All of this, in turn, would seem to mean that your job is largely pointless.
In fact, all you really do is visit miscellaneous crackpots between the years of 1931 and 1990 and verify that they aren’t involved in miscellaneous time travel shenanigans. Spoiler alert: they never are. Sure, the Agency will occasionally discover a rare case where some joker manages to travel back and feed himself winning lottery numbers, and then retroactively build a time machine with the winnings. But you have yet to uncover anything like that, and if your luck holds out, you never will. The paperwork required to report self-inducing chronology loop is mind-boggling.
As you observe your mark, you’re increasingly convinced that you have nothing to worry about. He seems intent on giving his dog a play-by-play description of everything he’s doing, which is making your job remarkably easy. He also seems to be under the impression that his dog is a government spy, which is making your job hilarious.
“This is it, Betsy,” he says, vaguely gesturing at a digital clock on his chest that looks like it was yanked from the dashboard of an Oldsmobile. “In exactly one minute, the fabric of the universe will tear open, and I’ll remove myself from the space-time continuum completely!”
Yeah, this guy’s nuts. You start making the mental preparations to terminate the mission and transfer your consciousness back to the present day. Meanwhile, Mad Science Guy continues to rant.
“Tell them I did it, Betsy!” The timer on his chest is at 45 seconds. “Tell your secret masters that I have conquered reality itself! By the time you—”
Before he can finish, a shimmering blue portal appears in the air behind him. An exact duplicate of the scientist leaps out of it holding what looks to be an antique revolver, and shoots the original version right in the face.
What. The. Fuuuuuuuuuu…
The portal collapses shut, and the second scientist flashes you a grin, cackling wildly. He fiddles with a dial on his chest rig and opens up a new portal that he dives into, leaving you alone with the corpse of his alternate self.
You’re not entirely sure what you just witnessed—did this guy just break all the unbreakable laws of quantum mechanics? Physically traveling through time, killing his past self—that’s at least two. You need a moment to process all this, but you realize that, if the second portal closes as quickly as the first one did, you don’t have that moment to spare.
Then again, you’re pretty much in a dog at the moment. What can you possibly hope to accomplish by chasing after him?
If you jump into the portal and pursue the scientist, turn to page 7.
If you immediately report back to your superiors at the Time Travel Investigation Agency, turn to page 9.