Steampunk, Time Machine, Time, Metal

Of all the places he could have landed.  What rotten luck.  Earth.  One of the only places in the entire universe where no one wanted to go.  The creatures here couldn’t even get off their own rock.  Talk about backwater towns.  Some AI must have thought it was being funny. “Payback’s a bitch,” he muttered, under his breath.  “I’ll reset your program so you’ll think you’re a typewriter.”

“I heard that,” snickered the AI.

He checked his data base, looking for any TC’s (Time Criminals) who might be hiding here, although WHY anyone would come here, even to hide, baffled the mind.   Three names came up.  John Milton, Stanley Lewis and Bradford Tuttle.  He watched their faces and info flash in front of his eyes. “Data for said TC’s,” he said, and pictures, with additional information appeared before him.

“Wow!, said woman, staring at him.  “That is, without a doubt, the most authentic and best looking Stea…”

“Move along,” he said gruffly.

“Rude and nasty,” she said, her hands on her hips.  “I was giving you a compliment.  You could have just said, thank you, but instead, you chose to be mean.”

He stood there, not knowing exactly what happened.  No one should talk to a Hitman in that tone of voice.

“You know, that’s whats wrong with the world today.  People are RUDE for no reason at all.  I can see that you might not want to chat, or maybe I was disturbing your train of thought, but you still could have been pleasant.  Have you been to Burning Man?  You’d probably like it there.  Lots of Steampunk fans.  It’s about alternate realities and what could be, might be, and probably is.  It’s letting go of things and being free.  It’s an explosion of creativity.  It’s held in Nevada.  You know where Nevada is, don’t you?”

“I have work to do.”

“Well, don’t let me stop you, crabby man” she said, walking away.

“Crabby man?”

A guy walked by and gave him a thumbs up.  People were staring at him.  Someone asked him if he made the gun himself.

He ignored everyone and found the building for John Milton.  He rang the bell.

A kid answered the door and yelled, “Hey, mom.  Is it Halloween?”

“No, sweetie,” said a voice, from inside the house.

“I don’t have any candy to give you,” said the boy.

“Is John Milton here?”

“I don’t think so,” said the boy.  “Who is he?”

“A friend.”

“Don’t you know where your friend lives?  I have a friend who lives right over there,” he said pointing to the building across the street.

“Who is it honey?” said the woman, finally coming to the door.  “Fantastic costume,” she said appreciatively.  “What’s up?  Are you collecting for something?”

“John Milton.”

“You’re collecting for someone named John Milton?  Why?  Who is he?”

“No.  I’m looking for him.”  This would be so much easier if these humans had implants, he thought.  Then I could just read her mind.

“Never heard of him.”

“Do you know Stanley Lewis, or Bradford Tuttle?”

“There’s a Bradford Tuttle who teaches at the University, but I don’t know if he’s the Tuttle you’re looking for. ”

“You have been helpful.  Thank you.”

“Are you going to kill him with that gun?” asked the boy.

“Maybe,” he said.

The woman laughed.  “Hope you find who you’re looking for,”  she said, starting to close the door. “You’re not really going to kill him, are you?”

He smiled and thanked her again.

The address for Stanley Lewis was on the way to the university, so he stopped and knocked on the door.

“Yes?” said a housekeeper, looking him up and down.

“I’d like to speak to Stanley Lewis.”

“You and a lot of other people,” she snorted.  “Did he owe you money too?  If he did, get in line.”

“No. He did not owe me money.”

“Well, you’re the first one.  Count yourself lucky.”

“Where is he?”

“Dead as a doornail.  Some woman shot him in a bar fight.”

“Are you sure?”

“What do you mean, am I sure?  Of course, I’m sure.  I went to his funeral.”

“Did you see the body?”


“Before they buried him, did you see the body?”

“I don’t know what you mean?”

“Did you actually see the body just before he was buried?”


“Thank you,” he said.  He sent a message to the AI monitoring him.  “Stanley Lewis is a runner.  See if you can find him.”

