13. The Gates of Paradise (II)

Extract 1
Posted March 1st 2014

“How did you get here?” Lewis demanded. “Who are you?!”
“I’m a ghost from your future.” Lana replied, the helmet covering her face.
“But how did you get here?” He asked impatiently.
“Transdimensional, transporter… Thingy.” She said, pointing to the wrist device unable to remember its name.
“You can get me out of here?” Lewis asked, his eyes lighting up.
“Well, yes, I think so, but I’m not sure how.” She replied, feeling a little helpless. Lewis went over to the corner of his small hut and opened a wooden trunk. He pulled out a wrist device of his own, in the theatrical way that was all too familiar for Lana. She smiled, but he couldn’t see it.
“So, here’s the story: basically, one day I found an old abandoned transdimensional teleporter, just lying there on the forest floor. I’m actually a science and engineering student here and I’ve learned the basics of these before. Anyway, back to the story. So, for 5 months and 17 days, I worked mornings, afternoons and nights trying to fix the darn thing. Obviously I was incredibly chuffed when I got it working again but that’s as far as I could go. With no central control point, I had no way of using it! But, here I am, about to be sucked into a black hole, and at last, you’ve given me a chance to use it!”
“I have?” Lana asked, unaware of the opportunity she had created for him.
“I won’t get all science-y because we’re kind of being sucked into a black hole, but if I can connect your device to mine, we can get away from this place together!” He announced excitedly.
“Well that’s great!” Lana exclaimed, stopping when she saw Lewis drifting. “Lewis?”
“Yes, right, ok.”
“What’s wrong?”
“Half an hour” He replied.
“Half an hour?”
“It’s how long it’s going to take me to sync the devices. And that black hole in the sky,” he said pointing, “it’s not long ’til we’re in it.” He said rather shakily.
“Then we better get a move on.” Lana ordered. Lana followed Lewis to his work area. He got out a tool kit. From inside it he pulled out what could only be described as a strange alien electric tool thing and some kind of connecting wire.
“I’m going to need your teleporter.” Lewis asked, beckoning her to hand it over. She took it off straight away and gave it to him. On the table, he laid her device alongside his and pressed one of the buttons on his alien tool. It flashed a red light from out of the top as it did some kind of calculation. From what Lana could work out, the buzzing stopped when the calculation was done. Lewis moved the tool over to his device and pressed the second button below. This time the light went green but the buzzing remained the same.
“That should do it.” He announced, putting the tool down. Lana said nothing and just stood there helplessly. She didn’t like wearing the helmet at all and was desperate to tell him about the great adventures he was going to have; but she knew she couldn’t. Even turning off the voice distorter could somehow change the events of his future and she couldn’t risk that. Lewis picked up the red wire and slotted each end into the appropriate slots.
“Now we wait.” Lewis said, already feeling impatient.
“You’re going to need a bag.” Lana told him. “But only pack what you need!” She said almost maternally. “This is no time for sentiment my friend, this is survival…”
“Books” Lewis said.
“Sorry?”
“I’m going to need my engineering books.” He replied.
“I think that’s a good start.” Lana hinted, already knowing the ins and outs of what he took in the first place. Things were looking up at last, if she didn’t include the fact she was on a planet drifting into a black hole. It was creeping up on her fast though. The past; the agonising past. She’d already faced it once, why did she have to do it all over again? This wasn’t fair, not fair one bit. Everyday since she’d tried to blame someone else for what happens but she knew, oh she knew. It had to be her, and she knew it…

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