The Pluperfect

Dallas, Part Two
Stereotypes Proven

Mission 03 – Section 02

1200, Dallas Tx, 16th November 1963, mission time 3230 hrs

We visited a couple of shooting ranges, giving me the chance to sight the Carcano Model 91/38, the exact gun used by (or will be) Lee Oswald to kill JFK. Apart from the slow shot cycle-time, it’s not a bad rifle, but with my experience with the WW1 era .308, it seems a odd gun.

The others had found out a little more about Oswald’s bad manners, and we learned of a white Studebaker that seemed to be following him around.

We then hit several clubs, and were pointed in the direction of the Free Cuban Enterprise group, a pro-Cuban, pro-Communism outfit that Oswald was involved in.

After a brief chat with a character that looked and sounded like Yosemite Sam, we hid in wait, and heard a scuffle. We (Rurik and myself) ran back to the office, and found Sam out on the floor, with Seth rifling through the material on the table. I helped by checking through the filing cabinets.

Not finding anything, we decided to go back to our extreme bluffing skills, and Seth left the office, breaking a window on his way out, Daniel and I woke up Sam, and proceeded to get a quite profitable amount of info from him.

We concluded that the Stopwatch agency had taken possession of Oswald some time ago, and were holding him, with his co-operation somewhere nearby.

As we left, we discovered that Jack and Jenny had shot off somewhere in one of our cars, and we discovered later, when we followed the sounds of sirens, that Jack and “bounced” a Stopwatch agent back to the future, and had outrun several more. I pointed out at this point, instead of breaking the speed limit and attracting the attention of the motorcycle cops that hide behind every billboard, that he could have led the agents on a merry chase to our hotel, where we could have counter-ambushed them.

Jack nearly lost it, but we walked away from it.

1600, Dallas Tx, 16th November 1963, mission time 3630 hrs

We then managed to find the location of the place the Stopwatch agents were hiding, by using a reverse directory to track the number left by them with Sam, which he had gratefully provided to us, after we partially foiled a break in.

We assaulted the motel, disturbing not only the owner, but former VP Nixon, and his incompetent Pinkerton Agency ‘guards’. The raid was a bust, however, we did prove the existence of Stopwatch in this timezone, as we found a referent device. The rest of the room was cleaned of any prints and so forth.

We managed to get a rough direction of the people leaving the motel from several of the guests, but not much else. Deciding to use some more of the Dallas PD resources, we acquired a radio the size of most toasters, and got an APB out on the pickup that the Stopwatch agency used to flee the hotel.

Now we wait.

End Report

There may be a grassy knoll.

Mission 03 – Section 01

0800, Timepiece HQ, 2100 A.D.

After a relaxing nine days of leave, enough to get rid of the smell of Elizabethan England, we were summoned to a briefing room on the ground floor of HQ. We felt honoured to be breaded above ground for a change. This briefing room seemed more like the rooms I was used to, stark, beige walls and no decoration.

After a couple of minutes, our briefing officer arrived, a middle aged “power” female, Lindsey Sword. For some reason, Rurik found this name highly amusing.

Our mission, to go to 1963, Dallas, and find out what had happened to a Mr Lee Harvey Oswald, who was reported missing on 15th November 1963. As this is/was a week before he is supposed to kill JFK, we were going in to find him and insure the assassination was to go ahead as it should.

For this, we were issued badges and documentation as Federal Agents of the Department of Reclamation, and to pretend to investigate a plot against the Hoover Dam. After getting period government issue suits and side arms, we were also given $5000 in cash to purchase vehicles and additional equipment, as well as access to $250,000 in a bank for real emergencies, which we needed receipts for. We then went to the Pad.

0730, Dallas Tx, 15th November 1963

We dropped into Dallas just after dawn, in a park not far from Dallas Police Station. I headed off to start the ball on getting info out of the police, as I knew it would take time to pull the paper files from the file rooms, whilst the others went to a used car dealers to get a couple of Lincolns, and to a gun shop to purchase some shotguns and for me, a Model 91/38 rifle and scope, identical to the one Lee Oswald was set to use in a week, just in case we couldn’t find him in time.