The university was on the main drag.  Small college town.  He was almost suffocating from the lack of tech.  It was starting to depress him, so he gave himself a shot of PR6, which hit his blood stream like a rocket and suddenly, everything seemed a lot more to his liking.

He stopped at the office and, after the woman behind the desk called her friends to see how fabulous his outfit was, she directed him to Tuttle’s office.

Tuttle was behind his desk.  He was speaking to a student, sitting in the chair across from him.

“Okay, James, let’s finish this tomorrow,” said Tuttle.  “You’re on the right track and you’re work has improved quite a lot.”

The boy looked at the gun, then at his teacher, and left the office.

“How’d you find me?” asked Tuttle.

“I was sent here by mistake.”

Tuttle nodded.  “It took me years to get used to this place.  It’s so slow it’s like being dead, but still breathing.  Once you get used to it, it’s better than being in prison on some planet past Pluto.  I’ve heard a lot of prisoners freeze to death in those places.  Are you here to take me back, or eliminate me, Hitman?”

“If it were up to me, leaving you here would be punishment enough.”

“It is up to you,” said Tuttle.  “I have a family, you know.”


“Yes, a wife and two girls.”


“They have a lab here.  It’s crude, but it’s earth, you can only expect so much. I did a bit of genetic manipulation, that’s all.”  He showed him a picture of his kids.

“Why would you do that to them?”

“They’re fine.  I check them monthly.  And frankly, I wanted to be more like everyone else on the planet.  I thought I’d be here forever.”

“Do you know where 45 and 97 are?”

“You mean John and Stan?  Yes.  I know where they are.  We keep in touch.”

“Someone said 97 is dead.”

“That would be the fourth time,” he laughed. “He’s not dead, he’s starting over someplace else.  Whenever his debts get to the point of someone breaking all his bones, he dies and reinvents himself.”

“What about 45?”

“I think he’s in London with his girlfriend,” said Tuttle.  “She’s nice, he’s happy.”

“I hate it here,” said the Hitman.  It’s so small and tight.

Tuttle laughed.  “It is.  Look,” he said. “I don’t want to go back, so please, just scramble me.”

He clicked the safety off.

“Do you know how many beings I’ve destroyed for Home?” asked Tuttle.  “It’s only fitting that I go out the same way.”

“I’ll disable your trans, so I know you can’t leave,” he said.  “If you can stand it here, you can stay but you’ll never be able to leave.”

“Do it,” said Tuttle, nodding.

“You’ll die here.”

“Better here than at home,” he said.

He pulled an instrument out of his pack and walked up to Tuttle.  “Close your eyes,” he said.  Then he pushed the button.

There was a knock on his door.

“Come in,” said Tuttle, lifting his head off his desk.

“Am I interrupting?” asked one of his students.

“No, no,” said Tuttle, rubbing his neck.  “What can I do for you?”

Meanwhile, the Hitman visited the Tuttle house.  He introduced himself as an old friend of Bradford’s.  He slapped a dissolving patch on each of the girls, that fizzed and lasted thirty seconds.  They’d never be able to reproduce.  He had coffee and a donut, then left.

“What was he thinking?” he muttered, staring up at Big Ben.  “Half human, half alien, offspring.  Can’t have that in this place or they’ll be burning people at the stake again.”  Then he was off to find 45 and his nice girlfriend.





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42 Responses to Hitman…

  1. Rivera says:

    For whatever reason.. the picture reminded me of, “Uncle Tonoose”.. from an archaic tv show.
    Good story.

  2. A.S. says:

    Amazing story 😍..so creative!

  3. equinoxio21 says:

    My, my. A great text again. A classic Time-Travel theme but perfectly well-adapted to to-day’s… situation… Bravo.

    • Thank you so much. I just love the photo (Pixabay). He’s so cool. 🙂

      • equinoxio21 says:

        Yes, the photo is perfect for the text. 🙂

      • I love it and I think that guy knows how to have fun. 🙂

      • equinoxio21 says:

        Indeed. Your text and the photo made me think though it is very different of an old movie with Michael Douglas (in his prime) where he just goes beserk on the road one day… Can’t remember the title.

