Love Across Time chapter 7

As an afterthought Duncan asked, “Did you at least use protection?”

“No. I didn’t even think of it.”

“You realize that while we have eradicated STDs in our time, in this Ethan’s time, they were still rampant.”

“Yeah, I know.” In a whisper he added, “Ethan is HIV positive.”

Duncan’s face turned white. “I assume you’ve had all of the inoculations?”

“Yes, so I’m not worried about getting infected.”

“Okay, back to the original topic. You have to go back to just before you met him and retrieve the object. That way the two of you will have never met and the timeline will be completely restored.”

“That’ll fix almost everything,” Ryan responded dejectedly.

“What are you talking about?”

“Sure, my going back to before we met will fix the timeline and him, but not me.”

Duncan sighed. “I can’t help with that.” He held up his hand to forestall any arguments. “You’ll have to get over him somehow. Perhaps talking to one of the counselors will help.” He stood, walked over to Ryan and laid a compassionate hand on his shoulder. “I know this will be difficult for you, but it has to be done. You know this.”

“Yeah, I do,” Ryan sighed. Standing up and gathering his resolve, he said, “Well, I need to get this done. The bitch of the matter is that I won’t even get a chance to say goodbye to him, even though we’ll never have met.”

“It’s one aspect of this job that really sucks.” Duncan commiserated.

~~~~~

Ryan materialized in the darkness of night, right behind Ethan’s workshop. Peeking through a window, he noticed that the lights were off. So far so good. Now, how do I get in? He pondered. Trying the window, he discovered it was unlocked. Slowly he raised the window enough for him to crawl through. He shown the light round the room until he found the object he was looking for. Stowing the object away in his pack, he removed another item from his pack and slowly crept back out the window, closing it slowly. One down, one to go. I hope this works! He ran quickly across the lawn to the house where the Evans brothers were fast asleep.

Holding the universal sonic lock pick, which was actually modeled after the 37th Doctor Who’s sonic screwdriver, he made short work of the lock. Hoping there wasn’t a security alarm, Ryan slowly opened the front door and stepped inside, closing it quietly behind him. He breathed a sigh of relief when no alarm sounded. He put the lock picker back into his pack and removed the one remaining item, something he stole before departing.

Making his way up the stairs to the second floor he peeked through door after door until he found the room which contained a sleeping Ethan. As carefully as he could, he crossed over to the bed and knelt down beside it. He stared at Ethan’s sleeping form before gently taking the device in his hand and pressing it to Ethan’s bare shoulder. A quiet hiss was heard as Ethan was injected with the STD vaccines and the HIV cure. “I’ll always take care of you, Ethan. I love you.”

Ethan stirred silently in his sleep swatting at his shoulder as if he was swatting a mosquito. “Ryan, is that you?” he whispered.

Quickly hitting the button on his beacon, he quietly dematerialized thinking, Fuck. We got the coordinates wrong again. We had already met in this timeline!

~~~~~

Stepping out of the travellator he rushed over to the control console. “Let me see the latest coordinates for mission 2132-RE-2.” He ordered. The tech, not Liam this time, pulled them up on the screen.

Just then Duncan walked into the control room. “Ryan, what’s up? Why are you so agitated?” He asked, noting Ryan’s body language.

“Wrong fucking coordinates, again!” Ethan not only spotted me, but he knew who I was.”

“Shit! Let me see the coordinates.” Duncan looked over the information on the computer screen. “Bring up all coordinates used for mission 2002-RE-2” He demanded. As the tech complied with his instructions, he sat down at another terminal and started typing away. Studying the coordinates displayed on the tech’s screen, he typed for a few seconds then said, “Use these coordinates for another time jump”.

Ryan looked over the new coordinates. “This is like, a week before the first time jump. How am I supposed to avoid people for a week?”

“Go camping. We’ll send a signal to your beacon as soon as it gets close the coordinates of the timeline skew. Wait for nightfall, get in, get the artifact then get out. Don’t…” he paused for dramatic effect, “…try to see Ethan. We can’t afford any more mistakes. Too many have been made already.”

Ryan acknowledged his orders with a nod of his head. “When do I leave?”

“Tomorrow morning. Get your gear together and report at oh-eight-hundred. While you’re at it, get your head together. I’m sure it won’t be easy for you, but you have to forget this guy from the past.”

“I know.” Ryan replied quietly. I won’t forget him. I can’t. But there is one thing I will do, consequences be damned. I will give him another injection. I won’t let him die a horrible death. I’ll face life in prison before I let that happen. His resolve firmly in place, he left to get everything together, including grabbing another injector from the local hospital.

~~~~~

Eight o’clock the next morning, Ryan stepped into the travellator with his camping gear. “Let’s get this shit over with,” he growled as he slowly dematerialized.

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