by Solomon Tate
Aragon Nixx sat at a table by the window at Fran’s, nursing a cup of coffee for almost twenty minutes without taking a drink. He just sat there, stirring the spoon around and around, and every time he completed the circle, there was a clink as the spoon hit the edge of the cup. Dressed in a gray trench coat and fedora, he looked like he just stepped out of a Dashiell Hammett story. He said he was a sci-fi private eye, following clues that had led him across galaxies, as he searched for missing science fiction writers. He claimed to be the best although his reputation was solely based on his locating Agatha Christie so long ago.
By the end of the twenty fifth century, when fiction became fact, and everything that had once been mere fantasy had become the new reality, demand was placed on writers of science fiction to produce new worlds that could be abused and conquered. In this world it was not uncommon for science fiction writers to go missing. He was now in the midst of another case which involved the disappearance of the award winning writer, Kasper Kyro. Kyro was no ordinary writer. He had single handedly been responsible for individual time and space travel by simply manipulating thoughts. Nixx’s appearance at Fran’s that night was proof that it was possible to traverse space and time just by willing it.
“I’ve never heard of him.” I said.
“Well, that’s because he hasn’t been born yet. But in three or four hundred years, everyone will have heard of Kasper Kyro.”
Nixx said that it all began on Weaver’s Planet, a barren hunk of crap hurtling through space, where he had been forced to reside following a rather indiscreet transgression that involved the wife and daughter of the Governor of Stasis 6. Kyro’s girl walked in to his office above The Parallax Bar and Grill, dressed in a black, leather body suit that left nothing to the imagination. He would have taken her right there on the desk if he could only have figured out how to get that damn body suit off. She was concerned that he had not come home for almost a week, and had been to the police, but they didn’t take her seriously. One thing Nixx said he knew for sure was that no man would ever leave a woman like that alone for a week. At least not willingly. The clues Nixx had followed through time and space for the past three months had led him right to Fran’s.
And now I wait.” he said. “Sooner or later, he’ll walk in the door, and I’ll have him.”
“And then what?” I asked.
“Nothing.” Nixx said.. The job is only to find him. That’s it, really. Then I report my finding to the despondent girl friend, and pray that I can figure out how that damn body suit comes off.”
A tall man with a long, white beard wandered in to Fran’s clutching a small, leather brief case to his chest. He seemed anxious as hell, and sat at a table near the back of the restaurant. Nixx tried not to be seen. “That’s Farberman.” Nixx said. “Dr. Martin Farberman, the physicist. About ten years ago he was working at some top secret government brain trust and then he disappeared. Rumor has it that he had inserted himself into a painting. Some friend of his blew up the lab and all of Farberman’s notes. No one has ever heard from him again. Things are certainly beginning to get interesting.” Kyro entered a few minutes later and sat down beside Farberman. Nixx watched and waited patiently, as he lit a cigarette.
“You can’t smoke in here.” I said.
“Its the law. You can’t smoke in here.”
“What kind of hell is this?” he asked as he put the cigarette out in his cup of coffee.
“The worst kind.” I said.
Farberman handed Kyro the brief case which he attempted to hide under his jacket. Nixx was already halfway to their table before the writer even noticed him. “Call the police, please.” he said to the server as he passed by her. “I’m a private detective.”
“Kasper Kyro.” he said as he arrived at the table. “Please don’t get up. Your girl is worried about you.”
“She’s not my girl.” Kyro said. “She works for The Agency. She’s a spy.” The police arrived rather quietly and headed directly to the back of the restaurant.
“Mr. Nixx.” one of the officers said. “What do you have for us this time?”
“Constable Frayer” Nixx replied, “its good to see you again.”
“Its Detective Frayer.”
“How nice for you.” Nixx said. “I’m not sure what we have here, but I was hired to find Mr. Kyro, and well, here he is. I’m not sure what the story is with this other gentleman, but I suspect someone is looking for him as well.”
“Alright then.” the dectective said. “Well let’s go down to the station and you can give me a full report. The officers will take care of these two.”
“My friend there can corroborate everything.” Nixx said pointing at me.
“Anything you can add?” the detective asked me.
“Not really.” I said. “What’s going to happen to those two?”
“Nothing.” the detective said.
“And what about Nixx?”
“Well Mr. Nixx will be returned to his bed on the seventeenth floor of St. Michael’s Hospital. You’re free to visit him whenever you want to listen to his crazy ramblings.”
The detective left with Farberman and Kyro still seated at their table. They smiled, as Kyro reached into the brief case and removed what looked like a television remote control. “Tell Nixx we’ll see him again, sometime.” he said, and with the push of a button, the two of them vanished into thin air right before my eyes.