From: "Roy C. Lackey"
Subject: Re: (urth) FLF: plan B, plan A Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002 01:45:08 -0600 mantis wrote: >When Whitten "disappears" on January 22 (the "second time") he doesn't >implode (so HC Whitten is correct that duffle coat has not imploded), he >just goes into the past (say 1943-1951) via the portable gizmo and manages >to age seven years (the numbers look good) completing his investigation on >how he is Ben Free. > >Then he gizmos ahead from HC 1951 to HC 1983 in order to do the interview >with the four. > >After the interview, he shuttles down to the ground (same flight with >Ozzie?) and deserts on January 24, leaving for the 19th century. Having >aged seven years in two calendar days. Okay, I understand your reasoning. It's based primarily on this paragraph: "If you're wondering where the general is now, let me assure you he's gone. Not vanished because I'm here, but gone to a better time, taking his portable gizmo with him. He deduced the location of Free's 'ticket' you see, and carried the one he'd brought from nineteen forty-two through it." The problem I have had with this is that I assumed Whitten's second disappearance--despite what HC Free said above--was involuntary (because the four had just spoken to Whitten on the ground, what, an hour before they saw Free on HC?), and that the scenario Free outlined above fit that of the last date of the timeline, which took place two days after he said it. The penultimate date in the timeline states that Whitten "vanishes" again, which is the exact terminology used to describe his disappearance a week earlier. That implies that he "imploded", to use your term, not that he simply used a gizmo to go somewhen else. Tricky Wolfe. For all this to work out, though, requires several things to happen very quickly after the B-17 took off. Whitten had to figure out exactly where Free's "ticket" was, make the decision to use it, collect his portable gizmo, and get to Free's ruined house with it before midnight and before Ben Free showed up on HC. He didn't have much time to do it in. He also had to have used the gizmo in the ruined house twice, which isn't in the timeline. Tricky, tricky. But it works. It's still debatable where (when) Whitten went when he used Free's ticket that night. With the gizmo secreted in a wall, the controls couldn't be reached. It had to be set to a fixed date or span of years, more likely the latter. Free said, above, that Whitten used the wall gizmo, not the portable, that night. That would send him back to the 19th century, I think, not somewhere between 1943-1951. And the HC Free was bearded and too grizzled to have been spending much of his recent past with the conveniences of modern civilization. So his personal chronology still needs some work. The spans of years given in Wolfe's timeline total about 68 years, plus the "several years" (four?) he lived in the house equal about 72. He was age 82 when he died, so there are about 10 years to account for, as I see it. -Roy --