I don't even know where to begin with how much I loved this flash. It's symbolism in its sickest forms, toying with the nature of science-fiction, and creating a whole new outlook on the unrestricted plane of creativity within realism. Mike, you have created a beautiful idea within the provoked minds of literature and science, combining drama and internal conflict in such an unorthodox way. But, then again, who's to say unorthodox isn't good?
I'll get the one you don't want out of the way first: the animation. It's simple, blocky, and has its share of interesting perspectives (for example, the first time the scientist drew that vertically swirled line in, what I'm calling, Limbo). I thought that this animation fit the scenario; the science-fiction motif and trace amounts of realism create the sense of a gritty, sharp world that turns down the protagonist. Henceforth, the blocky figures. The animation and movements were simple, but not TOO simple, making the objects flow better and more pleasurable to look at. The animation, in layman's terms, was eye-candy.
Now for the storyline. I loved the idea for opening with the marker drawings in Limbo; the first time I saw them, suspended in the air, I asked some questions; "Where are we?", "Why are the pictures floating?", "Who's Melanie?", "Find a cure for what?", "Who's the man?", the list goes on. I have only one complaint after this: Some of the drawings could have been eluded. For example, the "I will find a cure" lines could have been taken out, just to keep the watcher guessing on who Melanie was, and what the purpose of writing her name was with no conjunction. Just my opinion, but moving on.
I liked how you flashed some of the marker drawings into the flashback; it was disorienting at times, but made sense because of the drawings in the beginning. But, I do have one other the complaint: the introduction to the time machine. A guy bumps into him and leaves the door open? No offense, but I thought that it was a weak way to introduce a major symbol. Perhaps you could've created a devious bandwagon; everybody wanted it, but the protagonist put himself ahead of the rest and used it, creating a future trapped by his greed. I don't know; you wrote this, I just provide feedback.
I will say, I liked the tinge of humor when I read the blackboard in the lab room closer. It was a nice ligth-hearted joke that was subtle, but noticable. Then there's the time machine itself; frankly, I thought it would have stood out more. The initial warp and looking around was an intresting touch, and the part where he kicks the time machine away was pretty dramatic, showing how he gave up hope of returning. And, to address one more part about Limbo, I thought that the outlined Earth was awesome. No matter how many times or how short a cut-away was to show it, I loved it. Moving on. The slip into insanity was quick and very dramatic. The music in the background was beautiful and perfect for the subject.
Finally, the warp back into reality and the ending. The transition from Limbo to the lab was a little rushed, and I liked the attention to detail (everything being broken). I have one final complaint: Why was Melanie standing at her grave? I didn't understand it at all. I questioned if she thought the scientist was dead and never found, or if Melanie was dead. The tombstone was never shone. It was confusing, but made a nice ambiguous ending nonetheless.
In conclusion, Mike Southmoor, "Timeless" is in it of itself: Timeless. It's a harmonious symbol of the prideful advances in science and science-fiction, as well as the lengths a person will go to for a loved one. Although, this tragedy of a story shows that the scientist's greed for answers led to his downfall in the future. The ambiguity of the ending is chilling, accompanied by the music, made it all the more incredible. The whole of the flash animation was a revolutionary new take on the classic idea of time travel, and I for one commend you for that. It's refreshing to see a new view on a popular idea, no matter how unorthodox. Bravo.