Chapter 1: Blythes Machine (again)
Jack looked at Susan as they drank the coffee. Professor Blythe had listened to their conversation in silence.
"I know it's hard to understand, but that machine of yours can let people travel through different dimensional worlds, I'm not sure I can explain it properly–" Jack started, but was interrupted by Blythe.
"I think I can. I thought that gave a window to a different part of the world, so at first I was disappointed to only see my laboratory through the gap. I had thought I'd failed again ... but now I know I haven't. I've created a dimension viewer." She got up and walked to the fireplace, where she pushed a button.
The door to the room opened and a young oriental woman was there, "Haruka, can you keep Susan and Jack here? I've got some things to do. I will be back." Blythe started to leave the room.
"Professor, you don't understand. We need to return to our own world. We can't waste time," Susan pleaded.
Blythe shook her head. "At the moment, from what I can gather, my machine is connected to a world where there was a war in which the country was taken over by fascists. Is that the world you want to return to?" She asked Susan, who shook her head. "Very well, I need to experiment more to fine-tune the connections. At the moment it's all hit and miss, plus I need to make some enquiries." She walked out, and Haruka placed herself in front of the door.
Jack shook his head. "She didn't believe us. She thinks we're a couple of madmen, err, persons. I wouldn't be surprised if she was calling the local loony bin for new jackets for us. You know–the ones that tie your arms to the back."
"Well, even though she watched us enter, it is a bit too much to understand. I think we should just leave and try ... what?" Susan wondered.
"Can you see me going to the station and telling them I'm Jack Adams, and expecting them to welcome me? Hell. I'm probably already at work." Jack smiled at the thought. "I wonder what they'd say if I did appear next to me. And what would happen if I shook hands with myself?"
Susan shuddered. "I wouldn't. What if you should blow yourself up? How much damage would that cause?"
Jack gulped. She was right. He got up from his seat and walked to the door where Haruka was watching him. "I'm sorry, Sir, but you to remain until Mistress returns," she said in a soft, accented voice.
Jack smiled at the woman and then reached for the door. "I'm sorry, Haruka, but I can't -" His voice broke off as the diminutive woman took hold of his arm and then gave it a twist, making Jack turn around, and then she pushed him back into the room. Releasing him, she gave a shallow bow.
"You will stay in the room." She repeated Blythes' instructions
Susan gave a wry smile, "I would think that Haruka is well-trained. Black belt?" she inquired of the young woman, who nodded and bowed to Susan, who removed her shoes and removed her jacket before bowing back to the woman.
Haruka gave a smile as Susan approached. Susan took hold of Haruka's blouse and then, wrapping her right leg around the woman's left leg, she pushed Haruka to the floor. Standing back to allow her to rise, "Ouchi Gari," Susan explained to Jack who was none the wiser
Haruka nodded and then they approached each other again. This time as Susan reached for her, Haruka turned and, raising her leg, brought Susan up and over to land on the floor. "Harai Goshi," Haruka said in her soft voice.
The next time they met, Susan went down on her back, pulling Haruka with her. Susan brought her leg up, propelling Haruka over and away from her. As Susan got to her feet, she called out, "Tomoe Nage."
When Haruka got to her feet, she gave a nod and then moved to Susan. This time, she turned, holding Susan's blouse, and brought her right leg up as she tugged on Susan's left arm, but somehow Susan blocked it and then reversed the movements, throwing Haruka instead. "Sneaky, trying for Sumi Otoshi, but that wasn't next in the list. She skipped one," she said, assuming that Jack knew what she was talking about. She saw the puzzlement on his face. "They are throws from the Judo book, Kodokan Judo; she's missed one set and moved to the next."
All of which left Jack none the wiser.
Susan approached Haruka, who was waiting for her. "I'm sorry, Haruka, but we need to leave. I do respect you and your actions and so–" Without warning, Susan brought her hand around in a fist and struck Haruka on the chin, felling the woman instantly. Susan turned to Jack and shrugged, "Right cross, if all else fails..." She didn't finish as Jack took her hand and they rushed to the door.
