Some call me 'savior'. Others call me 'hero'.
There are those that call me 'thief' - but they cannot prove that what I do is what they believe I do. These are the ones that get palmed off as crazy, or get themselves locked up with the key thrown away.
Those who believe to know what I do and believe it to be good find me. They ask me to return loved ones, be it friends, family, or even strangers. People who were torn away instantly, leaving a wave of grief.
What they do not know is that I am the one that causes the wave of grief. The knot in your stomach when the bad news comes - that another person has joined the growing list of those that have disappeared.
"So do you think you could find our son, sir?"
The woman sat in front of my desk looked frail, her eyes turned grey, her hair white and whispy. She tells how her son disappeared without a trace twenty four years ago. She had taken her time coming to me, but in the end, they all do.
"We have payment in full here already"
Her husband seemed to think it okay to place his briefcase on my 200 year old oak desk. As he did so, though, he opened it. Inside was one million happy little dollars smiling away at me. Yeah, that would do the job.
He looked as frail as she did. Evidently twenty four years of grief and turmoil had taken their toll on them and their family too. The only reason they are here is because I was there, and to not help them would cause a paradox and possibly destroy reality. Help them it is.
"Okay, I will need to know where your son was seen last."
That was a lie. Of course I already knew the exact date and time he had been taken.
"I also need you to grant me access to any files the authorities may have regarding to his disappearance."
I take a look at the files and look through them to see if I can get my trophy - usually, but not always, a newspaper clipping or other statement regarding to the individual "taken".
"We last saw him leaving for work at 8 o'clock on July 12th, 2023. Does this mean you'll help us, mister?" The woman had tears in her eyes as she gave me the date and time, nearly choking on her words. To her I was the hero. The savior.
"Yes, I will do my best. Please return home, I will contact you when I have conducted my investigation."
I would have to let emotions trouble me if I was going to feel sympathetic to the old couple. But the fact remained that they are just another client. Letting feelings in would bring my line of work grinding to a halt. These days I wonder if my actions over the last millennia have impacted my humanity in any way. The answer was obvious, but what was I to do now?
Plotting in the date and time to the space-time positioning system - or STiPS for short, I set off. Down to the air field, up to 88 down the runway and skidding to a halt, two hundred meters and twenty four years from where I just set off. Making my way to the old couple's old house the nagging returned to the back of my conscience. I refused to let it take hold. The million dollars goes a long way.
Arriving down the street from the house I see the woman, many years younger. The 24 years without her son had aged her terribly - here she was hot. Her auburn hair flowing in the gentle breeze framed her face with the sunlight giving her a fantastic glow. Ignoring the nagging in my conscience, I wait for the boy to emerge. He did so on his way to school, looking no older than thirteen. As he walked straight past my car I was able to get a good look at him. He looked more like his father than his mother - but this wasn't about that. I had a job to do, and it needed doing.
I follow the boy on his way, cruising through the streets, keeping my distance. When we reach a long, barren stretch of road I know it is time to move. Pulling over and pulling out my rifle I load it with the tranquilizer dart and take aim, before checking for any onlookers and gently squeezing the trigger. The boy drops to the ground, with no witnesses around to see what happened. After gently placing the boy across the rear seat, I make the half hour journey back to the air field, and back to the time I left. Barely ten minutes had passed.