What a Difference
“I’ve pinpointed the place, the time, the man. Permission to travel, sir?”
“You know this is against all the laws of time travel.”
“Yes, sir. Even still, permission to travel?”
“It can’t possibly work, Adams. If by some miracle you should succeed, your ‘slight change’ might destroy everything we know.”
“There’s no other choice. Everything we know is endangered as it is. We have to try, sir.”
“Are you sure you want to take this risk?”
Ensign Adams looked directly into the Captain’s eyes, seeing his fear but also a glimmer of hope.
“I’m sure, sir. Permission to travel?”
While Ensign Penelope Adams prepared to travel, the Captain reviewed her notes. She had omitted all specific details, so that the Overseers wouldn’t be able to find her if anything went wrong. Even the Captain didn’t know exactly where she was going, or what year she would visit. He scanned the summary one last time.
“At that time, the electric car was far more popular than the gas-powered vehicle. A race between Henry Ford’s car and the streamlined electric car, the Silver Bullet, was attended by a consortium of investors. The Silver Bullet easily won the race, and gained enough investors to go public and begin production. We now know that the largest investor was secretly in the pay of the oil companies. Later that day he bought out all the controlling shares, transferred his investments to Ford and put the plans for the electric car on the shelf.”
The plan was simple: change the actions of one man on one day – stop that investor. Without the venture capital, Henry Ford and his noisy, dirty gas-guzzler would fade into obscurity. The Captain had to admit it was worth a try.
Penelope knew that if she succeeded she might also wipe out that bit of history that had led to her own birth. Saving the planet might mean that she herself would cease to exist. To put the world on a path of clean transportation seemed a worthy exchange.
She stepped into her time machine and spun the dials.