It turned out the biggest problem with time travel wasn’t energy, or cost, or the risk of killing your own grandfather - hell, my 8 year old nephew found that hilarious. The biggest problem was people don't like nice things
When I last looked for a vacation in time, what was most popular? "Goring peasants at the Colosseum".
Sure, man’s first walk on the moon sounded
cool, but honestly, all you do is watch the world stand still in front of their shitty wooden television sets for three days. Apparently mankind invented space-faring rockets long before they invented HD and good commercials.
I heard meeting Da Vinci was quite fun, albeit only for the two people who speak ancient Italian, and honestly – Shakespeare was a mess. Spiteful, really.
No, all the fun parts of history are the parts where stuff goes horribly wrong, and best of all, where you get to take part in it. Killing 1939 Hitler? Now that’s
Like I said, people don’t like nice things.
In my time the only industry bigger than sending people back is the one that makes them omnipotent when they get there. “Our suits are like slipping into God’s own skin”, they say. “If you’re going to survive in 3rd century Carthage, you’ll need more than a sturdy pair of sunglasses”.
People can really overdo it though, especially with their damn kids. I prefer to stay lean, personally, with just enough gear hidden to stun the natives into submission. It’s not like they understand you anyway. That’s right, look at me. My hands spit fire and electricity. Now bring me some grapes.
Talking to you people – it’s funny to see what you thought time travel would be like. Impossible, apparently. Fraught with paradox. Lots of light and whooshing noises.
In reality, time travel is a lot more like your GPS. We figured out that we could measure – ‘pin’ – a moment in space and time; a bunch of co-ordinates, if you will. Once we determined a pin, we could send things back to it.
That created a lot of excitement in some labs, but it was of no practical application. We could only go back to a spacetime we’d already pinned. And worse; when we got there, it had no effect on the present.
You see, when you send something back you just create a fork in the universe. You can’t actually change the past (much to the disappointment of my ex-girlfriend). Instead, there’s a whole new reality
that you created on demand by stepping into it. Or it already always existed. I’m a bit hazy on the details.
Anyway, still, not that useful. We sent a person back and forth, but only in a lab. It didn’t get fun till we started guessing co-ordinates
This was meant to be impossible too. We have to account for the spin of the earth, the movement of our universe, gravity, dark energy and – well – at school I was told it’s like trying to throw a dart blindfolded at a grain of sand whilst breakdancing at the speed of light. Real hard
. The problem was, we weren’t very accurate, and jumping just a metre too low would leave your torso mingling with the crust of the Earth. Unpleasant.
So we guessed high. Safer to drop people through the air with a chute, than to swim through the asthenosphere.
The science, in the end, became useful when people grew reckless enough to abuse it. I guess it always does. The fools who dared to jump back – and survive – were able to record safe pins for the rest of us. Successive gambles went further, and wilder – though not quite
to 100 AD yet. Jesus and the dinosaurs will have to wait.
’ has become the motto of our era. Funny to see how the 21st century thought they owned that one. You were worried computers and phones were a distraction. Kids today have two thousand years of the universe as their chew toy.
As for me, you ask. What’s my dream vacation? In all of all space and time, where would I most love to be?
Why, I’m already here, of course. July 27th, 2013. Living in central England as the innocuous Mr O C Emberton, writing this on what you call ‘Quora’.
Why is that? Well, I hate to spoil the surprise. You’ll see.
I was asked to answer “What does an Oliver Emberton vacation look like?” Let’s just say, I ran with it a bit.