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Now that his followers were gathered on the platform and monitoring Wally’s every move, Halstead’s boots could be heard clanging alone on the ladder. “That’s perfectly okay, Mister Bayer. We have plenty of time until the authorities arrive.”
“What did you do to the security guards, Colonel?” Wally asked with an eye on a computer screen when Halstead arrived on the platform with a slow, easy breath.
Halstead walked to the inner ring of railing and looked down into the circular hole in the center of the cube as he listened to a mechanical whir that indicated the chromium tunnel necessary for the creation of Bayer’s quantum state was being elongated downward to the proper length for a journey to the year Nineteen Eighteen. The lieutenant colonel eyed the top edge of the tunnel, which was already beginning to glow with the energy being directed onto its surface. “The security guards put up a fight. And we were forced to fight back.”
“Stop asking questions and just do your job, kid,” one of Halstead’s larger companions instructed with a small poke of his rifle in Wally’s back.
“Leave the ‘kid’ alone, Calhoun,” Halstead ordered from the railing, his back still turned on all others present and his eyes focused on the capsule at the end of the crane hanging above the glowing hole. “Tell me, Mister Bayer, how far a drop is it to the year Nineteen Eighteen?” Halstead leaned over the railing, but could not see much more than a few feet into the heating expanse that would soon swallow the dangling capsule.
“By a little coincidence, nineteen hundred feet and something. Nineteen thirty-seven, to be exact.” Wally double-clicked on an icon on a computer’s desktop, and now a second whir took the place of the completed first, a whir emanating from the crane that shifted the capsule from a dangling position over the hole to a position adjacent to a gap in the inner ring of railing.
“That capsule looks pretty small for all of us, Colonel,” one of Halstead’s companions remarked as he watched Bayer leave the workstation and approach the vessel in question.