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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) FLF: The 3 Whittens of 1983 (again)
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 15:56:07 -0600

mantis quoted and wrote:
>Roy wrote:
>>The crew does know when they are; they say so, and this is *after* they
>>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 were warming up the plane's engines at the time the four were being
collected at the airfield (end of ch. 51, beginning of ch. 54). So, the crew
started out from 1983, and they had to know it. The airfield was adjacent to
the airport; the jetliners taking off and landing were a dead give-away.
Besides, we know that they had to stay in 1983 to pick up Barnes, which they

>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.

That won't work. The "biological-age 60 Whitten", who looks younger than
that, has necessarily already deserted. He went to 1803 and the Lewis &
Clark expedition. The 60-70 year old Free (who looked so much like the 82
year old that the four knew that they immediately recognized him) who
conducted the cockpit interview didn't know where his younger self went--he
only *hoped* he had joined L. & C. I'm so confused.

>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 just stands to reason that the organization wasn't going to help the
renegade they were looking for.

>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.)

I don't think Kip was in on it. It was Whitten's disappearance that set her
off to find and murder Free. She wanted her daddy back at any cost, even if
it meant killing his older self. I don't see her having a change of heart
three days later. Whitten didn't just leave, he *deserted*. That was his
second disappearance *after* Free was killed. She would assume his desertion
was just another disappearance attributable to the time-traveling monkey
business of the mysterious renegade known as Ben Free. At least that's how I
see it.



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