      • Was he in a car? I wonder which film it was?

      • equinoxio21 says:

        Yes, there was a massive traffic jam. Lemme find the title… “Falling down”, 1993, by Joel Schumacher.

      • equinoxio21 says:

        Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

      • Thank you. It was a lot of fun and almost everything was vegetarian, so it was yummy and everyone had a great time. Always at least three big dogs. Beau, Roxy and Josey…all BIG and nice.

      • equinoxio21 says:

        🙂 Have a nice week-end.

      • You too. It’s going to be a good one. The kids are all in, so it will be loud, full of laughter and food. 🙂

      • equinoxio21 says:

        That’s a nice perspective. We had that last sunday. Of course we pick up our grandson at school 3 times a week, so we have plenty of time with him. Enjoy the noise, fun, and food.

      • I’ve been having a lot of fun. The kids are going back today but we did spend a lot of time together and they’ll be back for christmas. 🙂 I’m happy you had a nice time as well. Seeing them, reminded me of when I was their age and how certain things seemed so important. They haven’t lived long enough, or had enough experience, to know the truth. We each have to find those things out for ourselves.

      • equinoxio21 says:

        That is good. Joy and happiness concentrated. 🙂 And Christmas is just around the corner. Do “the kids” live far away from you? In the US, many times kids fly away and away… Such a big country.
        And as far experience… sometimes it’s best to still have many things to discover…
        Cheers Gigi.

      • You’re right about our size. BIG with lost of space between places. LOLOL But Two of the kids are about 5 hours away in college and the other one commutes, so not bad at all. I think one of them will live far away when he graduates. Maybe Europe. He has the travel bug and can’t wait to go places. Not sure about the other two. All of them have significant others, so that may play a part in where they all end up.

      • equinoxio21 says:

        5 Hours is way away… Travel bug? What can I say. But I must admit I am a bit tired, or wasted away by expatriation. Might arrange some sort of mid-time residency in France… working on it.
        So that’s 5 kids? 🙂 Or grandkids? 🙂
        Significant others do tend to pull.

      • Three grandkids, 2 boys and a girl. Five hours isn’t that bad around here, believe me. 🙂 The grandson who likes to travel has a girlfriend, so we will see how far he gets. 🙂 He is very good at doing what he wants and I think she’ll be happy to go with him, when they’re out of school. She goes to college in Arizona, so they’re not close to each other but they both come in and meet here. She went to Vegas with her parents for thanksgiving, so they are both looking forward to Christmas, when they can be together.

        You’re so fortunate to even being able to think of living in France for awhile. Sigh. I just want to visit again, even if it’s only for two weeks or so.

      • equinoxio21 says:

        Nice to have them around even if only from time to time. 🙂 Arizona? I almost went to Phoenix, went to ‘Bama instead… (Roll Tide) It should be a nice Christmas to have them all with you.
        “Going back” is not so easy. We earn in Pesos, and the prices in France are in Euros! But hopefully, I should be able to organize sthg.
        And once you’re there, try to stay a while, the air fare already costs a bit, so better make it worth your while. Now with Airbn’b, the housing is much more affordable… 🙂

      • Wow. I can barely deal with dollars, let alone Pesos and Eruos. When I travel with my cousin, she takes care of the money. 🙂 She doesn’t trust me. She right. Makes it easier for me, since I just hand out whatever’s in my pocket to street people. So she’s happy and so am I. You’ve had the kind of life where you know what you’re doing wherever you are. So that’s good. As the joke goes, a lot of American’s don’t know that other countries exist.

