While many know of the Prime Directive and the ethos of non-interference it so proudly contains, fewer outside the rarefied air of Starfleet Command know of the Temporal Prime Directive. This guideline, much like the directive on which it’s formed, has the laudable goal of preventing the unknowable disastrous effects that come from the misuse of time travel.
Unfortunately, much like the Prime Directive, it is regularly ignored by Starfleet officers in the field for a variety of nebulous reasons, usually with the justification that their actions were unavoidable and taken with enormous care.
Classified as many of these mission reports are, even the few public records that exist paint a damning picture of a Fleet where expediency and self-interest govern decision making over that of the safety of the timeline.
Famous examples from the earlier, ungoverned days of Starfleet are the stuff of many amusing conversations, but recent events in our more enlightened time suggest that the recklessness of those early five-year mission commanders are still far more ingrained than Starfleet PR would like you to believe.
Late last year, the USS Veritas provided another data point in the ongoing conversation about the dangers of time travel. After an unfortunate run-in with the Borg Collective, an unknown event flung them six centuries into our collective past to do who knows what damage, then returned to not quite their present time. The only long-term consequences of this gallivanting through the timeline? A stern reprimand from that famously toothless organization, the Department of Temporal Affairs, and a merry round of handshakes and cavalier backslaps among the ship’s crew and officers.
Several officers spoke to this reporter on the topic, but they provided little meaningful reassurance that their commanding officers took the awesome responsibility of time travel seriously. “I’m positive that my past and present Commanders know what they’re doing when it comes to temporal anomalies and the effects they have. They are very knowledgeable of course or else they wouldn’t be in charge!”
Lieutenant German Galven expressed this chillingly reductionist logic, who claims to be a quantum physicist and temporal researcher. He continued, “Temporal psychosis is a genuine concern, however limited exposure to the stresses of time travel so far seem to have no lasting effects on individual crew members.” When asked about the consequences beyond the immediate crew, Galven dismissed this author’s concerns as paranoia and fear-mongering. Not so, says honoured quantum physicist Dr Gulliver Drex. “The result could be as mild as an inconvenience or as severe as the ship being ripped apart for no apparent reason.”
In this writer’s humble opinion, there is a need for a renewed call for safety and reason when it comes to matters quantum, and I for one will forward my concerns directly to the Federation Counsels Scientific Oversight committee. If you share my concerns, not just for yourselves and your families but for the whole of time itself, I strongly encourage you to reach out to your representatives and tell them that there is no more time for these dangerously old-fashioned attitudes.
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