The big man went still, staring at Benwright.
“That might be a question you don’t want answered.”
“Says you. It’s the one thing that makes no sense about you, Vančura. You’re smart, maybe even smarter than me. Most of what you’ve done so far makes sense, from your point of view, I think. It makes even more sense if I factor in that you’ve probably done this before and have traveled back in time to skip all the mistakes you made the first time around. Sure, it makes sense: it took you less than an hour to finagle a position in a top secret government research facility, less than an hour after breaking in and engaging a piece of incredibly sensitive equipment. Now, you’re practically calling the shots.”
He took a drink of coffee and turned a calculating eye back to Vančura.
“But what doesn’t make sense is you sending them through the STAd and not joining them. Actually, sending them through to the future doesn’t add up at all, but I assume you had a reason. You and I both know the STAd control system has a count-down and timer, so it wouldn’t have been hard to follow them. There wasn’t much time, but there was enough. So, all I can figure is that you didn’t know if it would work or not. That’s cold, you know; sending them through just to see if it would kill them or not.”
There was another long silence, then Vančura sat back down, slowly.
“I’m only going to say this once, Benwright, so listen carefully. This… place is a disaster waiting to happen. The Sandglass Facility is the 21st century’s Manhattan Project, only worse. You’re creating a nuclear bomb for time. Once it’s working, nobody will be safe, anytime in the world. The cops are hunting a murderer, so they just go back in time and catch him before he kills his victim. An ambassador dies mysteriously, setting off a war, so an agent goes back in time to save his life. The possibilities are endless.”
“Sounds good to me.”
Vančura nodded, a dark look on his face.
“It does, doesn’t it. Here’s another possibility for you: another country kidnaps the top scientist from the Sandglass project to build their own STAd, to counter this one. So, the gent in charge of the Sandglass Project sends a hit squad back in time to… erase… that scientist from the timeline before it can happen.”
For a moment, Benwright forgot to breathe. He took another quick gulp of coffee, trying to hide his expression from Vančura, but the big man wasn’t fooled.
“Don’t tell me you hadn’t considered the possibility. Of course, someone else saying it makes it much harder to ignore, doesn’t it?”
The technician grimaced and shook his head.
“It had occurred to me. There just isn’t another option; I’m one of the few people with the ability to understand the paper the STAd is based on and the skills to build it. They tagged me a “threat to national security” after the first time I told them I wasn’t interested in working for a government project.”
“So you decided that helping them build a time-machine was a good idea?”
End Chapter 24 – Part 1
Well, now. It looks like Benwright has a head for more than just math, doesn’t it?
Want to read the previous installments? They’re right here!
Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three,
Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six,
Chapter Seven, Chapter Eight, Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten, Chapter Eleven, Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen, Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen Chapter Seventeen, Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen. Chapter Twenty, Chapter Twenty One