Ethan's brother Chris popped his head into the workshop door. "Yo, little brother! I got breakfast." Silence greeting his pronouncement of food. He entered the workshop and looked around, not spotting Ethan anywhere. Strange, he's normally hard at work at this time in the morning. Continuing his search he found Ethan unconscious against the wall. "ETHAN!" He rushed to his brother's side, calling 911 as he did so. Within the space of a half hour the unconscious man was being examined in the emergency room of the local hospital. Shortly after arrival Ethan regained consciousness.
Chris rushed out to get a nurse who summoned the doctor after verifying that Ethan was awake. The doctor came in, poked and prodded and shined a light into his eyes, all the while watching his reactions and listening to his moans of pain. "Are you in a lot of pain? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the worst possible pain. How would you rate the pain you are experiencing?"
Unable to speak, Ethan slowly raised all 10 fingers. "We'll get you something for the pain. Now that you are awake, I want to do a complete brain scan. This is a completely painless procedure and only takes a couple of minutes. Is that okay with you?" Ethan nodded, immediately regretting the action as the pain in his head ramped up. The doctor walked over to a computer display on the wall and touched several sections, setting up the scan, placed a strange-looking contraption around his head and initiated the scan. Beams of light emerged from the contraption, moving all around his head as images appeared on the computer monitor.
"There's definitely indication of extensive brain trauma, but it’s not anything to worry about. We can fix this easily. After touching the monitor in a few places, the beams of light, this time a different color, emerged from the contraption surrounding Ethan's head. After a few seconds, they disappeared and the doctor, after examining the monitor again, removed the contraption. "How are you feeling now?"
"Much better. Thank you, Doctor."
"You're welcome. Any idea what happened to you?"
"I was examining this antique desk that I was fixing to restore when I saw something weird stuck to one of the legs. I touched it then I woke up here."
"Well, not to worry. We're going to keep you overnight for observation, then you can most likely go home tomorrow. It's standard procedure whenever brain trauma occurs. I'll check back in with you once you're admitted." The doctor left, found his brother Troy in the waiting area, and explained everything, much to Troy’s relief.
Ryan materialized just outside the workshop. Cautious peeking through a window revealed that the place was empty. He quickly slipped inside and looked around. Wow. This place looks like a museum. Look at all these antique tools and furnishings. He pulled out his imaging scanner and pointed it around the room, storing 3D images of the workshop for the historians back in his time. He then took out his temporal scanner and scanned the workshop to find that which didn't belong. The object was located quickly and placed in a special container. He activated his beacon and was returned to TPC headquarters. Mission accomplished. Or was it? The TPC control room instruments indicated that the timeline was still skewed somehow. Thorough diagnostic checks indicated that all of the equipment in the control room were in perfect operating condition. This caused a great deal of confusion amongst the TPC personnel and generated considerable, and sometimes heated, discussions on what do to. Ryan told the senior scientist to let him know what they decided to do about the apparent aberration. He was going to lunch then back to his office to file his reports.
The next day, feeling good as new Ethan entered his workshop and cautiously approached the old desk. Finding no evidence of the strange object, he went over to his workbench and studied the original manufacturer's specifications and determined what was needed in terms of materials and tools to do the restoration work.
Ryan was summoned to the control room a few hours later and informed that something was still amiss and a return trip was necessary. "No shit, Sherlock. I could have told you that." He said. Once again, he stepped into the travellator with the controller's warning about not interacting with anyone he saw ringing in his ears. He grunted in response to the unnecessary instructions. This time, however, Liam made a slight error in the coordinates entry and Ryan appeared inside the workshop right in front of Ethan. Oh, fuck. What do I do now? He wasn't supposed to see me materialize. Ryan's brain when into overdrive trying to figure out what to do. His brain, however, wasn't the only thing in overdrive. One look at Ethan and his pulse started racing. Ethan, however, had a slightly different reaction. He simply passed out from the shock of a super-hot guy appearing out of nowhere in front of him. Ryan grabbed him quickly and eased him down to the floor. Ryan, for some unknown reason, cradled Ethan's head in his lap, gently stroking his hair. It was undeniably love at first sight. Shit. I'm in trouble. I fucked up big time. He recognized his feelings for what they were and cursed himself. He wasn't supposed to interact with anyone, let alone fall in love with the first person he came into contact with. I think I understand now why my job is so important and why we need to preserve the timeline. The question is, what do I do now? He pondered, waiting for Ethan to regain consciousness, which didn't take long.
Regaining consciousness, Ethan sat up slowly. "Who are you? What are you doing here?" He asked.
"My name is Ryan. I saw your sign outside and I was curious as to what kind of restorations you do."