Chapter* 5

"Where the hell is he?" asked a bronze-skinned human man sitting at a control panel. There was a uniform patch on his arm that said M. Sinthasomphone.

"Your guess is as good as mine," replied a young woman standing behind him. A display behind her scrolled through the time – 11:31 AM – and the old-style date – November the twenty-eighth, 2285.

"Do you think Lennox is dead, Padir?" asked Sinthasomphone.

"I'd rather be optimistic about such things," Monisha Padir replied. "After all, we have no evidence of that."

"And we don't have any evidence that he's still alive, either. He's like Schrodinger's Cat."

"Let's go over what we were attempting to do again, all right?" She asked. Her colleague rolled his eyes a little, so she added, "Really, I think it's the only way we're going to be able to figure this thing out – it's by going over the facts again. So let's talk."

"Okay," Sinthasomphone said. He sighed. They had already been over it several times. "Yesterday, we placed Agent Lennox into the prototype pod and set the temporal displacement coordinates."

"And we set those coordinates for April six, 2153, the NX-01 Enterprise."

"We were aiming for the neighborhood of the ship, of course," added her colleague, "I set the controls myself – you saw – and we pulled the trigger."

"Right, Makan. And instead of the pod going, it was just Lennox who departed. We tried to put a tracer on him, but couldn't. So, what does that tell us?"

"It tells me," Makan said, "this experiment was premature. There's no way we're ready for time travel."

"Understood," Monisha said, "but what else do you think we should be investigating?"

"Actually," he said, "maybe we can see if there's anything in any logs."

"Logs?"

"Yes, of the NX-01," Makan said, "we don't know if they saw anything."

"I wonder what they would have seen," Monisha said. She shook her head. "I hope it wasn't just poor Agent Lennox being jettisoned into deep space with neither a ship nor an EV suit." There was a chime and she turned her attention to reading an incoming report.

=/\=

In 1775, Malcolm bided his time. Lennox had apparently become thoroughly exhausted and taxed by his and Charlotte's questions. Now Lennox seemed to drift out of consciousness more frequently. It had been going on for nearly a month, and Charlotte became rather concerned. Malcolm left the other man alone as he continued to wonder and speculate about what was going on, and why he was there and where there really was.

"I fear we overdid it with him, you and me, and he may die here, so far away from those who love him," She had a misty look in her eyes, and Malcolm got the impression that she wasn't necessarily talking about Lennox.

"Have you been able to get him to speak much at all?" Malcolm asked. They were sitting in her parlor. He was untangling a skein of yarn while she knitted a sock.

"Nothing much. I fear he is a bit damaged now. I do hope that we did not overly stress him! Perhaps this current damage cannot be repaired."

"Neither of us meant to harm him," Malcolm assured her. "We just wanted some answers. Perhaps they are no longer forthcoming."

"Were they so forthcoming before?"

He chuckled. "Not terribly. I, apparently, was a bit too primitive for him to say much to. I can see how annoying it can be, with the shoe on the other foot."

"So you see a bit of my perspective, a sliver, perhaps. After all, I am not from biblical or Roman times, yet you are keeping things from me as if I am."

"Mrs. Hayes, I don't mean to insult you. And I most assuredly do not mean to patronize you. It's more that I simply don't know how much to admit and, I'm a bit afraid that I'll suddenly say too much, and then I won't be able to retract it."

"I suppose I can see a bit of your perspective." She fished a finished sock out of her knitting basket and held it up next to the one that was still on the needle. "Huh. I don't think these are even. Do you?"

"Hmm? Do I what?"

"Do you think these are even?"

"The finished one is a little bit longer," he said, after scrutinizing them for a while.

"They're for Jacob," she said, "I haven't heard from him."

"I suppose these days it's difficult to get the post out on time."

"You're probably right. How is your arm feeling?"

"Pretty good," he said, "When it rained the other day, my elbow hurt a bit, but not like when I was first injured. It feels like I am very nearly healed."

"Let's have a look." She put down her knitting and knelt down near where he was sitting. She carefully unwound the bandages. "You're no longer bleeding."

