Just a taste please….

So new project.  It’s actually the third book in my Sci Fi Trilogy, this one, Margin of Error, should be done this month, but here is an excerpt…..


“Did it come Dad?”

The man walked into the house looking carrying a basket full of envelopes.  “I don’t know yet, I have to get to the table and go through all of this stuff.”  He made his way to the kitchen table and sat the basket down.  Then he took a seat.  The eager boy was standing near him almost fidgeting with excitement.

He reached in and pulled out a stack of smaller letters, then slowly looked at each one, pausing to inspect who they were from.  After a few moments the child grew impatient, “DAD!!”

The man laughed as he set the pile aside, “I was just messing with you.  It’ll be bigger, so it should be on the bottom.”  He quickly took all of the smaller items out and set them off to the side, then he pulled out a pile of larger envelops, document size.  “It should be rather thin.  Most of these are bigger documents, so you shouldn’t even have to look at them if they seem too thick.”  He handed part of the pile to his son and they started looking.

“Here it is,” the boy said excitedly.

“Give it here then.”

“I want to open it.”

“I’m sure you do Brian.  But I paid for it, so I get to open it.  Besides I want to see what

your actual GPA is.”

“I told you already.”

“I know you did, and most of the time I let you handle everything that concerns your education.  Except this is your first real degree.”  He took a letter opener and unsealed the end of the envelope.  Then he peered inside.  Finally, he reached in and pulled out three sheets of paper, leaving the thicker piece inside.  He looked at the papers for a moment.

“Well?” the boy inquired.

“I see an A- here.”

“Yeah, Shakespeare.  I really didn’t like the way it was written.”

The man looked at his son with a frown.

“Really Dad?  Over a dead poet?”

Then he smiled.  “No, I’m just messing with you again.  Personally, I just used Cliff Notes whenever I had to deal with him.”

“Cliff Notes?”

“Like shorter summary versions of books, films, or what not.”

“You cheated?”

“Not technically.  Besides, you’re a lot more capable than I ever was.”

“So, what was my final?”

“Let’s see, 3.95.”

“Aww, I really wanted that 4.0.”

“Next time?”

“Yeah, I mean I have to.  You wouldn’t let me have more than one major.”

“That would’ve added a year or so.”


“I wanted you done as fast as possible, so it could be today.  From now on you can triple or quadruple major if you want.”  The man set the papers down, then went to a nearby cabinet and pulled out a large box.  He set it front of the boy.  “Happy Birthday, Brian.”

The boy tore open the box and took out one of the fanciest frames he had ever seen.  “It’s beautiful dad.  Is it 17th century?”

“Good eye.  In the bottom of the box is some matting to help make your diploma fit.  It’s hard to try and find a nice frame from that era to match the size.”

“It doesn’t matter, I love it.”  He ran to his father and hugged him, “Can we put it in now?”

“Of course.”

Brian took the envelope and pulled out the fake parchment.  He held it in his hands and raised it to the window to examine it.  The “University of Chicago” was prominent on the top.  His eyes then moved to “Bachelor of Science in Physics”, finally to his name with the date next to it.  “Awarded this 15th day of July in the Year of our Lord 1981”.

“I liked physics Dad, but why did you want me to start here?”

“Because now you can get to work on the real stuff.  The computers that are coming out rely on the physics for the hardware.”

“But they’re not that good.  Ours are so much better.”

“I know, so now you get to work on your computer studies, and maybe some engineering.”

“Can I go to an actual school now or still from home?”

“Sorry sport, home.  No one would take you seriously on a real campus.”

“I know.  I just thought I’d ask.  He took his diploma and moved to the frame he had just gotten, sizing up what he would have to do to make it fit.  “Dad?”


“Can I get something more, um, fun for my birthday next year?”

“What did you have in mind?”

“I don’t know.  What do eight-year old’s like?”

Vampires Chapter 3

Chapter 3 – The Discovery

Greg pushed his cart down the sidewalk.  The streetlamps along the road gave off enough light for him to conduct his business.  He liked to go out in the early morning before the streets filled with people and cars.  It was quiet and calm.  He hated to interact with all the others once they appeared.  He made a conscious choice to avoid them whenever possible.  It wasn’t so much that he was opposed to people, but the way that they looked at him when he was out was uncomfortable to say the least.

