Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Getting It First


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

Today's question was prompted by the TV show Legends of Tomorrow. It finale'd in April, but the last three episodes have been sitting on my DVR until about a week ago.

The show annoys me. I've given it up a couple times. Then the other shows that I actually like go off the air for a bit, and I decide to give this show one more chance. This time I figured it was only three more shows and I'd be caught up for the season.

So, this week I'm going to borrow their premise and see what you make of it.

The setup: All season our protagonists have been trying to prevent the antagonists from acquiring a MacGuffin that'll destroy the world (rewrite reality--same difference). It's been hidden throughout time... Did I mention they have a time machine?

They've gone back in time to acquire... well, what it is really doesn't matter... this item will help keep the MacGuffin safe from the bad guys. They found an expert to help them find this item, so now they know where it's buried.

Unfortunately, the item they need is buried in the middle of a battlefield. And the antagonists are after it, too.

Which leads to today's what if. (To make a long story short too late!)

What if you needed to acquire an item that would help you "save the world"? You've gone back in time (in your time machine) to find an expert to help you locate it. Unfortunately, the item is buried in the middle of what is currently a battlefield. (The item was buried there in the Middle Ages.) How do you get this item before the bad guys can get to it? 

25 comments:

  1. OH I think I'll sit this one out with a margarita.

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    1. Really? I was hoping you'd come up with something. It would be better than the show's writers' solution. Guaranteed.

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  2. Go back a couple years sooner before the battle began.

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  3. As Captain Janeway said -- Time travel. Since my first day on the job as a Starfleet captain I swore I'd never let myself get caught in one of these godforsaken paradoxes - the future is the past, the past is the future, it all gives me a headache.

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    1. Yes, time travel. I like to play with the story ideas around time travel from time to time. I'm weird that way.

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  4. Alex is right. It was buried in the Middle Ages, so the good guys can go back as far as they need to and get it first. If they get it at an earlier date, the bad guys can't get it during that battle. It would be long gone.

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    1. Obvious answer, right? So, the writers on the show came up with that, right? Um, no. They had them go into the middle of the battle...

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  5. I like Alex's answer. I think I'll go with that myself :)

    betty

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  6. Go back to the beginning and ask the creator to make two of them.

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  7. If you have a time machine at your disposal, your options are pretty open. You can go back to before it was stuck there and get it. Or just forget about it and start exploring the galaxy because you have a time machine.

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  8. Gotta go with the time machine method.

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  9. Doesn't sound like a show I would enjoy watching. I'd use the time machine to go forward and avoid all of this!!

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    1. I'm not recommending the show. This incident just irked me enough to want to share it.

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  10. I've been watching this show on Netflix. I haven't gotten to that part yet, but I know about it, and your description of your feelings about the show match mine. I still enjoy watching it, though. Mostly.

    As for this prompt... The obvious and easy answer is the above, to go back earlier to when the bad guys aren't there. But I'll make it interesting. Let's say there's no best time to go back to get the object. Maybe this battle is the best time...

    The other option: Go back to before the item was buried, and plant a fail-safe that helps you keep the bad guys at bay during the battle. Then when you come *back* to the battle, you've got a little help.

    Overly complicated, right? But if there were need for a filler episode, that would be it! (Maybe the writers ran out of narrative time to tell the story...?)

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    1. Oh, sorry, didn't mean to give you a spoiler. But your ideas are better than what happened in the show.

      I could understand if the only time they could go and get the item was in the middle of the battle, but they did not give us any reason to think there was.

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  11. get back in the time machine and go back to when it was buried! haha...do I win a prize? HAHA...yes, I am aware that Calif does not have cool mailboxes. I have looked in all the areas I have been and have not seen any. I have close to 100 or more in my files from around here.

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    1. It kind of makes me sad now. I had no idea that cool mailboxes were a thing.

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  12. I'd find out when it was buried, take the time machine go back in time to the time it was buried and just dig it up right away, hop back into the time machine and be done with it.

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    1. Right? Obvious solution. So, why didn't they do that...?

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  13. Honestly I would probably just take up smoking, pull up a chair with lit cigar in hand, and watch the world unravel. ~grin~ Sort of like the spectators at the battle of Bull Run.

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    1. Well, as long as you weren't in the bad guys sights... What they did to our heroes... Yeah, you wouldn't get to sit back if you were part of the proceedings.

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  14. What Birgit said. Gee, no imagination. Guess I'm glad I didn't start watching this show. I may not have lasted too long. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. More imagination than the show's writers. Because they didn't think of that.

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  15. I enjoy watching older speculative TV shows and films and have seen a few recently. It's interesting when they speculate on the present or some time in my own lifetime. So many times they are quite off the mark on how they envisioned things would one day be.

    As for the situation you mention, I don't see a mention of the time of the battle or all the parameters in which I'd be working. If the battle were sometime like the U.S. War Between the States then I'd want more advanced weapons and technology to ward anyone else off from getting what I was looking for. However since according to my own laws of time travel I could do nothing to change history even if I tried, so I'd probably go back to observe more than get embroiled in some mess in which I could make no changes.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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