Chapter 1: Blythes Error
Professor Blythe shook Jack's hand, "So my boy what you're saying is that you are not the Jack Adams that I allowed to enter my machine? Interesting, what else is different about this world?"
Jack shook his head, "I don't know Professor..." he then hesitated and then added, "well, apart from your attitude, I take it you know Jack Adams from this world? And Susan of course." Jack said realising that he'd neglected Susan since he re-entered the house.
Professor Blythe turned to look at Susan, "Oh my dear, you're not my Susan either?" At Susan's confused look Blythe laughed, "I don't mean it like that, you and Jack ... I mean my Susan and Jack ... are engaged. I don't suppose... ?" He broke off as he regarded the pair.
Susan looked at Jack and blushed, "I've ... I mean no Professor, we're just working together that's all."
Blythe raised an eyebrow, "Really, how sad. Now what we've got to do is to try and sort out where you're from, and how I'm supposed to get my Jack and Susan back, they're in the same position as you are you know."
Susan sighed, "I do understand Professor, but what is there that can identify us? In the last world even our fingerprints were identical and that was with changed gender versions."
"Really, that's interesting. So if you hadn't noticed the difference in the vehicles then you would have thought yourself back home, eh?" He said to Jack who nodded.
"That's true Professor. Everything seemed normal, but then small things, like the way you're reacting to us, our Professor Blythe didn't know us, he only contacted us when our doubles arrived dead in his world, our world ... oh how can I put it?" Jack sat down and put his head in his hands
Blythe sat beside him, "I understand my boy, and this is difficult for you and Susan. Now there has to be some way of identifying you and the world you're from. The question is how? You've found out that fingerprints are not the answer, so blood typing would also be dubious. I suppose we could reduce you down to component elements ... but then that would kill you so I can't see that working ... I'm only kidding about that last part, although there must be something."
Jack sat up, "I do remember a Star Trek Next Generation episode where Worf kept going into different quantum realities, and it was his quantum signature that allowed him to return home, could you try that?"
Blythe seemed interested in the idea, but then asked. "But what is a quantum signature and just who is this Worf? Was he one of the Klazon members of Riker's crew?"
Jack just looked at him, "Worf was a Klingon, and the Klazon weren't part of the Enterprise crew. I'm sorry Professor it seems that even that is different."
But Blythe was smiling, "No my boy, that's a good sign. People stay the same but there are minute differences, like the left hand drive and the cast list for television programmes. Maybe we could use that?"
Susan snorted, "I don't think that's going to sit well with Bracewell, could you picture him with a list of programme details? Asking us questions?" she gave a laugh. "Hell I've forgotten you've never met him, it's just that we've been through so much." She turned to Blythe, "Professor would you mind if I spoke to Jack alone for a few minutes, you'd better let your version of Bracewell know what's happening." She suggested
Professor Blythe nodded and left the room closing the door behind him, Jack faced Susan expectantly.
Susan gave a deep breath, "I work for a top secret section of Military Intelligence, we sort of spook the spooks, anything weird and strange is our area, so when Blythe contacted us about the two bodies we had to check on this, I was told to recruit you to help me and to see if you would be strong enough to join us." She paused as if waiting for Jack to give a response, but he remained silent.
"We didn't know exactly what Blythe had discovered as most of his inventions have been kooky, to say the least, downright impractical at any rate, but this is not one of them. We have to return home to warn our people of the situation and to get a containment area arranged." She was silent now waiting for Jack's response.
"I see ... so what have you decided about me? Am I likely to turn green and attack people?" Jack asked seriously.
Susan gave a smile, "I don't think so," she said stretching out the words. "You've stayed sane through all this which is something that some of our people wouldn't be able to do. But we still have to return to our own world and so I'm going to ask you to follow my lead and to back me up, especially when this world's Bracewell arrives. If he's anything like mine then he won't be listening to us at all."
Jack shook his head, "I don't believe that, he must understand what's happening to be able to have staff like you working for him." He said but noticed the look that Susan gave him; it was a 'you have to be kidding' type of look.
The doorbell rang and Susan went to answer it, a group of soldiers were outside and they soon entered, with them were two men one was already known to Jack as Captain Lloyd, the late lamented officer with the British Free Forces. Jack looked at Janet who shrugged her shoulders at the unasked question.