The moonlight was enough to show his surroundings tonight as well.  It was a good night.  He liked the four o’clock hour.  All of the bars had closed and most of the more undesirables had called it a night as well.  It was a good time to collect the cans and other things that lay out in the dark world.  He would then take them to their respective recycling locations when he felt he had enough and then be able to get his essentials, food and cigarettes.

It wasn’t the life that he had planned for himself, he didn’t think that anyone in his situation had set out to be in it, but if one was able to adapt and learn it was surprisingly satisfying.  The key was to come to terms with it.  He had been in the dog eat dog world once and the stress had almost killed him.  Now he was happy to get by.  Between the parks in the spring and summer and the various shelters in the colder months he got by rather well.

The one thing he didn’t like was when those around him had a sad ending to their stories.  Those were mostly the people that couldn’t take being homeless.  Sure, there were a lot of addicts among his population, but they usually kept to themselves.  It was still depressing when something happened to them though.  That was another reason that Greg really never got close to anyone.  The thoughts of past friends that had moved on before he decided to become a loner came back to him as he entered the alley just to the side of The Shiny Badge.

It was a cop bar, but cops, on average, could get a little rowdier than most at times.  He also had an arrangement with the owner.  Greg had been his ears and eyes on the street for a few years when he was still a cop.  In return he had helped him out a bit, and now he left out whatever cans he had when he closed the bar at night.  Greg was here to pick those up, but on his way, he stopped at the dumpster to take a look.  One never knew what they might find.

The coat that he was wearing he had found in one about four blocks away the year before.  It had a hole in it and was covered in something.  Thankfully Greg had a sewing kit and just had to wash it.  Most likely it was just some spoiled kid who drank too much and stumbled, catching it on a door or something.  His standards resulted in it being discarded, and it became Greg’s win.  So, he lifted the right-side lid on the dumpster and looked in.  After a few minutes he determined that there was nothing of value in it.   He closed it and pushed his cart.  Then it stopped.

Greg tried to push a few more times, then finally went and looked at what was stopping it.  There was a pair of feet blocking the front wheel.  He leaned down.  He hoped it was just another bum like him passed out, but his gut was telling him differently.  His gut was right.

Greg got up and shifted his cart to go around the feet.  He went to the back of the alley and turned left.  The shock was still on him.  It’s not like he hadn’t seen a body before, but the suddenness of this one got to him.  He stopped and took deep breaths, trying to calm down.  He had gotten down and seen most of the body.  The man looked familiar.  He was a local dealer.  Not that Greg had a lot to do with him, but he had seen him around.  At least if it was who he thought, the clothes are what made him think it was who he thought it was.

He finally calmed down and got behind his cart.  Then he went a little further and took another left.  He was going to exit from the adjacent alley.  He thought about calling the police, but he wanted to get a bit away first.  He had to think for a few minutes to retrace his steps from the night.  He knew that if he did call it in that of course they would question him.  He wanted to make sure that someone of some camera could verify where he had been earlier.  If he got unlucky and got some rookie, he could be in for a long night or a rough time.  He had no money for a lawyer or anything.

Not that three hots and a cot for a few days in the county lock up would be the worst thing, but Greg’s biggest worry was his stuff.  If he was gone more than a few hours all of his stuff would be stolen and sold.  He didn’t want that.  There was an old pay phone a couple of blocks away.  It was outside the old bus station.  They moved it when the city decided to modernize itself.  Now it was being converted to fashionable townhouses, but the phone was still there.   He would pop out into the main road and make his way there.  He could have just as easily gone to the station himself, but that would mean a lot of questions.

He slowly made his way up the alley, that is when he saw it.  Another body.  This one was hastily hidden.  Sitting up right behind a stack of boxes that were along one of the walls.  The body was well dressed.  Not someone that would normally be in this area.  Greg immediately suspected that it was someone looking to score.  Then he thought of the first body.  They might be connected, but he wasn’t going to stick around to ponder it.

