Next, Tom looked up the coordinates, he was surprised where they lead. Throughout the notebook were references to an “140 mile stretch of land”, he assumed that the coordinates were in the middle of that 140 miles.
Tom’s mind came back to the present, Project Seismic wasn’t named for geological reasons. It was named for the magnitude of its importance. Tom had kept everyone guessing on purpose about where, and when, they were going. He had to be sure that his team could be trusted, he still wasn’t.
The problem was, he was out of time, and out of aces. “Where are we going Mr. Secretary?” Colonel Taylor asked so he could key in the coordinates, Phyllis just wanted the secrecy to end.
Tom handed him the coordinates, Cameron looked at them, and looked at Tom. “That’s outside of Philadelphia? Is this a test?” Tom shook his head no. “Everyone has a theory on time travel, let me explain what my Grandfather found to be true. Time has properties closely akin to magnetism or gravity. In other words, there’s a pull to it.”
Tom paused to see if he was making himself clear, and continued on. “Gravity pulls things down, to counter that, a space craft has to break free of its force. The regular pull of time is forward, to go back, you have to break free of it’s pull. When you do, much like my Grampa’s old rifle, there’s a kickback, or counter force. In time’s sake, it’s a geographical one, in other words, sideways. If you’re in the west, it will project you eastward, and vice versa.”
“To get where you want to go, you don’t start from there. You start from one location and travel to another. There’s a geological journey, as well as a time journey. Cross one physical place in time, and you intersect with another.”
“I’ve told Phyllis about my visits with my Grandfather, what I didn’t tell her is that he wasn’t in the cabin in Colorado when he crossed over. He was in Pennsylvania, it has a magnetic or gravitational connection to Colorado. In fact, that’s why later in life he bought the cabin. It’s an entry/exit point.”
“What’s in Philadelphia?” Phyllis asked, suddenly very nervous. Cameron spoke, “Forgive me director, more importantly when in Philadelphia?” Tom pulled a device from his coat, the first stop is 1918. Then he took two rods out of the device and handed them to Cameron. “Everyone suspected the earthquake was involved, it wasn’t, that was more a coincidence than anything. The storm is the catalyst. Wear this glove, and thrust these two rods into the shuttle’s power source, they’ll get us there. Just be prepared for the kick back.”
“What do you mean kick back?” Cameron didn’t like this, he hated limited information. “Time jolts, is what they should be called. In reality that’s what they are, like putting your hand in an electric hurricane. You’re going against the current, and the current resists. The first two minutes you’re disoriented, like short wave jet lag.”
Phyllis voiced her disapproval, “Thrills! What about the way we look, we’ll be a little two fashionable for the past.” Tom handed them each what looked like a smart phone. “These are vital, they’re my design, built in a special facility ran by the Secret Service.”
“They contain an era based video database that projects wardrobes of the time you arrive in. They’re powered by a self regenerating cool power source. They also allow you to communicate with all of us, and have a special feature.”
Virginia actually spoke, “Like time travel isn’t special enough.” Tom grinned, he had made the same joke to himself. “True, you can send limited messages to a special communication center in our time. Ironically, they can only be 140 characters, no joke.”
“One of two people will answer it, one is the President, the other is his Chief Of Staff. Finally inside them are two rods like the ones I handed Colonel Taylor. If we’re separated more than two days, get home, period.”
Cameron asked what the others were thinking. “What about weapons? Isn’t this supposed to be a super device?” Tom laughed, “I’m guessing that all of us are already armed. I’m carrying two weapons on me, and I’m a civilian.” Cameron nodded, and plunged the rods in the panel. As a surge went through his body, everything went blurry.