Rhada Nuveen stopped her Segway at Derek and Crystal's door. She normally sent an encrypted message detailing the agent's new assignment to their living quarters, but this one she wanted to deliver herself. When she pressed the autolock button, the door swung open.
"Good morning Madam Director," said Crystal.
"Good morning Rhada," Derek added. "To what do we owe the pleasure of your company? Come in and sit down. Care for some coffee?"
"That sounds good," Rhada said with a smile.
"Have a doughnut?" Crystal offered.
"There goes my diet; yes."
"This must be a difficult assignment," Derek said, "To bring you here."
"It is most critical. The Looking Glass Tech's have encountered several of what they describe as surrogate anomalies in the timeline. Historical events through the ages are being removed and replaced with intricate simulacra and 3-D holograms virtually indistinguishable from the actual occurrence.
The technology is such that only the Rectifier's can be responsible. As it is so often the case, their motives are a mystery; however these thefts must be stopped before the fabric of the time skeins are weakened."
"Where are these time segments now?" Crystal asked.
"The techs have followed secondary angstroms from the stasis fields to their nexus in the mid 20th Century; an island in the Hawaiian chain called Oahu and a place called Pearl Harbor. The year is 1941, the date December 4th. You must move quickly, as the nexus moves erratically within the time stream and how long it will be there no one knows."
Furthermore, this Pearl Harbor is a naval base and will be attacked by an enemy utilizing battle tactics and weapons of the period within a three day time span.
You must complete your mission before the nexus moves and the attack begins. Are there any questions?"
"May we take our own weapons?" Derek asked, "Or do we utilize weapons of the period?"
"Your micro disruptors will be activated, plus you may take whatever weapons you choose that are molecularly reduced."
"Battle Axe," said Crystal.
"Saber," Derek added.
"You will be Cerebriefed and garbed in period clothing," Rhada continued. "Transfer at 0900 hours tomorrow. I'll have another coffee and a jelly donut, please."
Derek and Crystal emerged from the time portal into an aircraft hangar redolent with the smells of disuse and decay. Several ancient aircraft covered with dust stood about on the hangar floor, their fabric covered wings and fuselages in tatters.
Derek wore the uniform of a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Engineers, Crystal the uniform of a Major in the Army Nursing Corps. These uniforms had been selected by the Looking Glass Chamber Techs as the least conspicuous, yet elevated enough in rank not to be challenged by most of the personnel at the base.
Finding a door, they emerged into a lush paradise. Exotic flowers and plants grew in verdant splendor under a cloudless, azure sky. They were in a seldom used area of Wheeler Field, a US Army base for pursuit planes intended for the protection of Pearl Harbor. A few minutes of walking put them in the heart of the army installation, returning salutes and occasionally giving them.
After asking directions, they entered the Officers Mess, drew mugs of coffee and sat at a table near a wall so they could observe the room.
"I've activated the tracking sensors, but there's not a trace of stasis field signatures within a thirty mile radius," Crystal muttered. "Could the techs have put us in the wrong place?"
"I've never known them to miss a target by that great a distance," Derek replied. "Wherever their location, the Rectifiers have equipped it with maximum shielding. We'll need to determine where it may be by more conventional means."
"Meaning what exactly?"
"Examining printed matter; maps, blueprints, diagrams, that sort of information; let's go find it."
"There's Base Headquarters building," Crystal said. "It's my guess what we want is in there."
Derek nodded in assent and they walked inside. Finding an office with the words 'Records and Documents' stenciled on the door glass, they entered and a man seated behind a desk wearing buck sergeant's stripes snapped to attention.
"At ease Sarge," Derek said amiably. "I'll need to see the blueprints and maps of the field's installations. We're constructing concrete revetments for the new P-40's."
"I'll need to see your security clearance sir," the soldier replied. "That information is classified."
Crystal pressed the insignia on her cap and the man resumed his seat at his desk, staring forward with a bemused smile on his face.
"He'll be out for an hour at least. See what you can find, I'll keep watch."
