Good Afternoon Ted and Jody:
We had a second day of Summer today. Since I have a couple of plants in pots that required watering. I watered. In addition, I am pleased with how well the four-year old Clamata plant by the back porch is doing. I have something for it to climb and it has rewarded me handsomely. The apple blossoms are done and we can hope those little nodules are baby apples. I did finally find a thistle plant I can use to make a spray—you would think thistles would abound here, but when you need a thistle, they are nowhere to be found.
I, along with everyone, was horrified by the terrorist attack in Manchester. I fear I will be equally horrified by the response. I suspect terrorist recruitment is similar to gang recruitment and cult recruitment—they prey on people who have no hope. Unfortunately, producing people with no hope seems to be a universal. We need to change that.
I trust this finds you well, happy and in summer too.
Warmest regards, Ed
032 Agent White’s Assessment and Review
Fiction in 1098 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Agent White materialized in the stairwell at Police Headquarters. She started up the stairs and then had second thoughts and turned to descend to Child Protective Survives. When she entered the reception area, Millie, the secretary said, “They are in with Ms. Gunderson. Go on in.
Opening Ms. Gunderson’s door, she could see a white case board against the far wall and several notes on it. “Hi, everyone. What’s up?’ she asked.
“A kidnapping,” replied Detective Philipson.
Agent’s White’s hands flew to cover her mouth, “How. . .” But she was interrupted
“The evidence strongly suggests a time traveler,” said Special Agent Fleishman.
Captain Batan moved to a screen by Edith Gunderson’s desk, pushed a button and said, “Watch.”
The scene was a toddler’s room from an overhead camera position. The toddler was sitting in her bed playing with some beads on a ring. There was a flurry of activity and the child was no longer in the bed. Indeed, she was no longer in the room.
Agent White sill had her hands over her mouth.
Edith Gunderson said, “They left a note demanding a strange ransom. It seems the kidnappers want a map to Blackbeard’s buried treasure.”
Agent White’s immediate horror and aversion had somewhat abated. “A map to buried treasure. Who would have such a thing?”
Detective Philipson shook his head and said, “Would you believe the child’s father has a shop full of oddities and one of his oddities is a vellum map to one of Blackbeard’s treasure chests?”
Agent White asked, “Surely the man would exchange a treasure map for his daughter?”
“He did five hours ago, ” said Detective Philipson sadly shaking his head. “The kidnappers did not communicate further and his daughter is still gone.”
Special Agent Fleishman asked, “Having reinterviewed the four time transplants do you have any suggestions for where to start?”
“Nothing,” replied Agent White. “Each of them both seem to have adapted to their time niches and seem to me to be prime suspects for doing crazy things. I do have two tickets for a stage play Robert Jacob Masters is in later.”
“Is that former Outreach Agent Robert Jacob Masters?” Asked Special Agent Fleishman.
Agent White nodded.
Special Agent Fleishman paused and said, “May I go with you to watch Robbie act.”
Agent White said, “Yes. But, your friend is still a suspect. “
“What about the other three?” Asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“Col. George Blackwell seems settled with his wife,” said Agent White. “However, both his wife and I are somewhat leery of his adjustment to a sedentary life. She routinely checks for evidence he has strayed. However, there is absolutely no sign he has resumed traveling.”
“I went on a mission with him when I was new to AIT,” replied Special Agent Fleishman. “The man frightened me. He behaved as if he was indestructible. I would put him in the action; I would not have him directing it “
“Who’s next?” asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“Otis Claymore Pogue,” said Agent White. “He admits to travelers stopping by now and again. I would be surprised if he didn’t travel from time to time. I did not get the impression he was as wedded to his niche in time as the others. It’s difficult to say as I found it difficult to like the man. I tried a bluff on him. Having him take a pill that would tell us if he traveled. He took the pill, I think, but I am not sure he believed what I said it would do.”
Special Agent Fleishman. He was one of the most creative men I ever knew,” said Special Agent Fleishman. “Once he was on a mission and the temporal locals thought he was a witch.” Special Agent Fleishman put his hand over his mouth and suppressed a laugh. They tied him to a stake and lit the fire.” Special Agent Fleishman paused, shook his head and then continued. “There was nothing else he could do. He pivoted, proving to them that he was a witch. It caused an uproar in the non-traveling bureaucracy. The end result was to require all AIT big shots to have field experience. That took some time and Robbie left in a huff and a high dungeon before the changes went into place. We lost a good agent.”
Agent White said. “Finally there is Count Raymond Hastens. Here is s man living off a mistake about his name. The temporal locals seem to think his first name is a title. Since they are in s time and place without a history of aristocrats during a time of transition they seem to have embraced some romantic notions about aristocrats and imbued him with qualities he does not have. HE claims he is the for the fishing. A man retiring to fish is his “raison d’ etre.”
Special Agent Fleishman chuckled and shook his head. “He did take a line and tackle with him when he traveled.”
Edith Gunderson sighed. “It does not appear your interviews are going to help us find little Becky Kane.”
“How was the treasure map transferred to the kidnappers?” Asked Agent White.
“Mr. Kane placed the map on a picnic table in a park,” replied Detective Philipson. “As soon as it was on the table it vanished. We had a drone covering the exchange. It showed the same flurry or blur that the overhead camera in Becky’s bedroom showed when she was taken.”
Agent White asked, “What do the cameras show at the slowest speed?”
“What you watched was the slowest speed,” replied Detective Philipson.
Edith Gunderson said, ” Could we plant one of the beacons on Becky that Outreach Agent Simmons left for you, Captain Batan?”
Captain Batan looked inquisitively at Special Agent Fleishman and asked. “What if we turned it on? Would it direct us to wherever and whenever she is?”
Special Agent Fleishman said, “Let me check with Jonathon,” and vanished.
Reappearing a moment later, Special Agent Fleishman said, “yes, but Jonathan has something better and will join us in a moment or two.