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Book
Part I, One Man's Journey Through Time
(2013)
  • Rodney E Langley
Abstract
Part I One Man’s Journey Through Time Making Ready For The Day When Professor Winston woke up this morning, he didn’t realize that he would be famous by bedtime. He woke up at his regular time, which is 6 am, and went about his normal routine for preparing for the day of teaching young minds how to expand their horizons. Professor Winston is a quiet, reserved man, who enjoys teaching the next generation of philosophers how to look outside themselves to appreciate other people’s viewpoints, when it relates to themselves. He also happens to be a tinkerer, who has a basement full of tools, which he uses to bring his dreams to life. Winston stands five foot eleven in stocking feet, he has sandy brown hair and he has the build of an aging, but fit, man in his 40’s. He doesn’t work out every day but he does try to take care of himself with a little jogging once in a while. The day started as any other, in that he did wake up. He brushed his teeth, took a shower, and made his coffee, and stepped out to get the morning paper. While walking to the coffeemaker to get his first cup, he happened to glance up at the wallclock to check the time, and noticed that the hands seemed to stand still. At first glance, he thought the battery had died, but when he stepped closer, the clock resumed, so he thought it might have been his imagination playing tricks on him. He had stayed up most of the night working on his latest invention, which was an extremely small computer that attaches to the head with a small band. Now, he wasn’t exactly sure what the computer did, but he had dreamed of it a few nights ago, and was interested in seeing if he could make it work. He was surprised it didn’t take long to build, and the rest of the time had been spent testing it, to see what it could do. He had placed the band on his head, and turned the computer on, but didn’t feel any effect’s from it, so he thought it hadn’t done anything. Winston thought, “Just another failed experiment.” and had gone to bed. Winston looked at the time, and realized he would be late if he didn’t hurry, so he grabbed his briefcase, and his jacket, and jogged out to his car in the early Kansas morning. He drove the quiet streets to the campus, and parked in his usual spot. He walked to his classroom, and settled in for his day. The Morning Class The classroom was large with stadium seating, it had huge windows that looked out onto the campus grounds, and had a dry-erase board that was 15 feet long, while being 5 feet tall. Winston’s desk was set almost to the windows facing the class. The first students began to arrive at 7 am, and greeted him with enthusiasm because he was a well liked instructor, for those taking his class. He started the class each day by asking a question, it varied every day, but all the questions he asked had a central theme to them, in that the class was expected to make observations while away from class, and present them to the class as a whole. His question for the day was, “If you could travel in time, what would your favorite period of time be in?” The question for yesterday had been, “How do hair styles change from generation to generation, and what can be learned about the people who have a certain haircut?” Professor Winston looked out at the class and asked, "Did any of you make an observation on the question from yesterday?” Marcus, one of his favorite students, answered, “I did. I noticed that a lot of the older professors have their hair cut long on top, so that they can comb it over.” Winston asked, “And what did you learn from this?” Marcus replied,” I learned that no matter how old you get, you still want to look good for the girls.” The class laughed at his observation. Marcus was of half-Latino descent and was six feet tall, with black hair and a wide chest, while his girlfriend, Jeanette, was of Nordic descent, and was 5’ 10” tall, with blonde hair. They made a great couple, each seemed to balance the other in their everyday trials. They each leaned on the other when times were rough, and knew they could count on each other. The class spent a while on other people’s observations, and then they were done for the day. Questions On Time Periods Winston went to lunch in the cafeteria, and then back to the classroom to grade some papers. Marcus and his girlfriend, Jeanette, showed up in the middle of his grading, and Marcus asked if Professor Winston had a few minutes to discuss the question that he had posed today. Winston said, “Absolutely, sit down and let’s talk about it. I know it was an esoteric question, but I would like an answer.” Marcus started off, “I would like to live in the latter half of the 19th century, in the Eastern Half of the United States, because of the innovations that were beginning at that time, and because of the openness of the lands. You could walk for days, and not meet another person, or stay in a town, and meet all the heroes from that time.” Winston asked, “Are you sure? It was a hard time as well, little food unless you could hunt, most people carried guns at that time, and most jobs were hard work for little pay. What would you do for work? What would you do for shelter and food?” Marcus looked a little bit shocked, “ I never thought of it, really. I haven’t held a gun, except for once in my life, and it was a little .22 rifle. I guess I would have to think a little bit harder on it than I have. What would be your favorite time, and why?” Winston got a far off look in his eyes, and considered the question, “I would have to say, that I would like to visit the future. I would like to make sure that the world is going to be a beautiful place for our grandchildren when we leave it.” Marcus gave Winston a look of contemplation and asked, “So there is no time in the past you would like to visit?” Winston thought about it for a few moments and said, “Maybe the time of the Pharaohs, just to see how they built those pyramids. Ok, and maybe the building of Stonehenge.” Marcus looked at his girlfriend and asked her, “What time period in history would you like to visit?” Jeanette thought about it for a few moments and said, “I wouldn’t mind visiting the future, and seeing if we had discovered any aliens. Hopefully, they would be nice, and wouldn’t be looking for a new snack item on their menu.” It All Comes To A Standstill At that moment, Winston looked at the clock, and observed that it seemed to have stopped. When he looked at Marcus and Jeanette to ask them what they saw, they appeared to be frozen in position. Winston was scared at the sight of the two sitting as if stone statues, and got up from his chair to see if they were breathing. They didn’t appear to be breathing, and it didn’t look, or feel, as if their hearts were beating when he placed a finger on their carotid arteries. He walked to the window and looked outside, the trees were in a position, as if a hard wind had been blowing, and they had swayed, but not sprung back, as they would normally do. He looked at the campus grounds to see if anyone else had observed this, but everyone looked as if they had turned into statues, like Marcus, and Jeanette. Winston rubbed his forehead in thought, and said to himself, “What is going on with the world, or is it just me? Maybe I did something to cause this.” He thought back to the night before, and said, “I guess the computer had an affect after all.” After what felt like an eternity to him, everything started moving again. He breathed a sigh of relief, and started back to his chair. Marcus was looking around and asked him, “How did you get over there? You were just sitting in front of us.” Winston walked up to him, and said, “I think I might have been a little hasty in my assumption that nothing happened when I conducted an experiment last night. I probably should have experimented on an animal before I raced ahead, and tested something on myself.” Marcus asked, “What are you talking about?” Winston explained about having very vivid dreams sometimes, and being shown equipment that he could, and did, build in his basement, never thinking that it could hurt him, or anyone around him. He told them about the extremely small computer that he had built the night before, and tested on himself. Marcus asked Winston if he could see it. Winston told him he could come over in the evening, and could bring Jeanette, if she wanted to come with him. Jeanette immediately agreed, and told him they would be over around 7 pm. Winston spent the rest of the day in a haze, thinking about what had happened, and whether to try to stop it, or to let it continue. In the end, he decided to let it continue, just to see what happened. Visitors Arrive When Winston arrived home that evening, he was surprised to find three cars sitting around his driveway. He grabbed his briefcase and jacket, and started toward his front door, where he was met by Marcus, who said, “I hope you don’t mind that we brought a few more people. When Jeanette and I were talking about coming over here, a couple of our friends overheard us, and asked if they could come with us. I told them it would be up to you, you would have to be the one to let them know if they could stay, or not.” Winston told him, “I don’t mind, the more the merrier. Let’s just get everyone inside before my neighbors start to wonder what’s going on.” As Winston opened the door, he thought he saw someone standing in the living room, but when he was getting ready to step inside, one of the students said something. He looked away from the apparition for a second, and when he looked back, it was gone. Marcus