Now, fifteen year-old Betty had a wariness well-hidden in those same eyes as they glanced from side-to-side at her classmates. Unlike the rambunctious teens around her, she moved surely, carefully, more aware of what she was doing. She also moved, James Jones thought, like someone unaccustomed to her neat blouse, mid-length skirt and sensible shoes.
Riverdale | He Has Her Now | Edited
While the other teens leaving school streamed off in various directions, Jim sidled close to Betty as she briskly strode down the sidewalk. I know. She should be getting a little shy, a little giggly, nervous at being approached by a boy of the same age whom she knew only because they shared the same school. Instead, Betty seemed amused, the veteran of decades of clumsy come-ons who thought this one not just lame, but also cute. It annoyed Jim, so he cut to the chase. Then Ford.
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Who comes next? Jim cleared his throat loudly and Betty shut up with a guilty look around. But up close Jim could see the Betty in much more recent images, the Betty usually addressed as Doctor Knox. Removing a few documents before old newspapers and records were digitized and data-based could get rid of whatever happened to you as long as it was low profile. Betty detoured to a vacant bench at a bus stop and sat down, staring outward. To find out what went wrong? To try something different?
To find out if the time patrol bagged the first group of us to keep us from altering history? Sitting down next to her, Jim shrugged. This is by far the longest trip into the past that has been attempted. Did it make you unstable? Did you actually arrive?
To me? Look at my legs. At the time, I thought they were too short and too stocky. Jim felt his own midsection, flat and even. I keep expecting to be over ninety years old. I think I was in pretty good shape for that age, but compared to fifteen. Maybe it does create some kind of instability. Have they even discovered how it works in the time since I left? If only we could get someone into Germany before they launched their big chemical manufacturing plants in the nineteenth century!
Have you attempted any progress on the mission yet? Dictionary Jones! Guess who listens to girls in ? Betty flinched and shortened her gait. I hate these clothes. I want to put on a t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans and a comfortable pair of sneakers, and I want to be able to move like my fifteen year-old self can move! I took the first shot. After I got my bearings here I tried raising a few topics with my father, who is a physician.
And a good one. Of course, both of my marriages ended in divorces, so maybe mother had a point. Lamarck was wrong, but he was also right in a far more subtle way than people of his time could grasp. Humanity needed to figure out epigenetics decades earlier than we did if we are to halt the spread of effects on the human genome in time to make a difference. She gave him a rueful look. As far as we could tell in , you never got a chance to send any of those letters. Even if you became unstable as a result of the long trip into the past, there should be medical records of that, so the project thinks someone deliberately went after you.
The first time, I mean. Dictionary Jones, a Marine? You always carried that book around, and had it yesterday, so I guess you must have arrived since then. Jim scowled at the sidewalk. I was working on a role-playing game. Dictionary Jones never had a girlfriend, remember? They had reached a house he recognized as hers, not from ancient memories but from his briefings.
I have a lot of trouble believing that something bad has happened to everyone, and that something will happen to me. Doctor Betty Knox blushed liked any fifteen year old girl. She thinks I need to study less and be more freaking feminine. Not in Jim suddenly realized that ever since Betty Knox had mentioned her legs he had been aware of her body under those modest clothes. Tight and virile young bodies with the hormones of teenagers and the experienced minds of the old and lecherous. Have you noticed trouble with focusing on one thing? How your thoughts bounce around?
Our selves are being affected by that. Maybe the danger lies within ourselves. Betty and he had spent a while strategizing in low voices over cookies and milk.
One thing Betty had insisted upon was that he had to maintain his original life. You need to do your job for the project and live the life of Dictionary Jones at the same time. Now Jim walked up stairs he only dimly recalled, opening a back door whose image had completely faded from his memory, to see his mother standing in the kitchen making dinner. Times had changed. Funny how the restrictive society of also produced more freedom in other ways.
That earned him a startled look from his mother.
Thank you. Just go ahead and watch the TV until dinner. Jim walked to the hulking TV console, almost as big as the widescreen on one wall of his home in but with a screen barely twenty inches across, and after studying the knobs turned one until it clicked. Aside from a humming sound, nothing happened. Jim waited, and waited, finally moving to peer inside the console through air vents in the side.
The orange-reddish glow of vacuum tubes met his eyes. How long did it take vacuum tubes to warm up? His memories of that were dimmed by time and affected by what he had once accepted as typical. Despite her terminal prognosis, she appeared to be fit, at least as judged by the toned muscles in her getaway sticks and bare-arms. When this dame turned around, he saw a hint of worry in her eyes.
She looked around as though searching for someone. Max even noted how her heart rate rose to match her anxiety. Upon seeing the presence of staff who could assist, she approached his desk and he noted the sensual sway of her hips. With curiosity renewed, he hoped this event might temporarily relieve his boredom. The concierge had no desire to deal with the waterworks.
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After having lived for over a thousand years, this type of melodrama wore thin. With hope renewed, her voice perked up, but Max quirked an eyebrow. That was not a name that should have rolled off her tongue. Her eyes were hard to read but he could tell this was not some dumb dora. Years of life and experience shone through clearly enough. Was this one playing him? How did these two know each other? It was during his slew of questions that he noticed something peculiar. To think he nearly missed the clues!