Authors: Kelvin Kelley
Tags: #thriller, #scifi, #suspense, #adventure, #murder, #action, #psychological thriller, #time travel, #time machine, #time portal
By Kelvin Kelley
Published by IONized Publishing Group
Copyright 2015 Kelvin Kelley
All rights reserved.
This book is a work of fiction. All the characters
and events portrayed in this book are either products of the
author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
For my best friend and beloved wife, Charlotte.
“People like us, who believe in physics, know
that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a
stubbornly persistent illusion.”
“Shut it down!” The General yelled over the
near deafening whine. Flustered, Dr. Morgan reached to initiate the
emergency shut down sequence. The sleeve of his white coat caught
on the lip of his coffee cup, and it fell onto the control
keyboard. Sparks flew as he jumped back. “Shut it down, damn you!”
General Atwater yelled again as he stared into the inner lab.
Inside, Ted ran through the gaping hole in the machine as blue
sparks swirled around the opening. Morgan stabbed uselessly at the
smoking keyboard in a vane attempt to shut down the machine. His
assistant stepped past him and snatched the keyboard connection
loose from the control computer. He plugged another in, and began
to bang out a sequence of instructions. Ted emerged from the
swirling storm of arcing electricity, as he struggled to drag a
lifeless figure down the ramp. The sparks behind him began to slow,
as the pitch of the whine began to lower.
Atwater frantically punched at the door’s
open button repeatedly. As he watched, Ted rolled the uniformed
soldier onto his back, and checked for a pulse. Immediately he
“Get this damn thing shut down, now!” Atwater
yelled back at Morgan, who stood motionless, as he watched his
assistant complete the shutdown commands. Ted gave the soldier
mouth to mouth, and then continued with chest compressions. Behind
him, the spinning machine slowed further, as the gaping hole began
to slowly close in on itself. “Get the medics down here!” Atwater
yelled, as the door in front of him finally opened. He burst
through and ran to Ted and the fallen man. Ted stopped the
compressions and once again forced air into the soldier’s lungs.
Atwater began C.P.R. Behind them, the hole had closed completely
and the revolving motion of the metallic plates on the machine had
almost come to a stop when the medic crew finally arrived. Atwater
and Ted moved out of the way as they took over.
“Damn it!” Ted said, as he turned away. After
a quick check of the patient’s vitals, the soldier was loaded onto
the gurney. One of the medics climbed up on top, and began chest
compressions again as he straddled the unresponsive body. Ted
turned back and watched after them as the gurney was wheeled
“Morgan! Get your ass in here!” Atwater
yelled. The Doctor scrambled into the inner lab. The fear was
evident on his expression. “What the hell happened?”
“Well, sir. It’s the same issues we’ve had. I
assure you that I am working on the profile and that it-”
“Working on it? Have you lost your damned
mind? Did you see what just happened? Did you see it?” Atwater
screamed at him. Drops of spittle flew from his lips as he stepped
up into the smaller man’s face. “That was my man! That was my
soldier! That wasn’t an…an issue, you son-of-a-bitch! That was my
man!” He stormed past the Doctor, and slammed his hand against the
door jamb as he left. Ted remained at the bottom of the ramp.
“I thought I had it.” Morgan said to himself
meekly. He looked up at Ted. “I thought I had it.”
“Tell that to Jones.” Ted said quietly. “And
his family.” He shook his head, and walked calmly past the
befuddled Doctor. He couldn’t believe that it had happened again.
That another soldier had been affected. He still remembered all to
well the last casualty on this God forsaken project. The last time
he had seen Private Willis, he had tried not to notice the constant
stream of drool that had hung from his chin, or his wide eyes that
perpetually stared into oblivion. He had been glad when the nurse
had finally told him that he had to leave. He couldn’t wait to get
out of the psych ward that day. He glanced up at the assistant as
he walked through the outer lab. “Thanks, Phillips.” The man looked
up, and nodded, but his expression mirrored that of Ted’s. Failure
and loss. “Keep an eye on him.” Ted said, as he nodded back towards
the doctor. “We need him.” Phillips nodded.
He made his way to Atwater’s office, and was
almost surprised when Atwater answered at his knock. He closed the
door behind him and approached the standard military issue desk.
Atwater sat behind it. A bottle of whiskey sat open next to him.
Atwater drained the coffee cup in his hand, and poured more.
“A drink?” He asked. Ted shook his head.
Atwater downed his cup again, and slammed it down on the desk. It
shattered. Atwater glanced down at the cascade of broken shards,
and in anger, swept them off the side of the desk. Ted remained
silent. “How many is that?” Atwater asked.
“Six.” Atwater said, the defeat in his voice
evident. He looked up. “Six men, Truman. Six. Count them. Six.”
“I don’t have any faith in that
son-of-a-bitch.” Atwater said, as he rose from his chair.
“He’s trying, sir. He did recognize that the
issue has been based on the psychological profile of the-”
“I don’t give a flying shit what he thinks
he’s figured out, Truman. I care that my men are down. I care that
because of his fuck ups, that I’ve got another fucking turnip on my
hands. A fucking vegetable, Truman. A vegetable.” He turned away,
and brought his hand to his face. “Where’s the dignity in that?”
Suddenly he spun around. “A soldier dies with honor. A soldier lays
his life on the line on the battlefield. A soldier fights for love
of country. But these boys…” He turned away again. The emotion was
evident in his voice.
“What?” Atwater answered quietly. He took a
deep breath, and turned back around.
“You know that Morgan is the only choice. You
know that he’s the only one to ever have gotten as far as we’ve
come. Sir…Steve…you know he’s the answer.”
“But to what end?”
