The annotations that some other people have put on their lists to show their thinking process as well as the list of assumptions at the start, have been interesting—I haven’t done this this time, but it seems like something worth trying next time.
Keep it in my pocket the whole time.
Locked safe down the Marianas trench.
Am I a time traveller? Is that how I know? If so, hide it in dinosaur times, long before the evil forces lived.
Or hide it in the far future, long after the evil forces lived.
Send it into orbit.
Land it on the moon. Can’t quite think of a way to achieve this, though. Any ideas?
Bury it in a geologically stable location and dig it up later as if it were nuclear waste.
Hide it in a gangster’s treasure box hidden under some foliage, a la 20200.
Start a pen manufacturing company and create many, many identical pens. They won’t be able to tell which one it is.
Eat the pen. Repeatedly, each time it passes through. For 50 years.
Find the guy with 10 years’ worth of energy. Lock them in a room. Offer them their freedom if and only if they vow to protect the pen.
Surgically implant the pen under my skin (hope it’s not made of biologically active materials).
Hidden safe in the walls of the house.
Hidden safe in the attic of the house.
Swiss bank vault (we had those in 1855, right?).
Inside a bottle of wine that will be aged to become a 50-year vintage in 1950.
Write a book on effective altruism (using the pen, of course) - there are probably some good cause areas around in 1855 to use as examples. They will read it, and cease to be evil, thus removing their motivation to acquire the pen.
Give Babbage some pointers on making his difference engine not suck, beginning an early steampunk cybersingularity, and ask the Great Brass Mind how to hide the pen.
Give the pen to my well-connected close friend, [famous person who lived in 1855], providing them with the same evidence I used to find that Einstein would need it.
Select, completely randomly, a point on the surface of the Earth. Bury it under a small amount of earth. Security through obscurity!
Replace each component of the pen, one at a time, until you have two pens: the old pen, and a new pen that’s atom-for-item identical to the original pen. Let the evil forces find the new pen.
Create a replica of the first pen and let the evil forces find it, so that they stop looking.
Bribe every grunt of the evil forces who comes looking for your pen.
Like 10), but the other end; at that point they won’t want to find it, even if they know where it is.
Find Einstein’s parents. Offer them this treasured family heirloom. They will keep it safe and Einstein will inherit it.
Paint the pen black and put in in a soot-filled chimney.
Find Oliver Twist and Fagin, or some other group of Victorian urchins, who are ubiquitous in this age. Hire Fagin’s street urchins to come up with and then red-team test 50-year security plans for the pen.
Become a miserly industrialist, refusing even to give my workers a day off for Christmas. When three ghosts come to visit, use information from the Ghost of Christmas Future to divine the manner in which the evil forces retrieve the pen, and make countermeasures.
All of these plans have some chance of failing, so I can obviously tolerate that. Hence, bet my money at very, very long odds—in the small sliver of timelines in which I succeed, use my money to buy out the evil forces entirely.
Call my friends at the time commission for backup. C’mon, we can’t just forget about protocol here.
Go on an expedition to the Arctic and hide it in the inhospitable ice; I could probably talk some guys in pith helmets into giving me backup.
Or to the deepest jungles of the dark continent of Africa; likewise with the pith helments.
Or to the source of the Nile.
Or to the summit of the Mt. Everest or K2 or whatever’s going to be most awkward for the evil forces..
Or to the Antarctic, which is colder than the Arctic in the middle part.
Or to the deserts of Australia.
Found a cult of Defending the Pen, perhaps using song lyrics from the future as substitute mystical wisdom.
Ask the longer-haired, wiser, and older version of myself who just gave me this quest for advice, since they’re still standing there. Follow their advice.
Bury the pen deep in a coal mine.
Keep your head down and don’t tell anyone that it’s -you- who has the pen—it’s not like the evil forces have any reason to suspect that, unless you give them a good reason to, like boostrapping the world to nanotech using future knowledge or something. Haha. Heh.
Hide the pen under my top hat; since it’s 1855, that won’t look unusual.
Dismantle the pen and hide the seven components throughout the world using techniques described above and below; being smaller, they’ll be harder to find.
Join the evil forces as a simple masked minion; working for them, they won’t suspect you have the pen, until one day as the second-in-command you usurp the leader (as it tradition).
Message in a bottle to the North Sentinel Island, who will repel outsiders including the evil forces.
Give a speech that’s something like “evil forces, you really want to mess with me? I can leap to the moon in a single bound, and that’s just to save me pulling it to ground, which I can also do. You once tried to trap me in a room and I took down your mothership’s entire network before tearing it to shreds. This planet, and this pen specifically, is under my protection. Return to your galaxy,” probably with dramatic orchestral music playing in the background, and then the evil forces will leave.
Check your Messing-with-Time-Wongle, standard issue equipment for all time travellers with missions to defend artefacts that are important to the timeline. Notice that the LED on it flashes green. Precommit to only sending a “green” signal to your MwTW in 50 years if the pen reaches Einstein successfully. Now Time will bend to ensure the pen is not found.
Freeze the pen in liquid nitrogen. It will now be too cold for the evil forces to touch.
The evil forces that I’m leader of, remember. Obviously my disloyal second-in-command will take umbrage if I seem not to be looking for the pen at all—I’m fairly sure they’re a time traveller here to prevent Einstein from laying the physics foundations for the nuclear weapons that will destroy the world in the mid-20th century or something like that, and they keep scribbling notes on this list of about 50 items—but I can still direct them to the wrong place for 50 years. Hey, I think I saw the pen-keeper go into the middle of the Antarctic to launch a rocket!
Bury the pen in a large heap of explosives that only I know how to disarm—WWII mines are still dangerous so them being stable for 50 years should work.
Tie the pen to my ankle, everywhere I go—the traditional mores of the 19th century would make it scandalous for the evil forces to retrieve it from there!
Melt down the pen into a block of ordinary looking gunk. Remake the pen when needed years later.