Yesterday's Enemy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

“I’ve found her!”

Thirty tired faces all looked up from their consoles. The shout was from Conner. He was sitting at his desk, his arms raised as if in celebration.

There was the screech of chairs being pushed aside as everyone got up at once and made their way over to him. I joined the throng and watched as he expanded a black and white photograph to fill the screen of his console.

“Here,” Connor said, his voice trembling with excitement, “A photo from 1942. No exact date unfortunately. Location confirmed though - Nashville train station, United States.”

I studied the image on Connor’s monitor. Sunlight streamed in from the high windows of the station, creating a checkerboard floor of light and shadow. Smartly dressed people in the clothing of the period were moving briskly hither and thither, going about their business. The photo seemed focused on a couple undertaking some form of transaction – mother and adult son, it seemed to me, the way his hand was waiting for whatever was coming out of her handbag.

What interested us though was the figure walking to the right of this scene. This was, without doubt, Anna Babi?, glancing at the couple as she walked past. She was wearing a dress, hat and white gloves, with a purse hanging down from one arm. Here, captured unwittingly by the photographer, was the world’s first renegade time traveller.

A sense of relief flooded the room – we had a lead! Now it was time for me to rally my team.

“Great work Connor,” I said. “Right, we have a general location and date. Let’s narrow our focus to the United States in 1942. We need to track Babi? to a specific where and when. Get back to your desks and let’s find her!”

Things developed quickly after Connor’s breakthrough. A staff file complete with photograph was traced from a defunct American military project – “The Development of Substitute Materials”, also known as “The Manhattan Project”. Details of the project itself were unavailable, which wasn’t surprising given the destruction caused by the V4 intercontinental bombing campaign of 1944. However, the staff file did give us the start date for Babi?’s employment and a definitive location for her in 1942 – Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

We still had twelve hours until full temporal reset took place and any changes caused by Babi? were locked in. Now we had a when and where for her, temporal agents could be sent back in time to intercept Babi? before her plans could come to fruition. The integrity of our timeline would be preserved thanks to the detective work of my team. The mood in the office was little short of euphoric.

As I relayed our findings upstairs, I felt a weight lift from my chest. Finally, this matter could be concluded and the terrorist Babi? dealt with. History would remain the way it was meant to be – secure under the aegis of our glorious Fuhrer and his Thousand Year Reich.

Submitted: May 07, 2020

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