Now he knew he had to call it in.  But he hesitated.  The new body was right below a light.  The thing that stuck out besides the apparent fact that the person wasn’t from around here was the pair of holes in his neck.  There were small trails of blood right below them.  It was something out of a bad eighties’ horror movie.  Greg just stood there and stared for a long time.  He had never seen anything like it before and it was too odd not to look at.  This was one thing he wasn’t going to tell the cops.

The clothes on the body were a little scuffed, but overall in good condition.  That was odd considering that the man was dead.  It looked as if he almost gave in to his fate.  Anyone else would have fought and it would have shown.  It was all really odd to Greg.  Another thought came into his head, look for a wallet or something.  But the total absurdity of the situation made him shale it off.

Finally, he pushed his cart past the second body and out onto the road.  He made his was to the pay phone and lifted up the receiver.  He hesitated for a long while.  He just couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something going on that was out of the ordinary.  In fact, he knew it.  But somewhere deep inside of his mind a little voice told him not to get involved.  Just to call and report it and then to move on.

His fingers made their way to the three digits.  “This is 9-1-1, what is your emergency?”

Greg paused when the voice on the other side finished.

“Hello?  Is anyone there?  Is there an emergency?”

“Not so much an emergency,” Greg started, “But I would like to report a crime.”

“What crime sir?”

“There are two dead bodies in the alley next to the Shiny Badge bar.”

“Are you sure they are dead?”

“Oh yeah.”

“Are you the one that did it?”

Greg was taken aback at the question, “No, I just found them and am calling in to report it.”

“Can I get your name sir?”

“No, I’m just calling it in.”  With that he hung up the phone and started pushing his cart in the opposite direction of the alley.  There was a soup kitchen nearby and they would be serving breakfast soon.  The line would be forming about now.

His plan was to get to the line and blend in.  The cops would get to the scene rather fast, but it would be a while before they started looking around for people.  They had to secure the scene and make sure there was nothing else going on.  That would be their focus and that was the window Greg had to disappear.  It was just too weird, and he wanted nothing to do with it.

Within five minutes after he hung up, he could hear the sirens.  A few more and the ambulances were in the area.  He was in line for a meal by the time they stopped.  He knew they were cordoning off the area.  He felt sorry for his old friend.  His business might be affected by this, at least for a few days.  That meant no cans in the alley for him either until the next week, if he was lucky.

As Greg made it through the line and got a plate of eggs and ham, he decided that he wouldn’t say a word to anyone.  The community liked to talk about what was going on in the area, but this was one of those rare cases where keeping his mouth shut might be better for him in the long run.  He had gotten by for quite a few years by playing it smart, this was just another one of those decisions that was smart in his opinion.

Greg found an empty table, sat down, and ate his breakfast in silence.

Delays and Realizations.

A long time ago, about a year, I put out my book Remnant.  It was more of a do it or die thing.  You see I had written it about two years before and it had gone through several revisions. At the time it seemed like a good idea, and I still think it was.

It was also at this time that I got this blog, the Tweeter, the FB page, and a bunch of other things.  A stupid thing I did was say I was going to toss out the sequels to Remnant last fall and this spring…..  Let’s just say that didn’t happen.

One reason was I was in school, another is i didn’t have the time to try and revise them as much as book one.  I have also learned that parts of them are probably not the best they could be.  There is also the fact I have rethought the ending of the trilogy as a whole.

inheritanceTime is a thing, I just forgot about it, and here I am now trying to fit in too much stuff, as usual.   Trying to find someone to help with revising the 2 books, as well as rewriting the ending of another, working on another 4……. Life is weird like that.  I still love the stories contained in the pages, it’s just that I have to make sure that all (apparently 4 now) of my fans will as well.


See I even kind of have the covers from stock images……  I want better covers, but at the same time unless they are hard copies on shelves I don’t think it’s as important.  Just my opinion though.  I know a lot of things I get on Kindle I could care less about the cover.

I might actually put up a chapter or two from each of the books over the coming days, but finding ones that can stand alone as well as not give away anything too major is a key factors.

I won’t waste anymore of your time today.


