Author: Daniel Aceituna

After the existence of multiple universes was verified, It only took two years to figure out how to peek into them.
“History-wise, planet 19002 in universe 156A looks exactly like ours.” Paul Smith, the CIA director, said. “However, their timeline seems to be ahead of ours, by about a year.”
The president smiled and nodded. “Sounds useful.”
“Yes sir, we can look at the events in their timeline to see what will happen next in ours. If we don’t like what we see, we can make adjustments to ours.”
“Great job.”
“There is a catch,” Paul said. “The more we use that information, the more we will slowly change our timeline, so eventually it will be so different from theirs that the predictions will not be reliable anymore.”
“What do you suggest?”
“I say we only use the information in extreme cases.”
“Very well. Remember, we can’t allow this discovery to get beyond this room.”

Two days later…
“Paul, this is the president. I need some information.”
“Yes sir, how can I help?”
“As you know, European dignitaries are coming to the White House next week and I need to know something pertaining to that future meeting. Can we get information from that other universe? I forgot the number.”
“156A, sir.”
“Oh yes. Can you help me?”
“I’ll do my best, sir. What did you need to know?”
“Well, my wife is selecting the menu. She’s wondering which will be a bigger hit, steak or fish?”
Paul hesitated. “Mister President, if you recall, we agreed to not overuse this information for fear of falling out of sync.”
“Yes, yes, I remember. But this is such a minor thing.”
“I understand, but if we consider the butterfly effect–”
“Not sure what insects have to do with this. But I would take this as a great personal favor to me if you know what I mean.”
“Yes, sir. I’ll get on it.”

During the next six months…
The president kept asking Paul for a heads-up on many things such as his daughter’s choice of a boyfriend, his wife’s decision to undergo plastic surgery, and whether the chosen dog food for the White House dog will create accidents. Each time Paul was reminded that it was his president asking. In the seventh month, the president made his weekly call.
“Need some info, Paul.”
“Sir I should warn you that the 156A timeline is not very reliable anymore.”
“I need to know whether we should perform a show-of-strength in the South China Sea. The United States has traditionally hesitated to preempt strikes. But that was before we had 156A.”
“Sir, as I said, information from 156A cannot be trusted. The timelines have shifted too much. There are too many global implications-”
“Sure. Just get me that info.”
The president acted on what was read from 156A’s timeline, resulting in the United States alienating all its NATO partners and losing Taiwan.

Weeks later . . .
“Tell me the good news, Paul.”
“Sir we found another planet like ours in universe 345D. In their timeline, we come back from our present state and re-establish our leadership position in NATO. All we need to do is examine 345D’s history and copy what they did.”
“Excellent. Find out what I have to do to avoid impeachment.”