Author: DJ Lunan
The policewoman eyed me sternly through the crosshairs of her pistol. Her blue uniform wet from the remnants of the time blizzard I’d arrived with. Her free hand flat-palming to dissuade a rash attack.
Yet she clearly wasn’t police.
And I was freezing, shrouded in space-dust and time-sperm crystals. Great snowbergs crashing to the floor, pooling as elliptic slime ponds on the sawdust-scattered floor. My numb arms raised compliantly accelerating the avalanches.
This was Paddy’s Bar in Kilkenny, alright. But she isn’t Paddy or his sister. And her gun is wrong for 1996: triple-cross-haired, used by amphibious peoples in a distant future I’d only glimpsed through a time storm long ago.
“I’ve never seen an inter-dimensional being cry”, she said slowly, circling around me, her large feet crunching frozen time, as she crouch-walked alert, trigger-poised until she was behind me.
I was warming up after surfing time at double-zero Kelvin for this t-delivery. My face was re-flushing with blood, my tear ducts flowing energetically. I flexed my fingers, relishing the beckoning warmth.
“The poetry of being menaced by a cold-blood never fails to bring a tear to my eye”, I replied in the worst fake Irish accent I could muster.
“I need the package, Postie”, she demanded.
An Interceptor. The fabled time-beasts. Lowly paid, reverse time-liners, paid by future reptilian corporations to quash poor choices by long-dead rich humans.
Interceptors steal your message and your memory. You don’t realise its happened. Seamless bi-directional time plods on.
“Doesn’t it worry you are intercepting personal messages. I don’t see how this one will help anyone”, I replied tersely postponing inevitable surrender.
Posties have our own fables. Whenever a Postie disappeared, we’d speculate they’d met an Interceptor and made bad choices. We hoped they’d found a way to disconnect from the Sorting Office, dodged the Mail Retrieval Bots, met a boy, moved to the ‘burbs, had biological offspring.
“The message!”, she menaced, emphasising her multiple threats by jabbing her pistol.
I was outgunned and maybe I’d never remember if I complied. “Teresa Minnstrom, 40a Chepstow Ave, South Dublin. Buy Niveau Ltd and Cromex Corp; Sell Shell Renewables and Apple-Trump. Dad xx”
“Shit!”, she wheezed, theatrically dropping her gun guard, her elongated arms almost scraping the floor.
I continued cascading snowbergs down my back, “Rich folk keep me in coin. Always prioritising financial security for their dumb entitled kids”
“All the power in the world, yet you chest-beaters waste time travel to get rich!”, she sounded disheartened.
“Is that how you reptiles took over, by being mean to your kids?”, I joked.
“Oh Rosie, we’ve shared so many beers right here right now in Paddy’s Bar. I know your life, family, four kids, love preferences and your debt with the Boston mafia. Yet the bloody message is always the same!”, she barked, her frustration echoing off the tobacco-soaked walls.
A melon-sized snowberg dislodged from my helmet, its acid-white crystals tumbling. I instinctively scissor-kicked it in mid-air, triggering a brief snowstorm, and acrobatically evaded her flaming gunshot by diving over the bar.
“Jeez, you are getting nimbler, girl”, she whistled, “I think you are ready”.
“Ready for what?”, I shout cowering behind the bar, the aroma of sweet tobacco and lost nights toasting my nostrils.
“Reverse timeline travel, you are coming with me to kill my Dad”, she calmly replied.
“Well, just my good parts! Cromex makes me so rich, I innovate, and …. “, Teresa motions to her body, “…evolve”.
“Kill your future-dad, stop evolution, delay lizard take-over?”, I propose.
“Something like that”, she replies shrewdly as the time-blizzard begins again.