An Inappropriate Use of Time Travel

July 24, 2012 at 9:01 PM | Posted in Fiction | Leave a comment
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For this challenge Chuck wanted us to write about time travel. In fact I had, about a year ago, and I decided to bring the character back. To read more, go here yesterday:
Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: Must Love Time Travel

It was late at night when Thomas emerged from the barn.  By lantern, he checked his clothes.  Yep, these are the right ones.  *I’m not going back to the 1930s again*.
“Tom?  Tom, are you out here?”  Shit, the wife.  *My 1950s wife*.
“I’m coming in, dear.”
“Thomas Paine Ackerman!  You have been in that barn for hours!  I called you for supper two hours ago.”
Oh.  Shit, was his…what the hell is the name of that thing—chronogram—was his chronogram out of adjustment?  *I’m not a technician, I’m a pilot*.  Thomas knew how snoopy she was.  “Did you open the barn door?  Did you look inside?”
Elizabeth put her head down.  She spoke quietly.  “You know I would never do that.  I respect my husband’s privacy.”
Ah…it’s good to be back.  He kissed her on the forehead.  Any time after the mid-sixties, and women are just too damn assertive.
Thomas spent the next two weeks in the 1950s, taking care of things around the house and getting his manly desires satisfied.  When he had gathered all the artifacts the Delorean could hold, he left for his home-time.  He planned to be back before his 1950s wife knew he was gone.
Or maybe he would take an extra five days, because she just started her period.

“These are good pieces,” the dealer said.  *Too good.  How does this schlub come up with mint condition rare coins, stamps, and baseball cards*?
Thomas had no idea he was being followed.  He forgot technology in 2450.  He casually strolled into his small, empty storage space.  He jumped when he heard a voice.  “All right—what’s your game, Ackerman?”
Two men—one had been his collectables dealer.  Thomas had his hand inside his shirt.  The man saw it and said, “Pull that hand out real slow, assjack.”
Thomas pulled his hand out slowly.  And pushed the button his thumb hand been on.  His Delorean appeared, displacing both men’s torsos with a quiet pop.  He flew his car to a car wash, trying to imagine the physics of it, but he wasn’t that smart.  *Shouldn’t there be an explosion?  Space-time, conversation of metal and energy, or something like that*?
Whatever.  He couldn’t come back to this time, or twenty-some odd years after it.  He sat at the anti-grav drive-thru in 2610, slurping on a chalk-lite shake and reminiscing about the good ol’ days of the early 2200s–probably his favorite time.  Styles come and go, and there was a six year period where chubby, sweaty, middle-aged bald guys were getting more ass than they could handle.
Plus, a shake still tasted like chocolate then.
He was tracking where he had been and where he could no longer go on a hand-held.  He heard a noise.  He looked up and thought how sweet it was that even in this day, people still tried to rob banks.
Of course, there was no cash money anymore.  This was a knowledge-neuron bank, where people went for basic brain surgery.
Three thugs:  One driving, and one had an a-g cart floating out, loaded down with canisters.  The other one had a hostage.  A pretty young woman.
Thomas said quietly to himself, “That, my friend, is a mistake.”  He fielded his controls expertly, and came into the bank thirty seconds prior—just as the robbers were leaving.  When he waved his remote around like a weapon, they thought he was another robber.
“Shitburgers and fries.  Hold on.”  He put a semi-static stasis field in place.  Everyone was still moving, but very slowly.  He had learned that if he wanted any glory, he couldn’t stop a crime before it happened because then no one would believe him.
He freed the hostage, then moved the two lawbreakers together, and tightened the stasis field to be only around them.   Everyone else began moving again.  “Oh, crapsicles and pizza!”
He went outside, jumped back 14 seconds, and grabbed the driver before he could leave.  He placed a stasis on him and then let himself and his charge slide up 14 seconds in a doubletime march.  What a rush.
Finally, everybody was current, except the robbers, in stasis.  The woman thanked him, but she didn’t seem grateful enough.  It was just as well—these assertive types didn’t do it for Thomas.

Thomas had a meeting with the mayor.
“Thomas, I’ve been thinking.  Other major metropolitan cities have their own super hero guardian.  How would you like to be ours?”
*A superhero?  I would get all the ass I want…*
“You would get all the ass you want.  Plus, a nice pad, a nice stipend, expenses paid, plus insurance and legal protection.”
“Wait—what’s that last part?”
“Insurance for the damage you’re bound to cause in your quest for justice or whatever, and free legal from the city.  Most superheroes break some laws as well as windows—you know that.  We got you covered.”
Thomas was barely listening.  The mayor’s assistant came in, and he was smitten.  Tall, blonde, beautiful, and wearing the type of fashion that only women in the 23rd century would wear.  Quickly, Thomas turned to the mayor.  It was probably a good deal.  “I’ll take it.  One thing.”  He nodded toward the woman.
The mayor smiled broadly.  “I’m sure we can arrange something.  Charlotte, I’d like to introduce you to our fair city’s crime-fighting superhero—Thomas.  You need a different name, son.”
Charlotte scoffed.  “Not interested.”  She eyed him with distaste.
“I can travel through time.”
“Time travel is inappropriate.”
He didn’t know what to say.  But he knew what to do.  Later, Thomas tracked her backwards at hi-speed, watching her life in reverse.  He found her at a moment just two years ago, where she was vulnerable and open to suggestion.  He was charming.  He took her out.  He got her drunk.  He took advantage of her.  And never called her again.
Two years later, when he became the city’s superhero and they met for the first time, Charlotte kicked him in the balls.

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