Emporium of Awesome – 7


The day started like most others and James rolled into work about eight, a lot earlier than if he was just dealing with the store, but he had promised Tommy that he would get the information for the potential deal to buy countrywide.  Today was the day that he was going to present what he had to him. It was a pain in the ass, but since it had already happened he knew what was coming and how to avoid it.

He wasn’t a legal expert, but he had all of the court records, names, times etc so that he could consult with more lawyers to figure out what they could do.  The fact was he had talked to several already, but more information was always good. As he unlocked the door to enter though he smelled something weird. The lights were already on as well.

James followed the aroma to the diner in the middle.  It was ablaze with the logos and lights that it normally did when it was in full use, usually at night during gaming events.  He entered through one of the doors and saw Tommy sitting there having an omelet.

“Morning sunshine,” Tommy said between bites.  “Tell the chef what you want and he will make it.”

James looked back into the kitchen and saw a man working the grill.  “What the hell is going on? I don’t remember telling you I was presenting what I found to you today.”

Tommy stopped a moment and looked at him, “I didn’t know.  I thought you said you needed a couple of weeks?”

“I got done ahead of time.”

“Well then, that makes today a double event.  I am meeting with Todd’s lawyer today in New York.  I got a call from him yesterday.”

“So now it’s all coming together?”

“Of course, a private will reading.  I assume you want to tag along, while we travel you can pitch what you got to me.”

“That works.  When are we leaving?”

“As soon as you eat and grab what you need to.”

Soon, after the best breakfast he ever had, James and Tommy were off to a regional airport that wasn’t far from their store.  The Sparta regional airport was just one strip and a few hangers. James had never been there before and had no idea that his friend had a plane there, or even knew anyone with a plane.  But given the story he had been told and what he had witnessed he was bound to believe almost anything at this point.

They arrived at the airport and didn’t stop at the small terminal there, instead the driver kept going to the edge of the field and then towards the hangers through an open gate.  When they reached the farthest hanger a small just was sitting on the tarmac with its engines running. The door was open with the stairs down and a very attractive flight attendant.

The car stopped and the driver opened the door.  They both got out and walked to and into the plane.  The attendant followed them on. She pulled the stairs up and closed the door.  Then went to the cockpit. Soon the plane was taxing on the runway and prepared for take-off.  The usual spiel came over the speakers and they buckled in. Soon they were in the air and flying along at cruising altitude.

The legging blonde attendant came over to them.  “Is there anything I can get you gentlemen?”

“I will just have a beer,” Tommy said.  He then looked at James, “It is a full-service flight there bud, you can have anything.”  He winked as he finished the sentence.

James thought a minute.  “Just a pop.” The attendant smiled and turned, winking at Tommy as she went to the front to get their drinks.  “What the hell did you do as Todd?”

“Well its not like I could have a wife and kids, is it?  Besides it is consensual. They are paid to do the job they do, everything else is just a bonus.”

“What do you mean they?”  As James finished the sentence, A redhead and Burnette attendants came from the back of the plane.

“I mean officially they work for the estate of Mr. Matherson.  They are just that, attendants, but select persons can partake in extra benefits.  Well just me. But I have only flown on here twice before when I had too.”

“Anyway, back to the business at hand.”

“Yeah.  Once we get to New York and meet with the lawyer, then we will discuss your thing and take action from there.”

Their drinks arrived and James settled down a little.  “I do have a question though, I am sure you knew it was coming eventually.”

“The future?”

“Of course.”

“Remember how one can’t go back farther than they have existed, but they retain their age?”


“Well the one time I jumped to the future, it was ten years.  As soon as I arrived I felt pain all throughout my body. I saw a doctor.  Nothing was wrong with me per say, I just had the body of a regular fifty-year-old.”

“You aged when you jumped?”

“Exactly.  I figure if I had stayed I would have stayed at that age, but it makes it awkward.  I have no idea what the shock would do to me if I jumped farther. I think it is the universes way of keeping a check on time travel.”

“By the way, aren’t you worried about what the ladies might hear?”

“No, they are in the back.  After take off they go back there unless called.  We don’t have to worry.”

