The Assassination Of Baby Hitler By The Coward The New York Times
FROM THE DESK OF THE UNFUCKERS OF TIME!
Dear New York Times,
Please allow me to introduce myself: I’m the man standing behind your chair. Ah, you didn’t look. You should have. You should have also not opened the door to the closet in your office 27 minutes from now because I will have had hidden a wolverine in there. Please know that this was only a warning wolverine; if I have to come back, I will bring the mean one.
I write on behalf of the Unfuckers of Time!, an extra-temporal Special Sanction team. Time travel, it will come as a shock to you, is remarkably common in other realities and fairly common in yours. I think Tina Yothers had a Time Puddlejumper for a few years; the technology is reaching saturation. And though you may be unaware of time travel’s existence, you must have at least heard rumor of human nature: it is deeply irritating and highly predictable.
People want to be rich and people want to kill Hitler.
It’s rare that my team hears about the money cases, if I’m honest, and here’s why: by and large, people are dumb – especially the types who get their hands on time technology. You can buy it, if you know the right people or the wrong Abandoned Gods. You can luck into it like that Cagliostro asshole. Every few hundred years, a kid’s born who can skate on the timestream like Wayne Gretzky. What I’m saying is that the ability to travel back and forth through time isn;t limited to the most thoughtful and intelligent of you.
Thus–being dumb–you all start betting on things. Because Biff did it in Back to the Future 2. Or you invest in Apple or IBM or some stupidly famous stock or company that will surely draw attention. Not one of you has ever secretly opened many small index funds, or any other boring investment that relies on the magic of compound interest. You don’t think to keep your head down because someone might be watching.
And then you wind up outside a horse track with $211,000 of 1951 currency and polio. (None of you think to cross-check your inoculations with the era-prevalent diseases, because you are too dumb to understand even the most self-evident rules of time travel.)
These are loud and easy problems, and they are handled by the Time Cops, who are loud and easy solutions. When people do things that the Time Cops don’t want them to do, the Time Cops hit them with hammers. It’s not a savage beating: the infraction is explained clearly, questions are answered, suggestions for future improvement, and then it’s hammertime.
Their morality can be argued, but not their efficacy.
But I am not a Time Cop: I belong to a more elite and forward-thinking organization called the Unfuckers of Time!, and we get involved when Hitler comes into play. Generally. Sometimes, Lincoln is saved from John Wilkes Booth. Once in a while, your more ambitious moron will kidnap a herd of brontosaurs and drop them at the Battle of Somme.
That was a fun day, actually. You should have heard the screams from the trenches: “Mein Gott!” “Sacre bleu!”
It is relatively simple to fix a Class-Four De-Hitlering: just reset the whole ‘stream a few days and fill out the paperwork at the coffee shop at the end of the universe. Even undoing the damage from a Class-Two Art School Acceptance Letter isn’t that tough.
But a code red-and-black Class One Nullihitlering? A world without Hitler is a problem.
The timestreams are bound by a retroactive narrative coherence. Think of it like this: as Now pushes forward, it leaves bread crumbs. Things that have happened must stay happened; you can add stuff, but if you take things away, then reality frays. It loosens. From a flowing river to a drifting delta, and returning it to its intended course is complicated and enervating.
So when you put the idea of killing Baby Hitler in people’s heads, New York Times, you make my life more difficult. Over two dozen people have killed, or attempted to kill, Baby Hitler today. Today. Do you understand how much overtime my team will have to work cleaning up your cute little thought experiment?
Remember how I mentioned that time machine ownership wasn’t regulated very well? Did you know that the pop star Rihanna has a Time Sauna? And did you know that she somehow got past the guards and into Baby Hitler’s bedroom? And that the pop star Rihanna grabbed Baby Hitler and punted him out the window?
That was my responsibility: I had to fix that.
You may have been wondering about the name of my organization, the Unfuckers of Time!, and about the silly exclamation point and the vulgarity; the short answer is that everyone thinks we’re weird and scary, and they don’t even like having us in the building most of the time, and they definitely don’t tell us what to do. We like the name. Our appreciation might be partly based in the fact that this job drives people insane rather quickly.
Our sargeant now self-identifies as a geometry problem.
Do not make more work for me, please, Mr. Newspaper. At this point in the threat, it is common to note that the threatener has no sense of humore, but that isn;t true: I have a wonderful sense of humor, but it’s weaponized. I will point it at you.
Leave time travel to the professionals.
Mr. Outis, Unfuckers of Time!