“The last test produced verifiable results,
sir. Verifiable and reproducible. No one has ever done that before,
sir. No one.” Atwater sat back down, and nodded.
“But how many more men, Truman? How many
“I don’t know, sir. But you’re the one who
taught me…sometimes the end justifies the means.” Atwater looked up
at him, and stared into his eyes for a few moments. His expression
relaxed, though he did not say a word. “I know it works, sir. I’ve
been through. I’ve been to the other side.”
As soon as the last of the targets had been
incapacitated, he walked to the thermostat and dropped the
temperature to its lowest setting. He wiped his brow with the arm
of his coat, dabbing at the beads of sweat that had already
developed. He was roasting, he thought, as he stepped into the
dining room. He took off his long black coat, and gently draped it
across one of the chairs. He took a brief look at the table, with
its three place settings, and dabbed at his forehead again. He
looked up at the air vent overhead, and could feel the cool air as
it began to blow. Better, he thought, as he turned and re-entered
the living room. The father lay on the hardwood floor by the front
door, face down with his arms sprawled out. As he approached the
prone figure, he could see that he had already begun to show signs
of recovery. He nudged the body with his foot, and the man groaned
softly. No time to waste, he thought, as he bent down and grabbed
the man’s feet. It was only a few yards from the front door to the
large couch in the living room, but the unconscious man was fairly
large, and manipulating him was not easy. In a few seconds he
dragged drug the body to the couch. The man moaned slightly as he
was heaved up, and tossed onto the couch. The tall man positioned
the body into the far right corner of the couch. He pulled his gun
from his shoulder holster, and took two steps back. He closed one
eye shut, as he aimed down the barrel. He squeezed the trigger.
With a brief flash of light, and a silenced whine, a bullet hole
appeared in the center of the man’s forehead. His body became
The tall man slid the gun back into the
holster as he headed for the kitchen. He stepped over the woman on
the floor, and turned the burners off on the stove. Curious, he
lifted the cover on the pan, and sniffed. Bouillabaisse. A smile
entered his expression, as he made a mental note that French would
be an excellent choice for dinner tonight. He sat the lid back
down, and opened the oven. Just as he expected from the strong
smell of garlic, he found a pan of sliced bread toasting in the
oven, covered in a creamy rouille. The oven suddenly began to beep.
He closed the oven door, and reached over and turned off the timer
and the oven. He glanced at the woman on the floor. She lay face
down, her blonde hair sprawled around her. Her figure was drawn up
into a near fetal position. He nudged her with his foot, and she
moaned softly. She would wake up soon, he thought, as he bent down
and grabbed her by the hair. He quickly hauled her body into the
living room and hoisted her up onto the couch beside her dead
husband. He stepped back and raised his gun, just as she suddenly
slumped to the side. He emitted a sound of exasperation, as he
lowered the gun, stepped forward, and repositioned her. Satisfied
with her placement, he stepped back, raised his weapon, and fired.
Her head moved ever so slightly when the bullet entered her brain.
Another perfectly centered shot. He smiled. One more to go.
He left the living room, and went down the
short hallway to the bedroom area. He entered the first bedroom,
and flicked on the overhead light. He disliked the putrefying
pinkness of the walls, and cringed inside at the whisps of lacey
purple fabrics that hung from the ceiling and surrounded the bed.
Even the rainbow painted on the far wall turned his stomach. He was
not opposed to color, he liked color in fact. But something about
this combination had always made him react this way. He assumed it
had something to do with his sister. He rarely thought of her
anymore, and almost never dreamed of her. Not since he had killed
her that night so long ago. The same night he had killed his
He did his best to ignore the pinkness as he
stepped over to the bed where the little girl lay, and swept aside
the revolting lace. She lay there quietly, still unconscious. Her
blonde curls were puddled around her face angelically. He took a
deep breath, grabbed her around her waist, and gently lifted her
into his arms. He flipped the light off as he left the disgusting
room, and a smile began to edge back into his expression as he
walked towards the living room. He felt better just being out of
that horrid room. He gently positioned the little girl on the couch
next to her dead mother. He took the mother’s arm, and wrapped it
around her baby in a loving position. His smile grew as he stepped
back and glanced over his art work. The perfect family, he thought,
as he pulled his gun and raised it.
He closed one eye, and looked down the
barrel. He inhaled, and then slowly began to let the air seep out
of his lungs. His finger tightened on the trigger as he began to
squeeze. He watched carefully as the front blade of the gun sight
wavered ever so slightly and rhythmically in the framing of the
back sights. The pressure reached its pinnacle, and the firing
mechanism released. The firing pin struck the primer cap of the
shell casing, and the explosion forced the pressure inside the
casing to ignite the gunpowder. The ensuing fireball forced the
jacketed hollow point bullet out of the shell and down the barrel,
where it spiraled through the silencer, crossed the few feet of
air, and found its target.
A small and perfect hole appeared in the
center of the little girl’s forehead. Her expression did not
change. He holstered his weapon again, and stared at the couch for
a few minutes. The perfect family, he thought, as endorphins rushed
through his body as they usually did after a kill. He took another
deep breath and let it out slowly, as he embraced the feeling. A
minute or two passed, before he walked into the dining room and
grabbed his coat. He put it on as he came back into the living
room, and pulled his phone from the pocket. He activated the camera
application, and turned it sideways. He tapped through the variety
of image special effects until he found his favorite, and tapped
the sepia tone feature. The framed image turned into shades of
brown, like the antique photos he remembered from history books. He
smiled as he tapped the shutter button, and the image froze. He
tapped the phone’s screen to share the image, and sent it to an
email address stored in his contact list. His client would be
proud, he thought, as he slid the phone back into his pocket.