Where Doctor Livingstone and Hudson
travel on more time in Time, to save their saviours just in time!
It was minutes before dawn when Mark and Kate arrived in Toledo of 1792. We can't expect any electricity or lamps in the streets in 18th century. It was dark! The Timechanger landed in an old deserted warehouse that was completely dark too! The only thing that they could see was the blue reflection of a message on the control panel... ERROR!
- Kate: Can you please explain to me how did this happen? It's not possible! Where are we?
- Mark: Give me a minute to think please and stop yelling in my ears! It's obvious the Timechanger changed its mind and took us at the wrong place at the wrong time. We supposed to be at Vesuvius volcano, at 79 A. C. The indication is 1792.
- Kate: And we are not located in Italy I suppose, yes?
- Mark: Noop... we are in Spain dear! Toledo! Ole!!!
- Kate: That's your fault! You crazy engineer! How did they ever trust you for a mission like this? Now we are not just, not going to save Doctor Livingstone, but we also condemned ourselves in a time trap! How we are going to live this place? And don't tell me that we are going to repair the Timechanger...
Poor Mark, he could not stand Kate's arguing. She was always doing that... From the very first moment they started working together in the Timechanger Project. For Mark was a great honour to participate this project with so many remarkable scientists. But Kate... she was another chapter... She is a good engineer but she has quite a temper! And it was not his fault that the Timechanger did not functioned the way it had to do. It was probably an eternal error in the code. He was wishing to have meet that Hudson boy, he, he was a great programmer! In a way, he putted the bases for his cousin Józek, to create that super operation system which changed computers forever! Yes, Hudson was the only one to reprogram the Timechanger. And Hudson was lots of centuries away...
Kate keeps looking at Mark, really angry.
- Kate: Let's get out. I can't wait here, waiting for my destiny!
Mark never had the chance to stop her... Kate opened the machine's door and stepped in the deserted warehouse. Now there was a pail light coming from the windows and a distant noise was coming from the street outside...
- Mark: Kate I think that we should wait here. The Poland team know where we are. We send them our position the moment the Timechanger left. They will send someone to help us!
- Kate: Oh, ya? How much time do you think they will need to build a new machine? This one took us 3 years!
- Mark: Maybe less this time that you are not there to torture the team with you arguing!
That was the last thing Kate was going to listen from this idiot!
- Kate: Out of my way Mark Noland. I am going out!
Mark could not stop her. Not even remind her that they shouldn't go out dressed with their special time travelling costumes that could catch the eye of the people passing by... He runs to be close to her in order to avoid the worst things coming! They were a lot of people in the street, now. They were carrying baskets and used horses and they were all in a hurry. They were heading to the square at the end of the dirty street. Obvious something was happening there. Something so important that the whole city of Toledo had gathered here, to watch. Mark and Kate walked to the square covering themselves behind a big carriage with 4 horses.
The carriage stopped and Mark and Kate stopped as well. They hide themselves behind a big barrel. The crowd in the square made a terrible noise. They were talking and yelling and they all looked angry. It was not the best moment to be in Toledo. Something really bad was going to happen. And Mark and Kate were about to realise what that would be. Kids were running and behind them appeared an even bigger carriage and on it, a strange building, like a... machine and a carrot - coloured hair man, dressed in a uniform just like their uniforms, was tied on it...
Mark recognized Doctor Livingstone.
He looked over his solder to see Kate. But Kate was not there. He stood up to see well. Where was she? The crowd was shouting "Al fuego! Al fuego!". And even though Mark did not speak Spanish, it was clear to him that the man on the carriage and his machine, were heading to the big fire that the crowd had already started in the middle of Toledo square. But where was Kate? Suddenly one from the crowd yelled: "Mire, mire! Un otro incrédulo!". And the next minute something hit Mark on his head and he felt unconscious.
5 meters behind the barrel, between the horses of the stopped carriage, Kate was holding her breath...
- Kate: Don't they ever bath these poor animals? They stink! Ou... They dirt where ever they stand! Mpliahhhh... Mark? Mark? Where are you? Idiot! Where did he go? This man is unable to concentrate! He probably mixed with the crowd. He is an idiot! How couldn't he have noticed that we are about to see an inquisition fire? A poor human being is going to become barbeque...
Dr. Liv was looking out of the window. The others were preparing some supplies for the new time travel. He was very sad. Nicole approached him.
- - Dr. Liv... Are you ok?
- - No Nicole. I suppose I am not.
