Boris read the letter from ER. It wasn't good.
"Twenty fucking years for a prank?!"
"Hey, I didn't give you the sentence. It was your own fault for jeopardising the org chart. You know how paranoid they are, just as I do. There's two security guards outside to escort you to the reclamation department."
"I'm gonna fight this."
"That's the cool thing. They engineered you into a causal paradox. Remember that old guy from Reclamation that avoids everyone? Who looks suspiciously like your dad? Been down there, really like, forever?"
"Yep. You're about to finish your sentence Boris."
Elizabeth slammed the paper from ER down on the bench next to Boris. "Read it and weep, shit for brains." He picked it up, and his eyes flickered across the text.
"You stupid fucking bitch. It was a prank!"
"Not according to ER. 'Steve' happens to be integral to the creation of TAIA, and consequently the world line. So, not only did you break rule one, but rule two as well as a bunch of others."
"I wasn't the one who put in him danger! You did!"
"No Boris. You did; by tricking me into going, and triggering the anomaly."
"Good morning Boris." Said Elizabeth as she strode confidently into the locker room.
"Oh, hey rookie. Heard you went for a loop-de-loop." He sniggered.
"Yeah. That was a good one Boris. I fell for it hook line and sinker."
"Well, it was the best one yet. What me and the lads had to do to get it to look good..."
"Yeah. E.R. were very upset about that."
"You, and your cronies, hacking the assignment database. Not your smartest move."
"Hey, wait. Did you?"
"Damn right I did!" She snarled. "And now you're being re-assigned fucker!"
Elizabeth skimmed the pages, and smiled.
Everyone knew the consequences of jeopordising the world-line. Everyone also knew how harsh the penalties were, and while she had resolved the paradox the rules were clear; and Boris had broken them thinking that he wouldn't get caught out by the newbie.
But he had.
"Sir. I will be more than happy to deliver this news from employee resources. You do know that they don't like being called HR now don't you?"
"Old habits Ms. Van Wearing. Old habits." He smiled.
She grinned. "Well, I'd best go deliver the news to Agent Volkov."
Section chief Alfons Schneider had just sat down and was taking a sip from his latte when Elizabeth stormed in and slammed a report down on his desk.
"You could have emailed it Elizabeth." He smacked his lips.
"Do you know what Boris and his cronies did? They nearly caused a rupture, not to mention placing an innocent in jeopordy. For a god damned joke?!"
"Look. Elizabeth. I'm not going to give you the 'Boys will be boys' crap. We both know it won't wash. I've already done the paperwork with HR. I thought you might like to deliver them?"
TAIA (Pronounced Tie-Ah) also known as the Temporal Anomaly Intervention Agency, was the inevitable result of the invention of the concept of time travel.
Every person, rock, tree, insect, animal and microbe has its timeline. And, like any organism or crystal, the world-line is made up of the individual timelines.
The agency tends the world-line, pruning the chaos, ensuring integrity and health.
However, there are humans involved. And some humans are anarchic by nature. And an anarchic human, with a time machine, is an especially dangerous thing.
Elizabeth, now with her deceased duplicate's memories, was very angry.
Elizabeth's face slowly turned cherry red with anger, as she forced herself to stay still. This was her first temporal duplicate upload, and while it was uncomfortable receiving memories from somewhere she'd never physically been. It wasn't as uncomfortable as it was going to get for one of her colleagues...
Temporal duplicates were an unfortunate requirement for time travel. You never went yourself because disappearing in a puff of logic, or spinning off into an alternative Universe, wouldn't get you home at five pm to feed the cat, grab yourself a microwave meal and a bottle of twenty twenty Merlot.