[Content Warning: sex, drugs]


RULE 22 NO SELFCEST. From the outside, the place looks like any other club. A different name and street number each month and at the moment it is called Menzuola, a string of syllables without meaning. It is number 77 Weakfield Stream, and you get there the way you always get there. This time, something is different.

In the circles you move, it is known as the Time-and-Place, and it confirms every suspicion that lived alone inside your cranium, during your teenage years. The government can travel through time and does not let you, because they do not trust you. Your website was surprisingly popular and then one day someone told you of this place, of where to look.

RULE 18a NO GRANDFATHER PARADOXES. You shaved – all over – and you learnt the rulebook like a mantra, like someone could wake you up in the middle of the night and ask “RULE 7?” to which you would respond “NO RECORDING”. Because you are Trustworthy and you will keep time unbroken for them and you will be let in tonight – tonight is the night. You bring condoms.

The bouncer looks at you and this time you dare open your mouth, which is foreshadowing. “You over 18?” he asks. This is routine for him. This is his day – well, night – job. You nod. RULE 2 NO NAMES. “ID?” You grab your passport from your inner pocket and let him scrutinize you. You are born in 1991 but if time travel is possible, this process is entirely irrelevant for you getting in or not, and shaven like this you do look pretty young. He scrutinizes you. “STDs?”

You shake your head. RULE 9c NO PARTICULARLY INNOVATIVE SEX MOVES. Final question: “you TTSA?”

Your mind races. Time Travel Sex Agency. Temporal Transportation Security Administration. “Er, what is that?” you ask, your cheeks redder than your tie (which suggests sexual maturity (it doesn’t)).

He shakes his head and lets you in. You pay a further 500 creds for a screening as it has been more than 6 months since your last one, which, again, should not matter. The technicians look at you and beam you with an expensive-looking piece of technology which serves only the function of looking expensive. They state that you are “clean” without any basis. You are, however, a virgin. There is no shame about that. It is nothing to be ashamed of.


A room like a job interview. “There’s a part of your brain,” a man in an immaculate room says. He has pauses between his fragments, long ones, perhaps due to the conditions of his workplace but more likely due to overuse of cocaine or other stimulants. RULE 14a DO NOT GO TOO OFTEN. The notes for that one rule says it might break your brain. “That deals with chronoception,” he continues, “it is right here –” He points at the middle of his skull and waits. “We are going to turn it off and let you travel in time.”

This is patently false. The process of chronoception is complicated and distributed throughout the whole brain.

RULE 16b DO NOT CORRECT ANYONE. “Everyone will speak English, it will seem, because of the automated translating software.” The paper you have in front of you says that. It is a lie, for when you’re out there an androgyne speaking dirty words in French feels you up.

Suit-man gives you a pill in slow motion and you take it. It just makes you high.

You are allowed out on the floor. You are greeted by overloads of all your senses, some of which get mixed up. The taste of sex and sweat in the air is a blaring noise. The colours of that woman’s tattoos smell unbalancing.


Time travel is not possible. You lose your virginity to a man pretending to be from Augustus’ Rome. He calls what you do ‘irrumatio’. RULE 18b NO GRANDMOTHER PARADOXES EITHER.

You let yourself believe.