Eddie had gotten as close as he could to the display and was studying the photo intently.
“I thought y’said y’got Benwright and d’Colonel ta trust you. If’n dat’s so, how’d he ennup in a truck in China?”
“I also said that neither of them saw the attack coming. Bosze’s superiors were furious when he got caught off guard; after all, he was in charge of a project with a fully functioning time machine…”
That drew a chuckle from Armelle.
“That had to have hurt.”
Before answering, Vančura tapped the console again and brought up a new picture, then turned a sardonic eye on her.
“Everyone involved got hurt, actually. The “shot-callers” fired Bosze and threw him out of the service as well, but he saw that coming easily. He was gone the next day, with all of this…”
The picture showed a bank of computer towers, cases removed and tossed on the floor. Each one had a row of cables dangling from the motherboard, obviously disconnected.
“Hard drives. Everything the Sandglass facility had on anything and anyone. Science papers, data from tests, computer simulations, personnel files, all of it. Quite impressive, too, how he vanished. We assume he must have had connections in high places to disappear so effectively.”
Armelle frowned, thinking hard, then glanced at Vančura.
“Hold on. Why didn’t his ‘superiors’ just fire up the time-machine and go back in time and stop the original attack, or at least stop Bosze from making a run for it?”
To her surprise, it was Eddie who responded.
“Coz d’colonel weren’t no dummy. Not’s’where ‘is own skin wuz conserned, ‘ninnyway, . ‘m right, eh, Vancy….er…uhm… Vančura?”
The big man stared at him for a moment or two, then nodded minutely.
“He’s right. Bosze sabotaged the STAd when he escaped. Three microcharges in critical systems essentially destroyed it. We scrapped the whole thing and built a new one instead of trying to repair it. By the time we got the project up and running again, there wasn’t any point in trying to preempt the attack or Bosze’s defection; he had already built two more STAds for other countries.”
Armelle shook her head and closed her eyes wearily. It was quiet for a few minutes, then she looked at Vančura.
“So, our trip through the knothole and all this… was for nothing?”
He looked surprised.
“Oh, I never said that. We’re definitely going to fix this. All of this was just to get you two acquainted with all the little problems that cropped up in the last few years. Temporal travel was never the answer to the problem, you see. If we actually want to keep time as we know it from unraveling at the seams, we need to take a slightly more… aggressive approach.”
End Chapter 22– Part 3
Yup, still no idea where this is going. Awesome!
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