Broken Protocols(5)

By: Dale Mayer

“Find her? Where else can she go?” Milo dashed up beside Levi. “She can’t go anywhere. That’s the beauty of this.”

“Really? I think you forgot to tell her that.” Exasperated, Levi raced out of his brother’s design room and into the short hallway. There were several more doors ahead and he could only hope she’d gone in a straight line. Actually, he could hope that this disaster was just a bad dream, but knowing his brother…

“We have to stop her before she goes outside.” To lose her in that jungle would be a tragedy. And he had had enough of those on his hands with this damn technology as it was. If the government got wind of Milo’s latest experiment, they could both be thrown into jail and the technology confiscated, never to see the light of day – unless those in power wanted to use it for themselves.

And that would be disastrous.

The Council had too much power now. Who knew what they’d with something like this technology? Knowing how corrupt the Council was – it would be nothing good.

Levi couldn’t believe Milo had finally succeeded with his time travel project. His kid brother was a genius like none other, sure…but to be able to do something like this…Levi kept moving forward and opened every door he came to, and still there was nothing to find. He raced for the front door, his heart sinking. Please don’t be outside. Please…


Too late. Levi had already barreled ahead and made it outside before his brother’s words infiltrated his frustration. “Okay, this is bad.” Levi said. As he watched, the line of buildings in front of him slowly went dark one after the other. Just like last time. “So very bad.”

“I didn’t do that.” Milo said when he caught up to his brother. He held up his new SXC4500 fingerboard computer, and shouted. “I have her on the camera.”

Levi spun around. “Where is she?”

“She came back inside.” Milo flipped the comp around so Levi could see.

“Really?” That stopped Levi in his tracks. He peered at the screen. “That was actually a really smart move.”

Milo grinned. “Yeah. See? I didn’t choose a bimbo. We need someone with enough brains to handle this type of switch in her life.”

“That’s not measured by brains. There is so much more involved here.”

“Oops,” Milo said, looking back down at the screen. “She’s on the move.”

Milo’s new rocker boots clicked as he raced behind Levi back into the facility. Levi shook his head. Milo needed a keeper himself. How could he possibly determine the type of woman that would not go crazy from his damn experiment? Retracing their steps, they tracked her through the building. Minutes later, they ended up back in Milo’s office with still no sign of her.

“She’s in here somewhere.”

Levi searched behind the chairs and under the desks. “Please tell me you can send her back.” Levi turned to his brother. “That you can reverse this process.”

“I don’t think so.” Milo threw him a sideways grin. “Besides, we don’t want to send her back.”

“I do,” Levi snapped. “And I’m sure she wants to go back, too. She has a life, remember?”

“Hmmm. According to my research, Dani Summerland doesn’t have much of one.” He clicked through his fingerboard computer and started reading off the list. “No partner. No career to speak of. Failed business after one year. Managed to stay gainfully employed. No marriage. No children. No long-term friends on record.”

Chapter 3

They knew her name. Dani sank lower in the open closet she’d hidden in as the painful litany of her failed life washed over her. What a horrible dissection of her life. Surely it hadn’t been that bad? Besides, it’s not as if her life was over. She could achieve greatness yet. Couldn’t she?

“It’s not that simple, Milo.”

Dani heard the discussion despite the doors being opened and closed.

The deeper of the two voices spoke again, “She has reasons for what happened in her life. Sure, she might be up for a move a couple centuries into the future. She might consider it an adventure. She might consider it an improvement on her old world. But you didn’t ask her. You didn’t give her a choice, and that makes all the difference. You just yanked her out of her old life. For all you know, she might have a major plan about to come to fruition and you stole that from her.”