Good Morning Ted and Jody:
It is a bit difficult to tell with the bit of discomfort in my back, but I rather suspect the pinched nerves to my legs may be a thing of the past (knock on wood). I was up and walking the hall of the admitting/discharging area within 90 minutes of surgery. Since the pre-op instructions call for not taking meds that morning, they had some concerns about my blood pressure and blood sugar. Finally, they relented and let me take my “regular” meds and the blood pressure issue quickly resolved itself. However, they kept insisting on administering one unit of insulin at a time. That was not particularly effective, but is dropped below 200 and they decided to let me out. The blood sugar, while still high, it is behaving closer to normal, for me, now. One of the prescriptions I have been taking for blood sugar was one they wanted me to stop for five days before. I’m surprised that it didn’t shoot up to a “gegillion” (a larger exponent than a “Brazillion”) without full treatment.
I do have soreness where they went in. I am using a muscle relaxant and Ibuprofen. For my system, I don’t see the hard drugs doing much better, but they would impair me. I am too old to be any more impaired that I was before I went in. Strangely, walking or standing upright is more comfortable then sitting in a straight back chair, which is more comfortable than laying down. The basic rules are no bending, no twisting no reaching to high. Then there are some exercises involving laying on my back and pumping my feet, raising my knees and remembering to call this exercise. I will graduate to more vertical exercises with time.
Largely, except for ending up with a fresh knife would, the experience there was very good. The surgeon tells me he got the junk out and he seemed pleased. The anesthesiologist was positive before and after. He has an easy way with people (a gift I wish I had). The nursing staff was both pleasnet and interesting. One has been an intern in the Senate under Patty Murphy. The one assigned to me after surgery was pleasant and enjoyable to be around and handy. Indeed, some one parked so close to the Hyundai, that Nancy could not get in the driver’s seat. The nurse went out crawled over the center divider and got it out for her.
Needless to say, I did a lot of sleeping last night—more than my normal quota.
I trust this finds you happy, healthy and warm. Spring is on the way, it just seems to have gotten sidetracked somewhere in the milled latitudes. I am appending the next installment of the Amanda story and hope I get the next one this time.
Warmest regards, Ed
Fiction in 1244 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Alice Beaverton awoke to silence. She stretched her arms while still in bed and thought, ‘I am free of that place.’ She smiled then asked, “Computer did I successfully complete the sleep module for the sixth course required to receive an Agency for Time Integrity, ATI implant?”
The screen in her cubical came to life and the computer replied, “Yes, you successfully completed the sleep module for the sixth course required for receiving an ATI implant.”
“Computer when and where is the next available time to schedule an implant?” she asked climbing out of bed and pulling her clothes out of the freshener.
“In two hours and ten minutes in Room 2709 of the Agency for Time Integrity, ATI, at 1895 Wells Street,” replied the computer.
“Computer, schedule me to have an implant at that time,” said Alice.
Arriving at Room 2709 fifteen minutes early
she found entrance impossible. About five minutes later a slightly overweight man sporting a brown foam mustache speckled with white chunks opened the door from the inside. The man seemed startled to see her; he wiped the back of his hand across his mouth erasing the mustache and said, “Sorry, can I help you?”
“Yes, I am Alice Beaverton and I am here to have an implant for time travel.”
“Oh, ah, yes, well, it will be in a few minutes, I just got here myself. I am Outreach Agent Johnathan Simmons,” he said and stuck out the hand he used to wipe away his brown foam mustache that had been speckled with white chunks.
Alice looked at the hand then to his face, her face clearly showed a lack of understanding.
Outreach Agent Simmons pulled back his hand. “I am sorry, that was rude of me. It is a custom from an earlier time I visited and it is funny how, er, well, I guess one picks up those old ways so quickly. Anyway, around here is a common, albeit archaic part of a welcoming greeting. So, let me simply say, Welcome Alice er, ah.”
“Beaverton,” Alice added.