As we had to wait a while longer for the police reports, we hit Oswald’s boarding house in Dallas for info, where we didn’t get very far. After, we went to an authentic 1960’s diner for an authentic 1960’s cholesterol enriched meal.

Entering the police station again, we talked to the Sargent that I did earlier, and got some info about a Agent Hosty, who was in charge of Oswald’s case in the regional FBI office, and not much else. Deciding that we should go there next, we did and after enjoying more authentic 1960’s cuisine, in is case lemonade, we got a little more info from Hosty, though not all that much.

For the remainder of the day, we watched the police station for Ruth Paine, who had filed the report that led us here, before we would go see her, so we didn’t screw up the timeline any further. We booked into a motel 6, and rented the rooms for the next week.

0800, Dallas Tx, 16th November 1963, mission time 2430 hrs

The next morning, after the motels continental breakfast, we left to talk to Ruth Paine. We didn’t get very far, she gave us less info than we already had on the missing persons report. There were No signs of foul play at her house, nor any sign of anachronistic tech.

We then went to check on a Mr Everette Glover, who was actually some help, despite not seeing Oswald for over three months. He informed us of several places Oswald like to hang put at, and slipped us a card for a club, Alexei’s.

Knowing that this club would be deserted at midday apart from some staff, we decided to check some of the other places, which would give me a chance to sight the rifle we got yesterday.

Our plan for the remainder of the day:

1) visit the local shooting ranges to see if Oswald was keeping a eye in
2) visit Alexei’s in the evening to see if Oswald had been around there lately, or if anyone had been looking for him
3) do the same at Andrapov’s, a more political club
4) check in at any marine or general military clubs, for the same reasons

End Report

Boom baby

Mission 02 – Section 3

After we had cleared up the mess from the sub, we continued towards Cadiz, making as much sail as we could in order to gain enough distance to Drake’s fleet so we could “acquire” a Spanish flag merchantmen or fisherman to sneak close enough to the city to offload our marines to attack the shore battery, and for us to reach the submarine manufactory.

We managed to “acquire” a merchant ship bound for Cadiz, and after I had levelled my musket at the captain of the vessel, we managed to deploy most of our marines in longboats to assault the battery, and we pulled into a dock as close as we could to what we believed to be the submarine yard.

There, Rurik, playing the ship’s purser, managed to sweet talk the harbourmaster, who knew the real captain of the ship we had borrowed, into believing that we represented him. As Rurik and the harbourmaster moved towards the harbourmasters office, he spotted Mr. La Valour, our Man in Green, who was providing this era with cigarettes. At his call, the rest of the landing party moved ashore, some of us trying to cut down any escape routes that La Valour could take.

As we realised that the bluff Rurik was running may take a while, myself and Seth checked out the warehouse near what we believed to be the submarine’s launching slip. Inside we found the tools for making armaments for the submarine. We found some high grade explosives, which we used liberally, and we had James set a timed detonator, after he had a side trip to stun the harbourmaster, who was trying to sneak away.

When we came out, we found La Valour stunned and on the ground. We told the rest of the tea what we had done, and we left the harbour aboard our captured vessel. As we rejoined the fleet, several explosions happened in Cadiz, confirming our missions success.

As we needed to vanish, we gave the crew of the Merchant Royal a bonus tot or three of rum, and we triggered our return devices to go home.

Elisabethian England, part 2
Sub? But I ordered a pizza

Mission 02 – Section 2
Report filed by Tom Longfellow

Oostende, day three, morning

We set sail for Portsmouth to join the fleet heading for Cadiz. This took a day or so.

Portsmouth, England, day four, morning

We arrived in Portsmouth to discover that Drake’s fleet had suffered some minor damage during a freak storm that hit the area. Bad thing is that we lost one of the “battleships”, good thing is we acquired some more marines, which we used briefly in the harbour to control some sailors who thought taking the Queen’s coin meant they didn’t have to fight the Queen’s enemies. We were stuck in Portsmouth for a couple of days until repairs were made to several vessels.

