Chapter 5 - Plans Throughout Time

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You know I wish that I had Jessie's girl

I wish that I had Jessie's girl

I want Jessie's girl

Where can I find me a woman like that?

Like Jessie's girl

I wish that I had Jessie's girl

I wanna piece of Jessie's Girl

Where can I find me a woman like that?

-- Rick Springfield (Jessie's Girl)

=/\=

The download was routed through the workstation of a Temporal Integrity Commission engineer who was another mole for the Perfectionists. This engineer had also invented the Temporal Enhancer drive. Unbeknownst to the Perfectionists, the engineer had retained a second copy of the drive. It was an insurance policy, for that engineer could not be absolutely certain of the Perfectionists' ultimate aims. For there was, after all, the little matter of Anthony Parker.

Parker had been a Perfectionist temporal operative. It was Daniel Beauchaine who had more or less replaced him, although Beauchaine had infiltrated the Temporal Integrity Commission whereas Parker had remained an external operative. Parker became too morally squeamish to simply blindly do Milton's bidding, and so Milton had had Donald Oliver off him.

That was in the main, correct timeline, naturally.

In an alternate, though, Parker had been very much alive, and he had been instrumental in getting Otra out of what was essentially a small prison cell on the Saint Eligius. It was Parker's ultimate urge to do right that had carried over from the correct, main timeline to its alternate offshoot.

Other Perfectionists were less morally pure. Marisol was not above taking what she wanted, or killing in order to more expeditiously attain her goals. Donald Oliver was a good little lackey and, like Nazi prison guards over a millennium before him, felt he could just say he was only following orders. Helen thought of it all as a game.

As for Milton, he wanted the human condition to be vastly improved – perfected, as it were. Wars were unnecessary, starvation was preventable, and diseases were curable. Poverty could be alleviated and all of the ugliness of the world could be painted over.

He also wanted humankind to have a place, and not just at the Federation's table, buried amidst the Vorta and the Betazoids, and out in some left field position like the Witannen. No. Instead, he wanted humans to be at the head of the table.

He could be the savior of humanity! He knew he might not be recognized as such, at least not in his own lifetime, but that was all right. At least he would use the technology at hand to act. Just putting everything back – regluing Humpty Dumpty's shell, as it were – seemed a fruitless exercise and a waste of valuable opportunities. Parker's killing was the line-crosser for him. He could no longer go back.

=/\=

News of the master time file's theft – or, rather, its duplication, for the Commission still had the original – spread rapidly throughout the Perfectionists. From his hideout, Milton felt compelled to call a meeting.

He set up what was almost like an old-style conference call. The voices would be masked. The participants would be incapable of discerning gender, age or origin. They wouldn't even know how many people were on the call.

He spoke, "I am pleased that we have a copy of the master time file. I have been doing some research, and would like to focus on economics."

"Economics?" asked an unknown caller, "Money is so primitive."

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