28 February 2663
2662 is a year that will always live in infamy for Temporal Anthropologists. Although the Institute of Time Travel refuses to let us travel back to hazardous spots, there is always the danger of being killed by unforeseen accident or attack. The past was often lawless and safety precautions were rare. Occasionally, we will lose one of our own in the Field.
To lose eight temporal anthropologists in a year...that was a horrific shock. Ironically the attack came not from the barbarians of the past, but from the 27th century itself. I’m sure you all remember the horrific headlines from the assaults on time travelers by the Time Keepers, a terrorist offshoot of the Time Purists. Dr. Walther Hoffmann; Dr. Shiro Suzuki; and Dr. Kahn Shamar were all murdered and mutilated in the present. The other five vanished into the past.
Two years prior to this massacre, Dr. Wendell Howe disappeared in 1851. The Institute of Time Travel Enforcement Agency finally concluded he had died in a train accident. They claimed it took them nearly two years to find him because his body had been so splattered that they had to track it down to five gravesites in five cities. This sounded suspicious. It’s rumored it was a cover up, the Institute not wanting to let the world to know about the Time Keepers yet.
After the brutal murders of Hoffmann, Suzuki and Shamar, all time travel was blocked, leaving five temporal anthropologists stranded in the past. Only one got back. When Dr. Tobias Leach did not return from the 19th century with his time machine, the Enforcers found him in another city hiding. Leach told them the he had been attacked by three men from the 27th century. Unable to make it back to his time machine, he ran for his life and hid, waiting for the Enforcers to come rescue him. It’s assumed the other four were not as lucky. The Time Keepers had somehow gotten a hold of a time machine and had kidnapped the temporal anthropologists, taking them to another time, so they could murder them and their bodies would never be found.
A few weeks after the Enforcers announced that the Time Keepers had all been arrested, Dr. Veronica “Sunshine” Drew failed to return from 1969. The Institute claims she had been eaten by cannibals at Woodstock. While the 20th century was barbaric compared to the 27th century, there is no record of any cannibalism at the music festival in the 20th century. We all suspect it’s a cover up for another attack by a Time Keeper that slipped out of their grasp.
Since that time, there have not been any further attacks and we haven’t lost any more temporal anthropologists. Apparently things are back to normal, but none of us have really recovered from the shock.
And so this website of the Association of Temporal Anthropologists is dedicated to victims of the Time Keeper Massacre. (Listed alphabetically)
Dr. Henry Darrel with the University of Wyoming. Area of study: Working man of 19th century America.
Dr. Abubakari Djata with the University of Mali. Area of study: Mali Empire, especially the sholars of Timbuktu & Jenne.
Dr. Veronica “Sunshine” Drew with the University of Berkeley. Area of study: Hippie culture of 20th century.
Dr. Walther Hoffmann with the University of Hamburg. Area of study: Visigoths.
Dr. Wendell Howe with the University of Cambridge. Area of study: Victorian Age.
Dr. Erik Olafson with the University of Minnesota. Area of study: Viking Age.
Dr. Kahn Shamar with the University of Calcutta. Area of study: pre-Industrial India.
Dr. Shiro Suzuki with the University of Tokyo. Area of study: Buddhist & Shinto temples of pre-Industrial Japan.
Dr. Matilda Warwick with the University of Melbourne. Area of study: Medieval convents.
I had met many of these people. I had long conversations with Dr. Darrel about my own dream to study the working class of the British Industrial Revolution. Dr. Howe, I consider my mentor. In this business, your mentor is the older Temporal Anthropologist who accompanies on your first trips into the past, to show you the ropes. Dr. Howe never got the chance to do that.
Dr. Howe served not only as my first inspiration, but he “begged, borrowed and stole” to see that I could stay in school and continue in the program to get my time travel license. He started a scholarship for me, imploring anyone he could to contribute, brought back what period artifacts he could “sneak” past the Institute to sell, and auctioned off his own keepsakes from the 19th century to raise money for me. It’s only because of him I’m not working on hover lorries now instead of pursuing my dream.
It was suggested a blogsite be created to help the Association of Temporal Anthropologists’ public image after the massacre. I was offered the job because everyone in the Association knows about Dr. Howe’s dream for me. It not only gives me a little pocket cash, but I’ll learn more about my chosen profession and the people in it.
The blog will be featuring articles written by dozens of Temporal Anthropologists on both current work and past reminiscents. The Association’s publication, Past Times, has offered to let me post old articles. I hope to include some written by the victims of the Massacre.
It will be a long time before any of us really come to grips with last year’s tragedy. I try to remember the words of Dr. Ana Foster, a Temporal Anthropologist who is collecting copies of the works of the Library of Alexandria. I’m afraid I broke down at Dr. Howe’s funeral. Even though we had never met, she came up and put her hand on my shoulder. “Don’t cry. It’s all right. Wendell and I were very close and I KNOW he is in a much better place. Wendell is happier now than he’s ever been before.”
Dr. Foster might have been talking about heaven...or maybe she somehow knows he escaped. I like to think the latter. Even if Dr. Howe is trapped in the past, I know he would be happier there. If not, then I hope he’s in that big “Time Machine in the Sky” with the Mother of Time Travel, Dr. Serendipity Brown.
Future Temporal Anthropologist
Wendell's last blog entry