Portsmouth, England, day six (?), early morning

We set sail for Cadiz, in a loose formation, as we only had good sight-lines to a few ships at any given moment. We had some excitement, as Drake attacked a ship flying an unfriendly flag, but let it go after boarding it. Some hours later, our lookout spotted a some junk in the water, followed by a pair of dolphins. Myself and the rest of the crew figured out that the “dolphins” were actually primitive, yet extremely modern for this time period, torpedoes. I learned something, torpedoes are hard to hit with anything from this time-frame, and lasers work really well against them. We managed to sell the crew some bullshit about them being rare African Dolphins (should have used Norwegian, and when they blew up, mentioned something about fjords), and we proceeded to “track” the point of launch based on some guesses.

Seth spotted a dark spot under the water, later verified by Jenny, which was assumed to be the submarine. Veridis ordered us to open fire, and our gun crews managed extremely well to do enough damage to the vessel to force it to the surface.

After negotiating with the sub’s crew using Morse Code (luckily I remembered this archaic communications method), I had a quiet word to the captain, who ignored their first message, but quickly ordered a cease fire when I mentioned that they carried a WMD on board. The crew abandoned ship, and the captain promptly ordered no prisoners, when the sub launched a CE 1587 Polaris type missile, which we failed to stop. Unfortunately, this has had some effect on the current timeline, as I feel strange, like I had forgotten something I always knew. We brought aboard a single prisoner after the fact, and found that most of the crew were from this era.

After some questioning and a masterful performance from Sir Oldcastle, who seems to appear from thin air when needed, we found out about the shipyard were the sub was built. At this point we changed our attack plan, we would send our compliment of marines to attack the nearest shore battery as per our first plan, but the Timers would go for the Sub yard and make it no go away.

Hopefully that last bit will involve a nice boom.

End Report

Elisabethian England

Mission 02 – Section 1
Report filed by Tom Longfellow

Briefing Room 4 – 0900 hrs

It seems like the old team was gathered up for this mission. We had the WW1 scholar, the lawyer, the driver, the demolitions expert, the coloured lady, the other soldier, and myself.

Apparently we were being inserted into 1587, to stop a plot by Stopwatch to assassinate the Queen of England at the time, Elisabeth.

After getting some details on what we were expected to do, the team broke up (without any chain of command, again) and headed to the Costume Shop down in the basement of Timepiece. I still don’t get why the Quartermasters like basements.

Temporal Chamber – 0945 hrs

I rocked up to the transport chamber, kitted out in period clothes, modified to accept those armor plates that everyone says we need. I had also brought along a sword, a composite bow in a leather case, and a 16th Century musket, with spare rounds for each. The others were similarly outfitted, most with some sort of sword, and one fellow, the driver chap, brought along a crossbow. We were then given letters of introduction to some merchant company, and a small chest of monies, which we were told we needed receipts for every penny we spent. I left that part of things up to the lawyer, and carried the chest in keeping with the part I was to play.

A warehouse, 1587 – morning

Well, we arrived, and after shaking off the dizziness that the time jumping leaves in it’s wake, we found ourselves in a warehouse. Deciding that we needed more info, I left the chest with the team and headed to the door to do some recon. I found some kind of office, and I met some gentleman that introduced himself. The rest of the team had caught up, and between us, we somehow convince the man that we were from Edinburgh (and I refuse to make a daft Scots accent when talking to him) and were seeking employment. He then handed me a letter, which I slipped into my breastplate, then we left the trader’s place.

We decided to pop into a local tavern, I believe it’s called, and we had the lawyer open the letter and re-seal it, as letters going to the Viennan Ambassadorial house at this time of history is somewhat fishy, as they are on the side of the Spanish. Apparently, this gentleman that we were playing postman for is involve in a plot to remove the Queen from power. Given that we were sent here to stop that, we made off from the pub, sorry tavern, with a view to go to see the Queen in Whitehall. Seth, the soldier, remained behind for a few moments, as he and some of the others spotted a shifty type looking at us in the tavern, so he thought to set up a counter spy operation.

A few moments later, we heard several drunken “have at thee” shouts from behind us, and we found that Seth and some drunken man with a sword had disabled several thugs, including the fellow, who the drunk reliably told us was Ralph, was in the tavern watching us.