"I think that stopped a good two weeks ago, perhaps more."

"Can you move it in the fully expected range?"

He tried, and mostly felt well until he completely straightened out his arm. That hurt. He grimaced. "It appears I still have a few issues."

"But I think you can abandon the sling," she said. She carefully wound the main bandage back on his arm and then took away the sling. "I should think you'll be fully healed in a month or less."

"I suspect you're right. I'll be able to do a lot more 'round here," He hastily added, "That is, if you can continue to tolerate my company."

"Tolerate! As if I could barely stand your presence! It is not like that, Mister Reed. You are a great help." Then she thought better of it, and added, "And not just a help, but a friend. I have been able, even, to confide in you. I was confiding as I would to a stranger, but now that we know one another better, it is odd."

"You would not confide to a friend?"

"It's more that it is strange things," she said, "and you have confided some things to me as well. It is as if intimacy is all twisted around."

"Intimacy."

She looked down. "Perhaps that was a poor choice of words. Jacob needs warm socks. I need to finish these and stop chattering."

Malcolm got up and went outside and into the barn. He brushed Phoebe a bit and whispered, "Whatever shall I do?"

"About what, sir?" It was Benjamin, who had come to harness the other mare, Ellie, to a cart.

"I am just wondering," Malcolm said, casting about for something to say that would be believable and appropriate, "what to do if Lennox does not live, yet I fully recover."

"You could join up with our side, maybe," Benjamin said, "here, help me with the tracings."

"I don't know that I wish to be back in the thick of the fighting." It was nothing like using phase pistols or firing from the Enterprise.

"I think I can see that. It's not your fight, anyhow, unless you want to rejoin your own side."

"Not them, either, Mister Warren."

"You could keep helping around here, I reckon. Miz Hayes could use the help, as could Jim and I. If they had had children, they wouldn't need the help, but they didn't, so they do, sir." He placed a few empty sacks into the cart. "Come and weed, if you like, sir."

"Certainly." Malcolm followed along and realized that Charlotte had no children. He had noticed that, but had not quite put it together before. For his time period, it was not remarkable, in and of itself. But for hers, it was significant.

As he helped weed the garden, he mumbled to himself, "I cannot ask her. All that would do is distress her."

"Sir?" Benjamin asked.

"Oh, nothing. Just thinking aloud." He straightened up and cracked his back.

"I think we're about done for the day, sir."

"Agreed, Mister Warren."

=/\=

In the NX-01's Sick Bay, Doctor Phlox looked over his patient. "Well, well, Mister Reed," he muttered to himself, "you bumped your head a bit." The patient was laying on a movable bio bed, which Phlox could control. He got the bed to go into a scanner, and started up the machine.

"Let's see what we've got," Phlox said to no one in particular. The Derellian bat was in a nearby cage. It squawked. "I didn't ask for your opinion."

He checked the readings and reversed the direction of the bed, thereby bringing it out of the scanning chamber. "You've also got a contusion on your left elbow with a slight bone bruise. I imagine that would be hurting if you were conscious. But I can't truly determine why you're unconscious."

He looked at the scans a bit more closely. "Hmm, that's odd."

He fussed a little in order to get a stimulant injection ready. He turned away and then turned back in time to see his patient become slightly translucent. He almost dropped the injection. Nonplussed, he hit a wall communicator. "Sato here," Hoshi said from the Bridge.

"Get me the captain. Someone's trying to beam my charge directly out of Sick Bay."

=/\=

In 2285, Makan Sinthasomphone and Monisha Padir were looking over logs. "Wait, I've got it!" he yelled. "Here," he showed her.

"Indeed." She read off the display he was showing her. "Medical log of Doctor Phlox, April sixth, 2153.

Lieutenant Reed was brought here, unconscious, after a fall when the ship was hit by weapons fire. The patient suffered a contusion on his left elbow with a slight bone bruise. Most remarkable was that apparently the Klingons attempted to beam him directly from Sick Bay. The purpose behind their activity is not known at this time. Furthermore, the Lieutenant's DNA scans differ from his original records by a very slight amount. Either it is an effect off the attempted beam-out, or, perhaps, this is a facsimile and not the Lieutenant at all."

