by Abby Gayle
An agent is assigned to make sure Mr. Johnson doesn't make any trouble.
The first page had a picture of a man with brown hair and green eyes. He was wearing a fancy suit, like he was at some formal occasion. Below the picture was a name I had heard several times before. After all, Benjamin Johnson was wanted for murder and stealing. He appeared to be my mission this time.
The next page briefed me on what I was to do, and gave me all the information I needed about both Mr. Johnson and where I was going. Luckily, my training covered such long-distance travel.
“This is an awesome second mission,” I told my boss, who was sitting at his desk in front of me, “I've always wanted to go to California!”
“I thought you'd like it, Ms. Roberts,” the middle-aged man said, smiling.
I walked out of my boss's office and down the hallway, barely able to contain my excitement. As I walked, I tried to decide on what to wear. I obviously couldn't go in my modern, black dress and holographic hat. I piece of paper slipped out of the folder I held. As I picked it up, I noticed it showed some suggestions for what to wear. The blue dress I ended up putting on looked outdated to me, but it was the popular fashion where I was going.
I grabbed a pair of earrings and matching necklace for emergency contact before styling my hair like all the women at my destination did. With the addition of makeup, I was ready.
I took a deep breath as I tapped a button on my left wrist's invisible bracelet, then pressed the insides of my wrists together. I felt the familiar flop my stomach always did whenever I traveled, and I closed my eyes so I wouldn't be blinded by the bright lights around me.
When I opened my eyes, I saw the large building, not in black and white like all the pictures I had seen. But this wasn't what I was looking for. I needed to find Johnson before he did any damage. Who knows what impact that could have had on my home. It was getting dark, anyway.
I saw a man sneaking out of the building. I walked up to him as well as I could without drawing attention. I needed to know if this was the man I was looking for.
“Hello, sir,” I said. I wasn't sure if I was talking correctly for the times. I really needed to study up on the proper speech. “What's your name?” Not realizing who I was, he actually answered.
“Johnson, Benjamin Johnson. Now, a pretty girl like you . . .” I kicked him in the shins.
“Mr. Johnson, you're coming with me,” I said. I tapped a button on each of my wrists and the bracelets appeared. I pulled out an electronic rope and tied him up, the remote control in my hand.
“Well, seeing as how I'm tied up, I might as well tell you my plan. I rigged the computer inside. When 'g' is typed, the whole system will go down. We'll never have the internet!” He grinned somewhat evilly. I sighed, looking at the time on the built-in watch on my bracelet. It was 9:30.
“Johnson, that was going to happen anyway,” I told him.
“What?” he asked, a confused look on his face. I thought I heard groans from inside, but it was probably just my imagination.
“October 29, 1969 at 9:30 pm, the computer crashed when Charley Kline tried to send the letter 'g' to the Stanford Research Institute. An hour later, the system will reboot and he'll get the message through,” I explained, “This is sort of the predecessor of the internet.” Mr. Johnson looked frustrated.
I grabbed onto the rope and pressed the insides of my wrists together. One stomach flop and blinding light later, I was back, just outside my boss's office. But Mr. Johnson wasn't there. I saw a holographic note-taker and picked it up. There were only a few words typed on it.
1990. Tim Berners-Lee. World Wide Web.
I knew what he was going to try to do. I tracked his teleportation coordinates and programmed them into my bracelets, switched into some better clothes for the time I was going to, and pressed my bracelets together.
Johnson stood outside a house with a knife in his hand. He climbed through an open window. I ran after him. Only then I realized how impractical the old-fashioned high heel shoes were. I was instantly glad we had stopped using them in favor of better shoes.
Inside, Johnson was in someone's bedroom. He had the knife with him, walking towards a sleeping man. I had to stop him before he killed someone. He would have no idea what that would do to his home time, or what paradoxes he would create.
“Johnson!” I called. He turned toward me.
“What is it, girl?”
“I'm a woman,” I huffed, “And you are going down.” He didn't look so concerned.
I ran at him, nearly stumbling over the heels. He laughed at my difficult sprint. I felt my cheeks blush red. He took the opportunity to come at me, his knife in front of my neck. Of course, that was the precise moment the man in bed woke up.
“Who's there?” the man asked.
“Tim,” Johnson snarled, “Give up the whole World Wide Web idea now, or she gets it!”
“Don't listen to him,” I said, “I can get out of here just fine. Just make sure you don't mention us to anyone. And don't let him influence your future decisions.”
“What would accessing the internet have to do with your break in tonight?” the man asked.
I stepped on Mr. Johnson's foot with my high heel just as I pressed my bracelets together. We both appeared just outside my boss's office again. This time, I think he was in too much pain to get away so quickly.
I took all the technology he had off of him and sent him to our underground jail. Checking the history books, I found nothing had changed. Well, nothing except my boss. For some reason, something that happened caused him to grow a beard. Maybe for my next mission I should probably be a bit more careful about staying out of sight.