On the TV, two persons emerged. The President and Minister of Defense.
“Hallo, Mister President! Hallo, mister Minister!” Caroline greeted them. “Welcome to our live broadcast!”
“Pleasure is ours, Mrs. Rubesova,” the President replied with dignity.
“Could you please brief us about the current situation in the higher places?”
“We officially announce, that we took control of the Facility, where the Device is stored, today, exactly at this moment. So the Device is now under direct Military supervision and no misusing is possible!
United Nations were informed of the current development, and we are expecting their envoy to arrive as soon as possible, to provide international supervision of the Facility.”
“How is the Facility secured? Can we be sure, that no accident will happen?” Caroline was interested.
“You can be absolutely sure,” the Minister replied decisively. “The Device is well protected, not only physically, by our strong Military forces, but also the information network of the Facility is completely disconnected from the Internet, and it was never connected. There are no sockets on the computers, so nobody can attach any USB flash disks, removable drives, or any other means of compromising the security of the data.
There is no single person, who could build another Device, and there is no single and complete blueprint. There is also a multi-stage secure logging procedure into the system, and to start the Device, the physical presence of eight highly ranked public personalities is necessary. The first is the President, number one. I am number two. The composition of the rest of the group is classified.”
“That sounds good! And how do you plan to use the Device?”
“Firstly, there will be an international committee established, where every world country will have their deputy. This committee will discuss further use of the Device, only to be beneficial to the mankind. It is our invention, but the world has the right to control and influence the future, which was brought to us with this innovation.
Secondly, there is one single rule to use the Device: under absolutely no circumstances it will be misused for manipulating the past. What happened, it happened, and we have no right to alter it! We will hear no requests or pleas, no matter how many lives could be saved. This Device and the Facility is out of our national jurisdiction, and the property, where it is built, has special legal regime.
The only operations allowed with the Device are Intelligence missions, to gather information from the past, so for example unpunished crimes can be prosecuted and concluded. If these missions will take place on our territory, there will be no approval of the UN needed. But anything else must be only an internationally approved operation.”
“Can you tell us, how the Device works?”
“The exact details are classified, but I can tell you one thing. To navigate the Device into the proper time windows, we use the radio transmissions from the past. It means, that present utilizability of the Device is limited to the year of circa 1940, and we can’t visit the future. Only the times when certain radio emissions were sent, and we have them saved and available.”
“And is it safe, to travel through time? Can the past be influenced, let’s say involuntarily?”
“It is perfectly safe and it is not possible, deliberately or accidentally, to alter the past. But a scientist will explain this to you better.”
“We just heard a lot of important information,” Caroline turned back to the crowd. “But the most key news are coming right here! As the mister Minister said, we need no approval of using the Device for any Intelligence missions in our national territory. And there is one such mission prepared right now, to show the world, that this invention is the reality!
In other words, today, we will send the first exploring team of time-travellers, and they will bring us the direct, live transmission of their adventure!
It is amazing, isn’t it? We will see their unique action, lively!”
The crowd was keen. “Let’s do it!”
“OK, so Mr. President, as the highest commander of our Military, I ask you publicly: do you approve this operation?”
“Yes, I do! The operation has the green light.”
“Great! So, please connect us with the Facility, where the mission is prepared! And maybe we will be able to talk to somebody important there!”
On the TV, a scientist in a white coat appeared. “Hello, team! Hello, world!” he shouted.
“Greetings, Mr. Scientist! We are eager to know more about the Facility, and the Device. So what unclassified information do you have for us?”
“The Facility is completely power-sufficient, so the public will not suffer with any electricity shortages, when we will start the Device,” the scientist joked. “And it is much simpler machine, than you would expect!”
“Was the time travelling tested yet?”
“In limited ways, yes, to make sure it is completely safe. Our system doesn’t send a person or a thing to the past directly, but sends a modified copy of it. So no physical harm is possible. Our sensors only accept physical data and transmit them. So you can consider the time travel as visiting a virtual reality gaming hall. Perfectly safe for the person and for the past.
