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Outside_Ad_677 t1_ja06pjk wrote

“It’s been a week since my parents died and now I have their stupid soda shop, what am I going to do with This failing business as it turns out no one wants to go to the middle of nowhere to buy soda when most everywhere else sells it anyways no matter what stupid flavours my parents came up with… so why do you guys keep coming after me I’m selling the business”

“Don’t you see that’s the problem you sell it to the oddly named Charles billions who will make this shop a front for his mafia which one think would be bad enough but it gets worse he uses the mafia do not only get a monopoly on sodas but all drinks period including water and by controlling humanity’s most important need he ends up the richest person in the world and proceeds to buy every business and person it’s horrid”

“Right okay so clearly I shouldn’t sell to Charles but last week I couldn’t sell to James million and the week before can’t sell Sam thousand what am I supposed to do”

“Don’t sell at all just run the business”

Later the time traveller is talking to someone in an office building

“Boss why do you keep having us lie to the kid the time traveller act is kind of ridiculous”

“It’s simple the kid doesn’t care to look into what the business actually is and as long as no one discovers how much money is in the business I’ll stay on top in the medicine business… seriously who develops a miracle cure all and sells it as soda in the middle of nowhere”


wathcman t1_ja092ir wrote

and thus the shop is forced to turn into a ruthless megacorporation because you need the money to hire people and develop technologies to fend off and survive the constant stream of assassination attempts


Crystal1501 t1_ja0d5zb wrote


"If you knew anything about time travel, you'd know you can INFLUENCE the past, but not CHANGE it. My point? I wouldn't have expanded the way I did on my own, but I made a deal with a company so they could keep you lot away from me!"


Spiritual_Lie2563 t1_ja1dlcq wrote

"...I have no interest in all of that. I made this shop to have a simple, quiet life. I'm not expanding the business- if anything I've made the shop smaller since I got it!" The time traveller looked at me.

"No, no. You don't get it. You're destined to make it a ruthless and exploitative corporation. You will bring ruin to the world if you run this shop..."

"ENOUGH! I've heard this over and over again, I've told every one I'm not expanding the business. I closed every location I had but this one, and moved this one into a smaller store. I've donated most of my stock to charity and slashed the prices to the point I'm barely keeping my head afloat here. I have went past unionization and turned the shop into a co-op and all my employees have equal shares in the success of the business, and I made a point to hire anyone who asks for a job, sight unseen. I've done LITERALLY EVERYTHING possible to make it clear I am NOT going to expand the business. So, I am not going to sit back and let you time travellers keep trying to kill me until I get some goddamned answers for why you keep coming after me when I make it clear I don't want to expand!"

The time traveller just looked at me.

" want answers, do you?"

I glared. "YES. I think I deserve that much."

The time traveller stared at me.

"'re too good."

I was taken aback.

"...what." The time traveller continued.

"You heard me. You're too good at running your business. You're a kind shopkeeper. You're a fair, honest shopkeeper. You run your shop like a well-oiled machine. Your prices are reasonable without being undercutting. Your product is great quality. You manage your employees well and know when to get out of the way of your underlings, and if they have problems you understand and give them the time they need. Your shop is run incredibly well for a mom and pop shop. You are a talented merchant."

I was shocked.

"Well, thank you. But why are you trying to kill me if you know I'm a skilled merchant?" The time traveller shook his head.

"You ARE a skilled merchant. Once upon a time, so was Sam Walton. Once upon a time, so was Jeff Bezos. None of the ruthless, exploitative megacorporation superstores started with an evil, ruthless mastermind who was hellbent on destroying humanity. They always started with...well, a skilled merchant who was dedicated to giving the customers what they want, doing their job, and doing it right...and the people in your town know this about you. They know they can trust and go to this store."

"Well, of course. My shop's dedicated to doing what's best for our customers- and if that means staying as small as possible, I will."

"Don't you get it? The customers make their decisions about where they want to shop, and they vote with their wallets. By being so talented a merchant, it's inevitable that the customers will demand this store expand, and keep expanding, and keep expanding- and eventually, if a store expands too much, it becomes impossible to remain a well-run business. Inevitably a store that becomes too large will become an evil megacorporation, no matter what the merchant tries. And even if you say you'll run it well- and we know you've never become a bastard, no matter what we do? One day, you're going to die. Or your kids. Or THEIR kids. But one day, it's inevitable that a piece of shit will be in charge of the company, and then it'll cross the line and no matter how good a company you run, it'll all be for nothing."

"I can teach them."

"You'd be surprised what happens when someone grows up in unchecked luxury. Why do you think we go after you now while you and your high school sweetheart are still dating and haven't married yet? It's a damn sight better than the alternative to cut it off at the source."

"So, it's inevitable?"

"The heart of any store is the customers. No matter how evil a megacorporation is, if the customers just all refused to shop there, the store would fall into ruin immediately. It's happened to store after store that was seen as too big to fail, and it'll happen over and over again throughout history...but then, the customers have to agree to not shop there."

"So, this isn't my fault?"

