Previously: Twain tried to use his power to bring Yi Fan back to life, but failed. Then he announced a new plan to save her. And now…
“Leave it alone,” Digger said as Twain surged to his feet.
“No!’ Twain said. “I can still do this. I can find another piece of the cup. I can go back and…”
“No, you can’t!” Digger interrupted. “Time travel never helps. Never.”
“How can you say that?” Twain asked. “It’s what let me plant the mask in the City of the Moon, where you found it and used it to beat the Ghost. That helped.”
“Maybe,” Digger said. “Or maybe it made things worse, only we haven’t figured out how yet. But if you never believe anything else I say, believe this: time travel never helps. The universe can’t let it.”
“Because… Okay, think about, say, Dealey Plaza when Kennedy was assassinated,” Digger said. “Can you imagine the truly epic parade of upfuckery if it turned out you really could go back in time and fix things? I mean, just imagine an infinite future of superpowered do-gooders appearing out of nowhere, faced off against an equal number of people trying to put history back the way it should have been? God, just the assassinations alone: John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Archduke Ferdinand, Abraham Lincoln, Julius Caesar? John Lennon, for Christ’s sake?
[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”left”]Can you imagine the truly epic parade of upfuckery if it turned out you really could go back in time and fix things?[/blockquote]“Can you imagine the skies over Pearl Harbor, or Hiroshima? Half of them trying to stop the bomb while the other half try to preserve history and stop the war? All of history would be a series of smoking craters. And that’s just the major stuff. How many assholes would end up in Janis Joplin’s bathroom, trying to keep her from overdosing? Like we really need more Janis Joplin songs.”
“What are you talking about?” Twain asked. “This is about Yi Fan, not some has-been pop star.”
“I know,” Digger said. “But the principle is the same. Do you have any idea how the people here hated and feared her? And with the City of the Moon destroyed, it won’t be long until the people here begin manifesting super powers. I mean, even if you could come up with a way to go back and save her instead of making things worse, do you think you could actually live in peace? No. You’d spend the rest of your life going back over and over to stop people from killing her as a baby.”
“Let ‘em come,” Twain said. “I’m stronger than all of them.”
“That’s not the…” Digger sighed. “The point is that the universe can’t work that way. If time travel worked the way you want it to work, people could spend their entire lives replaying the same moment over and over. Doesn’t matter whether it’s the worst moment in their lives, or the best. What matters is that they would be wasting all the new moments they could have, trying to fix something that can never be truly fixed, trying to make things perfect. You can’t live that way. You have to keep moving forward in life, not backward. Let her go, Jeff.”
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