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Arrived at CDC Headquarters… with a Missing Card

By: Jy Hung Ong

Timen was about five minutes from the exit he needed to take. Then he could take the exit out to the CDC headquarters where he would hopefully persuade the CDC there was a new virus called COVID-19 — the country needed to go into lockdown immediately. That was the game plan, at least.

“What are you going to the CDC for?” the taxi driver asked him. I can’t let this taxi driver know I’m going to trespass. “Umm… I’m a surgeon who works there,” lied Timen. “Why were you in New York City, then?”

“I was… umm… visiting family,” Timen said. He was starting to get this “lying” habit.

“Ok, then,” the taxi driver said, looking quite suspicious that that was not the truth. “Why didn’t you just take a plane, then?” the driver continued.

Timen was spared not to answer when he saw that they had arrived at the CDC headquarters. Unfortunately, there was a gate with two security guards guarding the entrance to the building. However, he had come prepared in case of an emergency and brought a little surprise from 4200 to 2019. Timen pulled a small ball from out of his pocket. It was made of knockoutium, a material known to make people pass out if they moved too close to it.

He quickly pointed the ball at one of the security guards. He immediately passed out. Excellent. He pointed the ball at the other guard, who passed out as well.

Now we just need to lift the gate. That was easy. Timen got out of the car, pressed the button to lift the gate, and got back in the car.

As the taxi passed through the gate, Timen looked at the CDC Headquarters. It was a collection of buildings, and the largest was a green-blue color in the shape of a semicircle. There was a white overhang near the bottom of it.

“Thanks for the ride!” he said as he opened the car door to leave.

As he was about to enter the building, Timen heard the taxi driver say, “Sir, you left your card inside the taxi!” After going back to retrieve the card from the taxi, he walked toward the building.

“How can I help you?” the lady at the front desk asked.

“Umm… who’s the person I need to ask about a new virus outbreak?” I really need to work on this, Timen thought.

“That would be my manager,” the lady said, even though she looked confused.

“Thanks!” Timen said as he raced away to another hallway.

“Sir, my manager is in that hallway,” she said, pointing her finger to the hallway across the room. “Then go up and go to the room labeled Dr. Rik Norman.”

“Thanks!” Timen said once again as he raced to the correct hallway. Strange, this doctor has the same name as my manager in 4200, Timen thought. He raced to the end to find a… door? With buttons? What was this for?

Luckily, a doctor walked ahead of him and answered his question. She pressed the top button, which made a sound like ding! and opened the door to a small room. Timen thought it was best to follow her. She clicked one of the many buttons inside the room, and suddenly the entire room moved straight up. He was a bit light-headed at first but slowly adjusted. I think this was called… an evelator? No, it was an elevator. After looking at the button the doctor pressed, he saw it was two, so he had made the right choice.

After following the doctor out of the “elevator,” he navigated his way to the office labeled Rik Norman, he opened the door.

The room was rather small with a tint of orange in the walls. There was a seat behind a desk. On top of the desk a label read, “DR. RIK NORMAN”. Another seat stood in front of the desk.

“What are you doing in here?” the doctor inside the room, Rik Norman, asked him.

Rik was nowhere near Timen’s manager, Rik, in terms of style, size, or facial structure. Honestly, the only thing similar between the two of them was their name. He was normally sized, wearing a doctor’s uniform, and looked at Timen like he expected him to answer. Wait, he is expecting me to answer.

“Sorry… I need to inform you about the new disease in Wuhan, China,” Timen told him.

“We know what it is, and we do not need to worry about it. It is currently safe inside the city.”

“No, you don’t understand. The virus will spread, and it will spread here, to the United States,” Timen said.

“Alright, then,” Rik told him. “I will alert the rest of the CDC. Be warned, it may take us up to a year to fully implement a lockdown. Understood?”

“Yes, doctor.”

“Just call me Rik,” Rik said. “Also, how could we trust someone completely random who shows up at our headquarters to alert us about a small virus?”

“I’m from the future.”


“Yeah. I can prove it, as well. You see this card I have here?” Timen said as he pulled out his anytime-anywhere card. At least, he thought it was his anytime-anywhere card. Looking closer, it was just a 2019 credit card.

“What!? I had the card here, in my pocket… taxi driver,” Timen grumbled.

“Excuse me?” Rik said, obviously confused.

“A taxi driver stole my credit/debit card from the future.”

“Well, if you have no proof, we can’t do any action about this disease in Wuhan.”

Ugh. I hate taxi drivers. Especially ones in New York.

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