Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer
Shortly after 13:30 on 11 April 2112, the HMTS Temporal Voyager left Roches Point in Ireland. Its mission: to resolve some unanswered questions concerning the sinking of the RMS Titanic.
“Time flows like a river,” lectured Dr. Cassandra Simon to her lone passenger, Dexter Hollenbach, a reporter for London’s Daily Holograph. “You just can’t sit in the lab and say ‘I want to witness Abraham Lincoln’s assassination’. You have to set up the Temporalgraph within a few kilometers of Ford’s Theater. Even closer if you want to pick up audio. That’s why we need to start this temporal journey at Roches Point, it’s the last time that we knew the exact location of the Titanic.” The large monitor above the control panel showed an image of the Titanic weighing anchor on its way to the North Atlantic. “You see,” continued Simon, “despite the fact that there are 200 years separating us, if we can maintain identical spatial coordinates as the Titanic, the Temporalgraph can stay focused on her as she sails east. A sort of cat and mouse trek through time.”
“But you said we could hear conversations on the bridge,” noted Hollenbach. “That image is hundreds of meters above the funnels.”
“True,” conceded Simon. “That’s because navigation is being controlled by the computer, for now. It’s programmed to keep us close enough that we won’t lose the time-stream. When we get nearer the collision event, I’ll transfer navigation to my control so we can sync-up spatially. It takes intense concentration, so I don’t want to have to do it too long. Be patient Mister Hollenbach, you’ll get your story.
The chronometer read 23:25, 14 April 2112. “We’re ready, Mr. Hollenbach,” announced Simon. She reached across the navigation panel and pressed the manual override button. “Okay,” she said, “I have control. Now, let’s get onto the bridge.” As Simon simultaneously fine-tuned the navigation and temporalgraph controls, the image on the monitor zoomed downward past the forward funnel and penetrated into the bridge.
Captain Smith confronted his first officer, “Will, I say it’s too dangerous. Bring her to a complete stop. You can set the trans-Atlantic speed record next trip, when you’re in charge.”
“But Captain,” protested Murdoch, “the Titanic is unsinkable. Think of your reputation. The world is watching us.”
“Why is Murdoch pushing so hard?” asked Hollenbach.
“The 1912 Disaster Hearings discovered that Murdoch had bet 20,000 pounds that the Titanic would set the trans-Atlantic speed record on her maiden voyage,” replied Simon. “That was a fortune back then. But nobody thought he’d risk the safety of the ship over it.”
Captain Smith stood his ground. “I won’t risk the lives of…”
“Has old age softened you that much, Edward?” retorted Murdoch as he saw his life savings disappearing. “Or are you just a damn yellow bellied coward.”
“I am not a coward, and I won’t be mocked by the likes of you. I’m in command…”
“Save your excuses, Captain Smith. It’s probably better that King George knight me for bringing glory to the Kingdom, than some tired old man whose time has long passed.” Murdoch turned and left the bridge, shaking his head in disgust.
Captain Smith pondered Murdoch’s words for a minute, and then turned to his chief officer, “Full speed ahead, Mister Tingle.”
“That’s unbelievable,” said the astonished Simon. “Are all men that egotistical? Are they so wrapped up in their self-centered lives that they’re willing to risk…” Simon’s tirade was cut short when the HMTS Temporal Voyager slammed into an iceberg and sank within seconds.
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