Killgrace and the Removal Man

“You can’t remember that. I changed the time line, remade the world.”

“Mr Jackson, I am well aware of your offences. You will find my reality less flexible than that of the people you killed.”

“I didn’t kill anyone.”

“They existed. Now they do not. This is because of your actions.”

“They do exist, just as different versions of them.”

“Mr Jackson, your gun removes its target entirely from reality. Because reality sometimes puts someone else in their job, with a different name, personality and life outside their work, it does not mean that the substitute is the same person. Instead they are the person who would have got the job if the original had not existed. Many of the people you ‘removed’ died in childhood in your new world.” She looked at the device with scorn.

“Then there’s an easy way to end the time freeze. Good bye.” He flicked the power on, hoiking the device to his shoulder in one smooth movement, and fired. The beam hit her. She raised an eyebrow, completely unfazed.

“That was pointless. Your ray gun is designed to remove the origin points of people in this universe, not those who originate outside it.” She looked at the gun and himself with an equal measure of contempt, as he lowered the device slowly. “Set to only affect organics. That, at least, was sensible of you, Mr Jackson.”

With the device resting on the bench, his hands were free. In desperation he reached into his pocket for his fallback, pulling out the small pistol and firing.

The bullet slowed, freezing and hanging in time. He tried to pull the trigger again, but he could not move his hand. He could not even feel his hand. He tried to let go of the gun, but the numbness was creeping up his arm. Then time stopped for Jackson.

“I could repair your device and use it to erase you, but timelines don’t recover well from such snarls,” she said, even though he could no longer hear her. She tutted, tapping her fingers on the desk as she looked the device over. Pulling a screwdriver out of her pocket, she detached the control panel and delved into the wires beyond. The operation logs of the device were quickly accessed. “What you have created is not a tree of time lines, it is an ivy mass that parasites off it. After a certain point with ivy it becomes self-sustaining. Cutting the main stem is not enough, you need to cut strategic places to stop it growing back.”

Assessing the major uses of his device she looked for the actions which had made the largest changes. It took her a while, but she isolated four, and the device’s own creation date. Satisfied she had the data she needed, she stood up and faced Jackson. He could not hear her words now, but when time restarted he would – for that blink of an eye when this world still existed.

“One of the people you erased was Mr. Killgrace. He may be irritating, but he is my colleague in the field. His removal destabilised several galactic sectors, and a quarter of a million years of history. And I don’t particularly want to have to single-handedly repair and relive every single incident we have ever been involved with.

“You have made a lot of work for me, Mr Jackson. The time freeze I have implemented extends to most of this quadrant, fading towards the edges to prevent a paradox rupture. Once I release it, everything in it will run at accelerated rate until it catches up. Before I release it, I need to be somewhere outside it, unless I wish this version of me to cease to exist.

“You however will remain here to share the fate of the world you created. It will be a rather lonely place, Mr Jackson, since this false world is where I am going to get the extra time I need to put the main universe back on track. Good bye.”


She walked down the stairs to the basement. Opening doors was simple, but making lifts work for her in a time freeze would take far too much concentration. At the foot of the stairs the cellar was still there and, with luck, behind the locked doors so was their laboratory. It was fortunate that Jackson’s changes had made the locks switch to conventional technology when he erased Killgrace. With a sigh, she went to work with a nail file, and the door swung open. Sometimes low tech solutions were the best. She could never have broken through their original, DNA-encoded locks.

Comments are closed.

Advertise here
Get Free eBooks daily from