With this, that, and the Easter season, I almost forgot ‘Twicebound’ was due today. Fortunately, a calendar and some quick work with a keyboard saved my skin. (assuming something terrible would happen to me if ‘Twicebound’ didn’t come out as promised) Today, we get a small glimpse of the plans and plots behind the Sandglass Project, as well as an idea of just how clever Benwright and Colonel Bosze actually are.
Chapter 7– part 2
Bosze eyed the big man doubtfully for a moment or two, then shrugged.
“You’re walking on dangerous terrain, then.”
With a slight grin, Vančura looked back at Eddie. His eye caught on the girl and the grin changed to a half-visible frown. He turned back to the colonel.
“Whatever. Now, we lost contact with a strike force mission early this morning. The task was extremely time-sensitive. The actual success of the strike wasn’t the objective; the brass just wanted to shake up the…”
The colonel paused, clamping down on a word before it could slip out. A second later, he continued, slowly.
“Shake up the enemy. The fact that America knows about the location the strike force attacked was supposed to be a surprise to them. The brass launched the strike for purely psychological reasons. This morning, we lost radio communications with the force, before they even made contact. There are more possible ramifications than our analysts can handle and all of them bad.”
Vančura nodded, obviously piecing things together. Eddie just listened, wondering what any of it had to do with him.
“So, your superiors want the time-machine working properly. Send a man or two through it with the intel on the strike force failure, let you get a head start on it.”
Bosze nodded, glancing meaningfully around at the three prisoners.
“Precisely. Hence the need for test travelers. An hours after you’ve gone through, we’ll send one of our men through with the information.”
He frowned suddenly; something had obviously occurred to him. Then, shaking the thought away, he looked at Benwright. The technician was staring at a tablet, tapping formulas into it absently. When he noticed the colonel eying him, he started in surprise.
With an exasperated sigh, Bosze pointed at the STAd.
“Spool up the knothole, Benwright. That’s what you’re here for.”
Before Benwright could start, Vančura interrupted again.
“One question, colonel. How is it that we end up in exactly the same time every time you send us back?”
Bosze grinned, looking pleased with himself.
“So we do it every time, eh? Good to hear we play it smart in all the time frames, eh, Benwright? Frankly, Vančura, we can’t have you running around with that head-full of sensitive information. The obvious solution was to make sure you can’t run for it, so we’re going to send you back to exact instant the police officer shows up. Benwright just checked your file for the time and logged it into the knothole computer.”
With a last satisfied grin, he glanced at the control computer.
“Okay, Benwright, fire it up.”
Spinning his chair to the computer, Benwright started hitting buttons. The ominous sound of the STAd powering on filled the room. Eddie squinted up at the machine, wondering if he hated it or liked it. Going through hurt, but at least there was a good meal or two waiting in the police station every time. He made what he considered a philosophical expression as he was prodded forward.
Everything had a good side. If the good side of the ‘knothole’ was food, he figured he could live with it.
End Chapter 7 – Part 2
Go to Chapter 7 – Part 3
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An installment of “Twicebound” comes out eachSaturday. Assuming I haven’t been assassinated by egg-wielding Lagomorphs, that is.
The previous installments.
Chapter One: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Chapter Two: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Chapter Three: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Chapter Four: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Chapter Five: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Chapter Six: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Chapter Seven: Part 1