Question 14.3

He stood behind Adolf with the baton in his hand. This was the moment, and yet he hesitated. He had killed hundreds of people for money; he had even killed several in the flux. However, he had never killed anyone this important, anyone so integral to the collective consciousness, anyone so viciously evil.

It was against the law to alter in the flux. Time guardians traveled throughout history, hoping to stop any activity that could lead to a radical change in the future. He had been traveling in the flux for twenty years though, and he had ways to deceive the guardians. Killing someone in the flux led to your own erasure, they would travel back and poison your parents to prevent your birth. He did not fear this in the least, and this did not make him pause.

He was an assassin, and he was paid well to exterminate people. He would always avoid the reasons why the person was being killed, the reason didn’t matter. He didn’t try to justify his work; it was just a job to him. Instead he would throw out that portion of the dossier, it just made his job harder if he got to know them.

But there he stood, masquerading as a prison guard in the year 1923. He was alone with the future fuehrer and would be able to kill him in seconds and easily make his escape to the device. This however, was not a dossier that he could just throw away. This was the most famous killer of all time, a man responsible for millions of deaths, and a man that he knew through history. One could not live in a world and not know who Adolf Hitler was. It was the knowing that made him hesitate, but there was something else that caused him pause.

The man who hired him was an old Rabbi. He was so old in fact that his grandparents may have been in the death camps. He gave him the money, set him up with an untraceable device, and gave him some parting words that were echoing in his head. “You don’t even need to think of it as an assassination, think of it as your social responsibility.”

The phrase would not leave him. Was it really his social obligation to destroy someone who would kill others? Is social responsibility as simple as the golden rule, do onto others you would have them do unto you? Or is it a more complex shade that uses the silver, do unto others as they do unto you? Or is it more selfish like the iron rule, do unto others before they do unto you? How did this act fit into each of those rules?

One could argue that this is the golden rule; you are doing an act that would help save millions of lives. But if you take this in a strict sense, you would not want to be killed and therefore would not commit murder. He thought about the golden rule only briefly, because that rule didn’t fit with his worldview, let alone this act.

Is it silver, he thought? The world is full of killers and death. If we were to do unto other as they do unto us then everyone would punish those that wronged them. Is this not preemptive punishment? But the silver rule is reactive, not preventive. The iron rule was the only that fit.

He tightened his grip on his baton and thought while Adolf wrote. Hitler was working on Mien Kampf, and engrossed. He thought again that maybe the Rabbi was feeling guilty and tried to moralize his actions by placing it in a moral construct. He nodded and then knew that this had to be why he likened murder to social responsibility.

The club came down with a sickening thud, and continued for several swings. The blood splattered on the walls and on the paper Adolf worked on. His lifeless body collapsed without struggle. There would be no holocaust. It was a comforting thought for the assassin as he faded from existence. His great grandparents would never meet now that his great grandfather did not need to flee to Greece to escape the invading Nazi army.