"Hmm, the ensyctograph is registering a rather high level of photonic energy," Hank said as he gazed into a viewer on one of his machines. "It is my considered opinion that the origins of this gizmo lie forward along the timeline."
"You mean . . . it's from the future?" I asked.
"Indeed. Unfortunately my experience with time travel is exceedingly limited. I would suggest seeking further information from Reed Richards."
Following Hank's advice, I returned to my office and rang up Mr. Fantastic.
"Hello Professor Xavier, it's nice to hear from you. How are things with the X-Men?" he asked.
"Just fine thanks. And the Fantastic Four?"
"Oh, same-old same-old. What can I do for you today?"
"I have received a rather strange party invitation. I was wondering if you might be able to tell me anything about its origins."
"Well, I would need to see the item," he replied. And at that I opened a telepathic conduit between our minds. It took Reed a moment to adjust but then he was able to see and feel everything that I could. After peering closely at the cel phone thingy for a few moments he stopped.
"Yes, I know exactly what this is," he announced. "There is an alternate future time line where the Earth has assumed leadership of the galaxy through a "Federation of Planets." Earth has mighty warships to enforce its will on the other worlds. This Captain Picard is in command of Earth's flagship, the Enterprise, in the 24th Century."
"I see," I replied. "So this Federation is an evil-empire?"
"I don't know if I'd quite go that far. Perhaps more of a benevolent dictatorship. Of course, my knowledge of the era is limited. It's possible that I could be mis-reading the data. If you are interested in going to the party and seeing for yourself, I do have Dr. Doom's time machine in my possession."
"Really?" I said, intrigued. "I think I might just take you up on that."
While I may not get around as much as I use to, in my youth I was quite the adventuring explorer. A Christmas party in the future might just be a very exciting experience.