asked, “Hey, where did he go?” Winston said, “Who are you talking about?” Marcus said, “The guy that was just standing there in your living room.” Winston looked around the living room, and then went through to the kitchen, and the bedroom. Not finding anyone, he returned to the living room with everyone else. He said, “I don’t know, I couldn’t find him anywhere. Let‘s go to the basement, and look at my new experiment.” Winston walked to the basement door, and started to open it, but stopped, and looked at the four people he didn’t know. “You never did introduce me to the rest of your friends, Marcus. Why don’t you do that before we head down.” Introduction Of Guests Marcus pointed to the left, and introduced the first person as Samuel. They had been in ROTC together. The next person he introduced was William, he had met him while hiking one day in the nearby hills. John was next, Jeanette had introduced him to Marcus as an ex-boyfriend. They had decided to be "just friends" after trying for a while to start a relationship, which didn’t seem to work out. The last person introduced was Kim, John’s current girlfriend. Winston greeted each person, and asked why they had chosen to come to his house. Samuel stated that he had taken a class under Winston, a few years back, and had enjoyed the lectures so much, that he just had to meet Winston again. William said that he wanted to study new inventions, to find any that could have retail purposes. John said he was just curious about what had gotten Marcus, and Jeanette, interested enough to come to his house, and Kim said she just came because John had. Winston said those were all fair answers, and he was pleased to meet them all. He then proceeded down the stairs, turning on the light switch, located halfway down the staircase, so the others could follow without tripping. He heard indrawn-breaths as everyone came down the stairs, and could then see into the basement. Down In The Basement John said, “Dang Doc, you have everything down here but an atom smasher.” Winston replied, “That’s being delivered Thursday.” while keeping a straight face. Marcus asked, “Are you serious?” “No, I just thought we needed something to lighten the mood, ya’ll are just too tense.” Winston replied. Everyone laughed for a few moments. At that moment, it appeared that everyone froze, except for Winston. He walked around the group in amazement. He pushed gently on William to see what would happen, if anything, but it was like pushing a boulder. Winston walked upstairs. As he was going upstairs, he felt a shudder. He thought, “Earthquake” but it didn’t seem to affect anything else. Looking down to see if anyone had fallen, he was surprised when he didn’t see anybody else. They had all vanished. Winston walked upstairs into the kitchen, and stood for a minute in thought. He walked into the living room when he thought he heard voices coming from outside. He approached the front door, and watched as it began to open. He was astonished when he came face-to-face with himself. He backed away a few yards, and felt the shudder again. The door was closed, and he didn’t see anyone anymore. He looked around with a befuddled expression, until he heard voices coming from the basement. Winston’s first thought was, “I’m cracking up. They're going to put me in a padded room, and throw away the key.” His next thought was, “I guess now I know what my device does.” He started to walk to the basement door, when everyone came boiling up the stairway calling his name. Winston called out to them, and assured them everything was alright. John was the first one to reach him and asked, “What the hell just happened? One second you were there, and the next you were gone. Marcus told us this happened earlier today, but I didn’t know if I should believe him, or not, he could have been drinking.” Marcus got an angry look in his eyes, and asked John, “When have I ever been drunk at one o’clock in the afternoon? We told you what we saw today, if you didn’t believe us, you shouldn’t have come with us.” Winston calmed everyone down, before it got out of control, and explained to all of them about his dreams, and how he built things that came to him in them. He had everyone sit down, while he talked about his latest dream, and the computer that was supposed to be fitted to the head. He explained that he had used it on himself that morning, and how he was having instances of apparent time travel. William asked what happened to failed experiments, when it was proven that the idea did not work. He was advised that the experiment was rendered down to its constituent parts, and sent to the local dump. William wanted to know why the experiments were destroyed, if the parts could still be used for something else. “Why would I want to use a part from a failed experiment, when it could have any contamination from particles, or radiation, or biological material? It’s best to start fresh on each article, and not have to wonder if any thing has skewed the results from previous use of the material.” Winston told him. “Okay, I can understand that.” William responded, while thinking about how to go about locating the area in the dump the pieces might be in. Winston could see the sudden thoughtful look in Williams eyes, and made a plan to change where he dumped his materials from now on. Hopefully, the other materials were buried far enough down, to thwart any attempts to dig them up. Winston glanced around at the rest of them, but everybody else seemed to have missed the calculation in Williams eyes. The Reason Why Everyone Came "Let's all go back dowstairs, shall we?" Winston said. “Well, let’s get to the reason for all of us meeting here tonight.” He pulled out the computer and showed it to them. “This is my latest invention. You place it on your head using this strap, and turn it on with this button, on the side.” Winston passed the Time Travel device around the room, and placed it back on the shelf when they were done. An avalanche of questions began coming from all corners of the room. “How did you make it? What materials did you use? Did you make more than the one? What does it do when it is turned on, while you have it on your head?” Winston held up his hands, and made gestures for them to calm down, “One at a time, please!” Winston walked to a chair that was underneath the stairs, and dragged it around to where the others were standing around. He sat down and looked at them, then gestured at his feet, and told them all to find a seat. Once everyone was settled, he started to answer their questions. He began by telling them all that when he dreamed, he would be shown a completely functional instrument, and then it would be taken apart in front of him. He retained the memory of the dream until he finished making the experiment, and then it would disappear from his mind, like an actual dream would. If he tried to take an experiment apart to find out how it worked, it ceased to function completely, and he hadn’t been able to return any of the ones that he took apart to functionality again. “Marcus, I want you to make recordings of the area that I am in at all times. Can you set up cameras in all rooms and spaces to film me 24 hours a day?” Winston then looked at the rest of them, “I also need for all of you to use your phones to take video of me any time you are near me, can everyone do that?” Marcus nodded his head, and agreed for all the rest, that they would do as Winston asked. Jeanette took her phone out, and pointed it at Winston, and began to take video of him. A minute later, Winston felt the same sensation that heralded his last trip through time, and he disappeared. Time Travel, Past To Winston, it looked as if everything was moving, all the students were gone, as if by magic. The house had been built in the early 19th century, and had sat empty for quite a few years, because of a rumor that it was haunted, rumors based upon lights being seen through the windows when nobody was home to turn them on. When Winston came to a stop, which for some reason felt more like a temporary rest than anything else, he looked around. He was still in his house, but there was nobody else there, and the interior was a little different than the way he had had it. Winston’s house was made of rough-cut wood planks with a natural stone foundation. The outside was painted every year, this year it was blue, but the inside was all natural colors. His living room was all light browns and grays, while the kitchen was darker browns. His bedroom was painted a dove gray while the spare bedroom was painted moss green. The basement had natural stone walls but was otherwise unfinished, as he had never had time to do anything with it, other than to have lights set up in it. Every room in the house seemed to be crammed with all the belongings he had accumulated from his years of living in it. Winston made a few rounds inside the house to find out what was different. So far, it didn’t appear to be too different, just subtle ways of putting things, that made a little bit more room than he was used to in the house. He began to feel comfortable with the way the house was now laid out, and vowed he would change his furnishings to reflect the differences he saw. Winston began to get the feeling his trip was about to resume, so he went outside, and sat under a tree, in order to be out of the way, if any other changes occurred. He felt the shudder, and time began to unwind in front of him, again. He saw the house begin to disappear in front of his eyes, the landscape began to change as well. A tree, that he had in the front yard, shrank until it became a nut that a squirrel picked up and ran away with, in