An older man in a lab coat turned away from the glass that looked down into the testing area and walked toward the president.
“Dr. Walker, I assume?” the President asked as he extended his hand to shake the scientist’s hand.
“George, sir,” said Dr. Walker, returning the handshake.
“Dr. Walker, how about you show me why I travelled across the US?”
“Well, Mr. President, we have completed the Walker-Kirsch bridge. We successfully opened a time tunnel. We can travel backwards through time.”
“Ah, so we can kill Hitler as a baby, then?” Roosevelt asked with a hint of humor in his voice.
“Unfortunately we are not able to direct when the bridge will show up. We can’t move forwards at all - my guess is because that time hasn’t happened yet. And when we open the bridge backwards, it lands where it lands. Right now, we have it open to the height of the Roman Empire - think Julius Ceasar, sir.” George was nervously wringing his hands and his words were spoken at such a quick pace that the President had to listen closely to hear them.
“Ceasar. Hrmm. What weapons can we get from that time era, really?” the President mused.
One of the members of the entourage, likely an advisor, said, “The best I can think of is Greek fire.”
“Ah, Jimmy, but we already have our fire raids. What else can we leverage?”
Another man spoke up, “There is always the tactical genius of Ceasar - one of the greatest generals in history. And possibly more troops.”
Dr. Walker cleared his throat. “Um Mr. President, if you were to remove Ceasar from the timeline and if he were to, heaven forbid, die...well, who knows how it would change history. We may not like the consequences.”
“Then what is the point of this research Doctor?” the President asked with a bite in his tone.
“The main focus of the project has been to find technology to use against the Nazis. We tried to go forwards first to get future technology but we weren’t able to go forwards in time. But going back, we hope to find knowledge and technology that was lost to time. Such as, we don’t know what was lost when the library of Alexandria burned down - there may be more there than just the lost recipe for Greek Fire.
I just think Ceasar is too big of a figure to remove from Rome - I don’t think it would be too awful to go to Rome and interview and consult with him...”
“What if we went way, way back in time, and got some dinosaurs?” the President asked.
“Like Hannibal and his elephants,” said Jimmy.
“Like I said, Mr. President, we aren’t able to direct when the bridge lands in time,” George said. “If we try to go back that far, we may wind up in a time that has no use to us whatsoever.”
“Alright, Doctor, I think I get the point,” said Roosevelt. He turned to his advisors. “Let’s find a team of people to send back to talk to Ceasar. And make sure they have lots of guns, we want to show Ceasar who’s boss.”
Dr. George Walker sighed as the President and his men talked amongst themselves. He had joined the project to advance science and learn. He knew it was a military-funded research project but he had hoped they would use it to learn. Nope, they were going to go browbeat Julius Ceasar in hopes that he would have great tactical advice for them. If only he could go back and see the Library of Alexandria.