Tuesday, May 5, 2015

TPC (Time Paradox Containment)

[awhile back I just decided to try and write a time travel story. I played with different ideas and eventually came up with 'John Doe: Time Traveling Cop'. That's basically the tagline for my idea. Anyway, here's one of my more thought out free writes. You can view a very, very slightly different version on the Slam here]

"We've been reviewing your optical files, Doe, and comparing them to your debrief. Now, we've noticed a couple inconstancies."
  "Really?" John raised an eyebrow. "Well, that's weird, because there shouldn't be." He smirked condescendingly, twirling in the chair.
  "Hell right there shouldn't be!" Nicholas snapped. He groaned, passing a hand over his face. John's carefree attitude really could make itself prominent on about the worst times possible.
  "Ok, admittedly I abridged quite a lot, but come on…! That was like… thirteen different eras!"
  "Twenty-three," Nicholas said sharply.
  "Twenty-three," John corrected. "There, you see? I can't very well remember everything from twenty-three different eras."
  Nicholas slapped the file on the table. "Scarikat, Doe! It's not just about the inconsistencies. It's about the fact that all of your debriefing inconsistencies consist of the covering up of… questionable actions."
  John paused his chair twirling. He coughed, and continued twirling, but Nicholas could see that he was decidedly uncomfortable. "First, I like to think of it as truthful euphemism…"
  "Scarikat. This isn't a joke, John!"
  "Second," John said forcefully. "I would like to know exactly what qualifies as 'questionable' in the TPC. This isn't exactly the typical police force, beef."
  "Doe," Nicholas said warningly.
  "Ok. What exactly counts as questionable in the TPC, Agent Anderson?"
  "Well, for starters telling multiple people that you were a TPC agent is probably counted as questionable."
  John paused again, then continued twirling. "Alright, so I can see how that looks really bad, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Times. I mean, I was getting the snot beat, wrenched, cut and sometimes electrocuted out of me… most of those times. And it's not like I was giving those guys information that was important or that they believed."
  "You can't be killed, Doe, and--"
  "What?" John snapped, stopping short and banging a fist on the table. "I can't die, so I should just go with the electrical flow? I've got news, Nick! Torture isn't meant to kill a guy, it's meant to make him talk! I didn't give hell about dying, Nick, just being tortured for the rest of my regenerative life!"
  "And," Nicholas shouted back, his own temper starting to rise. "Telling a couple guys with knives that you're from the future doesn't count as not important information!"
  "Not just a couple and not just knives!" John retorted, now standing up from his seat.
  "And what about the people who weren't holding a blade to your throat, huh?" Nicholas snapped. "Did you have to tell them?" John sank down into his seat, pressing a hand to his forehead. "There is a natural flow of things, Doe," Nicholas said slowly. "We can't afford to disrupt what's already happened."
  "Everything was bet as soon as Varus went to work," John said, groaning. "Look, Nick, how do we know that all this wasn't already the natural order of things, huh?"
  "We're getting off topic here, Doe." Nicholas opened the folder, and John groaned again. "We're trying to decide if you're still liable to be a TPC agent. Hell, we're trying to decide if you're still liable to be a cop."
  "Ok. Ok." John presented his palms, eyebrows raised condescendingly. "So what other questionable acts have I done that has the government's best lackey checking in on me?"
  Nicholas scowled. He knew John. Lackey wasn't just a derogatory term, it was one of his worst insults. He pressed a button on the side of the table and it sank into the ground. "We are going to be looking through your optical files, and I'll be manually debriefing you all throughout."
  "Still no respect for privacy," John said, leaning back in his chair.
  "This is serious, Doe. If the big guns decide you're out of the TPC, then you're staying here, in the depths of HQ. They don't want a possible rogue to go out on the streets with sensitive time-trav info."
  "Yeah, cause locking up the possible rogue definitely won't turn him into a revenge hungry maniac, assuming that he wasn't one to begin with."
  Nicholas sent the younger agent a look.
  "Fine. Serious."
  Nicholas looked at the file. "Computer, access three dimensional optical files of Field Agent John Doe under the Varus case. Level four authorization, Agent Nicholas Anderson: mary-one-zero-delta-zero-six-ramhorn-zero-four-foxtrot."
  He dropped the file onto the ground. The holo-emitter in the file activated, and the room became the perfect picture of Kelly Springs, Colorado, 2007. John turned to Nicholas with a smirk. "So… wanna solve a mystery?"

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