Another Look at My Past
“Frank!! O ver here!”
Frank stopped and looked across the street. There waving at him was his cousin Louise McCune. He waved
back feebly and started across the street. He was careful to look both ways so that his time travel adventure
would not be short circuited by an accident in the present. Unfortunately there was no traffic in either
direction, so he soon joined Louise on her side of the street.
“Frank! What have you been doing? I haven't see n you in ages.”
Frank groped for a good way to answer. He did not think it would be a good idea to tell Louise about time
“I've been busy.”
“I was talking to your mother just the other day. She said you had joined some kind of thing.”
No telling what kind of story Louise had gotten from his mother. “This is an exclusive, by invitation only,
group. There were only a few places available.”
Frank wondered why he did not want to tell Louise about time travel. Maybe she would not believe him and
think he was crazy like old Uncle Wayne. Frank wondered how much he really believed it. Better not
ponder that too long. And Louise was talking again.
“Your Mom said it was some kind of research, or maybe you were going to be looking for something.”
It did not help that he had lied to his mother and now he was not real sure what he had said. “We are going to
be prospecting for Californium in the third asteroid belt. They wanted to keep it kind of quiet so the
competition would not get there first.”
As far as Frank knew Californium was a radioactive element with few practical uses. At least the third
asteroid belt was at the very edge of the Altgeld solar system, so that would explain a long absence.
“I hope it's not dangerous.” Bless her heart, she was concerned for him. “And it seems so different from
what you had been doing with historical research in the Heroic Period.”
“O h, I'm not just a Historian. I have many far reaching interests.”
Frank looked around for a way to divert the conversation. He was rewarded with seeing Betsy Neuman
coming down the sidewalk.
“Look Louise! There is Betsy Neuman, my academic adviser.”
Betsy spotted the pair. “Frank! I did not expect to see you downtown. And who is this pretty girl you're
“This isn't a girl, it's my cousin.”
Hopefully Louise knew what he meant. “Betsy helped me get into advanced historical regressional analysis
when everybody else was telling me to just take philosophy instead. She really helped me out of that tight
The two women started chatting about purple widgets or clothes or some kind of girl thing. After a couple of
minutes Frank excused himself and made his way to the bank. He needed to fill out an account stasis form,
which was standard practice for anyone going off- world. He was not exactly going off-world, but that was as
much of the truth as he was prepared to tell.