Beyond the Police 1 (The Adventures of Ms. Smith and the Curator)
On Saturdays, the Curator comes by Ms. Smith’s house for tea, and then they go for an adventure in his time machine.
Ms. Smith and the Curator walked across the Worldsphere.
The drone that followed them, Ka!ditu, announced that the wreck was another kilometer away. They continued to walk. They were both quite elderly, and the Curator walked with a cane, slowly, and slightly hunched over, but even cursory observation would reveal them to be surprisingly spry for their age. Walking through the tropical woods, they looked like nothing so much as tourists on a package holiday gone utterly wrong, but who were nevertheless keeping calm and carrying on, and largely acquitting themselves admirably in their continued survival.
“How long was it for you between when you dropped me off with Mrs. Jones and when you came by for tea for the first time?” Ms. Smith finally asked, to break the silence.
The Curator thought about it. “I don’t know. It was a lot. I stopped counting years eight faces ago. Or I might have been lying. There was the Scottish one. And the Punch and Judy man. And Merlin… I don’t remember, really.” He paused for a moment. “aM!xitsa, how old did you say the wreck was?”
“‘I’m Ka!ditu, Curator,” the drone said with unhesitating patience, although it was the third time she had answered this question, and the fifteenth she’d been called aM!xitsa. “And the wreck is eighty years old.”
“It hardly seems fair to call it a wreck,” Ms. Smith said, for the first time. “I mean, it’s a man with a Vortex Manipulator. He probably fused with something teleporting in.”
“So why are we investigating this?” the Curator asked. “I’m cold.”
“Because there’s still a life sign,” explained Ms. Smith. The Curator accepted this explanation, as he had the previous time a few hours earlier.
Shortly thereafter, they arrived at the wreck. The man’s body was thoroughly mangled, but still impossibly, uncannily intact. Only the face was relatively untouched. He had pronounced, handsome cheekbones, and a squared, heroic jaw. His hair was short, brown, and uncannily well tousled for a man having spent eighty years lying on a pile of rocks. “You’re,” Ms. Smith began when she was him, but he cut her off.
“Captain Boe,” he said, flashing a Hollywood smile. “I’m an immortal time traveller, but I wrecked on the Worldsphere. My body usually heals itself, but there was an awful lot of damage, and eighty years of being stranded seem to have taken their toll. How did you find me?”
“Psychic paper,” the Curator announced confidently. “Hello, I’m the Curator. Would you like a Gummi Bear?” he asked, pulling a bag full of candy from his pocket.
“Your biodata was detected by Professor Malone at the Cal Institute,” Ka!ditu added by way of explanation, “and we identified your crash site. Since we were not fond of most of the implications of something that could survive, badly injured, for eighty years, we aided you in issuing a psychic distress call.…