Another Look at My Past
Frank Mills was caught off guard. He normally did not go to gatherings where you had to stand up to show
respect for someone. Quickly and he hoped unobtrusively he uncrossed his legs and got to his feet.
They all stood there. And waited.
After a moment professor Edgar Lively strolled into the auditorium and unhurriedly made his way to the
podium. When you are the Grand O ld Man of the University of Altgeld Historical Research, people can just
stand up until you are ready to let them sit down.
For a long moment Professor Lively just looked at the group assembled. Then he began to speak. “I am
looking at a very distinguished group of historians, as well as those from technical and security. Please, be
seated. “ Having said that, he was ready to let them sit down.
“Each of you is here because he or she is the very cream of the cream. I know it is a cliché, but it an honor
just to be here.”
Frank Mills felt a rush of pride. At twenty-two, praise from an older man still affected him. It made him feel
proud in spite of the fact that he would not be here if he were not the great grandson of Captain McK instry.
The Captain McK instry, as if there was any other. Captain McK instry had led Altgeld back into space, and
had also led the war against the pirate fleet when they had appeared at the edge of the Altgeld solar system.
You could easily fill a book with just that story.
“Yo!” Shouted Timmy. “Do they have whiskey where we're going?”
Everybody turned to look at Timmy Thatchenson. It was quite easy to pick Timmy Thatcher out of the
crowd. Where everyone else was wearing muted browns and tans, Timmy was wearing a pink striped shirt
and floral print pants. Where all the other men had short hair, Timmy's hair hung in long greasy curls.
Where everyone else seemed reasonably centered, Timmy had a wild crazy look in his eyes.
“Timmy, would you just shut up!!” Shouted Dick Burlington. “Let the grownups talk.”
“That's what she said. Wo hoo!” Was Timmy's reply. Timmy was immune to most forms of social pressure.
Frank Mills turned to Nelson Jones. He had known Nelson for as long as he could remember, and no w they
were side by side in this venture. “How did that maniac get in this elite group?”
Nelson leaned close to Frank. “Because the man has a powerful mind and can analyze facts and spot relevant
cross associations while the rest of us are trying to sharpen our pencil. They say he has an IQ of”
“Five thousand two hundred and eighty.” finished Frank for his old friend. Yes, I've heard all that stuff too.”
Nelson started to reply that five thousand two hundred and eighty was the number of feet in a mile, but then
Professor Lively was saying;
“Yes, they certainly do have whiskey where you are going. Whiskey raw, uncured, with some other things in
it more likely than not. A lot of the time it has quite a bit of ether. Drink some of that and they could take out
your appendix and you wouldn't mind at all.”
That got a laugh from everyone. Including, Frank noticed, Timmy Thatchenson. O ld professor Lively had
handled the situation quite well. Now that he had control again, he plunged right back into his spee ch.
“Yes, it is an honor to be chosen for time travel, but you had better not just rest on your laurels. This will not
be a vacation. A lot of things about the Heroic Period we really have no idea. In particular we are not sure
what peoples' attitudes were about quite a number of things. I very seriously recommend that you always be