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Adventures Through Time by Michel Poulin - HTML preview

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30

‘’I decided to follow Nancy and Mike to the future to be able to live with them and also to escape the oppression and atrocities to which the Jews in Germany were subjected to then.’’

‘’What sort of atrocities, miss?’’

‘’The systematic extermination of all the Jews in Europe and the seizure of all their possessions.’’ Replied calmly Ingrid, shocking deeply Lori.

‘’But, who could do or even justify such a monstrosity?’’

‘’The Nazi Party, which held power in Germany and had triggered the war in Europe in 1939. It followed a policy of racial purity that proclaimed the superiority of the Aryan race. According to that policy, the Jews were a threat to the purity of the race.’’

‘’Uh, excuse my ignorance, Miss Weiss, but I don’t know what is the Aryan race.’’

Understanding, Ingrid pointed Susanna Berghof and Frida Winterer to Lori.

‘’My friends Susanna and Frida are what a Nazi could qualify of being perfect examples of Aryan women. All the other races were considered inferior, to varying degrees, with the Jews at the bottom of the barrel.’’

‘’But, you said that being a Jew was a question of faith, not of race. I don’t understand.’’

‘’That is because there is nothing to understand, Miss Kano. The Nazi ideologues classified the Jews as having distinct blood, even though many had absolutely no Semitic genetic heritage. The Jews had become the scapegoats for the ills of Germany and the Nazis had the German people unified against them. If I would have returned to Germany as a Jew during the war, I would have been arrested, deported to a concentration camp and eventually killed.’’

Lori, by now seriously shaken by Ingrid’s words, then noticed that many of the ancestors around looked sad or embarrassed.

‘’Uh, are many of you German?’’

She was surprised to see fifteen of the 21 ancestors raise a hand, including the four women at her table. She then turned towards Nancy Laplante, an expression of disbelief on her face.

‘’You chose the majority of the members of your organization among people that were technically your enemies, Miss Laplante? Why?’’

‘’Because I had seen that, individually, these men and women were most decent people, who deserved better than what their country could offer them at the end of the war. I believe passionately in tolerance and compassion, miss. Unfortunately, the 31

British, who I was fighting for in that war, considered my tolerance as fraternization with the enemy and treated me as a traitor to their cause. I was beaten up by fellow prisoners of war for that reason while interned by the Germans.’’

Lori stayed silent for a moment while staring at Nancy. She now realized that she would have to change drastically her views about ancestors in general and this woman in particular. Shaking herself back to her assignment, Lori faced Farah Tolkonen, still sitting besides Nancy and Mike Crawford.

‘’At what stage is your Time Patrol now, Doctor Tolkonen? Have you already started to patrol the past?’’

Farah shook her head in response.

‘’We won’t be operational for many more months, miss. Our agents need to be trained and educated on our technology, our ships still have to be designed and then built and we don’t have weapons yet. As for our ground infrastructure in New Lake City, they won’t be ready for at least another three weeks.’’

‘’Where will you take your weapons, Doctor? There are none in the Global Council, apart from non-lethal stun pistols?’’

Farah gave her a somber look.

‘’Finding weapons will not be difficult, Miss Kano: the past is full of them.’’

Lori concluded her interview twenty minutes later, having collected enough materiel to produce a quality news bulletin. Thanking Farah and her group, Lori then returned with her assistant to the GNN studios, 67 levels above. As they rode an elevator cabin, she thought that this new Time Patrol was certainly worthy of special attention from her, as its potential for generating sensational news was evident to her.

15:10 (London Time)

Tuesday, October 10, 2051 ‘A’

Sales store, Jane’s Publishing Editions

238 City Road, London

Great Britain

‘’This will make a total of 2,386 pounds and 46 pence, miss.’’ Said with a professional smile the young woman of Pakistani origin serving behind the cashier of the store. Nancy, a large leather case full of heavy books and magazines and of copies on 32

laser disks of the latest products made by Jane’s Publishing Editions at her side, paid cash the bill. Taking the receipt for her acquisitions from the most renowned publishing house specializing in military affairs, Nancy thanked the sales woman and grabbed her heavy case without apparent effort and left the store. She stopped for a moment on the sidewalk, looking around at the scenery of 2051 ‘A’ London. The city looked little like the London she had known in her time. Many historical buildings had been razed and replaced by steel and glass towers and the vehicle traffic was much quieter compared to that in 2012, most of the vehicles now being propelled by electric motors. The clothing fashion was however as diverse as before, going from the timeless conservative business suit to the most outrageous punk outfit. The racial diversity of the passersby was also greater, with pure Caucasians being actually in the minority.

