Sitting in my office, I fended off an attack of the mundane. Paperwork through the ages, I mused in annoyance, may very well have moved away from paper, but it never lessened in volume somehow. Fighting for the past two hours, I felt unaccomplished. Staring at the screen, my eyes suddenly decided to cross. Realising I needed a break, I arose and marched out of my office.
Torli nodded as I approached. My faithful secretary, she doubtless heard my frustration with her superior hearing. She confirmed my suspicion by stating, "All calls held Mr. Kaden. I hear there is a lovely jazz concert occurring this afternoon at 1."
Grunting an acknowledgment, I stalked past her desk. Casting about, I decided to head for the top floor of the building. A quick trip up deposited me in the clinical confines of the research and development department. I laughed faintly at the sound of an alarmed shout, coming from the far back corner. Heading in that direction, I soon located Doctor Jersil Weki. Waiting patiently for him to extinguish the smoking remains of something, I finally pulled him aside.
"Doctor, " I said loudly over the general noise of the department, "anything new?"
Weki stared blankly at me. Tapping a foot impatiently, I waited for his brain to return. In a moment he said, "Ah Norville." With that statement, I noted with some frustration, ended his attempt at social pleasantries. Waiting again, I knew from previous experience his distracted thoughts would catch up. I hoped that is.
I pulled his sleeve, dragging him away from the commotion and scurrying staff members. Steering him to a quieter corner of the floor, he said, "Nothing new developed really Norville. We thought, "waving a furry hand at the disaster I found him attending, "the solution of the Mystery of Talius presented itself."
Nodding to him, I frowned in sympathy. The Mystery of Talius represented a handful of true temporal mysteries not a soul seemed able to solve. I sighed in disappointment, casting about in my mind for what to do next. Weki sucked in a sudden breath, scattering my thoughts. Pulling me along to his office, he produced a case and opened it. I stared at the device within, puzzled beyond words.
"Alright Doctor, I give. What exactly am I looking at?"
Weki pulled the device from the case. Studying it a moment, he said simply, "By all appearances, a temporal projector. A primitive one at that."
"Alright Doctor, but why are you showing me this? I see the non-standard design, and by the bulk it is fairly primitive, but-"
Weki waved me to sudden silence. Looking at it absently, he said, "Agent Colui discovered this item. She found it on 19th century Earth. It appears inert."
Eyes widening, I pondered that statement. Earth of the period was barely into a Class 2 society, and certainly unable to produce anything concerning temporal manipulation. I studied the device in Weki's hands intently. He turned it over, popping open a control panel. Applying all my knowledge, I could not fathom the design on this device.
Noticing a large button, I asked sarcastically, "Now, what does that button do?"
Without a thought, Weki pressed it. I began laughing...
My laughter halted when I landed in a warm puddle of muddy water.
I blinked, then again for extra good measure. I scrambled out of the puddle, dripping to drier land. Cursing loudly, I screamed, "Weki!" Huffing from all the shouting, I looked about me. Snapping my temporal locator off my belt, I groaned aloud. The scrambled readings informed me I was quite on my own. Sucking in a breath, I proceeded to clean mud from myself.
Looking aloft, I noted twin suns. No signs of advanced civilization greeted my eyes, scaring me a bit. Regaining calm, I let my mind automatically run through a checklist. Pulling out a simple scanner I decided to see if rain was going to pelt me. Fiddling with the scanner, I barely noticed the ground shaking. The ground ceased shaking as I determined no rain in the immediate area.
Freezing suddenly, my skin crawled. Pure silence greeted my ears, causing me to flick on my forceshield. Growling, it refused to activate, doubtless from the muddy water. My eyes flicked left then right, showing nothing in range. Slowly turning, I faced the opposite direction.
Yelping, I stared into a mouth full of teeth, big teeth. Breaking my gaze from teeth straight from a childhood nightmare, I saw the rest of the large animal. Swallowing hard, I said cheerily, "Nice doggy. Want a treat, other than me?"
The roar silenced me, nearly knocking me over into the puddle. Thinking hurriedly, I fiddled with the controls on the scanner in my hand. Smiling, I triggered a sonic pulse. The beast roared and stomped about in rage. I managed to miss most of it's performance, already running for the nearby trees. Running harder, feeling the ground shake, I tripped over a stone, flying into the brush and skidding to a stop against a tree. I crawled, barely missing teeth from the massive head poking in the trees for me.
Huffing and counting bruises, I staggered away from being the main course. Musing over the emergency checklist, I decided to add a few things should I return home. Smiling at the absurdity, I formed the memo and the lecture in the same thought. I couldn't, I thought mischievously, wait to get my hands on Weki.
Landing unceremoniously on my behind, I yelled. Adding a major bruise to my list I opened my eyes to identify the offending object. Disbelief chased my pain away, as I looked up at a pair of spears. Letting my eyes wander farther along, I noted with serious dismay what was holding them.
Reptilian humanoids. Primitive reptilian humanoids, with spears.
Smiling, I managed to rise. Reviewing things rapidly, I spoke slow and even. "Hello. I seem to have landed here quite accidentally. Perhaps you fine chaps could direct me to a safe place?"
Hissing, I realised the translator would provide roughly zero assistance. I began pondering ways out of this particular turn of events. Smiling for all my worth, the stony expressions I received in return did not endear me any. Backing up slowly, the advancing reptiles with spears cornered me. Swallowing hard, I wondered what effect my remains might incur on the time stream.
The reptiles stopped advancing, turning and hissing. Puzzled by this, I realised they possessed sharper senses than I, as the ground commenced rumbling. Scrambling up the tree behind me, I climbed as far as I could get. Willing my panting to quiet, I listened to the commotion below. Roaring mixed with the reptiles, forcing a smile. I turned my mind to the more immediate issue, of getting home and kicking Weki a few times.
Pulling out my temporal locator, I saw in disappointment the thing was still quite scrambled. I yanked out the pair of scanners in my pockets, glaring at them. Ideas chased logic through my head, sadly to no avail. Feeling my mind shift to hyperspace, I refused to stop it.
Completely in a dimension of thought, moments passed before noises intruded upon my rampaging thoughts. Blinking myself to my rather dismal reality, I glanced down from my perch. Seeing a crowd of reptile humanoids all looking up, I tensed. Frowning, I attempted to reason their thoughts. Surely they would have climbed by now, I thought, so what in the worlds were they waiting for?
Seeing a flaming stick, the answer rang in. Leaning out, I saw in total dismay that my tree was surrounded by wood. The flaming stick passed around the pile encircling the tree. Flames sprouted, burning and beginning to burn up the tree. I frantically searched the trees about me, finding none near enough to jump to. Panic building, I hurriedly played with the devices in my hand. Sweating, fire licking at my shoes, I pressed a button. Screaming as nothing occurred, I threw the devices against the tree.
Landing on my head, I wondered absently why death looked like the lobby of the building I worked in. Scrambling painfully to my feet, surprise colored my features, followed by embarrassment. Straightening my rather dirty and battered clothes, I strode past the astonished onlookers. Entering the building lift, I keyed my code to override the security. Going straight to the research and development floor, I exited the lift to mass commotion. Smiling wickedly, silence descended slowly as I searched the floor for Doctor Weki. Finding him bent over the device causing my misadventure, I broke his intense study. Looking for all the worlds shocked, Weki rose. Waving him from uttering a sound, I pasted him with a glare.
"My office, 15 minutes."
Smiling broadly, I simply turned away. Entering the lift, I laughed, knowing Weki would sweat a bit.