We didn’t get much info from “Ralph”, however we got lucky in the fact this man, Sir Oldcastle, is a member-in-waiting for the Order of the Silver Stick, who apparently had the Queen’s ear. He managed to con us out of several gold coins to hire, or rather share, some nobles carriage to take us to Whitehall and the Queen. After going through some hoops, not helped by the mostly horizontal Oldcastle, we managed to get into the waiting chamber of the Queen. There, we met a dashing fellow by the name of Sir Francis Drake, who was there with a bodyguard, a Sergeant something or other.

Given that the letter mentioned a Sergeant being the trigger man, Jack and Veridis jumped in, whilst myself and Seth burst into the Queen’s meeting room, where she was promptly take hostage by the Viennan Ambassador. I brought up my musket to fire, and Seth brought up his stunner (tech head), and told me that firing a musket at the Queen was a good way to fail our mission. Instead, he shot both of them full of stun beams, and I am sure that the others had subdued the Sergeant what’s ’is face. We discovered that both of them were agents from Stopwatch, so we did some organ adjustments on them, making some artful holes in the process, and watched them fade from sight.

After that we, with the help of Oldcastle, managed to calm down the guards as we waited for the Queen to come round. I’m pretty sure I made a pass at the Queen, thankfully she waved it off as gibberish.

Whitehall, 1587 – midday(ish)

At this point, after we somehow sold the Queen some bottom land, we found ourselves drafted in Her Majesties Navy, under the direct command of Sir Francis Drake. We were told to report to the Merchant Royal in London Harbour to assume command.

We did so, and managed to get our crew and a command structure set up. I was made a leftanent in charge of the vessel’s 36 main cannon, and I headed off with our new Captain, Veridis Quo, to meet Sir Francis for a planning and briefing session.

A tavern, London, 1587 – mid-afternoon

Veridis and I made it to the place were Sir Francis was holding court. Apparently, given that most of the officers there were infantry, there was some confusion around the sand-table and the use of water. I remember there being several puddles of the stuff on the table and floor. At least our orders were simple. Get used to the crew, and get the H.M.S Merchant Royal to set sail in two days, to be in Portsmouth two days later.

At this point, we retired to the ship.

London Docks, 1587, the next day – morning

We decided to investigate why we had seen several of the upper class using cigarettes as measured quantities for pipes. Given that this was slightly, by several hundred years, too early, we hit the various taverns and public houses for info on where they were coming from.

We found out that they were coming from a Frenchman, a Monsieur la gren, a man in green. This being as helpful as a hole in the head, we managed to track down his London lodgings, where we got a name, and a the name of the ship he had left on with the morning tide, the Chat Rouge. We immediately returned to the ship, and set sail for Oostende. Well, almost immediately, we had to deal with Seth’s fear of ships, or open water, or waves first.

After A-teaming Seth on board, which made no sense to me, we paid for some smaller ships to pull us out of our berth, and into open waters.

Oostende, 1587, day three – morning

We arrived in Oostende, and we straight away saw the Chat Rouge as we pulled into the berth assigned to us. Myself and Daniel went to the ship, whilst the others went looking for something else. Daniel made a good job of presenting himself as a Purser willing to become a partner in shipping and selling the cigarettes, but he kept turning us down. From where I had placed myself in front of his cabin door, I had enough time to react and half pull my sword as he pulled a laser pistol from his desk. Given that the cheat pulled a future gun, I promptly pulled my stunner, after Daniel had pulled his, and we both managed to knock him out and search him and the ship. We found his portable temporal fixing device, and we kept that and the laser together, for one of our mechanically minded team members to muck about with.

We found several cases of cigarettes in the hold, and using some slow fuse, we set the Chat Rouge to blow up.

After we had returned to the Merchant Royal, most of the rest of the team came up a little out of breath, with Jenny arriving a few moments later. Apparently they had taken out a Stopwatch stronghold. As they were explaining this, Daniel’s little present went off, blowing the Chat Rouge to some satisfyingly small pieces.

At this point, we hurriedly set sail for Portsmouth and our rendezvous with Sir Francis.

End Report

Mission One: 1917 - The western Front

Mission One Debrief.

