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   Chapter 22 No.22

The Time Saving Agency By Christina Engela Characters: 5625

Updated: 2018-06-29 12:02

Little figures flashed by on the display of the Time Projector, living their ordinary daily lives as he scanned through the days' events in that particular data stream on Deanna. Feeling a little like Apollo, the ancient Greek deity, it was almost as though he could reach out and touch Gary Beck, Cindy-Mei Winter, and an Arborian called Fred – all played out for him by the Projector. The bit with Xyl and the shopkeeper was mildly amusing though. It reminded Scrooby of the book '101 Uses For A Teaspoon' he'd read as a boy. Yes, someone had actually written it – and no, it wasn't the same enterprising fella who wrote "101 Uses For A Dead Cat". The most interesting bit so far, was where Xyl made contact with the second most dangerous being on Deanna – or possibly even the entire sector. Ah hell, probably the known universe, and perhaps a considerable slice of the unknown universe too, depending on which time period we're talking about. He swallowed, and skipped a day ahead. There was a bright flash and suddenly Deanna vanished in what looked remarkably like a giant sideways mushroom-cloud in space. The two little moons Ding and Dong bounced off each other, and were sent careening off into deep space by the blast wave, never to be seen again. There was a face, tangibly near in the turmoil and confusion of events. It was laughing at him, almost daring him to interfere, to stop him. It was the all too familiar face of Brad Xyl.

* * *

On the sidewalk outside the Interplanetary Café a man sat on a wooden stool playing the sax. He wore a stripy sweater and old jeans and a funny little black beret. And the bewildered look on his face. A saxophone hung in one hand,

ceterah. 'Don't dew wot ah dew, Miss Merangue' – dew wot ah tell yew tew dew.' Hmm. She could almost hear him say the words in his funky accent. Glancing over her shoulder she could see the manager standing by the bar, a tray dangling from one hand, empty. At his feet were little fragments of glass, some strawberries and red fluid which marked the end of an expensive cocktail. She blinked and abruptly returned to reality.

Fred was browsing the menu. It was a folded A3 sized full color plasma sheet. The outer display was flashing the café logo and a desert special. He turned a page with one of the branches he was using to hold the menu. A deeply buried formerly professional part of Mei's mind was wondering whether Fred actually left any fing – er, leaf prints (?) on whatever he touched. Fred seemed more interested in the cold drinks section.

"Mineral water for me, please." He decided.

"Hmm? Oh, ok – and you, m'am?"

Cindy-Mei paged through her menu. She felt bad that Fred couldn't actually eat anything, so she decided to just have something to drink instead.

"A tea for me please, Earl Grey."

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