Derek grinned, blew her a kiss and disappeared into the storage rooms. Close to an hour had passed and Crystal saw the soldier begin to emerge from his hypnotic state. She was about to put him under again when Derek emerged, a tube of blueprints under his arm.
"Found what we're looking for. Let's find someplace private and study these."
As the office door closed the corporal jerked awake, remembering nothing of his visitors.
Secure in a room in the Visiting Officers Quarters, Derek and Crystal pored over the drawings of the airbase, finding nothing that appeared to be a potential location for the Rectifiers hideaway. Then Crystal saw something odd on a diagram of the runways and hangars.
"Derek, what's the Forward Echelon? There's a notation on this diagram and an arrow pointing northeast, nothing else."
"I don't recall seeing any references to that in any of these blueprints ... wait a minute ... here it is." He studied the drawing for a moment. "I think this may be it. A man-made cavern cut into the base of Aliamanu Crater intended to be a command post in the event of an invasion. It's below fifteen feet of rock and is fairly deep. That has to be where they are."
Crystal stretched luxuriantly and began removing her uniform, followed by her bra and panties. She turned down the bedclothes and stretched out, her whitish blond hair spilling over the pillow like a cloud.
"All that walking made my feet hurt; will you rub them for me my love?"
Derek grinned and undressed quickly. Crystal was the only TMA agent to have ever bested him in training pentathlons; her feet were as toned as the rest of her sensuous body. It was one of many love games they played to heighten their arousal.
Things progressed quickly from there.
Receiving a wakeup call from the OD, they showered together with much tickling and teasing then donned their uniforms and went to breakfast. Finishing their meal, they lingered over coffee and discussed their attack plans.
Obtaining a jeep from the motor pool, they followed a series of increasingly rough roads covered with broken seashells until they reached the Forward Echelon. There were no guards or fencing, only a pair of massive steel doors with smaller doors at their base. 99 parked the jeep in a clump of trees overgrown with vines and they went to examine the door.
"A simple but strong tumbler lock," Derek muttered, his micro disruptor disintegrating the inner workings leaving the outer plate intact. A twist of the levered handle, a squeal of unused hinges and they were inside. A flick of a switch and lights in the high ceiling flared into life, illuminating a tunnel cut deeply into the living rock.
"Detector's going off the scale," Crystal said excitedly. "We're right on top of some powerful stasis field generators. They must be huge to encapsulate whole historical events. There's secondary radiation too. Their reactor must have a flaw in it's shielding. Not enough to be harmful for a short period though."
"Let's see where this tunnel leads," Derek replied. "It may be a decoy and the real access point's somewhere else."
They walked cautiously down the tunnel, electronically heightened senses attuned for the slightest sound or movement. Numerous rooms were cut into the tunnel walls, the steel doors open revealing rows of tables and desks, map boards, telephones, chairs and other equipment; all coated with a thick layer of dust.
"I don't think anyone's been in here in years..." Crystal began, and then they saw a second pair of steel doors blocking their path. Derek tried the handle on the smaller access door and it opened easily. They moved through warily, but only encountered more of the tunnel.
"There's something odd here," Derek said. "Given the depth of this tunnel we should be inside the crater wall by now, but we're only going deeper and yet we're still level..."
"Very perceptive of you Agent 66," a voice boomed out of nowhere. "You are in fact no longer in the tunnel; rather you are in an encapsulated skein of time and in my domain."
Instantly, they were surrounded by a squad of Rectifier cyborgs leveling blast rifles, their synthoflesh skins gleaming in the lights.
"If you two would care to partake of my hospitality," the voice said with a chuckle, "I would like to show you my collection. Bring them here!"
Prodded by a blast rifle, Crystal spun about in a fury and kicked it from the cyborgs hands. Derek kicked at a cyborgs leg, knocking it down. They dove for the floor as the ones remaining fired mindlessly and, since they were in a half circle, destroyed each other.
Derek grabbed two rifles, tossed one to Crystal and they ran back to the door where they entered. Finding it locked, they ran further down the tunnel seeking a place to hide. Seeing an open door, they rushed through it into a dome shaped room with multicolored walls constantly shifting into different shapes.
.... There is more of this story ...