Time Zone: 19th November, 1917
Location: ‘The Western Front’, Northern France

As newly qualified agents, I never expected Timepiece to throw us in at the deep end! I anticipated some simple Observe and Report missions to wet our feet before promoting us to more active and dangerous missions. I guess I was wrong!

We were appraised of the situation: Stopwatch agents have been detected on the western front in November 1917. Indications are that Stopwatch intends to prevent allied victory at the Battle of Cambrai, possibly by supplying the Germans with anachronistic weaponry. Our mission is:
1. To identify Stopwatch plans and foil them.
2. Destroy any weaponry that should not yet exist, and,
3. As far as is possible erase information about it.

Other, secondary, mission parameters are:

4. If necessary, take steps to ensure the allies win the subsequent Battle of Cambrai.

As an Academic who has specialised in 20th Century history, and specifically World Wars I & II, I was assigned as nominal Team Leader. The team consisted of: Jack Anno, James Daniels, Jennifer Washington (an Archaeologist), Seth Shamus, Rurik (a linguistics specialist), Tom Longfellow (a former military recon specialist) and, of course, myself: Veredis Quo (a Historian). None of us really knew each other as we hadn’t trained together in Basic. I’d seen Jenny about the campus, as well as Jack. But only to say hello to as we passed in the halls on our way to lessons. I assume it’s the same case with the others.

We were kitted out with American uniforms suitable for the era, but modified with hidden armoured panels. We were issued P14 rifles and standard webbing and equipment, as well as a few little 22nd Century toys to aid us in our mission. We also received stunner pistols and a couple of stingers as well. I was issued the uniform of a Sergeant. Jenny was issued a subtly tailored uniform to minimise her feminine figure.

With no further ado, we were sent on our way…

We dropped into era in mud! It was pitch black, cold and muddy. I realised at about the same time as Longfellow that we had been dropped right in the middle of no-man’s land! Longfellow and I immediately dropped to the ground, stage whispering ‘get down’ to our team-mates. Visibility was ten metres, if that, due to the cloudy and moonless night sky. As we lay there, getting cold, wet and muddy, and trying to decide which way lay the allied lines, we realised we could hear voices – German voices. I could hear them well enough to understand that they had captured a British courier and were taking him and his attache case back to their lines. I attracted the attention of Longfellow and Shamus and mimed them to use their stunners to subdue the Germans. The rest of us would follow and lend support if required.

It seems that they didn’t quite understand me, as moments later two rifle shots ring out across the barren terrain of no-man’s land! A German screamed out and another of my team (I don’t know who – it was too dark) rushed forward to help. More shots rang out from my team (it seems the Germans couldn’t see them in the darkness) and the German reconnaissance patrol was neutralised.

Whilst Rurik gave medical aid to the British courier (who turned out to be a Lieutenant Windsor) and also to Shamus, the others check over the Germans, but unfortunately all four are dead. As they are looking the Feldwebel suddenly disappears! A Stopwatch agent! We help the Lieutenant to his feet and make our way to the British trenches. En-route, Windsor tells us the attache case is to go to a Colonel Patton of the American Expeditionary Force. We promise to ensure it gets to him. We leave the wounded Lieutenant with some tommies and follow directions to the American encampment, further behind the lines.

It is approximately 1am when we are pointed to Col. Patton’s bunker. We are permitted inside to hand Col. Patton his communiqués. After reading his despatches he asks me what unit we belong to. I hadn’t considered this and in a panic stated we were a reconnaissance squad belonging to the 1st Division (Col. Patton’s own division). I quickly realised this wasn’t a good choice as Col. Patton exclaimed ‘Splendid! I need you to infiltrate the German trenches. Immediately.’ He lays out what he believes the German defences in front of his position are, and would like us to gauge the strength in these trenches. I request we be issued a Lewis gun, to provide suppressive firepower in case we are pinned down. Col. Patton agrees and Shamus volunteers to carry it. We are also issued some Mills bombs (in addition to the few ‘potato mashers’ we picked up off the German patrol). Col. Patton also assigns us a Lieutenant from the Intelligence Corps.

As we head back towards the front lines we realise that Col. Patton’s mission is actually perfect cover for us, as we need to infiltrate the German lines to find the anachronistic weaponry we believe Stopwatch to have provided to the Germans. The Lieutenant turns out to be another Timepiece agent, who hands us a 22nd Century device that can tell us if a temporaral gateway opens up in our vicinity.

