Chapter 39 - Fountain of Youth
"Itís you, itís really you" said Steve, looking at the í98 version of Jeff Rand. "I mean, I knew we could go to the past and all, but I never thought weíd be able to come forward."
"We canít." interrupted Doubleday. "Rand being here is a major contributing factor to the paradox. Our strike team accidentally snatched him instead of the current Rand".
"Typical military," said Mark, "couldnít they tell the difference between a forty and a sixty year old man?"
"Thatís not important," said Downes, somewhat embarrassed at the mistake his men had made. "Whatís important now is that we come to an agreement. There is only one solution Ė this Rand has to go back to the past and stop himself from placing those pictures. At this point, I canít risk sending any more men back there. We have no idea what the situation might be."
"So youíre going to send a civilian into what you think is a hostile situation?" asked Horn.
"I donít see any other choice."
"Well," began Horn, "I donít think Mr. Randís attorneys, or the US Judicial System are likely to agree. Mr. Rand is a US Citizen, and he has certain inalienable rights, no matter which century heís from."
"Always gotta bring up that citizen thing, donít you Roger?", began Steve, his tone rising slightly in anger.
"Are you two crazy?", asked Doug. "Jeff has created a potentially world-shattering event, and the two of you canít put aside your petty differences long enough to help convince him to get it right? Have you lost your minds?!"
Bollman regarded the assembled men with a cool glance. "Do you believe that this Rand can stop the old Rand and set things straight?"
"We hope so; after all, the other Rand is an old man, weak and perhaps even frail. He shouldnít be any trouble for his younger self to neutralize," said Downes.
"By neutralize, you mean kill?" asked Jeff, beginning to realize what he was up against.
"That seems like the best alternative," said Downes. "Anything else makes you a danger to society."
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