Chapter 17, End Game
Chapter 17: End Game
The final meeting on Wednesday, two days before the actual jump was somber in mood, The Doctor praised everyone working on the project and expressed his confidence that the mission would be successful. He called this briefing to go over all the possible outcomes with staff and crew. All were invited to this important session. The speculations ranged from a completely successful Jump, to failure which could occur due to many reasons; personal error, mechanical error, or unforeseen circumstances. The results of any mishaps would jeopardize everyone involved with the project.
”The world would be no worse off given our failure,” He concluded. An uncomfortable pause followed, as he recalled Thomas's disastrous test jump. He shook his head, dismissed the idea and repeated, "No worse off"
”On the other hand, a success could be just as fraught with unexpected results. At best there would be thousands saved. Doctor Mendel scanned the faces of everyone in attendance.
“The result of our actions would be viewed by the unsuspecting world, as a miracle and everyone would benefit. Thomas would be returned safely, and life would continue normally. That’s our best case scenario.” He recalled a Torah portion that had just been read; The portion told how Moses assembled the Children of Israel before they would begin their conquest of the Holy land, Moses offered the people a list of blessings if they did well and followed the rules, and a list of curses if they failed the Lord. Dr. Mendel had made a mental connection.
The Doctor, cleared his throat, and then listed the potential hazards that might come about with a successful mission, as well as the consequences of a failure. All possibilities were explored, even the possibility that none of the group might survive the change in the fabric of time.
”We may not be here to bring Thomas back, in which case the Giant Thomas would last three hours in the past before fading” All were silent in the room, then Thomas asked,
”Would I die?”
Dr Mendel scratched his chin and replied,
”The you that you are now would cease to exist, but the you of the past would continue, we are fairly sure of that, in fact it is a fate everyone in this room shares, I believe Dr Lang and Dr Tsuranagi have spent a better part of the month researching the possibilities, I will now turn the floor over to them.”
After both scientists spoke, the air in the room was still. When they concluded Dr Mendel again took the floor.
”This is the time,” Dr Mendel spoke,
”To ask for your continued participation, You have all received ballots” He looked over the faces,
“Don’t respond today, but think about it long and hard tonight, you will hand in your ballots tomorrow morning. If anyone objects, this mission will be canceled and the facility will be destroyed!” There was a murmur heard about the room,
”Our research in the wrong hands would be disastrous.” He glanced sharply at Thomas, then looked around the room and continued,
”The explosives have already been placed. This has always been part of the plan. It will be destroyed in any case, hopefully after the missions success, when we can all pack our belongings.” He smiled a grave smile, cleared his throat again and continued,
”We are facing issues of life and death, and even the risk of personal jeopardy. I could not in good conscience ask anyone here to assume these risks against their will, We have decided that due to the top secret nature of our research, that if even one member wants out, the whole project will be terminated. We are in this together. It’s either all or nothing. Good people, Its your choice; Save the Two Towers or quit.” He paused to let his words sink in.
”If all vote to proceed, You will be told tomorrow afternoon and I will see you Friday morning four AM, for the actual run, otherwise you will receive a cancellation notice Thursday and we can all pack for home this weekend.”
An aide knocked on the door, was granted entrance, he handed Dr Mendel a sheet of computer paper, the doctor glanced at it and responded,
”There is a strong chance of a lightning storm entering our area Thursday night and sticking around on Friday, this should not effect our plans. We have the backup generators on the ready.” He thought for a second and continued,
”If we do choose to opt out, bring your umbrellas and look forward to a very soggy weekend.”
A few more questions were asked, afterwards the staff quietly filed out of the conference room.
Thursday afternoon, there was a buzz around the facility, All the votes were counted, No objections. The project was a one hundred percent Go!
An impromptu party was organized that night, complete with a Champagne toast. The doctor was a bit late for the party; He had been sending messages to the past. A yellow dossier postmarked and sent to his family, and one to the White house stamped: “Top Security” To arrive two days after the terrorists had been thwarted. The letter to the President would explain everything. Dr Mendel then sent a letter to arrive September twelfth at his residence, along with some letters and notes and equations, He sent to his associates his groundbreaking formulas, “Just in case.” He found it hard to continue the sentence.
Outside, the dark sky rumbled and trees swayed in the growing wind, The first few stray raindrops pelted the ground leaving dark blots on the pavement.