His real name was Ultar Ebert Kyler, an American born product of an Irish mother and German father. Ultar-Irish for 'Ruler of the armies,' Ebert-German for 'Strong as a Boar,' sometimes referred to as 'that stinking pig' by his employers, but not within his hearing, and Kyler-German for 'Little Warrior.' Warrior most assuredly, but not at all little. At six foot seven and two hundred sixty pounds, he looked down on most men. The few that he couldn't look down on, he could soon have them so broken that looking down on them was easy.
An Annapolis graduate and former SEAL team leader, he could operate almost every weapons system in the US arsenal, from the first generation Abrams Tank to an Apache Attack helicopter to hand held stinger missiles and any firearm. Almost all one and two man weapons systems from other armies of the world were also in his repertoire.
He was hired by a cartel of rich men from the year 2145 to keep an eye on Roland Hines, one of the inventors of the time machine who had developed an agenda of his own. The Cartel had funded the research that led to the invention of the time machine and felt that they, the Cartel, not Hines, should determine how the machine was to be used. Hines wanted to use the machine to go back in time and save lives and prevent disasters, like the twin towers on 9/11 and the sinking of the Titanic. The Cartel wanted to use the machine to affect the market so that they could make even more money. Kyler was to be the Cartel's insurance policy, to force Hines to do their bidding.
Unfortunately for the Cartel, Tar Kyler liked the old man and they soon became good friends. Hines managed to convince Kyler that the Cartel shouldn't be in control of the power of the time machine because they wanted to use it for the wrong reasons. In the few months that they had together, he trained Tar on how to operate the time machine, and between them they manipulated Tar's age so that he was always thirty-two years old, a time chosen by Tar because he was at his peak physical condition at that age.
One of the things they discovered was that there were three laws covering time travel. Law number one, if you traveled to another time and then came back to the exact time that you left, things were exactly like when you left. If traveling to another time to make a change, you had to be gone at least two seconds. Going to a market for supplies and returning to the exact time you left means you came home with an empty sack. But setting the clock so you would return two seconds after you left meant that whatever you went after came home with you.
Law number two they discovered after they figured out law number one. You only got one shot at making a change. You better get it right the first time because there was no second chance.
Law number three was that sometimes no matter what you did, you couldn't change everything. Fate determined what took place, and if fate decided that an event was going to happen, it happened no matter what you did. You may change a few minor details, but the main purpose of the trip never got changed.
They gathered pictures and newspaper accounts of the sinking of the Titanic, including accounts from the captain of the Carpathia. With these in hand, they went to Captain Edward Smith on the Titanic and regaled him with tales of the sinking and the great loss of life. Captain Smith listened intensely and then agreed to change course a few degrees to the south to miss the icebergs. Feeling smug with themselves, they returned home and read history. The Titanic sank, just like before. For the longest time they couldn't understand why.
They tried to avert many of the major disasters in American history, and failed each time. After failing at the Johnstown, Pennsylvania flood and the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, it was more than they could understand. They had the pictures and eyewitness accounts and even had the officials convinced, or so they claimed, that disasters were coming to their towns. But later, checking back, Hines found that nothing had been done and that thousands of people had died, needlessly. Law number one had bit them.
After figuring out law number one, they attempted to go back and try again. Again nothing worked. It took several attempts before they discovered that there was a law number two. Time travel repairs were a one shot deal.
They never really figured out what to do with law number three. They just did the best they could and if fate permitted, they made changes. If not, well, on to the next project.
Other attempts to save lives fell on deaf ears, or stubborn ones. Officials in Boston and New York refused to believe that an airplane could topple the World Trade Center, even with pictures to prove it had happened. Doctored photos was the response, and they were ushered out the door followed by threats of imprisonment if they persisted.
Shortly after Tar came to work with him, Roland got sick. Several trips to the doctor determined that pancreatic cancer was the culprit. Roland put Tar through a rush advanced course in time travel machine operation and between them they made plans for the future; Tar's future. After the old man died, the Cartel came to confiscate the time machine—finding it, and Tar, missing. From then on, the Cartel had to deal with Tar Kyler. He would take the time travel trips on their behalf and carry out their wishes, most of the time.
Sometimes the wishes of the Cartel and those of Tar Kyler were at odds. And in those cases, the wishes of the Cartel came in second. If they had any other choice, they would take it, but Kyler had the time machine hidden, and he was the best they could hope to find.
He was now a time traveler and warrior for hire, but he was mostly his own boss. They controlled the money, but the time machine was his—and sometimes money wasn't enough. He had no problem with the Cartel members getting richer and no compulsion against killing, he was good at it, but he was not a bloodthirsty savage. Women and children and a few other innocents were off limits.
His employers hated him and wanted him dead. The few that tried to have him killed met with an undesirable end, so that idea was abandoned. Besides, sometimes he came in handy. As for now, they would keep using him, and when he went against their wishes, they just got over it. It was a lot better to bite the bullet than have the bullet bite them.