“Hey boss, I think we’ve got a problem with Timmons,” Javal said. “He seems to be making personal use of company equipment.”
“What’s up?” Ms. Creethers asked.
“Well,” Javal said, “you know how Timmons takes a walk every day after lunch? He may be doing something else besides walking. His route passes through the wave interference lab, which shouldn’t be a problem since the equipment’s shielded. However, security was reviewing yesterday’s records and noticed a 12 nanosecond disruption of Timmons’ signal as he walked through.”
“I see,” Ms. Creethers said. “Does he pass close to the Reverse Entropy Wave Shifter?”
“Yep, every day.”
“Hmm, so you suspect he’s been time traveling?”
“Yes, boss, we do,” Javal said. “I had security check the records every time Timmons ever set foot within 10 meters of the REWS. It seems there’s a slight time anomaly every Wednesday, usually less than 5 nanoseconds.”
“Is there any way you can tell where or when he’s been?” Ms. Creethers asked.
“No. Besides the slight time flux the only other sign anything has happened is an additional micro-watt drain. Not only is it impossible to track a time jump, it’s almost impossible to detect one. He’s gotten away with it for months, perhaps even years.”
“OK, make sure there’s a nano-recorder attached to him next Wednesday. Keep this hushed. We don’t want to cause a panic or give him warning.”
“Yes, boss.” Javal gave Ms. Creethers a mock military salute and left.
After her chief engineer was out of sight Ms.Creethers checked Timmons’ record. She wasn’t really sure what she was looking for but thought something might stand out.
Timmons was a model employee. He wasn’t a risk taker and led a rather boring life. Time travel in the REWS was very risky not just for the traveler but could have global consequences. A 12 nanosecond anomaly was fine but a microsecond shift would be lethal. The possibility exists for a one second anomaly to tear a hole in the space-time continuum large enough to cause catastrophic effects on a continent-wide scale while a one minute disturbance theoretically could destroy the Earth itself. Timmons was very careful with everything he did. To take that type of a risk on a regular basis shows that the reward must be enormous.
On the other hand, Timmons was perhaps the only person careful enough to actually be able to pull it off on a regular basis. He’s exacting to nine-nines in almost everything he does. She expected that a spot check would show Timmons’ socks to be pulled up to within a micrometer’s tolerance to reach the same level on his calf every day.
Ms. Creethers sighed. She’d just have to wait until next week for an answer.
“Hey boss, we got the report back on Timmons.” Javal had a mischievous grin.
“OK, let me know the worst right off,” Ms. Creethers said.
“He’s been traveling back to the mid-20th century.”
Ms. Creethers frowned. What could he be looking for at that time period? She could imagine him going back to Rome and snagging artifacts or the future to steal ideas for inventions, but the mid-20th century was known as the most turbulent part of a very violent period.
“I’m assuming you don’t want to guess,” Javal said. Ms. Creethers shook her head. “Yes, he’s returning to the mid-20th century. To be more precise, he’s going back to the late 1940s and early 1950s to a small town in southern Illinois, not far from the corner where it meets Indiana and Kentucky. He visits a house near the edge of town. He stays in the house for only fifteen minutes. Any guesses?”
“Would you just get to the point?”
“Now, now, let’s not get too hasty. We need to savor the moment. OK, that’s enough savoring. The house belongs to his great-great-great grandparents. It seems he pops in there every Wednesday to have a slice of his however-many-great grandmother’s handmade cherry pie.”
“Yeah, I confronted him and he admitted it. He said it was the best pie ever, no matter the time or place. He went back and got me a slice.”
“You risked having him use the REWS as a time portal again, and for a piece of pie?!”
“Um, yes. I’ll have to say that he was right. Not only is this pie to die for, I’m sure anyone would risk the fate of the world to have a slice. You should try it.”
Written to the prompt”pie“