reverse. It felt like the reversal was going faster, and faster, until, when he looked around, he didn’t recognize any of the landmarks he knew from driving to work, even the road was gone. It had all been replaced by a green valley. Winston began to see signs of life around him, sort of. He watched as animals appeared out of the grass, as if by magic. He watched as people seemed to rise from the grave, and wander around for a while, before leaving. This gave him a shiver in his spine, as it reminded him of all the zombie stories he had read as a child. He began to walk around, to see if he could find anything to take back with him. He eventually found an arrowhead, but when he went to reach for it, his hand passed through it, as if he were a ghost. Winston thought on it for awhile, and decided that maybe he was seen as a ghost, at least to the people who saw him for the split-second he was in their view. Eventually, time began to slow in it’s mad pace backwards, and he saw more, and more people around him. It was a Native American tribe that had apparently stopped in the spot for a rest in their travels. When his trip ended in front of them, the warriors became highly agitated, and grabbed their weapons. They began to circle him, and to thrust their weapons at him, but he remained calm, and stood there while they examined him. This was a tribe of Plains Indians that had never seen a white man before, and were really curious as to what he was. They didn’t know if he was a god, or a very stealthy warrior, that had snuck in to their camp. The Shaman was sent for. When he arrived, he circled Winston a few times, sniffing at him like a wolf would, trying to get his scent. He began to dance around, and shake his sacred bones that he always carried in his belt pouch, and threw a blanket at Winston, that had just come from a trade with another band. Winston threw off the blanket, and began to feel a tension. It felt similar to the feeling that had come over him when he traveled backwards in time. The shudder came in a rush, and he felt himself propelled in time, going the other way. The Shaman would be looked at in wonder for the rest of his life, and be worshiped for sending the demon away from the tribe. Back To The Future Winston watched as everything disappeared around him, and felt himself going faster than ever before. He began to slow when his house appeared, and came to a stop when he saw all the vehicles in his driveway. He walked inside, and there were all the people he had left in his house. Marcus walked up to him, looking him up, and down. “Well, you look none the worse for your trip. Where did you go, or should I say "when" did you go?” “I think it was the late 16th century. I saw a tribe of Plains Indians who had stopped in the area for a rest.” Winston looked around, and asked, “Anyone want to make something to eat? I’m starving. How long was I gone?” Marcus walked to the kitchen, and grabbed some things from the fridge. He began to make an omelet, “You were gone for about 30 minutes. I’ve already set up the cameras in all the rooms, I'm sending some of the guys to get some food, since your fridge was empty.” “Thanks, I forgot that I hadn’t gone shopping in awhile, I appreciate you picking some food up.” Winston looked a little embarrassed. “No problem, Doc.” Marcus replied, “ Since we might be here awhile, we decided we needed to have some resources here to see us through.” Famous “Well it appears that you have everything in check, so I’m going to go to the basement, and get my experiment.” Winston checked to make sure no one else was in hearing range, and got close to Marcus, “I don’t trust everyone in the group. I will keep the computer on me from now on, just in case.” “I understand Doc, I wouldn’t want anyone else to be sucked into what your doing.” Marcus looked around as well, and said, “Jeanette loaded the video of you disappearing to the internet, and you already have 50,000 hits. You're famous, Doc.” “Well I wasn’t expecting that, but I’ll take it, if I can get it.” Winston replied. Winston headed down to the basement, and retrieved his computer. He brought it back to the kitchen, and began to eat like he had never seen food before. “This is really good, how did you learn to cook so well?” “It was either learn to cook, or starve in my home.” Marcus replied. “Why was that?” Winston looked at Marcus with a terrible foreboding feeling. “Well, my mother was never around, and my father was not interested in having, or raising, children. When I came home, I had to make dinner for myself if I wanted anything to eat that day, and it was usually whatever was in the fridge that wasn’t too spoiled, or, out of cans. I tried to find some that weren’t too far past their expiration date, in order to keep from getting too sick, if something was bad.” “That is a surprisingly adult way of looking out for yourself. Most adults would have given up, and looked for somewhere else to live.” Winston looked at Marcus with compassion, “I’m sorry you had to go through something like that in your years of growing up. I can tell you that you grew up to be a fine young man, due to your hardships. I just wish you hadn’t had to go through them.” “Don’t get me wrong, Doc, there were good times as well. My choice in friends helped considerably in making the right choices in my life.” Marcus replied. “You have helped with your friendship, and accepting, easy going ways.” “Any way I can help a friend out, all they have to do is ask.” Winston replied. “Well, there was one thing,” Marcus looked chagrined, “I kind of haven’t been able to pay my rent this month, and I need somewhere to stay. Can I stay here for a little while?” “Absolutely, I need someone to stay here and keep the place up for me, seeing as how I never know when I’ll be whipped out on a trip. My house is your house.” Winston looked at Marcus with pride in his eyes. “Now let’s see what exactly this computer does, shall we?” Winston fit the band over his head, and turned the computer on, but,nothing happened for a few minutes. Then he felt the same tension he had felt before he had traveled the previous times, and all of a sudden, he felt like a tsunami had hit him, and he was gone. Into Time Space Winston was hurtling through time, like a runaway locomotive, but he wasn’t going towards the past anymore, he was going into the future. He felt more in control this time, probably due to having the headband on. He began to drift in his thoughts, back to his childhood, when he had dreams of going to foreign lands. He had dreamed of going to Paris, France at one time just to see the Eiffel Tower. He felt himself begin to slide sideways, and when he stopped, he was in Paris, under the Tower. At first, he didn’t understand what was going on, but then he realized that when he had the headband on, he could travel to other locations, as well as other times. He began to think of all the other places that he had ever wanted to travel to, and with each thought, he was there. The Pyramids of Egypt, Hoover Dam, Washington, D.C., the Pyramids of the Mayans, anywhere that he wanted to travel, he was instantly transported to. The only problem being that, he was still traveling forward in time, so as he reached each destination, they were also disintegrating in front of him, due to age. Winston thought about the future. What would he want to see? He considered the possibility of alien races, and suddenly, he was transported to another world. Alien World When Winston looked around, all he saw was tall grass. The only problem was, it was purple. He had never seen purple grass before. When he examined it closer, he noticed that it wasn’t like grass on earth. It appeared to have small tendrils coming out of its edges. It also appeared to be sharp, and hard as a sword. He considered for awhile, and decided that the edge probably cut you, and then the tendrils would dig in, to finish the job of providing fertilizer for the plant. He turned in a complete circle to see if there was a way to walk through, or would he have to wait for the plants to die, due to age? He finally found an opening, and pushed through. He couldn’t have just moved himself, because he didn’t know where he was on this alien world, and couldn’t know where he would end up. The first thing he saw when he stepped out of the grass, was what looked like a horse, chewing on a short version of the grass. Then he noticed that the grass had a more red tint to it. The next thing he noticed, was that the horse had what appeared to be a saddle on it, but when he looked around, he couldn’t locate the rider. He walked around for a few minutes, and finally found what he assumed was the rider, in the embrace of the long grass. He looked to have been dead for a day, or so. The dead rider had two arms, two legs, and a head, but that was as close to human as it came. His skin had a green cast to it, but the most startling thing about it was, that it only had one eye. As he watched, the body was fully embraced by the grass, and it disappeared, to become more grass. The horse wandered away, and finally, was lost in the distance. Winston walked in the direction the horse had walked, he walked for what felt like hours before he saw a city in the distance. The buildings climbed all the way to the sky, with walls that were so white, they hurt to look at. The City Winston approached the city with care, not wanting to rush in to something that he didn’t understand, as of yet. He walked over a bridge to reach the city proper, through gates that were so large, that they looked like they needed giants to open them. The streets were clean, and looked to be in good repair. He walked for what felt