THE MILLISECOND MEN
BY D.R. MacMASTER
Quo Vida spun around when she heard the voice behind her.
"Quid?" she said, tears choking her voice.
Bob had spun around to, his useless shotgun raised, for no reason other than his own comfort. In front of them was a tall man in a double breasted charcoal grey pin-striped suit and matching fedora.
Actually, he wasn't so much standing in front of them but floating a few inches above the floor.
"Dude," said Bob, "you're flickering."
"I'm an interactive holographic simulacrum of the Quantum Agent Quid Civitas," replied Quid.
Bob looked over at Quo Vida and saw a tear run down her cheek.
"Is this one of those 'if you see this message I'm already dead' kind of things?" asked Bob.
The holographic simulacrum nodded.
"Sorry," said Bob to Quo Vida.
"What happened?" asked Quo Vida.
"You know that I... or to be more accurate, the person I'm modeled after was always fascinated by Millinarian dimensions," said Quid. "Well I decided to break the rules, go into the past and visit one that we had scanned using a temporal compression and expansion matrix."
"Then what happened?"
"I met the Treskarians," said Quid. "I learned something we missed in our scan. They were the only sentient life in their universe and for good reason, they killed everything else."
"That's not good," said Bob.
"It isn't," said Quid. "They overpowered me. Forced me to teach them about our technology and then they killed me. Thankfully I was able to record my neural patterns into the holo-web before they cut off my head."
Quo Vida stepped back, he hand over her mouth.
"They don't want to last a millisecond of our time," said Quid. "They want to bring their universe in sync with ours..."
"They did," said Quo Vida. "They destroyed it all."
"But you survived," said Quid. "That means that you can stop them. All we need to know is why they came here, to this primitive time and planet."
"I happen to live in this primitive time," snapped Bob.
"Yeah," said Quid. "Why are you working with a guy in pyjamas and a housecoat that has definitely seen better days?"
"He's a tachyon emitter," said Quo Vida. "Long story but he has proven to be good in a pinch."
"Thank you," said Bob.
"He better be good," said Quid. "Because a Treskarian just walked in behind you."
It has to be great, I'm in it.