Makan said, "It wasn't the Klingons. But I bet that's related to what's going on. As for the remainder, I'm stumped."

Monisha looked at a different display and said, "The Section's got news of something called the Genesis Project. But none of that's happening near here."

"You think it's related?"

"I'm gonna follow every lead we've got."

"If Reed was being beamed," Makan said, "Or, at least, the doctor thought that, then maybe Lennox was in the middle of transporting, too. Or maybe he was being replaced or altered somehow. What do we know about the Genesis Project?"

"Not much," she admitted, "it's supposed to have something to do with rapid terraforming."

"You think it could mess up space-time?"

"You mean create a spatial-temporal interphase? Or even a somatic interphase?"

"That's what I just said," Makan Sinthasomphone stated. "Aren't you paying attention, Padir?"

"Sure I am. If we've got an interphase related to the NX-01 and 2153, then Lennox is somewhere else."

"This is not news."

"I get that," she said, "but Reed and Phlox are a hundred and thirty years before us. What's a hundred and thirty years before Phlox and Reed?"

"2023," he calculated in his head, "but it won't be that nice and neat. It couldn't possibly be. I still don't understand why he doesn't use the mini-transceiver."

"Maybe he's hurt. Or, God, maybe Lennox is dead."

"I hope not."

=/\=

Malcolm walked back into the house, determined to keep what he was feeling hidden. "I need to write in my diary a bit," he explained.

Charlotte shrugged. "Very well. But supper will be soon, Mister Reed."

"Understood." He retreated to his room, and began to write.

Diary, May twelfth, 1775

If I continue for much longer, I shall say and do something that I will regret, I can tell. For Charlotte is charming and kind and very, very married. Yet again, I have a pang for one who is unattainable. I am a fool for staying, yet there is nowhere I can go.

He stopped writing when he heard a moan. He went into the yellow room, to where Lennox was laying. "What is it?" he asked.

"Can't explain," Lennox breathed to him.

Malcolm came closer to him. "You must tell me something."

"Temporal … Prime … Directive … forbids it," Lennox muttered, his face pained. "But … I must make … an exception."

"I swear to secrecy, if that will help you."

"Yes," Lennox whispered, "tell me … your year."

"I was born in 2112. And when you and I met in the battle at Lexington, it was 2153."

"NX-01?"

"Yes. I am the Tactical Officer."

"I was … the pod … was to … observe the … NX-01 at … the start … of the war."

"Who caused the attack on Earth?"

"Can't … tell … you."

Malcolm peered closely at Lennox, who seemed to be becoming a bit translucent but then suddenly snapped back into sharp focus. "Any better, Mister Lennox? If that is your true name," Malcolm said.

"Yes, it's better. And I am Lennox," said the man in the bed, weak but conscious and coherent. "I can't say much. But there was an experiment in time travel. I was to travel in a pod and observe you."

"But there is no pod, am I right?" Malcolm asked, "And somehow I went along for the ride, and to this time period. Yes?"

Lennox nodded. "All we can do is trip the transceiver, and hope my people get the message. It won't be much. It's really just a homing device, with no intelligence. We can't send an actual message beyond a blip which will tell them we're – well, I'm – here."

"And you're in 1775 now."

"Yes. Hand me my pack, please." Malcolm did so. Lennox rummaged around a bit. "It needs to be pressed down on, hard. I'd do it myself, but I'll probably reopen the wound." He fished out a small device that looked almost like one of Charlotte's spools of thread. "Here," he said, pointing, "press on that, as hard as you can."

Malcolm took the little device and did so. There was the softest of beepsas it engaged.

=/\=

There was a chime in 2285, where Makan and Monisha were. "That's the secure line," she said. She hit a few keys and a written message came up on their viewer.

"Section 31 Secured Channel Communications.

Project Genesis reports that their Stage Two was successfully tested inside a cavern in the Regula I planetoid. However, there was an unexpected variable. The cavern ended up containing a corpse. The Section has been alerted, due to the irregularity itself and due to the fact that the DNA of the corpse very nearly matches that of a Section agent."