We cross no-man’s land quickly and in good order, hugging the ground and using the craters as cover, until we see a shape ahead of us; it’s a German machine gun position: a raised sandbagged emplacement with a machine gun pointing towards us. The Lieutenant and I crawl forward and observe there are only two soldiers crewing the machine gun, so we decide to take them out ourselves with our stunners. The Lieutenant’s shot neutralises his target, but I only wing mine. The Lieutenant and I both shoot at him again before he can raise the alarm and both hit. We crawl forward and into the position. We cautiously look into the trench; it’s teeming with soldiers! Far more than there should be in a front line position! We obviously can’t cross here, so decide to crawl north alongside this trench until we can find a communication trench bisecting it. Before we leave the machine gun position, however, I have Jack Anno remove the trigger assembly from the machine gun, which I toss into the mud.

The trenches of the Great War were never straight but dug in a zigzagging or stepped pattern. This meant that a soldier could never see more than 10 meters or so along the trench. Consequently, the entire trench could not be enfiladed if the enemy gained access at one point; or if a bomb or shell landed in the trench, the blast could not travel far. We crawled until we found one of these zigzags and followed it. Luck was on our side, as we found this section to be uninhabited. We rolled into the trench and soon found a communication trench leading rearwards towards the second line of defence. Halfway along this communication trench we came across a large half-submerged metal cylinder. The bunker next to it, we realised, was a de-lousing station. Here we found some German greatcoats awaiting de-lousing. Donning these over our American uniforms may afford us some camouflage, though it meant having to dispose of our distinctive helmets.

We continued on through the German trenches towards the rear. We were challenged a couple of times, though Rurik or I managed to fast-talk our way past them. We did, however, overhear that the Germans were well aware of the impending attack and were fully prepared for it – hence the fully manned front trench. We finally left the trench system and found ourselves at a crossroads. A makeshift road sign showed three arrows in different directions: POW encampment, ammunition dump, and airfield. After a quick discussion on which location was more likely to have the anachronistic weaponry, we decided to head for the airfield.

The airfield proved to be several kilometres rearward, with plenty of units going back and forth. We simply joined in and were able to march there without being challenged. The airfield itself was a makeshift affair in front of a chateaux. As we approached we saw three red triplanes parked up on the grass; I recognised them immediately – Baron von Richthofen’s Flying Circus! As we stood there, we were approached by an airman, who Rurik identified as Lothar von Richthofen. He queried our presence to which I replied that we had been sent here to prepare “the weapon”. Lothar von Richthofen seemed satisfied with this and directed us towards a stone shed at the far end of the airfield. Before leaving us, he also gave his approval of Shamus’ Lewis gun!

We headed towards the stone shed which, as we approached, we realised was being guarded by a soldier manning a machine gun next to the door. A Feldwebel approached us from a different direction and demanded to know who we were and what we were doing. I again tried the lie of being sent to fit “the weapon”, but the Feldwebel obviously didn’t believe me and immediately started shouting for guards. Daniels shot him with his rifle and the Feldwebel immediately disappeared; another Stopwatch agent. We sprinted for the machine gunner and Longfellow was able to neutralise him before he could use his weapon on us.

However, the initial rifle shot ensured that soldiers were spilling out of the Chateaux, so Shamus went prone and started firing bursts from his Lewis gun. I detailed Daniels to man the German machine gun to buy us time. Longfellow, Rurik and the Lieutenant immediately went to work in trying to gain entry to the locked stone shed. Despite Shamus and Daniels’ suppressive fire, a few random shots were landing around us, and from the far end of the airfield we could hear aircraft engines starting…

Rurik was able to defeat the lock on the stout wooden door of the shed and he, the Lieutenant and I entered. Using the light on Rurik’s little Leatherman as our only source of illumination, we soon found crates not in keeping with the time period. Furthermore, they had written on them missile. We prised one crate open and realised the only way to quickly destroy these munitions was to blow up the shed. We packed the crate with all the grenades we had and bolted from the building, telling those outside to run as we passed them! The resulting detonation was exactly what we wanted, as the entire shed disappeared in an explosion of flame and stone debris, lighting up the night sky for an instant.