Her next stop was at a computer store 400 meters away, near the junction with Old Street. Having checked first what type of software was used by her newly acquired laser discs, Nancy bought cash two laptop computers of the latest model, preloaded with the necessary software programs, plus a few accessories and transport bags for the laptops. Going a bit further to a bookstore, Nancy went carefully through its history section, finally selecting and buying a number of books and laser disks covering the history of the first half of the 21st Century. With her big leather case now weighing a good thirty kilos, on top of her two laptop bags, Nancy decided to stop at an Italian restaurant for supper, buying first two newspapers of the day at a nearby kiosk before entering the restaurant. After reading the menu and placing her order, she then quickly read the main titles of her two newspapers and frowned, not liking what she was seeing.

The whole Middle East and the Indian sub-continent were real powder kegs, with more than nine countries of the region, including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria, possessing or being suspected of possessing nuclear weapons. To make things worse, the known oil reserves of the region, after about 150 years of intensive exploitation, were now nearly exhausted, with many Arab countries and Iran facing bankruptcy in the years to come.

In return, this discouraging prospect had made the populations of the Middle East both worried and furious, as they realized a bit late the extent to which the riches from oil extraction had been squandered or even squarely robbed by their elites, monarchs and various leaders. Political and religious extremism were now at record levels, with frequent terrorist attacks around the World. One of the titles in fact recalled one such attack, which had killed eight persons in London less than a week ago. In response to 33

this, most western countries had increased their military and security expenditures in the last years, if Nancy could believe an editorial she was reading. The nuclear arsenals of the large and medium powers had also grown, with Great Britain now possessing ground-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, on top of her submarine-launched missiles.

Nancy sighed as she put her newspapers in her leather case at the arrival of her meal: it was actually a miracle that a nuclear war had not yet started in those conditions.

She unfortunately knew that such a horror was going to happen in only eleven months and would nearly erase the Human race from the surface of the Earth. That cataclysm would however trigger in return the process from which would eventually emerge the society of the Global Council. The Nuclear Holocaust of 2052 was thus an event with which Nancy or the Time Patrol could not interfere with, even if her life depended on it, as it had been declared justly to be a key historical event that could not be manipulated or modified by anybody. Feeling immense sadness as she thought about that, Nancy went at her food without much conviction. She was about to finish eating when a powerful explosion a few hundreds of meters away made her jerk, like the other customers and staff of the restaurant, while the ground shook briefly from a shock wave.

While many rushed outside to see what had happened, Nancy stayed at her table, realizing what could that be. One customer then got a call on his cell phone a minute later and spoke in it briefly before closing it and looking around him.

‘’A bomb has just exploded at the Moorgate subway station. There are dead and wounded but the situation is very confused, according to a friend of mine who is there.’’

‘’Those damn Muslim extremists!’’ Spat another customer, a man in his fifties with red hair and wearing a business suit. ‘’We should nuke the Middle East and get rid for good of that nest of religious fanatics.’’

‘’You were happy enough to take their oil during all those decades.’’ Replied a customer with Semitic traits, taking offense at the words of the businessman. The exchange that followed quickly heated up, ending in a scuffle between five customers.

Nancy watched the scene, bitter at seeing how full of hatred and intolerance the World was now. It took the arrival of two policemen and the efforts of the employees of the restaurant to separate the combatants and reestablish a semblance of calm. Paying her bill, Nancy grabbed her precious case and bags and left, hailing a taxi to go to a discreet rendezvous point, where Mona Zirel would soon pick her up with a time scooter.

34

09:44 (North America Central Time)

Monday, September 7, 3384 ‘A’

Time laboratory, Physics Annex

New Lake City University campus

Great Lakes region, North America

Global Council

‘’Here you go, Jan!’’ Said Nancy while putting down a thick pile of books and magazines on the desk of the newly hired chief historian of the Time Patrol. ‘’I also have with me laser disks containing more historical data, but a technician will have first to transfer the data to a medium compatible with Global Council computers.’’

Jan Bella, a man with a jovial character, shouted with joy as he spread the books and magazines on his desk, which was set up in a corner of the original time laboratory since their future headquarters was still under construction.

