Chris Beaker
Chapter 5: Long Distance Runaround

Copyright© 2011 by Wandering Lanes

The next week was quieter, the only alert coming from Nemesis as it appeared that Perkins tried to stay away from all contact with his mysterious boss, and it seemed that he had managed it.

Perkins received an email which he read quickly and discarded – Nemesis could only see part of it, for which he apologised but since he didn't have direct access to Perkins' computer there wasn't much he could do about it.

I quickly made an amendment to Nemesis structure to allow him to access any computer and he zipped away.

The next surprising thing that happened was a letter I received in the post. 'It would be of advantage to you if you could come to the following address after receiving this letter, I will repeat that this could be of benefit to you.' And apart from the address the letter was unsigned.

I felt a mental nudge and realised that my other self was trying to attract my attention; I sat down on a chair and went into a meditative state.

The screen in my library was flashing away.

'Don't even go there; it's bound to be a trap.' The screen said.

I just laughed, "That's ridiculous! Who would want to trap me?" I said out loud.

To reply the screen started scrolling down with a list, starting from when I was a child and then ending with O'Neil, Wilkinson, Perkins and then a line of????????. 'And those are the ones we can remember.' The screen said.

"Who is the last one?" I asked

'That is for anyone we don't know about. We've been showing our power and not seeing anyone getting interested ... apart from those people who are following you that is.' He, I mean I, dropped the bombshell.

"People following me? What people? ... I didn't see anyone." I said.

'Wrong! You didn't consciously see anyone, but I have the time to remember everything.' The screen said and then it glowed pink with exaggerated smugness.

"I see, well then what did they look like?" I asked getting annoyed with the way 'I' was acting

The screen started showing several people's faces, and then it went to a split screen with words underneath. 'From what I can tell they're from two different organisations since they don't interact with each other.'

I realised this was the something that Shifu had warned me about when I had shown the Chief Constable how I could access secure systems. "Oh Shit!" I said out loud.

"Indeed Chris, now I understand why you said it but what are you going to do about it?" Aristotle entered my library and regarded me with a small smile.

Now something else made itself known to my memory, I wasn't really myself when I met Jason, I looked at Aristotle, "You influenced me, you made me show off to the Chief Constable to push this to happen, didn't you?" I accused him.

He gave a slight bow. "You were moving too slowly, we needed to advertise the power to those who can use it. As you are the most well known, and so the spokesman was obvious." Aristotle said without any sign of apology.

"So you made me show off to Jason, just to cause others to take notice of me. Why?" I asked not understanding.

But Aristotle shook his head, "Not now, now is not the time for you to understand but we need to build up the school. Trust me when I say it was necessary." He said which made things very clear ... just like being in mud! He could see my look and he sighed, "I'm not sure if I should tell you anything..." He seemed to make up his mind as he continued, "let me say this ... I am the library of the world, all the books that have been I have in my memory, along with all the books that could be ... and all the books that will be." He said and it took a few moments before I caught on.

"You mean that there is a history book that details all this?" I asked him. "So why can't you tell me what to do and where to go?" I demanded.

He turned a calm face to me. "You instructed me not to." He said.

I frowned; I mean I couldn't remember doing any such thing. I mean it would help a lot if we only knew what would happen ahead of time. I opened my mouth but Aristotle beat me to it. "It was a book that you wrote in the future, giving full details of this event and my words. In it you were told that to give details of the future would change the future, an event that caused pain could be avoided but at what cost? You may dodge one bullet to be riddled with the next group. You mention something of a Temporal Prime Directive."

I gave a laugh because I heard the capital letters in the last part, "But how would I remember what you said like that, it's not that I have a perfect memory." I said but then noticed the computer screen was still active, I turned on it. "So you're the one who's going to be responsible?" I asked it.

'No, that would be you. I'll just remind you of the event.' The screen said and then went blank.

"Et tu, Brute?" I said and then turned to Aristotle. "Okay then, I'll go to this meeting, but I want you to warn the others about what is happening and to try to keep an eye on me. I'll try to create more of Nemesis to watch me and to act as messengers." I said.

Aristotle watched me closely, "You seem more relaxed now, can I ask why?" He said enquiringly.

"It's because of what you've just told me!" I said and at his surprised look I continued, "Your words told me that I would be alright - I have to be in order to write about it, so I don't have to fear anyone trying to kill me outright." I said and I left the library.

I opened my eyes and re-read the letter taking note of the address, it was quite close – almost too close to be a co-incidental thing. My first action was to create a group of Nemesis' (Nemesi?) that I started to orbit me as if I was Jupiter or some other planet, but although I could see them nobody else could.

