Quite by accident an unexpected side effect of using the travellator system was discovered. Working off of the little-understood tesseract theory, it came to light that the system could not only transport a person from one place to another, but also from the present time to any point in the past, and possibly to some point in the future. This astonishing discovery created quite a controversy. Most people saw it as a way to go back in time and witness historical events first hand as they happened. There was a group of people, however, who saw it as a way to go back and change events by preventing the attack on Pearl Harbor or the attack on the World Trade Center and other events. What this group never considered is what effect altering historical events would have on present time. As this group became more and more militant, the government recognized the need for a way to police the timeline, preventing any changes in it, for even the most seemingly insignificant change could have disastrous consequences. Drawing from top law enforcement officials, military special forces members and leaders of the scientific community, the Timeline Preservation Commission, or TPC, which was responsible only to the Department of Justice, was created.
Ryan Edwards woke up from a fitful sleep. It was the dream again. The same dream he had over and over again. An unfamiliar, strangely dressed man was reaching out for him, calling out for help. The surroundings looked like something you'd see in an old movie. Weird. He shook his head, trying to clear the remnants of the dream from his head. I think I might need to talk to somebody about this. When I first joined TPC I was warned that I might start having strange dreams. Now I am. He thought to himself as he reluctantly pulled his body out from under the warm covers and padded to the bathroom for a shit, shower and shave.
An hour later he placed his hand on the scanner and entered Timeline Control. "What have you got for me today, Liam?"
Liam, the Timeline Surveillance Technician on duty scanned the various computer readouts. "Everything is quiet at the moment, Ryan."
Damn. So much for getting out of the morning meeting. What a total waste of time. He thought. Giving Liam a pat on the back he turned to head to the morning meeting. "Please call me if you get anything. And I mean anything."
"Will do." Liam turned to watch Ryan walk towards the door. It was all he could do to keep from whistling at the six-foot-two-inch muscle-bound redhead who filled out his uniform well enough to make a dead person fill with lust.
Ryan's day proceeded at a snail's pace from meeting to paperwork to lunch and back to paperwork. Ryan was a man who lived for the action. Sitting around in meetings or in his office shuffling paperwork drove him nuts. By mid-afternoon he was ready to pay someone to go back and make a tiny alteration in history just so he could get out of the office and DO something. Suddenly the paging system came to life. "TIMELINE ALTERATION! TIMELINE ALTERATION! RYAN EDWARDS REPORT TO TIMELINE CONTROL.
"YES!" Ryan cried out as he jumped up and ran to Timeline Control, literally running into the doors as he forgot to place his hand on the scanner to gain entrance; he was so excited.
Ethan Evans was a woodcraftsman who specialized in the restoration of antique furniture and occasionally helped his brother Troy restore old houses. Walking into his shop he looked at the pieces of furniture awaiting his magic touch. He loved working with his hands, using old, antique tools as often as he could, the older the tool the better. He was extremely good at what he did and took a great deal of pride in his work. He was just about to start on an old dresser when a woman came into his shop. Turning and smiling, he greeted her. "Hi. I'm Ethan. Welcome to my shop. What can I do for you today?"
In a quiet voice, the woman said "I have an old roll-top desk that's in pretty bad shape. I was told you were the best at restoring old furniture. I was wondering if you'd be able to take a look at it and possibly give me an estimate as to how much it would cost to restore it? It's outside in the back of my husband's truck."
"I'd be happy to. Let's go take a look." They went outside to the truck. The old desk was indeed in very poor shape, but Ethan had seen - and restored - worse. "I've seen desks in worse shape than this." Looking it over very carefully, experimenting with the roll top and the drawers, he said "it'd probably cost between $750 - $1000 for the materials and labor." The woman quickly agreed. All the paperwork was signed, the desk loaded into the shop and the woman on her way.
Rubbing his hands together gleefully, Ethan started examining every inch of the desk when something caught his eye. Something he had never seen before, something strange that definitely didn't belong to the desk. What the hell is that? He wondered. Touching the strange object sent him flying across the room, knocking himself unconscious.