Good grief, will you look at that? We’re into chapter seven already and, last I checked, the total word count was somewhere north of 12K. Not bad, for four month’s worth of Saturdays, now is it? At this rate, there should be enough story left to last well into the end of the year, if not longer. Personally, I call that a good thing and here’s hoping you do, too. If you don’t…. then please explain why you’re reading this Saturday’s installment of….
Chapter 7– part 1
“Well, why send them all through today? We just need to know if the STAd is working, not send out a full team.”
Bosze straightened his hat with an exasperated movement.
“Just follow orders, Benwright. The brass says we need results and results we’d better get. If there’s a better way to do that than sending people through, let me know.”
With a scowl, the technician turned to his computer and punched in commands. Eddie watched impassively, wondering how long the buttons would last if Benwright kept hitting them that hard. The more broken parts, the better, as far as he was concerned. Anything to delay getting rammed through the knothole again.
Unfortunately, the angry whine of the STAd made it obvious that even if Benwright wasn’t happy about the orders, he wasn’t going to ignore them. Colonel Bosze waited until the huge machine had started up its deep whine, then motioned to the guards.
“Get the big guy in there.”
They nodded, but they didn’t look confident at the idea of forcing Vančura into the machine. Eddie couldn’t blame them, either. The big man looked unusually forbidding, even compared to his usually stoic attitude.
Before the guards could move him forward, Vančura stepped up on his own. That startled everybody, especially Eddie. Vančura had never done THAT before. The big guy was changing the script.
“Colonel, would you mind answering a question?”
That snapped Bosze’s head around faster than whiplash. He focused on Vančura, half-confused and half-antagonistic. Finally, he settled on condescending curiosity and nodded.
“Sure, go ahead. Can’t deny a man what might be his last request, I guess.”
“Quite magnanimous of you, Colonel.”
Eddie rolled his eyes; he hadn’t a clue what ‘magnanimous’ meant, but his guessing equipment worked just fine. Still, he had to admit Bosze puffed up a little at the word, so maybe Vančura knew what he was doing.
“Why exactly,” continued the big man, “are you in such a hurry to get a team through the knothole? It isn’t a scientific problem; If it was, Benwright would be running things.”
The colonel’s face shut down instantly.
“That’s classified and need-to-know. You’re a convict, my friend, and worse than a liability.”
Eddie grinned, knowing what the response would be, even without the benefit having seen it before. He’d guessed right; Vančura chuckled.
“Colonel, I told you how to fix your own top secret machine. Where does that put me on the liability scale? If I wanted to cause trouble, there would be absolutely nothing you could do about it. I’m a time-traveler, remember?”
Bosze grimaced, then a nasty smile tinged his expression. He nodded at the guards, meaningfully.
“Why shouldn’t I just have you shot, then? Problem solved.”
“Because if you shoot me, how can I go back in time and tell you how to fix the STAd? Playing with time is a risky business, isn’t it. Besides, I already know enough to make me dangerous, so why not tell me enough to help yourself out? If I go back in time and tell you everything you know now, then you’ll be twenty-four hours ahead of yourself. As a matter of fact, you’re already three weeks ahead, since I told you how to fix the STAd. You really don’t have anything to lose and there’s a great deal to gain.”
For the first time since they’d entered the knothole room, Eddie thought to glance back at the woman. She was cuffed like them, but she didn’t appear to be paying any particular attention. He frowned. She’d definitely been paying the day before, in the holding cells. Why not now?
The colonel’s voice brought his attention around again.
“All right, Vančura. You’ve got a good point. But remember this; Everything I’m about to tell you is easily verifiable. When you tell me this…. yesterday, I will cross-check it. If I know myself, I’ll have you shot if you try any tricks.”
Vančura made a half-bow.
“Fair enough, sir. Let’s hear it.”
End Chapter 7 – Part 1
Go to Chapter 7 – Part 2
Do you look forward to reading ‘Twicebound’ every week? If you do, please say so on Twitter, Facebook, or in the comment section below!
A new installment of “Twicebound”comes out every Saturday. Of course, that’s on the condition that I’ve survived the Goliath-mosquito infested swamps between here and the coffee shop.
The previous installments.
Chapter One: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Chapter Two: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Chapter Three: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Chapter Four: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Chapter Five: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3
Chapter Six: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3