An excerpt from Jackson Meyer's Diary
Tempest Agent Training Diary
17 March 2009 Location: Unknown. Somewhere in the Middle East
I’m still keeping this journal for you even though I’ll probably never give it to you. It’s better if I don’t, but sometimes life doesn’t go how I want it to, and if I’ve learned anything from you, it’s to be prepared for the worst. I’m keeping it safe in a lockbox given to me by Dr Melvin that only opens with my fingerprints.
The desert sucks. Hot as hell during the day, cold at night. I’m sharing a tent with a seventeen-year-old whose first training assignment was to collate a file on every girl I’d ever dated. Awkward. I can’t imagine myself being interested in any of them now – it’s like a different person lived that part of my life.
Learned the Tempest mission statement today, though I doubt they have a brochure to advertise this on: ‘Tempest is devoted to protecting the world from the alterations of
our past, present and future through unnatural or unethical methods. When dealing with technological advancements, Tempest is also looking out for the best interest of not only the American people, but the human race.’
20 March 2009 Location: desert. Still
Jenni Stewart! Yeah. Not my favourite person. And yeah, she’s the only girl here and that must be hard on her, but that’s no excuse to spend every waking moment making my life miserable – I’m just trying to mind my own business. I think what I hate most about her is that I have no idea who she is. Every single day she tries a new cover . . . Ghetto girl from Harlem, or Little Miss Southern Sunshine . . . and then there’s the foreign covers . . . she’s done them all. I know Foreign Affairs is her specialty in Tempest, but can’t she at least be real for five minutes?
Learned proper gun mechanics today despite my still very sore shoulder. Agent Freeman says I’m a natural shooter – he’s the guy who used to follow the thirteen-year-old me and Courtney to school every day.
Tomorrow’s target-shooting test is my first chance to actually be good at something. Agent Stewart, be prepared to get your ass kicked by the new kid.
22 March 2009 Location: desert
Now that I’ve had a week to acquire data and experience, I have a good idea of what a typical training day looks like: 5.00–6.30 a.m. – PT (5–10-mile run plus additional
physical torture from Freeman or Dad).
6.30–7.30 a.m. – shower (only six portable shower stalls so it’s motivation to finish PT first) and breakfast.
7.30–12.30 p.m.– Specialty training. For me and three others this means weapons, hand-to-hand combat (more exercise!) and lots of target shooting, both close-range and from a scout location.
12.30–1.30 p.m. – Lunch (either MREs, PB&J or we boil hot dogs and beans over a fire, but no one usually wants to make a fire or be out in the sun midday).
1.30–3.00 p.m. – Foreign language study (I do mine with Dad and sometimes Dr Melvin, not sure what anyone else does).
3.00–6.00 p.m. – Covert operations, some specialize in this but we all have to learn how to tail a suspect, know you’re being tailed, plant listening devices, search for devices, recognize explosives . . . stuff like that.
6.00–7.00 p.m. – Dinner, usually cooked outside, and we do have Marshall or Dad taking the helicopter into cities and bringing back fresh produce and stuff that isn't made to survive a nuclear bombing. This is probably the high point of the day.
7.00–10.00 p.m. – This varies. We've done role-playing, practicing different covers, we've studied for exams on geography and history. It’s been different every day.
10.00 p.m. – We’re supposed to sleep at this time, but I've noticed that pretty much everyone pulls out books and computers to study past Tempest data and prepare for . . . well . . . everything.
25 March 2009 Location: desert
EOT facts: twelve different time travellers have been
sighted, dating back to 1983. Memorized all of their
photos and basic info today. EOTs I’ve encountered:
Thomas (hasn't been seen since 2005, apparently this timeline’s data doesn't include my adventures in the 2007 alternate universe or the previous 2009 I left before coming here. More on that later . . .)
Raymond (dead. Shoe-print guy)
Cassidy (biological mother)
Rena (dead. Blonde chick from hotel rooftop)
Jacob (just learned his name. Helped crash that wedding in Martha’s Vineyard)
Edward (also just learned his name. The dude that showed up when the storm hit on the boat with Holly, Dad and Adam)
Harold (dead. Dad shot him in the 2007 timeline. Apparently he’s a clone made by Dr Ludwig)
3 April 2009
Found a report in the CIA database from October 2005 – the last time Thomas was sighted in this timeline. It was Dad that he sought out. Dad recorded a three-minute conversation muffled slightly by the sound of wind and New York City traffic in the background. It went like this:
Thomas: We’re sorry to hear about Axelle Product A. Dr Ludwig thinks he may have a solution to prevent the tumours . . . with the other subject, anyway.
Agent Meyer: I’m not interested in any of Dr Ludwig’s solutions, Thomas. But I think you already know that.
Thomas: His scans show no signs of cancer?
Agent Meyer: His brain function is that of a normal fifteen-year-old boy in the year 2005. Axelle appears to be nothing but several million dollars not worth spending.
Thomas: I see. And your continued interest in the boy is motivated by what, exactly . . . ?
Agent Meyer: Human compassion. Something you know nothing about.
Thomas: I know everything there is to know about human compassion. I just choose not to be trapped by it. But you have nothing to worry about, Agent Meyer. We have no interest in Product B. Not unless things change, and it doesn't look like that will happen.
Agent Meyer: And if it does?
Based on bloodwork drawn from the EOTs Tempest has been able to capture at one point or another, some show strong evidence of the Tempus gene and some have it hidden in their blood, harder or almost impossible to locate. Mine is hidden. Dr Melvin suspects they each have different years of origin and therefore are either further or not as far along in the evolution process. Not the monkeys-turning-to-humans evolution, the kind where normal people turn to time travellers. So, does it eventually become harder to detect the Tempus gene in blood or did it start that way?
And do the EOTs, like, have a meeting place . . . or a meeting year? What would that invitation look like?
Let’s all gather in 1984 . . . sometime in July. Maybe
at the Empire State Building. Bring a future snack
to share because McDonald’s is frying their food in
animal fat in this year and we wouldn’t want that
type of lard to invade the future. Please check your
calendars and make sure you don’t have any planned
attacks in July 1984. If you do, let me know which
day might work best for you.