Chapter 4
Time Machine Disaster

The Spectre getting involved meant some hide bidders had to be involved as well. She was amongst the best assassins in the world which in turn meant her services were insanely expensive.

She had to ability to put her foes in a hypnotized state with her voice which rendered them slow to move and react and on top of that she was a world-class marksman with an enormous and unique weapon collection.

Luckily, she was in my dept. Three years ago she killed a target in my city that was under my protection. I wanted to kill her for that and went to do the job personally. Everyone called from everywhere and begged me not to do it, they needed her, so we came to a deal. For the first time in her career, she betrayed her previous contractor by giving me his name and on top of that I wanted one favor whenever I called her, no questions asked.

I left the Lab and went straight home. I needed to take a shower, down a drink or two to relax my mind, and then continue to unravel this mystery. On my way home I let everyone know that I was looking for Sceptre and in a matter of minutes, she contacted me. We agreed that she would meet me at my home in 1 hour.

After taking a shower and clearing my mind I got ready for her arrival. I was always careful when meeting with people like her, so years ago I had these earplugs made that negated her powers almost completely. And as always she was perfectly on time, I let her in the house, poured her a drink and we got to talking.

“Why did you kill Dr. Anderson,” I asked

“It was a contract, same as any,” She said. “Why do you care about some random scientist?”

“He is far from a random scientist,” I said. “There are some bigger things in play here, I need to know who ordered that hit?”

“Even if I knew, I wouldn’t tell you. I did it that one time and as I said back then, next time you can go ahead and try and kill me before I betray my client.” She said with a stern voice.

“So you don’t know?”

“No, it was completely anonymous, they even paid in cash that was left for me at a random location for both hits.” She said downing her drink.

“Both hits? You killed two people?” The people that wanted Anderson dead, also wanted someone else wiped.

“Not yet, I am supposed to do it tomorrow, never two hits in the same day, you know my rules.” She said without a sign of emotion on her face.

Good, she didn’t kill that second target, that person could be connected to everything that’s going on and I needed to find them asap.

“I need to know who is your second target?” I asked her directly.

“You know I can’t say that either.” She kept her calm demeanor

“I am sorry, but I’ll need to call in that favor from three years ago, tell me the target’s name and you are free from me,” I said a little louder than usual as I was getting thin with patience now.

She sighed but reluctantly agreed.

“I can give you the name, but I will still need to kill him tomorrow.”

“I don’t care, do with him what you want after I talk to him,” This was a good lead, whoever it was must hold some answers.

“It’s not him, it’s her, Dr. Brenda West.” She said clearly unhappy with the fact that he betrayed another client because of me.

I tried to get some more information from her, but she was a brick wall. I let her go and got everyone I trusted to look for this Dr. Brenda West. Half an hour later we found her, she was living a few cities away. I didn’t have time to drive there so I called in a few favors and got myself a private plane that would take off in an hour.

I packed my suit this time, I needed to be in my element once I arrived there. When my plane touched the ground there was a car waiting for me that would take me straight to her house.

With my suit on I barged into her house finding her alone in the living room, once she saw me she screamed but quickly got herself together.

“Don’t tell me you were the one that stole the time machine,?” She asked.

“Yes and we need to talk,” I said pointing towards her sofa. “What do you have to do with Anderson and the machine?” I asked straight away.

“Anderson is a charlatan, do you really think he invented it? It was me and he was only a helping hand, but once I wanted to stop they pushed me out and put him in charge.” She said as she sat down.

“Anderson is dead,” I said and she turned green instantly.

“Did you kill him, Am I next?” She asked finally some fear creeping into her.

“No, and I won’t kill you, but you are the next person on the killer’s list and that’s why I am here.” Now she was almost pale white.

I told her the whole story, leaving no detail out I needed her to trust me and to tell me something that could unravel this whole thing. If I had Mind-Bender with me things would have been way easier, but he was still missing or most likely dead in that forsaken future.

“So that’s why I am here, and if you prove useful I can hide you from the assassin.” I ended my monologue.

“It’s already too late,” She said bowing her head down.

“No, it’s not, I can protect you easily, don’t worry about it and start talking,” I said with a harsh tone.

“Not that, it won’t matter anyway, they are already here.” She said with a defeated tone. “That liquid smoke you’ve seen, I call them the wraiths, and they will destroy our planet in a matter of days now.”

“What are they? We can fight them off, I almost killed one that took over Gambler.”

“You can’t kill what doesn’t exist.” She said, “I have to admit, I didn’t discover time travel on my own. I was working on it but to no success for over a decade and then we discovered the ancient texts of unknown origin that somehow had the same math as our project, but with the right formulas. So followed it before we translated the rest of the documents and tested the machine, sending some animals and objects forward and back. I noticed some anomalies on them, but only once we translated the rest of it made more sense.” She stood up and started pacing.

“I wanted to shut down the project immediately, but they wouldn’t let me, they had to continue, they just had. I warned them several times, but they just wouldn’t listen.” She was on the verge of tears.

“What did the document say?” I asked now with a way calmer voice.

“Don’t mess with time, don’t try to time travel or you will awaken them.”

“What are they, what are the wraiths?” I asked.

“They are beings far older than our galaxy, they don’t even exist in the same reality as we do and when we time travel we use their reality as a stepping stone so to speak and they hate it.” She continued. “And the documents say that any civilization that succeded in time travel doomed themselves with that discovery and soon after that they got devoured.”

“What else did it say, how do we kill them?”

“You can’t, they don’t exist here, you can’t kill something that doesn’t exist.” She said shaking her head. “Only a small part of them latches to a person that is traveling thru time, and once they travel back that part of them enters our reality as well and it has only one goal. Destroy it.”

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