
He’s rapid-firing questions. “How much memory does this thing have? Battery life?” The helicopter is moving in lazy, erratic zig zags.
“The whole display is touch screen? And you’re saying it works and detects all your fingers? At once! Wow. Amazing.”
“Kid, this is the greatest discovery in human history. This could advance the state of the art a decade overnight. And at Apple!”
You still haven’t even explained how the device is seemingly entangled with the future via its internet connection.
“Do you have any idea how maddeningly frustrating the clock speed wars have been to Apple? This is the engineering quantum leap we needed…”
“It’s like the invention of gunpowder! Maybe even more significant.” Woz is animated now, not even looking where he’s flying.
“It’ll completely upset a losing stalemate, and over the next decade this will easily lift Apple out of the fray.”
“Good thing you found us. With Apple protecting it, I should be able to reverse engineer it. Man.” His eyes glaze over a bit.
“It’ll be like old times. I’ve been waiting for the next insanely great thing I’d work on, and here it is. Steve needs me again for this.”
Woz is holding the iPad up in front of his face, and you’re fearing your life. He’s jerking the copter back on course every minute or so.
“I was starting to worry I’d peaked early,” he explains, “That maybe I was never going to be able to work on something else insanely great…”
You actually sympathize with Woz. But you notice the helicopter is descending rapidly. He’s landing, and you’re nowhere near Cupertino.
“So where do you need to be dropped off kid?” He asks. “Me and Steve have a busy night ahead of us it looks like.”
You’re confused. They want to ditch you? They’re not even going to shelter you from the people after you?
Your mouth is suddenly bone dry, and your voice creaks to life. “I was uh, hoping to stay with you guys for a bit.”
Woz is peering into dimly lit Northern Californian suburbia, looking for a place to land. He doesn’t seem so jovial or friendly anymore.
“Look we have a busy night ahead of us. I’m just going to drop you off right here, looks like a safe neighborhood.”
“Here,” he says while fumbling in his pocket. He hands you a wad of bills. “There’s a couple hundred there. Thanks, kid.”
The helicopter is touching down over a playground, and the swing set is shaking crazily in the night. Woz’s expression is now grim.
You make what may be the most reckless and terrible decision of your life. You rip the iPad out of Woz’s left hand.
And you deck him on the forehead with it. He slumps forward unconscious.
The helicopter is still a few inches above the ground, but comes to a jerky landing. Before you hop out you look back at Jobs.
He reaches up to you, his own reality still slightly distorted, and shouts. “Thank you. Thank you, for that amazing vision of the future.”
Jobs has apparently decided you’re more likely a figment of his imagination and acid trip than a real person with an iPad from the future.
You can’t really blame him. This is after all more unbelievable than any ridiculous tall tale you’ve ever heard.
Everything in the playground is shaking and spinning, even as the helicopter’s rotors slowly die down. And you’re gone.
You are running and running past identical suburban family homes in the dark, once again a fugitive with the iPad under your arm…