These I ensured were fully computer compatible and able to act as eyes for me. I sent two ahead to the address to see what may be waiting for me and to check out any equipment that might be there.

Before I left the apartment, I checked that the shield spells were still active and that the alarms were set. I cast the spell that I now thought of as the 'ignore me' spell and then stepped out of the door.

Now that I knew who I was looking for, I quickly found the people watching me, I even got close enough to listen into a conversation that one was having on a mobile phone. "I tell you the post arrived half-an-hour ago, he hasn't moved from the place. I've got Wilson watching the back and there are no side exits, he isn't going to show." The man said. He was acting professionally and so I had to think that this was an official person, I left a Nemesis watching him and carried on walking.

The other watcher was leaning up against some railings with a cigarette in his mouth, something about it screamed 'amateur' at me; he wasn't someone who would get on in the espionage world. I decided to have some fun with him and locked his clothing to the railings; the only way he'd get free was to undress.

There was nobody else that I'd noticed and so I made my way to the address. One of the two Nemesis zipped back to report that there was one person in the place, but whoever she was, she had cameras everywhere and leads that went into the sewers, the second Nemesis was currently tracing where these went. I sent him back to maintain watch and changed the 'ignore me' spell so that it would work on the cameras.

The address I arrived at was a typical suburban house, no different from any other in the street. The garden was neat with the appearance of occasional work having been done, I noticed that the windows had net curtains inside which meant that it was difficult to peer into.

I rang the door-bell and waited, soon a youngish woman came to the door, "I'm sorry but I don't buy anything from the door." She said in a polite way.

I smiled, "Well it's lucky I'm not trying to sell anything," I said and then added, "I got your letter and I'm interested to know what it's about." I told her.

Her face dropped, "I'm sorry but I don't know what you're on about. I didn't send you a letter." She said as she examined my face.

"So you can't tell me what the advantage would be if I came here." I said.

She frowned, "I did send a letter but it seems it was mis-delivered. I'm sorry but you have wasted your time Mr... ?" She looked at me.

I smiled, "That's okay and my name is Beaker, Chris Beaker." I said and turned to leave, dropping the 'ignore me' spell for her only.

"Beaker? But you don't look anything like..." She said and then stopped as I turned to face her again, "you didn't look like that when you arrived." She said and reached for a pocket.

I cast a spell to hold her and then asked, "What were you going to do then?"

She tried to avoid the question but a second spell made her talk. "It was an alarm to let my people know you had arrived." She said and then looked surprised as she realised what she had said.

"And then what would have happened?" I pressed her; although the spell would make her talk it wouldn't be able to get her to expand on the statements.

"They would have monitored the house to ensure that nothing was happening to me and to record what you said." She said.

"So there's no need for me to worry about them, what about the other team who are watching me?" I asked her.

"They're not part of us, we don't know where they're from, but as they haven't attacked you, we're leaving them alone for the moment." She said and was looking worried at the information she was giving out.

I weighed up her words and then cancelled the two spells on her, "You can press the button now and you'll be safe when you talk to me." I told her.

She did whatever she had to and then looked at me, "How did you do that? It was you that stopped me and made me tell you the truth wasn't it?" She asked.

I held up my hand, "Do you want to talk to me out here or inside?" I asked her

She looked around the street and then stepped back to hold the door open, "You'd better come in." She said.

Before I did, I sent a couple of the Nemesis watchers to keep an eye on the surroundings. I didn't want to be caught out with unwanted visitors.

I was shown into a living room, although it reminded me of a picture of a living room during the 1950's, two armchairs and a sofa with a coffee table were in the middle of the room, and I noticed that there was no television, the overall impression of the room was bleak but ... homely wasn't the term that came to mind.

"This is all very nice, very nice indeed." I said which I felt needed to be said.

"This is a safe house for those whom we want to make unwelcomed, you'd be surprised how many complain about the lack of modern comforts." The woman said watching me as I sat in an armchair that allowed me to sink into the cushions.

"I see what you mean, but I'm not interested in what this place is for." I said getting up and muttering a spell, the armchair re-padded itself and the faded colour grew stronger as it remembered how it looked when it was new. I sat back down and felt the firm cushion supporting me now.

The woman looked shocked, "So it's true ... you can work magic?" She asked me.

I nodded, "It's a kind of magic, all I've done is to make the fabric of the armchair return to the same state as when it was made, if I went too far we'd have a tree in the middle of the room as the wood returned to its natural state." I said as if teaching a young child.

"And how did you learn to use your magic power? Who taught you?" She asked me.