      • equinoxio21 says:

        Haha! Yes, many don’t. I remember a blood drive at the U. IN Alabama. I was already lying down, with a needle stuck in my arm, the nurse asked me “Have you been out of the country in past 6 months?” I thought “Oh, oh!” and said “Yes, ma’am. France.” She turned around to the Doctor in charge and asked: “Is France all right?”.
        (Now maybe you can convince your cousin to fly to France, if it’s all right?) 😉

      • We were in Paris 4 years ago. Believe it or not, the weather was perfect and we had a fantastic time. We flew there from Italy (her choice). My choice is ALWAYS Paris. 🙂

      • equinoxio21 says:

        Haha! (We will always have Paris…) Well, I like Italy too. Mumble Italian a bit. I like the places, the history, the culture. Italy was very determinant in European history and culture.
        And the weather? May to September is generally good. When were you there?

    • Sorry, I’m answering her but there’s no where else to do it. I don’t know why this is the way ti is but it is. I remember the movie you’re talking about but I don’t remember the name. I just remember him being fed up and freaking out. I think he’s a great actor, by the way.

      • equinoxio21 says:

        He is. And that movie though very strong was a good account of what happens when one goes over the edge.

      • That’s true. People can definitely be pushed over the edge. I truly don’t believe we’re supposed to live the way we do. It’s driving people insane and making them sick.

      • equinoxio21 says:

        True. It is driving ME insane… Last week, I had a 2 hours drive (2 ways) to have lunch with a friend. Same city. And on Friday night same thing 2 hours for a dinner…
        Insane I tell you. 🙂

      • I understand how you feel. I don’t think we were meant to spend our youth working in boxes or sitting in cars, going back and forth, only to be older, when retirement has arrived. I think we were meant to be free and play a lot more. This set up, we have made, just doesn’t seem healthy or even normal. But maybe that’s just me. I think jobs should be doing things we all love to do. Not hamsters running in wheels. Especially since the rich just take from the hamsters and don’t do anything themselves.

      • equinoxio21 says:

        Haha! The hamsters or the lemmings? 😉
        And yes, it is getting worse again. In my parents’ generation (and yours I imagine= one could get a decent job, growth, without so much exploitation as today… And the living conditions? Insanely expensive housing. Driving and driving all the time. Bad infrastructure… Bad times for the hamsters…

      • Most definitely bad time for the hamsters. Our expressways can be like parking lots at times. There are express lanes but if you get on them and there’s an accident, you can’t get off. Jobs are disappearing. Stores are closing. It will be interesting to see what king od jobs the kids get when they’re out of school. Two of them have a year and a half left and one is probably graduating in May. My granddaughter just wants to make art. She’s a potter and LOVES it so much. But she is getting a business degree with a minor in art because she thought is was the smart thing to do. I don’t know if thee is a smart thing to do any longer.

      • equinoxio21 says:

        LOL. I don’t know either whether there is a smart thing left to do… 🙂 But your granddaughter is sensible. Business degree will probably put more food on the table than pottery. 🙂

      • It’s hard because she loves it so much and wants to open a shop to teach and just make it all day. She’s so passionate about it. I’m hoping she can work something out. She’s so much happier when she’s in a studio.

      • equinoxio21 says:

        Some people are built to work alone. Daughter#2 is on her way to becoming a renowned freelance international consultant on gender & development. One has to deal with the ups and downs.
        Suggestion to your granddaughter: Do workshops for kids, linked to schools. Parents will pay big bucks if they think it will contribute to their kids’s education and growth…

  4. Resa says:

    That was great, Gi!!

    • Thank you. I just love the way he looks. You should make a steampunk gown. How cool would that be! LOL I have a whole bunch of work set up for you, don’t I. Hahahaha. Love to J & J.

      • Resa says:

        Hahaha! Not sure about the next Art Gown. I’m in the final touches of the new Art Gown, cleaning up, Mini-me needs an outfit, fussing with the plants. Then I can shoot the darn thing…. if & when we get a bit of sun. Could happen!

      • Oh, good, we’ll get to see a new one. Does Johnny love it? How about Jeep? And you’re looking for sun? If you find it, please send some our way. Looking forward to the post.

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