This copy can be deactivated simply by switching off the Device. The projected person or a thing simply disappears, and the natural order is fully restored. Nothing remains in the past.”
“OK, but how can our operatives to search for Intelligence clues? For example, if they will need to open a book?”
“They are equipped with special scanners, able to read through books for example, without any need of manipulating the objects. But maybe in some future version of the Device we will figure out, how to remove this limitation. However, any new version will be under supervision of the world. The present Device brings no legal problems at all, so we are glad,” the scientist smiled.
“You are absolutely right! Sooner or later, the lawyers will come and the poor Device will have difficult life! But today, they are still home, passively watching, as the rest of us. So can you connect us with the recon team, prepared to be sent to the past and transmit us that ultimate travelling experience?”
“Here you go! But please, be nice to her! She is our Asset! The future of the Science is in her hands!” the scientist said goodbye.
And there was Denise! But you wouldn’t recognize her. She had another hair color and hair cut, special makeup and several wires connected to her temples.
“Hallo, time traveller! Can you introduce, please?”
“Greeting to all of you! But please, call me just Operative. This is a secret mission, you know!” Denise smiled.
“Of course! My apologies! But you can tell us, what are the mission tasks, can’t you? So we can know, what will be happening on the screen, and where you are heading.”
“Well, here is the situation. After finding the famous Stechovice Treasure, we discovered some key documents, that can be used to solve some mysteries of the past, particularly from the year of 1945, when the war was ending and there was many unlucky incidents.
Our mission today, called ‘Operation Irrevocable Justice’, has two phases: first, we will personally visit a place, where one such incident happened, on 8th of May 1945. We will gather all possible Intelligence there, and then, our team will split: two of us will proceed further, and follow this individual, to find an identity of this person, or culprit, to be exact. Rest of the team will move yet back in time, to find key documents about the identity of this particular person, so we will have firm proofs to charge this individual, if he is still alive.
In any case, we will find the name, and let’s hope, that one crime from that sad distant times will be resolved, and many souls will be finally able to rest in peace. They were waiting for their justice for 70 years.”
“That sounds courageous! How do you feel?”
“I am well prepared. We trained for this, and we are fully covered, protected and motivated. The higher places will supervise, and the world too, so you will be able to see, that our steps in the past will be only passive and lawful. We won’t influence that past in any way. Don’t ask us to go and save your relatives or tell them that you love them. It is the basic rule, and it can’t be ever breached.”
“We are glad to hear how carefully is everything mastered. Well, good luck to you, Operative!”
“Thanks! Wish us luck. We are starting in fifteen minutes. See you in the distant time…” Denise said goodbye and the TV got dark.
“This is the evening, do you agree, team? I am so proud, that this Device is a creation of our Corporation!”
After connecting again, the viewers could only hear a female breath. At first, it was fast and shallow, but gradually slowed down, as the Operative calmed.
“Establishing visual connection… Wait…”
Later, a known sounds of a city and distant gunfire were heard, as her external microphones were activated.
And then – a picture emerged!
She was in Prague, and it was 1945. Heavy fighting and barricades everywhere. The Prague Uprising was at its peak, and the defenses were crumbling against the enemy, desperate to break through, to get to the West.
She proceeded quickly, speechless and with certainty. It was just several blocks from here, the “Masaryk Train Station”, where the crime should soon happen.
The local people reacted to the team differently. Some asked questions, some gave directions, warned of enemy presence, particularly snipers in windows, or just asked for an assistance. But the team had no authorization to interact or help.
But her breath was still there, and maybe even her heartbeat. It was a completely hypnotizing experience for everybody watching! She seemed so fragile and feminine… but still, she was the Operative of the Military Counterintelligence, tasked with the dangerous mission. This contradiction was even sensual…