James looked around and realized they weren’t there.  The cockpit was closed as well. It was just the two of them in a nice leather interior jet traveling from Michigan to New York.  “I guess I can’t knock the travel arrangements.”

“You better not.  As I was saying though.  I mean it might be because traveling back is easier since everything is already set.  If you go to the future so many unknowns are there, that settling on one makes the process hit the traveler the way it did me.”

“That goes against everything science fiction has told us.  I mean time travel to the future is real according the relatively.”

“That isn’t time travel that is moving at different speeds through space time.  Relative to those moving slower, time passes faster. Just jumping around is different.”

“So you do know what is going on?”

“Hell no.  I just made the machine, I have no idea how temporal mechanics work.  Its like the first boats. Man figured out wood floats and made a raft, but he couldn’t explain the physics around it.  He just knew it works. Maybe someday someone will figure all this stuff out and make a time machine that counteracts all the things mine can’t.  Like how later ships could be made of steal and all that jazz.”

“So, you are just a humble boat builder with no idea how it really works?”

“Nope.  I just did some basic quantum math, applied it with engineering and poof, time travel.  The finer details are someone else’s problem.”

“You will have to tell me more about it someday.”

“Not how to. That is going to die with me.  Besides you are a finance guy, once I get past intermediate physics I would lose you.”

“Good point.”

Emporium of Awesome – 6


“So you had a guy that did all of that for you?”

“Of course, it’s not I like I was going to stay the whole time and manage finances.”

“So you got lucky and found the right guy then.”

“Actually no, it took me five times to get it right.  I would leave enough instructions to cover 30 years. Once I made contact I would come back here and see what happened. If the held to the contract I would keep them, if not I would go back and change who I approached.”

“Seems like a lot of trial and error,” James said as he grabbed another roll from spread they had assembled.

“Well I had to be sure that it would get done.  I wasn’t going to leave something important like this to amateurs.”

“Fair enough.  I can’t imagine that thirty-years’ worth of information remained accurate though.”

“It didn’t, I had to go back and revise a lot, thus many of our conversations.  But I wasn’t going to do that for each schlub I tested. I figured if they followed the information to the letter, then good or bad I would know.  The first four tried to make things better when it got bad. I didn’t need thinkers, I needed followers. Nice, blind, obedient, followers.”

“So once you found the right guy, then you adjusted as you needed.”

“Correct, which brings me to my next point, and you.”

“Now we get to the good stuff.”

“Not really, unless you find lots of numbers and trading transactions fun.  I really can’t see how you did this for a living all those years. I took a few classes so I knew the topic and I found that boring.  Doing it for a living day in and day out, I would go insane.”

“I like numbers, what can I say?”

“That you like working here better.”

“Oh, I do, I get to deal with numbers and the nerdy shit I adore.  Not as much in the number department, but enough to make me happy.”

“So I think I have something that could make you potentially really happy.”

“What would that be?”

“I want you to pitch me a deal that would make a literal fuck ton of money.”

“I’m not in the market that much anymore.  I mean I still browse the journal occasionally, but nothing that I can think of that magnitude.”

Tommy leaned over as James took a bite of an eggroll and smacked the back of his head.  “Why the hell would I want you to pitch me an unknown? I have a damn time machine. Pitch me something from the last twenty years that could do the same.  Thing about it as a sure thing. If you have access to capital and resources at any point in time, that we can get too, what would you do to maximize profit?”

James pondered a moment while he rubbed the back of his head.  “Maybe take advantage of the housing crash of 2007 and 2008?”

“I tried that.  I got the securities that said it would fail.  I made some, but not a lot. The losses were eventually capped, for me at least, at around five billion.”

James stopped chewing and just stared at him a moment.  “Only five?” he said as pieces of eggroll dropped from his mouth.

“I am serious here dude.  The amount is not an obstacle.  Take a few to actually think and get as stupid on me as you want.  I mean even look at things that didn’t work out that well, and if they can be fixed and profit us then pitch that as well.”