The second man was obviously Bracewell as Susan stiffened herself for whatever he was going to say. But what he did surprised her, he hugged Susan, "I'm glad you're back, we were all getting worried at the office."
Jack could see that Susan was flustered at this reception and so took up the conversation, "Unfortunately we're not the ones that you think we are. Your Jack and Susan are still trapped in another world, and we'd like to return to ours."
Bracewell took a step back, "Ah, well then I apologise for my actions Miss Pulse, I'm afraid I took you for my own agent." He turned to Jack, "So you are... ?"
Jack sighed, "I'm Detective Sergeant Jack Adams, and Susan here has just let me into what your department does ... at least on my world so I assume it's the same on this one. So what are you going to do now, arrest us?"
Bracewell frowned, "Well ... I'm not sure, technically you're foreign agents and could be treated as such, but then you're also representatives of an allied department, so to speak, and so we could extend a hand of friendship."
Lloyd snorted, "I say we're going to lock them up and make sure they're not carrying any pathogens that could destroy this world. We should smash the Professor's machine and make sure nobody builds one again."
Bracewell turned to Lloyd, "And how do we get our Susan and Jack back? No, we do as this Susan suggested, place a guard inside and outside the room and ensure that whoever arrives is friendly. Now how do we find out when our people return?"
The door opened again and Blythe entered the room, "May I suggest you just run a Geiger counter over them? Sorry for the delay Susan, Jack. But I was thinking about what you said, now everyone has a certain amount of radioactivity in their bodies, depending on where they live and what's in the air, so maybe if we measure the level we'll have an answer."
Lloyd jumped on that, "You see director now they're radioactive; we're going to get poisoned."
Jack sighed, "Oh grow up Lloyd, you're just like that Captain on the fascist world, they shot him and I feel like doing the same thing!"
"Gentlemen, let's not get carried away. Sergeant?" The Sergeant in charge of the troops came forward. "Position you men as detailed. Professor we are going to have to have a method of finding our own people amongst the haystack of possibles, would this Geiger counter prove conclusively that whoever came through that thing can be identified?"
Blythe frowned, "Conclusively? No. but it would give an indication, look..." He held the detector part of the counter in front of Bracewell and it gave a small series of clicks. He showed the screen to Bracewell, "Now you see this measurement here? That is the background level for you, but when I do the same to Susan ... you don't mind do you m'dear?" He asked Susan with a smile before running the detector over her body, "Her background level is higher, so she's either just come from a higher radioactive area, or this is her normal level, different from yours. So I would say that she doesn't come from this world."
"So throw her back into that machine of yours and try to find ours!" Lloyd said quickly.
"I'll decide that Lloyd, not you. And an outburst like that will be dealt with later, go outside and look after the car will you?" Bracewell said dismissing Lloyd who glared at Susan but finally left. Bracewell shook his head, "Sorry about that, but it was his turn to drive today."
Jack nodded, "All the same Sir, why don't you just make us go through the machine to another world? It would save you the problem of dealing with us?" He asked
Bracewell laughed, "And lumber some other poor sod with you is that it? No I need to know just what is out there before anyone else goes through it, at the moment you're the only people I have, could you spare me some time first, please?"
Jack looked at Susan who shrugged her shoulders and then she spoke, "I suppose so Sir, it's just that you're the first one to ask us. Do you know the theory behind parallel worlds?"
Bracewell indicated some chairs while Blythe went back out of the room. "I've read the sci-fi stories, and of course I have you two before me, so let's assume I have a smattering of understanding." He said sitting down in an armchair while Susan and Jack sat on a sofa.
"Well it all started when I was assigned to take Jack to Professor Blythe's house, he'd reported two bodies appearing in his cellar and from their appearance they matched us exactly..." Susan – with some interruptions from Jack – told their story, going through the window to the Nazi controlled world, their escape by the aid of the British Free Forces (including the actions of Captain Lloyd), meeting with the female version of Blythe and their opposites in the Gender changed world before coming through the portal to this world.
This took some time and by the time both had finished Bracewell had sent off for food ("I hope you like Japanese food?")
They finished off the meal which, to both Jack and Susan's surprise, was very tasty. Bracewell was thinking things through, "So in the last world you were able to interact with your others without any problems? That would seem to eliminate the negative elements because otherwise you wouldn't be here to talk about it. So we have to assume that it's not possible to go to anti-matter worlds."
