Thanks Earthtone...excellent job
I have below a special request from wecomeinpeace...since he hasn't received writer's status yet, he asked me to post this for him...
Feel free to take this one wherever you like guys...It's getting juicy!
But what a job. What a burden of responsibility. Oliver's heart beat faster as memories of faces flashed through his mind, faces filled with fear
mixed with desperate hope; hope that he would succeed where the others had failed. The first team had disappeared - simply disappeared! Four
highly-trained TimeOps specialists, missing and presumably dead or incapacitated in some way. And there was only enough precious Hawkinsium to send
him alone. Time travel to timeframes within one's lifetime were a part of everyday life. People would travel back ten minutes simply because they
forgot to buy something at the store they just left. But travelling back to before you were born was different. Oli wasn't much for physics - TimeOps
didn't care how it worked, as long as it worked - but he remembered the problem had something to do with conservation of virtual mass in time-states
of the universe. Or was it virtual energy? Whatever the reason, Hawkinsium was the key to "before-life" travel, previously the stuff of
"Ok, first things first" he thought.
Absentmindedly fidgeting the neural jack concealed under his hair at the base of his skull, he searched behind the clumsy-looking coffee shop's
computer on his table for the cerebra-line.
It was hard for Oliver to comprehend how such a seemingly insignificant event, an event that occurred almost five hundred years in the past, could
have such far-reaching and potentially catastrophic ramifications in the distant future.
"Where the hell-...?" He stopped searching suddenly, cursing himself at his own stupidity. Cerebral-connected systems wouldn't be invented for
another hundred years. He should know that after such extensive training. He felt his face flush with embarrassment as the tall, wiry man wearing the
baseball cap sitting in the corner opposite looked at him side-long. Maybe it was just the fact that the Historical Accuracy Department had outfitted
Oliver in tight, pin-stripe suit and shiny, pointy black and white shoes, maintaining with academic assuredness that a twentieth-century gangster
named Al Capone's influence on 1990's fashion was, how did they put it, "quite marked". He pushed the button on the computer and waited as it
whirred into life.
Somehow he figured out how to get onto the 'Internet' and navigated his way to the New York Times archives for the day before. He thought it ironic,
the seemingly unimportant content of the front-page news - unimportant compared to the events of his time. Nothing on the front page, or at least
nothing that he needed to see. He scanned further until he found it.
"Terrorists Arrested - Suspicious Vehicle Siezed"
It was unmistakable. Below the article was a picture of two men and two women being led in handcuffs by a law enforcement officer on either side. The
men wore wide-shouldered, pin-stripe suits and polished black and white shoes. Oliver scanned the grainy black and white picture for the TimeOps
vehicle, but no, it wasn't there. The only other person in the picture was a remarkably tall, thin man with his back to the camera. Oliver looked
closer and spotted something that only someone from his time would notice. Glinting slightly from just under the man's baseball cap was the small
circle of a neural jack.
Oliver's eyes widened and his mind raced as the impossible image stared at him from the ancient computer screen. His hands shaked and lightning
images flashed through his brain - a tall man in a baseball cap. He jerked his head up and stabbed his vision to the opposite corner of the coffee
shop. The seat where the man had been was empty. His head jerked to the doorway as he heard screams. Three law enforcement personnel sprinted into the
shop pointing their projectile weapons directly at him.
"FREEEEEEEZE!!!!" One of them yelled.