Clean Slate: The present

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A bell tinkled as Leland walked into the stale-smelling antique store. Old junk was piled everywhere. A dumpy man behind the glass showcase, which doubled as a counter top, was thumbing his cell phone, and did not look up.

Leland had survived Travel. The blackstrap and most of his clothing had not. He had been here for three days already. But this time he had taken steps. He figured he had a few weeks before they tracked him down.

Now he was shopping for supplies. He needed to build a new Nano Hub, he couldn’t calculate Travel co-ordinates without one. With 21st Century tech, and his nanos, he should be able to rig something. But if Travel with a vial of blood burnt out that device every time, he would never be able to keep ahead of the time agents.

Leland was going to have to implant a native, which was not going to be easy. How do you convince someone to bounce around through time with you? Oh and by the way before I can prove time travel is possible I need to give you a blood transfusion.

More than once he had considered it might be easier to just hijack someone each time he needed a ride and dump them when he got where he was going. But part of him was still Peter Davis, and the mess he would make out of the timelines was off-putting. The last thing he wanted right now was a relationship with a human, but he didn’t have much choice.

Leland picked out an old microscope and a Junior Chemistry set. Whoever agreed to his crazy offer would have to match his blood type or they wouldn’t survive the implant.

As he made his purchase, the glint of an old fashioned scalpel caught his eye inside the glass showcase. Memories invaded his head. He felt the ghost of a scalpel in his hand; saw pooling blood. Leland started to hum, looking sideways at the shadows.

After a moment his thoughts became his own again, and the shadows stayed in their place.

 Humans were monstrous and weak. Their morals warped, thoughts flawed. The men he had been had done terrible thing. He would be different. He was different.

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