"Why do you assume that? We've no concrete proof of that. Sorry I was so long, I was attaching a rheostat to the equipment, I've spoken to my counterpart from your last world and she seems to be quite knowledgeable about this, she agrees that radioactivity is one way of differentiating between travellers, along with knowledge of television programmes. It's not perfect of course, but until we can devise something better. And good news, I've had a signal from our Jack and Susan, I've checked everything I can and it seems to be them. They're going to come through in 2 hours time." Blythe said excitedly.
Bracewell jumped up, "Are you certain it's them? They could be from nearby."
Blythe shook his head, "I'm certain. They knew all the answers to the questions I gave them; you know how much of a sci-fi fan our Susan is. She even gave all the titles of George Herbert Wells's stories."
Susan frowned, "Don't you mean Herbert George Wells?"
Blythe laughed, "No, so you see Bracewell it has to be ours."
Bracewell gave a sigh of relief, "That's good news. So what do we do about you two?" He said looking at Jack and Susan.
Susan nodded, "It might be better if we're not here when they arrive, can you find a world near our radiation level?" she said to Blythe.
"Of course, but I can't guarantee that it would be your world. Do you want to take the risk?" Blythe asked looking at them both
Susan spoke up, "Why not? We've got to strike lucky sometime." She said.
They emerged into a darkened room, although the machine was there it seemed different somehow, Jack looked at Susan. "This isn't our world." He decided
Susan agreed with him, "Let's get in touch with this worlds professor and see if he can help us?" she suggested opening the door to the basement, unseen by either a light began flashing on the wall.
Susan had picked up a torch from the previous world, that professor Blythe had tested the atmosphere in this world and had announced that it was almost the same radiation signature as she and Jack had. But she realised that close was not home and dry.
"It's strange," Jack started to say.
Susan frowned, "What is?"
"We've been to how many worlds now, three, four? And the basements are the same set up. You'd expect some changes." Jack had reached the door by now, he opened it and a body fell down the steps to the stone floor of the basement.
Susan was the first to reach it, she checked for a pulse which wasn't there. "He's dead." She announced and then turned the body over. "Oh shit, it's Professor Blythe."
They left the Professor's body in the basement, it was obvious that it hadn't been an accident as the Professor had been shot and his body had been left where it had fallen, just in front of the Basement door.
Susan led the way into the house with Jack following, the lights were on and they could see that the front door was open, Jack felt for the pistol he'd been issued with – although he wasn't sure he'd hit anything if he fired it - and then settled for a sword that was hanging on the wall, Susan stood beside the door frame to the Dining Room before pushing the door open with her foot.
There was no reaction from inside and so Jack quickly entered the room with the sword held out in front of him. "Clear." He said a moment later and Susan entered; papers were strewn over the table as if someone had been looking for something, but the Professor had obviously disturbed him.
Susan quickly read a sheet that was on top of the pile, "It's a journal entry, listen. 'I've been hearing odd noises coming from the vision machine, at times I could swear that people were talking although the machine is switched off. I tried contacting the Military Intelligence but they are not responsive, I've taken to installing an alarm connected to the Police Station just in case. I know that the Chinese would be interested in this machine, they would be able to focus it anywhere in the world ... Once I perfected it, of course.'" She laughed. "He won't get a chance to now will he?"
Jack shook his head and then paused, "Hold on, he's rigged an alarm ... oh shit we've got to get out of here before -"
"POLICE! NOBODY MOVE!" The three officers entered the room Asps ready in their hands then one straightened up. "Oh Christ it's the chinless wonder. What are you doing here?" He said to Jack.
"Lucky I was passing the house, I heard a noise and entered through the door, caught this one going through the papers when you arrived. I'll just take her back to Headquarters." He said taking Susan by the arm and walking her to the door.
But he was stopped, "Hold on there Sergeant! We've been assigned to this alarm not you, so we're the ones to take in the suspects; you get back to the paper pushing and leave the work to real cops."
"No you listen to me Constable, this is my collar and I'm going to deal with it, you keep a guard on the door and make sure nobody else gets in." Jack said taking Susan through the door.
"Why did he call you a paper pusher?" Susan asked as they went through the front door.
Jack shook his head, "I donno, it might be something different on this world. Can't you get in touch with Bracewell?"
"I can try. But I don't think -" Susan was stopped when the policeman put his hands on her arm.