like an hour on the road, before coming to a side road. He turned right on it, and walked for another hour, before being faced with a choice of right, or left. He chose to turn left, and walk to the center of the city. He could see people, or what he thought were people, walking around him. They walked past him on their daily routines, but none walked into him. It was like they could feel him, and so avoided running into him. He was amazed that they came in all different colors, and shapes: Short, tall, green, blue, yellow, one eye, two eyes, and three eyes. Winston went to the largest building he could find, and wandered inside for a look at the architecture. He wanted to see if there were any examples of their art in the building, or if it was just a bureaucratic building, like back home. There appeared to be guards walking everywhere. They wore a uniform of purple fabric, with black leather around the cuffs, and neck. He walked towards a door on the back wall. He entered it behind another person, and walked down the hallway, looking left, and right at the open, and closed, doors lining it. He looked in one room, and found a group of individuals standing around, what appeared to be, a computer placed in a table. He became curious as to what they were looking at, so he approached the group, and looked over the people’s shoulders that were nearest to him. What he saw, was a 3D representation of the city, or what he assumed was the city. Winston tried to memorize the layout of the city, so that if he became lost, he would be able to find his way, at least back to the building he was in, anyway. He saw what appeared to be ants, walking around in the city, but upon closer inspection, resolved into people walking around the streets. He realized he was looking at a real-time representation, of the activity that he had passed through, getting to the building he had entered. Tripping Alarms At that time, he felt the shudder that resulted from returning to real-time. The people at the table looked up at him with shocked looks on their faces, and alarms began to blare throughout the building. Security personnel began to pour into the room with weapons drawn, and immediately began to shout in a language that he could not understand. Winston had been in enough security situations, that he figured they were probably yelling for him to put his hands on his head, which he did as quickly as he could, to show that he wasn’t a threat to anyone in the room. Winston was placed in a room, a few rooms down from where he had been, and he settled down to wait. He sat for about an hour before anyone came to see him. What looked like an elder of their people came into the room, and began to question him, but, seeing his look of incomprehension, stopped, and just looked at him for a while before leaving. Two hours later, another elder came in to the room, and started to ask questions, in what sounded like different languages, but was convinced that he knew none of them. The elder studied him for a few minutes and asked in clear English, “Why are you spying on us?” Winston sat back in surprise, and asked the elder, “How can you speak my language?” Evantel The elder asked, “What is your name? Mine is Evantel.” “Professor George Winston, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” “The pleasure is mine, Professor” Evantel replied, “How did you enter the room where you appeared?” “I entered the room because the door was open, and I saw a group of beings standing around, what I assumed, was a computer, and wanted to see what they were looking so intently at.” “I didn’t ask "why" you entered the room, I asked "how" you entered the room when the main door is guarded at all times, and is only opened, when a known individual approaches with a badge.” “I am a time space traveler. I was in the middle of a transport, when I saw the building, and entered to find out what the building contained. I walked past the guard, when another person was entering. As I was walking down the hallway, I saw the door was open, and went inside to find out what everyone was looking at.” “You say you’re a time space traveler? How did you get this ability?” “I have dreams in which I see things being built. I don’t know where they come from, all I know is that I dream about how the item is built, and I build it, to see what it does,” Winston explained. “I had a dream about the small computer that you see on my head. I placed it on my head and turned it on, and then took it off, believing it hadn’t worked, but later, I began experiencing time displacement. When I wear the computer, I can control where I go. If I don’t wear the computer, I get displaced in time only.” Evantel looked at Winston skeptically. “So, what you're saying, if I’m understanding this correctly, is that you can travel through time without the computer, and that you can travel through time and space, with the computer on.” “Correct. I can travel to anywhere in the world, or worlds, with the computer on, or involuntarily move through time without it on.” “That is an unbelievable power. How long have you had this ability?” “Since this morning, subjective for me. I found that I was being sent further, and further, out in time, but when I placed the computer on my head, I found that I could move in space, with a thought, to anywhere I wished to go.” “I would like to know when you began to have these dreams?” Evantel asked with a look of interest. “I have had the dreams for years. I have put together, and taken apart, approximately 400 items, of which I know the use of maybe 100, after experimentation. The rest, I either never figured out what they were for, or took back apart, and was never able to get to work again, after putting them back together again.” “Why would you not be able to get something to work again after you put it together the first time?” “I don’t know if they have a trigger that makes them inert, when trying to take them apart, or if there is a program in the computer-controlled items, that erases everything, if it loses power.” “That sounds like a possibility. At least it is something I would do, if I didn’t want someone to find out how to recreate something I’ve built. I wonder why it is you that has these dreams, and not someone else?” “I’ve wondered that myself, sometimes, but I’ve stopped worrying about it, and just built the items like I dream them.” Winston looked around the room with the sense that they weren’t alone. Not seeing anyone, he asked the Elder if they were being recorded, to which he was assured that they were. He then asked if they had food and drink that he could be provided with, as it had been awhile since he had last eaten. “Please forgive me, I apologize that we didn’t provide you any refreshments.” Evantel said, with a look of derision. “There is no need to be rude, now that I’m in your power.” Winston stated, with a look of hurt on his face. “Quite right, I am sorry,” Evantel replied, “Food will be brought momentarily.” A few minutes later, a tray was brought into the room by a security officer. It had a wide variety of items that were considered food. Winston looked at the tray in apprehension, not knowing what he could safely eat on this alien world. He watched as Evantel began to eat some of the food on the tray. “Are you going to eat?” Evantel asked. “I’m not sure what is safe for me to eat on this world.” Winston replied. Evantel had a look of understanding on his face, as he began to chew on the food that had been provided. “You were scanned while you sat in the room waiting to be talked to, all the food that you see is safe for you to consume.” A look of relief crossed Winston’s face as he began to make inroads on the tray. Silence reigned as he ate, and drank, until he was full. He finally sat back with a sigh of repletion. You Aren't The Only One “You never did tell me how you came to speak my language.” Winston stated. “You aren’t the first of your type to come to my world, you aren’t even the second. We have been host to most of the humanoid bodied alien species of the universe for the last 50,000 years.” Evantel spoke with an air of an expert. “There are other humans on this planet?” Winston asked, with a look of incredulity. “Did you think you were the only one in the universe?” “Well, no, but I hadn’t seen any humans, and made an assumption that we had all killed ourselves on Earth.” Evantel sat back and concentrated, he began to tell Winston of the history of the Earth that he hadn’t known. He started by stating that he did not have a complete history of the Earth, but he had the highlights. The Earth had been invaded by the Holtai race, a thousand years in the past, and most of the people that were on the planet, had been enslaved, and sold on the open market as laborers, or in the sex trade. Evantel assured Winston, that any human slaves that made it to his planet, were automatically freed, as his planet did not support, or allow, slavery anywhere within their system. The planet was considered neutral territory by all species. All Spaceships of visitors to the system were boarded by a customs cutter, and advised of, and signed, a binding agreement that they would follow all rules and regulations. If any rules were violated while in the system by any aggressors, then the violator was subject to punishment equal to the transgression. If you committed murder, then you would be killed in the same manner that you killed others. The premise of these laws, was based on thousands of years of experience in dealing with the inhabitants' natural aggression, and had been held by the system, since long before most of the inhabitants had discovered space flight. “So, which inhabitants are