“Yes, I am sorry, Welcome Alice Beaverton.” Outreach Agent Simmons then looked at the panel next to the portal and said, “I see you are on the schedule. A light morning, as you are the only implant scheduled.” Then he flushed and stammered again, “I am forgetting my manners, do come in.”
Outreach Agent Simmons led Alice into an almost bare room. He walked over to the far wall touched it and the wall opened into a shelf much as one would find in a working laboratory with racks of syringes some fill with a red substance, some with green and some with blue. The shelf held various other ‘scientific looking’ paraphilia that Alice did not recognize. To the right side of the room was a shelf that was identical to the beds in the six, public. sleeping cubicles Alice had slept in the six nights since her release from prison. She pointed to the bed, “Is that where you sleep.”
My, my, no, that is a transporter base for individuals with provisional implants. That will be your temporary transporter base,” replied Special Agent Simmons. “I have quarters and a laboratory elsewhere in the building.”
“I do apologize, I just finished the sixth sleep module last night. I almost knew the answer before I asked. Which of those,” she said pointing to the racks of syringes, “contain the implants? The red ones?” asked Alice.
“Red are long term and green are short term and the blue remove either?” replied Outreach Agent Simmons. “Everyone gets a temporary, a green, implant the first time. They are good for 25 to 30 pivots. They bring the person back in 30 days and then we remove it with the blue syringe; and, if you still want one we discuss employment and a permanent implant. We also use the temporary one to be sure there is no adverse reaction to the implant. After all it would be silly to have you bounding around in time forever if you didn’t react well to it. 25 to 30 pivots, with the last pivot to this transporter base,” he said pointing to what Alice had called a bed on the side of the room, “doesn’t leave you all tied up in time knots.” He smiled, “One fellow, on a temporary was so, shall we say, allergic to the implant that he took all 26 of his pivots in the span of a minute and three seconds. That was freaky for him, to say the least.” Outreach Agent Simmons looked at the frown on Alice’s face and said, “Oh, you did know that everyone can successfully have a time implant, didn’t you?”
“Yes, that is not it, I didn’t know there were temporary implants and permanent ones. This is new information for me. How long does it take before I take my first, er, trial, pivot?” Alice asked.
“Not long, perhaps 15 minutes.” Replied Outreach Agent Simmons. “I give you the injection and the nanobots go to work very quickly. We can sit and chat while they work. I have chatted with some of the most interesting people while we waited for the nanobots to finish their work.” He walked over to the rack of syringes and selected a green one and walked back to Alice. “Are you ready?”
“Yes, let’s do this,” said Alice.
“Raise your right arm. We use the armpit for their point of entry. You should not feel anything except a tingling sensation,” said a smiling Outreach Agent Simons. “After all the nanobots, have very tiny feet.” He chortled at his witticism.
Alice asked, “Do you do this every day?”
“No, everyone with an Agent designation who has been in the field, so to speak, does this on a rotating basis. I get to do this about three times a year. This morning is my second time this year,” replied Outreach Agent Simmons.
“What is your regular, ah, assignment?” asked Alice Beaverton.
“I and others with the designation ‘Outreach’ collect information, pave the way for and solve problems that field teams present to us for operations downline. When not working on a field team or council request, we specialize in gathering information about periods of time where information is scarce. In working on a recent request, I helped open a portal to a parallel universe. I will be specializing in that universe in my, shall we say, spare time.” He paused, “I do need to mention that you should plan on your first pivot from here and back to here in the span of a few minutes. That way we can check for any minor adjustments that need to be made. You do need to know your mass limit with the temporary implant is 150 kilos, so if you pick up, he, he, he,” he snorted, “any strangers make sure they are about your mass.” He winked when he said that. “I recommend you pick a place you have been for this first jaunt. Preferably at a time you were not there, face to face with yourself can be a bit awkward if the earlier you is not expecting to see her older self in the flesh. See you in a few minutes.”
Outreach Agent Simmons watched Alice Beaverton make her maiden pivot, to wit, she disappeared. “Sigh, they are so young now. I wonder why she wants in to ensure that everyone has a future. Who did she lose?”