Wednesday, May 30, 2007

1914

He looked at her intently for a moment, "Miss Smith, I do believe you have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen."

He paused, "and I do believe you intend to kill me with the knife you have concealed in your apron."

Smith was a little unnerved, "sir, i don't know what you mean", but quickly regained her composure, yes it is a knife, she thought, and I’m not fucking pleased to see you.

Dr. Carrington smiled and said, "don't think I haven't realised there's more to you than meets the eye, Miss Smith."

He came round the desk, Smith backed away but was brought short by a chair, "Sir, I'm sure I don't know what you mean."

"Let me tell you a story," said the Doctor, "you'll have to forgive my ignorance of certain, ah, technical details, but you must realise I have very little knowledge of the wonderful contraptions of the future. Sit down dear," and he pulled the chair towards her. Smith sat with as much dignity as she could muster.

"You have a wonderful device in your room" he began, the scope, she thought.

"it appears to allow the free view of any period in future history - if only to see the exploits of your descendants."

Only hit the family button then, didn't you?

"Of course, my experimentation only extended as far as one push-button before I was rewarded with an illuminated theatre within the glass face of your machine."

"Sir, you shouldn't have..."

"Oh, drop the pretense Smith, you're not what you pretend to be."

" I don't..."

"..know what I mean?" and the doctor looked away, "I do indeed know what I mean, and let me tell you what I saw."

"What did you see?"

"A relative of mine, by his eyes- perhaps my great great grandson? I think he has some connection with you?"

"Maybe in my own future... sir," force of habit with the honorific, she thought, don't need to bother with that anymore.

"Ah, I see. You haven't yet met Clement?"

"No, sir," fuck, I don't need to say that, "I mean we're not allowed to scope our own future."

"We? I suppose there must be some organisation behind all this?"

"Yes sir."

"Well, my great great grandson - Clement - had? Has? Will have? A bit of a thing about you. It appears that you fell into his life around 2014, 100 years from now.

"I'm not a numerologist, so I see no significance in nice round figures, but I imagine that's not a coincidence?"

100 year time slots in this Region,thought Smith, "No, it's not a coincidence," she said.

"No, I didn't think so. Anyway, it's about a year later,  December the 5th 2015 to be precise. Clement (which will save me the bother of saying 'great great grandson') was sitting at a table in a restaurant waiting for you. He appeared to be rehearsing a little speech. Do you want know what he was saying?"

"No sir."

"Some kind of rule?"

"Yes," and she thought furiously of something to say that would sound convincing, "that would set up all kinds of paradoxes, and, uh, my organisation takes a very dim view of paradoxes."

"No mind. I have transcribed what he was saying." and the doctor took a sheet of paper from his desk, retrieved his spectacles from his waistcoat pocket and began to read...

"'Black and white for a moment. Shelley I know this is not the right time, but we've always had honesty, and I've always been direct and I need to be clear with you - I don't want to hold back, don't need to and you'll see why...'"

He looked up from the sheet and smiled at Smith, "Grammar was not his strong point, or should I say will not be his strong point?"

She didn't smile back. He read the whole transcription to her, pausing occasionally to adjust his spectacles. Finally the doctor ended with, "and the last thing Clement said was 'I love you'".

Smith blinked.

" ...well why don't we go and see what happened next, miss Smith?".

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