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Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 17:07:24 -0800
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: Re: (urth) FLF: The 3 Whittens of 1983 (again)

Roy quoted me and wrote:
>>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.

My timeline fragment shows that the 53-year-old deserter did =not= go
straight back to 1803, he went back to 1807.  Maybe he did this to
acclimitize himself to 19th century life before going on the 1803

I suspect that HC interview Whitten is the one who is about to go to 1803,
after having lived 7 years of experience in 1807-1818 (with vacations in

That is, the three Whittens of 1983 are:

1) Buck Whitten (age 53) duffle coat/prior to desertion.

2)Free Whitten (age 60-something) High Country interview/years after
desertion but still prior to Lewis & Clark.

3) Ben Free (age 80-something?) after Lewis & Clark, with cataracts and
shot dead 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 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.

But Roy, if I understand it correctly, Whitten is the one (and likely the
=only= one) who detected some shadowy time-travel going on: people were
disappearing from HC, and he figured they were travelling one-way to places
where the gizmo did not exist (pre-1942, post-198n).  There is no Chief at
OSS HQ who said, "Buck, go into tomorrow and find the renegade!  We will
lock down everything the moment you leave and we expect you back a
half-hour later, even if the job takes you decades."  Whitten & team
travelled to 1982 in order to get technological goodies ("Dick Tracy" stuff
to them) for their own organization.  Buck Whitten is the chief
investigator in the field, in the future.  Buck Whitten is also the master
time-traveller.  When Buck discovers that he himself will become Ben Free,
we know from the other example (his first folding in 1942) he is not one to
try and mess with history.

And the organization isn't looking for a renegade, as far as I can tell.

If your guess about stranding all the other team members in 1983 is
correct, even better: how would OSS High Command 1942 ever find out who the
renegade was?  The information cannot travel against the timestream.
Oddities show up in realtime, just like before, with more people coming and
mainly going than Whitten can account for (July/August 1942? His headcount
of HC in 1952?), until he assembles the team and goes to 1982, two days
after his supposed trip to 1952 (he did not really go the second time) . . .

Yes, it is circular.  Of course!



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