The Truth About the "Understanding"

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Why the Institute of Time Travel is Necessary

Time Travel was first invented in 2353 by the brilliant Dr. Serendipity Brown. In the century that followed the only thing preventing others from traveling in time was the exorbitant cost of building and operating a machine. Also few were brave enough to travel into the primitive past. It was rather reminiscent of the space program in it’s early days. Still there were those stalwart souls who braved the past to bring back extinct species, terra form planets, and study history.

Those freewheeling days ended after Dr. Jonathan Taylor published his run away best seller, Ramification of Time Travel: Are We Polluting Our Own Time Stream back in 2449. He popularized the Time Manipulation Theory. This stated that it was possible to change history either intentionally or accidentally with even the smallest action. Once done no one would notice the change since their memories and historical records would now all reflect the new reality. This conversion would so complete that even the perpetrator would be unaware of the change when he returned. Dr. Taylor argued that this had happened numerous times and blamed just about every tragedy in history on it.

Although his theory was impossible to prove, it was also impossible to disprove, which he argued just proved the theory. Several physicists pointed out that Dr. Taylor had received his doctor’s degree from a dentist school and knew nothing about the physics of time travel. Dr. Taylor countermanded that someone must have gone back in time and persuaded him to become a dentist instead of a physicist to cover up their own illegal use of time travel.

Despite these circular arguments, Dr. Taylor’s book started a worldwide panic. A group, called the Time Purists, was formed and began demonstrating and rioting to get Time Travel outlawed. Time Travel however was too precious to just eliminate completely. The governments of the world were forced to band together and come up with a solution. Thus the Institute of Time Travel was formed in 2457.

The Institute was given the authority and power to control and oversee all Time Travel. Anyone traveling without their approval is dealt with swiftly and made an example of by the Institute’s Enforcement Agency. All Time Travel machines are now owned and operated by the Institute. All trips into the past are approved and controlled by the Institute. Now only Licensed Time Travelers, who had been certified by the Institute, are allowed to travel into the past. It is the Institute’s responsibility to see that these individuals are carefully trained so they make absolutely no impact on past events and manipulated time in any way.

To further make sure that no intentional or accidental attempt to manipulate time has been committed, the Enforcement Agency is required to debrief all returning Time Travelers. To make sure the individual is not lying, Compliance Disks are used. These are harmless devices that adhere to the back of the neck, so it can connect directly to the nervous system. The subject is then compelled to do exactly as ordered, making any deceit impossible. I will admit that being made completely helpless is scary and humiliating, but the Enforcers always act in a professional manner and are careful not to make it any worse than it needs to be.

All right, to be honest, the "interrogations", as we Temporal Anthropologists call them, leaves one quite shaken. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if the Enforcers weren’t so detached about it. The Institute is very strict about this because they are concerned that their Enforcers may become too sympathetic with the subjects, and allow indiscretions to slip by.

I have also heard rumors that the Enforcers brainwash us Time Travelers into being terrified of them, so we won’t even be tempted to try anything. I know all this sounds extreme, but it is all necessary to protect history from being tainted by outside influence.

Thanks to the Institute of Time Travel and their tireless Enforcement Agency, everyone can sleep at night knowing they are safe from the world being turned upside down by some careless act by a Time Traveler. There have been no known incidence of Time Manipulation since the Institute was formed.

…Of course, there were no known incidence of Time Manipulation before the Institute, but that is beside the point…Hmmm, maybe I should take this last paragraph out…Dash-it-all, how do you delete in this ridiculous program???…Oh, blast!…


Rules for Temporal Anthropologists

For those of you thinking of pursuing a career as an Temporal Anthropologist, you may want to read this first. This is from a handout issued by the Institute of Time Travel on our first day of training for a Time Travel License. Many immediately drop out after reading this. I'm not sure if it is the brave or the foolish who stay.

