Nineteen Thirty-one

"Horographer Kinsley!" Head of Timekeeping Julia Newton strode toward Kinsley, her clear call stopping him in his tracks. "What's this I hear about a US quarter snafu back in the nineteens?"

Turning in the plain, concrete hallway, Henry Kinsley adjusted his labcoat, making sure to prominently display the badge proclaiming him Head Horographer, Economics. Not that the appointment would carry weight with Newton. "Um, yes. Nineteen thirty-one. No quarters struck. Nothing to do about it, unfortunately."

Newton's eyes narrowed: her infamous nail-you-to-the-wall stare. "There's always something to do."

"Not after some damn fool leaves a horology text charting currency trends for the five-hundred-year period out where anyone can see." He headed off Newton's coming demand. "She's been timed out, naturally."

"Damn." She looked through him into the middle distance. "So. No way to get any quarters struck?"

"Not in thirty-one. It's everything we can do to get the offender, one, um, Grant, evicted from the Mint by thirty-three. We have a possible justification we can apply. Something that'll make the lack of quarters from nineteen thirty-one make more sense. With approval."

"Go on..."

"So, my team down in Economics has been working on this thing they're calling the Great Depression..."