THE MILLISECOND MEN
by D.R. MacMaster
"Who am I?" asked Bob as he spun around and raised the shotgun. Standing in front of him was a woman. She was short, about an inch below five feet, slender, with blood red hair cut in a page-boy bob, green eyes with streaks of gray. She was dressed in a purple dress with matching tights, boots, and absolutely no fear of the shotgun in Bob's hands.
"Ooh," said the woman. "This is it."
"This is what?" asked Bob.
"This is the first time you met me," declared the woman. "It's the fourth time I've met you. This sort of thing happens all the time. Especially when you're a Quantum Agent."
"Okay," said Bob, "now you're pissing me off."
"Imagine how I felt when I first met you?" asked the woman. "You, a total stranger comes up and says: 'Hey Quo Vida, the Algorian hive mother is hiding in the parking garage...'"
"You're not making sense," said Bob. His hands starting to tremble.
"Very little in my line of work makes sense," said Quo Vida. "But that comes with the territory of a Quantum Agent."
"What did you do to my neighbourhood?" demanded Bob.
"Nothing has happened to your neighbourhood," said Quo Vida, "at least not yet, anyway. What has happened, has happened to you."
"What has happened to me?"
Quo Vida took out a small tubular device at the end of a key-chain with only one key at the other, pressed a small red button and the air around Bob began to glow green.
"What are you doing?" asked Bob.
"My Does-All is illuminating your tachyon field," said Quo Vida. "Your entire body generates particles that exist on levels of time that are a little complicated to explain."
"Are they dangerous?"
"No," said Quo Vida. "They're harmless, but they do make you the temporal equivalent of a canary in a coal mine. You can access all kinds of temporal anomalies."
"Is that what's happening here?" asked Bob. "Is this an anomaly?"
"No," answered Quo Vida. "We're in a millisecond."
"Yep," she said.
"Is that your ship?" asked Bob.
"No," said Quo Vida. "That ship belongs to the Treskarians."
"Who are they?"
"They come from a millinarian dimension."
"What the hell is that?"
"It's a dimension whose entire existence is contained in a millisecond of your time," answered Quo Vida. "From their Big Bang to the Frozen Collapse, in less time than it takes to blink."
"In fact," she added, "if you were to shoot me the bullet would enter the time flow about a foot from you, and it would take about the relative equivalent of a few hundred trillion years for it to hit anything."
"How come you're here?"
Quo Vida pointed to a purple belt with a blinking light on the buckle.
"Tachyon generator belt," she answered, "what comes to you naturally, I need technology to achieve."
"Okay," said Bob, lowering his shotgun. "Why are these aliens invading, if they'll cease to exist before we even notice that they're here?"
"That's why I'm here," said Quo Vida, "I need to find out. Because whatever they're doing it will set of a chain reaction that will burn out three quarters of the galaxies in the universe."
"How do you know that?"
"Because to me," she answered, "it has already happened."
TO BE CONTINUED...
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