‘’Nancy, I could kiss your ass! Do you realize how incomplete and fragmentary our historical databases are about the history prior to the 25th Century? Just these books would justify the money put into the Time Patrol up to now.’’

‘’I know, Jan.’’ Said soberly Nancy before putting on his desk the two newspapers bought in London. ‘’I believe that these newspapers will tell you a lot about the causes of the 2052 Nuclear Holocaust.’’

The historian, a true speed reader, reviewed quickly the main titles of the newspapers, his face becoming progressively more somber, before looking again at Nancy.

‘’I see what you mean, Nancy. Be assured that all this will be reproduced and disseminated quickly via the history department of the Science Council.’’

‘’Please make sure that you also keep a copy of all this in our own databanks, so that our members can easily access this data. We will very soon need this information for more missions in the 21st Century.’’

‘’Oh? What type of missions?’’

‘’To find weapons.’’

‘’Oh!’’ Said simply Bella, knowing how delicate that subject was with the High Council. Excusing herself with Bella, Nancy went next to the desk occupied by Mike Crawford, her case and bags in her hands. Mike was now officially the assistant 35

operations officer of the Time Patrol and would coordinate the acquisition of weapons and the training of their agents with those weapons, apart from helping Nancy to plan and lead the operations of the organization. She kissed him quickly before opening her big leather case and taking out the heavy books and magazines from Jane’s Publishing.

‘’I have to go see our computer technician to have him transfer the content of a few laser disks on mediums compatible with the Global Council computers. In the meantime, could you start looking at the Jane’s 2051 Annual on infantry weapons, to see which weapons would be most appropriate for our needs?’’

‘’I certainly can do that, Nancy.’’ Said Mike, his eyes gleaming. As an ordnance engineer and a qualified gunsmith in 1941, the prospect of learning about what small arms were like in 2051 was making him water at the mouth.

Mike had his nose in the thick book even before Nancy walked out of the lab.

Having been an American Army officer, he went first to the United States section on rifles to see what the American Army was using in 2051. What he saw there made him positively salivate. However, as an experienced gunsmith, he knew too well that a weapon could appear excellent at first, to later reveal hidden flaws. That had been the case with the Ross Rifle, produced for the Canadian Army during the 1914-18 Great War in Europe. Although an excellent precision and hunting rifle, the Ross Rifle had quickly revealed itself to be overly sensitive to mud and dust, jamming continuously and forcing its withdrawal from service. Mike thus tempered his enthusiasm and read carefully the comments on the various weapons described in the Jane’s book. The books published by Jane’s had been widely acknowledge to be impartial and professional in their coverage and Mike thus took note of any negative point described in the pages he was reading. Taking copious notes, he finally set his choice on a family of weapons that had used a concept called ‘Metal Storm’, which had been designed in Australia but then had been adopted by the American Colt Company. That concept called for many projectiles and their propellant to be loaded one on top of the other inside a single firing tube, to be then ignited electronically. That concept eliminated nearly all moving parts except in the trigger group, allowed the rate of fire to be varied at will and resulted in weapons vastly more simple and significantly lighter than conventional weapons. In the rifle in service with the United States Army and Marine Corps in 2051, the Colt-storm CRGL

TERMINATOR, this concept had been combined with another concept, that of telescoped case ammunition, resulting in a compact weapon with a capacity of 120 high 36

velocity 6mm bullets and three 50mm rifle grenades ready to fire, with a total weight of only five kilos once fully loaded. The 6mm armor-piercing ammunition was contained in twelve steel tubes held together inside a molded polymer block that also helped absorb the high pressures from burning propellant. The block, which could quickly be replaced by a full one, fit behind the block holding the twelve barrels that gave the weapons an excellent precision up to a range of 600 meters. A long grenade-launching tube was positioned under the barrels block and used a pneumatic compensator to minimize recoil. According to Jane’s, the CRGL TERMINATOR was giving total satisfaction in service and had no known flaws. Convince to have found what the Time Patrol needed, Mike took specific notes on this rifle and on the other weapons from the same family, including the location of the plants producing the weapons and the ammunition, then continued his review.

After another half hour of research, Mike stumbled on the description of a Russian assault rifle specifically designed with an integrated silencer and using heavy, subsonic bullets to further cut the firing noise. He thus took notes as well on that AS Val and its 9mm x 39 ammunition. When Nancy came back nearly two hours later, he showed her what he had found, attracting a smile on her face.

