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Chapter 2
Alternate Technology

Your High School Impression Was Correct – History IS Boring!

by SASKATCHEWAN KOLONOSCOGRAD, Alternate Reality News Service Existentialism Writer

The Warren Commission was correct: a lone gunman killed President John F. Kennedy. The CIA was not involved. The Russian mafia was not involved. Frank Sinatra had nothing to do with it.

This is the controversial conclusion from the History Reclamation Project, an offshoot of research into time travel first developed at MIT then, when it proved to actually be feasible, transferred for an outrageously low price to MultiNatCorp subsidiary It’s About Time.

“I was as surprised as anybody,” lead researcher, now It’s About Time CEO Desmondo Larraby, stated. “I mean, I was the kid who set up a grassy knoll in his backyard to reenact assassination scenarios using GI Joes when I was eight. I was certain that Colombian aluminum siding smugglers were behind it. Still, you can’t argue with science.”

“I don’t know about that,” argued the creator of Mike’s Conspiracy Page, who asked to be identified only as “Mike.” “I’ve been arguing with science for years. I mean, how do they know that Lee Harvey Oswald was solely responsible for the Kennedy assassination? Did they go back in time and watch it?”

Actually, according to an It’s About Time Power Point presentation that can be found on the company’s Web site, that is exactly what they did. A four person team of chrononauts (dubbed by the company Team Shirley for reasons both obscure and profound) led by former Olympic downhill butterfly stroke competitor Pete van der Pastey went back to that day in 1963 – sorry, that fateful day in 1963 and watched the assassination from a variety of angles, over and over, until they were certain that they had missed nothing.

“Watching the President die the first 11 times was tough,” van der Pastey commented. “The next seven times weren’t so bad, and the rest, well, there are only so many times you can see somebody’s brains fly out the back of their head without becoming desensitized to the whole thing, right?”

The findings of Team Shirley don’t stop at the Kennedy assassination. In a second experiment, they went back in time to find out what happened at Roswell, New Mexico. Rather than an alien landing covered up by the government, they found a military training ground and toxic waste dump. For their third experiment, Team Shirley went back to the 1969 moon landing and found –

“Oh, no!” Mike interjected. “Not the moon landing. At least give us the moon landing!”

Sorry, Mike. Team Shirley’s observations at NASA confirm that the Apollo Project was legitimate, and that Americans did walk on the moon.

“Man, I hate science!” Mike responded.

The next announced research question – whether or not the Bush administration knew about the terrorist attack of 9/11 before it happened – may never be tested. The 9/11 Truthyness Movement has gone to court to get an injunction against The History Reclamation Project to stop any attempts to go back in time to determine the validity of 9/11 conspiracy theories.

“Are you kidding me?” L. Jack Mann, Secretary-General of the 9/11 Truthyness Movement, rhetorically asked. At least, we hoped it was rheto – “We saw what happened to the moon landing and Kennedy conspiracy nuts!” Okay, it clearly was rhetoric – “You think we’re gonna let that happen to us?”

We’re not sure about the rhetorical nature of the new question, so we’re just going to ignore it. MultiNatCorp is fighting the lawsuit with a lot of high flown rhetoric – we’re sure about this one – about the almost sacred nature of the advance of scientific knowledge. If this argument fails to sway the court, their backup plan is to go back in time and keep Mann’s mother from meeting her father, causing him to not exist in our timeline.

The History Reclamation Project leaves a number of unanswered questions. If, for instance, four people from the present with knowledge of the past went back to the time President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, why didn’t they do anything to stop it? Were they concerned that they would mess up the timelines, creating a different present than the one they left? Perhaps they thought they would be bound in a strange paradox where they would return to a time without time travel, making them impossible. Or –

“Didn’t think of it,” Pete van der Pastey shrugged. Or, that.

“We just sent our team back to study the past,” Time Is On Our Side CEO Pat Frentastik cautioned. “Mucking about in the lives of people in the past [without a corporate objective] would be…unscientific!”

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