"Which Section agent?" asked Makan.

Monisha looked up. "Robert Lennox."

"We gotta get that body," Makan said.

"Right. But why wouldn't the DNA match perfectly?"

"Phlox said about Reed that it could be a facsimile."

"Maybe there's deterioration during the process of time travel," Monisha offered. "And it killed Lennox somehow. Maybe it killed this guy Reed, and time all has to catch up."

"I dunno. Deterioration could explain it. Or maybe the Project Genesis body isn't Lennox at all, but it's nothing malicious."

"I don't understand," she admitted.

"What if it's someone similar? Like a relative or someone."

"You mean an ancestor?"

"Exactly," Makan said, "and somehow this Lennox grandfather or whatever, he gets switched with the Lennox we care about."

"That's almost like how transporters originally worked. You've got a lot of these close enough molecules, but they aren't a perfect match. But it's close enough so the differences are immaterial."

"That's my theory. So, we've got close DNA – really close – and the system makes a leap of logic and decides it's close enough. And it pulls Lennox along and then Reed goes along for the ride, too, because the system finds the same situation with Reed."

"Somatic displacement!" she cried out. "Two almost identical bodies get switched!"

"Yes, and the system shifts them in time, too, because it's following its temporal adjustment programming."

"Ha! Then maybe Reed and Lennox were hauled over to some time period where their close enough relatives were together."

"We gotta check the historical files. Cross-check all Reeds to all Lennoxes. Go back as far as we can," Makan suggested.

They waited as the computers compiled. Finally, there was a ding as the computer completed its task. "Holy cow, we have a match!" Monisha enthused. "April nineteenth, 1775 – the Battle of Lexington! Oh, but Lennox was killed."

"Maybe that's the Project Genesis body. Maybe our guy's okay," Makan said.

"And Reed?"

"I got no idea," Makan said.

=/\=

"Nothing so far," Malcolm said to Lennox. There were footsteps in the hallway. "We'd best put this back." He gave the mini-transceiver to Lennox, who stuffed it into the pack again.

It was a middle-aged woman of African descent. "I am Dorcas Warren," she said, "Miz Hayes asked me to come up and check on you. She and Jim are off to the market."

"Oh, we're all right," Malcolm assured her. "Thank you." She departed.

=/\=

There was a beep. Makan and Monisha looked at each other. "That's Robert!" she exclaimed.

"Or Reed, possibly. He's from close enough to our time that a mini-transceiver wouldn't scare him. Or maybe some cow is lying down on it."

"C'mon, be serious."

"I am being serious, Moni. It's not outside the realm of possibility, yanno."

"True," she allowed, "and how are we gonna retrieve Lennox? The pod is still here, in case you forgot."

There was another chime from the secure communications channel. "Report," Monisha said to the Xindi Aquatic on the screen.

"The corpse found at Project Genesis is cleared for transport. Beaming to your coordinates now."

"Thank you. Padir out." She cut the connection as the body appeared on a transporter pad in front of them.

Makan went over to look at the body. "He's wearing Lennox's clothes and everything. No wonder we've got nothing in historical records about some guy in Lexington or Concord wearing a grey jumpsuit."

Monisha consulted the computers. "It says here the ancestor's name is Robert, too. And he's a relative of George III, a nephew."

"Mad King George, eh? What about Reed?"

"There's no name match there. The guy on the NX-01 is named Malcolm. The redcoat Lieutenant is named Wilbur."

"Anything else on Wilbur?"

"He survives the war, goes home and marries, though the record doesn't say to whom. They have kids and all that, and the family stays in the Mother Country until Malcolm's own parents move to Malaysia."

"We've gotta get Wilbur back," Makan concluded.

"Right; and the only body we've got is Robert, Version 1.0."

"Let's think about this," Makan said, "If we send this body to 1775, do we get our Robert back? And does that affect Malcolm and Wilbur at all? And how?"

=/\=

In 1775, Malcolm and Robert sat together. "Do you think we should try your transceiver again?" Malcolm inquired.

