"Sir, you have fifteen seconds," the lady behind the counter said to me, "And remember, you are not allowed to disclose any information that may affect the future of this company. Should you attempt to do so, your ancestor will be terminated and you will be liable for the fullest extent of penalties incurred under the contract you've just signed.."
I nod, trembling while doing so. It was my first time. They say that first timers often don't say a thing, simply look at their ancestor and let them go. They visit several times afterward, always trying to build up the courage until they say something meaningful.
The rich, of course, came to see their ancestors almost quite regularly. So much so that they were able to get richer and richer over time, find their family secrets, stash away trinkets that were valueless in the past but grew to be extremely expensive in the present.
On others, it backfired. Their ancestors would not heed warnings, or acted completely aganst them. The backfire could propagate into crumbling of enormous corporate empires overnight. No one knew it happened until it was already done. And then no one remembered.
People like me, however, scraped by all their lives, hoping to make that big change by investing all their money to see their ancestor and improve everything in swift thirty seconds.
I practiced for hours. "Don't choke," was the thought in my head, running on repeat.
"Five seconds," the lady announced and sealed herself off. I was in a wooden cottage simulation, alone, awaiting my great-great-great, oh who knows how many, grandfather.
The man before me appeared promptly. He stared straight into my, completely unphased by what happened.
"Ahh, great great grandson. How is my little empire?"
I stared in disbelief, "What do you mean?"
He frowned, "Something went wrong. I should not have invested with those damn charlatans, should I have?"
"You've seen me before?"
"Oh yes, quite frequently. Quick, we only have a few seconds. What should I do?"
The timer was ticking away, loudly in my head.
"Things must have gone wrong. Don't do what I said last time. Remember me. Good luck!"
I walked out of the simulation, barely remembering what had happened.
"Hello sir, should I expect you next week?"
"I'll have my secretary arrange my next appointment. Thank you."
My phone vibrated with an email notification. The company merger was approved by the federal regulators, finally.