"Nice try Sergeant, but you know the rules, you're out of uniform and I'm the senior office in uniform here. You're not going to protest or anything?" The officer's hand was now touching his Asp.
Jack thought for a moment and then saw Susan shaking her head. "No, you're right, but I'll come with you, I need a lift." He said
The officer laughed, "That pile of shit conked out on you then? It was bound to, wasn't it?" He opened the back door and put Susan inside, Jack sat beside her. The officer got into the driving seat and started the engine.
"You don't know what you're missing changing over to the bureaucratic department like you did, we've got better equipment now, and the Asps have a charge in them now, just touch the bastards and they're climbing the walls trying to give themselves up." The officer told Jack as he drove at top speed with the blue light flashing.
"Yeah, well someone's got to do the shit work." Jack said getting a feel for the actions of this world. "So what else has changed?" He asked.
"DI Wilson's out, he told the Super where to put the job, he's now on the at risk register Special Branch is watching him for any suspicious action."
Jack was shocked, "Wilson? But I thought he was an okay guy?"
The officer turned his head to look at Jack, ignoring the traffic ahead, "You okay Adams? You've heard him in the canteen, saying we should let the innocent people go. We've got to keep the percentages up! Look can't you cook the books to improve our ratings?" He turned back to pull the steering wheel to move the car onto the correct side of the road.
"Hey my hands are tied as well you know, anyway you know my boss..." Jack paused as he couldn't think who his superior would be in this world.
"Oh yeah, Brice, anyone would think he had a flagpole stuck up his arse. He'll be the first against the wall should we lose our jobs, and if he doesn't sort out the paperwork that's going to be real soon. Can you see the crap we'd have to put up with when the private firms take over, G4 cops? Probably lose their way running to the crime scene." The officer said as he slid the car around a corner to arrive at the police station.
"I'll have to leave you with him while I try to contact your people, can you give me a contact code?" Jack whispered to Susan.
"Just dial the MI5 number and ask for Bracewell, if that doesn't work then ask for Department 4 and let them know what's happening." Susan said quickly
"MI5 and then Bracewell or Department 4, okay. Sorry to leave you with this jerk." Jack said but moved back as the officer opened the door to grab hold of Susan.
As they walked towards the Custody office the officer looked at the car park, "Hey, there's your car? How did it get here if you walked in?" He said.
Jack shrugged, "Beats me? Perhaps it decided to come in on its own? I've driven here lots of time." He said entering the code onto the keypad and praying it would work. The door gave a bleep and opened.
"Okay then, you look after my prisoner and I'll get on with the paperwork." Jack said as he passed through the Custody suite and entered the station itself. He went upstairs to the CID office, or rather where the office would be, only to find that the door was locked, he swore under his breath and looked around.
"Jack? How did you get here? I left you in the office." A man walking down the corridor asked, Jack recognised him as Frank Brice, his superior in this world.
"Frank, yes, well ... look I think I need to tell you something, and we need to be somewhere private? Is your office free?" Jack said knowing that he'd need help and this was the only source available.
"Well, now you're here yes? But how did you pass me?" Brice asked puzzled.
"That's part of the problem, can you lead the way I'm a bit lost." Jack said
"Lost? But you know where we work, how can you be lost?" Brice said but walked back down the corridor.
"Believe me boss, once you see the reason you'll know." Jack said mysteriously as far as Brice was concerned.
There was a man working at a desk when Brice and Jack arrived, when Brice saw him he looked back at Jack. "What the hell's going on here?" He asked, "Jack. You never told me you had a twin brother."
At his desk Jack Adams looked up from the calculations he was involved in and saw ... himself? "Who the Hell are you?" He said.
"Later Jack, I need to talk to you both, the life of my partner depends on it." Jack said, Jack2 looked a bit annoyed at being spoken to like that and Jack1 didn't blame him. "Look I'm Jack Adams but from a different ... world, I don't have time to explain but I need to get my partner Susan Pulse de-arrested and into Military Intelligence protection. Can I use the phone?"
"Supe? What's is all this?" Jack2 asked.
