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Up until now, we have primarily dealt with repercussions of travels to the past. But what of the future? Is it possible to screw up your life and the lives of others to an almost incalculable degree by traveling forward in time?


The BasicsEdit

As United States Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton will tell you: yes. Or at least, that's what he would tell you had he not been shot in the abdomen by Aaron Burr, his political arch-nemesis. While many know Hamilton as one of our formerly great (not so great following the "No Pants President" election gimmick of 2088) nation's founding fathers, he was also one of time travel's founding second cousins.

And though Hamilton lived out a rare life in which he was a pioneer three times in three completely unrelated fields (Little known fact: he was technically the first champion bowler),  his untimely demise by duel was never meant to be. It was Hamilton himself who caused his death by gunshot wound, the resuly of a man who had learned of his own fate before he had seen it through.

In 2023, an early time-travel test and historical reconnaissance misson was conducted.  The mission was to sent its testee, the lab's intern, to a period sometime shortly after the birth of the United States of America. The time machine returned to its lab with the inter, a college sohpmore named Ricky, flopping out its open door and falling wet, bruise, and shivering to the floor. Stepping out behind him a moment later, shirtless and belligerently drunk, was Alexander Hamilton, one of the nation's most notable founders.

Though Ricky wouldn't explain the circumstances, or even meet Hamilton's eyes, it appeared that through some drunken fisticuffs, Hamilton had accidentally boarded the time machine after stepping out of a pub into an alley to urinate during a night of heavy Philadelphia drinking. There he'd found the young bespectacled intern, Hamilton said, spying his manly parts and have given poor Ricky whaf for. Ricky, accidentally soaked in blood and urine, had returned to the time machine to its rightful era in a terrified panic, bringing Hamilton along with it.

Interestingly, while scientists recognized Hamilton, none but Ricky was aware of his true significance as a historical figure. While Hamilton had gone on to do many more important things in the history of the United States after that night of drinking the original, Ricky-free timeline, because he stepped into the time machine, he effectively vanished from history from that point forward. The Universe, it seemed, had instantly corrected for this as well: the lab's operators and everyone else back in Ricky's time only knew of Hamilton's exploits up until the point of his disappearance. Only Ricky -  the sole remaining member of the original timeline - knew the truth about his passenger.

With history in a confusing state and further testing clearly required, merely shipping Hamilton back to his proper time was not an option. Much to the suprise of the unnamed experimenters, Hamilton was, after a hot-shower and some hair of the dog, rather taken with the future. Being a man of letters and from a time without Costco, air-conditioning, or flip-flop sandals, he was fascinated by every minute detail of the world around him.

Hamilton thusly became one of the first time travel enthusiasts and a willing participant in several dangerous experiments. His enthusiasm was as unexpected as it was rare. In a time when temporal guinea-piggery was referred to by experts and historians as "foolhardy," "a death wish," and "good for the future of humanity only if yiou hate humanity." Hamilton marched boldly forward. He was, among other things, prinicpal in data collection, the summarization of various epochs and the incorporation of working toilets into time machines.

But his passion remained politics. He spent his free-time watching Fox News, CSPAN, and CNN, often shouting at the television as though a participant in a one-man town hall debate. Hamilton was apoplectice to find not only that his political party no longer existed, but also that modern politics had completely misinterpreted the Second Amendment.

In reconciling nearly three hundred years of American political history, Hamilton eventually befriended Ricky the Intern and, through him, learned that Hamilton had lived a long, full life in the original timeline. Hamilton was instrumental in the formation of our democratic repbulic and had helped to maintain gentlemantly order in the eighteenth century. He also learned that he lived to the ripe age of 73 and died in a Boston seafood restaurant, where he choked on a rather unfavorably sized hunk of shrimp.

The fact that he had Ricky's historical knowledge at all told Hamilton what he had known deep inside all along: He would one day have to return to his own time and fulfill his duty to his country. And so, once the scientists and Ricky, who had now become his close friends and bowling teammates, had collected sufficient time data and won the Oakland Valley Bowling League title, Hamilton climbed onto his time toilet and bid the future adieu.

The life he finished out was what you will now find in the history books: that of a lifelong politician and dutiful family man; largely the same man he had been before he left. But other than a newly realized aversion to shellfish, there was one enourmous change in Hamilton: He had become fearless, adventurous, and damn near dangerous. Of all the fatuous, impossible and exciting things that he had seen and experienced in his tie as a traveler, none had affected him as much as learning the details of his own demise. Hamilton believed he was invincible, because he knew when and how he'd die.

In the time between his return to the eighteenth century and his death, Hamilton ate undercooked meat, rode bareback, volunteered to fly enhamin Franklin's kites, was seen in public without his wig, befriendd vicious native tribes, petted strange dogs he didn't know, and challenged Aaron Burr to a duel. And not just any duel, but a duel atop the same ridge where Hamitlton's eldest son had been killed in a quarrel of gentlemen two years prior.

Hamilton had convinced himself that the duel was a certain victory. After all, he knew how he died -- years later, in a Boston restaurant, choking on a damned hunk of boiled shrimp. There was no sense in not defending this political honor, especially if he could kill an enemy in the process.

Unfortunately, the only gun Hamilton had used in some years - the shotgun - did not fall within bounds at gentlemanly contests. He was forced to usesd a shoddy, era-appropriate flint-lock pistol. He lined up, fired and missed -- horribly.  The shot struck a tree branch high above Burr's head and allowed the opponent to take careful aim in return. Hamilton was shot just above his left hip. The bullet shattered two ribs and ricocheted through this organs. Hamilton slowly bled out, cursing his fate with his dying breath.

Hamilton's knowledge of his own demise had affected his judgement and changed history. This is the lesson time travelers must learn from Alexander Hamilton: Knowing too much about your fate can cause your fate to stop being your fate, with an entirely new fate fating you as fate runs its course.

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