Author : Kathy Kachelries, Staff Writer

Most of them come at night. They assume that their objective would be easier to complete while the target was fast asleep, so we increase security at dusk: three guards outside of the bedroom door and two inside, and another dozen on patrol. Sometimes they have bulletproof clothing. Sometimes they have guns that can burn a hole straight through a body. Our scientists spent weeks analyzing them, but we can’t replicate the battery. It’s unfortunate. Technology like that would be useful on the front lines.

Some of the travelers are scrappy, with banged up equiptment that looks older than they are. From their actions, we assume that they are rogue. They bring their wallets, and based on their ID, most of them date from the 2700s. The other ones, the ones with polished weapons and uniforms, carry no identification. From the manufacture dates on their equipment, we’ve determined that they come from the late 2600s. Words and names are written in Chinese, but the ID cards say America.

At first, this caused concern.

We’ve tried to predict our future based on their existence. We will win the war. Victors don’t make assassination attempts. We know that at some point in the 2600s, the American government realized that their program would be unsuccessful, and the remaining equiptment fell into the hands of private citizens. We know that China and America share military secrets. We can find no trace of Japan, so we assume that they lost their war.

We haven’t shared this information. If they have a protection force similar to ours, they’re keeping it to themselves. If they don’t, we can assume no attempts have been made on the Emperor’s life.

Our greatest concern is assassination in the years before our division was founded. However, the Leader remembers no unusual events, and his ancesteral line was unaltered. We’ve theorized that another group of temporal soldiers protected him then, but left it in our hands once he rose to power. Our records would be invaluable to future generations, and eliminating us would wipe those records from existence.

We haven’t been able to interrogate them. The soldiers who aren’t killed commit suicide in seconds, and their bodies disappear in a flash of light. The rogues’ bodies usually remain, and autopsies have revealed significant changes to their biology. Implants made of an unidentified material. Evidence of advanced surgical techniques. Unfortunately, we can’t use this knowledge to our advantage without the equipment to properly analyze it.

With every attempt, our efficiency increases. Assurance of victory raises morale, and every dead traveler is proof that the Leader will not be killed.

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