I sighed and sat back, this was going to take some time. "I take it you've gone through my record ... you do have one on me by now?" I said.

"Yes we have, until the last few months there was nothing strange about you, then bingo you are the subject of a detain order. You managed to slip away to Bath where there was an incident on a train, you give yourself up and get put into custody at Bath Police Station, then everything went mad. A Detective Inspector shows that he's been compromised and the next thing is your psychiatrist ends up with a skeleton in her office. And the only connection between the pair of them is you!"

She shifted from where she was standing to sit in another chair into which she sank, I gestured and the fabric changed to its original condition, "Thank you, where was I?" She asked.

"You were up to Wilkinson and O'Neil showing up as part of a team of criminals." I said helpfully.

"Oh, yes. At that point we get involved; you seem to be completely normal apart from the sudden arrival of a strange woman. We don't know where she came from and we had no record of her at all, even the fingerprints we managed to obtain drew a blank." She looked at me as if expecting me to speak, but I kept quiet. "You haven't returned to work but still are employed by your company; you have been visited by a certain Perkins, in whom we have an interest, it's not known what happened but he was later seen to run from your apartment and leave in a car ... later we learnt that the doors on the car were sealed closed and had to be cut off from the vehicle."

I had to laugh at that, "So that's how he got out of it. I wish I'd been there to see it." I said.

She gave a smile, "We do have a video, but how did you manage it? You didn't even go near the car?"

I wondered if I should tell her everything. I was still covered by the 'ignore me' spell on the cameras in the house, so what I told her wouldn't be recorded? But should I reveal all to the world at large. I smiled, "What if I told you that whatever I'm saying isn't being recorded. The cameras are not seeing me and what I'm saying is pure gibberish?" I said apparently changing the subject.

She shook her head, "I don't know what you mean - this room isn't bugged." She said and she tried to sound as if she was telling the truth.

"Contact your superiors and see what they say then." I told her bringing my hands up and over my head to support it in a relaxing mode.

She excused herself and got up, then she left the room, obviously she was going to check on things.

I had a Nemesis follow her and watched as she pulled out a cell-phone. I prodded the Nemesis and was able to listen into both sides of the conversation when it insinuated itself in the earpiece.

She was talking to a man, who must have been her superior, as he sounded very angry. "Nichole just what are you playing at? Get rid of that tramp and wait for Beaker to contact you." The man said angrily. (Note for Americans and others - in this case tramp means vagrant).

"What do you mean Boss? That is Beaker! He didn't look like the picture you gave me until he turned round, just what is happening here Boss?" Nichole said puzzled.

"We don't know! Ever since you took that man into the first room the sound went on the fritz, we get noise but can't tell what's being said. You've read what happened when Beaker was held in Bath? The CCTV didn't even see him! We think there's some electronic jiggery-pokery going on around him, but we don't know what it is? But you're sure that's Beaker?" Nichole gave a positive 'yes' and the man continued. "Okay standby we're going to send in a team to extract him."

"Boss! No, I think I can convince him to trust us, if you send in a team I don't know what he might do." Nichole quickly said.

"Relax, he's not known to be dangerous, and he'd probably buckle under if we show some force." Her boss said sounding confidence.

"He knew we were watching him, he knows he's being watched now. You read the report from Chambers; if we spook him he's liable to just zap himself somewhere else. How would we stop him? We've got to convince him that we're on his side ... we are on his side aren't we Boss?"

"We've got orders from up high; it seems that this dammed story is catching, more people are reported as doing strange things. We've got to know what to do about this and how to either encourage it or stop it, if it a fake then we stop it here and now..." Her boss said and paused.

"And what if it's not? What do we do then? ... Boss? What do we do then?" Nichole asked but the line went dead.

Nichole returned to where I was sitting, a strange expression on her face which got even stranger when I spoke, "So Nichole, what will you do? You know I don't have a tap on the line because it's secure, the only other way would be for me to bug you ... except I haven't even touched you since I came in." I said and smiled.

"It was correct of you to try to stop your boss sending a team in, I would vanish to another place and you'd lose your chance to convince me, but in the meantime..." I muttered a phrase and in the room appeared a laptop. Nichole gave a gasp as it arrived with a 'POP' of displaced air.

I cancelled the 'ignore me' spell on the cameras and looked directly at the one I knew was in the room. "I hope you can now see me properly and can hear me without problems?" I said as I brought up a picture on the laptop screen. It showed a man who was seated in a large room watching something that was out of our view.

"Do you recognise this person?" I asked Nichole gesturing her over to stand beside me.

There is more of this chapter...
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