Monday, 4 August 2014

A Mad Time Patrol Story

One mad Danellian frees all the Exaltationists, Neldorians and individual time criminals imprisoned on the exile planet, controls their minds, gives each of them a time machine and other high tech, then leads attacks on several key points of the timeline:

the Big Bang;
the condensation of the Solar System;
the condensation of the Earth-Moon system;
the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs (deflect it);
the first hominids;
the agricultural revolution;
etc.

If an earlier attack succeeds, then a later attack is unnecessary whereas, if an earlier attack fails, then a later attack might succeed.

This plot is far too apocalyptic to have been used by Poul Anderson. His plots were original and imaginative but also disciplined and restrained. For example, he gives us the history of the Knights Templar, not anything more spectacular, like the Knights as a front for the Patrol, and their "idol" is a relic, not an object of any fantastic or cosmic significance.

Credit Where Credit Is Due Dept
I know of one time travel story in which different points on the timeline are attacked. In a Justice League of America story, a time traveler sets out to kill several successive US Presidents in infancy. The League, iconic American superheroes, must divide into smaller groups which travel into the past, each to protect one of the Presidents. We see the list of the Presidents' names. We do not recognize one of them.

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