Two hours later, in Dr. McClain’s office on the 95th floor…
Patrick, Samantha, Tadosh, Thomas, and Cheri were all resting at the grand conference table in Pat’s penthouse suite. They had gotten there not too long ago. After the shootout, the Seattle police took some statements from all of them for their report. Patrick insisted that Tadosh give them his home address when they asked Tadosh where he resided. As it turned out, Tadosh did need a place to stay for a while, so it was just as well.
Patrick had made an urn of coffee for everyone, which they all savored as they relaxed at the table for a while. The alien experience of actually seeing people teleport was a bit stressful to the psyche. Add to that, some of those same people shooting laser bolts at you tended to add to the stress as well…
“All right, Cheri,” Patrick said in the quiet room, “how did you know about the lab?”
Thomas looked up from his cup of coffee then at Cheri with interest. He, too, wanted to know how their secret had gotten to her. Samantha and Tadosh just looked on, every now and then sipping their coffee from their Styrofoam cups. Cheri waited a bit before responding.
“I’m not supposed to say, Pat…but I can say that I’ve known about the lab for a year.”
“A year,” Patrick and Thomas chorused together.
Cheri silently nodded her head as she looked out of Patrick’s expansive office window that beautifully framed downtown Seattle.
“Yeah…I was able to get the cops there so soon because I had my own secret operation going on.” Cheri’s eyes moved from the window and back to the others. “Pat, remember when I talked with you about Drogheda and his friends earlier this week? Obviously before we found out about who they really are.”
Patrick glanced at Tadosh.
“Well, Cheri, truth is, I had known about Drogheda, I just didn’t know who he was in the building. I can’t know every employee that works for me. I’ve got thousands in this building alone!”
“Pat, nobody’s blaming you,” Thomas interjected.
“I know, I just needed to hear that for my own good, I guess…anyway, Cheri, what about our conversation about them?”
“Well, I had started an internal investigation on them. For obvious reasons to us now, they just seemed a bit too out of place. Not just at the job, but in society.”
“You had us bugged, didn’t you,” asked Thomas with a slight grin.
Cheri had a bigger grin on her face. “Yeah, I did. I’m sorry, Pat, but that was one of my mandates that you had given me as an executive assistant. You said that even if it were you or any of your special lab assistants that were acting strange to do an investigation…and, well, as your wife can attest to, you and your assistants had been acting kind of weird the last few months!”
Samantha felt vindicated as she glanced at Thomas, whom in turn, slightly nodded his head in confirmation. She didn’t want to show this, of course, so she purposefully took a long gulp of her coffee to hide what would have been a long, rebuking stare at Patrick. Neither Patrick nor Thomas debated Cheri’s point about spying on them, so she continued.
“So, anyway, that’s how I found out about Drogheda, Stefan, and Tage…in one of Security’s spy cameras we caught them breaking into Research and Development’s office and stealing floor plans and equipment.” She laughed slightly. “It’s ironic. Security and I weren’t even monitoring Drogheda and his men at first, but our own people, then, come to find out, we had to start monitoring them, too!”
“What a mess,” commented Thomas.
“Yeah, no kidding,” affirmed Cheri. “Security had recorded Drogheda over a phone conversation he had with Stefan and Tage that they were going to steal the SCR. That was just today. And that’s when I had called the cops. If it weren’t for us catching that conversation, Pat, I don’t think the cops would have been here when they were.”
“A lot of good they did,” he responded with a bit of a sneer. “Gary and I held Drogheda down after the fire fight…the cops missed the whole action!”
“Yeah, but their numbers would have been needed if Drogheda and the others stuck around,” she rebutted.
The room went quiet again. Thomas and Samantha had gotten up for more coffee. Patrick turned his attention to Tadosh.
“All right, Tadosh…now it’s your turn. So, I take it Tage and Stefan got the SCR?”
Tadosh was already nodding his head. “Yes, Dr. McClain. I’m sorry, but you had never told me where the Receiver was. I was going to inquire about that right before Drogheda showed up and changed our plans for the day! I take it Drogheda and his young cohorts knew the location of the SCR because of the floor plans with your schematics?”
Now Patrick was nodding. “Yep…those Anarchists sure are organized! A bit of an ironic twist, don’t you think…?” Patrick then took a long look at the little man from the future. “Tadosh, when you guys do that—thing when you disappear and reappear, are you guys going in and out of the future?”
