Anachropology is the practical study and observation of periods of time in the past. An anachropologist, the practicioner of anachropology, routinely travels through time, taking detailed notes about the event which they are observing and following a rigorous set of regulations and guidelines set out by the Office of Anachropology (a branch of Her Majesty's Special Services).
The Department of Anachropology was founded in 1815 after the discovery of the reality of time travel by Dr. Wilhelm Ketterer. The Department was established in a regulatory capacity, as well as a branch of the Special Services to support the sovereignty of the monarch. Government requests for information concerning topics from Royal history to information for criminal trials was directly handled and processed by the Department of Anachropology until 1871. In May of 1871 the Department was found guilty of misobservation in a case which had led to the wrongful hanging of accused murderer Alexander Jefferies. Following this scandal, the queen withdrew her formal recognition of the department and Anachropology fell into public disfavor. The Department of Anachropology became the Office of Anachropology, and the royal seal was dropped from the letterhead. Because of the curious nature of Anachropology, the Office of Anachropology is still officially considered a branch of HMSS (so that the government may still keep an eye on it and control its funds). Since the 1871 scandal, the Office has operated predominantly in the public arena, providing a service for batty old widows who want to know about their relative's supposed involvement in the battle of Baden Hill, and its Anachropologists working on commission.
The Office of Anachropology is still headquartered in the ancestral offices of the Department of Anachropology located in the Palace of Westminster clock tower in London, England (also known as Big Ben). Whether the politician who oversaw the establishment of these headquarters hoped that the atmosphere of constant chronology would inspire its inmates, or whether it was some grand, sadistic joke, is unknown. What is clear, however, is that due to a combination of the incessant, deafening ticking (and chiming every quarter of an hour), and their general, anachronistic existence, all those employed by the office of anachropology are a bit touched.
Equipment that each registered Anachropologist in the field is legally required to carry on their person at all times (both horologic and chronologically) are as follows:
- Registered Tempus Apparatus - On completion of training and successfully executing a solo mission, an anachropologist is registered a tempus apparatus to their name. The owner of the tempus can be identified by a number etched into the inner mechanism. It is required that the registered anachropologist never allow their tempus out of their possession and must "give his life if necessary to preserve the chronological integrity of his apparatus." Misuse (i.e. timerunning - or unauthorized time travel) or loss of their apparatus will result in immediate revocation of their registration status. The tempus apparatus is also referred to as a "time piece" by field anachropologists who do not wish to sound technical
- Identification Tags: Metal, circular tags bearing the name, affiliation, status, registration number, and preferred church of the wearer. One tag must be worn at all times, another affixed to the tempus apparatus.
- Documentation of Registration: A certification document used as identification and bearing a photograph of the anachropologist, name, registration number, relevant registration mission information, and any notes made by the anachropologist's supervisors outlining particular specializations or troublesome characteristics.
While the above items are required (by law) to be carried at all times by a registered anachropologist - punishment for disregarding this law being a minimum of 10 years in prison and immediate revocation of registration status - there are a number of items that the majority of anachropologists would not consider going into the field without. Some of these items are:
- Protective Eyewear: Because of the unpredictability of weather situations in the locations that the anachropologist is traveling to, protective eyewear has become a particularly popular piece of precautionary equipment. This is especially the case when on assignment in a desert area with high risk of sandstorm.
- A small, concealable sidearm: Usually too small to do any damage at long range, a small sidearm is carried for emergency use only. After all, anachropologists are historians rather than soldiers (although there are instances of anachropologists well-known for their preference of the rougher aspects of their profession).
- A Spyglass: preferred over field or opera glasses due to the smaller, more compact shape, spyglasses keep the anachropologist in the field well out of range of battlefield artillery or hostile subjects.
- An Umbrella: It must be sturdy enough to double as a walking stick or weapon in hand to hand combat. One must always be prepared after all.
- A well-bound journal and pencil: This is necessary, though not required by law, for the accurate and detailed recording of observations in the field.
"The intended mission of the Office of Anachropology is to serve Queen and country through recording and cataloging objective observations regarding events of historical worth and national import, thereby resolving conflict based on ambiguity in the historical literature and fictional embellishments made for poetical and mythological effect." - Guidelines of the Office of Anachropology, revised June 7th, 1871
The title "Anachropologist" was taken from "Anacropologist" dog tags that used to be for sale through the Abney Park merchandise site. When I couldn't find an explanation for it anywhere (about a year and a half ago), I "fixed" the spelling, and just ran with it. Don't hurt me, Abney Park, I roll with Sky Pirate hunters.