Time Pranks on the Rise

Sector Alpha, Ring One, Low Earth Orbital Zone -- 8 Mar. 2057:  Statistics released this day by the Bureau of Temporal Relations show that confirmed intertemporal incidents, including scams, pranks, and attempted monkeywrenching as well as innocent gaffes and blunders, have increased by approximately 3% over the last year.

A source in the Bureau who has chosen to remain anonymous has confirmed that this is more than a mere anomaly.  "The folks downstream are pretty tight lipped, but we get the feeling that they don't devote a whole lot of resources to our period.  After all, they have all of human history to look after, most of which doesn't even know what time travel is and the rest of which thinks it's nothing but science fiction.  Hell, they must have their hands full just trying to stop people from killing Adolf Hitler.  Seems they feel like, now the cat is out of the bag, we should be doing a bit more to police temporal violations ourselves."

Lothar de Vry, a Sector Alpha souvenir vendor, has been the target of at least six confirmed intertemporal incidents, including two in just the last year, and suspects several more encounters.  "Yeah, I get a lotta them weirdos," he stated in an in-person interview.  "It's got so I can tell 'em right away.  Most a them just wanna get a model ring or a cheap Alliance flag and take a holograph or whatever they do.  Some of them can get downright nasty though.  One fella asked if I knew the way to someplace called Gotha, then laughed like it was the funniest thing in the damn galaxy; then they just vanished.  One of them even attacked me, tried to shoot me with some kinda glowin' spermy things.  But a robot from downstream caught up with eir and disappeared eir before anything happened.  It's gettin' so I'm startin' to think maybe I'm important, you know, in history or whatever -- but, hell, I'm a 55-year old primal who hawks tourist kitsch.  Why the hell do they pick on me so much?"

Advisories posted to the Bureau's website warn citizens of what to be on the lookout for to avoid being interfered with by temporal tourists.  One common scam, according to the site, involves time travelers using knowledge of past events to win casual bar bets.  "The downstream authorities are on constant lookout to prevent market manipulation and organized betting scams, but such seemingly spontaneous wagers are difficult for them to police.  Be wary of betting with strangers, especially on sporting contests or seemingly random events and particularly when non-monetary objects are requested as winning terms.  Many such scammers desire only to demonstrate their perceived superiority, and will not take anything of serious value, but others have more sinister aims."  Other well-known time scams include fraudulent psychics, seduction games in which the seducer mimics the victim's every interest and has uncanny understanding of their personal history, and burying valuable artifacts under the foundations of building in order to avoid excise taxes.  If you believe you have been the victim of a time scam or prank, the Bureau would like to know about it.  "Many people may doubt their own sanity or shrug the incident off as a strange but explicable encounter.  But time travel is real, and the threat posed by timestream tampering can be quite grave.  Please do not hesitate to report even the slightest possibility of temporal manipulation to your nearest Bureau field office or to the central office on Ring One directly."

Dealing With Time Travelers

  • Time travelers can often be recognized by clothing and other personal style affectations inappropriate to the period; complete lack of body hair; a vagueness about dates and casual references to future events; and an air of insufferable superiority.
  • It is recommended that one does not engage deliberately with suspected time travelers, and respond only if spoken to.
  • Time travelers are extremely conscious of personal safety and will almost invariably return downstream at the slightest threat of bodily harm.
  • Many intertemporal incidents are honest mistakes of knowledge or etiquette.  Do not assume that time travelers mean you harm; they may be innocent historians or tourists.

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