Curtains of time, p.1
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       Curtains Of Time, p.1

           Wayne Rohrer
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Curtains Of Time
Curtains of Time

  By Wayne Rohrer

  Copyright 2014 Wayne Rohrer

  Table of Contents

  Chapter 1 – To Close For Comfort

  Chapter 2 – Time On His Hands

  Chapter 3 – The Early Years

  Chapter 4 – Giselle

  Chapter 5 – Marco

  Chapter 6 – Universal Star Colony

  Chapter 7 – Orientation

  Chapter 8 – Crontonis

  Chapter 9 – Mr. Everhart

  Chapter 10 – R & R

  Chapter 11 – Getting Away At Last

  Chapter 12 – Twylo

  Chapter 13 – Complications

  About The Author

  Chapter 1 – To Close For Comfort

  Gismo and Marco were in trouble. The mission had been a success but Marco was injured and losing blood at an alarming rate. Gismo knew he had to get help fast or Marco wouldn’t make it. The blast from the laser gun had nearly severed his right arm. Was this an ambush? Where had all the men with guns come from? This was supposed to be a clean job: get in and get out before anyone knew they were there. This wasn’t what Gizmo signed up for. All this cloak and dagger stuff just wasn’t who he was. He was more of a techno geek than a James Bond type. He was more the type sitting in a lab designing and creating the technology than the one in the field using it. Why did he let Marco talk him into this assignment anyway? He had made it all sound so easy.

  Everything had gone as planned until suddenly gunmen had come charging into the dimly lit warehouse from all directions with guns blazing. Caught by surprise, they hadn’t moved fast enough and Marco had been hit. Seconds before, Marco had stopped and seemed transfixed for a moment as though listening to something.

  “There’re men coming, we’re surrounded. We have to get out of here fast,” Marco had reached out to grab Gizmo and that’s when he had been hit. If he had grabbed Gizmo and pulled him as he intended to do, he would have pulled Gizmo directly into the line of fire.

  All the exits were being guarded and now with Marco down the men smelled victory and were closing in. Even in the dim light they would have no trouble following the trail of blood Marco was leaving behind as Gizmo dragged him between two large crates. Gizmo needed another couple of seconds to program leap frog to get them out of there. Hopefully this would buy him the time he needed. As he engaged leap frog, Gizmo looked up to see two of the gunmen raise laser guns in their direction.

  Suddenly they were outside the warehouse but Gizmo still had to half carry the semi-conscious Marco the last few feet to Giselle under heavy gun fire. He was yelling orders to Giselle as they approached and climbed onboard. Almost before the doors were shut Giselle was in hyperspace.

  “Giselle, engage cloaking and make sure we aren’t being tracked, then notify The Colony that we are incoming with wounded,” Gizmo said as he turned his attention to Marco.

  Marco was in an enormous amount of pain and was losing a lot of blood. The blood loss was the major concern and had to be stopped first. If he couldn’t stop the blood loss, the pain wouldn’t matter. He pulled out Giselle’s first aid kit which wasn’t equipped to handle an emergency of this magnitude, so he would have to improvise. He needed a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, but all he could find was a tie down rope. It would have to do. He tied the rope above the severed arm as tight as he could get it. It slowed the flow of blood but didn’t stop it. Next he took off his shirt and used it as a bandage to cover the wound. Working as fast as he could, he injected Marco with a strong pain killer which had an immediate effect. Marco stopped his painful restless groaning and closed his eyes as his head rolled to one side.

  “Stay with me Marco,” Gizmo said. “Don’t leave me now. I need you to stay awake. Giselle how soon are we going to be there? Have you requested emergency medical equipment waiting for us when we land?”

  “Yes sir, they are standing by. We will be there in 18.3 seconds.”

  “Did we make a clean get-away? Do we have a tail?”

  “None that I can detect,” Giselle replied. “We are landing now sir.”

  The cabin door opened and the emergency medical team swung into action. Gizmo shut down Giselle, and with a big sigh of relief at being home again, he grabbed his pack and stepped down onto the hanger deck. Sula was waiting, and with him was General Brand.

  “Welcome back Gizmo,” Sula said. “Looks like things didn’t go as planned. I know you must be tired and worried about your friend, but rest assured, your friend is in good hands now. I’m confident he will recover fully. But right now, General Brand and I are anxious to hear what happened. As you know, we will also require a full written report from both you and Marco as well. General, can we use your office?”

  Gizmo groaned inwardly. Why did they have to do this now?

  “The mission was a success sir, I can have the full report on your desk tomorrow morning,” he said hoping they would get the hint.

  They didn’t.

  He was lead into the General’s office just off the hanger deck.

  “What happened?” Sula started when they were all seated.

  “That’s just it sir, I don’t know. All of a sudden we were surrounded with gunmen blocking all the exits. Either it was an ambush or we tripped up a silent alarm that wasn’t on our plans. Marco knew they were coming but we still only had seconds before they arrived.”

  Sula and the General exchanged a glance.

  “We’ll have to look into that. These kinds of mistakes are not supposed to happen. It appears our people were obviously not as thorough as they should have been,” the General said making notes.

  “Go on son.”

  “We were caught off guard. There was laser gun fire everywhere. When they first entered I heard one of the men yell to someone to check the plates to make sure they were okay.”

  “You did say the mission was a success, right? You had time to change the plates before they came in then?” Sula asked.

  Gizmo reached into his bag and handed Sula two bank note printing plates.

