End Times

The Compound

The Gadget


The Compound

It was only logical that the irresponsible nuke thieves should exist in the same time period that the rip led to.

Model – 3417 analyzed the atmosphere and found carbon emissions inconsistent with their current era. Wooly mammoths were not known for smog. From a nearby rock outcropping a hundred yards from a hastily, yet decently defended wall, the agents looked on their enemy.

“Mattix just had to be called back to HQ, didn’t he?” commented Murdoch. With their more militant comrade now fourteen thousand years ahead in time they were going to have to wing it, and resort to more subtle methods of infiltration.

A large metal hoop with a sixty-foot techno-cannon pointed at it hung from a crane in the center of the complex. Below it was a mess of metal, the remnants of the tower that had been stolen along with the world’s first nuke. A throng of scientists worked hastily to determine its viability as soldiers marched around the complex like angry ants.

As they pulled the Gadget onto the bed of a truck, one of the scientists, a woman, argued with a soldier.

“We need more time!” she shouted. Model – 3417’s tether broadcast the conversation from what little it could pick up from the laser bouncing off of a nearby pane of glass. “It’ll take at least a day to repair the machine.”

The soldier snarled back, “Chen says he wants those Russian nukes by tomorrow evening.”

“Well you tell that brain in a box that I can’t perform miracles! The wormhole projector is very sensitive equipment.”

He leaned into her space, brandishing his rifle, “That ‘brain-in-the-box pays you well, and you’d do well to do what he says. Unless you want to be dismissed from the project?”

The doctor looked on in disgust as the Gadget was hurried into the hanger in the rear of the compound.

Doctor Hirsch went through a few scenarios in his head before speaking up. One thing was for sure, they needed to get in the compound.

“The walls are too well guarded. If we come back yesterday before the theft we can stop it before it happens.”

“And then find out who this Chen character is?” asked Murdoch. “I say we sabotage that nuke so it goes off right after they bring it over here with that time vacuum. Boom. End of story.”

“But history would be forever changed if the Gadget isn’t returned to its proper time,” added Model – 3417.

Murdoch rolled his eyes. The android was right, even if it weren’t a time period he cared much for.

Infiltrating the Base

They agreed on a plan of action, and set forth. The good thing about prehistory was very little changed when you messed with it. Model – 3417 traveled back to a calculated time and set a series of events in motion that made the weather optimal for their infiltration. When the android traveled back to the compound, the night before the nuke was to be stolen, a thick fog had settled over the landscape.

Murdoch led he fellow agents to the wall with grappling hooks. They slung them at the three guards above them, and pulled them to the ground. After stealing their uniforms, the agents climbed the walls and slipped into the compound with relative ease.

Doctor Hirsch made his way to the hanger as his comrades examined the time vacuum. Inside he didn’t see the Gadget, instead he saw a time rip leading directly into what appeared to be a skyscraper overlooking a large body of water, surrounded by desert. He nodded to the soldiers nonchalantly as he walked back to the rendezvous. Just as he thought. There was a back door.

Meanwhile, Model – 3417 walked into the laboratory and tracked down a computer terminal where it could learn more about what was going on. As it did so, taking on the disguise of a woman militant, somebody tapped on its shoulder.

“Excuse me. I know everyone here, but I don’t know you,” asked the woman from before, the lead scientist.

The android paused uncomfortably, listening to Murdoch’s instructions over the comm to act superior.

“I was sent here by chen,” Model – 3417 told her sternly. “He wants to be sure that tomorrow’s delivery of the Gadget is on schedule.”

“And he didn’t trust me enough to ask? Typical,” said the doctor. “What do you need.”

“Manifests,” said Model – 3417, then added with Murdoch’s insistence, “And communications logs between your staff and Chen.”

“He doesn’t have that on his end?”

“Lady, I was told to come here and get it myself.”

The scientist pushed Model – 3417 out of the way, letting the android roll into the wall gently. She tapped frantically at the keyboard and the printer spun to life.

“Hard copies, like our boss prefers. It’s so antiquated, paper. We will be stealing the Gadget at 3:00 tomorrow, Dubai time. Is there anything else?”

The woman poised herself between Model – 3417 and the computer. The android left, having gotten more than it was looking for. Doctor Hirsch hummed over the mic, “Dubai? Now what I saw makes sense. Lets see what we can do about tomorrow’s theft.”

Under the cover of night and fog the three, disguised now as scientists, huddled behind the large cannon as Model – 3417 interfaced with the primitive time travel device. It was clear to each of them that these scientists were dealing with what was the equivalent to magic for them.

“If I rig the batteries to overload during the theft, nobody will be the wiser. They will never be able to fix this device from the ensuing explosion.”

After several seconds, the android found itself locked out of that section of the system. It appeared that such a form of sabotage had been identified and protected from. None of them wanted to make it obvious.

“We could just break it, physically,” added Hirsch and Murdoch.

“The coolant tanks,” said Model – 3417, as if it didn’t hear them. “I can cause them to leak, corrode the circuitry, and tomorrow’s results will be less than optimal. Does this sound reasonable?”

Hirsch and Murdoch looked at one another an shrugged. Somewhere deep down, Murdoch still wanted to detonate the nuke and screw the consequences.

Several minutes later the device had been rigged, the sabotage was complete. It was time to confront Chen.


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