ONLY TIME WILL TELL.(Revised)
ONLY TIME WILL TELL.(Revised)
PHILIPPA TIMMS rs.1
Terry Hobson’s lust for retribution was absolute. It had taken him many years to plan. Months of depression where all he wanted to do was see all of Admiral Harriman Nelson’s work burn in the hell-fire that it deserved. His Grand-father had been a good man, until he had come into contact with the SeaView. Nelson had robbed him of his place in history. He had left him to rot in jail. That had hit him hard. He had only been five at the time, but he had sworn that he would make Nelson pay. Time had not been on his side, he had yet to find an avenue for his rage. There had seen many changes at Santa Barbara. Nelson had learnt that no man lives for ever, then again, Admiral Nelson’s spirit could still be felt in the very walls of the Institute, taunting Hobson every day of his missed opportunities. He had spent every spare moment that he could find, looking through all of the old SeaView logs to see that there was something that he could use that could ruin Nelson’s reputation even now some three years after his death. It was there he had found, almost two years ago to the day, the reports of a Mister Pem and a time-travel device. That had got his mind working on a different revenge theory. SeaView had twice come into contact with a man who could control time and use it as a means of conveyance. One instance SeaView had been saved by such a device. If that happened then it could also be destroyed by time-travel. His thoughts grew darker as he progressed with his plan, he used his time at the Santa Barbara base sparingly as not to cause undue concern with either Captain Crane or his lackeys. He had been working along side all those he detested. Know thy enemy. That old saying had worked well for him. Now it was time for him to put all of his own time travel theory to the test. He had read up on SeaView’s early history for months, planning his deadly move. Admiral Nelson’s dream of science, exploration and progress for the oceans of the world would crumble before his eyes. Hobson would be there right along side him to savour every moment. He would journey back to before the launch of the submarine, and he would make SeaView quite literally a time-bomb. As he made his way quietly towards the Orbital-Flying-Sub, all that he could think of was how fitting that it was that one of Nelson’s last creations would unknowingly be his downfall.
The darkness of the room surprised him, he was not sure how or why. Shadows menaced him for some unknown reason, as he made his way gingerly toward the long grey filing cabinet. It was situated right at the back of their one and only domain the FBI would let them call their own. He wondered why after three years he would suddenly find the basement of the Hoover building unnerving in a jarring sort of way that he could not put his finger on. Somehow his sub-conscious mind was telling him that all was not as it should be down here, or was it everywhere around him. He could not imagine why he had that feeling. However he could not even think of an illogical excuse as to why he could not search through the cases that even Fox Mulder had written off as X-file hoaxes years ago. He would expect that his bosses would say that he was becomg desperate with the X-files to start looking for lost documents. Rechecking all the cranks that who often thought that a quick dollar could be obtained by convincing Fox Mulder they had access to reams of classified information, be it UFO’s, clones or other strange things. He had heard that one had even claimed that someone had gone into the past to save the future. To Reddman that somehow had a familer ring to it, now for some reason he knew that he had to find that document. Deep down he knew what he was looking for, but did not want to find it.
There were days when Captain Crane missed the old days. So many things had changed at the institute. As Crane’s mind went back over the years since he had been at NIMR. He thought if Nelson came back here he would find it barely recognisable. As he made his way slowly through the intricate corridors he leafed through the reports that he had just received from the Atlantis Marine Site. Chip had had the AMS running now for three years. Without any mishap, no alien invasion fleets descending on them. That had been in the old days, when they had been together with the SeaView. Now ever since the Darwin disaster they had been scattered to the four winds just trying to keep Nelson’s dream alive. The call had reminded Crane about the horrifying loss of the submarine Darwin on it's shakedown cruise. That incident had not only seen the death of his closest friend, and commanding officer, but had also ended the career of an officer who, in Crane’s opinion, would now have had command of SeaView. It had been six months ago he had last talked to Reddman about coming back to work for the institute. Each time he had spoken with him, he had been adamant that he could never go anywhere near a submarine again. He could almost here in saying to him "You obviously don't know what you are talking about, Captain." As he tried to presuade him yet again to take-up of a tailor made land based assignment. Crane could not blame him after managing to get his hands on some unofficial reports on who ‘could’ have been behind the gas attack that had killed Admiral Nelson. It was strange at the time just how many of the documents at the time managed to get lost in the system. However now at this moment in time, Crane had also heard that Reddman had been mixing with some very strange company while he had been in Washington. A crowd where conspirators, aliens, mutants of nature, government cover-ups, were all believed to be taking place everyday. The Admiral would have been the first to agree that man was not alone in the universe. Reddman on the other hand not just believed, but he now believed that we were also part of an alien colony. Reddman’s pet name for where he worked was, under the bowels of the Hoover Building. Crane knew that two other FBI agents worked with him, but Reddman had never mentioned their names. The only data that Crane could find was that they were working all hours to try to find the truth, that for some reason was always out of their grasp.
