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Saturday, April 21st, 2018, 10:00 am
Aaron called them all together shortly after Russia was completely overtaken. Keith and Michelle were the only adults who did not attend, as they watched the children for the colony. The group sat in a pell-mell fashion around the round table that filled the conference room.
After all of them had arrived, Aaron greeted them, “Thank you all for coming. As you all know by now, Russia has been completely overtaken by China. From some documents Mike has found, it looks like Europe will soon be invaded. We all know this is what we have been waiting for; it’s now time to plan. We need to find the weak points that can be removed to prevent China from taking Russia, if we can.
“In the end, we might need China to attack Europe to stop them. The more China attacks, the harder it will be for them to keep control. We need to act at a moment that our effort will be decisive. When we’re ready, we’ll need to take action. Some of us will need to go. For now, we need everybody’s help to plan. We also need to decide who should go. Carmen, Keith, Mike, and Kara are too young.”
Mike stood to protest, but before he said a word Aaron continued, “Your lives are too important to the colony. You’re only now having children while some of us have children old enough to care for themselves. This colony can’t survive if we lose your generation.”
Mike sat back down begrudgingly.
“That’s all I have to say. Has anybody got questions?”
Zoe stood and said to Jared, “The time machines only have room for one person. How many can we send?”
Jared remained seated, “Well, good question. I guess we always assumed it would be a simpler task to change time. Our historical examples would have been simple; this on the other hand was caused by a handful of people and events almost a century ago. Their actions have snowballed and it will now take more than one person to resolve . . . if we can at all. We know this war has already cost at least thousands of lives; it would be irresponsible for us to not try to stop it. On the other hand, it may be impossible for us to stop. Our two weapons, time and the builders, may not be enough.”
Jared, realizing he had gotten off topic, continued by saying, “We can make more time machines. Since the bays are so ridiculously long we can move them to the end of the hall after using them. The bay will need to be clear for arrivals.”
Zoe sat back down.
Tara asked, “What if we trick India into attacking China as China starts the invasion?”
Aaron shook his head, “We don’t want more war. That might make things worse and not better. We can only do something like that if China takes Europe.”
Finally, Cleo asked the question that Aaron had hoped to avoid. She stood to ask, “Aaron, shouldn’t we be voting on this? I realize we all rely on you and you’ve done a great job as . . .” she paused to think of the right phrase. “A great job as a pseudo-leader, but we’ve never appointed you our leader. This is our lives and our future, not a corporation whose actions don’t put lives into risk.”
At this, Sarah stood and said, “If for a moment you think our lives working at Hunt Security weren’t at risk, you’d better think again. We all put our lives on the line to protect our clients.”
Cleo said, “I’m sorry, I’m not comparing this to what you used to do. I’m comparing this to what the rest of us used to do. Take my husband as an example; he spent years working for a giant corporation. Nobody ever asked him to put his life on the line.”
Finally, Aaron understood. She wasn’t against the mission; she was against sending people into danger.
Aaron soothed Cleo by saying, “We won’t force anybody to put their lives at risk. This will strictly be voluntary. Also, we won’t expect many to go.”
Even with Cleo’s concern behind him, what Aaron feared would be asked was asked and still hanging there. Would the colony follow him for this? In the end, everybody at the meeting was for it. Everybody agreed action must be taken. They were also glad to be able to do, finally, what they had given up so much for.
The watchers now had a more important task, to find a weakness they could exploit. Kara spent all her available time watching now. Mike and Oliver spent their time hacking into Chinese and Russian systems to get as much intelligence as they could. Jared and Carmen made refinements to the builder’s battle mode.
Copyright (C) 1998-2001 East Coast Games, Inc. and 2001 - 2006 Forest J. Handford