Chapter 7: Right Now
Alex Garrett awoke from his unconsciousness a half hour ago. Now he sat on the edge of the hard cot, situated inside of a level 3 containment field, which seemed to be some type of makeshift infirmary. There were nondescript containers of assorted sizes that lined all four walls. He speculated the room use to be a storage hanger. He remembered that he was in the same room the last time they jumped back in time. But last time, all three of them were in the room. There was no sign of Mia or Tash this time around.
He stood and slowly walked to the edge of the containment field, so close he could feel the dry electrical particles tugging at the hairs on his arms. He reached out and slowly moved his fingers toward the barrier until they came into contact. He was bracing himself for a shocking blast, but there was none. It wasn’t a plasma barrier like the previous times. This was some type of inverted holographic field that simply pushed whatever came in contact with it with equal force. If you punched the barrier, it would deflect the same amount of force back at you. Alex knew Tash would’ve been fascinated with the technology.
In the far corner, about 30 meters further to the back, Alex saw the only other person in the hanger with him. Kyle K’Nar was laying in bed on his back. Alex couldn’t tell if he was sleeping or staring at the ceiling. He looked better than he did in previous jumps, Alex thought. This soldier was less battle-worn than previous incarnations. He couldn’t tell if that was going to be a good or bad thing.
“His name is Kyle K’Nar. He’s a terrorist soldier.” A voice called out from the entrance behind him. He didn’t need to turn around to know who the figure was. She seemed to always visit them at this point in time– another fixed point that rarely-to-never changed.
“I know who he is.” Alex replied with a grin. “It’s good to see you, Kathy.” He turned around to the puzzled look on her face. “He never deserves to be locked up like that.”
Lt. Kathy Bates stepped into the room, allowing the door to slide shut.
“You know me?” She asked with a puzzled, but superior look on her face. “I don’t know who the hell you are, but you sound like you now me.”
“Yes..” Alex smiled. “..and not yet.”
Kathy grabbed the back of the nearest chair and pulled it across the room until she could sit in-front of his shielded bed.
“Where’s my crew?” He demanded, as always.
“In the medical wing.” Kathy answered, checking her message pad. “They were a little more banged up than you. The young man had a collapsed lung and the woman is suffering from slight asphyxiation.”
Alex sighed in relief. “Good.” He found his seat on the bed again. “I don’t know what I’d do if I lost either of them.”
“You have a lot of explaining to do Mr…”
“Garrett.” He responded. “Alex Garrett. And depending on how things are going right now, I should be a 2nd Lieutenant serving on the I.S.S. Tempest somewhere near Mars.”
“I.S.S. Tempest? Should I know what that is?” She responded not looking ump from her message pad.
“Intersteller StarShip.” Alex nodded. “Ah, ship designations must have changed. That’s a first.”
“Are you saying, you’re Military?” She looked up and focused on him.
“What I’m saying is you’re going to a DNA search on me and identify me as an enlisted officer in the military. But that won’t be me… not the me right now. It’ll be me, just at a different point in time and reality.”
“Different time?” Kathy grew annoyed. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“Has Admiral Porter arrived yet? Has she been sworn in to command?”
Kathy was shocked. “How did you..” Annoyance turned to anger. “What is this? Who the hell do you work for?”
“You.” He smiled uneasily. “I’ve worked for you and Admiral Porter about a dozen times before. And I’ll work for you again in a few hours.”
Alex took a deep breath. He’d done this talk many times before and still hadn’t found the best way to break the news to Kathy.
“I’ll tell you everything.” Alex pleaded. “But we’ll need my crew and Admiral Porter…”
“You mean Colonel Porter?” Kathy interrupted.
“We’ll need Colonel Porter to be here. And we’re all on the clock. We have a less than six months before a full scale invasion from the NýX. And this time, it’ll be the end of everything.”