To Crane’s surprise, the other day Paul Reddman had phoned him up and had said that he would be down to see him about a file that he had found at the Hoover Building. Admiral Nelson had left it at the FBI some years ago, and it had just turned up. Surprise, because according to the entire records of the incident, all who had survived the Darwin, had not survived without a price. They had somehow been given a potion that gave them an almost complete fear of being in a submarine. The Institute, in time had found out that it was an experimental drug. It was to be used by an enemy country during a conflict, but it had been found to be too effective. Crane could only just recall when NIMR had last had the FBI down, but he could not recall any file that could have been given to them by Admiral Nelson. One thing was transparent through. Whatever Reddman was coming down for had very to be important. Redmann had inhaled the most gas, so he had been the most effected by it. He almost had to be dragged off the sub by the surviving crew. He had been so determined to save Nelson any way possible. Even if had meant him giving up his own life in the process. In that way, in Crane’s opinion, he had been so like his father. Reddman had been the last man to be taken off the fated sub alive.
It had been three years since Reddman had last stood outside the gates of NIMR, the last had been a sad interval for all at the base. He knew that it had hit Captain Crane practically hard, as everyone had come to expect that Nelson was super-human. Paul himself, in many ways had yet to come to terms with the death of the man, that had for many years, been a father figure to him. It had been against doctors orders for him to go to the funeral, but it would have taken hell or high water to stop him. So, he had come down from Washington for the small service that had been held at the base. That still seemed like yesterday to him. As he waited for his pass to be checked, his mind wandered back to the last time that he had been on a NIMR submarine. That had ultimately led to the sinking, of Nelson’s newest , and ultimately last, NIMR submarine. Paul could not face living so close and yet so far away from his life. So he had decided that he would move and work permanently in the capital city. So just after the tragic events of that time, he had moved to the FBI. He had found ways and means to protect, NIMR, not just from enemy agents, but from shadowy government figures that had their own secret agenda. Even with the sinking of the odd experimental submarine. He was sure, even if he could not prove who was behind the Darwin. He was convinced the truth was out there, somewhere
As he walked slowly towards the docked submarine his whole body shook as he recollected the experimental gas he had been exposed to on his very last assignment for Admiral Nelson. Even after three years he still could not even think about going down into another submarine, even if it just floated on the surface. Science, exploration, progress that had been his life at NIMR. It had all been destroyed for him on that day, but while in Washington he found that even from a far he could watch over SeaView, or any other NIMR sub.
The message had just reached Crane that Reddman was back on the base. The one thing that did not surprise him was that he was waiting for him with the SeaView, however it did surprise him that he had managed to get down to her past security. Reddman could well have been a terriorist. After he had met with Paul he would have a firm talk with his cheif of security. However as he walked towards Seaview Crane could not help but grin. No matter how much the enemy knocked you down, the call of the SeaView always won through. The submariners’ blood was too thick in Paul’s case for it to do anything else. He would not be surprised if even asked to go onboard her. A rare feat for anyone who had been exposed to the ‘Darwin Death Gas’.
As Crane reached the top of the stone steps that led down to SeaView’s berth, he could just see Paul at the lower level. As Lee made his way, descending to the lower level he tried to speculate as why Reddman had come.
Paul had been observing the light waves lap on the nose of the one lady, he could not get out of his thoughts. He still had the conviction that even with his disability his life aboard Seaview had not ended. He was sure that over the preceding years the immediate effects of the gas were receding. He had been quite pleased with himself as this was the closest he had been able to get to her since the incident. As he turned to address Crane, he could still not quite hide the haunted reminder of the gas, that flickered in the back of his eyes.
