Copyright © 1995-2010 by Wayne Edward Boyd. All rights reserved.
Official Website of the Time Gods Novel

Chapter 1

Time Gods

A novel by Wayne Edward Boyd
Visit the author's website.
Projected Publication date: October 2010
Publisher: Atma Communications

Part One

One of Hawking's arguments in the conjecture is that we are not awash in thousands of time travelers from the future, and therefore time travel is impossible. This argument I find very dubious, and it reminds me very much of the argument that there cannot be intelligences elsewhere in space, because otherwise the Earth would be awash in aliens. I can think half a dozen ways in which we could not be awash in time travelers, and still time travel is possible.”
Carl Sagan, American astronomer, astrophysicist, and author.

Chapter 1

Brooklyn, New York. Monday, July 12, 1966.

Schermerhorn Street and Nevins intersected a few blocks from Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic in Brooklyn, New York. Several shops, small apartments and offices occupied the surrounding buildings, including the law office of David Pierce, father of Mary Pierce, a young woman who lived across the East River in Manhattan. Below the law office and two doors along was a smoke shop owned by Gabriel Caprone, an Italian immigrant whose cousins were rumored to have ties to the mob.

Caprone stored a nine millimeter revolver under the counter, just to the right of his cash register. Not that it had done him much good the last time he was robbed. Perhaps one day it would save his life. It is the best he could do to make an honest living to support his young wife and two small children who lived upstairs.

One hot summer day, Caprone peered from behind the cash register and saw a peculiar customer enter his store. A monk, he assumed, dressed in flowing orange robes. The man had a fairly good muscular build in his shoulders and arms. He appeared to be in his mid-to-late twenties or early thirties, had a tuft of hair protruding from the back of his otherwise shaven head and looked confused. “Can I help you?” Caprone asked gruffly, yet politely.

“You got a holograph station?” the monk asked.

“A what?”

“For making a 3D phone call.”

“There's a pay phone out on the street.”

“Yeah, I saw it. Quaint. Uses coins.”

“You need some coins, Mister?”

“How do you use coins in the phone?”

“You just drop a dime into the slot and make your call!”

“How do I get some change?”

“You buy sumthin' – you get change,” Caprone insisted as professionally as he could muster. He had long ago learned the art of extracting blood from a stone.

Nodding, the monk glanced around, picked up a New York Times and plopped it more confidently on the counter than Gabriel had expected. He handed over a one dollar bill. Gabriel accepted the bill, opened the cash register, and returned ninety cents. This seemed to confuse the monk, who carefully counted the change twice. Finally, he looked up and asked, “Is this right?”

“Is what right?” Crapone asked.

“You gave me ninety cents.”

“The paper cost a dime, and you gave me a dollar,” Caprone explained, but the monk continued to appear disoriented. “You okay, Mister?” Caprone asked.

“I'm fine,” the man in orange replied, “I don't understand why that door was locked.”

“My door isn't locked, Mister.”

“No, I mean just around the corner. 305 Schermerhorn Street. No one answers when I ring the bell. And those trees across the street. There should be a parking lot and building there.”

Caprone sighed. “Mister, what's your name?”

“Paul McPherson,” he answered. “Why?”

“Listen. Nobody lives at 305 Schermerhorn. That's the Odd Fellows Memorial.”

The monk McPherson frowned dismissively, closed his wallet and a small business card fluttered to the floor.

Caprone cleared his throat and moved his eyes downward. “Dropped sumthin'.”

McPherson looked down and saw a business card at his feet. He picked it up and read the note scribbled on the face: “Meet me at the south-west corner of Central Park, 6 PM.”

“Isn't mine,” he said.

“Fell from your wallet,” Caprone insisted.

Paul McPherson glanced at it again then shrugged, crumpling the card. It's nothing, he thought. Turning to leave he dropped it in a wastebasket as he casually glanced at the date on top of the paper. “July 12, 1966.”

He took two more steps toward the door and then stopped abruptly, looking at the date on the paper again. Slowly raising his eyes, he noted a wall calendar by the door. A photograph of a woman in a one-piece swimsuit was visible above the date: July 1966.