the originals?” Winston asked. “When I arrived, I found many different colors, and eye configurations. So, which ones are the originals?” “This system has been settled for so long, that it doesn’t really matter anymore. All the people that you saw on the streets are citizens of this system. All of the visitors to the system are kept to a walled enclave near the spaceport. That way we can keep an eye on them.” Evantel replied. “Then I guess that’s where I will be headed next?” “Not for quite a while yet. We have a lot of information to go over.” “Such as?” Winston asked, with trepidation. “Let’s start with when the dreams began, and go on from there.” Twenty hours later, after going over every detail of his youth, including broken bones, and lost loves, Winston was exhausted, and mumbling his answers. Evantel looked fresh and rested, even after all the hours of questioning. Winston started to nod off while in the middle of a sentence, and Evantel woke him with a slap on the table. “It looks like we will get nothing more from you this day, so I will have you taken to a holding cell to rest.” Evantel nodded to a guard at the door, and rose to his feet, “I’ll see you after you have rested.” Bedtime Winston was escorted to another room, this one had a bed, and a chair with a table. Everything was bolted to the floor, the bed looked comfortable, with a thick mattress, and clean looking sheets, with a fluffy pillow. The cell was painted white, with a green stripe halfway up the wall. There was a small privacy wall with a toilet placed behind it. There was a small sink set into the top of the toilet, so that they could both use the same water supply. Winston collapsed on the mattress, and was instantly asleep. When Winston woke up, he found the same guard at the door. He asked him how long he had slept, but the guard just looked at him with a blank look on his face. Winston took that to mean he didn’t understand a word he had said, so he asked for Evantel. The guard made a gesture indicating he understood, and called on his radio for the Elder to be advised that the human was awake. When Evantel arrived, he said “So you have finally awoke from your slumber. We had begun to worry, as you have slept for a full 24 hours.” “I guess I was extremely tired. I feel completely refreshed, and ready to continue now.” “I had begun to be concerned for you when it passed the 8 hour mark, but our physician scanned you, and stated that it was exhaustion that made you sleep so long, and to let you sleep for as long as you needed.” “Thank him for me, I had hit the wall, and needed to get as much rest as I could.” “Hit the wall? I’ve never heard it put that way before.” “It is a colloquialism meaning to go as far as possible, with what I had available.” Evantel waved his hand, as if to disperse smoke, “Let’s concentrate on what today will bring, shall we? First, something to eat for you, and then we shall go back to the question and answer period.” “Very well, lead on.” Winston stated, while making a gesture allowing the Elder to lead. The two walked for 10 minutes to another room down the hallway, and stepped into a cafeteria-style room. Evantel led Winston to a table, and gestured for him to sit. A server walked over with trays for them. As soon as Winston’s tray hit the table, he began to dig in. Once the edge of hunger had been assuaged, he looked up to find Evantel staring at him. “What? I was starved. You try to sleep for 24 hours and not be hungry.” “My apologies, I’ve just never seen someone attack food that way. It was a little disconcerting.” Winston finished his food at a more reasonable rate, and sat back to let the food begin to digest. “You said that your physician scanned me? Will you tell me the results of the scan?” “Let’s wait until we return to a secure room, where we can speak in private.” Evantel replied. “Let’s go.” Winston said, standing up and walking toward the entrance. Evantel followed slowly, “What’s wrong?” Winston asked. “I’m not sure you will like hearing the results.” Evantel stated, with a look of trepidation. “It can’t be that bad, can it?” Winston asked, with a feeling of ice going down his back. They arrived at the room, and sat down in the chairs provided. The Disease “Well, when the physician scanned you, he found that you have a disease, that had been eradicated from the human race for thousands of years.” “Can you cure me of this disease? What kind of disease are we talking about?” Winston asked, with a feeling nearing panic making his heart beat faster, and sweat to appear on his forehead. “The physician was unsure if he could cure it, or not. It had been cured in humans mostly by genetic manipulation. It took hundreds of years to cure, and was done by the most brilliant doctors of the day, working under your government organization called the UN. "Under their rules, if you had a genetic predisposition to this disease, you were sterilized, and left to die. Any family found to have this disease, was ostracized after being sterilized, and forced to live in enclaves that allowed no exit, for the rest of their natural lives. Of course, there were “accidents”, with various lethal gases and toxic wastes, that eventually killed them faster, as well as being shot, for coming too close to the walls.” “That’s horrible. How did they get away with something so sweeping, and intolerable? It definitely happened after my time.” Winston stated, with certainty. “The UN used the public media to tell everyone that the disease would kill everyone if they didn’t do this. They also had “Health Days”, that, if you didn’t appear at, then you were automatically arrested, and sent for processing.” “So what was this disease called? The only diseases that affected the whole Earth were polio, and smallpox, that I know of, and they killed or crippled millions of people, but they were taken care of by immunizations. No new cases had been reported for 50-60 years, from what I have heard.” “You have smallpox. You have the original strain, that was used to kill Native Americans by the Spanish.” Winston went back in his thoughts trying to remember where he might have contracted the disease, and finally remembered the Medicine Man throwing the blanket on him. He began to panic, as he remembered that he had gone home, and spoke with his friends, before he came to the future. The government had stopped giving out smallpox innoculations after the disease had been stopped the first time. Was he the cause of this second round of smallpox that would ravage the world? Wait, why would they quarantine people "and" sterilize them? Smallpox was a virus, and had nothing to do with sex. You can’t have a genetic predisposition to a virus. “Why would they quarantine people, and sterilize them, if they only had a virus?” Winston asked, with trepidation. “Well, it wasn’t only smallpox that they had. It had mutated, and combined with anti-viral resistant HIV/AIDS, as well as the BEBOV, Bundibugyo ebolavirus, and a mutated form of the Spanish Flu, that was found in the H5N9 form of the bird flu.” Evantel stated, with authority. “That made it a very virulent, and long-lasting, highly contagious virus, with symptoms showing only after 25 days, versus the 8-12 days that it took for smallpox and Bundibugyo alone, while at the same time, being contagious immediately on exposure. With world wide travel as prevalent as it was in your time, it didn’t take long for the whole world to be exposed to the virus. The carriers didn’t even know they were sick, until they had been making contact with others for a month, and infecting them.” “Do you have a way to cure me, and the friends I made contact with, after my exposure?” asked Winston. “The physician has a cure he can use on you, but I don’t know if he has anything to help your friends. He will run you through a scanner that acts as a net, it will capture the bad cells, and act as a strainer. It will push the cells to a place where they can be extracted safely. We don’t have cures for all human diseases, but we do have advanced medical machines that might be able to help your friends. They are extremely small, and portable.” Winston was led to a room, and told to strip. He was placed in a machine that looked kind of like an iron lung, and told to stay still, until told otherwise. He felt like he had been in there for hours, before being told he could move around again. The physician came in, and told him that the operation was a success, and that he could go back to Evantel, and to the room. After putting his clothes back on, he went to the door where he was met by Evantel, and given a small device to take with him when he left, so that he could cure his friends, and take care of any illness that came from their exposure to him. Right after being handed the device, Winston felt the pull of the time-space transfer on his psyche, and he was pulled back to his house. The Cure For Friends Winston looked around for a few minutes, but didn’t see anyone. He walked into the kitchen, and still didn’t find anybody, so he shouted out to see if somebody would respond. He heard Marcus shout back that everyone was in the basement. Winston made his way down the stairs, and found all of them laying on cots. He walked up to Marcus, and found him running a high fever, and shaking like a leaf on the cot furthest from the steps. Winston immediately took out the device he had received from Evantel, and ran it over Marcus. Marcus began to heal right in front of him. Winston went to each of them, and healed them. He then told them to go to the hospital to be checked out. William asked where Winston had obtained the device used to heal them, and was told that it came from many