The assassin watched calmly as a struggling landscape artist named Adolf Hitler writhed and died in agony on the floor of a tiny apartment in Vienna, never to become der Fuehrer or to perpetrate Holocaust upon six million Jews.
Then the assassin reentered his waiting time portal and returned forward through two hundred years of altered history. Before he had even left the sprawling ops lab, the assassin received an urgent call from his superior. Unquestioning obedience was tailored into his genes; the assassin hurried straight to the luxuriously-furnished briefing room for his new assignment.
"Thank God you came quickly. You must kill Anton Tedeschi."
"Don't play games. No one could be ignorant of the Butcher of Berlin. Twenty million dead in Nazi Europa, all due to him."
The assassin went back to the operations lab, where the crew prepped him and the portal operator handed him a list of likely decision points. He chose the earliest. Then back through the time portal, back in time two hundred years again to perform his designed function.
The infant Anton Tedeschi died, run down by a truck whose driver was never found.
* * *
The assassin stepped from the truck's cab to the portal in the cramped ops room two centuries later. Upon his return, he received an urgent call from his supervisor, and hurried to the briefing room, sat in the spindly folding chair and listened with full attention to the man he was programmed to obey without question.
"Thank God you came quickly. You must kill Hans Frenkl."
"Don't play games. Everyone knows the Murderer of Munich. Leader of the Nazi Imperium during World War II. A hundred million human beings dismembered and killed, all by his command."
Back into time the assassin went. Frenkl too ceased to be a threat.
* * *
The assassin stepped into the time portal and returned through two centuries. He stepped into the darkened ops room. His feet left trails in the dust on the way to the empty briefing booth, where he settled down against the wall to wait for his next assignment.
©2001 Alan P. Scott. All rights reserved.
This document was last updated April 7, 2001.