16 November 2011

untitled (derived from a concept by Zari Panosian); 14 november 2011

Natasha handed her clearance card to the operator.  He swiped it and read through the information about her that came up on his computer screen.  While he read, Natasha looked over to the machine besides hers.  In it, she saw a man in a blue suit with gold cuff links.  He was wearing a nice tie and expensive shoes.  Natasha wondered where he was going that he needed to be dressed so well.  It couldn’t have been too far back in time – his manner of dress was quite contemporary, and he would have stood out too much in an era far different from the one in which they already lived.  She looked down at her own clothes: many layers hidden underneath an old jacket and trousers.  Her hair was hidden underneath a warm hat, she removed all of her makeup.
            The operator placed her clearance card in a plastic sheet by the machine and motioned for her to step inside.  Natasha entered the chamber after releasing a very long breath.  She stepped in and turned around so that she was facing the operator.  She pressed her lips together in anxiety.
            The operator looked at Natasha with a smile, one that suggested he’d been presented with this kind of situation before.  Natasha knew very well that he had not.
“Is this your first time, Ms. Thimble?” he asked.
Natasha looked up from her fingers, which were wrung together and double-laced.  “Time-traveling?  Oh no, sir.  I have done this many times before.  You, of course, know this.  You just read through my credentials.”
The operator smiled again.  “Well, you know that you have nothing to be worried about.  This time will be just like all the other times, I’m sure.”  Natasha gave a short smile and looked out ahead of her.  This would be nothing like all of the other times.  She was sure.
She rubbed the security band around her wrist while she quickly ran through the plan in her head.  At the same time the operator recited to her the rules, as was standard protocol before every time-travel excursion.
First, find Peter in the bunker out in the woods.
“Rule number one, Ms. Thimble, remember that you are forbidden to interact with anyone you know or believe to be on The List, which you have memorized in order to obtain your clearance card.  Failure to abide by this rule will result in your termination with the TimeReg program and your immediate arrest.”
Then, travel through the forest to meet with Peter’s friend Franz to stow away in Franz’s airplane headed for Spain.
“Please do not board any aircraft while time travelling, if such luxuries exist in the time period you are visiting.  Doing so will render your security band inoperable.  As you know, these bands allow us to track your whereabouts and ensure your safety.  It also provides you a timer so you are informed of how much time remains in your session.”
Use the liquid nitrogen Franz will bring to freeze and remove the security band.
“Do not tamper with your security band.  Doing so will result in your termination with the TimeReg program and a $10,000 fine.
Meet Peter’s uncle so that we may obtain new identities and a safe place to live together.
“Please do not participate in any activity that tempts you with permanent stay in the time period you are visiting.  Remember that you are only visiting for six hours today.
“These are the rules to be repeated before every time-traveling excursion as stated in the TimeReg Handbook, which you studied and were tested on in order to obtain your clearance card.  Ms. Thimble, do you have any questions before your excursion begins?”
“No, sir.”
“Very well.  I will see you in six hours, Ms. Thimble.”
Natasha nodded her head, and just before he activated the controls that would send her to Peter, she thought in her head: No, you will not see me in six hours.

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