Outside the house, the street was quiet. Jack looked up, but saw only sky.
"We're going to have to walk," Jack said to Susan, who smiled.
"So where are we going to?" she asked.
"Search me. Let's just see what's going on here. It's a whole new world," Jack said, raising his arms to embrace it.
They made their way to a nearby café and Jack ordered sausage, egg, and chips for two with tea. He gave a five-pound note and took his seat, waiting for the food.
Susan looked at him. "So what are we going to do? Without the machine in Blythe's house we're stuck here. You realise we don't actually exist in this world. How are we going to live?"
"Well, I've got some money and it seems good enough here, so we're okay for the short time. I hope that Professor Blythe understands and that she agrees to get us back home," Jack said seeing a paper nearby. He picked it up and began reading.
Susan noticed that the staff behind the counter was watching them, but once they noticed her eyes, they began working away normally. Soon, the waiter brought out two plates and placed them in front of them.
"Thank you," Susan said with a smile
The waiter didn't return the smile but went back to the kitchen.
"Strange man," she commented, but Jack was too engrossed in the paper to respond. Susan started to eat her food, realising that this was the first she had touched since going through Blythe's machine.
Jack put the paper down. "Well, I've learnt one thing. Here, the women are in charge of things. It's almost like home – I mean exactly like home, except for the role reversal. Gwendolyn Brown is the Prime Minister; she took over from Antonia Blair. The Middle East crisis is ongoing with complaints." He began to eat and then looked up. "You know, this is really good," he commented and then concentrated on eating.
Because they were concentrating on the food, they didn't see the marked police car approaching on the road, and when two officers entered the café and walked to the counter, they were still oblivious to their presence.
The officers came to Alex and Susan. "Excuse me Madame, Sir. I would like you to come with us," one woman said while the other man hand his hand resting on the Asp in his belt – just in case.
Jack turned to look at the woman, "Jenkins? Is that you?" He asked slightly shocked. If it was Carl Jenkins, then he had changed.
Jenkins frowned and looked at Jack. "I don't know you, Sir, and would ask you to put your hands behind your back." She produced a pair of handcuffs.
"What's the problem?" Jack couldn't see what they had done, but got to his feet and placed his hands behind him.
"You're under arrest for suspicion of handling forged currency. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence should you not mention anything you may rely on in court, do you understand this caution?" Jenkins was expertly fixing the handcuff to Jacks wrists.
"I understand but I don't know what you're on about." Jack protested.
Jenkins held up a plastic bag holding the note that Jack had given to the counter staff, "You tried to pass this as legal currency did you not?" Jack nodded. "Well how did you think they'd accept this? It's completely wrong. Now come with me to the station."
Before they were taken out, Jenkins's partner frisked Jack to see what he might have on him, "Well, look what we have here. A police officer's wallet and a warrant card. There's a holster here as well ... where's the gun?"
Jack thought back to the alternative world where the Gestapo had taken his weapon from him. "Let's just say that I lost it," he finally said
"Okay, then we'll add impersonating a police officer along with the charges." Was the final decision after nothing else was found. Jack's wallet along with his cash was also removed.
Susan was similarly handcuffed and searched before the pair were taken out to where two police cars were waiting, Jack was placed in one and Susan into the other.
"Hey, Bobbie let's see that note again." Jenkins's partner asked while they were driving along the streets that Jack knew so well. The man gave a laugh. "How the hell did you think you'd get away with passing this rubbish?"
"I think you'd better wait until the interview before I answer that question so you can get it on tape; otherwise it's not admissible in court." Jack said.
"Oh, some kind of street lawyer, are you? Okay, chum. I'll wait." The partner said shaking his head.
At the station, Jenkins drove into a compound and a large metal gate closed behind their cars. She opened the door for Jack, who walked to the entrance and waited for one of them to enter the security code, looking away as they did this but knowing that the code was 2664.
.... There is more of this story ...