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"There's one last job applicant," said Angie, poking her head around the door of the Human Resources director. "He's a weird one. Should I send him away?"

Bella glanced at her Rolex. "Nah, I have to wait to pick up my daughter anyway. Send them in."

A minute later a disheveled man strode into Bella's office. His hair was not only messed up, it had things like weeds and even a live cricket in the wild thicket. The insect hopped out, blending into the Beber carpet, and started to chirp.

He stomped up to Bella's burnished walnut desk and stuck out a calloused hand. "I'm Doctor Wasko, and I'm here for the special project job."

Bella noted a trail of swampy mud on her new carpet coming from his loafers and made a mental note to listen to the vibes that Angie tried to pass on next time. "What special project, Doctor? This is a lab assistant position."

"No, it's not," he said, pulling up a chair without an invitation. Leaning in, he whispered, "The special job. The one in Room 38."

That set off alarm bells in Bella's head. "I have no idea what you mean. Would you please leave? The position has been filled." She slowly moved her left hand and pressed the emergency button that summoned corporate security.

"No, no, no. You gotta listen!" he shouted. "I have to have this job. I figure out how to move forward or back in time with the machinery the company built. Will build."

She started jabbing the button with urgency and tried to sit there and act relaxed. "We develop computer models for government weather prediction, Doctor."

"No, no, no! Seriously! You gotta hire me right away so I can fix the one thing I forgot to tweak!"

Bella slid her chair away from the desk to get out of his flecks of spittle.

He started pulling hanks of hair out of his head and more bits of flotsam dropped out, including a Three Musketeers candy wrapper. "No, no, no! The machine doesn't predict weather! It finds weather elsewhere in time, like tornadoes, and transports them to the parking lot!"

"You're insane," blurted Bella, unable to keep her professionalism front and center.

"What's that got to do with anything?" he asked. "Genius, insanity, it's all one and the same. Can you hand me a badge so I can get around the building? I left a meatloaf sandwich on my first day here and someone ate it. I think it was future-me, which is me."

FeXII

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