“We don’t talk about politics or current affairs.”
“Surely you joke,” said Marcel.
“Then what do you talk about?”
“Oh, his past, the Boer War and his times in India and the Sudan. Soldiering. We have mutual interests.”
“Really, such as?”
“History, painting, whisky.”
“Amazing, and you know him because?”
“Well actually I have known him since I was a child. My benefactor Lord Alphonso Stiletto, was an old friend. He took me with him to visit him just after the turn of the century, at his home in London. It was part of my training. He was also good friends with Napoleon.”
“Zoot alors,” gasped the Frenchman, and you met him too?”
Marcel was staring at his friend in wonder, amazed by these revelations.
“But what of the danger?”
“Of changing history?”
In the future we call it the Butterfly Effect after a famous short story. A man goes back to the time of the dinosaurs. When he returns to his own time the politic has changed, and he has a dead butterfly on the sole of his shoe.”
“But this is more than treading on the insect.”
“Yes, there are dangers. There are multiple parallel existences. I always choose one almost exactly like my own, but separate. Even then I am very careful.
“But you are an assassin, no? That is more like treading on an elephant.”
“That is why my training was so difficult. My own Master performed a hit that took out the future leaders of the Corp, but she never discussed the full ramifications with me.”
“And your old weapon’s Master, the one with no eyes.”
“‘Schripp, yes, I believe you have cooked many fine dinners when he has been a guest.”
“Has he not spent many years in the old West in America? Is that not also an elephant?
“In ‘Schripp’s case he didn’t need a parallel world. Believe it or not, the Earth that ‘Schripp grew up on was blown up by a pan dimensional psychopath.”
“Enough, enough,” cried Marcel, “I cannot cope with this madness. He refilled his glass with Pernod and water, watching the swirls of white as the liquids mixed. With sudden panic he looked up at his friend and employer. “But, we travel always through the time, are my family my family?”
“Of course,” Billy said smoothly, “this is your true universe, it is I who am the interloper.”
“How do you manage to keep it all together?”
“Many years of training, but then it was always easy for me. It is what I am best at. In many ways it is what I was born for.”
Copyright Jhedron Luckspar © 2019