- Mark Johnson
- "The ongoing saga of Gage Blackwood took a frightening twist this morning when the agent of the Deep Time Unit broke house arrest to jump nine years back in time. Fortunately, the illicit time jump was detected and he was immediately apprehended by Agent 8 of the Temporal Protectorate. Although it's still unclear how and why Blackwood obtained the TSA JumpSuit, Temporal Security Agency officials did say that no distortion ripples have yet been detected, and that there is no reason whatsoever to believe that Blackwood has altered history in any way. Our Lisa Long has a report from TSA administrative headquarters more on that."
- Lisa Long
- "In a strange turn of events that can only be described as unimaginable; the highly decorated Gage Blackwood, better known as Agent 5 of the Deep Time Unit, has been arrested and put on trial for the crime of historical sabotage. We apologize for the lack of trial footage but because of the sensitive nature of the material being presented, no recording equipment has been allowed into the tribunal wing of the United Ministry Complex where the trial is being held.
- "The drama unfolded three weeks ago when Agent 2 of the Temporal Protectorate discovered four distortion ripples while conducting an unscheduled historical scan. As it turned out, the dates of the ripples exactly coincided with times to which Agent 5 had been sent for research purposes. The Agent immediately contacted his supervisors and on their orders, three agents were sent to apprehend Agent 5 who offered no resistance. Later that day, more evidence was found in Blackwood's locker suggesting that he had disobeyed Temporal Security Agency directives for personal gain. Unless deemed absolutely necessary, the TSA will not send agents to investigate or restore the distortions, as any further tampering with history may cause adverse effects, possibly even turning the ripples in full reality distortion waves.
Prosecuting Attorney Phil Stevens alleges that Agent 5 intentionally altered the past in four of the ten time zones to which he had been sent for research purposes, his only apparent motive being personal gain. In so doing, agent 5 would have knowingly violated Temporal Security Agency ethics as well as the law. As temporal sabotage in any form is considered the worst possible crime against humanity, Stevens is aiming for the maximum allowable sentence.
The burden of proof lies on the prosecution. They have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Gage Blackwood was responsible for the distortion ripples. There is strong evidence working against Blackwood, including both computer records that place him at the altered historical locations and contraband that was discovered in his locker, but the evidence alone is not enough to ensure a conviction. With this in mind, prosecuting attorney Stevens has directed his questioning toward eliminating other possible explanations for the ripples.
The investigation began when agent 2 of the Temporal Protectorate ran an unscheduled manual historical scan, a procedure normally performed twice a year to reveal any anomalies missed by the scanners' faster, but less sensitive automatic scan mode, he discovered a temporal ripple that originated in the year 1050 AD, indicating that someone had gone back to that time and affected a historically important object or event. He soon found three more ripples in the years 1204 AD, 2247 AD and 1488 AD. Fortunately, none of the changes were serious enough to cause a full reality distortion wave. The agent then realized that the ripples exactly coincided with several of agent 5's research mission dates. Agent 2 reported what he had found, and was subsequently sent after Blackwood, along with agent 3 and agent 7. They located the suspect in Tahiti, where he was spending his day off, and apprehended him without incident. Following TSA protocol, they then brought him to the United Ministry Complex, where he as arraigned and later released to house arrest.
Prosecuting Attorney Stevens called the TSA chief computer technician to testify based on his knowledge of the Chronolog Scanner Array. The technician testified that the Chronolog Scanners were designed to detect any illicit time jumps, and are monitored at all times by a member of the Temporal Protectorate. Yet, to his knowledge, at no point during the period in question were the scanners ever off-line or performing improperly, and at no point was an unsanctioned time-jump detected - a fact corroborated by the security logs.
Mrs. Margine Chow was called to testify based upon her knowledge of the Time Displacement Unit, or Jumpsuit, for which she designed the circuitry. When asked whether it was possible for someone else to have used agent 5's Jumpsuit, Mrs Chow said that security precautions mandated that only one person be able to use each suit. She went on to explain that each Jumpsuit is coded specifically to the DNA of the agent who uses it, and will automatically self-destruct if tampered with.
In addition to the computer records which document agent 5's research activity, the videolog reports made by him during his research mission jumps definitively place him at each of the altered historical loca. The files were not made available to the press.
An inspection of agent 5's locker revealed one valuable, but not historically significant, object from each of the four altered time zones that he was sent to. The four items included a gold ornament from Chichen Itza, a jeweled orb from Chateau Gaillard, a sketch from Leonardo da Vinci's studio, and a signed document from Kenneth Farnstein's lab.
