Eddie stared at Vančura, a matter-of-fact expression on his face, obviously expecting the big man to do something about the problem. Armelle rolled her eyes, then blinked thoughtfully.
“You know, I’m starving, too. It’s been a while since we ate.”
With a gesture to the far door, Vančura started off.
“It has been over twelve years since you’ve had lunch, you know. I’m surprised you didn’t notice it earleier.”
His tone was serious, but there was an amused light in his eye. Eddie, however, drooped visibly and an air of panic enveloped him.
“Twelve years? Vančura, y’gotta get us somethin’ ta eat afore we starves to death. Who’d you get t’help you if’n that happened?”
“Eddie, it’s only been twelve years for him. It’s only been a couple of hours for us. Time-travel, remember?”
Vancura led them into a much smaller room, furnished as an office. He pulled two of the chairs from along the wall towards the desk, then sat down behind it himself and flipped an intercom switch.
“Benwright, we’re in need of lunch down here. Who’s fastest? Chinese? Yes, that’s fine; order enough for at least three and tell the shop to make sure their delivery man wears his uniform this time. I’d rather not have a repeat of last week’s noodle incident. Thank you.”
He flicked the intercom off and leaned back in his chair with a heavy sigh and closed his eyes for a moment.
“You have no idea how much trouble something like the Sandglass project can cause, Armelle. The only reason you and Eddie didn’t land in a deserted building covered in cobwebs and dust is because of Bosze, odd as that sounds. This place is the temporal equivalent of a nuclear deterrent now. The brass built it and congratulated themselves, then realized how dangerous it was, but by the time they decided to shut it down, it was too late. Other people had time-machines too, so the only option was to keep this one running so we could keep others from using theirs.”
Armelle raised an eyebrow skeptically.
“How’d that work out?”
“Not well. You can’t really threaten someone with time-travel; you never know whether you’ll actually change their timeline or if it will backfire and erase your own. Of course, politicians are the ultimate optimists, so they prefer to ignore that inconvenient little fact.”
“But dey aren’t dumb, mostly. Wot’s in it for dem?”
Armelle glanced at Eddie, then back at Vancura and her eyes narrowed.
“He’s right. Why didn’t they just shut the place down anyway? “Possible deterrent” isn’t good enough, even if they do want to bury their heads in the sand.”
“It’s somewhat difficult to shut down someone who has a time-machine. You might find yourself being ‘persuaded’ to change your mind, before you’ve even gotten around to making a decision. Time travel works like that.”
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