May. 10th, 2011

Slightly higher than 1000 words. Oh well, it really wanted to be about 3000.

It was supposed to be a team-building exercise, an activity that everybody in Accounts Receivable could bond over. But Milo didn't feel like becoming part of a team that thought this was fun. Unfortunately the rest of the group was beyond excited.

"Killin' Nazis!" proclaimed Big Evan, who hi-fived Melanie. This was a complex maneuver; the time capsule was crowded enough that all eleven people were jammed in like sardines; it didn't help that they had all dressed for Christmas in the Alps in 1944. Milo took an elbow in the side in the process.

Big Evan had found vintage RAF garb, including medals and aviator's goggles. Melanie was wearing what could only be described as faux-military fetishwear, with tight jodhpurs and a swagger stick and her hair pulled back in a severe bun. But their weapons were modern and deadly, pure twenty-third century, able to throw barrages of tiny slugs fast enough to cut people in half. In contrast Milo wore a nondescript Eastern Front German overcoat and a pack so big he had to sit on it.

Little Evan, who was decked out like Captain America, reached across the time capsule row and rapped on Milo's helmet. "Not having a good time?" he asked solicitously.

"I dunno," said Milo. "I just feel like this is wrong. We're going back in time to murder people."

"No no no," said Little Evan. He began to tick off fingers.

"One," he said, "we're not going back into our timestream. We're going back into a separate timeline entirely, splintered off from ours several hours before we arrive. Where we're going isn't 'reality' by any reasonable definition of the word. So you're not killing real people. But, supposing you don't buy that…" He ticked off another finger.

"Two," continued Little Evan, "what we're doing isn't murder because nobody has any jurisdiction over where we're going. Temporal Law is very clear on the notion that things that happen in alternate realities aren't actionable in our timeline's court of law. But, if you still have ethical qualms…" The third finger came out.

"Three," said Little Evan, "we're going to a version of Germany during a time when they were at war with America. So, they're enemy combatants. You can't murder an enemy combatant."

"You can only DUST 'EM!" shouted George, who was wearing snow fatigues. The rest of Accounts Receivable roared their approval. Milo smiled.

"You know a lot about this," he said.

"It was all in the pamphlet," said Little Evan. "Look, just think about this as a giant video game with really awesome special effects."

"Hitler's going DOWN!" bellowed George, and the time capsule roared its approval.
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