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!…