Another Look at My Past
“Hello. My name is Betsy Neuman and I want to welcome all of you to the temporal-displacement
intermediate focal point.”
Nelson nudged his old friend Frank. “What did she just say?”
“We lcome to the time travel center.” shouted Timmy.
“It would not have hurt her to just say that,” muttered Nelson.
“That's what she said! Woo-ho!!” That was Timmy's answer to a lot of things.
“Q uiet both of you.” said Frank as softly as he could. With that he tried to turn his attention to the speaker.
“And now I present to you the genius who discovered the principles underlying time travel. Let's have a big
round of applause for Jesse Plowshare.”
Jesse Plowshare came to the podium. He was probably young, but he moved almost as slowly as old
Professor Lively. He stepped behind the podium but it came up to his eyebrows. After a second he just stood
“When you transmorgify the underpinnings of the space-time continuum, you get vectors of tempostational
energy in the places where there are usually temporial constants. This is why if you want to change the past
it just causes a paradox with null effectiveness.”
The time travelers were all young men. They were either still in school or not out of school for very long.
They were used to sitting through all kinds of lectures they did not really understand or care about. So they
settled in for another boring lesson.
Frank was vaguely aware of something going on at the back of the room. Suddenly Jesse's microphone quit
working. Then Betsy rushed to the front, all apologetic. “Jesse, I'm really sorry our sound system just quit
like that. No, don't ruin your vo ice by trying to talk without a mike. Thanks, thank you so much.”
Once Jesse had left the stage, she continued. “I'll just try to make myself heard without a sound system.
There are some basic things that you have to agree to if you want to participate in this program. Timmy, do
“First of all, time travel must remain a closely guarded secret. There could be all sorts of problems if
everyone knew about this. If you quit the program and try to tell the world about time travel, we'll just say
you are crazy. The pressure of graduate work finally got to you. Or you always did have a screw loose, even
as a kid.
“O nce you return we will allow you to use certain information from your travels in your doctoral
dissertations. The time travel aspect will be downplayed until the public has had time to become accustomed
to the idea.”
Frank Mills absorbed this information. It was good that he had lied to his mother and his cousin Louise and
whoever else. But this still would be the adventure of a lifetime. That was how he was first approached for
time travel, 'the adventure of a lifetime'. Some who had been initially approached for time travel were later
deemed unsuitable. Those were sent on a really nice ski trip, and they were blissfully unaware that they had
missed a chance to go back in time.
Frank realized that he was not a kid any more. The time for big adventures and s ummer camps was about
over. He would do this one extraordinary journey before he had to Settle Down and Be Responsible.