Brice shook his head, "I don't know Jack, I thought he was you and then he started to bring up this cloak and dagger shit. Military Intelligence? What have they got to do with this?" He asked Jack1
Jack however was dialling a number on the telephone, when the operator answered he spoke, "I need to get in contact with Mr. Bracewell, ... I can't say, no? Okay then pass me to Department 4 ... Look I don't care what you want to know I'm not allowed to tell you, just put me in touch..." He looked at Brice and Jack2, "They've got so much intelligence they don't know how to ... Hello yes, I need help and I'm told you're the department to contact. Do you have a Susan Pulse working in your office ... I know you're not allowed to tell me but if you do then there is another one being arrested at Barton Police Station, she and I were found at Blythe's house where we arrived ... yes arrived. You have to have troops surrounding the place and to keep the machine in the basement guarded ... oh and Blythe is dead, he's been shot by someone don't know who. So you'd better pull your fingers out. I'm here with Superintendant Brice and my duplicate, here's Brice." Jack handed the phone over to Brice who listened for a moment.
"I don't know who he is, I thought he was my DS Jack Adams, but he's still in the office ... no I don't think he'd dangerous ... yes but ... but ... very well I'll do that. Okay we'll be waiting." He hung up the phone and then dialled another number, "This is Detective Inspector Brice, I'm declaring a terrorist situation in this station, complete lockdown, I repeat complete lockdown. Nobody in or out!" He said and hung up again. "You are under arrest until we can get this sorted out." He said to Jack.
Brice and Jack2 escorted Jack to the Custody Suite, ignoring the looks of all those they passed in the corridors, One man did stop them Jack recognised him as the Chief Superintendant, he was angry with Brice.
"How dare you order a complete lockdown without authority? I'm going to countermand that order, you're just in the bureaucratic section you have no right!"
"I'm sorry sir but you can't. Once the lockdown order has been given we have to remain in that state until cleared by Intelligence." Brice said not looking sorry at all. "And I was given the rank of Detective Inspector and that gives me the right, section 9 of the police manual, page 89. This is my reason." He said indicating Jack1 and Jack2.
The C.S. looked at Jack1 who was standing in front of Jack2, "What is this? What's that doppelganger doing in this place? You're going to be the destruction of us all!" He said moving back.
Brice looked confused as did Jack and Jack, "What are you saying Sir? I've been with these two and nothing's happened."
"Nothing? So why did you call a lockdown? You call that nothing? Destroy that Doppelganger before we all get killed."
This struck a chord in Jack's mind, "If I'm a doppelganger then Jack's the one who's going to die, not everyone else, they're supposed to try to take over the person they represent. I think you need to read up on your superstitions. Now get me to my partner." He said turning to Brice.
"Not just yet, you're going to be locked up until those people you called turn up. Those are my orders." Brice told him and Jack1 nodded
"I understand, so you'd better take the gun I have before people start to react when they find it." He said opening his jacket for Brice to see the metal of the gun; this was quickly removed and placed into Brice's pocket, after being assured that the safety catch was on. They left the C.S. spluttering after witnessing this action and carried on to the Custody suite
Jack1 was processed and placed into a cell, reminding him of the last visit he made to the previous world and so he waited.
Jack was starting to doze when the cell door was opened, he looked up. "Susan? What are you doin ... Oh, sorry you're this world's Susan aren't you, welcome to the twilight zone, my name is Jack Adams, I suppose you've met me upstairs already and you want to know what's happening." Jack said as he realised just who it was.
Susan Pulse stared at the man seated on the pad that made up the bed in the cell. It was uncanny he looked exactly like the DS Adams she had been introduced to, she had arrived with Lloyd to respond to actions that their boss, Bracewell had initiated. But that was all she knew. Lloyd was sent to the female's cells to talk to the other woman who had been brought in with this man, Susan wasn't sure why she had been ordered to do it this way, but Bracewell was the boss.
"So you say you're Jack Adams, and you arrived here to do what?" Susan asked him feeling self-conscious as if this Jack Adams knew more than she did.
Jack laughed, "Actually we're trying to find our way to our own world and we need Professor Blythe to help us, although he's not going to be of help to anyone now."
Susan frowned, "If you needed him why did you kill him? Didn't he want to help you?"
Jack shook his head, "We didn't kill him. He's more use to us alive, I'm not sure if anyone else could work his machine."
Susan looked up at Jack. "What is so special about his machine? None of his other inventions have worked well before."
Jack sighed and moved along the bed to allow space for Susan to sit, "Okay, I'm not too sure about this; it's not something I was used to. You know the theory behind alternate realities, how a small change can cause a new world to be created?" he waited.