"No," said Robert, "they should've gotten the message. There are two people back at HQ. One is an engineer – that's Makan Sinthasomphone. The other is a historian, Monisha Padir. She was the one who decided on the mission to 2153 in the first place."

"If they find a way to somehow retrieve you, what do you suppose happens to me?" asked Malcolm, "Or do you take my place on the NX-01 or some such? There's a war to be fought then, it seems. And I should be in the thick of it, yes?"

"I have no idea. Plus I'm supposed to be traveling in a pod. I really don't want to be visiting the vacuum of space without one."

"Of course not. And how did we get the equipment, and the clothing, do you imagine?"

"Would that I knew," Lennox replied, "But we have them, somehow. Were they supplied for us?"

"No," Malcolm said, "there was a small bar of soap in my pack. When I first opened up the pack, the soap had been used. It almost feels as if I exchanged places with someone, and sort of stepped into their life."

"Somatic displacement! Oh, damn! Now it falls into place!"

"What does?"

"The experiment was in temporal and spatial displacement. I was almost to beam – you do have beaming, don't you, Reed?" Malcolm nodded and Robert continued, "I was to more or less beam to the neighborhood of the NX-01's coordinates, and in 2153. But we must not have properly accounted for the somatic dimension. There must be someone sufficiently similar, to me, enough so that the system became confused."

"And what of me?"

"Same thing, I imagine," replied Lennox. There were more footsteps, a softer tread. "We'll continue this discussion at a later time."

It was Charlotte. "Ah, Mister Lennox! You seem much fitter! I was truly worried for you. And Mister Reed, we have more produce from the market. It will be a feast tonight. Mister Lennox, do you think you could be carried or helped downstairs to join us?"

"Sure."

"Here, I shall assist," Malcolm said, "Unless you want me to put away the groceries."

"This is more important, I feel. I will see you both soon, to supper." She left, and Malcolm watched her go.

"Reed," Lennox said, "Don't get too interested. She is a married woman and we've got to get out of here. There are risks of all sorts of temporal contamination, if we haven't already torn it all to shreds."

Malcolm looked at him. "I don't know what to do."

"I am getting out of here," Lennox said, "and that probably means that you have to come along for the ride again. So get used to the idea, Reed. I'm sorry. I know she's pleasant and kind. But you can't stay."

Malcolm bent over Lennox and picked him up carefully. Lennox was light, and Malcolm had been doing hard physical labor for weeks. He brought the man downstairs and set him onto a chair.

"I might need some assistance in going up the stairs," Malcolm admitted.

"Oh, well, Jim and Dorcas are gone," Charlotte said, "It's just the three of us." She began to ladle soup into bowls. "We have brown bread, too, Mister Lennox. This is not a fancy house."

"But the food is very good," Malcolm said.

"I thank you. I picked up a letter from Jacob today," she said.

"News of the war?" asked Malcolm.

"I am excited about it but I am saving it for the end of the day. Now, tell me what you were conspiring about. I heard whispers upstairs."

"Mrs. Hayes," Robert said, "we will depart soon."

"Oh, but you are not fully recovered, Mister Lennox."

"Our surgeons will be able to heal me. It is not," he glanced at Malcolm, who looked away, "due to any dissatisfaction with your hospitality. If anything, you have been too kind. But we should depart, and soon."

"Can you tell me, Mister Lennox, why there was a time when you were partly see-through, like fine muslin? And why our Mister Reed was like that one time as well?"

"Madam, I cannot answer that."

"You both see me as such a primitive!" she exclaimed. "I am not so. I read all that I can get my hands on, and I comprehend most of it, too! Why can you not tell me?"

"I wish we could tell you," Malcolm said, "All I can say is that Mister Lennox and I were not acquainted prior to the battle at Lexington. And I can tell you that a lot of this is chance and error, but none of it has been calculated to confuse or upset you."

She picked up her letter. "I shall read this early," she declared, "I will leave the dishes to you, if you will not tell me the whole truth." She departed, indignant.

"It's better this way, Reed," said Lennox, "she can't be affected by this. You can't hurt her. It's not fair."

"No. It is most certainly not fair."