In the absence of an alibi or any evidence proving agent 5's innocence, Defense Attorney Sandra Gallagher will be setting out to show, through the testimony of character witnesses, that it is not likely Mr. Blackwood, who committed the crime. If the defense can elicit some doubt of Blackwood's guild, he will go free. Witnesses for the defense will include agent 3 of the Deep Time Unit, agent 8 of the Temporal Protectorate, the Commissioner of the Temporal Security Agency, and agent 5 himself.
The defense has not yet had the opportunity to present its case. However, we have contacted both the chief technician and commissioner of the TSA to ask them their feelings on the arrest of Gage Blackwood. Neither agent three of the Temporal Security Agency nor Mr. Blackwood could be reached for comment.
- Mark Johnson
- I have with me now Commissioner Jack Baldwin of the Temporal Security Agency who's coming to us live from the TSA administrative headquarters. Commissioner thank you for joining us, now the first and most obvious question is: are you confident in your arrest of Gage Blackwood as the perpetrator of this crime?
- Jack Baldwin
- We had to arrest Agent 5 because of the evidence, not because we think he did it. There was an obvious transgression, someone was responsible for it, so we arrested the person to whom the evidence pointed. Now it's up to the court to determine whether or not he's guilty.
- Mark Johnson
- So you believe he's innocent.
- Jack Baldwin
- Absolutely. I've known Gage since he joined the TSA, in fact I'm the one who recruited him. Gage Blacwood is a member of an endagered species. Gage Blackwood is a hero. He is pushing his life on the line many times to prevent this exact thing from happening, there is absolutely no way he would have abused his position at the risk of a single life, let alone history as we know it. Now, just as makes sense.
- Mark Johnson
- Mr. Blackwood has been an agent for quite a while now, 13 years I believe, is it possible that the temptation just became too great for him to bear?
- No. Gage is as committed to his duty now as he was back when he apprehended Elliot Sinclair. He was, and he is, our finest agent.
- Ok, let's assume for a minute that he did do it. Knowing that he would be facing life imprisonment on Vega Thalon, do you feel that he'd plead guilty?
- First of all, it's a moot point, as he didn't do it. But, presuming he did, knowing Gage I'd say he had a good damn reason and he would have confessed immediately, he wouldn't pretend his innocence not for one minute. But I'm lying. Gage Blackwood is no criminal. Gage Blackwood is a hero.
- Ok Commissioner, it looks like we're out of time. Thank you
- With us now is William Daughton the TSA chief technician. He joins us live from the Temporal Security Agency administrative headquarters. Thank you for joining us, Mr. Daughton.
- William Daughton
- Thank you, Mark.
- You've known Gage Blackwood for many years, and I understand that the two of you are good friends. Do you think he's guilty?
- Absolutely not. The thought that he'd be guilty never even crossed my mind. I mean, friend or no, here you've got someone who's dedicated his whole life to protecting history, and now stands accused for violating it? That's ridiculous. And if you don't believe me, look at his record, the man is a decorated hero. You can't overlook that fact, just because it doesn't fit neatly into the story the prosecution is trying to sell.
- Isn't it true you testified that no one else made the time jump to any of the altered historical locations?
- No, I actually testified the scanners didn't register anyone making a time jump to these locations. The computers are only as intelligent as their human programmers. I believe it's possible that someone could have shadowed Agent 5's jumps. If the second time traveler would have made a jump within a few seconds of the first to the same location, the Chronolog Scanners probably wouldn't recognise it as a second jump.
- Have you been able to test this theory?
- No, not yet, it's... it's too dangerous... if two people were to travel to the same time tunnel and land in the exact same place, well... their matter will mix and that would kill them.
- Then you believe someone found a way around this.
- It's possible, yes.
- Ok, well, thank you for your insights Mr. Daughton.
- Mark Johnson
- If Blackwood is indeed guilty, he has altered more than just the past. The future too will likely feel the results of his actions. The Deep Time Unit will probably be discontinued before ever realising its full potential. But there is an even greater issue at stake. That is whether the Temporal Security Agency itself is more of a risk than a safety measure. Many feel that it should be shut down and everything related to time travel destroyed. Others argue that the technology is already been invented, so there is nothing stopping it from being reinvented, for the wrong reasons. So in their opinion, the Temporal Security Agency must remain operational to safeguard against future acts of historical sabotage.