Twicebound: Chapter Eighteen – Part Three

Header18-3Eddie was pretty sure it wasn’t a trap or anything like that, but he wasn’t taking any chances.  He crossed the twenty feet to the unconscious Armelle on his belly, inching along.  It was an exercise in stealth that even a hunting cat would have been proud of.

Of course, a hunting cat would have been in tall grass or woods, at night.  Eddie was on a tile floor, in the stark flicker of fluorescent dramatically. His shoes squeaked dramatically every time he moved, while his brown jacket and worn blue jeans were a fine contrast against the surgical white of the tile.

It took him a quarter of an hour to reach Armelle.  By that time, she was already starting to move as she recovered.  He grabbed the collar of her lab coat and went into reverse, laboriously retracing his squeaky steps back to the cover of the control consoles.  He was halfway across the floor when her eyes finally opened and she stared up at him.

“Eddie.”

“Yeah?”

“What are you doing?”

He held a finger to his lips, wincing as her question echoed around the huge room.

“Ssshhh!  Cain’t take no chances, y’know.  No tellin’ who might be watchin’.”

With a slightly dizzy motion, she struggled upright, but stopped short of actually getting to her feet.  She settled for sitting cross-legged on the floor as she felt the back of her head.  There was a bump on it, but the skin wasn’t broken and the ache would pass.

Another rubbery squeak brought her attention back to Eddie, who was still inching backward along the floor.

“Eddie, do you see anyone else in here?”

He shook his head, but gestured with a stealthy finger at the walls and balconies of the floors above.

“Could be cameras erry’where,  ‘Melle.  No tellin’ who might be watchin’.”

Armelle shook her head, sighed, and got painfully to her feet.  After swaying slightly, she pulled him up, as well.

“If there are cameras, you’re not going to hide from them by lying on the floor, Eddie.  They’re probably infrared, so they’d pick up your body heat, if nothing else.  Now, where’s Vančura got to?”

Eddie gave her a solemn look.

“Never came t’ru.  ‘e could be jus’bout ennytime.”

She was puzzled.

“Anytime?”

“Sure.  ‘s a time-machine, yeah?  Lost in ennytime, dat’s where ‘ol Vancy could be. ”

She laughed softly, but her eyes turned towards the STAd and there was concern in them.

“I don’t think you quite grasp how the the STAd works, Eddie.”

The little man gave her an arch look and turned away muttering.  She just barely caught the words, but what she did hear stopped her in her tracks.

“..nnerstand it jus’bout well as ennyone else roun’ere, I figures.”


 

End Chapter  18– Part 3

As anyone who knows me could tell you, I would never use one of my novels as an allegory, to make a point, or to teach a moral.  I take them much more seriously than that.  However, that doesn’t mean that – every once in a while – I’ll point something out that I think is important.  In this case… intelligence can be independent of our standards.  In other words… maybe Eddie ain’t so dumb as he looks…

Want to read the previous installments? They’re right here!

Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three,
Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six,
Chapter Seven, Chapter Eight, Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten,
  Chapter Eleven, Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen,
Chapter Fourteen  Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen  Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen – Part One
Chapter Eighteen – Part Two

6 thoughts on “Twicebound: Chapter Eighteen – Part Three

  1. That one was great!! And there have been a couple of times when Eddie’s carefully hidden deeply buried intelligence came through. 🙂

    • Thank you. 🙂

      Of course, it may be something entirely different coming through, and we just THINK it’s intelligence. :O

  2. I have an idea that Eddie (though he may not know it) knows more about this mess than anyone else. 🙂 Great post.

  3. Eddie’s caution is probably warranted – at the very least it will offset Armelle’s somewhat devil-may-care attitude. In fact, it’s curious that there ISN’T some sort of welcoming party – surely the military could have figured out when the machine had been set for, and arrested them upon future arrival? (Granted, they couldn’t figure out how to fix the thing before, but now that it’s been fixed for them, maybe?)

    Unless Vancura has something to do with that. I find it interesting that you had that bit with Vancura before, showing a piece of the in between time. I’m thinking it means either they’re going to run into the guy again, while in the future… or they’ll learn that he’s the reason they avoided a welcome wagon. Of course, I’ve been wrong before – I didn’t think you’d jump to the future at all, but rather show one of them replace themselves when that alarm went off. (Maybe they’re not even in the future here, eh heh.)

    • Caution is ALWAYS warranted for a character in one of my stories. :/ Of course, Eddie being careful is probably just a survival trait to offset his… mental shortcomings. Poor Eddie.

      You’re right, though; Armelle IS awfully cavalier about time-travel, isn’t she?

      Past, present, future… they get scary when I’m playing around with them, don’t they? 😀

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