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Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 07:33:30 -0800
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) FLF: The 3 Whittens of 1983 (again)

Roy wrote:
>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.

One of them (Bob, the Army pilot?) asks where they are in time.  The other
one (the Naval pilot) says they are in the 1980s, "Pretty far up."
Presumably this is from their briefing in 1942, or possibly they have
figured it out from various clues at the airport and from the passengers.
Strong suggestion that they have not been idling for months at the airport
in the 1980s.

>The hypothetical projected
>field of the gizmo must not have been turned on.

I can't see how we could tell either way.  If it is on and they have just
flown through it, it would be as undetectable to them as walking through a
doorway is to a person on the ground.  Passing through it would not erase
their memory, I don't think, nor would it give them a new date stamp in
their minds so they would know what year they were in.

They talk about ferrying diplomats, politicians, and millionaires.  Because
of the initial 1942-1952 project, their shuttle work was presumably almost
entirely in this ten year period.  That is, from 1942 to years 1943-1952.
But they also took Whitten & Co. to 1982.

>And who gave the orders?

It would have to be the Whitten the four interview in HC.

>Ignoring that, given that HC is abandoned, how
>would the three have contacted the shuttle crew of whatever year they went

They don't have to contact anyone: Whitten knows where in time the door
leads.  Whitten calls their taxi B-17 for them so that it takes off in 1942
and arrives just in time.

> 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.

I agree.

>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?

On December 3, I wrote a tentative section of timeline:
>1983 -- Whitten (age 53?) deserts, becomes Ben Free. [Jan 24]
>1807-1818 -- Ben Free lives in the frontier (ageing 7 years in 11 years?),
>with vacations in 1979-1982.
>1983 -- Ben Free/Whitten interviewed in High Country by the four?
>1803 -- Ben Free "aged 60 but looks younger" joins the Lewis & Clark
>expedition (1804-1806).
>1806 -- At the end of the expedition (all in realtime, so age = age+3),
>Free travels to 1819.
>1819 -- Free gathers up his treasures and leaves for 1983.
>1983 -- Free arrives/Whitten disappears (another alloying for Free?) [Jan 14]

I have also described two time-travel circuits: the one on the ground for
1803-1983 (using the portable gizmo, sometimes in the house) and the one in
the air for 1942-1983.

Let's say that biological-age 60 Whitten wants to go to the interview.  He
strolls from 1818 to any year he choses to set on the portable gizmo: why
not December 1942 (implosion-free zone)?  He enters the world of 1942 at
the same location he had in 1818 and then makes his way to the (an)
airport.  Phones in the command to shuttle an old guy up to HC.  Gets on
the B-17, rides up to HC.  At HC he sets the gizmo for 1983.  Walks through
and enters HC in 1983.

I'm not sure where the text supports your claim that:
>After he deserted the OSS, Whitten no
>longer had free access to the gizmo on HC, or the cooperation of the

It is tricky to block a guy for deserting when he has gone back through
time.  If Kip and Robin are in on it, they wouldn't pass any information to
deny Whitten access.  (I don't think we have any clue as to where in time
Kip and Robin and the other members of the team end up.)

Whitten age 53 knew that some unauthorized time-tripping was going on and
feared mischief or sabotage within the organization: the principal suspect
became the mysterious Ben Free.  Whitten then learned he would/will become
Ben Free, with the further implication that he would be doing all the shady



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