- - But everything will be fine! You will go back to 1792, save Mark and Kate and then you will go back to 2007! Yes?
- - I wish this could be that easy Nicole. The plan was only to visit past and return. Now things have changed. Forever. The past changed. You saw the painting. We all saw it changing! And the future changed. I don't know if we are able to go back to 2007 without consequences. And let us say that we go back in 1792. And that we find the rescue team and brink them back. Why a painting made in 1475, is changing? The prototype of Timechanger appears on it. Who leaded it there? Where is the rescue team? Are they in 1792 or in 1475? Nicole we have a huge problem. And there is one more thing. The radioactive material, which supplies the time machine, holds for 3 or 4 travels. We have already made 2. I am not sure if we'll be able to get back...
Dr. Liv was right. It was not that easy... They had to make some very important decisions before this trip...
The scientists gathered in the test room. The time machine was ready. The chips were in the right place and completely tested. Hudson and Dr. Liv were wearing the new special uniforms, created for time travellers. These suits were protecting them during the time whirlpool. Józek was making the last adjustments. Sparkless was in a small cage, designed for him. This hamster put them in a lot of trouble lately and they had to be more careful with him from now on! Of course, Sparkless hated the cage but he found comfort in a big peace of donut. The supplies found their position in the machine's chamber. They were ready.
After an hour the team decided that they should go to the 1792. That was the only clue that they had for sure. Nobody knew what might have happed in 1475. It was not safe to go there. Yes. The year should be 1792. Dr. Liv entered the data. Nicole looked at them through the glass of the test room. She wondered if this was the last time to look at her love...
The time machine landed in the fields. A golden sea of grains in the centre of Spain. The indication was 1792. For the first time the machine took them to the right place in the right time! Under other conditions, Dr. Liv and Hudson would celebrate this success but now they had a mission. Find Mark and Kate and take them back in 2012. Then, they could celebrate...
They stepped out and had a careful look. There was no sign of Timechanger. At least not a visual one. The scientists' team had added a new element in the machine. A tracking device, which could trace the signal of Timechanger in a range of 100km! All they had to do was to activate the system and in a few seconds they would be able to say where exactly Mark and Kate were...
Dr. Liv entered the chamber to activate the devise.
- - Ah! Boss! Nature is calling... I'll be back in no time!
- - Go ahead Hudson. In a few seconds we'll know where the others are.
Hudson walked for about 50 m and covered himself behind a stack of grains. He shouldn't have drink all that beer with his cousin... When he saw the peasants with the sickles, it was too late to call Dr. Liv. The peasants looked at the machine. That evil thing had suddenly appeared in their fields. They started stroking the walls of the machine with their sickles. Dr. Liv came out to see what was happening and he faced the angry men looking at him. For a couple of minutes, people stared him frightened. What was that? Was it an angel or a devil? The tracking system found the trace of Timechanger. The alert started accompanied by a red light. Men looked at the machine and Dr. Liv and then looked at each other. Well, an angel does not do "iuiuiui..." or spread red lights. This is devil's work!!!!
Behind the stack, Hudson was petrified. This was worst even from the Roman Arena. Worst than the football game he played a few days ago. Much worst than the run he had to do to avoid that crazy Greek coach who wanted to take him to Ukraine. No. This was the worst thing ever. The peasants had captivated Dr. Liv and the time machine and they were taking them to town...
Hudson took every precaution while following the angry people to the city. No doubt that was Toledo, according to the data of Timechanger they had in the Control Centre in Poland. They were in the right place but they were in trouble though. Not only they had not find Mark and Kate yet, but also Dr. Liv was captured by a bunch of savages who probably thought that he is wizard or something!
Hudson hides himself behind the door of an old deserted warehouse, which opened suddenly and slated him to his face. He didn't have the chance to see the two persons with the white costumes, coming out of the warehouse because he was covering his nose with his hands, to calm the awful pain... In the next minutes, the carriage with Dr. Liv and the Time Machine passed in front of the warehouse and headed to the square. What is this? Is it fire? IS IT FIRE? Big trouble...
Kate was still between the dirty horses, trying to locate Mark. But she could not, not pay attention to the carriage of those horses. It seemed very luxurious and definitely there was a very important or rich person inside it. Who might that person be? A cruel inquisitor maybe? The Mayer of Toledo? A fair lady who came to see the burning of her lover, covered in the carriage? She was so absorbed by her thoughts that she didn't saw the soldiers taking poor Mark away, after hitting his head with a glob. Meanwhile, the horses had become restless having her among them. They started neighing and kicking and started moving. Kate was scared and lost balance and felt on the horses' dung. That was the most humiliating moment in her career. She stood up and went back to the barrel. Her white costume was not white any more. She was full of mud, dirt and dung...
