It’s been awhile since I posted. Where have I been? Well, let’s just say I’ve had my hands full keeping up with Dr. Zane Grayson. This handsome guy, whose linage is a mix of Japanese and European, not only controlled my waking moments, but also my dreams where he wreaked havoc. For weeks, I’ve tried like crazy to catch my z’s, but alas, they belonged to the ups and downs of Zane.
What’s a girl to do? I mean this guy is unstoppable. Dark eyes, a body to die for, strong and determined in every way…I had to help him. Who is he? Take a minute, and go on a literary adventure to find out about the protagonist in my latest novel, from Melange Books, called Guardian 2632. It hits the market in February 2011. The interview with Zane follows the excerpt.
Dr. Zane Grayson, the most accomplished executive director Guardian TMF has ever seen, is breaking the law…his law against time surfing. Zane has the supreme power, in 2632, to decide which paradoxes in time need altered, or deleted, but he’s frustrated. Something, or someone, is missing from his life.
Time surfing in illegal time zones is the rush Zane can’t live without. As addictive as the Martian dust called kilred, time surfing becomes Zane’s obsession. And knowing full well if caught by the Elite Guardians, he’ll suffer an unwelcome death by Time Mercs, Zane still dives deep into trouble. Soon, he discovers a mission in 2035 left him trapped in a timehole. This timehole places him in Pittsburgh, PA in 1998, instead of home. In Pittsburgh, Zane strolls into a coffee shop to see the bewitching Julia Emerson. From that point on, his life spirals out of control as he fights to protect what he loves most.
It’s possible Zane’s future is no longer in 2632…but actually in 1998. Guardian 2632 reveals what a man will sacrifice to save a life. This is the amazing story of Dr. Zane Grayson.
“Man…can go up against gravitation in a balloon, and why should he not hope that ultimately he may be able to stop or accelerate his drift along the Time-Dimension, or even turn about and travel the other way.” H.G. Wells, The Time Mahine
April 18, 1955
“Albert is dead.”
“I’m terribly sorry. This is awful,” said Sophie, “but yesterday, I knew the end was coming when he was admitted to Princeton Hospital. Didn’t you sense it, Dr. Rosenthal?” she asked shoving her teal rimmed glasses back in place.
“Yeah, I suppose so. He’ll be greatly missed here at IAS and—”
“Forgive me, Dr. Rosenthal, it goes without saying he’ll be missed. More importantly, Albert will never be forgotten. Albert Einstein changed the world during his seventy-six years,” said Sophie as a few tears slid down her pale cheek.
“Um, Sophie…Miss Cervantes, head home. I’ve put you in charge of organizing Albert’s office, but that can wait,” said Dr. Rosenthal in a soft-spoken voice eliciting true compassion.
Feeling her stomach flip, Sophie grabbed her raincoat to leave, but then stopped. Picking up a black and white photograph of Einstein, she said, “This one’s my favorite…he looks happy. It was his 70th birthday party at his home in Princeton, New Jersey.” Sophie’s trembling fingers skimmed the photograph’s glass as a half-smile momentarily eased her pain. “He loved the kids, you know?”
“Yeah, Albert sure did,” he said while admiring the photograph. “They are the future.”
“Yes, well…the future will have to wait on me.” Placing the photograph back on Einstein’s cluttered desk, she said, “You’re right. No way can I work now.” Hurrying past Dr. Rosenthal, Sophie mumbled, “This is a dark day, indeed. I’ll miss you, Albert.”
* * * *
May 23, 1955
Slipping away from Sophie, the dusty box hit the floor to break open. Documents, notes, and files spilled out making a huge mess.
“Fantastic. I’ve killed an antique lamp and a picture frame, and now this happens. Jeez, what’s next?” Plopping down beside the paper mountain, Sophie then instinctively alphabetized the labeled files and stacked everything else in small piles. “Hum, where do these belong?” she asked looking at a bunch of papers. “This is not Albert’s handwriting.”
Flipping through the stapled hodgepodge of wrinkled papers, written in various colors of ink, curiosity got the better of her. “Time Travel 1953? Whoa, is this a short story? Yeah, maybe one of Albert’s previous students wanted him to see it.” After reading a few pages, Sophie confirmed Time Travel 1953 as fiction. “Oh, boy…Charlie will get a kick out of this. I mean, seriously, a time machine?”
* * * *
June 30, 1955
“Charlie! Open up…I have something for you,” said Sophie while pounding on the office door, IAS-238.
“No. I’ll pass. Just go away, Sophie,” replied Dr. Charlie Wilkinson.
“Oh, come on, don’t be a baby. I’ll pay to have your car fixed, okay? It’s only a scratch.”
The door opened like a hurricane had just passed by. “Just a scratch? It runs down the entire left side of my Jaguar. Hell, I knew something would happen, but I ignored that voice of reason in my head,” said Charlie still peeved about her irresponsibility.