‘’So, those old moronic generals in the Pentagon finally understood and accepted the Metal Storm concept.’’

‘’You already knew about that concept in 2012?’’ Asked Mike, surprised.

‘’Yes! In 2012, that concept had been in existence for nearly twenty years already, but American generals thought it was too revolutionary to be adopted, despite the successful trial fires of a 40mm grenade-launching system. I suspect that the ‘not invented here syndrome’ had something to do with their reluctance to adopt this system.’’

‘’Yeah! I am too familiar with that mentality. The fact that the Colt Company eventually bought the rights to the Metal Storm concept probably was what decided the Pentagon to adopt it. What do you think of that family of weapons, and of this AS Val?’’

‘’I am actually a firm believer in the Metal Storm concept and I doubt that anything better existed before 2052. This is clearly the best choice for our agents and, eventually, for arming our future combat robots. As for the AS Val, it had been in service since the 1980s with the Russian special forces and I personally had the chance to fire it. It is a very effective weapon and would be ideal for discreet missions by our agents.

37

It was already nearly out of the inventory in 2051, so I will have to go procure some AS

Val rifles and its special ammunition well before 2052.’’

‘’Where and when do you think you will be able to find those AS Val rifles?’’

Nancy smiled with malice at that question.

‘’Don’t forget that I am a war correspondent and that I covered about everything that touched military weapons…including illegal arms trafficking around the World. The Russian and French governments were not calling me ‘The shit disturber’ for nothing.’’

11:43 (Ukraine Time)

Sunday, March 1, 1992 ‘A’

Christian Orthodox church

Kiev, Ukraine

Victor Medveyev waited that his bodyguard had exited the church first, so that he could check for any potential threat outside, then walked out towards his car, where another bodyguard waited. With his secret occupation as an arms dealer and with the actual, chaotic situation around the rapidly disintegrating U.S.S.R., anything could happen, mostly bad things in fact. However, that same chaotic situation was presently helping him enormously, with opportunities opening for obtaining previously nearly impossible to acquire weapons. He had even heard about another dealer who had been able to steal three modern T-80 battle tanks from the Soviet Army.

Walking quickly in the frigid air of Kiev, with snow over ten centimeters thick on the ground, Victor made his way among the crowd of worshippers also exiting the church. A tall and beautiful young woman that had also attended the Sunday service then spoke to him in Russian in a low voice without looking at him as she passed near Victor.

‘’Mister Medveyev, I have a business proposition for you. If you are interested, get in your car and do a tour of the bloc before picking me up at the corner of the next street to the right.’’

Victor threw a sharp look at the woman, trying to recognize her. She was however a total unknown to him. Knowing that could possibly be an attempt by the federal police to trap him, as much as being a real proposal, Victor decided to take the risk…for the moment.

38

‘’Very well! If I see that we are followed, though…’’

‘’Don’t worry!’’ Simply said the woman before walking away on the sidewalk.

Frankly intrigued, Victor got in the back of his car and gave an order to his driver-cum-bodyguard.

‘’Start the car and do slowly a complete tour of the bloc, Misha: we have a young woman to pick up at the next corner, after our tour.’’

The driver, a tall and muscular man with a shaved head, nodded and started the engine of the big Mercedes. Rolling slowly, the car soon passed the young woman, who was still walking towards the next corner. Doing a complete tour of the bloc as ordered, the driver then stopped at the designated street corner, where the woman was now waiting.

Alex, Victor’s senior bodyguard, got out and quickly searched the woman for weapons before letting her sit in the back with Victor. The latter eyed with curiosity the woman, who had quite a lot of sex-appeal despite her rather short black hair.

‘’May I ask how you know me, Miss…?’’

‘’Just call me Nancy.’’ Said the woman with a very slight accent that sounded French to Victor. ‘’May I call you Victor?’’

‘’All pretty women can call me Victor, Nancy.’’ Replied the arms dealer, who liked to think of himself as a handsome man that attracted women. ‘’Do not talk business right now, until I could verify that you are not carrying a microphone or a tape recorder. Are you French, Nancy?’’

The woman smiled back to him and shook an index.

‘’I am ready to show you my body but not my identity, Victor. If someone asks you about me, I am just an escort girl that you just picked up for some private time.’’

