Chapter 42 - Another Phone Call
"Excuse me Mr. Downes, but thereís an important call for you."
"I distinctly recall asking that you not interrupt us," scolded the continuity officer, angered that his assistant had failed to follow even this simple order.
"I know that Sir," he replied, "but this is Ron Donohue, and he says itís important."
"Why didnít you say so? Put Mr. Donohue through right now!"
A moment later the call came through and Downes quickly put Dr. Donohue on speaker. "As you are aware by now Dr. Donohue, weíve identified a problem caused by Jeff Rand nearly twenty years ago which now threatens the universe. Weíve assembled some of your associates to try to determine what to do next."
"Well," began Donohue, "it seems clear. The Paradox is probably some pictures correct?"
"Yes," replied Downes, somewhat taken aback that this information would be so widely known.
"Well then, in that case, I believe I can solve the problem, but I donít know how to effect my solution without creating substantial additional repercussions."
"You mean it might do more harm than good?" interjected Steve.
"I think so, but Iím not sure. How do you intend to go back and stop him from putting those pictures under the time capsule?"
"Thatís the problem," explained Mark, "they already tried that and failed. They wound up grabbing the wrong Rand and now the 1998 Jeff is here. In fact, thatís causing as much of the paradox as the original event".
"Hmm, my team disagrees," said Ron.
"Your team?" asked Doug.
"Yes, Iíve been afraid of something like this for some time now. Steve told me that Jeff planned to attempt it and when we couldnít convince him not to go through with it, I began developing a plan. To carry out the plan, I required a team of experts in a variety of fields. Strangely enough, about half of them are former Winter Campers."
"Well, what does your team think?" asked Downes, clearly annoyed that Donohue felt his team was superior.
"They think we have to attack the problem at its source and then the whole issue should reverse itself."
"We tried that and failed. Doubleday doesnít think it can be undone anymore."
"Thatís because Doubleday is a one-way traveler. Heís been missing a lot"
"If you say so," intoned Downes, now clearly annoyed.
"I do. Iíll have a package delivered to your office within the next hour. The 1998 Rand will have to take that package back with him. There will be instructions inside the package."
"Do I have to kill the future me in your plan" asked Jeff, still concerned about his future.
"No," said the Beast, "but you might come to wish you had".
At that point he placed the receiver back in the cradle, not bothering to say goodbye. He settled back into his chair and began to weep softly. What was in motion now could not be undone and would destroy the Winter Camp he had loved so much. When they had vowed to hold camp until doomsday, he had never imagined that camp might one day cause doomsday.
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