Good Afternoon (OK, Evening) Ted and Jody:
The day got off to a rocky start despite two bouts on the stationary bike. However, the officer who tried to pull me over was frustrated by the lack of a shoulder in our T.V. room. I swear he gave me the finger when he was forced to let me get away at breakneck peddling.
I seem to recall the pestilence deciding to label suicide bombers “losers,” rather than dignifying them with such terms as “monster.” But, was I the only one to notice him wishing “losers” a happy Memorial Day in his tweet?
I will see you in three days.
Warmest regards, Ed
039 The Hologram Projector
Fiction in 883 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Dr. Sandra Choy was pacing nervously outside Outreach Agent Simmons work area and quarters when he stuck his head out. “Sandra, I didn’t know you were hre. I just got back from checking on a hunch about the hologram projector.”
“That’s what I wanted to tell you,” said Dr. Choy. “Thomas, err, Mr. Edison, and I had just finished documenting it and it vanished.
“Vanished?” asked Outreach Agent Simmons. “As in it pivoted or it just merged into thin air?
“I suspect it pivoted,” replied Dr. Choy.
“So we are left with nothing?” asked Outreach Agent Simmons.
“We have the parts to make a duplicate, but the original is gone, said Dr. Choy.
“I’m confused,” said Outreach Agent Simmons.
“We disassembled the device and put each part on a fabricator and so we have working duplicates of all the parts,” explained Dr. Choy. “Mr. Edison and I think you should be there when we assemble a working copy of it.”
“In your lab?” asked Outreach Agent Simmons.
Dr. Choy nodded and Outreach Agent Simmons
Materializing in Dr. Choy’s lab, Dr. Choy and Outreach Agent Simmons found Thomas Aldrich Edison making copies of the hologram parts. “I have been expecting you and I am almost finished.”
“Finished with what?” asked Outreach Agent Simmons.
“As unstable in this time that the original device you brought us to examine was,” replied Thomas Aldrich Edison, “I thought it best to make more copies in case the next one we assemble goes poof too. I was thinking, the next one we need to put a note on so the finder can let us know where to return it.”
“What if the finder is the person who used it to commit those crimes?” asked Dr. Choy. “Won’t that give away that we had it?”
Thomas Aldrich Edison shook his head. “If that is where it is going, they already know as this,” he said, picking up one small rectangular piece, “is a standard recording chip. The original may have recorded everything since you picked it up Outreach Agent for the switch is in the record position.”
Dr. Choy added, “If it is on, it also recorded what we said about it when we disassembled and reassembled it.”
“I copied the chip first and went to my lab and played it,” said Thomas Aldrich Edison. “If you two would join me outside please.” He beckoned to them as he went out of the door to Dr. Choy’s lab.
Once outside, he closed the door to Dr. Choy’s lab, Thomas Aldrich Edison said, “Nowhere on this did we talk about duplicating the parts. If it did go back to the criminal, he or she will not know we still have working copies.”
Outreach Agent Simmons looked confused, “Why are we talking about this out here and not in the lab?”
“The switch is still on,” said Thomas Aldrich Edison. “It is still recording. I am guessing if we put it together again it will go poof again? And, if going poof sends it to someone they will know we sent it, more or less on purpose.”
“Can we use that to our advantage?” asked Outreach Agent Simmons.
“It will take some time, but I think we can rig one to come back to us with the recorder still on,” said Thomas Aldrich Edison. “I should think that if a second hologram projector went, home, the criminal will pick it up and look at it. This we will have several possible ways to identify who used it.”
“If you can do that, you are a genius,” said Outreach Agent Simmons.
“My being a genius is not in doubt,” replied Thomas Aldrich Edison. “But it will take time. In the meantime, could you return to where you found the original decide and make sure it isn’t there?”
“Yes,” replied Outreach Agent Simmons. “What time did it hum, a, leave?”
“43 minutes ago,” said Dr. Choy looking at the lab chronometer.
Outreach Agent Simmons nodded and vanished.
A few seconds later Outreach Agent Simmons appeared and said, “How did you know it would be there?
“I suspected it was a single destination time traveling device,” replied Thomas Aldrich Edison. “I made one by mistake. But, the principle is to have a device that only goes one place and perhaps back again. We will know a bit more once we play with the parts some more. I do hope you left it there.”
“Yes,” replied Outreach Agent Simmons, “but, I did put a tracking beacon on the bottom of it so if it goes back to its owner, we will be there with it.”
From outside they could hear a voice calling, “It is Amanda White, may I come in?”
Dr. Choy, chuckled, “Amanda is from another age and the niceties of entering a room are still part of her makeup.” Then loudly, “Yes, Amanda, come in.”
Agent White was all smiles when she entered the room. “I got an idea of how we can play the same game as the person behind the hologram of the goatee with a scar over his left eye. All it takes is several of those hologram projectors.
Outreach Agent Simmons said, “We were just talking about the same thing. We are going to play silly buggers with him.”