Wed Jul 1 05:21:56 EDT 2020
1147 McChomdrick hopped out and gave 427 a hand down from the capsule. He was accustomed to this sort of behavior, which would have been viewed as grossly indecent a mere 10 years before... well, from their own time period... he stopped, realizing he had already walked quite a ways into the searing heat of their landing zone. He shook his head and looked back for 427, who had crawled back inside the capsule. He turned and began marching resolutely back to his interim travelling companion until they could restore the hierarchy. Things had begun to unravel with book tourism, and continued to get worse at an exponential speed. Many eminent scientists now believed that every time anyone travelled backwards through time, the paradox ripped spacetime into parallel universes, halving the energy of the universe left until total heatdeath, a clear paradox itself made worse with each passing jump. Invisibility suits were introduced as a way to combat this problem, but it did not always work. Humans are funny like that. Some kind of sixth sense. 1147 McChomdrick shook 427 and wondered how some people could be so oppositional to everything. He treated this fellow like a superior. The state of affairs back home had made things worse than ever. It would have been unheard of for a nameless 427, undoubtedly smarter than any 1147, to be paired with anyone who had earned the name McChomdrick for a mission of any importance. 427 was a slacker who got through life on his number alone. He was looking up, the nameless brute, sullen boredom on his face. He commented on the heat. There was no further conversation, 427 eventually staggering to his feet. "How will we know which one he is?" 427 asked. 1147 McChomdrick gritted his teeth and acted annoyed. He really was annoyed. Smarter people should at least be nice when they're delivering bad news like that. He would just pretend he knew. "I imagine he'll be the first we encounter. This is all precision work. People like you just have no faith," he said with a touch of doubt. 427 laughed rudely. "Listen 11, may I call you 11? I don't think you're even capable of doing all the study I did for this mission. I'm just here because you will have questions. I just had a question of my own, and I think it confirms my suspicions about the general state of our mission." He said this last part with a clear expression of his thoughts he'd already shared profusely about the odds of their success. Strangely, he agreed with the scientists about the number of these odds, but he still seemed to think it was doomed to fail. As to 427's question, the man may not be so smart after all. "Of course you can call me 11... but I want to be in charge. Never forget I am McChomdrick too." As he said it, 427's face fell a little. 11 felt bad for the man. In the next moment he realized that was clearly a mistake. 427 was angry now. "Pity? You pity me? Whatever... 11..." 427 said with a derisive snort. 11 was almost afraid of him for a moment. Then he said he heard someone coming, and they both entered concealment. A naked sun-weathered man stumbled by and stopped for a moment. Shit. That already meant minute changes, if he felt them standing so close by. 427 didn't think this made sense. He began pulling back as 11 moved towards the man to hypoderm him. 427 shouted to 11 to stop just as he hypodermed the man, and the man, who couldn't possibly be the right one, who couldn't possibly fix this all, who couldn't possibly not have heard 427 shouting, spun around and began running into the desert. 11 swore under his breath like some kind of hero character, nervous at a lifelong dream come true. They looked at each other, and began to chase the man into the desert, away from the capsule.