Hopefully I can finish today's message without any mistakes. It's an important one. I finally made contact with Dr. Painter. He called yesterday night, while I was driving back to my apartment from K-Mart. Ever since he called the first time, I've been careful to keep the cell phone with me all the time.
Just as I was pulling into my complex, it rang. "Hello?," I said expectantly.
"This is Patrick Leblanc?," the voice said. I had only met Dr. Painter once, but his deep baritone voice was memorable.
"Yes," I replied.
"Prove it. What verse did I quote you?"
"Revelation 3:16. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth."
"Right," he said. That was all.
"I know who this is," I said. "You don't want me to acknowledge you?"
He laughed. "Don't worry, Patrick," he said. "I'm not as paranoid as Jackson. This is Joe Painter. I'm sorry I didn't call before. When you have top secret clearance, it's hard to get away."
"What did you want to tell me?," I asked.
"You tell me. I'm not revealing anything, not even over this private line."
I decided to go for the indirect approach. I think I'm learning something from Jackson after all. "Why did you choose to quote that particular Bible verse?"
He laughed again. "You're the Bible scholar, not me," he said.
"Was there anything symbolic about that verse? Something specific about its content that made you want to tell it to me?"
"I don't understand you."
I gave up and tried the direct approach. "Are you working on a wormhole in Nevada?"
"A wormhole in Nevada? Now that's an interesting idea," he said.
By this point I pulled into my parking space. I looked around for FBI agents before I got out of the car. "Is that it?," I said. "Is that what you wanted to tell me?"
"It's an interesting idea, that's all."
"So you're working on faster-than-light communications?"
"What do you mean, 'not anymore'"?
"I mean I'm not working on faster than light communications anymore. They took that away."
"They. The people that took it away."
He's being mighty circular, I thought. "Are they in the military?"
"You could say that, I guess. Not quite what you're expecting."
"What do you mean?," I asked.
"What are you expecting?"
"I don't know. That's why I'm asking you."
"Maybe you need to work on your expectations," he said. "Gotta go. You'll thank me for this conversation someday. I'll call back as soon as possible."
Well, what did we learn from this? It sounds like Painter is working on a wormhole, but is afraid to admit it to me. I'll have to tell Christine.
I'm also learning that everyone even remotely involved in this project is insane. No wonder it's going to cause a disaster.
You definitely want to find out more from Christine about Painter. See what she can tell you without polluting the timeline. Meanwhile, for what it may be worth, it could be that his discoveries are basically the theory that make backward data transmission through time (like Christine's communication with you) possible, not to mention (if I understand wormholes rightly) very fast forward motion through time and place, faster than light. (Not the ONLY way to achieve FTL, warp drives are equally promising theoretical approaches, but they are useful.)
Makes me wonder if someone blew a hole in space-time by screwing up these experiments, and managed somehow to get some primordial hydrogen from the days immediately after the Big Bang, to come cascading into our environment through that opening in Oahu. If that's true I don't want to consider what in hell that would do to our world. But if it is true, it'd have to be stopped ASAP.
What I'm speculating on may be nonsense, but maybe it's close enough to sensible to help somehow. Hope so, anyway.