thousands of years in the future, and belonged to a friend there. Winston carefully put the device on a shelf, and turned to help Marcus, and the rest, up the stairs, one at a time, to the living room. When he came to William, he was told by him, that he could make it by himself. After everyone had made their way to their vehicles, and left, he went to the basement, to retrieve the device, and found it gone. His thoughts went immediately to William, and he rushed upstairs to call Marcus on his cell phone. Marcus told him that he hadn’t seen William since they had all driven away from the house, but he would keep an eye out for him. Let's Go To The Dump Two weeks went by, with still no sighting of William. Marcus and Winston talked each day about what William could have been thinking stealing the device. Winston told Marcus about the look he saw in William's eyes, when he had been told that the parts for unsuccessful experiments, had been put in the dump, and his fears about what William would do if he ever reclaimed any of them. Marcus and Winston planned an excursion to the dump the next day, just to set their minds at ease. The day started out nice, at a balmy 65 degrees Fahrenheit. They arrived at the dump at 8 am, and were shown where they could dump the stuff they had in the back of the car (as camoflage for coming out there). When they came close to where the Professor had taken his experiments, they found a military check point, and were asked what their business was. Winston informed the guard, that they were just dumping some trash from the house, and asked what was going on. He was informed that it wasn’t any of his business, and he needed to move along. Winston drove carefully to a high point, where they could look into the area without, hopefully, being caught. When they arrived, they were struck dumb with all the activity going on. There were military dump trucks, and bulldozers, all along the area, digging through the trash. “I guess we know where William went with the device.” Marcus said, with disgust in his voice. “I’m sorry Professor, if I had known he would do this, I never would have brought him over to your house.” Winston disagreed, “It wasn’t your fault, you couldn’t know how greedy he was when you brought him over.” "I should have known something was up when he kept asking where I thought you might have buried all that material.” “Well we can’t do anything about it now, so we might as well go back to the house.” Winston said, with a look of defeat. “Don’t worry professor, we’ll get the device back for you.” Marcus stated, with determination in his voice, “And William will get what’s coming to him.” They arrived back at the house about 15 minutes later and Marcus got on the phone to his friends. His friends began to arrive within 10 minutes and were gathered in the basement. After they were all gathered Winston and Marcus told them what they had found at the dump, Jeanette began to cry and when Marcus asked her why, she told him it was because she had convinced him to bring William to the house. Marcus was taken aback by the confession, he thought it was his own idea to bring William along with them. Jeanette told him that William had approached her about going with them to the professor's house with the thought of all the money to be made selling the professor's inventions. When Marcus asked when this had happened, Jeanette told him that it was after they had left the classroom the morning this had all began. Marcus wanted to know how William had even found out about the professor’s inventions, and was told that Jeanette had been bragging about having a genius professor, who invents things for a friend, to her friends. William overheard her talking, and asked her to get him an invite to meet Winston. She was leery at first, but he began to talk about all the money that could be made selling all these amazing things, and she decided to go ahead and invite him. The trick was to make Marcus think it was his own idea to invite William, without tipping him off, that it was she that was pushing him to agree. Marcus was highly pissed that Jeanette would do something like this to his friend, and turned his back on her. “Why would you do something like this to me?” “I didn’t think it would hurt anyone, and I thought it would make us a lot of money so we could finally get our heads above water on all the loans we both have.” Jeanette said pleading with him to understand. “I’m sorry, I just don’t understand using your friends to get ahead in life, no matter how hard it is.” Jeanette turned away and began to cry harder, the professor put his hand on her shoulder and told her that it might be time for her to go, to give them some time to get past this betrayal. They would call her when enough time had gone by to get over the hurt. Jeanette reluctantly agreed to leave, but when she tried to talk to Marcus, he turned away from her. Marcus pulled his emotions back under control, and began to tell the others that they needed to start searching the town for William, and once he was located, they needed to make him give the device back. We Got Him A week went by before William was seen again, one of Marcus’s friends called him and told him where William was, and told him to hurry, because it didn’t look like he was going to be there very long. Marcus went to the dry cleaners where the car was, and found the car full of luggage, and William still inside getting some suits returned to him. Marcus cautiously approached William when he stepped out of the dry cleaners, walking up behind him and looking around to make sure no one else was interested in what he was doing, grabbed William’s arm and forced him towards the car. William spun around, and began to swing wildly at Marcus before recognizing him, and settling down with a sullen look on his face. Marcus looked around again, to ensure that no one had suddenly gotten interested in the two of them, after which he let loose with a haymaker, and layed William out. Picking him up by his lapels, he told him to unlock the car door, and get in the passenger side. William did so with obvious reluctance, and they both got into the car. “So what did you do with the device?” Marcus asked in a menacing tone. William ignored Marcus, and didn’t say a word, which was when Marcus grabbed him by the back of his head, and slammed it into the dash of the car. “I will not ask you again, what did you do with the device?” Marcus shouted angrily. “I gave it to a friend in the Army, and asked if it would be worth anything. He told me he would get back to me in a few days, but I haven’t heard from him yet.” “How could you do this to me? I thought we were friends, this is not acceptable behavior between friends.” “I just thought I could make a few dollars selling a few inventions, I didn’t think it would be a big deal.” William replied, “I’m sorry I broke your trust in me, but I needed the money.” “Did you tell the Army where to dig at the dump?” Marcus asked. “Yeah, my friend asked where I thought there might be material comparable to the device, and I told him what the professor told us.” “So you told them everything? You told them about being healed, and the time traveling?” Marcus asked impatiently. “Well yeah, I wanted to get as much money as I could from them, so I told them about the internet postings, and the professor's house with all the inventions. I also told them about the dreams he has.” Marcus began to panic, he pulled out his cell phone and called Winston. When Winston finally answered the phone, he told him to leave the house immediately, and go to the mall where he would meet him. Marcus pulled a roll of duct tape from his pocket, and turned to William, rapidly taping his hands together, he then started the car. Out To The Safe House Marcus pulled into the mall parking lot 30 minutes later, and went to the back of the building. He found a parking space, and pulled into it. He shut the engine off, and sat waiting for Winston to show up, which he did about 5 minutes later. Marcus blew the horn, and waved out of the window, to let Winston know where he was. Winston waved in return, to let him know he had seen him. Winston walked up to the car a few minutes later, and saw William sitting in the passenger seat, with his hands duct taped in front of him. “So, you caught up with him, I see.” Winston said. “Yeah, we had an interesting conversation, it seems William here has been telling tales out of school. He went to the Army, and gave them the device, as well as told them all about you. I believe they will be coming to give you a visit pretty soon, that’s why I asked you to meet me here.” Marcus said. “We can hole-up in a cabin I happen to know is empty, it’s in the mountains a few miles away from here. Plenty of space around to let you know someone is coming, and pretty remote from everything else.” “That sounds like a good plan. Let me go to the house, and pack a few things, and we’ll get on the move.” Winston replied. “Sorry Doc, I don’t think it would be a good move for you to go home right now, at all. The Army probably has your place under surveillance, they would capture you as soon as you stepped in the yard. We can buy you any clothes you need on the way, and I will have my friends stop by your house, and pack all of your stuff up. We can have it shipped to a warehouse, or storage facility, until it is safe to move around again.” “All right. I brought the computer with me, as well as a few small items, because you sounded so urgent. Let me get my car, and we’ll go.” Winston said. They drove North for a few hours on the highway, until Winston saw Marcus turn right, on to a county road. Then they followed