Not a Good Time

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


What might happen if a thief of today was sent to the future.

Submitted: May 15, 2018

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Submitted: May 15, 2018

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Steven Miles Dunbar, Steve for short, was a bad boy. And his parents didn't help matters any.

His Daddy was in jail most of the time, generally for drug arrests. If his Old-Man wasn't selling them then he'd get caught abusing them.

Steve had a mother who preferred to take other people's hard earned money rather than work for her own. Apparently she was good at the cons she used on people because she had only been convicted once. Her lawyer used her, "Mother needed at home with the children," status, to keep her out of jail.

Now Steven, aka Reno, aka Blade, aka Nose, was very fond of armed robbery. But when an associate of Steve’s stuck up a convenience store and killed the clerk, things changed in Steve's mind; especially after the associate was given the death sentence.

So after that, Steve started burglarizing mostly small businesses where no-one was around.

He got pretty good at it and didn't worry about security camera at all.

Steve had read a few books on disguises and had made up some of his own; there was the Old Man, with or without a mustache, the Blind man with dark glasses, the Red-headed woman, the fat woman, the fat man with several different beards and hats. He never looked like the same person twice.

Location changes were a must. He liked to hit strip malls and small shopping districts where they close by midnight and have multiple exits.

And he only hit places where the security was shop owner paid for; they seldom go high tech.

After he picked out a business a disguises was dawned, and then he was in and out within 12 minutes, less if there was no safe to open.

***

On one such night, Steve saw that a new business had opened; it was in a small business district and easily accessible.

He figured that they had something of real value in there because they had a lot of security cameras all over the building.

So there was only one thing to do if he was going to find out for sure, he would have to Case the Joint, Have a Look-See, and Size-up the Situation, as they say in the old movies.

And there just happened to be a restaurant right across the boulevard, a perfect place to sip on a coffee and watch what came in and out of the targeted building.

The very first day Steve discovered that some employees of the business ate lunch at the restaurant; and they seemed to be loose with the lips, if you know what I mean.

Steve heard phrases like platinum coated transponders, gold-plated conductors, diamond manipulated surfaces, lazer grade ruby beam multipliers; the list went on and on.

Steve was really surprised, and he said to himself,  "Why isn't there an army guarding that building."

 

This Job would take planning, so Steve slept in his car and watched the place at all hours.

Then Steve spray painted one of the camera lenses to see how quickly security came to look at it; they never did. So he sprayed another and still no response. After the third lens was sprayed and no-one came to check it out, Steve came to the conclusion that they were all dummy cameras, or no-one was monitoring them.

And to Steve's way of thinking, this was an invitation to come inside.

 

It was Saturday night at 11:00 p.m.

Steve made his way into the building, it was even easier than he expected; a hand-held torch, a claw-hammer, and a crowbar did the trick.

But when he got inside he didn't find anything of any real value to him, you know, stuff he could easily sell on the street, or hock somewhere.

There were all sorts of computers, storage racks, and walls filled with other electronics. But that wasn’t going to do Steve much good, all the items were traceable, bulky, and most was too heavy to carry. Besides, Steve had a sports car; the girls like sports cars, but it’s only built to carry two people and nothing bigger than a couple of suitcases.

There was another machine too; Steve had never seen anything like it before.

It looked like a stage platform, really big, and there were stairs leading up to the top.

On the top surface there was what looked like a control panel with a circular tube next to the controls. The tube was large and would easily fit a person inside, and it was half opened on the panel side.

In the semi-darkness, Steve and his trusty Maglite made their way up the stairs and to the panel.

By this time curiosity had taken over Steve and curiosity was something that helped keep Steve on the wrong side of the law.

Once at the controls, Steve pressed this button, then that button, and pulled a lever here and there.

All of a sudden the room filled with light and motor sounds were everywhere!

Steve panicked as some computer generated voice began giving warnings and counting-down a number sequence. With nowhere to hide, and feeling the danger of a possible explosion, Steve ran into the protective cover of the tube; the tube quickly closed.

 

"That is really weird," Steve thought as he looked around, "I can't see out of this clear tube?"

The sounds of spinning motors and the computer generated voices he could hear, but he couldn't see a thing outside the tube.

The lack of seeing out was a good thing for Steve, because at the instant the computer generated voice said, "Zero,” a blinding light flashed outside the tube.

After the flash, and several seconds later, the tube around Steve was gone.

***

 

It is 3,000 years in the future, but Steve doesn't know it, yet. He is pretty much in the same spot that he was in when he heard the computer generated voice say "Zero", but he doesn't know that either.

All Steve knows is that everything around him looks very, very, different, and he has no idea how he got to wherever in hell he was.

He knows something else too, he is hungry and thirsty, and he has almost no money in his pockets.

But all is not lost, Steve has his gun and there is a man that has just rounded the corner of the building that Steve is standing in front of.

"All right, Buddy, give me your wallet!" Steve said to the man as he pulled the gun from his pocket.

"Oh how fun, a Mugging!" The man stated. "I am so totally unprepared for this and I didn't receive any briefing on robberies; I'll just have to wing it. OK?"

Then the man stated, "I don't have any money, but I do have my Debit Scanning Band."

Steve look surprised and asked, "What the hell is a Debit Scanning Band?"

"You don't know?" The man inquired while looking very perplexed.

Then the man questioned Steve, "How did you get access to this planet without one? I'd better notify security about you."

Two shots rang out!

It was out of confusion and with nervous frustration mixed in, Steve had shot the man twice in the chest.

But the man didn't fall down, he didn't bleed, and he had no signs of injury. He just stood there looking at Steve with the most started look on his face. Then he smiled and asked, "OMG, where did you get that? Is that a Real Gun?

I have only seen one of those in my entire lifetime. It was at a 3-D hologram projection demonstration. But I'm seeing a real one, now, Right?"

"Shut the hell up!" Steve yelled as he tried to hit the man with the gun.

Big surprise! The gun, his hand, and part of his arm just passed right through the guy.

The man looked disturbed by this and pulled on his right earlobe.

Suddenly the man disappeared and a woman appeared out of nowhere; she looked fuzzy at first but soon became very lifelike.

The woman stated, "Sir, state your DSB sequence numbers, please."

There was now some sort of restrictive field around Steve and he couldn’t move. With the restraint and the fact that Steve was mentally worn out, he complied by saying, "I don't know what a DSB, whatever you called it, is."

The woman's voice said, "Please wait for a facial identification scan."

Steve reluctantly replied, "My name is Steven Miles Dunbar and I doubt that you will have my face on file."

"Steven Miles Dunbar, you have created a security breech and for your own safety you must vacate this planet immediately," The woman stated.

Steve then asked, "Is this Earth?"

The woman replied, "Yes, but in 4,076 it became a game planet and all humans were relocated. Now it is called GP-3."

Steve looked as if he was going to pass-out, then he questioned, "Are you kidding me, 4,076? What year is it now?"

The woman replied, 5,989. Why would you ask?"

Steve replied by saying, "Because less than an hour ago I was living in the year 2018, and on the planet Earth.

I would be happy to vacate if I knew how to get back to where I came from."

The voice replied, "Time travel is within my abilities, state year, month, day, and time that you want to return to. Your location will not change."

***

Steve was so happy to hear that he was on his way back to his own time. And he didn’t seem to mind that the police were waiting for him when he arrived.

Oh well, six to ten years in a Federal prison beats living alone in a place where there is nothing to steal. After all, how would a guy make a living in a place like that?

 

 

D. Thurmond / JEF

05-12-2018

Rew. 01- 2020


© Copyright 2020 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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