James thought for a few more minutes as he finished the eggroll that had been plaguing him for too long now.  He started off at three six-foot Millennium Falcons that Toys R Us had for displays in the late 90s. They were engaged in a static position from a dogfight they were caught in, it was a thing Tommy had done with them.  At a grand a piece, James expected them to be that way for a while. For whatever reason though this sparked a thought.


“Well sure, maybe someday I could franchise out, but that isn’t in my immediate plans.”

“No, the home loan company that was one of the main culprits of the crappy loans that brought about the housing collapse.”

“Oh yeah.  They really screwed the pooch on that one.”

“Anyway.  Bank of America bought them for like 4.1 billion, actually 2.5 when the deal closed.  But they lost a ton of money on the deal over the years as things were worse than they thought along with taking on all of Countrywide’s legal problems.”

“How big a loss are we talking?”

“About 40 to 50 billion.”

Tommy audibly gasped.  “I want to make money man.”

“I get that.  They went in thinking they knew what was going to happen.  But if we know all of that and how it will play out before hand then we can take it over and potentially turn that into, I don’t know 100 billion?”

“That is a huge difference.”

“Yes, it is, but if we have everything in place before we take it over, head the lawsuits off at the pass, and knowing when the markets will recover at what times in what markets we can take all of that property and mortgages and optimize revenue.”

“Sounds like a lot of leg work.”

“How far did Kirk have to go to get Spock back?”

“Fair enough, what are the main things we will need?”

“Well to even have a shot at it, we would need some kind of heavy financial company to have the credibility to buy them out.  The government has to approve the deal, that kind of thing. And I will have to do a lot of homework. I just hope we can have everything in place to make it happen.”

“Remember the Y2K scare?”

James looked at him weird for a moment, “Off topic, but yeah.”

“In 1995 I set up a small computer repair company that had every conceivable variation of fixes for the problem.  Every system, network, whatever. You might have heard of it, Safe Systems.”

“Of course.  They are still big in computer repair.  Not as big as back then.”

“Nope.  I used it to tackle that problem and make a ton of money.  Since we already had the fixes, we could do it faster and get more contracts.  Once 2001 came I pretty much stepped back and sold the thing. Now it is just a shell of its former self, but it did what I needed it too.  The point is, I found a problem that was huge, figured out how to take it on and profit, and then did it. Computers are my space though, now I am looking to you to figure out yours.”

“Well give me a week or two to do some research.  Then I will come to you and see what we can do to get ready.”

“Sounds like a plan.  Now pass that fried rice.”

Emporium of Awesome – 5


May 1976 – New York City, New York

A younger man in an Air Force uniform is in the waiting room of Robert Patterson, Esq.  Business was slow today, but Robert was making people wait anyway. He wanted them to think he was busy.  It was finally time to talk to the sole person in his office, besides himself and his secretary. He figured the man was here for a power of Attorney or a will or something simple.

“He will see you now,” the secretary said from behind her desk as she hung up the phone.

Todd Matherson stood up and grabbed the briefcase that he had brought with him.  He smiled at the lady as she directed him to a door to his left. He opened it and entered.  Behind the desk in the office sat Mr. Patterson, a middle age mad who was losing a little of the top while gaining a bit in the middle.  He stood and offered his hand. Todd shook it then took the seat he was offered.

“How can I help you today young man?”

“How trustworthy are you?”

“Excuse me?”

“I am looking for someone who I can trust implicitly and who can follow instructions.”

“Well if you are worried about anything that we discuss it is covered under privilege.”

“I am well aware of the law Mr. Patterson.  I am asking about the ability to do as one is told and not asking any questions.”

“I don’t like where this is going, I would never partake in anything illegal.”

“I never said what I wanted was illegal.  I will be blunt then. How would you like to do as little as possible and make a ton of money?”

“Who wouldn’t?”

“The problem is that most people eventually start to ask questions.  Would you have that problem?”

“I think we are done here.”

Todd stood up and placed the briefcase on Mr. Patterson’s deck and opened it.  The lawyer stared in disbelief. The case easily contained $25,000. “Now that I have your attention, can we get down to business?”

“Um,” Patterson adjusted his tie. “I don’t see why not.”