Dr. Wendell A. Howe

Rules for All Temporal Anthropologists
As Issued by the Institute of Time Travel

To avoid all possible Time Manipulation incidents, whether intentional or accidental the following rules must be obeyed at all times.
(1.) Only Licensed Time Travelers will be allowed to travel into the past.
(2.) All time trips must be approved by the Institute. You will only be allowed to go to a year you have been trained to fit into.
(3.) All trips to the future are strictly forbidden.
(4.) All Time Machines are owned, operated and maintained by the Institute. It is illegal for anyone other than the Institute to own, operate or maintain a Time Machine of any kind. The Time Machine you are issued will be preset for you so you can return by pushing a button. No other controls are accessible. Any attempt to remove a panel and tamper with the equipment will lead to fines and imprisonment (usually life).
(5.) 27th Century devices are not allowed in the field unless approved and deemed necessary by the Institute. Any devices must be camouflaged to appear as a period object. All future technology must be on your person at all times, or in your locked Time Machine. Guard them with your life. Do not let them fall into the hands of the natives of the past, no matter how cleverly disguised.
(6.) When in the field (the past) you will dress appropriately for the period and for your persona. You must not wear anything that will make you look odd or stand out.
(7.) You will be provided with period money or barter items. You will be given enough to live comfortably on. Do not live extravagantly as to call attention to yourself, unless it is necessary for you current project and is approved by the Institute.
(8.) Your personal computer will have a bio scan so you can do self examinations and be given first aid advice. If seriously injured or sick, you can return from the field at any time. It is not advisable to go to native healers. They will not have the technology to tell you are from the future, but they will have enough lack of skill to cause you grave injury or death.
(9.) You shall return by the set return date. You may return earlier, but never later. If you do not return it will be assumed you either ran into trouble, you are dead, or you are trying to run away into the past. The Institute’s Enforcement Agency will come after you to either save you, retrieve your body and equipment, or arrest you.
(10.) All Licensed Time Travelers must undergo sterilization before they will be allowed in the field least they bring someone into the world that was not meant to be there.
(11.) Sexual relationships are forbidden in the past despite sterilization. By taking a spouse, mistress or lover you may prevent them from being with the one they were meant to be with and thus preventing someone from being born. Also such relationships can influence and change the life of your significant other. Visits to brothels are allowed, as long as you do not keep returning to the same establishment or prostitute. You must have no affect on the lives of anyone involved.
(12.) You shall not have a platonic relationship or friendship with anyone in the past, since you will have an influence on them and this could change history.
(13.) You shall not use excessive force and cause serious injury to anyone in the past. You will use the least amount of force necessary to protect yourself. You will do everything in your power to avoid confrontation.
(14.) You shall not take the life of anyone in the past, or save the life of anyone in the past.
(15.) You shall not give charity of any kind to anyone in the past.
(16.) You shall not do anything to change the mind or attitude of anyone in the past. You will politely nod, no matter how unsavory the persons opinion is to you.
(17.) You shall not have a conversation that could in anyway influence, encourage or be remembered. Speak only when necessary to others in the past. Be polite and speak when spoken to, for being rude will make you stand out. Keep conversation to a minimum and only about the most mundane things like the time or weather.
(18.) You shall do everything in your power to remain unnoticed while in the field. If deemed necessary you will agree to plastic surgery to make your appearance more unmemorable for your era of study. You will need to pass all tests on being inconspicuous before given a license. You will be a face in the crowd.
(19.) You must not be gone for more than two months. Whenever you return from the field you will be debriefed. You shall agree to wear a Compliance Disk and you will answer all questions. You will tell everything you did and said. Nothing will be considered too trivial or private. You may then return to the same place and year with the approval of the Institute if they feel you have done nothing to be noticed by anyone.
(20.) You shall always cooperate and give immediate compliance to the Enforcers, obeying what ever they ask of you.

These rules are to protect Time from being manipulated in anyway and the history of the past changed. Even the most insignificant action can have dire consequences. Any breaking of these rules can lead to probation, suspending or revoking of License, imprisonment or whatever action is deemed necessary. These rules are for your protection as well as the rest of society. When in doubt take no action which could disrupt the natural course of history.

Leave No Footprint in the Sands of Time


Temporal Antrhopologist Recruitment ad

Some of you have asked exactly what is a Temporal Anthropologist? I found an old recruitment ad and have copied the text. I do hope this will give you an idea.
Dr. W.A. Howe

Study the Past in the Present Tense
Join the fascinating world of Temporal Anthropology
Are you a history buff? Have you ever wished you could go back in time to study and live in an ancient culture like the Roman Empire, the Renaissance or the 20th Century? This is what Temporal Anthropologists do everyday. Working with the approval of the Institute of Time Travel, you a can actually visit the past and investigate unrecorded history. Walk through a Medieval village, sip tea in a Victorian café, watch a play in Classical Greece--any of these activities are possible.
All that is needed is the desire to live your dreams. Other requirements include a PhD in History, a PhD in Anthropology, and a certified Time Travel License from the Institute of Time Travel. The Institute will make sure you have the proper training to blend into your chosen era of study so well the natives will think you are one of them. You will also be trained to be unnoticed and uninspiring, so you will not be remembered or influence people in the past.
The Institute of Time Travel Enforcement Agency will work closely with you to make sure that you need not worry of ever being guilty of the horrendous crime of Time Manipulation, and thereby changing history. (Stories that the Enforcers have been known to go back in history and ‘erase’ someone by making them have an ‘accident’, before the Time Manipulation incident, intentional or otherwise, have never been proven.) All time trips are under the careful control of the Institute of Time Travel and therefore safe. All time machines are provided, maintained and controlled by the Institute, freeing you of the headache and expense.
Added bonuses are that all universities want a Temporal Anthropologist on staff and will often provide not only a salary and pension, but also housing on or near their campus. Period money, clothes and other essentials will be provided so you can live comfortably and safely in the ‘field’. Other universities around the world will come with offers of projects, begging you to investigate various subjects in your chosen era. Invitations for speaking engagements will be too numerous for you to honor. There will be royalties from any videos and books you produce for the edification of the public. You will be a celebrity among the academics and admired by all. Most importantly you will be a member of that elite brotherhood known as the Temporal Anthropologists.

Why not join today?
For more information contact: The Association of Temporal Anthropologists, George Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1, United Kingdom

Delving into History’s Mysteries since 2454