Another Look at My Past HTML version

Chapter 22
“Professor Lively, we have some concerns.”
“That is why we called this special session of the Academic O versight Supracommittee, to voice our
Professor Edgar Lively regarded the other two men. John Cole and Samuel Prophet were reputable
Historians, but they were not the Grand O ld Man of Altgeld history. He was. He was not overly concerned.
“... and we feel that other viewpoints should have been considered in staffing the trans-temporial incursion
personnel. We also feel that the team members were not adequately trained in non- intrusive research
protocols.” John Cole sat back, confident that most everyone felt the same way.
Samuel Prophet was quick to speak next. “There is also the issue of representing the hssswwx perspective.
It is well-known that the pre-posttechnological hssswwx were a spacefaring race. They founded colonies in
several star systems. Has adequate consideration been given to the possibility of contacting hssswwx in any
of these other locations?”
Edgar Lively snorted in derision. “The Azariah Document is hardly well-known. Any knowledge of it is
restricted to doctoral degree candidates and those already with earned doctoral degrees in advanced historical
analysis. Just last week I showed it to a doctoral candidate who is usually quite level- headed. She threw a
huge fit. I thought she was going to have a stroke! The man on the street is nowhere near ready to know
these things.”
“You're avoiding my question. I don't care if you are the Grand O ld Man of Altgeld history. I demand that
you address the issues which have been raised in this legal meeting.”
“You have seen the Azariah Document. It is one sheet of hssswwx-skin leather. In pictorial script it
describes some of the hssswwx going into space while others stayed on the planet and reverted to a
preindustrial civilization.
“That's it. There is absolutely nothing to tell where the travelers went. No interstellar coordinates, planetary
descriptions or letters home. They could be anywhere. So where do we look?”
Professor Samuel Prophet took a minute to gather his thoughts. Finally he managed to say “If we did locate
the spacefaring hssswwx it would give a new perspective to our early history.”
But now Professor Cole was not supporting his position. “We will find the present day hssswwx, then they
come here with a massive space fleet and blow Altgeld to rubble in revenge for what we did to their cousins.”
Edgar Lively decided to play good cop for Professor Prophet. In his most kindly voice he said “Our
department budget will not support any kind of search for these colonies. While I would be intrigued by such
a discovery, it simply is not feasible.”
Professor Prophet decided to switch topics. “What about cross-temporial contamination? Were the travelers
properly trained? Why were the travelers not chosen from a variety of age groups?” Professor Prophet had
wanted to go himself, but was refused because he was too old.
This time Edgar Lively was not so kindly. “The time-travelers were thoroughly trained in nonintrusive
observation techniques. O nly the best and brightest were chosen. You are put out that 'best and brightest' did
not include you.”
Professor Cole decided to introduce another topic. “So have these bright young men changed history? How
can we be sure about that?”