“So let me just run over some of your statements, OK?” the burly Timekeeper said, looking at the three youngsters in front of him.
Paurid hadn’t seen these three before, which was something of a surprise given the situation.
Atkin–human. Cain–part-human. Robold–full Krolacite. And their missing friend, Jero–full Anthry.
“You won’t tell me how you got a hold of experimental portable time travel tech. Top secret, classified tech you shouldn’t even know exists. And while I am quite concerned about that, far less fun people than me are going to ask you far harder questions on that topic. I’m here to figure out where your friend went and how to get zix back.”
The three youngsters nodded in tandem. Tears leaked from 7 sets of eyes. 6 arms reached for the tissues the Timekeeper offered.
“Right. You found this equipment under…whatever circumstances that was. when you fiddled with the right buttons, Robold, you happened to be wearing it at the time, and you shot back in time. Wound up somewhere just before First Contact. You at least had the presence of mind to fire up your chameleon skills so nobody noticed you, then figure out how to get back here, before anyone saw you or you did anything.
“But somehow, after that bit of blind luck, you all decided it would be fun to make some more unauthorised, unchecked, trips back in time to see for yourselves some of the history of Earth. Back before there were what was then known as ‘aliens’. Back before the Anthry made First Contact. And somehow you thought this was a good idea to do, repeatedly, with no thought for the reasons we are so careful about all time travel. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, Jero, a full Anthry–definitely the most noticeable of you all, and who requires Anthry tech to disguise zixself as human–got stuck in the past when the experimental tech malfunctioned. That’s when you panicked and came to us.”
The heads nodded again.
“Point 1. We have been chasing blips in the Timeline ever since that tech went missing. We could never catch up with it because it’s built-in stealth tech was turned on while you were fiddling, and by the time we spotted a blip and sent an Agent there you were untrackable.
“Point 2. You have caused actual, notable, changes in the Earth Timeline that we are still trying to correct.
“Point 3. This has cost more time and money than all of you put together will see in your entire lifetimes.
“Point 4. We are still looking for your friend, who seems to have disappeared without a trace and is causing large blips in the Timeline with everything zix does.
“Point 5. The three of you will be seen, in a day or two, by the Time Council. They have been looking at the evidence, and will consider the outcomes carefully, including how cooperative you are about where you found the tech, and whether there is any evidence that any of you–including Jero–were purposeful in any of your actions, as opposed to just behaving like the idiot children I know very well you’re not.
“Is that all understood?” Paurid eyed each one of them intently as they nodded their miserable affirmatives, then got up and went to the door. “Alright. Good. Then I’ll leave you in the capable hands of my colleagues. I promise you, your future depends quite a lot on what each of you say to your respective questioners.”
Leaving the three of them to their thoughts, Paurid nodded to the three Timekeepers waiting outside, and went out to the bullpen to write up this part of the report.
Enjoy the story?
Buy me a coffee!
Writing Prompt Used