A few weeks have passed since i threw Ginnie out. I’ve not seen her. Hopefully she left town. Not my problem now. October here in Brunswick has the most gorgeous weather you find in this place all year. Pristine skies and sharp dry shadows dappling sunlight thru the windows and skylights.
I’ve just made an unauthorized entry into the bulding where the time machine was housed in that big, shadowy hangar. They hardly ever use this place anymore and it is quiet as a mausoleum. Only a little light drizzles here into the corridors.
I am tense as i move. My muted footsteps start to sound so loud they get on my last nerve. When i get to the door i take a step and there is a loud screech and a hiss and the cat jumps up on the stairwell and hisses and glowers at me, emerald eyes in a jet black face. I hope he’s alright. Cats are durable. I knew there was one here but i never saw it before. I guess somebody comes in and feeds it.
When Dillon debriefed me i made the strongest possible recommendation that the timeship be destroyed and all of the technology that goes with it. I knew it wouldnt happen that way. After they used the first nukes in a war there was no way they could destroy what they’d created. I still hoped that at least the ship would be taken apart and the technology kept as guarded as it could be.
I am so naive.
I manage to get the door to the hangar open and walk in toward the blue circle and stop ten feet away. In it is the future. Or eternity, if you like. The old ship was dismantled but they built something even better. And there it is.
The old ship looked like a giant hot dog on wheels. This really looks like a ship. Streamlined and teardrop shaped, with subtle, symmetrical bulges aft. I guess you could call them nacelles. They obviously generate the field that makes time travel possible. There are other improvements, the most important being a time portal that can look into the past, just not very far back. And they even fixed the flaw that made travelling in it such physical agony.
So how do i know all this? Well. I have my snitches too. Without them i couldnt even have gotten in the building, much less this hangar.
The ship even has a name. It’s Fight the Future, whatever that means. The generation that fought WWII mustve felt this kind of awe when they saw the first jet aircraft.
As far as i know i dont trip any alarms when i walk into the blue circle and open the canopy. I get into the ship and see that there have been such improvements IDK if i can pilot it. The big joystick that was the main control of the older one is smaller and folded away and marked manual control only. The actual controls are mainly in a keyboard right in front of me.
And i wont ever have to sing Sealed With a Kiss again just to open and close the canopy. I will always hate that song.
As soon as i am in there is a muted whisper and the keyboard lights up. The screen asks me for my destination. I hesitate before i type Dallas, TX Dealy Plaza, 7:00 am November 22, 1963. I go on to specify a place next to the book depository where i can land this thing and its force field and cloaking device will keep it safe.
Oswald’s movements that day are pretty well known. All i have to do is lay for him behind a stack of crates. When he passes by i’ll just step out behind him and break his neck. He’ll never know what hit him. That’s the easy part. The real problem is the second shooter. Nothing is known about him except that there had to be one. I’m going to try to use the time viewer to scan for a plume of smoke from a rifle. Start with the grassy knoll and scan everywhere until i see it. Then i’ll have to figure out how to kill him before he can fire. That may require multiple incursions in time and that makes me nervous. I dont care how smug Dillon is about temporal paradoxes being a myth.
The screen chimes and asks me if this is where i want to go. I hit Y and i am prompted to submit to the ID verification. It’s just a retinal and fingerprint scan and it says i may proceed. I dont know what to do next until i have to hit Y again. When i do a voice comes out over a hidden speaker and i nearly jump up and hit my head.
It’s a woman’s voice, of course. Some comedian programmed in a woman’s voice in a deep, thrilling contralto that some men think is so sexy. I never liked that. I always thought a woman who talked that way needed more estrogen or something.
RU ready, Colonel Chones? The voice asks me.
Yes, i say irritably.
Waiting for final command, it says.
Engage, i say in a tired and cranky voice.
Beginning five second countdown, it says and starts counting.
What will happen? I havent the faintest. I’ll tell you about it when i get back.
If i get back.
In the meantime…
May Allah’s grace be with you all. Amen.