“Yeah, well, I’m here to make amends.” Shoving Time Travel 1953 into his chest, Sophie’s pale blue eyes lit up. “Since your British skin won’t come to the July 4th party, read this. It’s hilarious. I almost forgot about it.”
“Um, thanks,” he said grasping the papers, “but the last piece of literature you recommended was total crap.” Moving Sophie’s black as midnight hair away from her eyes, Charlie sounded insincere saying, “I don’t want it.”
“Uh-huh, right. You’re dying to know what I found and I can tell,” said Sophie violating Charlie’s space. “I know you all too well.”
“Am I that obvious? Damn.”
“Yep, I’m afraid so. You’re biting your bottom lip while staring at me like I’m offering you a ride to the moon…that’s a dead giveaway. So, lighten up, it’s just some gibberish, maybe compiled from one of Albert’s past students.” A warm smile smothered Sophie’s face as she turned away from Charlie knowing she was forgiven for her unwanted, yet still highly proficient skill-set of destruction. “See you next week.”
* * * *
December 23, 1955
Michael? Are you still here?” Agitated, Charlie hit the door harder. “Michael!”
“What is your problem?” asked Dr. Michael Hodges opening the office door to greet his co-worker and best friend, Charlie. “And, yeah, I’m still here. Well for about two more minutes anyway. Why?”
“Hey, I know Christmas is days away and all, but…um…I—”
“Is something wrong, Charlie?” asked Michael. “You look like shit.”
“Oh, thanks…sleep deprivation for almost six months will do that.”
“Yeah, I’ve noticed you’ve been pushing it too hard. So what’s up?” asked Michael concerned for his friend. “It’s like you left the planet as of late, and the excuses for ignoring me are getting ridiculous.”
Placing a folder in Michael’s hands, Charlie leaned in to whisper, “Okay, I’m sorry. You’re right, but what’s up is that folder. You’ll understand everything soon enough. So read through Time Travel 1953. Do not show it to anyone, and I mean anyone. When you’ve done the math, abandon reality as you know it—and then we’ll talk. I know you’ll be impressed. I have to go.”
* * * *
March 22, 1956
The grease-slicked parking lot at IAS felt the downpour as puddles swelled on this rainy day. Thunder crashed and lightning flashed, maybe warning Charlie he was about to embark on an adventure of once believed impossibilities that held the fate of mankind within its realm.
Come on, Michael…why are you always late? Tapping on the steering wheel of his black Jaguar, Charlie’s heart raced like a runaway train while sweat rolled into his gray eyes. “My God, what are we doing? Michael has filled in most of the holes so it just about works. What if this is a huge mistake?”
The car door opened. Michael entered saying, “Stop it right now.”
“Yes, I can tell from your unshaved face, your refusal to get a haircut, and by the repulsive smell of that cheap cologne, used to mask the fact showering is no longer part of your routine, that you’ve become a grotty prat…as you Brits say. You’re cranked on regret because we’ve solved so many of the mathematical problems within Time Travel 1953.”
A heavy sigh escaped Charlie as he glared at Michael. “Yeah, uh-huh…well we can’t all be Gregory Peck, so back off.”
“That’s funny and all, but only a few students have said I look like him. And that’s hardly worth mentioning. All joking aside, the data we have is—”
“We should burn this dangerous data and you know it.”
A contorted, arrogant smile overtook Michael’s handsome face. “But we’re not going to burn anything, are we, dear friend?”
Rolling his eyes, Charlie’s British accent was especially thick as he quoted Einstein saying, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.” Staring at Michael, Charlie grinned.
“That’s right. We’re going to transform the world,” said Dr. Michael Hodges.
* * * *
August 22, 1978
“So, it’s a done deal? Time Travel 1953 is mine…to do with whatever I see fit?” asked the highly renowned physicist, Max Kieto, of Outscape Technology located approximately 100 miles south of Kugluktuk, Canada.
“Yes, as long as you follow the guidelines in the contract, you’ll grow old,” warned an elderly, but still intimidating, Dr. Michael Hodges. “Charlie’s dead, but before he died, he hired watchdogs…hounds from hell if you get my drift, who will monitor Outscape Technology’s every move.”
“I understand,” said Max. “I’ll follow the guidelines you and Charlie outlined in the contract. I’m a smart guy, you know?”
“Yep, and I’m counting on that. You’re the only person we considered to protect this volatile data. At this moment in time, you’re above reproach…the most ethical physicist we know, but don’t be seduced by the power of Time Travel 1953. Always do what’s righteous, Max or—”
“I get it, Michael,” said Max. “I won’t disgrace myself by disregarding the incredible trust you both put in me. You and Charlie got very close. I believe with OT’s equipment, we’ll move subatomic particles through time within a decade…possibly sooner, God willing.”
“Well, I won’t live to see that happen. Damn,” said Michael.