"I've heard of such things, but there's never been any proof that they exist." Susan admitted
"Of course not, I mean how could you look to see such a thing? That's where Blythe's machine comes in. He's perfected a way to open a window to another world, although he wanted to create a means of spying on other places. I stepped though that window and my partner came with me." He said
"You're saying that you're not from this world? How can you prove this?" Susan sounded incredulous.
"Apart from the fact that this world's Jack Adams is working away upstairs? Or that your double is currently being held in another cell? Isn't that proof enough for you?" Jack watched Susan's face, after being with his Susan for so long he was able to read her reactions, "You weren't aware of the other person are you?" He asked.
Susan shook her head, "No, I was told I had to interview you while my colleague interviews the woman, he didn't say why."
Jack nodded, "Now you know. Who's doing the interview?"
"I can't tell you that, official secrets, you shouldn't even know my name. Do you know how many flags you raised with your call? And asking for Bracewell by name ... well the shit hit the fan I can tell you."
"It was meant to, I know we're in trouble and your department is the only one that can deal with it. You've got the understanding about this stuff." Jack said watching Susan's face
"I'll have to check back on this, I'm not too sure what to do." Susan said kicking herself for admitting this.
"Okay, but make sure that Blythe's house is secured, that machine is a way for Susan and me to leave this world, unless you want two of us around all the time." Jack said with a smile on his lips.
Susan left the cell and the door was closed by the police officer who was standing by just in case. "Sounds like he's off his head don't it?" The officer said.
"I'm not too sure ... he didn't act like it and with his knowledge ... I believed him." Susan said and went to meet up with Lloyd.
Susan was meditating in the cell that she had been placed into, this was becoming monotonous to her, arrive in a world and sure enough she lands up in jail! If she wasn't careful she'd get a reputation.
She wasn't sure how long she'd been in the cell when the door was opened and a matronly figure was standing in the doorway, "Pulse? You have a visitor, come with me." She was allowed out of the cell and another woman stood behind her, escorting her to an interview room.
The room she was ushered into was occupied by Lloyd, a man who she only knew in the department from the previous world, and there he struck her as a bone-headed person. He did a perfect double-take as Susan entered the room.
Susan smiled, "Yes, it is a shock when you first encounter a double, you should have seen the last Pulse I saw, Except he wasn't me. Why didn't my double come here?" Susan was intrigued
Lloyd sat down and tried to gather his wits, "She was under orders to interview the man who phoned in, I was assigned to you, now what do you have to say to me."
Susan smiled; his slip that he was with this world's Susan gave her an edge. "Well you are now aware that I'm not from this world, I arrived here with the aid of Professor Blythe's machine."
"Which one? He's tried so many that we've lost count." Lloyd asked making notes on his pad.
"If he's anything like the one in our world none of them worked, except this one only not as he expected it to. This was supposed to be a spy window, able to look at distant lands, except when he tried it all it showed was the wall behind it. He didn't know that the wall he was looking at was in another world." Susan said getting into her stride.
"Hold on, what do you mean, another world?" Lloyd interrupted her Susan just looked at him.
"I'm Susan Pulse; I work for Department 4, part of MI5. I think the password for today is Fried Eggs and Bacon, Bracewell must have a more varied diet I think." Susan watched Lloyds face drop as she spoke, "So you see where else could I get that information now to continue. The Machine allows travel through other dimensions worlds that are just like this with minor variations, in the last world that Professor Blythe suggested using Geiger counters to measure the background radiation of the 'visitors', then by comparing the signatures of the worlds that the window is focused on that way you can approximate the return course."
Susan then went through the details of her and Jack's progress through the machine and how they found the dead body of Professor Blythe.
"So you found the Professor dead in the house? You didn't shoot him?" Lloyd asked her.
"Shoot him? He's our only link back through the machine; you don't kill the golden goose, neither Jack nor I can use the machine we have to have Blythe to do that," She paused for a moment, until Lloyd prompted her, "oh, I'm just wondering why he reported hearing noises coming from the machine in the first place, nobody else has mentioned that."
"Is that important?" Lloyd asked
"Possibly not, it's just a piece of datum that needs reporting on. Now what are your orders regarding Jack and myself? Are you going to pull us out of here?" She asked.
