THE STORY

Mr. Martin James has no such desire. However a cruel twist of fate has set him speeding through time, his family growing old before his very eyes. While Martin hopes to find a cure for his condition before everyone he loves is gone, others are uncertain if his journey can be stopped at all. Syncing Forward is a tale of one man’s love for his family and their devotion to saving him from being lost forever.

One sentence doomed my family to torment.

Another message caused my tablet to vibrate in my palms. Dave, no doubt, but I dared not answer him. This pivotal part of the interview required focus, and I needed Bruchmuller to confess to something . . . anything. He needed to think that I knew more than I truly did. I stared straight ahead, doing my best to maintain a confident demeanor.

“How well do you know Albert Vies, Doctor?”

“I want to speak with my attorney,” Bruchmuller said point-edly, his gaze fixed hard upon me.

The words were the final blow in a losing bout. I was required by company policy to end the interview when an employee asked for a lawyer. Even though he was guilty as sin, even though he remained the only subject who hadn’t vanished on us.

At that point I should have let it go, but I didn’t. It might have been my pride that took over, driving me to single-handedly solve the case. It might have been the fantastic company bonus that sat at the end of the rainbow or the stacking bills at home or just the frustra¬tion of coming so far and falling short. Whatever it was, I believed if I could push him only a tiny bit more, I could convince him to confess. One question more . . .

“Tell me about the rat.”

It was as benign a statement as could be uttered, and yet it was as if I had driven an adrenaline needle into his heart. He stared at me with a look that I had only seen a handful of times in my life, and I knew at that moment I had made a grave error.

One second. Two seconds. Three seconds. Four. My subject went from immobile to a blur of movement so fast that I didn’t have time to react. Bruchmuller might have been nearly twenty years my senior, but he jumped out of the interview chair like a leopard and closed the few feet between us in a blink. I started to get up, but he pushed me back down into my seat. The momentum drove my body weight onto the back legs of the chair, and I tipped backward. Dieterich reached down and grabbed my ankles as my legs went up, accelerating my movement, flipping me flat on my back, and rapping my skull against the hard floor.

I rolled off the chair and onto my hands and knees, my rear end to the man assaulting me. Looking back, I managed to make out the looming figure of Dr. Bruchmuller as he solidly kicked me in the groin. I landed facedown on the cool tile. My guts ached, and I balled up in a fetal position, my hands shielding my crotch as my eyes instinctively shut. When they opened, I made out Bruchmuller as he grabbed the camera tripod, gripped it tightly in both hands, and swung it down hard at me. The camera mount caught me squarely on the side of the head. A second blow struck me as I spiraled into darkness.