“What was that?”
Benwright was staring at the satellite screen, wide-eyed, but the confusion was rapidly fading from his face. The dust had settled around the destroyed buildings, but black billows of smoke still obscured the image. Vančura glanced at Armelle, then up at the screen, before answering.
“That was an unprotected STAd going into overload. When I fired our STAd, the backlash from the temporal aberration shut their STAd down by force.”
The technician nodded without taking his eyes off the smoking ruins. “The other STAd didn’t have any overload safeties built in, so it couldn’t contain and dissipate all that energy… Heaven help them, I’ve seen military ordnance that did less damage.”
“How could you do that?” Armelle’s question started quiet, but it ended in a shout.
Vančura’s eyes flashed for an instant, then cleared and he turned to her. “I haven’t. Or don’t you remember? You’re in the future, Armelle. You’re twelve years in the future and I’m not the Vančura that actually exists for you. You just learned how to shut down STAds, which was the whole point of your little adventure. I might have kill hundreds of people who might exist if some third-world scum happens to build a time-machine. A time-machine you already invented. Go back in time and stop me and all the other time-traveling opportunists you turned loose on the world, then you get to look horrified.”
Her eyes widened and her mouth fell open. Again. For a full second, he just looked at her, then he went over to the STAd control board. “Get over there. It’s time for you to go back and clean up our mess. And to keep this one from happening at all.”
End Chapter 26 – Part 2
As far as I’m concerned, it’s still Saturday. Don’t argue with the writer, people; he might write you into your very own “adventure” story.
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