Three principles of noir:
1. It doesn't matter how well you plan it. You won't get away with it.
2. It doesn't matter whether you did it or not. You won't get away with it.
3. It doesn't matter whether you did it or not.
You're a bad person anyway. A Chicago historian, enraged at a colleague who stole her research and published it under her own name, finds herself in possession of a time machine. She goes back to the 1893 World's Fair, intending to a) kill her colleague's great-great-grandmother, thus preventing her from ever being born, and b) get a scoop like no scholar ever has before .But living in the 19th century, even for a little while, proves overwhelming. It all feels so much more real than it did when she was just poring through old letters and photos. She struggles against the expectations placed on her as a woman —and as she gets to know her colleague's ancestor, it becomes obvious that she's struggling too. Deeply moved, the historian can't bring herself to go through with the murder.
Unfortunately, her mere presence at the Fair changes history, and her colleague's ancestor winds up getting murdered by serial killer H.H. Holmes as a result. And as soon as that happens, a figure appears and takes the historian to a court in the far future. She learns that the man who gave her the time machine was actually a cop, and that he gave it to her in order to entrap her. But there's nothing she can do. Accused of "destructively altering the timeline," she is exiled to an even more distant future, where a climate disaster has reduced humanity to Stone-Age technology. And, with lots of time to think about how she wound up here, she finally realizes that, even if she didn't actually commit murder, she was capable of doing so, which in her mind —and the mind of the future courts —makes her just as bad.
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