Friday Lore Post: The Time Mafia

Of all the temporal criminals out there, the most dangerous of them are the time mafia. Unlike normal time-travelling criminals, who often work alone and have simple motivations like investing in past stock to become rich, or fucking their own grandparents, the time mafia are a large group of organized individuals, who have complex goals and a lot of experience with temporal movement. Their skills, experience and connections across the timeline make it very hard to even realize when they’ve committed a crime, let track down and stop them from doing it.

The time mafia does not have a single leader, but rather is controlled by what confidential informants have named the Inner Syndicate, a group of ten people who control the mafia’s activities. Though they do decide many things in tandem and issue orders to the rest of the time mafia, the various members of the Inner Syndicate work autonomously and often run operations without the full knowledge of the other members, but they are all answerable to each other and can be expelled from the Inner Syndicate if their behaviour is not considered commensurate with the goals of the time mafia.

These goals are wide-reaching. The stated goal of the time mafia as an organization is to end the hegemony of the Temporal Bureau and allow the flow of the timeline to be dictated by the people who live in it, not by a faceless organization obsessed with artificially imposing order on a natural system. Unlike the Temporal Bureau, who believe that the timeline must be preserved from interference by time travellers who would disrupt it, the time mafia believe that it is not possible for the timeline to be disrupted or damaged, and that alterations to it by time travellers are supposed to happen.

Individually, each member of the time mafia also has their own goals. These vary from wanting to prevent the deaths of relatives (or one’s own death) to wanting to change the trajectory of a planet’s evolution to wanting to fuck one’s own grandparents without consequences. They are free to work towards these goals as they see fit, though they are expected to regularly participate in other time mafia activities.

The most well-known member of the time mafia is Walter Adellman, a native of twenty-first-century Earth whose goal is to prevent the destruction of his homeworld. Adellman has been spotted on over a hundred temporal occasions, most of them on either Earth or Nova, and he nearly always has a contingent of operatives working under him, leading the Temporal Bureau to assume that he is a member of the Inner Syndicate. Adellman is considered one of the most dangerous temporal criminals in the timeline, and though he is currently presumed dead, he has frequently proven that presuming him dead is generally an exercise in fallacy.

Part of the problem with identifying whether or not Adellman or other time mafia operatives are alive or dead is that they don’t contain themselves to vers-0, where the bulk of the Temporal Bureau’s resources are focused. The time mafia doesn’t have a central headquarters, but the are known to build temporary bases in secondary verses. Currently, they seem to be operating out of vers-31, where the Bureau is struggling to find them because that vers is a tumble of chronological alterations and dimensional distortions even without time mafia interference. Normally increased temporal distortions allow the Bureau to find time mafia bases, but vers-31’s structure makes this impossible.

The time mafia has a complicated relationship with the Temporal Bureau. Obviously they are wanted criminals whose Inner Syndicate especially are among the Bureau’s most wanted. Simultaneously, however, several members of the time mafia have worked with the Bureau at different points to capture other, more dangerous single criminals. The most notable of these was when several time mafia operatives joined forces with a team of Temporal Law Enforcement officers to capture King Dev’Net T-t, a temporal criminal who was attempting to transport several suns into the future in the belief that this would end the solar scarcity his culture was experiencing, which would have caused the deaths of billions of individuals and the erasure of septillions of others across forty planets. Preventing this disruption was one of the Bureau’s largest operations, and no less than seventy time mafia operatives, led by an Inner Syndicate member who identified themselves as Soff, participated in stopping him.

The mafia’s justification to the Bureau was that though changes to the timeline are part of the natural order, Dev’Net T-t represented a threat to the entire timeline, and nobody should have the right to destroy the entire universe just to make their own situation better. Versions of this have been their stated reasoning for helping the Bureau on other occasions as well, though we suspect that the actual reasons for this are that their aims happened to align with ours during certain moments and they wanted access to our infrastructure and resources to help them. Either way, the Department of Temporal Law Enforcement benefits from occasional interactions with certain members of the time mafia. It is unclear how often this is done with the support of the Inner Syndicate. The Department of Temporal Law Enforcement keeps these informants confidential from all other departments in the Bureau. It is suspected that the time mafia also sometimes collaborates with the Department of Temporal Coherence, but this cannot be confirmed as their activities are entirely classified.

The time mafia claims not to be a criminal syndicate, despite the word ‘mafia’ being in their name, and also despite the myriad of organized crimes that they commit with regularity. Their status as time criminals is not disputed, and nor is their status as the most dangerous organization in the timeline. Many members of the time mafia operate undercover, so Temporal Law Enforcement officers are cautioned to be vigilant of any civilians who display too much attention to their activities while on a case. The time mafia regularly attempts to interfere with Temporal Bureau operations, and regularly attempts to break into the Temporal Bureau itself, either to steal or damage our equipment or to free their members from the Department of Discipline. The Department of Internal Security handles such events. For further information, please refer to their brief on time mafia assaults on Bureau headquarters.

From “Departmental Brief on the Time Mafia,” by Captain Kelvin Fluffypaws, Department of Temporal Law Enforcement, 11:31-291:11/9.

4 thoughts on “Friday Lore Post: The Time Mafia

  1. “The time mafia claims not to be a criminal syndicate, despite the word ‘mafia’ being in their name, and also despite the myriad of organized crimes that they commit with regularity.”

    They aren’t crimes if you don’t recognize the Temporal Bureau’s authority. They’re just things that some asshole control freaks get all up in arms over.

    Also, irony is a thing. As is turning derogatory terms into badges of pride.


    1. Shockingly, the Temporal Bureau doesn’t quite see it that way. But of course, they’re the asshole control freaks, so…

      I’m also not sure how up on irony they are, but that one they might get. Eventually. Maybe. 😀



  2. I’m getting the impression, somehow, that the time mafia doesn’t take the Temporal Bureau nearly as seriously as the Temporal Bureau takes them.

    It would be kind of funny if, for all the organization and bureaucracy and jargon and other hallmarks of being a large, powerful organization, the Temporal Bureau is actually the smaller and less powerful of the two, and only still exists because the time mafia has never seen them as a serious threat. Like, the Temporal Bureau sees every encounter between them as a hugely important event and every captured asset or operative as a hard-fought victory, while the time mafia is just “oh god, not these clowns again,” and just casually breaks out anyone or anything the Temporal Bureau has in containment whenever they need it.


    1. I cannot confirm or deny whether or not that’s true, but honestly it would be hilarious if it was. I definitely think the time mafia mostly just kind of ignores the Temporal Bureau unless the Bureau decides to make a stink about something, and even then, they still mostly just kinda ignore them. It’s a pretty one-sided rivalry for sure. 😀

      Thank you!


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