I was summoned to see the head of the Department. I went directly there. I'd only met him once, socially, with the other graduate students on our first day. I couldn't imagine what he wanted with me.
He offered me a comfortable chair and picked up his tablet.
“Your requested research project is denied. Choose another venue.”
“I thought Professor Adelman was handling that. I mean, you're--”
“Too important to bother? Not when your topic comes up.”
“What's wrong with it?”
He read from my proposal. “'Locate the son of Mary and Joseph at his birth and contrast with the reports of the birth of Jesus in the New Testament.' It's denied.”
“But why? Jesus of Nazareth is one of the great figures of history. Or is it something wrong with me?”
“You're as fit as anybody who's gone after Jesus of Nazareth.”
“As to that, where's their reports?”
He leaned back. “There are no reports on Jesus of Nazareth.”
“But you said--”
“I said they went back in time to find him. Nobody has ever returned.”
I stared at him.
“Nobody returns. 100% failure rate.”
“But, but time travel is supposed to be safe!”
“Drones make the journey all the time. We send a human being, they don't come back.”
“But—that's surely the discovery of the century!”
He looked at me, and frowned. “You're a young man. Have you considered, seriously considered, the importance of temporal research into the Christian Messiah?”
“It's obviously of tremendous importance to explode --”
“Aha! You haven't thought it through.” He seemed very old and tired. “What if—what if it was true?”