Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Time

An ill-lit hall with a big (real) wood desk on a plinth. TC Smith stood before Time Comptroller Martin (renowned prig).

"What's my first mission, comptroller?" asked Smith.

The comptroller took his time looking up from his reports (green ink, illegible for the most part and written by Time Agents driven to psychosis by paradox shift).

"I'm sending you to region 5 of the time base: the Wars of the Ascension."

"I know what region 5 is, sir." said Smith.

"Yes, you were quite the studious, er... student, weren't you Smith?"

Asshole, thought Smith before saying, "region 5 is classified dense-apocalyptic isn't it sir? Do you think you should be sending a cadet on a DA mission?"

"Smith," and he paused, more for effect than anything else, she thought, "you'll be taking a low-level bridging brief - nothing to worry yourself over. And you'll be monitored by more, ah, experienced agents throughout insertion."

"I appreciate that sir, but I still think I should be given a more straightforward brief..."

" Smith," he interrupted, "I decide the priorities and you are, after all, A star A. I think you can cope with a simple bridge."

"I understand sir, I'm just nervous."

She turned to leave.

"Before you're dismissed," he said, "you need to know two things,"

"Yes sir?"

"One, I am the comptroller, not some snot-nosed Zeno bartender," again he paused, closed his eyes and sniffed.

Asshole, she thought.

"And two," he continued, "I am registered point five on the telepathy index."

Well you think I think you're a asshole, but you don't actually know then, do you, asshole?

"That's what I'm registered, however that's not what I'm capable of."

"But as you are registered point five, and I'm registered point one, you can't use what I'm thinking against me, can you," asshole, "sir?"

The comptroller allowed himself a cold smile, "No," he said, "but region 5 it is."

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