Dr. Girard was born in the early 19th century, where he showed early promise as an engineer and an inventor. He was approached by would-be acolytes of the God-Machine, who offered him access to wondrous technologies to experiment with as well as a lifespan measured in centuries instead of decades.
Dr. Girard was a contented agent of the God-Machine until 1920, when he realized that a device he had built in 1901 was fatally flawed. His employers believed that this device would allow them to freely travel to any point in the past or future. Dr. Girard came to believe that this device was instead inspired by the God-Machine, to enable it to dissolve all of time into a single endless moment, an act that would destroy humanity and horribly transform the entire cosmos. Dr. Girard's superiors refused to believe him and dismissed his concerns. To avoid imprisonment or death, he then convinced them that he had made a mistake and that he too was looking forward to gaining mastery of time.
Since 1920, Dr. Girard has secretly devoted much of his efforts to discovering a way to destroy the device he had helped create before it had built up sufficient power to activate and destroy time. He realized that the only way to safely deactivate the device was to keep the device from being built in the first place. In order to accomplish this goal, he or someone else must travel back to 1901, just after the device was activated and before he informed his superiors about it.