“Okay, half a dozen time-travel machines is a bad thing, I get it. What exactly does that have to do with us, though? Isn’t the whole plan for us to go back in time and prevent the first one from being built at all?”
Vančura nodded, but didn’t reply. He just folded his arms and stared at Armelle, waiting. She frowned at him.
“Follow the logic a little further.”
With an exasperated glare, she thought about it a little longer.
“So… the best way to keep the STAd from being built is to keep me from publishing my paper, or keep me from coming up with the mathematics at all, right? That should be easy enough; we just go back in time and I won’t do it. Problem solved.”
In the dim light where he was wandering aimlessly around, Eddie was shaking his head, but she ignored him. Vančura, however, only raised an eyebrow critically. She threw up her hands.
“Obviously, you’re taking the logic further than I am. Fine; what’s so important about this future having too many time-machines?”
He stared at her for a moment longer, then tapped a key on the super computer. The screen flashed to a photocopy of a file, packed with typewritten text framing a single high-resolution photograph.
It was a photograph of the front porch of Armelle’s house. In center, the three of them were walking down the steps to the truck they’d stolen, Armelle leading the way and Eddie following along at the rear. Vančura, by some bizarre chance, was looking directly at the camera.
“Now, where’d y’spose dat came from?”
Armelle sounded stunned, but Eddie had stopped pacing around in the dark and was studying the photo intently. A sharp look had spread over his face and even his slow drawl had a slight edge to it.
With a quick tap of keys, Vančura brought up two more pictures. One was a shot of a massive armored door in the side of a hill, partially covered with brush and camouflage netting. It had obviously been snapped from a long distance; it had been enlarged so much the pixels were visible, though it had been carefully cleaned up.
The other was a profile of a man in the passenger seat of a battered Humvee driving down an overgrown dirt road. A note, scrawled by hand on the edge of the photo, read “Russia? China?”.
Armelle’s mouth dropped open.
“Colonel Bosze? Yes, it is. Badly in need of a shave, too, it seems.”
End Chapter 22– Part 1
What the heck?
Okay, people, I am officially back to not knowing what’s next. Colonel Bosze has some explaining to do to his author, ’cause he is AWOL!
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