Copyright 2012 by Richard Quarry
“Utah,” Captain Rathford confirmed uneasily.
DeShawn sighed. “When, Utah, exactly?”
“Uhhh ….” Captain Rathford displayed a weighty frown sodden with do–or–die resolve as he ran his hands over the control levers, trackballs, and touchscreens of the pilot’s station.
“And exactly where,” said DeShawn, tapping up the answer himself on the chronometer screen and wincing as it came up 1957, “are we supposed to be?”
“Uhhh ... Seattle?”
“Seattle, 2013. How could you miss so badly?”
The flesh of Captain Rathford’s square–set jaw crinkled as he tried to set it manfully. “The gyro–couplers must have been destabilized when we passed through—”
A perky voice from further back in the cockpit interrupted what would in any case have been a lame explanation, as the Model 4–U lander did not feature gyro–couplers.
“Oh co–oool. Hey guys, check it out.”
DeShawn swiveled around. On one of the monitors set high along the side of the cockpit a group of children with black disc–shaped projections projecting out from either side of their heads pranced about with inanely happy expressions singing in iambs. The image came through a grainy, wavering field of blue–gray.
“Wee–eird,” proclaimed Maybe Esme, the ship’s good luck piece. Esme was one of those strange attractors who could twist the time stream in their favor—maybe. In Esme’s case, a lot more maybe than most.