Ethan knocked on Duncan's door. "Come in and have a seat. What can I do for you, Ethan?"
"Well," he began, "as you know, Ryan and I are going to be married."
"Yes, I know. Congratulations."
"Thank you. I was wondering if it would be possible to bring my brother Troy and my sister Alicia forward to attend the wedding."
"Honestly Ethan, I don't know what effect it will have on the timeline. If I remember, Troy and Alicia have never been here in the future. Let me think about this and talk with Liam. He knows more about the timeline and what causes the aberrations than anyone. I'll let you know either this afternoon or tomorrow morning."
After Ethan left his office, Duncan picked up his compcom. He didn't want any record of this call showing up in the internal communications log. He knew the tribunal could and sometimes did monitor all internal communications as well as the timeline status. Even though the Chief Magistrate had been dismissed and charged with abuse of her power, he still didn't trust them completely. The situation with Ryan shouldn't have happened in his opinion.
After Ethan left his office, Duncan contacted Liam and asked him to come to his office after telling him to have Colin take over. "What's up, boss-man?" He asked taking a seat.
"We have a problem I need your help figuring out. As you know, Ryan and Ethan are getting married. They want Ethan's brother and sister to be there. The question is, how can be bring them forward without triggering a paradox?"
"Hmm. Interesting situation. His sister and other brother might pose a problem." He was silent as the considered how to resolve the situation. "We can - no that won't work." He was silent again. "Wait a minute. We can - no that won't work either."
"Will you stop doing that?" Duncan demanded in frustration.
"Wait! I've got it. What if we were to equip everyone with a beacon and show then how to activate the emergency return function? That way, if the paradox alarm goes off, they can be zapped back into the past."
"I think you've hit on the right idea. That might just work. Unfortunately, the only way to test your idea is to actually do it." He grabbed his compcom and summoned Ryan and Ethan to his office. As soon as they were seated, both slightly nervous at being called into the bosses office together. "Liam's come up with an idea on how to bring your brother and sister foward without having to worry about a paradox," he addressed Ethan."We're going to give everyone a beacon and show them how to use the emergency return. If the paradox alarm goes off, we can send everyone back one at a time until the alarm stops."
"And if the paradox alarm doesn't go off?"
"Liam will be watching the timeline closely for any aberrations. If nothing changes with the timeline we'll go ahead with the wedding as planned. Afterwords well start sending everyone back, one at a time, with Chris going last. Before your brother and sister leave, we'll provide training on how to preserve the timeline. If there are are no ramifications to Chris being the last one to leave, he will of course be welcome to stay. I understand from Dr. Korotas that he's a quick study and a valuable asset to the infirmary, so he'll have a job if and when he returns.
"If neither your brother or sister cause a aberration we can discuss bringing them forward as well so you will have your entire family with you. We'll have to do an exhaustive records search to make sure their disappearance from their time causes any problems."
"I don't know what to say. When I was here before I missed Alicia and Troy so badly that I considered returning to my own time."
"This is your time now, Baby," Ryan tried to reassure him.
"Unfortunately, that remains to be seen. You and Chris were an invaluable asset, and I for one want you back. Let's see how things go. I suggest the two of you prepare for the possibility of everyone staying. They would need housing and employment. What do they do now?"
"Alicia's a lawyer and Troy flips houses?"
"Flips houses?" Duncan asked.
"That's when someone buys a house that's in bad shape, fixes it up then sells it."
"Hm. Interesting concept. Unfortunately, I don't know if there is anything he could use those skills for."
"Before he started flipping houses he was a real estate agent."
"What's a real estate agent?" Ryan asked.
"That's someone who helps people buy and sell apartments, houses, etc."
"Now that's a skill he could probably make use of."
"So we can bring them here for the wedding?" Ethan crossed everything he could cross in hopes that Duncan would say yes.
"You know the nature of this business. All I can promise you is that we'll try. Do your sister and brother know about all of this?" Duncan asked, pretty sure he already knew the answer.
Ethan could not meet Duncan's eyes because he knew that telling them would get him in trouble. "Yes," he said in a very quiet voice.
"You know you could get into serious trouble for telling them."
"Yes, I know, and I will accept any consequences. We're all very close and I couldn't be deal with them not knowing what happened to Chris and me."
“I’m afraid something like this can’t be overlooked, especially since you are part of this organization. Fortunately, as you know the Chief Magistrate was relieved of her position so we have no tribunal. So, it’s up to me to determine the appropriate disciplinary action.” Chris decided that this would be a good time to examine his shoes. “So, I have decided that…”