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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) FLF: The planes
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 00:44:14 -0600

mantis wrote:
>I hope this resolves your initial problem so we can move onto the next:
>what is the perspective from the flight-crew of the B-17?  That is, those
>two guys (one Army, one Navy) seem to have had some experience in flying
>through time, and yet they have not lived in the 1980s, or if they have
>they have not known it.  If they are the original crew who flew in with
>Buck, then maybe they flew back to 1942 . . . otherwise they have been
>living in 1982 for a couple of months (November 5 to January 22), under
>wraps by Buck & Co. (so they would not know they were in the 80s), but
>during which time they would use up their Camel cigarettes and matches.

The crew does know when they are; they say so, and this is *after* they have
de-coupled from HC and are gliding down to earth. The hypothetical projected
field of the gizmo must not have been turned on.

>That is (and maybe this is just a refinement of your original problem): the
>B-17 seems to have come directly from 1942 specifically for this one
>mission, and to have gone back to 1942 right after.  But this is not a
>problem if the 1982 High Country gizmo is set to "outdoor" sky-door mode
>and the target year of 1942.
>The reason this one plane and crew must be used for =all= traffic to and
>from High Country is plain.

Yes, and it brings up another problem. See below.

>I note that the plane left after it dropped off the four.  It might have
>gone back to 1942 (lessen the chance of time-contamination) or it might
>have landed back in 1982 for simple refueling prior to going up again to
>get Ozzie Barnes, the one of the four who did not go through the indoor
>gizmo portal.
>Also note: the three who went through the gizmo on High Country did not
>teleport to Free's house--instead they would have found themselves in the
>abandoned High Country of whatever year the gizmo is set to, and have to be
>ferried down to the surface via B-17.

And who gave the orders? Ignoring that, given that HC is abandoned, how
would the three have contacted the shuttle crew of whatever year they went
to? They had to go to the past (HC couldn't keep aloft much longer; it was
aging badly), in order for them to merge with their earlier selves. They
couldn't go too far back; the women were only in their twenties.

But the bigger problem is Whitten's second disappearance. According to
Wolfe's timeline, Whitten vanished on Friday, January 14, 1983, when Free
made his last return to his house. Free was murdered on the following
Friday, the 21st, and Whitten reappeared after a week's absence. Kip
reported to Whitten after killing Free. Both she and Whitten were present at
the airfield later that night, after each of the boarders had undergone
their 'trials'. The four talked to Whitten; he was there when they went
aboard the B-17. The shuttle reached HC about midnight. In the early-morning
hours of Saturday, the 22nd of January, 1983, they spoke to 60-70-year-old
Free in the cockpit of HC. He was already there, waiting for them. That's
the problem--how did he get there?

Since there can't be two versions of the same person at the same time, for
Free to have been present on HC on the 22nd, Whitten had to have vanished a
second time *after* the B-17 took off. The timeline states that he did
vanish, but doesn't explain how Free came to be aboard HC when the B-17 got
there. How could Free be both on HC and on the ground as Whitten? The
obvious answer is that Free reached HC from another time, another shuttle
flight, and arrived on HC only after the B-17 left the airfield with the
four boarders. He couldn't have been on HC while the four talked to Whitten
on the ground. And I don't think he got there *after* the four arrived; not
enough time had passed since the four arrived for the shuttle to land and
return to HC with another passenger. Besides, if Whitten had vanished again
so soon, there would have been pandemonium on the ground. The trouble with
the obvious answer is Free's age.

When Whitten deserted on the 24th, he was necessarily less than 60 years
old. He was always clean-shaven. Free, according to Dr. Makee, sometimes was
clean-shaven, sometimes had a beard. After he deserted the OSS, Whitten no
longer had free access to the gizmo on HC, or the cooperation of the
organization. After spending so many years on the frontier, he had aged too
much to ever go back to the OSS and resume his role as the general. That's
part of what he meant about it being too late for him to use his "ticket"
back to the HC. So, how did a bearded, 60-70-year-old Free ever get aboard a
shuttle in another time to get up to the HC to meet the four boarders?



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