Victor licked his lips as he admired the ample, firm chest of the said Nancy, who had opened her coat to reveal a short dress with a wide cleavage. Her story was actually a good cover…if she was really a potential client and not a police officer. Opening the small bar in the back of the Mercedes, Victor took out a half-bottle of champagne and two cups, handing the cups to the young woman.

‘’In that case, we might as well play the game right, Nancy.’’

Opening the bottle, Victor half filled the cups and replaced the closed bottle in the bar before taking one of the cups and raising it.

‘’To our mutual health, Nancy.’’

39

They knocked their glasses together before taking a sip while eyeing each other.

Nancy’s left hand then searched for Victor’s right hand, to guide it towards her gorgeous legs.

‘’We should give the appearances as well, Victor, in case someone is watching.’’

She said in a mellow voice. Not believing his luck, Victor felt free to explore the splendid young woman, whose green eyes fascinated him.

By the time that his car arrived at a luxurious residence in an exclusive district of Kiev, Victor was positively on fire. Nancy put back some order in her clothes before stepping out with him once the Mercedes was inside the large garage of the residence.

Followed closely by Alex and Misha, Victor escorted Nancy to his private study, keeping his two bodyguards with him as he closed the doors and faced the young woman.

‘’I believe that now is a good time to prove to me that you are not carrying a microphone or recording device, my dear.’’

‘’Fair is fair.’’ She replied with a smile before starting to take off her clothes, handing each piece to the senior bodyguard so that he could check it. She eventually ended up totally naked and turned slowly around to show herself to Victor, who now had a mighty erection.

‘’As you can see, my dear Victor, I have nothing to hide.’’

Victor, swallowing hard, looked at Alex, who nodded his head once.

‘’She had nothing abnormal with her, boss, apart from 100,000 American dollars in used bills in a brown envelope. She however had no identity papers on her.’’

Frankly intrigued, Victor eyed the still naked Nancy.

‘’That is a lot of cash to carry like this, miss. What do you want exactly?’’

‘’Let’s sit down first, Victor.’’

Victor agreed readily to that, sitting with her on his favorite sofa and doing his best not to be distracted by her nudity. She was the one to speak next.

‘’What I want is sixty AS Val silenced assault rifles in 9 x 39mm caliber, plus 600

20-round magazines and a minimum of 100,000 9 x 39 SP-6 armor piercing bullets. If you could find as well a stock of spare parts for those rifles, the better. If you are successful in finding and getting those rifles, magazines and bullets, you will get another 100,000 dollars, plus one extra dollar per 9 x 39 bullet above the initial 100,000 first ones. You can keep the cash I brought with me as a first payment…if you accept to deal with me.’’

40

Victor frowned on hearing her requests.

‘’AS Val rifles? That type of weapon is used by Spetsnaz1 special forces units and is only in limited circulation. It won’t be easy to find so many of them, my dear.’’

‘’Come on, Victor! A man as competent as you, in the midst of such chaos in Russia? I am sure that you will be able to find all this without much difficulty.’’

‘’And for who are those rifles, if I may ask?’’

Nancy smiled but wiggled her left index in front of her.

‘’You can ask, but I will not answer, my dear Victor. Let’s say that my employer likes discretion. When do you think that you could get all this?’’

Victor reviewed mentally the contacts he had that could help in this affair. Using the initial 100,000 dollars brought by Nancy to pay his eventual provider, he figured out that it shouldn’t be too hard to find a willing intermediate.

‘’Give me two weeks, Nancy. I should have your things by then. How will I contact you then?’’

‘’Easy: I will pay you a visit here in two weeks as an escort girl, officially to give you a nice, sexy massage session. We will talk then. Oh, one last point: my employer does not want any deaths to be caused by this deal. Dead bodies tend to attract investigations…and problems.’’

‘’Your employer is a sensible person.’’ Agreed Victor, who tried himself to avoid violence as much as possible in his business. Even if he sold weapons, he did not think of himself as a cruel or merciless man. In fact, he preferred to be described as a simple businessman who dealt in special tools. He then offered his right hand to Nancy, who shook it.

‘’We have a deal, miss. I will be expecting you in two weeks. My driver will now drive you, if you wish.’’

Nancy nodded her head and got up from the sofa.

‘’In that case, he can drive me back to the church where we met first.’’

Victor looked at Misha, who nodded in turn. Nancy took the time to put back her clothes and gave a last smile to Victor as she was leaving.

‘’Se