Saturday, March 27, 2010

“What is your next letter gonna say, ‘duck’?”

SUBJECT: Sorry it took so long to reply…
DATE: 03/ 07/ 01


Sorry it’s taken so long. But I’ve got the information you wanted. I couldn’t really find it in Glasgow, but I have a friend attending a boarding school outside of London and I got her to go to the National Army Museum and look this up.

So, here we go. Captain Guy Robertson, borne 4th April, 1729 AD, died 12th June, 1757 AD, in the Battle of Plassey (which took place in India somewhere). He was fighting with the future Clive of India of all people. That makes him 26 years old when he met you, and then 28 years old when he died. So I guess he died two years after meeting you. Kind of freaky, ay?

I couldn’t get anything else on him, except that he won his commission and Knighthood for bravery in battle, which I guess you already told me that. I hope this helps. I’m sorry it’s bad news though. But I guess it’s not totally unexpected, I mean, they were crappy times back then.

How is the summer program going? How is everyone? How is Peter?


05/ 07/ 01


I skipped dinner last night as well. I was holed up in my room, with my door locked, trying to compose a letter to Guy. When Zack knocked on my door I opened it a little bit, but just to tell him I was working on something and needed my privacy. I can tell the poor guy was a little hurt about all of the secrecy, but he respected it enough to leave me alone.

Around 11 PM there was another knock on my door. This time it was Nelson. I told her the same thing as I told Zack, only this time she either didn’t care, or didn’t buy it, and she pushed past me and sat on my bed. But not before snatching the letter off the desk I was trying to write.

“Hey!” I tried to snatch it back but she was too quick for me.

“’Dear Guy. Your life is in danger…’” she read out loud. Then she glanced at my door still being open and said next, “are you going to close that or what?”

I closed my door for the privacy (and Pat with his door open, gave us a funny look from sitting in front of his computer as usual) and I sat down defeated, next to Nelson, as she continued the letter.

“’You cannot fight in the Battle of Plassey or you will die’. Well, you don’t mince words, do you?”

“What else am I supposed to say?” I sighed. “I’ve been working on this for three hours now and I don’t know how to explain it.”

“Well how the f**k would he know what the Battle of Plassey is? Maybe he’ll be in the middle of it, and suddenly remember your letter, and then it will be too late.” Nelson pointed out.

“Then what else am I supposed to do?” I whined. “I’m trying not to put too many details in there that might disrupt the time line. I can’t tell him the details, like, ‘you will be in battle alongside Clive of India against an evil Raj called Suraja whatever-his-name-is.’ And I can’t tell him who’ll win. All I can tell him is not to go into battle.”

“Then how will he know which battle not to go into? And even if he doesn’t die in this battle, what if he dies in another? Are you going to send another letter then? What is your next letter gonna say, ‘duck’?” Nelson practically laughed at me.

“Don’t laugh! This is no laughing matter! A man is going to die!”

“He already is dead! You met him over two hundred years ago!”

“You think I don’t know that?! Look, we met, we danced, we conversed. He was handsome. I wouldn’t say charming… we even fought. But he was interested in me…”

“And you’re interested in him?” Nelson arched an eyebrow at me.

“…yes…” I squirmed. “That’s not cheating on Zack, is it? I mean, we didn’t do anything but dance…”

“A couple of dances and you try to save his life? This guy must be some dancer.” Nelson smirked.

“So will you help me write the bloody letter or what?” I glared at her.

“Sure.” She shrugged.

“And what about sending it. I’ll need your help to send it.” I told her.

“Me? How? You’re the one who can phase.” Nelson gave me a funny look.

“I need to know where to send it. Can you see a safe location, or where he will be? Can you Calculate the destination for me?” I asked her.

“Hey, all we can do is see backwards and forwards in time from the location we’re in, not in different countries on the other side of the planet! The machine at this so-called Circulate Headquarters is the only thing that can help us do that!”

“Bugger.” I fell backwards onto the bed and laid down and stared at the ceiling. “Then how do I do this?”

“If we could get the letter to India…” Nelson thought out loud.

