To Love or to Leave

Doc is tempted to screw her. Right here on the kitchen table, just to make things interesting. But it just doesn't seem right.

"Nadine, I want to assure you that I will do everything in my power to set things right. I have a crack team of specialists who can help me change things for the better, and that is what we are going to do."

"You are going to change the past? For me?"

"For everyone. Without Alyss, the entire galaxy is lost. And as much as I would like to sit and share more time with you and get to know you better, I have to go."

"So soon? Don't you need my geneology? Its just in the bedroom closet, we could look for it together! Please stay!"

"My portal only lasts just so long and I have miles to go before I sleep. Take care of yourself and in a week or two look for a package from Russia. And Nadine," Doc's voice takes a serious tone, "remember your promise. You can never tell anyone about me. You can't repeat my name or that I was ever here. If anyone ever asks, I was selling magazines. Much like a birthday wish, if you tell it, it won't come true."

"I promise. You're my secret time traveler. You'll come back, right? Will I ever see you again?"

"Maybe, but if I do my job right, your husband wouldn't appreciate it."

She laughs a teary eyed little chuckle.

"Oh," Doc remembers, "should a couple of oriental looking gentlemen stop by, lock the door and call the cops."

Nadine nods. She looks at her daughter's picture again. She hands the I-Browse back to Doc. "Can you send that file to me? The address is sundialdancer16@yahoogle."

"Sure." Doc fiddles with the thing a bit. "There, I think I got it."

"Thank you."

Doc get up to leave. Nadine escorts him to the door. He pauses. He gives her a nice peck on the cheek, and gets the hell outta there.

"Goodbye!" Nadine calls down the hall. "Good luck!"


Thunderhorse is on his third of Doc's PBR tallboys. He's sitting in the pilots seat, his feet kicked up on the console. His boot heel is pressing some button, and an alarm is intermittently buzzing.

"Doc! I'm glad your back. This infernal bird will not cease it's wicked chirping."

Doc knocks his feet off the console. The buzzing stops immediately. Doc snatches up the remainder of his six pack and tears one off the rings. He pops the tab and sucks it back.

"How was your visit? Was the wench as beatiful as her voice?" Thunderhorse asks.

"Yes," Doc replies tersely.

"And did you enjoy her warmth and share in her bed?"


"Ah. I have some gold to lend if you were short on-"

"How's Mark doing?" Doc interupts.

"He has not stirred. You were not gone long, though."

"Yet you managed to drink half my beer in that time."

"I am sorry. This nectar is sweet as mead but half as potent. It is good."

"I know."

"So, what did happen with the wench? Were you unable to satisfy her?"

"Look, nothing like that happened. We're on a mission, remember? We've got work to do." Doc fires up the engines. "Autopilot?" The computer dings in acknowledgement. "Take us to the DataPlex."

With a quick chirp of confirmation, the Python takes off into the evening sky. The sun is sinking lower behind the endless sea of buildings. Traffic is getting heavier as they approach downtown. Everyone is heading out for food and drinks as the day winds down and the evening begins.

Mark begins to groan and rustle as they approach the DataPlex parking lot. Doc calls Steve over the ship's com.

"Steve, come in. Are you there?"

"Yes, I'm here. How did it go?"

"I met Nadine. Her life is on track with the timeline, but Dmitri isn't here. He's in Russia. I think we need to pay him a visit."

"So they never even met? Where is Dmitri, exactly?"

"Uh," Doc looks up the search records. "Khara, Siberia. It's the only Dmitri Valia I can find. Is it possible he's not listed in the database?"

"No, every human in the solar system is in there, has been since the Exkorean war. He's got to be the guy."

"Well, what about you? Any luck?"

"Not much. I couldn't get into the courier's database. Fucking SecAdmin there's got some balls. I did manage to get into the Department of Interstellar Transportation's system. According to them, the Younger Brother Pear was in the Alpha Centuari System forty years ago. That's the only record I can find and it doesn't mean much. Depending on how fast she was going, she could've left from here last week and arrived there back then."

"How's that?"

"Relativity is a bitch. Anyway, I've got more work to do here. Why don't you go ahead and visit Dmitri on your own and meet me back here when you're done? Find out what happened in his past or his family's past that made him stay in Russia."


ERR said...

Steve Computing check 1 32(3+29) vs 38(18+20) Failed, XP+4

Steve Computing check 2: 31(2+29) vs. 20(5+15) success, XP+20

Doc said...

Off to Siberia then. I hope I have a warm coat.