Author : Beck Dacus
A problem philosophers have had for a long time is the difference between consensus and truth. In a court, for example. One can present evidence, call witnesses, and use common sense to confirm the perpetrator of a crime. But they will never really know. There is no possible way to determine who is actually guilty– unless you have a time machine. Which Mallory Thurson happened to have.
When time travel was invented, it was thought that the possibilities would be endless. You could fix all the mistakes you or anyone else ever made. Then anti-paradox laws were put in place, and the possibilities were somewhat limited. Next, people moved on to research and tourism; definitively discovering what took place in the past and just seeing it for kicks. Finally, man discovered its usefulness in law. From this point on, time travelers would solve crimes by going back and filming them, but preserve anti-paradox laws by never interfering. It was hoped.
This case was personal to Mallory; it had happened right in her own neighborhood. She was frustrated that she herself couldn’t find the culprit, but then realized that she was in the perfect position for this– a Timeroller (camerapeople who film crimes). She reported to work immediately, donned the suit, and used it to go back three hours, 21 minutes and 11 seconds. It was here she learned that, despite all our efforts, there will never be true justice.
She arrived just in time to see a masked murderer barge in to a young man’s apartment. She filmed from a window as your typical exchange unfolded. The murderer threatened, th man cried, the killer gave a middle finger to any Timerollers that may be nearby. All that time, Mallory couldn’t shake the feeling that she knew that voice. Somehow, she thought she had heard it before, long ago. Finally, she realized that this man, Ronald Azermov, was the man that had gotten her involved in Timerolling.
This man had killed her father.
She remembered walking down the alleyway, when this man jumped her father and shot him to death. Then he found all the Timerollers that had been summoned to the scene, and shot each one in the face. She understood why there were so many– each one was there to witness how the previous one was killed. That was also why they never found out who he was. Why her dad’s death remained one of the only unsolved cases in the world.
In surprise, she dropped the camera. Thankfully, it didn’t attract attention. But now she couldn’t present the film to the court. Damn!
Suddenly a shot rang out, and the window smashed. Someone had tried to shoot her because she was a Timeroller. But they had missed… and shot the owner of the apartment. Her father’s killer was innocent.
But why should that stop her? It was her almost-assassin’s lucky day.
“Mallory?” asked the judge. “Where’s your camera?”
Huff, “your honor,” huff, “the perpetrator,” huff, “shot it.”
“But you know who they were?”
“Yes, sir. Ronald Azermov. The same man who shot my father.”