"I'm not sure, we're supposed to check on the details we were given, mostly it was why a civilian knew of Bracewell's name, not to mention our department, with this ruckus with the Chinese going on we've been concentrating on their infiltration, we're short staffed. Only Pulse and I were in the office so we were sent." Lloyd confided.
Susan frowned, "But what about coverage for Blythe's house, what's happening about that?"
"Depending on what we learn that's being left to the local cops. They'll have to deal with anything." Lloyd said matter of factly.
"WHAT! Look there's already been one fatality in that place, who's going to say that some unknown person isn't going to walk through the machine and starts shooting at anyone they meet? You need an armed guard there now. Sort this out or you might find yourself with more problems than you can shake a stick at." Susan said angrily.
"What could happen? I mean so far it's just been you and that Jack person who's been seen. We've no proof that anything's come through." Lloyd said smugly as there was a knock on the door. The matron opened the door and Susan Pulse entered, Lloyd looked from one to the other and Susan1 looked him in the eye.
"So should I arrive at headquarters and demand entry, and then go on a shooting spree, who's going to get blamed, I don't exist and Susan there is all ready to be shown as the guilty party. What if it's not me, what if Bracewell comes through the machine, and then what would happen?" Susan asked.
Susan2 didn't say anything to that but then she looked at Lloyd, "We need to get a cover over this, complete removal of these two to a safe house. And we need to get the house secured. You start the paperwork and I'll report in to Bracewell."
"But I can't see why we need to get so worried? We've got the two murderers of Blythe, they've just got a line that they're using. I think if you examine them closely you'll find evidence of plastic surgery." Lloyd said clutching at straws.
"They're not that good. No we've got to move these two out before anyone else gets confused." Susan2 said taking charge and noticing that Susan was nodding her agreement, "We'll take the two suspects through the custody suite and into an armoured car, that way they can't interact with anyone else." Susan2 knocked on the door to the interview room, the matron went to grab her but then noticed Susan1 still seated at the table, she blinked and was uncertain until Susan2 showed her the identification she carried.
Susan1 smiled at Lloyd, "You see, they only know me as a prisoner so she nearly ended up in my cell, now I suggest you get your finger out and start processing myself and Jack out of here.
Jack and Susan met up with each other in the custody suite and were being handed over to Lloyd and Susan Pulse, the Chief Superintendant was also present to ensure that the correct procedures were being followed.
"I still say you should kill both of them before they take you over, they are spawns of the devil come here to destroy this world!" He said in almost zealous fury.
Susan2 stepped up to him, "Any more of that and I'll have you arrested and confined under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, your actions and words can be construed as causing counter feelings in this time of anxiety with the Chinese. Keep an eye out for real terrorist not possible ones. This is Military Intelligence work, not yours."
As they took control of their prisoners Lloyd whispered to Susan2, "How the hell did he keep his job?"
Susan looked around to ensure they weren't being overheard, "They're closing this area in 5 days time, and a private security company is going to be taking over. So he'll be trying to get a job with them."
As they were getting into their car a police car drove up and a struggling man got out, he saw Jack and began shouting. "THAT'S THE BASTARD! HE'S THE ONE WHO SHOT UP MY PLACE!" Jack recognised the man as a known fence – buyer/seller of stolen goods.
Jack looked at Susan, "There's another one of me out there!" He exclaimed and then struck Lloyd on the shoulder. "We've got to find that man and get him out of here."
Lloyd looked at his Susan who also looked puzzled and then back at Jack. "Some-one came through the machine, he killed Blythe and now he's on the rampage. We can't let him get away."
Lloyd looked back at Jack, "But where would he be now?" He asked
Jack looked blank, "How the blazes should I know." He finally admitted.
Susan1 spoke up, "The fact remains that there is another Jack Adams in this world, and one who has nothing to lose. We've got to find him and get him back to his world - or at least away from this one before he does anymore damage."
Susan2 went to pick up a mobile phone when the doors to the car were pulled opened and Policemen were gathered around the car, Jack was pulled out and handcuffs placed on his wrists. "You're under arrest for assault and murder. You won't get away with this Jack Adams."
Notes for future chapters – not to be included in posting (I've only kept them here to remind me)
Suggested cliffhanger, evil Jack kidnaps Susan2 taking her through the machine, Jack and Susan1 follows to rescue her.
Manage to return Susan2 to her home-world (that Blythe kept the machine on and unchanged), Susan and Jack then go through again to another world ... where now?