We needed a vehicle, but the only one we had seen was a staff car near to where we originally saw the triplanes. We sprinted for it, Shamus firing from the hip as we went and even firing a burst at an aircraft as it taxied towards us. He managed to hit the engine and it slowed to a stop not far from us. From aboard clambered out Manfred von Richthofen, whom we pushed along with us towards the car.

Near the staff car was an unattended Albatros D.V. The Lieutenant veered off towards the aircraft as the rest of us climbed aboard the car. We dumped von Richthofen here (as he was no longer in danger and, conversely, a danger to us). Daniels was the first to reach the driver’s seat and no sooner had we clambered in or on, he had us roaring away from the airfield, whilst also shouting ‘where am I going? Where am I going??’. From the back seat Shamus fired bursts at anything that appeared out of the darkness.

Meanwhile, the Lieutenant had managed to start the Albatros and had clambered aboard. He gave the throttle full power and lifted off before the two remaining triplanes could line up on him. However, they had the advantage of height and speed and were quickly on his tail and firing bursts at him. He jinked hard left and right and, before he realised, he was flying through trees. The inevitable quickly happened, and a tree snapped one wing from the aircraft. Luckily, the Lieutenant’s speed was sufficiently slow that he was able to crash land without sustaining any injuries of his own. He leapt from the remains of the Albatros and emerged from the trees, not far from where we were in the staff car. The two triplanes circled the crash site but quickly returned to the airfield, not realising we had already made our escape. We sped down the road before slowing to less suspicious and more sedate speed as we encountered other German vehicles heading towards the airfield.

It was then simply a case of making our way through the German trenches and back into friendly lines. However, we made a quick detour to pinpoint the location of the ammunition dump. Leaving the car, we were able to pose as a reconnaissance squad going out on patrol. We were soon in no-man’s land where we dumped our German greatcoats before approaching the British trenches.

Back before Colonel Patton, we advised him of the airfield where we had “incapacitated” some aircraft, and provided him with the location of the ammunition dump. ‘This’, he said ‘is an ideal artillery target!’ We also made him aware that the Germans were aware of the impending allied attack (to which he wasn’t surprised). With our mission done, we bid farewell to our Timepiece colleague and find somewhere unobserved so that we can jump back to the 22nd Century. All in all, a very successful first mission!

The War to End All Wars

ABSOLUTE NOW: 29th January 2100CE. TARGET TIME: 19th November 1917CE

A new Timepiece Squad has been formed from a group of recent graduates from basic training. They have been eagerly awaiting their first mission and finally they get their assignment. World War I. Stopwatch intervention has been detected on the western front in November 1917. Indications are that Stopwatch intends to prevent allied victory at the Battle of Cambrai, possibly by supplying the Germans with (locally produced?) anachronistic weaponry. The mission is to identify Stopwatch plans and foil them. Destroying any weaponry that should not yet exist, and, as far as is possible erasing information about it. They may also need to take steps to ensure the allies win the subsequent battle (known to history as one of the first major engagements involving tanks). The Agents will be disguised as American soldiers – Americans have only recently become arriving at the Front in significant numbers and an out of place American unit will not be seen as unduly suspicious. Agent Veridis Quo will be disguised as a Sergeant, other Agents as Privates.

The agents are transmitted to no man’s land between the British and German trenches just after midnight on the 19th November 1917 – approximately 30 hours before the Battle is scheduled to begin. Almost immediately, they hear a shot and a voice in German talking about a British prisoner with a briefcase who needs to be killed if he keeps causing problems. Two Agents approach stealthily and see five German soldiers with a British officer as a prisoner. The Agents open fire and after a brief exchange all five Germans lie dead or dying. One Agent has suffered significant wounds, but fortunately, within the ability of modern technology to provide quick healing. The German Sergeant disappears revealing he was a Time Traveller (presumably from Stopwatch). The British Officer reveals himself to be Lieutenant Peter Windsor, a military courier, with documents that must be taken to an American officer, Colonel Patton. The Agents take the briefcase and escort Lieutenant Windsor to the British lines.


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