Recap of last episode...
- Installment 4.1
o Kline persuades Henry to take him to the building where the components to the Apollo 13 rocket and module are being stored.
- Installment 4.2
o The bounty hunter attempts to subdue Hector and Jack, managing to stun Hector, but Jack turns the tables on her. Dragging Hector to the car, Jack speeds away as the bounty hunter attempts to recover muscle control.
o As the two drive away, Hector reveals that the bounty hunter is his sister.
Episode 5: Launch
He leaned against the back wall, taking his time to position Henry's body in a way that appeared natural. To a casual observer, Henry had fallen asleep at his desk while working late into the night. Kline slid the blueprints underneath the engineer's arm and set the memory stimulation device on the desk. Turning the machine on, he attached two pads to Henry's ears and took a step back while the machine analyzed the subject. Two groups of tendrils slid out of the pads and snaked their way into Henry's ears. The tendrils would stimulate a portion of Henry's temporal lobe, effectively re-writing his memory with a specific, predetermined program. Henry wouldn't just forget what had happened; he would have entirely new memories.
"How close are you?"
"I just uploaded the memory program. I have his keycard."
Kline stepped into a dark hallway and made his way down a flight of stairs toward the main hangar bay. He used Henry's keycard at the front door and stepped into the enormous hangar where the rocket and its components were stored. The fuselage loomed above him like a gigantic bird of prey, asleep and tranquil, and yet in two days it would roar to life, flinging its cargo into space. To Kline it was archaic yet fascinating, a relic of man's early attempts at space travel, but he didn't have time to admire the rocket.
"I'm sending you a detailed schematic of the oxygen tanks. The explosives you were given should be positioned as noted."
"Good," said Kline, fingering the tiny explosives located in his shirt pocket. "And our friends? Did the bounty hunter take care of them?"
"Not yet, but they've been incapacitated."
"By the time they get here, it will be too late."
"Did you plant the blueprints?"
"They're sitting under Henry's arm as we speak. Everything's taken care of."
Kline terminated the call and looked back up at the rocket. Flipping open the communication device, he scrolled to the red circle of light on the display indicating the location of the oxygen tanks. He glanced at his watch, noting the time. He was ahead of schedule. Stepping toward the oxygen tanks, he placed the small explosives in the palm of his hand. Sabotage seemed too easy, but the intricate puzzle of deception reached far beyond Apollo 13. Kline's work was not over.
Stay tuned for the next exciting installment...
(For illustrations by Nathan Scheck, please visit www.timeslingers.com)