Vančura accepted a cup of black coffee from Bosze, then leaned back in his chair contentedly.
“It seems the STAd is much more durable than you give it credit for. I don’t know if it’s the mathematics or the materials, but it will keep working long after theory says it should have failed catastrophically.”
He took a quick gulp and continued.
“Of course, that doesn’t mean it won’t have… hiccups… when you use it. It’s like finding a rifle in the mud: it will probably still shoot, but that doesn’t mean it will be as precise as it originally was. And it will likely have other problems, as well.”
Benwright’s gaze sharpened.
“Imprecise? You knew it was going to have a margin of error and you sent your friends, anyway?”
“I did and I did, yes. It’s not as risky as you might suppose. You see, traveling into the future has fewer… repercussions if you don’t hit your target exactly. It’s not much different than going to sleep for the same amount of time; you’re just out of the loop of events and then ‘waking up’ again. Getting back, though… that’s a completely different proposition altogether.
“It means traveling backward in time.”
Vančura nodded to the colonel.
“Indeed. However, that’s assuming that the STAd still hasn’t been fixed ten years from now.”
Bosze covered a laugh by coughing into his cup and Benwright glared at Vančura.
“We’re working on it. Maybe you could help us out there, huh? Since you know so much about the thing.”
Both he and the colonel eyed the big man expectantly. There was a long silence as Vančura considered it as he quietly sipped his coffee. Finally, he threw a calculating look at Bosze.
“That depends. Are the handcuffs and armed guard going to be a regular occurrence?”
A wry smile tinged the colonel’s face, but Benwright’s scowl remained firmly in place.
“That depends. Are the attempts to hijack the STAd going to be a regular occurrence?”
“Touché. Let’s assume for the present that double-crossing each other would only hhurt both of us. After all, you have something I need and I have a great deal more that you need.”
A scoffing laugh burst from Benwright.
“What? You know how to fix the STAd? Give me a week or so and I will, too. I say we jail him, Colonel.”
Vančura didn’t even blink.
“I know someone else has a built one. And I know none of us want them using it.”
End Chapter 22– Part 1
This is getting old, quick. I don’t LIKE knowing what’s next! I wanna be just as surprised as everybody else.
Still, I expect this can’t last long. I hope you guys are enjoying it!
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