Good Morning Ted and Jody:
I am beginning to suspect I need to take my computer in for a tune up or even repair. Into every life, a lot of rain must fall (especially if one lives in the Pacific Northwest in the non-summer months). The Word program in Office (as well as Excel) freezes up (word not responding). I lose very little material, but it takes forever to generate any. Then to the copy and paste I normally do between Word and the email or blog programs freezes up as well. So, in desperation, I attempted to download an alternative to Word and that cause more headaches. I never learn; that took more time to install, uninstall and try to get back to some semblance of normal. I guess I need an IT person in-house.
Nancy was in a class again yesterday so I parked the Ridgeline and walked up the bridge over the Cowlitz River and shot the front of the County Hall of Justice from the bridge. The Hall of Justice faces the river. That was pretty much the excitement for the day.
I switched CNN on this morning and had the privilege of watching the pestilence and the King of Saudi Arabia sign a trade deal and then watched as they watched a formal ceremony. I could not tell if the pestilence or the Kind was the more bored. Neither looked particularly happy. I guess dealing with non-believers is difficult for such men.
I trust this finds you happy, healthy and wise and far from boredom.
Warmest regards, Ed
029 Agent White Interviews Otis Claymore Pogue
Fiction in 886 Words by T Edward Westen, 2017
“Exactly why are you back Agent White?” asked Otis Claymore Pogue.
“Quite frankly, Mr. Rogue, since I was here last your name has come up in a series of murders and temporal body dumping, replied Agent White.
Otis Claymore Pogue simply said “Hump.”
The two say quietly for well over a minute. Finally, Otis Claymore Pogue sighed and said, “I knew there were those at AIT who were not happy that I decided on an early retirement. But, I cannot think of anyone there who would frame me in as a serial murderer. So, how do we go about clearing me?”
Agent White smiled and said, “When I was here last time you told me that you do not have access to time travel implants.”
“That is correct,” Otis Claymore Pogue replied. “Unfortunately, implants are not like drugs that leave a trace for some time after. So, there is no way to prove I haven’t used them recently. Then too, old friends who still travel drop in from time to time. They often bring me things I used to enjoy. I find now that I can’t get synthetic roe regularly, I enjoy it all the more when someone brings some by. But, none of that would compel me to go back.”
Agent White looked pensive. “Why were, as you put it, some at ATI who were not happy you decided on an early retirement?”
“Skills and experience,” replied Otis Claymore Pogue. “I have a lot of technical training and was the best at deciphering obscure codes, scripts, and even early computer language. They seem to think I could sit in what they called real time and people could bring me material to translate into something more manageable in a modern context. For example, in the old days, computers had codes that initiate the start and end of computer sessions. We found a stack of code written in a kind of reverse braille that people who managed computers had to use as a start switch to turn the various circuits on. Indeed, the idea of circuits was alien to us when we found them. After I broke the code, we discovered piles of reverse braille cards that, believe it or not, were ways to calculate the trajectories for artillery shells given varied elevations of the gun and varied charges of explosive propellant.”
“Real time,” mused Agent White. “That is the second time I have heard the term today. What exactly is real time?
“Real time is any placed on the timeline that time travel exists and exists openly,” replied Otis Claymore Pogue. “It means travelers can relax and not worry about covering their tracks. No one is going to burn them at the stake for being a witch.”
“Surely, that never happened,” said Agent White.
“It almost happened to me,” replied Otis Claymore Pogue. “The Outreach Section located a batch of writings that they traced to a specific location. They sent me to see if I could make heads or tails of them. It turned out to be a list of people to be tried as witches. Since I was reading the list, a deacon in a church called out the townspeople. They tied me to a stake stuck in the middle of a pile of firewood. The damned fools lit the firewood. I pivoted the hell out of there. I guess I proved to them I was a witch as nobody but a witch could have disappeared like I did.” Otis Claymore Pogue shook his head and chuckled, “I caught a black mark for prolonging the witch hunt in that section of the timeline—I guess the higher ups thought I should burn. That you might say, was the last straw. I, err, retired before the next assignment.”
Agent Amanda White looked around the primitive 24th Century dwelling and asked, “How do you afford this lifestyle?”
“I work for a living,” replied Otis Claymore Pogue. “Even without time travel, occupations in archeology, anthropology. and linguistics are in high demand. We always want to know what the past means. Largely we would like it to conform to our preconceived notions, but if you can read old stuff, you can command, as they say still a pretty penny. I thought that strange as pennies went out two-hundred years ago.”
“Would you be willing to wear a monitor?” asked Agent White.
“What would that prove? Asked Otis Claymore Pogue. “Any time traveler would be able to pivot out of it.”
Agent Amanda White laughed, “This one you would swallow. We find pivoting out of an internal monitor takes turning oneself inside out—a trick no one seems to have mastered yet.” She handed Otis Claymore Pogue a small capsule.
Otis Claymore Pegues looked at the small pill in his hand and asked, “How long will it stay in me?”
Agent White raised her eyebrow and said, “Until we give you a potion to make it pass.”
Otis Claymore Pogue hefted the pill and popped it in his mouth. He picked up the cup in front of him and washed it down.
She laughed, “Have you ever read Alice in Wonderland?”
Otis Claymore Pogue said, “Yes. Will this make me smaller or bigger?”
“Only if you time travel with it inside you.” With those words, Agent Amanda White pivoted.