When William Mantlo, youthful Mathematical Physics professor at University of Gotham (UG), abandoned the software simulations that were his stock in trade and went on a sabbatical/bender/worldtour, he returned to pencil and paper calculations, and went deeply analog. Visiting important sites in the history of cosmologies of many cultures, at first as whimsical inspiration masking what he feared was the demise of his career as an original thinker, then in true obsessed interest, he examined the many conceptions of time encoded in obscure languages and mystic traditions. Ultimately, alone on a greek island, unkempt and wildeyed, his notebook's margins crammed to overflowing, he drew out a theorem in wet sand with a stick, and unlocked a secret he still only half knows — his journey through time was point of view, and by changing his orientation, he could change the way he traveled through time. A tilt here, a focus on the middle distance, a gesture recalling the xyz axes, and he was still in time as it flowed past him for more than 2,000 years. He shivered and held on, now standing shoulder deep in water. He realized the beach was not so extensive as it would be — another couple of millenia of erosion and he would have been standing on dry sand. A wave came up. Stunned, he was nearly swept out and drowned, but was saved by a wiry old man who selflessly swam out to rescue him. Mantlo's study of ancient greek was useful, and the two became friends. His rescuer was a philosopher Mantlo had never heard of and they spent many long hours discussing the proposition that Mantlo was mad — either a mad greek of the ancient world or a mad modern man who perceived his surroundings as ancient greece. Eventually, Mantlo was able to recreate the thought twists that took him there and journeyed back to his own time. He found a record of the philosopher's writings, chiefly a "fictional account" of a mad man found in the sea.
Mantlo experimented on his own, and even the bits of his insights that could be related in scientific language were enough to secure his reputation and earn him worldly success. He developed tools to help him deal with the hazards of his travels.
Now Mantlo is hounded by his own vanity, yet enlightened by the philosopher, he seeks to effect selfless good. Will he succeed as The Chrononaut, or will he give in to his arrogance, and unravel the world to prove his own significance?