“What's the big idea?” he asked aloud, turning to face Caprone standing behind the cash register. “Is this some kind of prank?”

“S'matter?” Caprone replied incredulously.

“Did you sell me a sixty-one year old newspaper?”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“I mean the date, both on the paper and the calendar.”

“What about it?” asked Caprone, but McPherson simply pointed at the newspaper's front page, as if it were self evident. Caprone looked at him with a tilted head. “Mister, that's the correct date.”

McPherson rolled his hazel colored eyes and shrugged. No wonder the paper was only ten cents. Practical joker. Tucking it under his arm, he stepped outside.

* * *

NSA/CSS Headquarters, October, 2075

“How many people have you and I killed over the years?” Special Agent Hilmore whispered as he picked up the large manila envelope from his chair and sat down beside his colleague. All the seats of the meeting room were now filled.

Caufield frowned and cleared his throat. He shook his head but said nothing.

“Okay. Lemme rephrase that. How many have we removed – taken out – eliminated for the sake of the secret government?”

“Don't know, don't care,” Caufield resigned. “More than I can remember. What's with you today?”

“For Christ's sake, Caufield! Have you even looked at this thing?” They both glanced at the sealed envelopes on their laps.

“I've heard about it,” Caufield calmly replied. “Sidney Dale talked about it last night.”

Hilmore frowned and continued with a voice hinting at resignation. “Dale's a prick. This is about a monk. A goddamn friggin monk.” He cast a glance back at Prateep Tripathy who sat two rows behind, wearing sunglasses over his pockmarked face. Tripathy, who had a small bandage on his forehead nodded and twisted his lips into an unsettling smirk. He knew what a monk was, goddamn it, being from Orissa, India. It was Tripathy that let them get away on the bus up in the Himalayas. That costly mistake was why they were all gathered here today.

A door on the side of the room quietly opened and a stern-faced man wearing a fedora and a trench coat appeared. Removing his hat and coat, he placed them on a nearby chair and took his place behind the podium. Mounted on the wall behind him was the traditional round emblem with a bald eagle standing against a blue background. The eagle glared regally to the left as he stood proudly clutching a skeleton key in his claws, wearing a vest of stars and stripes.

At over six feet, the man had a square jaw and dark, probing eyes. His complexion was pale and expression firm. Adjusting his eyeglasses, he fastened the Bluetooth microphone to his ear. He tapped it gently and heard the boom from the speakers.

His eyes fell upon his chief hitmen, Special Agents Hilmore and Caufield, and then on Tripathy who filed yesterday's report. He noted Tripathy's wound on his forehead. An armed security guard stood at the doorway, flanked on either side by men dressed in black suits, white shirts and wearing dark glasses. One of them held a black briefcase with a Walther PPK semi-automatic pistol and silencer inside.

“Morning, everyone.” His voice was deep and deliberate. “Guess most of you follow the news, so there's nothing much to say about the kidnapping. You already knew Professor Cali was working with us. Unfortunately, our reconnaissance agent, Mr. Tripathy here, almost had the matter in hand but they slipped away from him in India, and now it's up to the rest of us to get to them.” He again glanced at Tripathy, who returned the glare through his mirrored sunglasses.

“As you know, Professor Cali was working on an important project, and to tell you the truth, it's the stolen goods that went missing with him that absolutely must be recovered. The Professor is expendable.”

He raised his right arm, hand open, gesturing toward the manila envelopes on their laps as he paused to take a sip of water and clear his throat. “So if you have any questions before we dismiss you to read the file, now's the time to ask.”

A hand rose. He acknowledged a woman in the back.

“What about the drugs? Any of them missing as well?” she asked.

There had been concern in the press that some of the latest psychopathic drugs might have been stolen. These drugs, developed to control the threat of terrorism, proved to be most effective when combined with electroshock therapy and hypnotism to bring an enemy completely under one's control. They had first been reported in the Washington Post in a special exposé on government tactics to infiltrate terrorist cells around the world. The drugs were, however, still experimental in nature, and the exact dosage had yet to be determined.

