Time Traveller's Mission Log: April 15, 1912
A "Time Travel Logistics and Support" short story
Mission File: Titanic, Atlantic Ocean, April 15, 1912.
“An Agent wound up on the Titanic, the night of the Iceberg. Managed to get hold of the time traveller they were chasing and portal back, but brought several kilo-liters of the North Atlantic Ocean, a small bob of seals, and a minke whale with them.”
"Every night at midnight, the purple clouds came out to dance with the blushing sky..."
The Agent blinked, "Are you writing a novel, is HR's secratary on a dramatic streak, or is IT being petty about something and fiddling with the holograms? Because a midnight sky can't be described as 'blushing' unless it's really close to the poles in summer, and they're suffering through the Midnight Sun."
That, or someone was abusing the AI bots again. Over two century since the first AI was conceptualised, and they still made weird mistakes.
The young man inputting co-ordinates into a time portal paused long enough to glare at her, but the portal opened before he could respond. The Agent did a quick double-check of her equipment, and stepped through.
Laura, known as Agent 97 to those with a vested interest in keeping the Space-Time Continuum straight, idly wondered if Time Travellers ever actually thought their plans through, or just jumped in head-first.
Statistically, the latter seemed more likely. Any Time Traveller who actually planned ahead would bother to do some research, both on the time period and things like ripple effects. The sinking of the Titanic had been a tragedy, by any measure of the word, but in many other ways, the consequences had been a blessing.
As the saying went, "Safety Regulations are written in Blood, enforced by the memory of Lost Lives". The outrage in the wake of the sinking had resulted in new regulations of maritime safety and responding to ships potentially in distress. Scrutiny had been cast upon businesses taking shortcuts, sacrificing quality in the name of savings.
If not the Titanic, it would be another ship, perhaps one without the same attention and impact, costing more lives over time before laws changed.
Of course, Time Travellers never considered that, too busy dreaming of being a hero and basking in the adulation of saving lives. Most of them never even bothered to think through a plan, like how they intended to stop the Titanic from hitting the Iceberg. Getting into Crew-only areas? Shouting predictions of doom and damnation like some kind of Mad Prophet?
There! The teenager wandering around in mid-Victorian clothing looked like a likely candidate...
Tim, a 22nd Century teenager who was sick enough of a certain song more than two centuries old that just wouldn't die that he jumped into a time machine to make sure it wouldn't be written in the first place, was fairly sure he was being followed.
It wasn't obvious, in a ship holding so many people, and there was no reason to suspect that it was nefarious. Half the time, Tim wondered if he was just being paranoid. He'd been getting odd looks from everyone, probably because of his clothing. Online stores needed to get a lot better at accurately labelling their costumes, rather than just tagging every time period in existence!
He leaned casually against the rail, trying to surreptitiously look around him for the woman in men's clothing, hair tucked up into a cap. The light gleamed off the Atlantic Ocean, and a girl ran past, arms spread wide to make her shawl catch the wind.
He could hear the opening riff of woodwinds in his head. Near... far... Gah! Why hadn't that song died with the rest of the early 21st Century's music?
Whatever. In less than 12 hours, the Titanic would hit the ice-berg, unless he stopped it. Now, if only he could get into the control room, or make one of the officers listen to him...
The time traveller had clearly resorted to nagging every officer he saw, trying to get someone to listen to his warnings, which he passed off as anxiety over stories of ships hitting icebergs. It was more subtle than most time travellers bothered with, but all he'd accomplished so far was making the officers turn around and walk in the other direction when they saw him.
It was a pity that the best time to grab him and portal home for a stern lecture and... whatever it was that Management doled out as punishment would be in the middle of the sinking, but any other point in time would be too obvious.
Laura settled in to wait and watch, not letting the time traveller out of her sight.
The kink in her plan was that Agent 97 and her target happened to be standing right where the ship broke in two.
Not bothering to stand around and argue, or wait for the deck to become even more precarious, Laura threw the traveller over her shoulder in a fireman's carry, took a running start, and launched herself over the edge as the deck began to dip downward. She'd programmed the co-ordinates back to the Time Agency in advance, rather than trying to grab the traveller and plot their course home at the same time, but her struggling prisoner had done something to knock off the last number, and they were falling faster than she'd planned, and the water loomed ever closer...
Rubbing the seawater out of her eyes enough to see straight, and keeping a firm hold on her prisoner with the other hand, Laura realised that she'd missed the Portal Room by several meters.
Not bad, in terms of accuracy when trying to fix co-ordinates while in free-fall. Pretty bad, when they'd landed in front of Da Vinci, the head of IT, and a bunch of Receptionists, some of the Time Agency's most feared employees. She was so very, very doomed.
Da Vinci looked around, gaze lingering on the minke whale and several disgruntled seals who had just rendered the training room un-usable. "Who's telling Lincon? There's a training cohort due to start in a few days, and if he needs to completely re-work the training schedule, better for him to know now than later."
The latest PA, who Laura thought was named Jessica, sighed. "I'll get Timelord to do it, since he's the one who rejected Lincon's suggestion to have an interdict put around the training rooms so that Agents couldn't actually portal in halfway through a recruitment drive."
Lincon, the head of Recruitment and Training (not even the Recruitment department knew the reasoning behind that Codename) was not going to be happy.
Half an hour later, as Laura finally stopped shivering and started to feel dry again, the shouting started.
Perhaps it was a good thing that the Agents were pulling double shifts at the moment; Laura was already scheduled for another mission, this one in Australia, where some wannabe Mad Scientist was trying to reintroduce extinct megafauna back into the modern day, as if saltwater crocodiles and cassowaries weren't bad enough! At least the scrublands Down Under would be warm and dry. Today's Portal Operator patted Laura on the shoulder, "Good luck. Between you and me, see if you can linger for a few days, until Lincon actually starts training the latest batch. He'll have bigger problems then."
It was good advice. Laura would decide based on the number of near-death experiences the megafauna gave ber before she sent them back to being extinct.
I started writing this for the Titanic challenge last year, but put it on hold to work on a different entry. With the new Challenge specifically about Time Travel, how could I resist?
About the Creator
I've been writing since I learned how, but those have been lost and will never see daylight (I hope).
I'm an Indie Author, with 30+ books published.
I live in Sydney, Australia
Nice writings I resonate with the agent part Agent 79 for me though or Commander 177 very cool
Impressive & creative!!!💖💖💞