"Mister Reddman, what can I do for you?" Asked Crane as he met up with Reddman at the Sub Pen. As Reddman turned to address Crane he was suddenly hit by a massive wave of dizziness that stopped him in his tracks, with such force that he had to lean against the side of the stone steps for support, All the sounds seemed to be merging into light and pain as he tried to move. The last thing that he saw was Lee coming to his aid as the whole world crashed around his ears. Suddenly found himself surrounded by thick reddish fog As he looked around his surroundings for a second he did not quite know where he was. The fog seemed to want to cover every thing. Somehow he knew that the fog wanted to embrace him as well, but he knew that he should not let the fog embrace him. At first he was standing on a large slab of rock but then it changed into the more familer surroundings of Seaview's berth. Just off in the distance he could see that in the a submarine was sliding into the dock and wondered why he felt no fear as it came towards him. He felt as if he was watching it’s entrance as if he was just an observer, not a participant of events. As he looked closely at the thin slick shape of the sub he realised that it was the Darwin before she had sank. Three, Three, Four, Seven, One. He could still remember to this day the emergancy code that he had to send that fateful day. And, with that thought, that realisation, the dock around him vanished.
Smoke, water, being beyond escape depth. He was again trying to escape the doomed sub. An attempt that he had made every time he closed his eyes. The hull being breached by sea-water, the sea clawing at his very life’s’ blood. The dark figure of death looming off in the distance as he made a vain attempt at reaching the surface. He had to keep on telling himself that this was not the way it happened. That it was the gas speaking through his subconscious. Distorting almost forgotten events to suit its’ own designer needs. As his conscious mind tried to break through the gas effected dreams, he was puzzled as he was sure that he had done nothing, that should have brought on such a powerful seizure.
Paul Reddman watched from above Seaview pen. he had himself used the time-travel device to come back to time He found it very strange that he was watching himself from months back. However that was something that you had to come to terms with when it came to time-tavel with a Pem device. After their last janut back in time to stop Terry Hobson on his mad rampage there was something in the back of his mind that just did not add up. Hdere was where it all started for him and Crane. As he remembered it he had been observing the light waves lap on the nose of the one lady, he could not get out of his thoughts Seaview. Why was the submarine always in his thoughts. Even with his disability after the Darwin gas attack Seaview had not was still calling him back, but why to this moment. There was something down there, something that they had overlooked. For now though he needed time to think through all that Hobson had said after they had caught up with him. He would go to forward to a time where he would not be disterberd. As he clicked on the broken watch that coved for the Pem device he came to relalise just what had caused massive relapse when he had met Crane for the first time in three years. It had been nothing to do with the Darvin Gas, but with him being in two places at once. And now he was going to have another attack. This was something that he would remeber for a long time. Some of the rules of time travel you learnt the hard way. Crane had been right at the time he had brought it upon himself.
All of Crane’s worries about Reddman were confirmed, in one split second. He was too much like him, always one for never admitting to overwork, or over-stressing himself. When it came to the gas he worked as if there was nothing wrong. However suddenly his whole body would shout no more, to his blanking the existence of his disability. He was now suffering for again pushing himself to see if he could get back on board SeaView. Doc nearly had him hospitalised, when he had been here three years ago. For his limitless, sometimes unthinking, pushing the boundaries. He had given him a stern warning, now it would seem that he was about to get a second opinion.
Three days later Paul Redman sat across from a concerned, if angry Lee Crane as he tried to explain for about the third time in an hour just what had brought him back to the Institute. Paul was quite happy to stay until he had made the Captain understand just what was a stake. Crane's secretary had supplied them with coffee and doughnuts early on. However all that Crane could do at the moment was stare what looked just like a broken red pocket watch that sat in the middle of the desk.
"It's not broken Lee. It's the most advanced of it's kind."
"Look, it just can't be that device, Nelson destroyed it years ago."
"He destroyed one there could be many of the things, who said that Pem only made one? I can get it to work just to prove the point. You remember that I always watched Star Trek the next Generation?
"How could I forget!"
"Well did you ever watch an episode called Timescape?"
"No I gave up after Data dressed up as Sherlock Homes. Unlike some people I could mention. However I think we've lost the plot again. Now you've shown me a file that I somehow left with the Pem device. Telling us how we failed to stop Terry Hobson from planting a bug in Seaview's computers."