Now everyone was seated at the table again, Patrick’s question renewing interest around the large, oak table.
“No, Dr. McClain,” Tadosh answered with a bit of a chuckle, like an adult would when a child innocently asks a naïve question. “For us to chronoport takes a lot of energy. Drogheda and his men and I were able to get here because of the extreme amount of energy your Solar Unlimited project is able to glean directly from the Sun.”
“Well, we can’t get that solar energy now,” retorted Thomas sourly. “Not with our Receiver stolen. We can make another one, but that would take several more weeks just to get the special parts for it from around the world!”
“Thomas I’m not worried about that as I am about Drogheda having our SCR,” Patrick stated. “Tadosh, so you’re saying that Drogheda and his team did not time travel out of here? Then where did they go?”
“Well, they could be anywhere that they set their destinations, but only around the city proper…see, Dr. McClain, with chronoportation technology, we’re basically teleporting back and forth in time. But the bottom line is, we are teleporting. In 2287, we have the ability to teleport across a metropolitan area—not much further than that, though. Scientists in my time are still working on how to let us do it at longer distances. But to time travel, that is to say, teleporting across time, it requires even more energy; by greater magnitudes of millions more in energy…and that, we can only do when your Solar Unlimited project is up and running. We cannot time travel when it is off. But we can still teleport, with our portable teleporters.”
Everyone else in the room suddenly looked brighter.
“Well, then, that’s good, isn’t it,” Samantha asked as she looked at everyone around the table. “Since Drogheda and the others stole Pat’s Receiver, that means no one can operate this Solar Unlimited project. Therefore, Drogheda and his team won’t be able to time travel!”
“Which means that they’re still around the Seattle metro,” Patrick interjected as well. “You said that people from your time can teleport only around a city…we can still get them, Tadosh!”
Tadosh was smiling at the early 21st century-people’s ignorance, though good intentioned they were. “Whoa, slow down here, everyone! There’s still the matter of finding Drogheda and his men. With teleportation technology, none of us can tell where another person goes…we’re only able to see where another person has gone by getting their portable teleporter and look at the recorded coordinates—kind of like your email of this time. But to do that, we would have to physically get the teleporter. We had the chance to do that while Dr. McClain and the guard had Drogheda, but, as you recall, we blew that opportunity!”
“All right,” Cheri came in with a shrug, “so what do we do now?”
Tadosh sighed then looked around the conference table.
“Well, the only thing I can think of is me going around the Seattle metro and do a foot search in one of your contemporary cars and look around places where Drogheda and the others would likely hide out. Now, what I need from the rest of you is to pretend none of this happened.”
All of the others around the table eyed each other, all seeming to have the same thought in mind that Patrick voiced.
“Tadosh, that’s kind of hard to do! Besides, what about Seattle police? Think they’ll forget about any of today’s events?”
“Dr. McClain, we really can’t do anything about that. In all honesty, I don’t think they’ll file any of their reports about the teleporting…no one would believe them and they would risk getting fired due to psychological incapacity. Trust me, I know how it works, I’m in the military!”
Patrick was now pointing at Tadosh. “Speaking of which…Tadosh, buddy, we’ve got to get you out of those fatigues. This is the post-nine-eleven era! If you’re going to go around Seattle looking for these guys, you can’t look like you’re in some crackpot militia group. Homeland Security will hunt you down!”
“Yeah,” Thomas now chipped in, “what you’re wearing may fit in well in 2287, but your average citizen in 2008 will be spooked by you! No offense.”
“Don’t worry, Thomas,” Tadosh assured him, “being offended is amongst the last things on my mind…so, are we in agreement about the plan?”
The others sitting around the room glanced at each other, trying to read one another’s reactions. They all nodded.
“I’d like to add one more thing to your plan, Tadosh,” Patrick said. Tadosh looked at Patrick, waiting for his response. “I’d like to help you out in the search—“
“Pat!” Samantha’s face threw him a warning.
“It’s all right, Sam…if you don’t mind I’d like to help out. Because of my invention, we’re in this mess. I’ve always believed in taking responsibility for my own actions. After all, a creator should never create something that he or she cannot control.”
Patrick said the last part of his statement as he looked at Tadosh squarely in the eyes. Tadosh responded with a slight bouncing of his head in understanding and appreciation.