P.F. Jones ran leaping rooftop-to-rooftop, and I trailed a short distance behind.
I had come to what you would consider "modern-day" New York to investigate the disappearance of a physicist who had worked for G.E. when Jones bought it.
Dr. Russell Peterman hadn't just vanished from "now" (as you linears know it), but from history completely.
If I hadn't erased him -and I was fairly certain that I hadn't- then Jones must have.
Dr. Peterman was the reason I put myself through the Temporal Inversion Field to protect myself from Jones.
If there was another person who could survive being erased from history, it was Peterman.
He made news last year when he claimed I was a hoax- saying that G.E.'s research couldn't have lead to time travel, as Jones claims happened.
I've preserved the article from the other timeline here.
The article fascinated me, so I found the good doctor to show him I wasn't a hoax.
He helped me understand a lot, especially about the TIF.
I still remember Peterman explaining it to me:
"The TIF was only theoretical," he said. "You could never even test it, unless you already had the ability to move through time. But with that, the TIF would have an application I'd never imagined- the ability to escape causality. I think Jones wanted that ability."
That answer frustrated me.
"Then where the hell did time travel actually come from?" I asked.
Dr. Peterman smiled at me.
"Remember- once time travel exists in one time, it exists in all times. We know it didn't come from the past. So where do you think it came from?"
When Peterman's existence went off-grid, I knew I had to find him.
I was sure he'd exposed himself to a TIF before blowing the whistle on Jones, to protect his life and memories.
That meant he'd exist from that point on, regardless of what was done to the timeline.
I had to find him.
And I did- but not before Jones.
I found Dr. Peterman dead in a West-side apartment where he'd been hiding.
He was still warm, lying in a pool of blood.
Jones had stabbed him to death.
Despite all the death and destruction I'd seen Jones cause, this was the first time I saw him for the psychopath he was.
I knew he was willing to rewrite history, even erase those who got in his way.
I didn't know he was willing to kill with his bare hands.
The sight of Peterman covered in blood brought back some bad memories of things I'd done.
Things I can't forget.
I was trying to keep it together, focus, think of my next move-
I felt those empty eyes staring at me from the fire escape.
I looked and Jones flashed a smile at me.
He lept up the fire escape for the roof.
I followed, but not before slipping in the doctor's blood a couple of times.
Continue to Part 2>
Murder on West Side
A man was found dead in an apartment on 4th Avenue Saturday morning, the apparent victim of a knife attack.
NYPD detectives found little physical evidence to work with at the crime scene.
"We know there were probably two other people there, and that the killer was right-handed, but that's it," said Detective Jennifer Cross.
The unidentified man had no confirmable identity, just a fake drivers license.
"His ID said he was 'Russell Peterman,'" said Detective Drew Roberts. "Problem is, Peterman doesn't exist."
"It was just a fake ID, not an identity theft," said Roberts. "The soc didn't match a real Russ Peterman. He wouldn't have gotten far using it."
The FBI was called in after proprietary documents belonging to General Electric and Integrated Technologies were found in the victim's apartment.
"The victim appears to have been involved in some sort of corporate espionage," said Agent Cross. "He was probably hired by one of the companies' competitors."
Both G.E. and I.T. deny "Peterman" ever breached their security.
Integrated Technologies released a statement Monday morning.
"We want to reassure citizens and stockholders that none of the recovered documents have anything to do with our defense contracts or time-travel technology," said I.T. spokesperson Debbie Shultz.
"Whoever this guy was," said Agent Cross, "he was killed to keep someone's secret."
U.F.O.s Spotted by
Police responded to hundreds of calls reporting "flying objects" over the west side of Manhattan Saturday night.
Most of those people were drunk, stoned or insane, in this reporter's opinion.
I wasted a perfectly good clubbing night talking to losers who think they saw spaceships.
"I was looking for my friend's dog on the fire escape," said Rodney Smith, a loser in need of a shirt and a Tic-Tac, "when these two spaceships warped out," more