=/\=

Grumbling to herself, Charlotte lit a candle in her room and began to read her letter.

"May the fifth, 1775

My dearest Charlotte,

Providence has finally allowed me to write to you. Or, rather, this epistle is dictated, for I am injured and, at the present moment, unable to write.

I was captured during our march south, and forced onto a prison barge docked in New York harbor, at the East River. Conditions were appalling. It was there that I broke my right arm in three places. I was freed in an exchange of wounded prisoners. Others were not so fortunate. The surgeon says that I will regain the use of the arm eventually, but I must retire from the fighting.

And so I will be placed on a wagon and we will take the Boston Post Road north and I will return to you. I do not yet have a date for my departure.

I am certain that you, and Benjamin and Jim have been keeping the farm well in my absence. I hope that your uninvited guest, Mister Reed, has proven of some use to you in that area.

War is brutal, and I am glad to be done with it. Our cause is just, but too many youth have perished already. I cannot wait to return to your faithful arms, and pray you will be the Sarah to my Abraham.

I remain, as ever,

Your Jacob"

She looked up when she heard a footfall. "Yes?"

"Lennox remains downstairs", Malcolm reported. "I'll need Jim's assistance in order to mount the stairs with Lennox. I gave him a blanket and placed him on the divan in your front parlor."

"Oh, I thank you, Mister Reed. It is a foolish hope, but in some ways I wish that you would remain."

"I like being here," he admitted, "but I have my own war to fight."

"We all have our battles. Jacob has been wounded and is returning. He is done with the fighting, although I imagine they would call him back if they became desperate."

"That's wonderful news for you, though, right?"

"It is," she said, "but he wishes for me to be as Sarah was to Abraham."

"I confess I do not understand the idiom."

"He wishes and hopes that now, as we are so late in coming to it, for me to conceive his child. Mister Reed, have you not wondered why I have no child?"

"I did not wish to pry."

"I fear I am barren and cursed. I perform my wifely duties of course. Perhaps it is a punishment for enjoying them. That is what the doctor and the minister both said when I was twenty-three and had no child. They had said it was the wickedness of being pleased by such acts. And now it is over two decades since then and I have no child, so I suppose they were correct in their assessments."

"Mrs. – Charlotte – that is unrelated. I am sorry you were told such an egregious falsehood." He found himself touching her hand and she did not pull away immediately.

"I fear Jacob is downplaying his injury," she said, "what if he is lamed, or blinded? And we have no son to take over the farm."

"Has he told you untruths before?"

"No," she said, withdrawing her hand. "Kindly forgive me. We should not fall prey to temptations."

Malcolm got up. "I had best retreat to my own room, before I stay."

=/\=

Makan commandeered the computers and ran scenario after scenario. There were empty coffee cups littered all around their workspace by the time he looked up. "I have an idea."

"Oh?"

"We've got four players. The initial problem occurred when our Lennox was released, in a pod, within spitting distance of the NX-01."

"But the pod never got there."

"Understood. But Robert bounced off somehow, and picked up Reed on the way. At the same time they were testing the Genesis Project. Both men are switched with close relatives who were in close proximity to each other, and that body ends up here."

"Right," she said, "and we've checked. The cause of death was buckshot and a lead ball to the carotid artery. This guy died during the battle at Lexington."

"We also know from the mini-transceiver that at least it isn't in the same place where we gotta assume Lennox and Reed landed. The location is still within what we now call the Boston megalopolis, but the area is around Concord."

"Okay, and?"

"Here's what we'll do," Makan said, "We'll launch the body, in the pod, at the NX-01. We can match the original intended touchdown time and location perfectly. So far as the system is concerned, it's a near-perfect instant replay."

"And?"

"And it'll get confused again, and should do the same temporal, spatial and somatic displacement trick as before."

"What if it only picks up Lennox? We gotta have Malcolm Reed on the NX-01," Monisha stated. "They've gotta fight the Xindi war, and God knows Wilbur Reed doesn't know the slightest thing about phase cannons."

"We'll hope for the best. Here, help me reconfigure these, and then we'll get the pod ready again."

