Join Date: May 2005
continued from Time-Rider: The ATTA Incident Part 3
Time-Rider and his younger doppelganger, Agent Martin, were trying to get to the bottom of why ATTA was deserted like a ghost town when Max, the artificial intelligence in charge of computer systems, finally began to show the two heroes a scene from the 1990’s on ATTA’s main giant computer screen. The scene featured President Bill Clinton and a general in one of the smaller ATTA time portal rooms.
President Clinton is seen shaking the hand of the general and seems to be asking a question.
“Turn it up again Max,” Time-Rider demanded.
“I really appreciate what you are doing for me, General. Shucks, I’m just tickled pink that you are going to help me with my childhood dream,” said President Clinton.
“Mr. President, you really haven’t given me much of a choice, to be quite frank. Without further funding we’d be dead in the water.”
“Well, whatever the case may be, I’m still mighty grateful. Can we watch it on the view screen now?”
“Yes, Mr. President, and as I’ve explained to you, this change to your past history will become a part of your memory as soon as you leave ATTA headquarters today. I just hope we haven’t caused any major damage to the time stream,” the general said as they watched an image of the White House in 1963 on a large view screen. There, a group of teens are seen, as well as President Kennedy greeting the youths.
“Golly, there I am meeting up with President Kennedy and shaking his hand, just like I told everyone on the campaign trail.”
“Yes, Mr. President. There you are. We managed to get your younger self into the American Legion’s Boys Nation program in the year 1963, just as you had described it to the press. Now you’ll have photos to back up your lie, I err mean your, uh, dream come true.”
“Thank you, thank you, General,” Clinton said just as the lights began to flicker.
“That shouldn’t have happened. Our power should stay on even in the event of a nuclear blast.”
“Sorry about that General, but I had my boys erase any records of my being here today from your computer. Just had to shut ‘er down for a second. No biggie, right.”
“Mr. President, those computer systems are set up to protect us from possible time shifts in the outside world, so, if need be, we can send an agent out to make corrections.”
“Boy, alright, you Pentagon types worry too much always stressing about being attacked or being prepared for some kind of catastrophe. Just relax a little bit. If there is anything I learned from the sixties is was how to relax. You know what I mean?” the President asked with a bit of a goofy smile on his face.
Clinton makes a call on his phone, “Listen boys, stop what you’re doing. Leave the general’s computers alone. Not much chance of anybody ever finding out I was here anyway. This place is more hidden than my great granny’s moonshine still was, back in the day.”
The President finally leaves as the general makes a call, “Are we ok? I can’t believe that idiotic hayseed, err... I mean the President, had his boys fooling around with our systems. The next time that happens I don’t care if they do work for the President. Shoot them the second they put their hands anywhere near our computers. Is that clear? Did anything happen I should be worried about?”
A voice on the other end of the line responds, “I don’t think so sir, the power just blinked. Everything seems to be normal. The alteration the President wanted went in, and we are all A-OK, sir!”
“Good, good, I can’t believe we risked damage to the space-time continuum so the President could meet his idol, JFK."
The general looks up and sighs," Now that was a great President. Too bad we can’t go back and stop his assassination, but every time we try the whole world ends up in a state of total nuclear annihilation or worse. Oh well, you can’t win them all.”
The voice on the phone replied, “No sir you can’t.”
The video ends leaving the two Martins to only scratch their heads and wonder just what the scene they just watched had to do with their current situation.
“Max, that was all very interesting, but what the Sam Hill does that have to do with where we are now? Unless...did the blinking power outage on the video have anything to do with any of this?” Time-Rider questioned.
Max replied in his now more stable computer voice, “That is correct, Time-Rider. Once the systems went down that day, a moment in time was pocketed away so to speak inside ATTA headquarters. I knew it was only a matter of time before you would arrive to investigate, but I did not foresee two Martins.
“I take it my arrival was somewhat of an accident actually, but how did my alternate arrive roughly at the same time,” Time-Rider asked.
Max responded, “Due to the nature of this pocketed moment in time, anyone could arrive here within a millennia and from inside ATTA it would appear to be roughly the exact same time. It appears to be a bridge of sorts between alternate timelines.”
“So how do we get back to where we belong?” asked Agent Martin.
“Simple, you must destroy me, and once my systems are completely shut down this moment of time will cease to exist, but you must leave quickly or you will be wiped from existence.”
“What if we just got in our cars and left the building?” Agent Martin asked.
Max responded, “You would be wiped out of existence.”
“Gee, ain’t you a ray of sunshine!”
Max continued, “You see gentlemen, it is vital that I be shut down before this pocketed moment in time grows. If that were to happen the entire world would be destroyed. The resulting effect would mean the erasure of all other time periods, and, by the way, you now have thirty seconds before this pocket begins to exit ATTA's facilities to the outside.”
“Thirty seconds! Are you out of your ever lovin’ computer mind? Why in the heck didn’t you mention this sooner? Never mind. Where’s the shut off switch?” Agent Martin shouted.
“The computer will never shut down all the way in time. We have to cut the power and fast!” Time-Rider yelled back. “Ok, Max start your self-destruct sequence now, and skip past the usual one minute warning. Fifteen seconds will do fine. “
“Are you nuts? It’s at least two minutes back down to the docking bay!” exclaimed Agent Martin.
“Not for us, and you know it! Anyway, go ahead, I got this!” Time-Rider said hurriedly.
“Begin self-destruct sequence, code 98752147 ADV C REBE DL 21. Go!”
With that Time-Rider ran for the docking bay like the wind. As both Martins flew out the hangar door a massive fire ball followed. Time-Rider looked around to find Agent Martin's vehicle, but he was nowhere in sight.
"Max are you there?" Time-Rider asked over the radio.
"Yes, of course, Time-Rider," the alien Max responded from inside of ATTA over the radio.
Time-Rider thinking out loud, "That was close. I guess everything is back to normal again."
Time-Rider, turning his vehicle around in the sky to head back to ATTA, began to ponder, “I wonder if Max has any records on Agent Martin he’s been holding back. That sneaky alien has probably been hiding a lot from me for some reason or the other. Well he's going to speak up now, if I have to beat it out of him!"
Time-Rider paused for a moment, "Something tells me Agent Martin's story would be pretty interesting.”
Check out the new book The Time Cruisers in The Exodus Trap to find out more about this Agent John Martin of ATTA!