Author : J. S. Kachelries

Peter Drommel’s plan was flawless. He needed to kill Sebastian Keer, and make it look like suicide. And today would be the day. They were both presenting papers at The Fifth Annual Conference of Temporal Physics. Keer was presenting at 1:00. Drommel’s paper was at 4:00. If everything went according to plan, Keer would die at 4:20, while Drommel stood in front of 300 scientists presenting his paper on The Consequences of Hinesburg’s Uncertainty Principle Relative to Time-Mass Transportation; a perfect alibi. At the precise moment Drommel was predicting successful time travel in only six months, he would also be tossing an unconscious Keer off his 17th floor balcony. Actually, the “Drommel” from the primary timeline would be at the podium, and the “Drommel” from earlier in the day would be committing the murder.

The untold truth was that Drommel had already successfully traveled three hours into the future several times while testing the viability of his plan. Another untold truth was that the only reason his time machine worked was because he had stolen key components from Keer’s machine, and replaced them with defective parts. Consequently, he needed to kill Keer before his espionage was detected.

As Drommel adjusted the controls of his temporal transporter he glanced at the clock. It read 1:15 PM. Sebastian Keer would be fifteen minutes into his presentation on The Use of Singularities to Create Temporal Displacements in an Effort to Establish a Causality Loop. Peter had been on the peer team reviewing Keer’s paper, so he knew the content. It identified serous obstacles concerning the possibility of nature permitting an uncaused result. Drommel could see that until Keer realized there was an imaginary solution to his displacement equation, he would be years away from successful time travel. But, as long as he could expose Drommel as a thief, he was a threat that could not be tolerated.

The first part of Drommel’s plan went smoothly. He had gotten into Keer’s room undetected. He knew Keer’s routine. He took a nap at 4:00 every afternoon. Therefore, all Drommel needed to do was jump ahead to 4:20, crush Keer’s skull while he slept, toss him off the balcony, lock the deadbolt from the inside, return to the past, and make sure he has lots of eye witnessed at 4:20. The police will have to conclude Keer committed suicide.

“Hello, Peter. What are you up to?” Drommel spun around to see Sebastian Keer leveling a handgun at him.

“What the…Where did you come from? I thought you were presenting your paper.”

“I am. After all, I need alibi witnesses too, in case the police have doubts that you jumped off my balcony of your own volition.”

“I’m not jumping anywhere, and you can’t risk shooting me. Nobody shoots themselves, then jumps off a balcony. Don’t be a fool, Sebastian.”

“Oh, we won’t need to shoot you Peter.”

“We?” Drommel turned around in time to see a second Sebastian Keer materialize. This one was swinging an aluminum baseball bat. It was the last thing Drommel ever saw. The two Keers hoisted Drommel over the railing and spread their research notes across the bed, then locked the deadbolt. “Poor devil. He read my notes and found out I was four months ahead of him. I guess he couldn’t handle it, and jumped to his death rather than face the humiliation. Oh well. It’s time to return. Don’t forget your baseball bat, Mr. Keer.”

“No worries, Mr. Keer. After all, it was my plan.”

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