Saturday, March 27, 2010

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


TO: ebaker_hamiltons@evers.com
FROM: s_parson@snailmail.com
SUBJECT: Sorry it took so long to reply…
DATE: 03/ 07/ 01

Hey,

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?


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05/ 07/ 01

Diary,

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.”


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