Gil Montgomery, a cadet in the Temporal Counseling Program, can’t wait to pass her field exam and become a professional time surfer. The TEMCO program targets death-row offenders for time-based counseling while they’re children. For her exam, Gil will travel twenty-four years into the past to counsel ten-year-old Danny Winston before he murders his abusive babysitter, Rick Olsen. Preventing the stabbing should stop the chain of events leading to Danny’s eventual execution.
Gil's assignment seems simple until her advisor, Dr. William Ableman, learns that Rick is a serial killer targeting Danny's mother. If Gil stays and protects the Winstons, she might not survive, but if she fails to complete her assignment, it will unleash a Time Tsunami and destroy the timeline. Everyone's fate is resting in Gil's hands, but does she have the strength she needs to defeat a ruthless serial killer intent on annihilating everyone in his path?
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As a blue glow filled the room, Gil looked through the time portal at William and Director Matthews. Her heart missed a beat. She didn’t know what was going on, but judging by the men’s tense expressions, it wasn’t good.
“Hi, guys, what’s up?” she asked in a deliberately casual tone.
“We’re thinking of pulling you from the field,” William replied.
“Rick’s more dangerous than we thought.”
“I don’t care if he’s Jack the Ripper,” she said flatly. “I’m staying.”
Director Matthews picked up a handful of printouts. “He isn’t Jack the Ripper, but he might as well be. I’ve found evidence that he’s killed at least ten women.”
“I don’t care.”
“You’re facing a serial killer,” William said. “You must realize the seriousness of the situation.”
“I do realize it. You don’t. Today’s Danny’s D-day. If I abandon him, he’s gonna die on death row. I love that kid, and I’m not about to let his life be destroyed. Where’s Dr. Nelson? She’d agree with me.”
“She said it was our decision,” the director replied.
“It’s my decision too, and I’m not about to abandon—”
“It’s not abandonment,” William interrupted. “GAP’s only predicting a fifty percent chance that it’ll make a difference to Danny’s future if you stay. Regardless of your hard work, Daniel Winston may be destined for death row. We’re not risking your life over a hopeless—”
“There’s no way you’re getting me out of here! If there’s a fifty percent chance that Danny can be saved, I’m taking that fifty percent chance. It’s my life I’m risking. Not yours.”
William ran a hand over his face. “We’re all risking a lot.”
“I don’t care. I’m not—”
“Enough of this!” William said harshly. “Let the director speak. When he finishes, we’ll discuss things.”
“Here it is, Gil,” the director said. “Bald facts. Fact number one: Rick’s a serial killer. He strangles women with a red cord and hangs their bodies to mimic suicide. He does his murderous work so well, that unless a coroner’s an expert, the homicide is missed. At this time, it’s impossible to know how many murders Rick’s committed.
“Fact two: Rick’s meticulous and methodical—that means he’s dangerous. He’s undoubtedly been planning to kill Sue for weeks. He’ll already have things set in motion.
“Fact three: GAP’s predicting a 98.8 percent chance that if you stay, you will be hurt. Since Danny has only a fifty percent chance of escaping death row, you’ll be risking your life on a gamble.”
Gil sat quietly for a few moments. “I’ve heard what you’ve said and understood it. Will you respect my decision?”
“Yes,” William replied. “It’s your decision to make.”
“Then my answer’s the same as it was from the beginning. I’m staying. Now, give me all the information you can about what I’m facing, and please do it fast. I don’t have much time, and I need all the help I can get.”