it for another 30 minutes before they turned left, on to a dirt road that was barely visible, because of the trees growing along side of it, as well as the shrubs and grass which hadn’t been cut back. Forty-five minutes later, they pulled up to the cabin that Marcus had talked about. There was a car parked on the side of the cabin facing them when they pulled up. Jeanette walked out of the cabin when she saw the cars pull in to park. She had been staying there, feeling sorry for herself, and trying to find some way of getting back into Marcus’s life. When she saw Marcus step out of the first car she felt a joy like she had never felt before, but when she saw Marcus’s passenger, she felt an anger that was so all-consuming, that all she saw was William’s face. A sea of red blinded her to everything except for William. She ran at him, and began to hit, and scratch at him with everything she had, until Marcus was able to pull her off. Although it wasn’t near enough punishment, in Marcus’s eyes, they still needed William alive enough to answer questions. Winston got out of his car, and helped Marcus walk William into the cabin, while Jeanette walked behind them. They walked William into the kitchen, where they found a sturdy chair, and duct taped him into it, using the rest of the roll to make sure he couldn’t move. Marcus turned to Jeanette and asked, “How long have you been out here?” “Ever since Winston asked me to leave his house. I came out here to be alone, and think about what I had done.” Jeanette said. “I can never take back what I did, all I can do is apologize to you, and Winston, and to say it will never happen again.” Winston looked at her for a few minutes, and told her “I accept your apology. If you had asked, I would have given you all my experiments, but that is neither here, nor there, I forgive you.” Marcus was still a little leery of Jeanette, but he had felt lonely without her companionship this past week, and wanted to have her back in his arms again. When she looked at him he said, “I also accept your apology.” Jeanette walked into Marcus’s arms, and gave him a hug, and clung to him, while tears ran down her face. “Well isn’t this just great, everyone gets forgiven except for me.” William said, with derision in his voice. “Keep it up, and we will give you back to the woman for her to take some more anger out.” Marcus said, mockingly. Jeanette walked to a drawer and pulled out a knife, and a sharpening stone. She began to run the knife over the stone, but not to sharpen it, instead she was dulling it down. Winston looked at William, and asked him if he knew the old saying about Afghan women? William indicated that he did not, so Winston told him, “Do not fear the Afghan men, fear the women when the men give you to them, and I would be very afraid of that woman.” pointing towards Jeanette. Marcus sat down in another of the kitchen chairs and leaned forward to look William in his eyes, “Your going to tell us where the device is at, and how to get it.” Marcus said. “And if I don’t?” William asked. “We’ll nail your scrotum to the chair and give you the knife,” Marcus said, pointing at the knife that Jeanette was in the process of making near useless. “That sounds like a threat.” William said, “When the cops find us, I’ll tell them about it.” “Nope, that’s a promise, if we get found, that’s the first thing I’ll do before setting the house on fire. Now, how about you start talking.” William told them about driving 75 miles East, to Fort Riley, Kansas, and meeting a high school friend there. The high school friend just happened to be a Colonel in the Army, and was very interested in what William had to say. William had shown the Colonel the video about Winston’s disappearing act, and told him about how they had all come down ill, before Winston’s return. He then showed the Colonel the device used to heal them, after Winston’s return, from the future. The Colonel was very interested in the device, and asked William to leave it with him for a few days, to find out what he could about it, but William declined. William informed his friend that he could rent it from him, for a thousand dollars, and a promissory note, that the device would be returned to him, or an agent of his, whenever they returned with the note. The Colonel agreed, as long as they had at least a week to examine the device. William was handed the thousand dollars, and the promissory note, a few minutes later, and he had left the Army base. Unbeknownst to William, his friend the Colonel, took the device to a General, that he was cultivating to be his mentor, and gave him the device, with all the explanations, that had been given him. The General took it to a section of the base that was Top Secret, and gave it to the doctor’s there, with the purpose of finding out what it could do. The doctor’s used it on a couple samples of diseases that they had been trying to find a cure for, and it healed the tissue that the samples were on. Late at night, a lab assistant was sitting at a table running samples. The device was sitting beside him on the table, so he picked it up, and began to examine it. The lab assistant found a button on the bottom of the device, and pushed it, not knowing front from back on the device. He had inadvertently pointed it at himself, and so, was the first person exposed to the "new disease" that would tear the world apart. Destruction of Mankind Winston considered William for a while, then came to the decision to impart some of the things he had learned while in the future. He began by explaining, that there would be a world-wide epidemic, due to a mixing of viruses, and that it would destroy much of the population of the Earth, by the time it was brought under control. Winston also informed him, that the device he had stolen was probably how the diseases had mutated, and that the only way they might be able to stop the disease from spreading, was to get the device back. William was listening, but from the expression on his face, he didn’t believe a word that Winston was saying. Winston looked for any hint of empathy in Williams face, but couldn’t find a drop, for all the millions of people he had sentenced to death with his greed. Winston looked at Marcus, and told him, “Go ahead with whatever your going to do, I don’t seem to be getting through to him.” Marcus turned to Winston, and told him that they would begin the next day, and that they needed to keep a guard on William, even though he was tied up. They all agreed to stand four hour shifts, with 8 hours off to rest. Winston took the first shift, to give Marcus and Jeanette some time alone. When Jeanette came out of the room, four hours later, to begin her shift of guarding William, she was a bit flushed, and had a sparkle in her eye. Winston smiled at Jeanette with a knowing look, “I’ll see you in 8 hours.” William shifted in his chair, “I have to use the bathroom.” Jeanette looked at him and said, “Go ahead.” “You want me to go right here?” “I’m not letting you out of that chair, so you might as well go right there, or you can wait ‘till the guys wake up, I don’t care which, you choose.” Four hours later, Marcus came out of the room. He walked into the kitchen, and suddenly rebounded holding his nose. “What is that smell?” He asked. “Poor William, couldn’t hold his bladder until you woke up, so he urinated in the chair.” Jeanette said, with a smirk, “You get to hose him off.” Jeanette went in her room to get what rest she could before the screaming began. She went straight to bed, and as soon as her head hit the pillow, she was out. Marcus grabbed a bucket from beside the door. He filled it at the sink, and began to sluice off William with the water. He continued doing this until he couldn’t smell William anymore. After which, he began to cook for everybody, making toast, bacon, and scrambled eggs. He wanted everyone to keep their strength up for the near future. After all the food was cooked, he called out to the other two to come eat. He set out plates and silverware, enough for 3 people, and put the food in the center of the table. Jeanette, and Winston, came out of their rooms, and sat at the table. Marcus advised them it was a serve yourself meal, and to dig in. They had been eating quietly for about ten minutes, when William asked if they were going to feed him too, or if they were just going to torture him with the smell. Winston reluctantly agreed to feed him. He picked up a spoon, and scooped up some scrambled eggs, which he put in Williams mouth. William chewed enthusiastically, and asked for more, which Winston provided. Winston was feeding William the last of the bacon, when William whipped his head forward, and he bit Winston on the finger, hard. “That’s what you get for kidnapping me.” William crowed jubilantly. Winston ran to the faucet, and ran cold water over his finger for a while. Then he went to the bathroom, and put some triple antibiotic on his finger, before putting a band aid on. When he came back in the kitchen, Marcus asked if he was alright, to which he replied that he was. “That was the last bit of food, or anything else, that will pass your lips, while you’re a guest here.” Marcus told William. “Guest? I thought I was your hostage.” William said, snidely. Marcus didn’t reply to William, instead he took a knife out of his pocket and began to cut William’s jeans, from the crotch forward, to right below his belt. “Now we’re going to play twenty questions.” Marcus said, quietly. “Every time you lie, or refuse to answer, determines how deep I drive the nail before we leave.” “You don’t have the guts to do something like that!” William declared. Marcus picked up a hammer, that had been