THE MILLISECOND MEN
BY DUNCAN R. MACMASTER
"Argle thrax!" grumbled the Treskarian, brandishing a strange looking pistol.
"Damn," said Bob, "it's much more convenient on TV, all the aliens speak English."
"That weapon's enough translation for me," said Quo Vida raising her hands.
"Why are you raising your hands?" asked Bob of the hologram of Quid Civitas. "You're already dead."
The hologram shrugged. "Force of habit and experience."
Bob raised his shotgun and pointed it at the alien.
"You drop your weapon punk!" growled Bob, channeling the spirit of Lee Marvin.
"Your gun is useless," said Quo Vida.
"You know that," hissed Bob, "I know that, but I'm hoping he doesn't know that."
The Treskarian paused. Though its face was behind an opaque mask, Bob could see confusion in its body language.
"It's working," said Bob, "now I show him how useless this is."
Bob pulled the trigger.
A ball of flame and hot metal formed at the mouth of the shotgun's barrel. Then it froze.
The Treskarian raised his pistol.
Bob shoved the shotgun into the alien's face. Suddenly the alien flew backwards from the weapon and slammed into the wall. The ball of fire and metal stuck to its face and the pistol flew from its hand.
Bob grabbed the barrel of the shotgun and swung.
The butt of the shotgun connected with the alien's helmet and knocked the creature to the floor.
"You kicked its ass," said Quo Vida, amazed.
"Sorry," said Bob. "I just don't like getting threatened, especially by something that's going to blow up the universe. Is it dead?"
Quo Vida took out her does-all and scanned the creature.
"Out cold," said Quo Vida.
Bob picked up the alien's pistol. "This should work, shouldn't it?"
"Yes," answered Quo Vida, "but I'd point that end away from you."
"Thanks for the tip," said Bob.
"There is only one thing that could synchronize the time-streams," said the hologram of Quid Civitas, who then flickered and took the form of a triangular rock with a red stone in the center. "It is called the Stone of Time. It appears to be common rocks, but is in fact pure tachyons and exists both inside and outside this time stream. The only problem is that it's a legend, no one knows where it is."
"I know where it is," said Bob.
TO BE CONTINUED