by H G Spurlock
A time traveler wants a piece of the action.
| Dolan always liked 1920s era Chicago. Especially the style, the salacious women and the money. But he didn't like the smell. Despite taking a smell suppressor, the warehouse he was in smelled like cattle feed, trash and urine, assaulting his nostrils. It was hard to believe pastimers lived like this. But at least they weren't as bad as Europeans from the Middle Ages.
Dolan was a time bandit, using the time line for financial gain. He was selling 250 hacked iPhones with built-in transtators, retrofitted for 1920's telephone technology and powered by EverLast batteries. In Dolan's time, iPhones were hopelessly obsolete, but to Bugsy Nagle's gang, they were magic. And the money he would make on these phones would be worth five times more in the black historical money market. It might upset the time line, but that wasn't his problem. Dolan waited by a truck with five crates of 50 iPhones each.
Three men purposely walked into the warehouse. Two of the men looked like henchmen, wearing long coats even though it was August. They flanked a short, stocky man named Conolly. He wore a pinstripe suit and a gray boater hat, carrying a leather satchel. He scanned the area, settling his eyes on Dolan. "Sorry we're late, we had to take care of some business along the way."
"No problem." Dolan motioned at the truck and said, "The iPhones are in the back of the truck. May I see the money?"
"After we check out the merchandise." The henchmen went to the back of the truck, unloaded the boxes and set them on the ground. One henchman opened a box and pulled out an iPhone. He powered it on, slid his finger across the bottom, pushed a button and put it to his ear. "Got a dial tone, boss."
"Lemme see it." The henchman gave Conolly the iPhone. He had a look of wonder and said, "I still can't believe something this small is a phone." He put the iPhone in his pocket. "We're changing the terms of the deal a bit. But don't worry, you'll like it."
Dolan's heart raced a bit and he scowled. He had pastimers trying to change deals or double crossing him before. "The deal was twenty five thousand dollars for the iPhones. But I'm listening."
Conolly placed the satchel on the ground. "Here's the deal. Mr. Nagle is little short of cash, about five thousand."
Dolan almost yelled, "Five thousand?"
Conolly put up a hand. "Hold your horses. Mr. Nagle has a truckload of Jack Daniels whiskey as a part of the deal. We even have a buyer in Kansas City who will pay top dollar, about six grand. With the twenty grand in cash, you'll come out ahead."
Dolan didn't want the whiskey, just the money. Maybe he could do something with it. "That's not part of the deal, but I'm game. Let's see the booze."
"Sure." Conolly pulled out a revolver and shot Dolan in the chest. He grunted, but thankfully his invisiarmor made the shot feel like a punch to the chest. He reeled back into the truck, but it broke his fall and he had the presence of mind to grab his 1911 .45 and shoot Conolly in the chest, who collapsed in a heap.
The henchmen were surprised, not expecting Dolan to survive and watch their boss get shot. Dolan spun to his left and shot one henchman as he pulled up his sawed off shotgun. He shot the other henchman before he had a chance to raise his tommy gun.
Dolan took a deep breath, trying to calm his adrenaline rush. He checked the men. They were barely alive. He didn’t want to do shoot them, but they fired first. He picked up the satchel and expected it to be full of cut up newspaper. To his surprise, it was real money. If their intention was to double cross him, why have real money? Maybe they were double crossing Bugsy Nagle. It didn't matter now. He tossed his pistol in the satchel and closed it.
Two men in Chicago police uniforms burst through the door, guns drawn. They startled Dolan, but he managed to jam his hand in his left hip pocket, finding what he was looking for. They saw him and one yelled, "Police! Get your hands..."
Dolan pressed a button. He disappeared somewhere in time.
They saw what happened. They weren't Chicago police officers, they were temporal enforcement agents. The one called Langley said, "That was Dolan. He got away."
The other one, Smith, saw the fallen gangsters. "We got three pastimers down." He went over to them, checking their vital signs. "They're barely alive. What do you want to do?"
Langley went to the boxes of iPhones. "We can't help them. Give them a sedative and wipe their memories of this event. Hopefully they'll live."
Smith gave the three mobsters a hypo spray. He went through their pockets and found an iPhone on Conolly. "I found an iPhone."
Langley pulled out a scene scanner that looked like a cigarette case, waving it over the boxes. "I have 249 iPhones."
"That should be all of them. I'm glad we managed to get the iPhone Bugsy Nagle had. I hope the time line isn't too polluted."
"We'll find out." Langley waved the scene scanner around the area. "I recorded the crime scene. Let's get this contraband out of here."
"Sounds good." Smith put temporal transport beacons on the boxes. "What about Dolan?"
"We'll catch him some other time." They activated their temporal transporters and they and the boxes of iPhones disappeared.
Dolan's temporal transporter malfunctioned. Instead of ending up in 2343, he ended up in Verdun, France, 1916. His invisiarmor didn't activate in time and a stray bullet struck him in the head, killing him instantly. Later, a couple of French soldiers found his body, wondering about a dead man wearing unfamiliar civilian clothes and with a satchel containing a gun and American money printed in 1923.