“I understand you have a practice to run, so I won’t demand too much from you for now.  I will keep it simple for now too, so both of us can figure out if we can trust each other.  For you, to see that I am serious, for me to see if you can do as you are told.”

“What is the money for?”

“Your retainer.  I will offer you work for the next six months.  Each transaction after the first will see you paid for it.  This will cover the first.”

“What are these transactions you want me to do?”

Todd pulls a letter from his pocket and places it on the desk.  “In the envelope is a set of days and times that you need to be here.  On those days you will receive additional instructions to execute. Being a finance lawyer, you know people and procedures for most of the actions that will be requested.  Those that you do not, you will be instructed to learn or outsource to people who can.”

“Why not just give me the instructions direct?”

“Plausible deniability for everyone involved.  In addition I have documents here for you to sign.  I took the liberty of having a third party draft these.”  Todd took some papers from the back of the brief case and handed them to Robert.  He took them and read through them.

“These are very detailed.”

“Yes they are.  Even if I already trusted you I would still have these drawn up.  I can’t take any chances.”

“I understand.”

“And since you will not get instructions until they are to be handled, you can claim ignorance if anything does happen.  But no one should ever find out as long as you say nothing.”

“I would like to go over these if you don’t mind.”

“I understand.”  Todd stood up, then took $10,000 from the case and put it on the desk.  “I will return tomorrow to see if we have a deal then. I will also say this now, I am aware of inflation and cost of living.  So right off the bat don’t get greedy on me.”

The next day Todd returned.  The secretary was not there; Robert was at the front desk waiting for him.  “Mr. Matherson, I have been looking forward to your return.”

“Is everything in order then?”

“I see no reason that I can’t do what you need me too.”

“Good.”  Todd hands Mr. Patterson the briefcase.  “In there you will find a bankbook with the funds to execute the first round of directives.”  Todd reached in his pocket and hands Robert two cards.

“What are these?”

“The first is the card of the accounting firm you are to use.  They will be alerted to how much you have been instructed to invest and where.  They also receive the bank records. Any deviation will be a breach of contract.  The second is a piece of real estate that I suggest you buy.”

“I am not a real estate guy.”

“I have it on good authority that it will go for sale on the cheap, within a year you can flip it for ten times the buying price today.  If you don’t want it, then I will grab it. Besides I tossed a little extra in here so you could afford it.”

“Where does an Air Force Sergeant get……..”

Todd looked at him sternly for a moment.  “What was that?”

“Oh nothing.  I am still getting used to keeping my thoughts to myself.”

“I hope for both our sakes that you learn it fast.  Don’t you have something for me?”

Mr. Patterson hands Todd an envelope with the signed documents.  “There you are.”

“Thank you.  Now for starters, you need to keep your eyes on a new Index fund starting and get in on HBO.”

“That new satellite company?  That is a fad.”

“Trust me it is worth it.  You will receive more specific instructions soon.”

“When can I expect you again?”

“I am not sure.  I will stop in from time to time.  Like I said we will see how you do over the next few months and then go from there.”

Of course Todd already knew that Patterson would check out and do just fine.  It was in fact his fifth attorney. After each initial meeting with each lawyer he would jump back to the present and know immediately if they screwed him over.  Mr. Patterson would not only keep his mouth shut, but would do far better than Todd could have imagined.

Emporium of Awesome – 4


“So you went back and did two years in the Air Force?” James asked.


“Why was that, I mean I get the appeal, work on the latest tech of 40 years ago, but come on it seems a bit beneath you.”

“There is more to it than that.  So before I went back I did my homework as usual.  I looked for someone I could replace.”


“Yeah.  I was 30 when I went back, so I needed someone that was born between 1950 and 1955.”

“You thought you could pass for 20 to 25?”

“Well sure, I look young for my age.  Anyway, they also needed to have died before I was born.  I was also looking for it in a rural area with, shall we say poor record keeping.  Needless to say I found what I was looking for. I went back to just after my birth and set up my new identity.”

“And you found someone named Todd Matherson.”