“No,” the man at the podium lied. “The drugs are safe. What we're concerned with is the missing prototype.”

Hilmore perked up in his seat. Prototype for what?

The man at the podium looked to see if any other hands went up. They didn't yet know about Paul, Mary or the little man. They would learn about them in the report.

“Just remember: you must refrain from either confirming or denying any knowledge of what you read, and you should notify Q43 of any attempted inquiry. Is that clear? Remember: this is Code B. The President doesn't want this to affect his re-election campaign.”

Hilmore glanced down at the manila package on his lap. Damn. He knew what Code B meant. Another assassination to protect another President. Since the collapse of the World Trade Center towers 74 years ago, the National Security Agency and Central Security Service had become independent from congressional scrutiny. Only the President of the United States could review operations. Even that was on a need-to-know basis. Elected officials like the President were generally kept out of the loop. If the President was favorable to operations, then the NSA/CSS would support him. Otherwise a scandal would materialize to thwart further involvement.

Picking up his hat, the man at the podium concluded: “Very well. This meeting is adjourned until tomorrow, same time. You have twenty-four hours to familiarize yourself with the case. After that, we get to work.”

With that, Sidney Dale settled his hat on his head and scooped up his trench coat.

Caufield rolled his eyes in disbelief as they rose from their chairs. “That's it?”

“Fine with me,” Hilmore commented dryly. The audience stood and moved toward the outer secured area.

Emerging from the meeting room, they passed through the lobby and proceeded down the hallway toward the elevator. Hilmore and Caufield parted amicably with a handshake and Hilmore headed for his office.

Once alone, he dropped into a comfortable chair and examined the hefty packet carefully. Turning it over, Hilmore saw TDC's traditional wax seal with their triangular insignia on the back. Breaking the seal, he removed the report and read the cover page.

It was a quotation from the late Carl Sagan, an astronomer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author from the last century. “I can think half a dozen ways in which we could not be awash in time travelers, and still time travel is possible,” the author wrote.

Hilmore flipped through the remaining pages and sighed. He didn't like killing religious people, but he knew he'd do what was necessary. It didn't help that Hilmore's nephew was a Hare Krishna.

* * *

Fifth Avenue, New York. June 10, 2027

Paul McPherson stood scanning the towering mass of stone, metal and glass that soared from the sidewalk to the sky, one thousand, four hundred fifty-three feet above and then again at the address scribbled on the crumpled paper in his hand. It was late afternoon. The sky was clear and the weather was warm. A mild breeze cooled the sweat from the top of his shaven head.

When the light turned green the hydrogen and electric powered vehicles pulled to a stop and the monk followed the pedestrians across Fifth Avenue and walked a few yards down Thirty-third Street. Passing through the revolving doors, he entered the three story high lobby of the Empire State Building and searched for an elevator. He did not get far.

Two men approached him from behind. One, a tall man with red hair, grabbed his left arm firmly. The other, a shorter, stocky man with gray hair, firmly gripped his right arm. “Gotcha. Come with us.” They placed his hands behind his back and locked them in place with police-issue metal hand-restraints.

Ushered roughly inside an elevator, the monk found himself confronted by a very tall gentleman with gray skin, dressed in an expensive blue silk suit wearing a black cape with gold trim. Hanging on either of his arms were two women – one an attractive blonde with an hour-glass figure, the other a round faced woman with red, spiked hair.

“Hello McPherson,” greeted the caped man as the two captors also entered and the elevator doors closed behind them. One of the men punched a button on the wall, and the elevator began ascending.

“What's the meaning of this and how do you know my name?”

“Most people stay dead when they die,” replied the caped man, “Stay dead this time.”

“You're going to kill me?”

“Of course! Let's say your trip is canceled.”

“What trip?”

The monk never heard the reply. He woke up inside a body sack sinking to the bottom of the East River.

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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4

366 pages, 58 Chapters, 4 Parts!

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