Friday, 31 March 2017

Temporal Intelligence

When James Bond gathers intelligence during his mission to Japan or when Dominic Flandry gathers intelligence by penetrating the Merseian Roidhunate, the gathered intelligence is accessible to Bond's or Flandry's colleagues after, not before, it has been gathered but how does this work in the Time Patrol?

Herbert Ganz, based in the 1850s, suggests that the Patrol can begin to record the history of the Gothic milieu by retrieving oral stories and poems from the Dark Ages. To this end, Carl Farness, based in the 1930s, spends a lot of time in the period 300-372. Before Carl and his wife have moved to the 1930s from later in the twentieth century and before Carl's first journey to 300, Manse Everard, Unattached agent, reviews Carl's proposed mission with him in 1980. At this stage, Everard agrees that Ganz's proposal is:

"' opening wedge, the single such wedge we've found, for getting the history of that milieu recorded.'"
-Poul Anderson, "The Sorrow Of Odin The Goth" IN Anderson, Time Patrol (New York, 2006), pp. 333-465 AT p. 356.

In any other context, if the history has not yet been recorded, then the historians and their colleagues do not yet have access to the history but this is the Time Patrol. When Carl returns from 372 to the 1930s with all his data recorded, then those data become accessible to any Patrol member who may need them including Ganz in the 1850s, Carl Farness in the 1930s and Everard in 1980. However, the data must be withheld from Carl pre-mission so that he will be able to gather those data without prejudice.