Time Flies

Trouble

By Douglas E Gogerty

Try as he might, Jim could not negotiate additional devices. The government was not interested in him competing with their production. They would not allow him to make additional machines. Furthermore, they did not even want him to make improvements on his existing machine.

The contractor reminded Dr. Millard that they could make the devices without him. The University owned the patent, and they were including him as a courtesy. They were interested in his expertise, but beyond that, the engineering team could manufacture the time viewing lenses without him. In fact, they could arrange with the university to sue him for copyright infringement if it came down to that.

Signing the contract gave Dr. James Millard an uneasy feeling. While he could see that it would be a useful device in law enforcement, but how else was it going to be used? Apart from solving crimes, did the government have other ideas in mind? He suddenly felt like a conspiracy theorist. However, try as he might he could not shake the ominous feelings that came over him.

Reluctantly, he signed the contract. The government contractor quickly began fabricating prototypes. They intended on mounting the device on video cameras. Thus, they could obtain video of the crimes and any other relevant events they needed. Hence, even if the video would not be admissible in court, they would have a reference. That is, they would know who did it and how. Therefore, they would only need to gather the incriminating evidence.

Jim realized that getting away with crimes was going to be a great deal more difficult once these devices made their way to police departments. He comforted himself that this was a good thing.

After months of consultation, the prototypes were tested. Naturally, they worked exactly as expected. However, the contractor continuously asked Jim for his version. Jim naturally refused. If this was the only device he would ever have, he was going to protect it. He thought that it was strange that they asked for it in the first place.

Eventually, production began and the FBI obtained the devices in large numbers. Long unsolved crimes were finally being resolved. Lots of good was happening because of the time viewing lenses. Still the government contractors asked for Jim's version. Still he refused.

Long-standing controversies were slowly being settled. President Kennedy's assassination, President Garfield's assassination, and the FBI checked a long list of other high profile killings. With each successful case, the government was more convinced that it was a very useful tool. Still the contractors asked for Jim's version, and he still refused.

Dr. Millard was getting increasingly concerned with the request for his device. Contractually, they had no right to it. Jim had never used the device for any purpose other than research. He could not figure out why they wanted to see it.

"Their devices work fine," Jim often mumbled to himself. "What is it about my device?"

Law enforcement agencies were succeeding in convicting criminals at an amazing rate. Unsolved crimes were becoming a thing of the past. Police would take the device into a crime scene and know exactly what happened. The admissibility in court of the videos taken by these devices was beginning to take shape. Still the government asked for his version, and still Jim refused.

Every day Jim felt that he was being followed. He believed the government knew his every move. He felt more paranoid than anyone was. "Just because I'm paranoid," Jim joked with himself. "That does not mean that I am not being followed."

One day, Jim returned to his office to find it strange. He looked around and did not find anything missing. He checked everything twice, and it appeared to be normal. However, he felt something was different. Perhaps it was paranoia, be something was wrong with his office. He triple checked, but nothing was missing.

Jim sat at his desk and returned to his task of determining his next project with the device. If he could get enough power through it, and get it cold enough, perhaps he could see dinosaurs. Maybe it was time to put the device to its limits. "If I destroy the device," Jim thought, "perhaps they would leave me alone."

Jim wandered off in thought and was startled when a knock came on his door. "Come in," he said reflexively.

A beautiful young woman walked through the door. "Are you Dr. James Millard?" she asked.

"I'm Dr. Millard," he responded.

"I'm Candice Millwood, and I've heard a lot of good things about you," she said flirtatiously.

"Listen Miss..."

"Please call me Candy!" the gorgeous young woman said with a wink.

"Listen Miss Millwood, I've got a lot of work to do."

"I heard you had a time machine!"

"Rumors miss, just rumors."

"I would love to see it!"

"Wouldn't we all love to see it? Perhaps the government has one it could loan you."

"The government's version is top secret. You have to be a cop. However, your device is just locked up somewhere."

"You know an awful lot about this..."

"I just want to see it," Candy said with a pout.

"You said yourself, it is top secret. If I had such a device, it would be my hide if I showed it to anyone without clearance."

"Pwease..."

"Oh Man! That is rich! Tell your boss that if he thinks some young Mata Hari can wink and capture me under her spell..."

"Whatever do you mean?"

"You may leave my office now Miss Milkweed."

"That's Millwood!"

"I have no time machine, so you're wasting your time and mine."

"But..."

"I said 'Good Day!'"

Candy turned and left with a pout. Jim felt he passed that test. Then a realization came to him, "I hope they don't think I'm gay now!"

Over the next couple of weeks, Jim would enter a room and feel that it was wrong. It was not every room he entered. It was just a room here and there that felt wrong. He was beginning to chalk it up to paranoia, when he went to check on his device.

There was Candy and an enormous mountain of a man. "Good evening Dr. Millard."

"Hello?"

"We come for the time lens," said the mountain.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on June 11, 2006 5:10 PM.

"1000 Word Friday" was the previous entry in this blog.

"Mac MacKinnon" - Chapter 7: The Desert Race is the next entry in this blog.

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