“Hey, you never know, maybe you—”
“Uh, lung cancer says no I won’t. And lose the long face…it’s pathetic. I’ve lived an amazing life, so you do the same.” Michael shook Max’s hand placing the fate of mankind with Outscape Technology.
* * * *
February 8, 1991
The world is forever altered on February 8, 1991, although only Max’s crew of physicists, scientists, and technicians witnessed the subatomic particles as they traveled through time. Experiments intensified, people lived and died working at Outscape Technology as the data from Time Travel 1953 annihilated old theories while inspiring new ones to ensure the success of time travel.
* * * *
March 2, 2299
Three-hundred eight years vanished. World War III (2082-2086) altered the map of the world, including Canada, so Kugluktuk became Terents. Research and experiments performed on the private site of Outscape Technology eventually gave birth to Guardian TMF…a time monitoring facility that had its first, small scale time machine routinely working after March 2, 2299. By 2343, Guardian TMF’s responsibilities toward the past, present, and future expanded with the completion of the time chamber…an enormous, silver sphere capable of escaping the so-called parameters of time.
* * * *
May 19, 2632
The spec of time called 2632 belongs to Dr. Zane Grayson, and he’s in charge of exploring paradoxes in authorized time sequences. He decides which tragedies and mysteries to bring before the Elites so they can be evaluated for missions. The Elites at Guardian TMF trust him unconditionally and why shouldn’t they? A mastermind and a gifted military surgeon, Zane has a perfect employment record.
Guardian TMF couldn’t be more pleased, but they are in the dark as to Zane’s crippled state of mind. He’s a daring man, determined to continue his quest of illegal time surfing, meaning time scans in unauthorized time sequences, because he believes something is out of sync. No matter, Guardian TMF has mastered the art of time travel taking a pledge to protect the world from its worst enemy…mankind.
Interview: Dr. Zane Grayson
NW: Okay, so you work in the year 2632 at Guardian TMF. What is Guardian TMF?
Zane: Guardian TMF is a monstrous time monitoring facility located in Terents, Canada. At Guardian TMF, paradoxes in time are explored and, if possible, fixed. Its roots go all the way back to Albert Einstein’s death in 1955.
NW: Really? That’s interesting. How is Albert Einstein’s death involved?
Zane: Well, after Einstein died, curious looking papers, written in different colors of ink, were discovered by his assistant, Sophie Cervantes. Eventually, as you read in the prologue, the Time Travel 1953 papers found their way to Outscape Technologies and to the famous physicist Max Kieto. Guardian TMF was birthed from the findings at Outscape Technology.
NW: Good to know. Now why are you qualified to be the executive director at Guardian TMF?
Zane: I was elected by the Elite Guardians. They are the corporate owners of Guardian TMF. They decide what time zones, and then on a smaller scale…what time sequences, are authorized. From the time sequences, I choose what paradoxes to alter or fix. The Elites are; Victoria Merrick, Nathan Westfault, Marcus Rhoades, Sasha Yurtanu, Urik Rosdale, Max Reinhold, and Harrison Bellows.
NW: So, that’s it, you just get elected?
Zane: Oh, no…it’s not that simple. I was born and raised at Guardian TMF. My father, Dr. Christian Grayson, met my mother, Asuka Ishikawa, at Guardian TMF. I followed in my father’s footsteps by joining its military, and my specialty is medicine. I became a surgeon. While in the military, I realized no way could I do a standard “nine to five” job. Whether this is good or bad, I don’t know…but I thrive on dangerous situations. After my military stint, I ran against Nathan Westfault, Aaron Cranston, and Kayla Preston for the executive director position at Guardian TMF.
NW: Can anyone run for that coveted position?
Zane: No. A person has to pass a series of tests, both physical and mental, before candidacy is announced.
NW: That makes sense considering you work with quantum computers, time machines, high-tech weapons, and so on and so forth. I noticed Nathan Westfault became an Elite. Do you guys get along?
Zane: Yeah, I could write a book as an answer to that one. I’ll keep it simple…no.
NW: Now for an easier question. Your favorite color?
NW: Is that really a color?
Zane: Well, that depends on who you ask. If you ask a scientist, the answer might be, “no.” If you ask a six-year old, who is coloring with crayons, the answer will be a resounding “yes.”
NW: Okay, I’ll drop it because if I push it…I imagine I’m going to get a lecture about the Additive Color Theory.
Zane: Yes, you will. I like theories.
NW: Are you addicted to anything?
Zane: Hum, mostly time surfing. And caffeine. There are days I would kill for it. Chocolate is also high on my list, but don’t tell anyone. Oh, and of course, feeling a rush from the onset of a perilous situation that may lead to my death.
NW: Your biggest fear?
Zane: You have to read Guardian TMF to find out.
NW: No problem, I can handle that. What’s the best thing that has ever happened to you?
Zane: This almost sane lady brought me to life so I could share my story.
NW: Ah, thanks.
Zane: You’re welcome! See you in your dreams, Nora.