"Something like that, Lee." Reddman reached over and picked up the watch. "May I?"
"Just what do you plan to do."
"Just watch the doughnuts Lee. But don't put your fingers anywhere near them."
As Crane watched the air around the doughnuts seemed to simmer and in just over ten seconds the day fresh doughneuts were looking week old stale, then month old and then as Crane could only discribe as yecch looking.
"So this file is telling us that we've got to use this device to go back in time."
"We've already done so once before. Now we know where we went wrong the first time."
"I wonder how many times we're going to have his conversation?"
"Only time will tell."
22.30 4th May, present day - Nelson Institute of Marine Research, Santa Barbara Cal.
Admiral Harriman Nelson hated it when computers did this to him. All the screen in front of him was a mass of colour, his science paper lost somewhere in its bowels. As Sea-View had just been refitted to accommodate the flying-sub NIMR’s main complex had just had delivered some of the most up to date computer hardware. He had just started to call up some of his old documents to see how the system would respond to the demands of NIMR. As he glanced at his watch he noticed the late hour, he was reluctant to call on Terry Parisian their computer specialist because he had only just arrived back at Santa-Barbara after extensive sea-trials installing and testing the new computer systems on the refitted Sea-View. With the Flying-Sub, FS1, now installed into Sea-View the Admiral was already into the planning stages of the subs next technological jump, towards the twenty-first century. Nelson had been in Washington for most of the computer trials, but according to all reports that he had received from Lee all had gone exceedingly well. Terry Parisian was on special assignment to oversee the installation of all of the new computer terminals that linked NIMR world-wide. Just twenty-five years of age and he was more computer literate than Nelson could ever be. Lee had also commented on the fact that some of the routes that Terry had taken Sea-View’s computers on to iron out some of the bugs had lost him. While in the US capital he had been testing the diplomatic channels that would let Sea-View have access to the Tamara Trench just off the coast of Japan. This was the only place on earth that a vain of pure titanium could be found pure enough for his envisaged purpose. As he reached for the phone he was surprised to hear the alarm sound at the main gate, and then all hell seemed to break loose. It was not until some hours later that all the facts had been gleaned from all of the relevant witnesses, but it had all happened so fast that for the most part all the reports were confused and contradictory placing at least one person in two places at once.
During the short computer shake down cruise, Captain Lee Crane did not know why, but he thought that something strange had been going on while Sea-View had been in the Atlantic. He had no firm proof, nothing to report to Admiral Nelson as yet, but things had been pretty strange of late. The Admiral had not been able to join the sub as he had been invited to a scientific conference in Washington , and this was the only time that Terry Parisian, the original NIMR computer network designer could make it back down to the Sea-View from his new job at the FBI. It had been found early on that some of the systems that had been written back during the early years refused to work with FS1 . When Terry had last been at Santa-Barbara Sea-view had only been a rough prototype. The only original NIMR staff from that time that still worked at the base was the Admiral. In all areas their last mission had gone exceedingly well. The ride had been a lot smoother than had been in the projected preliminary reports from the dry dock. While at sea their computer specialist for that mission had been efficient, almost being on top of a problem before it had surfaced. Lee was beginning to think that he was getting paranoid, but with all of the spies, counter-spies and alien invasion fleets that had been using Sea-View in the last few months, it was no wonder.
"Any questions, gentlemen?" Lee Crane asked the two men who surrounded the chart table as he came into the control room of Sea-View.
"Or can we get under way?" Terry Parisian made sure that his hazel eyes did not deviate from the chart he had been studying, he decided to say nothing more as to why he had been so late to catch the Sea-View. Crane was none too happy that the mission had been delayed due to his car trouble some miles from NIMR and he knew that apologising at this juncture would do nothing, to try to explain as to what had gone on that had made him so late. "Mister Parisian, are the computers on-line?" Lee had noticed that since their computer programmer had been onboard his mind had not been focused on the job in hand. This was something that he did not need at this point.
Chip Morton who had been standing next to the chart desk gently tapped him on the shoulder. "The computers are they ready?" He repeated as he had recognised the look of concentration as if humans were a forgotten race. Terry needed a helpful push back to the human plane of existence.
