“Wait, time travel are you talking about real life time travel?” Miller said, jumping up from his seat.
“Dr. Gunter, calm down, please calm down, and listen.” Dr. Sanjay Chen spoke in a soothing voice. “I know this is disconcerting. This is not how we typically like to involve our partners in our conversations but time is …shall we say of the essence.”
Miller Gunter paced around his living room adjusting and re-adjusting his Marvel figurines. “Time is of the essence. That’s something one of my characters would say. This is some kind of joke, right? Sammy put you up to this. Wait are there cameras?” Miller asked.
Miller began checking for hidden cameras while Dr. Chen pinched the bridge of her nose.
“Dr. Gunter, please sit and focus. This is a matter most urgent. Lives have been lost or may be lost or are yet to be lost. You need to decide Dr. Gunter,” Dr. Sanjay Chen said.
Petite, with narrow silver frames, and clad in a metallic gray suit Chen was a model of calmness except for the beads of sweat forming on her upper lip. She reminded Miller of the main character from his latest series Milla Scorpion, a sexy scientist who uncovers an ancient teleportation gateway. Her calmness made him nervous and her nerves even more so. Tenting her fingers, Chen watched Miller closely.
“Okay Dr. — I mean Miller, you are not Dr. Miller Gunter the founder of the Pegasus Time Travel Project. You are plain ordinary citizen Miller Gunter, a struggling science fiction writer who runs a successful online website for nerds who play with dolls. that’s all perfectly reasonable. I’m here as an elaborate prank. Now answer my goddamn questions.” Chen stilled his protest with raised hands. “As a writer imagine this scenario. We have had the technology to view the past and the future via Tesla monitors since the 1970s. A team of scientists founded by not you invents a way to send test subjects back and forwards through time to observe major events. Caprese.”
Miller sat down in his easy chair and nodded dumbly.
“An hour ago a van load of chrononauts crashed into a dairy van. All are dead and now the future is, I don’t know, uncertain. The Tesla monitors are blank. Should we save them? I mean in one of your stories would you save the time travelers.”
Miller sat quietly turning a figurine in his hands.
“As a writer no, the story would be richer with those characters killed. The future is always in flux. There is no observation without change. The Tesla monitors being down shows these cro-nuts whatmacallits changed time drastically,” Miller said.
This time Chen jumped up from the sofa. “How can you be so sure?”
“Check the dairy truck driver. Clearly a freedom fighter from the future trying desperately to right a wrong or someone from the past who realizes where the time line was altered. Probably the past. Someone high up who discovered time is too dangerous to touch. Did you have Xavier run DNA on the dairy truck driver?” Miller answered confused by his sudden confidence.
Chen nodded as thought raced accused her features. She tapped on her watch and then her eyes grew wide when the results appeared on her tiny screen.
“Thanks, Doc. I love your little stories. Good to see you again. Keep up the good work,” Chen said absentmindedly. She beelined for his door. Miller chased after her.
“Wait, wait, what is going on here? Save the people, as a writer kill them all, but as a person I say save lives of course.”
Chen gave him a Mona Lisa smile and shook his hand hard. “Thank you, Dr. Gunter. Enjoy your retirement.”
Miller was suddenly woozy and stumbled back to his favorite chair. In a few hours Miller woke up refreshed, with an incredible story on the tip of his brain, and a Wolverine figurine tightly clenched in his hand.