By Kevin J. Phyland
We’re going back ... again. Time travel worked out ... in a way. It turned out that the Many Worlds hypothesis is right. Every small change affects everything else in the upstream timeline. Which basically means that every change you make is in a different Universe to the one you leave from ... and return to. And that’s a lot of Universes ... so ... you get back home ... where nothing has changed.
The usual order of business is assassination ... start out early.
The bad part is we never know if we make a difference for good or evil. We just get paid.
First mission I had was some Sumerian king. No idea what he did. We just took him out. Now, I kiss my badge every job, hoping we did the right thing.
Then there was this Greek dude named Ptolemy ... I had to write it down ... apparently he delayed science by about a thousand years. Here.
So. You get the idea ... we won’t fix it here and now but we might fix it for some other timeline.
I guess my favourite one is what I call ‘The Hitler Debacle’. Got him at birth. Got him in World War I. Got him in prison, and got him at Berchtesgaden.
Didn’t change a goddamn thing here.
Must have killed nearly everyone that was famous in my timeline at one time or another.
Jesus (seemed ok), Henry VIII (he wasn’t), Stalin, Pol Pot, and that Cuban dude. Orders are orders.
We must have sent fifteen missions preventing some prince being assassinated ... then spent an equal number assassinating others. Ebb and flow.
We aren’t selected for our knowledge of history. More like the exact opposite. No preconceptions.
I guess this why I had to write this missive. We are one of the unnumbered Universes. And in some other one they have also invented time travel. Although each Universe is random, I suspect they will try to prevent it here, eventually.
Tomorrow I have three missions. All very bizarre. I must assassinate a bloke who invented the steam engine. Then a guy who invented the microchip. Then some woman who discovered radioactivity. All in the same Universe.
Even I know that one may influence the other.
And I’ll come back to the same Universe. The one where nuclear weapons were invented...and used. The one where chemicals were used for good and evil. The one where most people are poor and angry and hungry.
But the military officer who runs me assures me that we are doing the right thing. And he’s right. “Change is good,” he says.
But the change doesn’t happen here.
There will be another Universe that has nutted this out, and they may not be thrilled with what we are doing. They may even be better at it than us. They’ll be able to target history because we can’t. Yet.
And if we eventually can ... there will be a new war ... across eternity and every Universe ever created.
But at least my job is secure.
I’m helping to save the world ... one Universe at a time ... until someone comes to assassinate ... me.
About The Author
Kevin J. Phyland
Finally officially retired. Writing will now take up a bit more of my time. Still working on longer pieces. 33 years spent teaching. Writing since I was 12 on and off. Something had to give. I have a penchant for short, choppy, staccato sentences with too many adjectives.