I am writing a book where time travelers want to kill me because I foil their plan in the future. Luckily I find out before it's too late.

Obviously, the best plan to protect myself from future encounters with these criminals would be to ask for the police to help me by viewing evidence and solving the crime or having police around me to protect me. That would make a boring story, though.

Why would the police not be able to help me or refuse to help me, leaving me to fend for myself?


closed as off-topic by Aify, Mołot, Rob Watts, cobaltduck, kingledion Jan 12 '17 at 21:22

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Is a time traveller a known thing? Will the cop you are telling this story to do anything more than say 'what a fantastic story, let me write it up on my invisible type writer?'. $\endgroup$ – Twelfth Jan 12 '17 at 21:17
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, time traveling has recently been discovered and has been in the news. In this case, time traveling by itself is not reason to disregard my threat. $\endgroup$ – ndwire Jan 12 '17 at 21:31
  • $\begingroup$ Because the time travelers commit a crime and plant evidence to incriminate you. They also conveniently warned you and sent you to a specific address to seek help, preparing a deadly trap. After an impatient member couldn't wait and shot a hole with a blaster directly above you, you found out that time travelers are after you and fled. All the info you have point out to rich, exactly informed enemies with overpowered weapons. That excessive disadvantage necessarily changed you from a scallywag to a deadly menace. $\endgroup$ – Thorsten S. Jan 13 '17 at 22:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why bother going to the police? If they came from the future, the literally cannot stop you. To them, you have already survived whatever it is they attempt to do. I'm surprised they were dumb enough to take the job. $\endgroup$ – EvilSnack Jan 14 '17 at 2:33

1.) The travelers could convince the police that their plan is more important than your life. (For example saving the humanity.)

2.) The travelers could threaten police officers. (E.g., by saying that they would spawn a bomb from the future in their house and, thus, killing their family.)

3.) They could bribe them.

4.) They could cut your wire communications, jam your cell phone with some advanced device, and wait at the door of your home, thus, making impossible for you to call the police in.

5.) They could someway convince the police that you are a paranoid fool. (This depends on the evidence you want to present.)

  • $\begingroup$ Good points. I especially agree with the paranoia/lunacy argument to the police; the future assailants might not even need to contact the police if OP goes there directly and states "People from the future want to kill me" - the police would gently escort him out on such statement (probably while laughing). Question: do they have to state "a bomb from the future", wouldn't any bomb be equally dangerous? ;) $\endgroup$ – Mrkvička Jan 12 '17 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ I meant that they won't simple go in and place the bomb, but teleport it in with a time machine, making their attack unblockable. $\endgroup$ – b.Lorenz Jan 12 '17 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, then I understand. I interpreted "span a bomb" as "strap a bomb onto" $\endgroup$ – Mrkvička Jan 12 '17 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ I like the final answer. Given that when this story takes place time travel is a recent discovery, a paranoid person, or person trying to prank the police, would have a brand new fear or new idea to interfere with law enforcement. Thanks so much! $\endgroup$ – ndwire Jan 12 '17 at 21:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @ndwire Is time travel being a recent discovery the reason they don't simply kidnap your character as a child or something? (Because they can't go back further than the invention of time travel...or something). $\endgroup$ – Lio Elbammalf Jan 12 '17 at 21:38

There's no crime (yet)

Statements from random people that X is planning a crime is not, by itself, grounds for police action. It may be grounds for some investigation if the statement is credible, but if it's not - or if they do some investigation but don't find any convincing evidence of a serious expected crime, as opposed to merely suspicious activity, which is generally legal to do and illegal by police to harass.

Police are not your bodyguards

In a similar manner, claiming that some time travelers want to kill you is not, by itself, grounds for having police around you to protect you. It may be grounds for some investigation, but unless there's solid evidence of a real immediate threat, the police won't do anything; and if they will do something then it will most likely be with finding and prosecuting whoever the evidence points at, not giving you a police escort. That's simply not a usual function of the police outside of exceptional circumstances, major events, VIPs, etc.

Writing a book about the criminal plan and about the threat to you is something that is likely to work against you - maybe your first report would get some cursory investigation, but when that turns out nothing and they learn about your book, then they'll treat your future reports with a heavy dose of extra scepticism. It's also a common book/movie trope - so it would be "in genre" to have them ignore all your future claims without extra obvious hard evidence.

  • $\begingroup$ Claims that the protagonist is from the future would either be seen as serious psychosis and illusions of grandeur, likely warranting institutionalization, or that the protagonist is a psychic. Police no longer cater to psychics because of a history of these tips wasting police resources. (See cases where police requested psychic help) $\endgroup$ – rlb.usa Jan 18 '17 at 16:44

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.