“We know Maya… she’s Indian!” I sat up excitedly.

“But she’s here right now. Hey, what about Sally in Scotland? Your boy’s English, maybe she could leave the letter somewhere in England that he could find somehow.” Nelson continued.

“Nup. Sally’s a Calculator, not a Circulator. She wouldn’t be able to send the letter back through time.” I moaned again, falling back onto the bed.

“How do you know this?” Nelson asked me.

“Dr. Knight told me.”

Then Nelson went quiet for a moment. “Maybe we should just ask Dr. Knight to do this for us.”

I sat up right again in surprise. “But she wouldn’t. She’s a teacher. She’d try and stop us.”

“Well then, I’m out of ideas.” Nelson shrugged.

“I had been thinking of even asking one of the Seniors…”

“But the teachers monitor their adventures with time too.” Nelson stated.

“Yeah.” I sighed. “It’s almost like I have no options left. It’s almost down to the point that I’d have to fly to England or India and then phase through time, and take the letter to him myself.”

Nelson was quiet for another moment, before she said, “but that would be a really stupid thing for you to do. You’d be risking expulsion from the school, and you’d be putting yourself in danger by going back in time with out a guide.”

Then she got up from the bed and headed towards the door.

“What would you do if it was someone you thought you were in love with?” I asked her one last time.

I thought she wouldn’t reply when she opened the door and exited, but before closing the door behind herself again, she did say, “I wouldn’t let myself be so stupid in the first place.”


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

“You’ve experienced the taste of the fruit being offered to you, eh, Elisha? And now you want more.”

25/ 06/ 01


Today after summer classes Dr. Kell called our Circulators’ class together for a meeting so we could all discuss our first excursions.

I found out I wasn’t the only one who went to a formal occasion. Both Jordon and Numu when they visited Egypt and Babylon also attended formal banquets, as well as got to wander through the magnificent cities of old. Peter boasted of his good time at Woodstock, and Zack (this time with a little modesty) told of his achievements, playing in a zero-G football training match in the future.

Everyone listened intently as I told them about the Ball at Holland House. I spoke about the sumptuous dinner, the gilt room, the dresses, the snobbery, and meeting two officers, one in the Army and the other in the Navy. I also told the about the social protocols of how a Lady had to behave and how it affected who I could meet and how. Of course, I left out the actual flirtation with Sir Guy Robertson. But bringing this up, it made me want to ask Dr. Kell another question.

“When do we start planning our next excursion?” I asked him.

Everyone wanted to know the answer to this one.

“Well, the schedule for Circulators going on a second excursion in time isn’t due until next October.” Dr. Kell announced.

“Can’t we do it any sooner?” I asked, dismayed. I think I’ve still been kind of hoping I’d still make it somehow to the Marlborough Ball.

“You’ve experienced the taste of the fruit being offered to you, eh, Elisha? And now you want more.” Dr. Kell sighed. But by the way he looked at me for a moment then, I wondered if he knew something.

“Well…” I tried to choose my next words carefully. “There was another Ball I was hoping to go to.”

“On a Circulators second excursion we would usually transport you to a different location and time.” Dr. Kell told me.

“Why?” I asked, dismayed again.

“If we continually sent a Circulator in training to the same location and time, how would the trainee learn new things?” he arched his eyebrows.

“But can’t we start Circulating for fun now? Can’t we go on monitored excursions for our own… enjoyment?” I pressed.

“You mean like a trip into town for the day? No. You may have the ability to phase by yourself Elisha, but there are other students who haven’t reached that stage yet. We should all progress together, and stay on the learning schedule.” Kell stated.

“You phased by yourself?” Zack asked me in surprise. “You never told me that.”

“I didn’t really know I did it. Dr. Knight told me afterwards.” I told him, then I turned back to Dr. Kell. “But we’ve already started these classes ahead of schedule. If I knew what I was doing, and I was really careful…”

“No!” Kell said a little more forcefully. “If you have any further complaints, then I suggest you take this up with Professor Hamilton and then perhaps, the Circulate Council.”

