Snakes and Pills

174 - leak move

The smell of fresh ozone preceded the beam of sharp, bright light from the sky. Jon gently moved in his rocking chair on the porch. This was hardly the first time he'd seen lightning strike somewhere in the sea of cornfields that abutted his farm. The weather had not been particularly stormy this evening, but Mother Nature worked in strange ways.

But when the otherworldly metallic ship suddenly materialized not twenty feet from where he sat, Jon took interest. That interest quickly turned to fear as the thin door began to retract. He would have retreated to the safety of his house (and his shotgun), but everything happened too fast.

He expected Martians or Blobs to come charging out at him, but all that exited the craft was a perfectly normal human being. In fact, she was rather striking. Jon felt a strange mixture of disappointment, relief, and excitement.

She stepped forward, and Jon inched back, using his rocking chair as a feeble sort of cover.

"Who are you? This is private property, Miss," Jon stammered. The woman did not look imposing, but then again, he did just see her appear out of thin air, riding a lightning bolt.

"My name is Jane Andwell. It's a pleasure to meet you," she cheerfully greeted him. There was still worry in Jon's mind as she continued to advance toward him.

"Now, it's a pleasure to meet you too, I'm sure. But why don't you stop right there and tell me what business you have suddenly appearing on my farm tonight?" Jon suggested.

She stopped as instructed. "Please, sir, relax. You are Mister Lennon, right? I'm here to protect you."

Rather than relax, he felt even more uneasy. She knew his name, and her statement implied he was in danger. "Why do I need protection? And why are you going to protect me?" Jon asked.

"Those are perfectly reasonable questions. I know this might be extremely difficult to believe, but I'm a government employee from the future. I work for a special agency that travels back in time to stop the destruction of people or things that are deemed culturally or historically significant. We're the ultimate preservationists, if you will," Jane explained proudly.

Jon showed no reaction as he tried to parse everything she had just said. "Well, Ms. Jane Andwell, I'm no scientist. But if you're here to do good, I'm not one to argue. I suppose anyone wanting to help me out is welcome, and anyone who can travel through time knows more about what's going on than I do, anyhow." He paused. "Would you care for some supper?"

Jane smiled and nodded, and Jon welcomed her into his home. Looking around his dwelling, she acted like a student on a field trip to a museum. "I have to tell you, this is surprisingly modest. Not at all what I was expecting."

"What all were you expecting?" Jon asked while fetching food from the kitchen.

"I guess something more glamorous and fancy. But this is nice. It's real. It shows how even with all your fame and stardom, you're still really grounded and down to Earth," Jane answered.

He took a seat next to her at the dining room table and began to serve up hearty helpings of food. "I'm not completely sure what you're talking about, but it's rather kind of you to say," Jon said. "Hope you're hungry!"

"Thank you for your hospitality, Mister Lennon," Jane said, eyeing the food.

"Please, just call me 'Jon,'" he said.

"As you wish, John. It will be my honor to protect you so that you can continue to contribute your talents to the world for generations to come," Jane offered in a toast.

He did not know what he was contributing to the world other than a healthy harvest of corn each season, but he raised his glass.


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