"What?" Parisian seemed to almost come out of a trance, spun round to face Crane, with a look of surprise. "Admiral!?" Crane was shocked as Parisian snapped to attention with crisp authority that he had come to expect from one of his crew, not a twenty-five year old civilian computer programmer. "Sorry I didn’t know that you were on board. What was your question?" Chip Morton looked on speechless.
Lee wondered why that moment in the whole week long mission stuck in his mind so much. As it had turned out Parisian had been ill informed as to who would be in command of the Sea-View during the trials, but still there was something not quite right about the whole feel of the shakedown cruise. Now they were back at Santa-Barbara, but before he could really enjoy himself he would check up on where the seemly elusive computer programmer had rushed off to, in such haste after their mission debriefing.
Crane had thought that he had spotted Parisian heading quite rapidly towards the main gate. It was as he was following that he was suddenly hit by a massive wave of dizziness that stopped him in his tracks, with such force that he had to lean against the side of the gate house for support, as the whole world seemed to be wanting to come crashing round his ears. As he tried to clear his head from this sudden feeling, he could hear just off in the distance a commotion at the gate and the alarm being raised. All the sounds seemed to be merging into light and pain as he tried to move to the gate, the last thing that he remembered was wondering what the hell was happening.
Mists swirled and visions appeared, only to be snatched away before they could fully develop. Sensations thudded at his brain?
Lee Crane opened his eyes, then blinked at the brightness of the room. When he found that he could open his eyes, he pushed himself up, and found himself wishing he had not done so as quickly, as a spasm of pain shot through his head. It passed as quickly as it had come, groggily he looked around the room From the various instruments, bunks and other tale-tale objects, he concluded that he was in sickbay. He just wished that he could remember how he had got here. "Wh?what?" His movement alerted the doctor and Admiral Nelson who had been talking quietly on the far-side of the room.
"Take it easy, Lee. Don’t try to get up." Nelson reassured him as he and the doctor came over to his bunk.
"You were caught in some sort of harmless knock out gas. The effects are quite limited, but I’m keeping you in here for observation Captain as you seemed to have been the most effected by it." The doctor told this to Crane as his Captain already had the look of someone who would be trying to break out of sick-bay any way possible.
"What happened Admiral?"
"Terry Parisian’s been kidnapped." Said Nelson worriedly, deep in thought. "The FBI are sending a team down here to ask questions, but it would seem that the perpetrators have made a clean getaway thanks to their gas and careful planning.
22.30 5th May, present day - Fellow’s Gas Station. Lebec Cal.
As they were on their way to Santa Barbara FBI Agent Fox Mulder had decided that he would be able to kill two birds with one stone. Mulder had convinced himself that the crash site of the UFO had been in the Tehachapi Mountains, Dana had concluded this some six hours ago. Witnesses had been scarce, if not unreliable, but her partner was still driven by his search for the truth, that he believed had been covered up by an unknown government agency. Now that had driven him here to a gas station in the middle of nowhere . Promises of being shown ‘Genuine’ pictures of two UFO crash-sites. As yet they were about to meet their so far elusive contact, Dana would be surprised if one turned up. To her this had all the trappings of a hoax by some fanatic. Someone who had decided that he could make money out of some weather balloons that had reported back in late April.
"Want to stay in the car?" Enquired Mulder as he looked out at the rain that had been coming down quite heavily ever since they had driven out of Los Angeles some four hours ago.
"Miss out on another weather balloon? I wouldn’t miss it for the world." Remarked Scully with a hint of sarcasm in her voice as she opened her side of the car.
"Optimistic as usual, aren’t we." Mulder pointed out as he followed her to the far side of the car park where he could see just about see his contact in the gloom under the over-hang an old oak tree.
As they approached the man Dana made quick calculations, comparisons to other UFO informers or government officials that they had had dealings with. Other that the man in front of them seemed decidedly ill at ease, she could find no other comparisons to any other X-file. After twenty minutes of listening to him, Dana decided that she had been better off if she had stayed in the car.
"Who told you how to contact us?" Asked Mulder, even after a lengthy cross examination he had yet to find out how this man had known that they would be passing this way, at this time as part of the investigation of the events. What he had heard so far sounded like something out of a bad science fiction movie, but he did think that there could be some truth in what he had to say, as it had been said for many years that some UFO’s were but human visitors from the future.
