The Time Catalyst

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Chapter 22

The Seattle Monorail Station, southeast of the Miracles, Inc. Tower; two weeks later…

“Hey, Don, we’ve got a new one for you,” Felix said to his subordinate as Don clocked in to begin his janitorial duties.

“Oh, really? So Eddie wised up and decided that we can’t clean this station on the third shift with just four of us, huh?”

Felix grabbed some orientation papers from a cabinet and laughed. “Yeah, but I heard it’s only because some old lady had gone to his office and chewed him out after her grandkids had eaten some leftover gum stuck to a lunch table!” The small maintenance room was filled with laughter.

Just then, the new employee walked in and was already smiling with them, even though he didn’t know what they were laughing about. He was a small man, well built and handsome. He was in his forties and was dressed in his janitor’s coveralls.

“Boy, it sounds like this should be a great place to work already,” the new employee said with a radiant smile.

“Oh, hey,” Felix greeted him as they shook hands. Felix then turned to Don and made the introductions. “Don, this is your fresh meat to cook…Don, this is Tadosh; Tadosh, this is Don!”

The two men shook hands.

“Boy you’ve got a nice grip, there,” Don observed. “You work out?”

“Uh, a bit. I used to be in the military.”

Don looked at Felix, both middle-aged themselves and veterans, and they smiled at one another.

“All right,” Don said, “another veteran! I served in the first Gulf War, and so did bossman, here…what about you, Tadosh?”

“Oh…let’s just say that I’ve fought in another foreign war.”

Felix and Don glanced at each other and simply shrugged off the odd response. Don waved one of his thick hands.

“Hey, if you don’t want to talk about it, we understand. I have an uncle that fought in Vietnam…till this day, he won’t say squat about it! Anyway, I suppose we’d better get started with the training here.”

“Say,” Tadosh called out, so Felix could hear the question as well before he left the grimy office, “we take breaks here, right?”

The two other men looked at each other with perplexed eyes.

“Uh, yeah,” Felix remarked sarcastically, “especially since we have this little detail called labor laws! Why do you ask, Tadosh?”

“I like to go for walks on my breaks. I wouldn’t mind seeing that, what do they call it, Miracles Tower?”

“Ahh,” Felix exclaimed as he sat back down on his tattered chair, “now there’s a fellah you don’t want to screw around with! Dr. Patrick “Miracle” McClain, is what some call him around town and in the media…you said you’ve been in Seattle a little over a month?”

“Yeah…so what about this McClain character?”

Felix and Don looked at each other. Felix continued. “Rumor is, he’s a bit of a mad scientist-type. I’m friends with a couple of the Seattle cops, and one of them told me they had an emergency call to the Miracles Tower one day. My friend said they had to go to this lab in a dungeon within that tower and said that they saw some crazy stuff about an experiment with people popping in and out of thin air!”

Tadosh froze; his eyes wide open for the show. “No kidding!”

“Yeah, like out of Star Trek or something!”

“You know what I’ve noticed about that place lately,” Don now came in as Tadosh and Felix listened intently. “There’s been some kind of light show going on over there, on the rooftop.”

This time, Tadosh froze out of genuine alarm. “Oh, really…?”

“Yeah,” Don went on, “I’ve seen it before a couple of months ago, one Sunday night! It hasn’t happened in a while, until recently.”

Don and Felix glanced at each other, curious as to why this janitor would care so much about a scientific facility that had nothing to do with their world.

“Um, Don,” Tadosh said after a pensive moment, “when you said the light show hasn’t happened until recently, how recently did you see those lights?”

Don shrugged before answering. “I don’t know…about three days ago. Why?”

Tadosh looked away to an unknown corner of the office, barely shaking his head as he whispered to himself, “He couldn’t restrain himself…just like I thought, the temptation was just too great!”

Now Felix and Don were becoming worried.

“Tadosh,” Felix asked as he placed one of his hands on Tadosh’s shoulder, “is there something you need to talk about?” Tadosh flinched away to the touch. It was the shoulder that had been shot a couple of weeks previously. Felix glanced at Don with ponderous eyes.

Tadosh almost didn’t hear what his new boss asked him. He looked away from the corner of the grubby maintenance office and looked at the two men before him and gave a lukewarm smile.

“No, no I’m fine. I think I’ll want to stay here for a while. In fact, this job came just in time for me…”

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