It took another hour to get it all ready. They looked at each other. "Here goes nothin'," Makan said, hitting the controls.

=/\=

In 2153, on the NX-01, Phlox noticed a brief shimmering as; again, it appeared that his patient was being beamed away.

=/\=

In 1775, Malcolm was standing in his room, debating with himself whether he should go to Charlotte anyway, when he felt a tugging, like he was being transported.

Downstairs, Lennox felt it, too.

=/\=

In 2153, time briefly went backwards, and they were back to the time of the attack by the Klingons. "Damn Duras!" exclaimed Jonathan Archer, "No time for this."

=/\=

And in 1775, it was weeks earlier, and Malcolm and Lennox were in Lexington. "Fire!" someone yelled, and Lennox found himself bellowing, "Get down, Lieutenant!"

Those were all that Malcolm heard, and then he felt a second tugging, again, as if he were being beamed.

=/\=

In 2285, the pod shimmered and then reappeared. The hatch opened, and out stepped Robert Lennox, in a grey jumpsuit. "What happened?" he asked. "Did you run the program? I didn't feel anything or go anywhere."

=/\=

In 2153, there was a hit. This one rocked the Bridge, and Malcolm fell to the floor.

"Sick Bay!" Hoshi yelled, "We have a medical emergency!"

Malcolm shook himself awake. "I'm all right," he said, and returned to his post.

=/\=

And in a Concord farmhouse in 1775, an anxious wife waited as her friends, freed slaves, helped her out as her husband had gone to the war.

Epilogue*

In 1775, Major Jacob Hayes returned home after a short engagement and a stint on an enemy prison barge, where he was wounded. He spent the duration of the war training fresh recruits, sending them to far-flung places with names like Valley Forge and Saratoga and, eventually, Yorktown. He also spent that time caring for his infant son, born ten months after his return, and being with his wife, Charlotte. They named their baby Patrick Laurent, after her father and his sister, and he was the delight of their later years. A continuing friendship with the Warren family was a part of his legacy.

=/\=

In 2285, Makan Sinthasomphone continued working on time travel as Monisha Padir kept looking for interesting places and times to send Robert Lennox.

=/\=

In 1775, the Duke of Richmond's body was brought back to the Mother Country by ship as soon as it was possible. His title passed to his first-born son as his widow kept the family together. Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, to his credit, did not lose his commission over the death.

=/\=

In Yorktown in 1781, Wilbur Reed fought bravely, but in vain. He returned home to Leicester, and married his sweetheart. But their life together was cut short, and he returned for the War of 1812, and died in the Battle of New Orleans, leaving his widow to raise their young son, Steven, alone.

=/\=

In 2153, on April the sixteenth, Malcolm Reed was walking down the hall of the NX-01 with Tripp Tucker. "We got an interestin' lunch today," said Tucker, "We're supposed to be meeting Chef's new assistant, and the guy who's gonna head up the MACO complement."

"I still don't see why we require a complement of MACOs," replied Malcolm, "I know I have everything well in hand."

"Have an open mind, all right? Have you looked at pictures?"

"I have not," Malcolm said, "Why the devil would I wish to look at this chap from the MACOs?"

"I mean the assistant chef," said Tucker, "she's a blonde. I know you like that."

"Oh, perhaps I should." He stopped for a moment and brought up the photographs on his PADD. First was Major Jay Hayes, who looked huge. Then the sous-chef, Charlotte Lilienne O'Day. Malcolm became unsteady on his feet.

"You all right?"

"Huh. Charlotte."

"Charlotte?" asked Tucker. "Oh, yeah," he looked over Malcolm's shoulder. "But it says she prefers bein' called Lili. You look like you've seen a ghost. She's pale and all, but I dunno, talk to me, Reed."

Malcolm gazed at the picture of a middle-aged woman with extremely pale blonde hair and pale blue eyes that were almost white in appearance. "It feels like déjà vu."

"Well, get it together. We got that lunch in less than three minutes."

"Right, then."

He escorted Malcolm to the Observation Lounge for the lunch, a small break before going after the Xindi ultimate weapon.