“Exactly.  He was 15 when he and his parents were killed in a car accident.  They lived in rural Iowa, well all of Iowa was rural. I got a copy of his birth certificate and social security info.  He was born in 1953, died in 1968. Since no records were digital and it was so far away, I just set up shop in Chicago for a couple of months as him and laid some ground work.  I also forged a few things and made sure they was where a paper trail if anyone went looking.”

“How did you manage that?”

“You would be amazed at what you can do with a modern laptop and printer in the mid nineteen-seventies.  I just did what I needed, jumped back to drop off my stuff and went back.”

“So not to pollute the time line.  Why Chicago though? Then again, why not? I assume you can go anywhere.”

“No, I can only go back in time to the place I am at when I go.  This isn’t like the shows that let them go anyplace as well as anytime.  I ain’t Doctor Who. No, I procured a place that I used as basically my base for all those years, where I could keep stuff whenever I went back.”

“Where is that?”

“You’re sitting in it.”

“Really?  I thought you had this place built like a couple of years ago.”

“I did, well I rebuilt.  The basement is the same though.  Before the shop I had a smaller building.  I knew this property would be prime real estate someday, so I grabbed it for cheap back in 77 when I got out of the Air Force, well my agent did anyway.”

“Your Agent?”

“Yeah, I had a guy.  Do you think I sat back and ran all of this myself?  Hell no, I had some people working for me.”

“I didn’t think the Air Force paid that well back then.”

“They didn’t.  In fact, it sucked.  I managed to get some bills from that era before I went back then I Back to the Future IIed it.  I was able to make a few bets and build from there. Why do you think I wanted to be stationed by Vegas when I was in?”

“To make the big bucks.”

“Between regular trips to Vegas and vacations to the Sci Fi and Computer conventions and events in California I was getting to know people that would be the players of the industry.  I am sure you know where this goes from here.”

“I think so.  But I have to ask an obvious…..”

“Of course I saw it.  I managed to get to know a few of the guys from the effects crew, so I was able to sneak into the premier.  I mean it might seem better in digital surround sound. But being with the cast in that theater when Star Wars opened was the balls man.”

“I am so jealous right now,” James said as he pulled out his wallet.  “Our food should be here soon.” He checked his phone as is gave a notification, the driver was at the front of the shop.  The pair of men walked to the door. James unlocked it and let the delivery guy in. He inspected the food and then handed the guy the money and a $20 tip.

“Thanks man,” the driver said.

“No problem, I am having a great night so I thought you should too.”

The delivery guy nodded and left.  James locked the door behind him. The two moved to the play area where customers usually played games.  James divvied up the food and they started to eat. “So why did you decide to tell me all of this now?” James asked between bites of sweet and sour pork.

“Because it is time to move into the next phase of my plan.”

“Which is?”

“I have no idea.  I just know in this day and age, I can’t keep up the Todd Matherson charade much longer, so I decided to end it.  I also figured I am in a good place right now, so why not start using this thing to have some fun. Thus I am telling you.”

“Do you plan on taking me to the days of old to relive the best of times?”

“Sure.  Which until recently I didn’t know if I even could.”

“As in taking people with you?”

“Exactly.  I always knew I couldn’t take that much with me, a backpack with some stuff in it, a box if I held it.  I’ve been tinkering with it for a while now and tested it with a big dog lately. It was a success.”

“I hate to think what happened to your earlier tests.”

“Nothing really, I didn’t try it until I was pretty certain that it would work.  I have a lot more going on as well. The amount of research I have conducted is insane as well.”

“I thought you went back to build up your fortune?”

“Well yeah, but since I don’t age when I go back, I’ve also done things like just go back 10 years and researched for 2 to 5 years a couple of times.  Think about it, researching as much as you want while not aging. Then return to the present like nothing happened.”

“This a basement thing again?”

“Yes and no, I have another place I tinker at as well.  I have to keep a little notebook to track where and when I have been.  That whole erase time thing if I touch myself.”

“Doesn’t someone think highly of themselves?”

Tommy pondered a moment, then realized what his previous words sounded like.  “You know what I mean smartass. The Time Cop thing. You come into contact with another version of yourself in another time and you cancel each other out.  I don’t know if it creates a paradox or wipes time. Not eager to find out either.”