August 24

“I’m not following,” Lisa says.
“You ever wonder why satellites don’t get retrieved once their effective life is over?” I say. “I got to thinking about that, too. If you stuck a manual or two in a satellite as it was being launched, once it was space junk, it would float in a decaying orbit for hundreds of years until it eventually came crashing down. Doesn’t have to be anything digital. In fact it’s best if it was handwritten. Paper, in a vacuum, doesn’t degrade or decay. Stick that in a heatproof, airless capsule in a few communications satellites, and you’ve got yourself a pretty future-proof bookshelf. That way, even if there was, say, a war or a few dozen natural disasters, human science– including time travel– could continue.”
“You’re speculating,” Lisa says.
“And you’re lying,” I reply. “There’s no way to overcome the forward-progress rule. There’s no way to set up a non-decaying time loop. And, most importantly, there’s absolutely no reason for me to destroy the notebook.”
“But you said…”
“I know what I said,” I say, “and I am going to burn it in front of your eyes. I promise. Wanna know why?”
“I’m dying to find out,” Lisa says.
“It’s to prove to you that it won’t solve anything,” I say. “I’m always going to be an Interloper, and I’m always going to do the right thing, no matter how many times I have to do this.”

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