April 13

“I don’t get it,” I say.
“See, I went ahead and managed to get ahold of a few dozen package manifests,” he says, “from a bunch of the major shippers in this era. People get a little lazy with that information, you know? It’s not like I’m invading privacy or anything. I never look in the boxes, and none of my clients are obligated to tell me.”
“You had better start making sense soon,” I say, “or you can just drop the check off and get the hell back to your own time.”
“That’s exactly it,” he says, his eyes lighting up. “See, I only pick on people whose packages I know will be delivered on time and safely. I talk to them a couple of weeks before they place their orders, offer them a brochure, and let greed do the rest. It’s a perfect game.”
“So why’d you come to Kyle if you knew her package was gonna be a bust?” I ask.
“That’s the other part, and that’s where you come in,” Bert says, sweating now. “I think someone caught on.”
“How?” I say. “Like you said, what happened in the past always happens that way.”
“Well, the past couple weeks– my time– I’ve had a string of high-profile busts,” he says. “Taking in ten bucks to promise a thousand you know you’ll never deliver becomes pretty damn difficult when you start having to pay out.”

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