"It's not. But, in order to make sure we don't get these megacorporations, then we have to make sure the only merchants for mom and pop shops who can succeed are the ones who have some flaw or another that means they can never really make a revolution in stores. You're just too good at this for us to let you continue to run your store."

", what should I do?"

" you have ANY other dreams? Any other hope?"

"...not really."

"Take some hobby up. And when you get good at it, quit your day job."


Land_Shaper t1_ja23eh7 wrote

Those fucking assholes keep trying to kill me. I did nothing, just got the keys and out of nowhere, some guy starts screaming about the rights of the proletariat and came at me with a fancy electric knife. I got lucky, I had a hammer in my hand from trying to put up a framed picture of a cat and a clear will to live. His head didn't look very good after that little argument.

Fast forward a few weeks and some other asshole came at me, yelling about "the sins of your existence" or some other nonsense. It was early in the morning, I had a coffee in hand. Let's just say I'm happy I went to Mcdonalds for coffee that morning. Him, not so lucky.

A few months in, and a few altercations later, and I've had enough of it. I just wanted to hire a manager to run the business and I could retire to some Caribbean island and live off the earnings. But no, there's always some guy trying to kill me. I sell ice cream for fucks sakes, what the hell is going on. I have to hire some goons to protect me. Simple problem being that they're fairly expensive. Who would have seen it coming that numerous attempts on one's life would increase hourly rates from "security consultants" and "that guy from the neighbourhood that knows some people" and even the drug dealers down the street. It's very expensive and the shop isn't making that much money. No choice but to go the bank and get a loan. I'll sell them on some fancy expansion plan to generate more revenue. The security? Have to protect the assets of course.

The bank approved the loan and just in time. I swear, a TEAM of these yahoos tried to kill me in my sleep. Killed two of the goons too, the payments on these life insurance premiums are getting out of hand and clearly I need to upgrade the security on my house. They always try to come at night and night visions goggles aren't cheap. No choice but to go back to the bank and to get another loan and start a construction business. I need to build a fortress and other people have already expressed interest in my idea. At least the initial expansion went really well, turns out that fear for ones life is an excellent motivator when it comes to better business practices. All the employees go through an extensive background check and have to sign a pretty airtight contract confirming that they won't make an attempt on my life or consequences will be dire to their loved ones. I don't have a choice! I've had so many employees try to kill me that consequences need to be dire. I pay very well and they're still trying to kill me.

So we're a decade into this whole endeavour and it's gotten out of control. The construction business went really well, apparently there was a lack of contractors able to build auto-turrets and able to program killbots to patrol estates. They're coming on a weekly schedule now. Each with crazy sci-fi ways to try to kill me. One guy has a heart attack gun, another tries to poison my suit, another with this crazy suit of power armour. Figured it was time to start a research and development wing to the business to try and reverse engineer some of their tech. The science nerds have told me that most of the guys trying to kill me show evidence of a neutrino displacement or some other nerd bullshit. It's gone from an inconvenience to a concerted effort on my life. They started it ! A literal battalion showed up yesterday. It's a good thing I invested in that tank regiment last month. We developed some tools that allow us to detect reality breakdowns when these guys come in from the future to try and end me. Oh ya, they're literally from the future. What is this even, I just wanted to retire early and I've had to create a relatively competent organization just to keep me alive. Anyways, we can now detect when they're coming in, but the rest of the time? Well, a lot of shady governments look towards my security detail and don't mind paying exorbitant fees to rent them out for the rest of the time. Money coming in ! Which, is actually required because they keep coming up with fancier and nastier ways to try and kill me.

2 decades in and I swear this is now a temporal war. I swear, I didn't start it, but what choice am I left ? They've tried to come up with some ways to obfuscate their DNA so I, wait, no, we, can't track their lineage. But we can. We make sure to preserve the bodies after every attempt and we kill their ancestors. Some of these guys are from five thousand years in the future, if you believe that. Prune here, kill there, yadi yada, you get one chance and they all fail. We don't. The biometrics system is up, the AI controlled CCTV system is ubiquitous across the world. They started it but I'm going to finish it. I hate them, the attempts are made daily now, but our tech matches theirs. If you're not with us, you're against us. I made this very clear at the UN last year.

It's the twilight of my years and they haven't defeated me. They've tried and failed. They've tried everything and failed. Losers. Only problem being that the temporal department came back with some data about "everyone is going to try and kill you at some point, given the chance" or some other non-sense. My poor children, what a world I'm leaving them. Everyone is enslaved. What other choice did I have? The good ones, with no attempts for the next five thousand years are given good jobs. The others? Not so much. But I make everything now. Literally. What other choice did I have? The UN was getting in the way, the United States wasn't recognizing my concerns. A non-state actor or some other non-sense. Well, fuck'em, I wanna live. UNTIL I DON'T! I bought them all. Killed the others. No other choice. They're all coming for me. God, I hate them. Everything that's happening to them, they deserve. I just wanted to retire. They created their own problem, I swear.


VorpalAbyss t1_ja41rhe wrote

This is one of those times when something went wrong, so you try to stop it from happening, only to be the thing that went wrong in the fist place.

I believe it's the... Bootstrap Paradox? otherwise known as a Casual Paradox.