6. The Mission Begins

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

I was dropped into a clearing between some trees. I turned on my chronometer's computer and called up a GPS, interfacing with the local cellular network. I discovered I was in the middle of a Boston park. It was night-time, so the chances of anyone noticing my arrival were slim, at best.

Instead of going anywhere, I slumped over and leaned against one of the trees, sighing. The Continuity Integrity Agency was full of conniving, manipulative assholes. They had sent me here to help my sister Calla get into her graduate program in New York, but that required funding. In my sister's own journals it indicated the death of her adoptive parents, the Wileys, resulted in her being able to afford school. That meant I was supposed to make sure they died.

While that was different than actually being the cause of their death, it wasn't a good feeling. If events didn't take care of themselves, I was supposed to nudge. It was part of my training, to make history progress the way it was written by any means necessary. Protocol demanded that I observe the subjects, and make sure history followed its fateful course.

"Fuck that!" I said to myself, squeezing my knees against my chest, resting my chin on them.

I fought tears, knowing that the death of the Wileys gravely affected my sister and her faith in relationships of any kind. I couldn't be the cause of that, intentionally. No way!

The journals showed that they died. The police got involved, there was a funeral... It had to happen. I was supposed to make sure it happened.

Why? Why would the CIA want me to be the one to pull this particular mission? Why would they want me to hurt my sister? Setting aside the "history is sacred" mumbo-jumbo, they had to have more motivation than that. Any agent could have done this part of the mission, but they sent me. Keeping me in the dark would have made me more compliant, whereas right now I wanted to go back and start a killing spree.

If I was obedient and stuck to the mission, I would be allowing my sister's adoptive parents to die, at the very least. If there was no other cause of their death, I would have to step in and make it happen, in the worst-case scenario. What use was that?

For one thing, they would have blackmail material on me. It was information that could potentially ruin my relationship with my sister, a time-bomb waiting to go off. I snorted with derisive laughter at the thought of this "time-bomb" because it was designed by future time-travellers. It was such a bad pun it made me sick and laugh simultaneously.

If I went through with it, I'd be proving my loyalty to Continuity, that's for sure. Maybe they pulled something similar with all their new agents to make sure they were invested. That was a horrible thought.

There had to be a way out of the trap though.

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