I leaned back in my chair in a huff, and crossed my arms angrily. I felt like I was being patted on the head like a child again. I thought we were past this. I may be temporarily defeated, but I decided right then and there that I would try to get past this.

“What was it like? Phasing by yourself?” Numu leaned forward to ask me.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

“Your excursion back through time will be over seen by a Calculator."

07/ 05/ 01


In our first class of the day with Dr. Kell, he handed out these kind of ultra-modern Ipod things (like I found in Professor Hamilton’s draw that night we broke into his office). As we turned them on, we found that they had detailed information and pictures of the eras we each wanted to travel to for our first excursion. We also found out which teachers would be taking us through time as our guides/ baby-sitters.

I found out I would be taken to London in the summer of 1755, to a large Aristocratic Ball.

I got so excited reading over this, I started giggling!

"What are you so happy about?" Peter asked me, and tried to snatch my Ipod thing off me.

"I’ve got exactly what I asked for." I gloated. "And you?"

"Yeah." He shrugged.

"Where are you going?" I asked him.

"To a certain music festival in America during the 1960’s…" he gloated back.

"Woodstock?!" Zack and I exclaimed.

"How did you land that?" Zack grabbed his Ipod to look at it for himself disbelievingly.

"I have my ways…" he said simply, then let out an evil laugh.

"Well it’s not like they’re going to let you do drugs or anything, so don’t get your hopes up." I pointed out.

"As an English rogue once said, ‘ways and means old girl, ways and means." Peter said smugly.

"Zack?" I asked him next, looking at his Ipod.

"I’m going to a Zero-G Football match in the year 2083 AD.”

"To watch or to compete?" I asked him, already guessing."I’m going to compete." He tried to sound modest, but he suddenly attracted everyone’s attention in the room at once.

"To play?" Jordon asked him, impressed.

"Yeah." He told everyone.

“What is a Zero-G Football match?” Numu asked us, puzzled.

“Zero Gravity.” Peter told her.

"So, Jordon, did you get Egypt?" I asked her.

"Yes. 1200 BC." Jordon nodded.

"Numu? What about you?" I asked her next.

"No. I’m visiting the Babylonian Empire in 590 BC." Numu replied.

“Wong? Where are you going?” Zack asked her last.

“Beijing in 1370 AD, during the Ming Dynasty.” Wong answered.

"OK everyone." Dr. Kell now called everyone’s attention back to him. "In your next few classes with me over the next four weeks, we will be going over your information disks thoroughly. Also on Saturday and Sunday mornings of the next four weekends we will be adding extra classes. Some of you will be learning the basics of a new language, all of you will be learning off by heart detailed histories of the eras you have chosen, and you will all be learning how to immerse yourselves in a new culture. You will each be assigned a teacher who will be your guide. Tonight, you will be meeting your teachers to discuss your plans. Peter and Numu, you will both have Professor Hamilton as your guide. Zack, you will have Dr. Myles, Wong and Jordon, you will both have me. Elisha, you will Dr. Knight. Now, are there any questions?”

Numu put up her hand. "Sir, what happens if something goes wrong and we are separated from our teachers?"

That caught all of our attention, and we all went quiet to hear the answer.

"Then your teacher will find you again. You may have been taught as a child a simple rule to follow if you are separated from your parents… stay where you are and try not to keep moving about. If in some circumstance you are unable to, try not to panic. Not only will your teachers be watching over you, but the Circulate will be as well. Your excursion back through time will be over seen by a Calculator." He assured us.

"So in this Headquarters where the Circulate is, our time traveling habits are always being monitored?" I asked Dr. Kell.

"That is correct." He answered.

I don’t know if I like that idea. It’s like Big Brother watching over us all of the time… this both freaked me out as well as made me feel safe in a comforting way. Freaked and comforted… I wondered if this is what my future would hold? I exchanged looks with Peter and Zack and saw that they felt the same way.

In a way it’s like we have almost limitless freedom with this ability we have, but then, with the Circulate, we could almost be tied to a leash.