The Time-Lockers Author:Wallace West Tempora was not only a world much like Earth; Tempora was Earth, in a different time-continuum, a world which had been nearly destroyed in nuclear warfare and where people lived in ruins and poverty, trying to rebuild. Still, it was a very pretty place, where it was habitable, and it made an ideal vacation place. — The time-rate on Tempora was d... more »ifferent from the time-rate on Earth. One could save up time on Earth and spend it in Tempora, then come back to find that hardly any time had passed on Earth. And the Temporans had found some way of making this time-saving profitable; that was the rationale behind the time-lockers. You built up credit by depositing your time-consciousness via the lockers when you took a train trip, etc. You got your time-locker ticket, then boarded the train, and time would appear to speed up so that an hour would pass in a few minutes, so far as you could tell. When you saved up enough time (the Temporans took a little off as a discount), you could take a vacation in Tempora and live like royalty at their expense.
Arnie Davis had had vacations on Tempora, and he was now building up to the point where he could take another. There was one strange thing about vacations on Tempora, however. Everyone who went there lost weight and came back feeling tired, even though they'd loafed and relaxed all day.
But that wasn't all. Someone was rigging time-lockers so that they put out forged receipts--receipts which the Temporans would not honor. It was very much like the racket that petty gangsters used to work with railway station baggage lockers. The lockers had been rigged to hand out forged receipts to customers, while retaining the genuine ones which the gangsters themselves would collect. It suggested an underworld plan to steal vacations in Tempora--vacations that would include a good deal more than fun and games. And organized crime had a powerful lobby in, as well as owning, an increasing number of congressmen.
Mr. Xotl, the Temporan ambassador, was a client of the Public Relations firm of which Arnie Davis was about to become a Vice President. He was raising cain about the forged receipts, and clearly something would have to be done. It would involve a senatorial investigation--and this would bring underworld pressure into the open, perhaps even a coup d'etat, which those in the know realized was far from impossible these days.
Here is a thrilling novel of linked worlds by the author of River of Time and The Memory Book.« less