Fourth entry in Baker’s wonderful series about the ubiquitous Company. In the 24th century, Dr. Zeus Incorporated discovered time travel and thereupon set about ensuring its own existence and enriching its stockholders by creating a race of immortal cyborgs to serve the Company, loot the past, and preserve the future. Mendoza, the16th-century Spanish cyborg botanist, has vanished following the strange and tragic events of Mendoza in Hollywood (2000). Facilitator Joseph, who softheartedly recruited Mendoza despite her propensity to generate psychoactive Crome radiation (a big Company no-no), is driven to search for her. His task is lonely, since everything he says and does is reported to Company operatives. He chooses a partner in crime, documents-specialist Lewis, who’s secretly in love with Mendoza. Every few decades, Joseph arranges to zap the surveillance link so that he and Lewis can exchange information. Mendoza, it emerges, was used ruthlessly by the company to advance an obscure scheme of its own, and once surplus to requirements she was deactivated, placed in a womb-like storage unit—hidden, somewhere, along with thousands of other operatives whose presence became inconvenient, like the giant nonhuman Enforcers of millennia past. But in the real world, time approaches the year 2355, beyond which the future is a blank.
By turns hilarious, terrifying, sad, and provocative, and always utterly intriguing. If there’s a better time-travel series out there, go find it.