Short Story: Future Profit

Time travel is tricky business. No, really, it is. You have customers who promise to pay you last Tuesday for a time trip today. Employees want all future paycheck now. I’ve got historical figures trashing the clockwork green room. The Great Depression is still affecting the bottom line. And don’t get me started on the Crash of ’14. That brought down an entire timestream and revenue stream. Money is hard to handle in four dimensions. Sure you know the boom-bust cycles, but when you are hit with them simultaneously, it is hard to have a sound financial plan.

The biggest drains on my company though are the time lawyers. I feel bad for my clients sometimes. They have to sign a mountainous pile of papers saying that they don’t mind time paradoxes. Seems that if you don’t care about paradoxes, neither does the universe. Do you know how much I had to pay my chrono-legal team to find that loophole? I once got so frustrated with a lawyer on my payroll I sent him back a few centuries. Let me tell you something, he may call himself the Grand Inquisitor, but at the rates he was charging me, the more accurate title would be Million Inquisitor.

Despite my crack team of lawyers, I still get sued. The McFly Publishing Group is suing my company, and Tunnel Travel, and Whodini’s to cover the cost of changing history books. We will win, I am sure of it, because there is no conclusive way to prove that history wasn’t always the way we remembered it. Maybe McFly always had it wrong, I mean, who honestly doesn’t know that America was discovered by Stanley Goldbaum in 1492 and not this guy named Chris Columbus? I can pull the paperwork.

It is all about the bottom line and publicity nowadays. It wasn’t always that way. My great-grandfather started this company with his bare robotic hands. He saw a void and decided to fill it. Why spend your golden years on an automatic rocking chair, reminiscing through the fog of memory, when you could accelerate all of your particles to the speed of light, create an accompanying wormhole, and witness them for real? My great-grandfather was a great man, a visionary. It was too bad that my father had to go back in time to kill him.

So I sit in my leather chair, behind my mahogany desk, and yes, I occasionally smoke a cigar from an authentic 18th century Virginian tobacco farm, but do I enjoy it? No. Because as I flicker my lighter on, I have to deal with fires of the temporal kind. A man wandered out of the time pad the other day marveling at our setup. Now, normally, this would be a proud moment for me. I mean, we do have the top facility in the world, if I say so myself. But it was clear that this wandering man was not from this era. Indeed, he was Verne or Wells or maybe Asimov, some writer of a sort, I don’t remember and it doesn’t matter. Blowback with time travel can be very dangerous, as the door swings both ways. At a rival company, they were nearly destroyed by some Huns that rushed in.

Time may be a circle, but all the means for me is that the same problems plague the business. Company after company before company closes up shop. Profits fall, overhead rises. So I ask you, won’t you please bail us out? Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.


Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: