Tom didn’t respond, he wasn’t comfortable with one excursion through time, much less two. He nodded, shook the President’s hand and walked back to the transport.
Fourteen minutes later, they were at an underground military base in Colorado known as Camp Fiction, referencing the fact that most in the government was unaware of its existence. CIA agent and former Marine Colonel Cameron Taylor met them at the launch site. Tom had read his bio as they neared the base.
An American with a rich heritage. His ancestors include a Cherokee Chief who fought for the colonies in the American Revolution. Another of his ancestors, Esther Taylor, ran an Ally spy ring out of France during World War II. Originally from Virginia, he grew up on multiple Army bases across the country and the world. His Father Aaron, now a Senator, is a military hero in three different conflicts. His natural blonde hair and blue eyes come from his Mother’s side, his height, strength, and speed come from his Father’s side of the family. His photographic memory and love of physics he received from his Mother. On her side of the family, at last count, were four Nobel Prize winners in Science. This thirty year old southern former soldier turned CIA agent is prepared for anything.
It sounded like Phyllis was bragging about her choice of super agent. If so, he wasn’t impressed, he wasn’t concerned with resumes, he needed time, so did the country for that matter. If his calculations were right, they had less than fifteen days left.
His mind went back to that day in the cabin. He had a cup of coffee in his hand when the lightning hit. Suddenly standing there in his Grandfather’s old kitchen was a forty year old version of his Grampa. He knew who he was, but Grampa didn’t know him. That was natural, the last time he had saw him, Grampa was 80 and Tom was 18.
Tom told no one about that day for a year, he thought he was losing it. Until, that was, the next year’s vacation. Three days into his trip, there was another a storm. Tom quickly recreated his movements from the previous year, right down to resting his body on the counter top.
This time, a sixty five year old version of his Grandfather was there. He spoke quickly, “Tom, under sink, you’ll find everything.” He placed a paper in his Grandson’s hand, and vanished. The paper didn’t leave, but as soon as Grampa vanished, it aged before Tom’s eyes. The letter’s words were etched in his memory.
Number one, you’re not crazy, number two, neither am I. Number three, Oscar Minnix is not only insane, he is deadly. This is not a joke, nor a drill. This is real, and to prove that it’s really me, “Hernandez”.
P.S. You have less than two years to stop Oscar from destroying the United States.
If there had been any doubt in Tom’s mind, it left when he read the name “Hernandez.” Grampa had made up a story on the spot one day about a great military hero, that happened to be a squirrel. He called him “Hernandez Alejandro Montalban.” Grampa and Tom kept the series of stories their secret. No one else in the family, or another soul, had ever heard them.
Within two minutes, Tom was on his knees under the sink. He would spend a lot more time on his knees seeking guidance after this. Underneath the boards was a box, inside it were several items including a notebook. On the first page were coordinates, with a phrase written under it, “Memorize these, then destroy this page.”
Tom’s first question was, “Who is Oscar Minnix?” He began searching the Internet for any reference to a man with that name. He was surprised when he found that the Flatiron building in New York referenced an office for Minnix Industries. Tom discarded that when it stated that the C.E.O. was Olivia Minnix. On top of that, as far as he knew, Grampa had never been to New York before.