"You did Fox, thirty years from now. You handed me this package and told me how I had given it to you, in this car park." The young man paused as he tried to sound as convincing as he could. "You told me this was all that was needed to convince Admiral Nelson to set up safe-guards. As strange as it may seem, I’m the one you passed the torch to."
"I passed the X-files on?"
"Yes, in time you will come to trust someone." His contact seemed uncomfortable with this topic of conversation, so continued with his time travel story. "We followed the orbital flying-sub so we could monitor all that happened to it on the Sea-View. We could then repeat all of the factors, so that we could follow the criminal back, to try to stop him destroying Sea-View, before it would ruin his fathers military career. It took us two attempts to catch up with him."
"And at both times he was Terry Parisian?" Asked Dana repeating one segment of the tale some what tiredly.
"Yes at first he set the computers of Sea-View up so they would be incompatible, then when they called him back he would programme the fatal virus into the submarines’ system."
"So how come Sea-View’s still here and it’s just Parisian who’s disappeared?" Dana pointed out somewhat board from the rehash of a Star Trek script she was listening to.
"It took some time for us to catch Crewman Hobson up."
"Oh, that’s his real name I can’t tell you more, as I don’t want to transgress the future any more than I’ve got to. But I can tell you he got really close to his goal, and if it was not for the fact that I was not alone on this mission that we succeeded."
"There’s another one with you that can confirm your story?" Asked Dana. Mulder could see Dana’s eyes tell him that she now thought that they were now dealing with two nutters, instead of one.
"Yes, through the both of you he wants to send an apology to Captain Lee Crane."
"Can’t he deliver the message himself?"
"I can’t explain it now, but it extremely provable that he will understand in a few years." He turned his attention to Scully. "Oh, that reminds me Dana, I’ve to tell you that there was never a Star Trek episode where they had to go and save a submarine, whales maybe." He added with a hint of humour showing in his voice for the first time. "That’s a message from you in the future, just to try to confirm my story. Now," He added with deep concern again showing in his voice. "Will you deliver this letter to Nelson?"
"It would seem in your future it’s already been delivered, so what choice have I?"
12.30 May 21st-Present day- Nelson Institute of Marine Research, Santa Barbara Cal
Science, exploration, progress, that was all that the Nelson Institute of Marine Research stood for, and as Admiral Harriman Nelson read the file that had been handed to him by Fox Mulder he felt a warmth grow up in him, with the knowledge that his work here was not in vain, that in the future NIMR would still be in the for front, pushing the boundaries of the new frontiers that held such mysteries. Time travel and paradox’s being one of them. Mulder could not explain how in thirty years his X-file research and NIMR had become intertwined. That it had almost set up the paradox of Lee Crane being in two places at the same time. For as he too reread the reports of the gas attacked he could now see the logic, in the then seemly contradictory reports. Nelson read the note that was at the front of the file. Nelson had assumed, at first glance he it was signed by his own hand sometime in the future, but as he reread it, he recgonised the handwrting. Then and there for him the past, present and future of NIMR fell into place.
"I wonder how many times we're going to have his conversation?"
"Only time will tell."
How many times would they have the same conversation about Terry Hobson. How many time had they not caught yp with him. How did they know that he went into the past. So many questions still had to be answered. Even if it was their second attempt to catch up with him it still gave him ample time to make Seaview into a floating time-bomb. However all he had done was make Seaview fifty percent more efficent. Was this his bizzare revenge theroy? Showing Nelson how it should have been done if his grandfather had not been imprisoned. Reddman had become intrigued enough now,some three weeks after they had returned from the past, to come back just for a second look, at the beginning. And as he watched events from a distance he saw for the first time that for a trip by Hobson that had started off as for as revenge, back before Seaview was even launched, turn into a love for Seaview and all that she held dear. History can be very misleading to a five year old and now Hobson was seeing it for the first time as an adult. Seaview had done her magic once again. They should have realised before they rushed back to save Nelson, that his greatest protector had never left him. Seaview was there for him as she was for Redmann now and he would make sure that he would go on board her again. He would not let the Darwin gas, stop him. He knew there was a future for him at the institute, and as he used the Pem device for one last time he wonderd if there would be a future for Hobson there as well. Only time will tell. The truth was out there.
When logic fails, look for the illogical, Then you may find the logic. That’s how you start thinking when you deal with the fundamentals of time travel.