The Temptations of Time Travel
We’ve all been faced with temptation: that delicious second piece of chocolate cake, that cute guy at the office that is married, purchasing something far too expensive, alcohol, drugs…the list goes on and on.
Some temptations are perfectly harmless, though they may drain your bank account!
Other temptations can do serious harm to you as well as to your family. People who are addicted to drugs and alcohol suffer serious physical and mental problems and this often is transferred to their friends and loved ones.
And still other temptations can do serious harm to everyone on the planet. I’m talking about time travel, of course (you knew it had to come up sooner or later!). I think most people would JUMP at the chance to go back in time. I know I would! There are so many people I’d love to meet and historical events I would like to witness for myself.
But time travel could cause some serious problems. What if you inadvertently killed someone? Their descendants would cease to exist. Can you imagine your spouse disappearing? Your children?
Yikes! Talk about terrifying!
What if that someone that you killed was the ancestor of someone in power? Like the president? Imagine the chaos that would grip the country if our leader suddenly disappeared.
But what if you lost someone, a parent early in life? Surely it couldn’t hurt anything to go back and prevent their demise? This brings me to one of my favorite Dr. Who episodes.
For those who don’t know, the Doctor is a Time Lord that travels through time in a TARDIS (it looks like a police box from 1960’s London).
The Doctor always has a companion with him, a human, which he chooses to go on grand adventures through the universe. Ah, what I wouldn’t GIVE to have the Doctor come whirling down in his TARDIS to whisk me away!
My favorite companion is Rose Tyler. She’s such a little spitfire, smart, funny, and a perfect match for the Doctor.
Rose’s father, Pete, was killed in a hit-and-run accident when she was only 6 months old. After traveling with the Doctor for a time, she wants to go back and comfort him as he dies. However, she can’t fight the temptation to save his life. That one act results in a tearing of the fabric of time. Strange creatures appear and begin killing everyone is sight as they try to repair the damage. The rift in time repairs itself after Pete throws himself in front of a car. Rose comforts him as he dies.
Would any of us have been able to stand by and watch as a loved one was struck down? Rose knew of the dangers of messing with time and yet she figured because her father was just some average person, it wouldn’t hurt to save his life. But that one act has devastating consequences.
In my YA/fantasy novel series, The Adventures of Alexis Davenport, Alex must protect the time line from an evil man intent on changing the past. It’s an awful lot for a fifteen-year-old to handle. Especially when she is faced with some tough choices: in one particular case, in order to protect time, she must allow someone to die. Not a very easy choice.
Shay West was born in Longmont, CO and earned a doctorate degree in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical. Dr. West currently lives in Grand Junction, CO with her two cats. When not writing novels, she plays with plushie microbes and teaches biology classes at Colorado Mesa University. She is the author of the Portals of Destiny series and the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series. She has also been published in several anthologies: Battlespace (military scifi), Orange Karen: Tribute to a Warrior (fund raiser), Ancient New (steampunk/fantasy) and Horror in Bloom.