  “These are their plates sir, we exchanged them with the ones you gave us. We were just getting ready to leave when all hell broke loose.”

  “You and Marco have served The Colony well Mr. Morrison,” General Brand said. “I’m not sure how much detail you were given prior to your mission but you deserve to know the whole story. It seems the Loudon family from the planet Gandos planned to print phony currency which would make them the richest family on the planet. It would also give them ruling power. The last two hundred years under their rule has been very bloody and violent. It also prevented their civilization from advancing and becoming contributing members of the intergalactic community. That’s why we sent you back two hundred years to change the plates before they printed their forgeries and replace them with ours. With the plates you switched, the forgeries have small but detectable flaws that will be easily seen by an expert eye, and they will be caught at their own game.”

  The General sat down at his computer and a few minutes later he looked up from the screen. “Well, apparently it took a while for the forgeries to be detected, but when they were, it wasn’t hard to trace it back to the Loudon family. The entire clan was rounded up as well as all the counterfeit currency. The currency was destroyed and the entire family was implicated and spent the remainder of their lives behind bars as was well deserved. There was a footnote in the police report that several members of the family reported seeing two guys, first in the warehouse and then outside the warehouse. First they were there, and then they were gone. The story sounded pretty farfetched, so the local police just dismissed it and never followed up with an investigation. In the hundred years that foll
owed, the citizens of Gandos developed the means to travel between the stars and they now have a seat on the intergalactic assembly. I think that gives us reason to celebrate.”

  “In a couple of days when Marco is up and around and feeling better, we must arrange an award ceremony for the two of you on a mission well done,” Sula said.

  §§§

  Even though Gizmo was tired to the bone, he wanted to check on his friend Marco. He was not allowed in to see him but was told that Marco was recovering from surgery and would be feeling much better by tomorrow and Gizmo should come back to see him then. Assured Marco would be fine, Gizmo called a transport platform and was soon crawling into bed for a much deserved sleep.

  §§§

  In the days that followed, while Marco was recovering, Gizmo had some time on his hands to make a few needed changes to Giselle. First on his list of changes was enlarging Giselle’s overall size. When he first designed Giselle, Gizmo was by himself and didn’t foresee the need for a larger vehicle. Now Giselle felt cramped. He drew up some designs and requested the use of a machinist to help more than double Giselle’s size. The new design gave Giselle a sleek classy updated look and a much more comfortable interior. She was now oblong in shape and the cabin had four overstuffed lounging chairs that were capable of rotating and being locked into place when needed.

  There were two seats in front, one for the pilot and one for the co-pilot, and there were two addition seats further back with a coffee type table separating them. That table could be raised or lowered as needed. All the seats could be rotated so they could use the coffee table as a table for meals or a conference table, or whatever suited their needs. There was not a galley as such, but there was a small area where meals could be made if needed. It consisted basically of a refrigerator and a microwave. Gizmo didn’t see a need for much more than that. There were also windows all around for 360 degree viewing.

  Another major change was to Giselle herself. He told her he would have to shut her down for a few days to make some modifications. Giselle wasn’t thrilled about the prospect of ‘dying’ as she called it, but Gizmo promised she would have sweet dreams and when he awakened her she would have much more power and control. He told her she would also have many more enhancements, which should make her happier.

  “You’ve been a lot of things Gizmo, but you’ve never lied to me,” Giselle said. “When are you going to do this?”

  “I just finished the design and the technology upgrades this morning so I’m ready to start it now, but I thought I’d start first thing in the morning if that’s okay.”

  “Your wish is my command master,” Giselle responded.

  §§§

  Two days later Gizmo reawakened Giselle.

  “So when are you going to start master?” Giselle asked.

  “I’m finished,” Gizmo said. “Check your systems to make sure they’re all functioning properly.”

  “Checking.”

  “As you see, I’ve also added another control module so you will respond to Marco’s commands as well. I’m still the pilot, but if something should happen to me, you will need to listen to Marco and do what he says.”

  “I approve of the changes. A check of my systems show they are all up and functioning properly. There is one other thing though boss.”

  “What did I miss?” Gizmo asked.

  “You lied to me Gizmo. This is the first time you’ve lied to me. I don’t know how much I can trust you anymore.”

  “I didn’t lie to you. What do you mean I lied to you?” Gizmo asked sounding hurt.

  “You said when I was asleep I would have sweet dreams. I didn’t have any dreams at all. In fact I have no memory of being ‘out’ at all, but then you knew that didn’t you?”

  “Guilty as charged,” Gizmo said. “But I did it for your own good. I didn’t want to scare you. Would you have felt better if I told you I was going to kill you for two days?”

  Giselle was silent for a few moments. “But you still lied to me.”

  “I promise I’ll never do it again. Really. I promise.”

  Silence.

  I should have made an attitude adjustment while I had the chance, Gizmo thought. What he hadn’t told Giselle, and had no intention of telling her, was about the ‘kill’ switch he had installed. He had buried it deep inside some of her other programing and designed it to look like an innocent switch designed for another function. He would carry the ‘kill’ switch with him at all times and if he felt Giselle was not acting in their best interests, he could regain control with the kill switch.

  First though, he would need Giselle to give him driving lessons. Instead of having Giselle do all the navigating, he would need to take a more active part just to make sure he knew how to navigate should the situation ever arise. He would have to be delicate approaching that subject as well. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but if ever something happened to her, he would need to know how to get them back home. That should be a good enough explanation to satisfy her. He would start the trials as soon as Marco was recovered enough to join them.

  §§§

 
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