laying on the counter, and slammed the end of it on the chair in front of Williams split pants. “You don’t know me well enough to make a statement like that.” Marcus replied. William looked around at Winston and Jeanette, but he saw no sympathy in either of their eyes. So began an eight hour journey of half-truths, and made-up information. Winston found the promissory note in one of William’s bags in his car, which William denied, saying that he had left the note at home, and had been on his way there, when he had been grabbed. William informed Marcus that the note was a forgery, in case he was grabbed before he could get the original. Marcus didn’t believe a word coming out of William's mouth. Marcus asked for the password that William's agent was supposed to give at the Army base, but William refused to give it until Winston gave his word that he would be released once they had all the information, Winston agreed, and William gave them the password. As they got ready to leave, Marcus walked up behind William, and gave him a sharp blow to the head, knocking him out. Once they were ready, Jeanette went outside to drive her car around front, and pick up Winston and Marcus with the baggage. They were driving away, when Winston looked back, and saw black smoke rising from the cabin. He whipped his head around towards Marcus, who had been the last person out of the cabin, and asked him about it. “I told him I would set the house on fire once we left, but I didn’t have the heart to stoop to his level, so I wet a rag, and threw it in the fireplace, after I started a fire in it.” Marcus looked at Winston, and his face hardened. “I also super glued his scrotum to the chair, and cut the head off of a nail, and super glued it to the top of his scrotum, with a little red ink around it. I put the dull knife in his hand. I did promise after all. I am a man of my word.” Checking Winston's House Winston asked Jeanette to drive by his house, so he could verify that it was still there. She agreed, and when they arrived, she drove by the house slowly, so they could all get a look around to see if anyone was watching it. Winston spotted a car that didn’t belong in the neighborhood, and told the others to act natural, while he ducked down in the back seat. Jeanette, and Marcus, began to look around as if they were interested in buying a house, pointing, and commenting, on different aspects of each house they passed by. When they came up even with the car that didn’t belong, Marcus rolled his window down, and waved at the men in it. When the driver acknowledged him, he asked if the man knew if any of the houses were for sale? The driver advised that he did not know of any houses for sale in the neighborhood. Marcus thanked the man, and rolled his window back up, Jeanette drove down to the end of the block, and made a right turn, away from the neighborhood. “What was the purpose of that?” Winston asked, with a hint of confusion. “I wanted to see if they recognized us, but when I talked to them, there was no hint of it in their faces.” “You gave them a look at our license plate, and I’m pretty sure William gave the Army the names of all the people who were at my house when I traveled, so it would be easy for them to look up. We need to find somewhere we can change cars, and lay low for a while.” Winston stated, with authority. “I have some friends that weren’t anywhere around when all of this began. They’ll let us crash at their house.” Marcus said, in chagrin. “That is a very good idea, how ‘bout we do that.” Winston replied. Laying Low At A Friend's House Jeanette followed Marcus’s directions to his friends house in a rough neighborhood, they drove for ten minutes, and parked in front of a beat down garage, behind a mismatch colored house. Marcus asked them to stay in the car, while he talked to his friend. He came back out, and told them to pull the car inside the garage when the door opened. As soon as the door opened enough to fit the car in, Jeanette pulled inside. Marcus walked up to the car, and told them not to get curious about anything they might find in the garage, and that they would be staying the night in the car, while his friend found them somewhere to stay semi-permanent. He also took their cell phones, and smashed them with a hammer, after removing their sim cards, to prevent a trace from being run on them. He gave them new cell phones to use. They settled into their seats and prepared to wait out the day. Winston woke up eight hours later, and looked around. He didn’t see the other two, and was beginning to get worried, when the side door opened, and they walked in. Jeanette was carrying a tray with food on it, and Marcus was carrying a stack of cups, with a 2 liter bottle of soda. They sat on some crates, and began to eat the meal. Once they finished eating, Winston began to have an urgent need to use the restroom. Winston asked Marcus where he could go, and was told that there was a porta potty out back. He ran outside, and just made it to the facilities. He sat in there for a while, worn out from the run. He didn’t want to tell the others that he was having a hard time with all of the stuff that was going on, it was beating him down. Winston was almost ready to leave the porta potty when he hear what sounded like a string of firecrackers being set off nearby. It wasn’t the 4th of July, or New Years eve, so he didn’t know of any reason for somebody to shoot fireworks off, and shrugged it off as maybe a cultural thing. Winston went back into the garage, but didn’t see anyone there. He walked around calling out for his friends, but didn’t get an answer. He got to the car, and looked around, but he didn’t see anyone. He did find bullet casings on the floor, and a small amount of blood. He jumped up from where he had been crouching next to the blood, and ran to the entrance of the garage. He found Marcus’s friend, who had let them use the garage, on the ground by his house. At least, he assumed it was Marcus’s friend, he wasn’t wearing military or police issue clothing, and he didn’t have short hair like the guys that had been watching his house had. Marcus’s friend had been shot multiple times, and appeared to be dead. Winston checked his carotid artery, but couldn’t find a pulse. Winston moved back to the corner of the garage, and carefully looked around for any sight of who had shot Marcus’s friend, and had taken Marcus, and Jeanette. He didn’t see anyone looking at the house extra hard, so he went back to the body, and searched it for an ID. He found an ID in the name of Jorge Gonzales, and a wad of cash. Well, at least he had a name to put with the face now. He also found the keys to a beat up old VW bus, that was parked on the curb in, front of the house. He took those. Laying Low-Low Winston drove around in circles for hours, before settling for staying at a motel for the night. He used Jorge’s ID, and paid in cash, as he didn’t want to leave a trail that someone could follow to find him. He got to the room, and laid on the bed just relaxing for a moment, before turning the TV on, and watching the 6 o’clock news. No mention was made of the shooting, he couldn’t believe it. There should have been something, but nothing was said about it, maybe it would be in the 9 o‘clock news. He shut the TV off, and realized he was hungry again, he went to the office, and asked where he could get something to eat. He was told that there was a pizza place around the corner, and that they delivered to the rooms. Winston thanked the manager, and went back to the room. He found an advertisement for the place the manager had told him about, and called them. Winston ordered an extra large, with the works, and a 2 liter bottle of soda. Thirty minutes later there was a knock at his door. He looked through the peephole, and verified it was his food delivery before opening the door, giving the delivery man the money. He finished off 4 slices before he was full, and he put the rest in the mini fridge provided in the room. Winston waited for the nine o’clock news to come on. There still was no mention of a shootout, but there was mention of a house exploding when the gas main leaked gas into the residence. He recognized the garage in the background, and understood that there would be no mention made of the shooting, or kidnapping of his friends. Try The Machine Winston decided to experiment, and find out why he hadn’t been jumping around in time lately. He didn’t know if it was something he had done, or if the scanner Evantel’s physician had used, had somehow interfered with his computer. First, he tried to move in time without the computer, he tried for an hour before giving up. Next, he tried to move with the computer on his head, but with the same results, maybe he was trying too hard. He sat back on the bed and tried to conjure up the feelings he had had, when he first started to travel. There was wonder, from actually traveling to places he had only seen in photographs, and there was excitement, from the traveling itself. The familiar feeling of tension grabbed hold of him, and he was sent several minutes into the future, which he realized because the news had already gone off, and there was a show that he had previously watched on TV, which he calculated was half over. Winston was ecstatic, he might finally be able to control the shifts in time that he had been having.
Publication Date
2013
Editor
Rodney E. Langley
Publisher
LULU.COM
Series
One
Publisher Statement
Sci-Fi Author Robert L. Langley
Citation Information
Rodney E Langley. Part I, One Man's Journey Through Time. OneSpringdaleVol. One (2013)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/robert_langley/2/