He unclenched his hand; his knuckles had gone white on the cup’s handle. Silvia was fine for the moment. “For the moment,” he said aloud, letting the irony wash over him. Technically she hadn’t even been born yet, wouldn’t be for almost a century. Their great grandparents, maybe even great-great grandparents were probably walking around about now.
His point of temporal reference was fixed in relative time. If he spent a week in 1930, a week passed in 2041. If there was a way to change that, he didn’t know the equipment well enough to make it work. “Not that I’d change it if I could. Makes using the temporal hub a whole lot easier.”
Slipping into other times was new tech, not even leading edge. It was firmly on the bleeding edge. He’d cracked it though, siphoned off the tech from a top global corp’s military-contract think tank. As far as he knew, nobody knew he had it, let alone knew that he’d made the tech and actually time-slipped. He’d grabbed some flashy, lower grade files at the same time to prove he’d done it; he’d cemented his skimmer rep with it. But the time tech, that he’d kept.
Initially he’d hoped to try the classic time travel gambit with it. Go into the past, deposit a penny in the bank, come back to a big fat bank account in the present. When it hadn’t worked, the feeling of defeat had been soul-crushing. He’d tried all kinds of tiny experiments to see what had happened; hiding objects in places he was sure wouldn’t be disturbed, all that stuff you see in old videos. None of it worked. Nothing he did in the past changed anything at all in the present.
Eventually he’d given up on that angle. There was an idea the scientist types had come up with that changing the past would create alternate futures. All he’d managed to do was to maybe make some other version of himself really rich.