Hudson moved closer and stood behind a big barrel. His nose was still in pain, but he was still able to smell. And that man in tight clothes in front of him, he smelted awful!!!! Like he had been among pigs or horses' dung! Hudson could not stand the smelt and he moved a bit and then he saw a cloak right next to the barrel. He took it and covered himself. He was safer now. None would pay attention to a peasant with a perished cloak. But how was he going to help Dr. Liv? He could use his watch and the Arsenal anthem but now he was not facing a lion but a crowd that would catch him too and send him to the big fire in the middle of the square...
Dr. Liv was really scared. That was definitely the end. These crazy people would burn him and destroy the masterpiece of this life, his Time Machine. At least, Hudson was free. He could survive. Even find the rescue team of Mark and Kate and fix the Timechanger and go back home... But for him, that was the end. Imaging his surprise when he saw the soldiers bringing a new victim. A man that he was dressed with a similar white costume. Could it be true? This man had to be Mark!
The soldiers left Mark down, next to Liv. Then, they tight them back to back in front of the door of the Time Machine. They were afraid to go inside it and see the interiors. The interiors were a big hero was taking a nap. Sparkless after eating the giant donut, slept like a baby. But now he opened his eyes. And he didn't liked what he saw, at all. His master was tightened, people were yelling... They were in danger! The hamster managed to jump out of his cage and hided in the darkest corner of the Time Machine.
And suddenly, a miracle happened. The door of the luxurious carriage opened. A man in black clothes, the cruel inquisitor probably, came out and called one of the soldiers. He told him something and the soldier run to obey his orders. The inquisitor looked around with a look of contempt. Dirty peasants... One with a million years cloak and one full of dirt and dung... His guest should not see such a sight... He was very ill. That would make him even sicker. In the next minutes, the soldiers putted out the fire, send crowds away and moved the prisoners and the evil machine, to the Toledo's prison. Hudson and Kate were still close to the barrel but none of them spoke Spanish to understand what had happened. This coincidence was one in a million...
The luxurious carriage really had a very important and famous person inside. And that person that all Spanish people admired, was a painter. Francisco Goya. In the years to come, Goya hunted by the inquisition but in 1792, his relations with the high priests were good. Unfortunately, that year Goya got very ill. The result of this illness was to loose his hearing. After that, his art changed. Maybe that was the reason the inquisition turned against him.
At the moment, Goya's travel was the salvation of Dr. Liv and Mark. His presence in Toledo made the inquisitor to change his mind and postponed the burning for the next day. He didn't want his guest to see that. So the soldiers moved our friends to prison, locked them and left them in the dark of an empty basement, next to the works of evil (the Time machine). Mark opened his eyes. He could not realise what had happened. When he heard a voice speaking English, almost jumped, although his was tightened.
- - Hi Mark! How are you?
- - Excuse me?
- - Calm down Mark. I am Dr. Livingston. I think we escaped the fire, at least for today. How is your head?
- - It pains a bit... But what happened?
- - In a few words? My assistant and I, travelled from Vesuvius to 2012, minutes before you left to find and rescue us. And now we are here to save you. Or at least we tried to...
- - Now I remember, I saw you on the carriage, heading to the fire. What happened?
- - They were ready to burn us when a man in black ordered to stop and move us here. Where, as you may see, it's a dark and cold prison. The only thing that comforts me, is that they left my machine close to me.
They stopped talking. That was a difficult moment. A moment where two men were looking at their destiny. A moment where a strange sound echoed in the basement.
- - Is that your tummy? Are you hungry Doctor?
- - No, it's not my tummy... This sounds like a squirreling! This is Sparkless! Our hamster! Ah! Sparkless, over here boy, come! Come!
The hamster runs to his boss. Good move. But now, who speaks the hamster language, to tell him to cut the rope which tights the two men?
Hudson mixed with the crowds. He wanted to see where the soldiers were taking Dr. Liv and Mark. Kate was still looking for Mark, never noticed what had happened. She was looking at Hudson's direction, when Hudson saw the strings of his shoes untighted. He bended down to tight them up... Then he followed the crowd to the prison. He had to wait for the night to fall. He could not act while it was daylight. He finally decided to go back to the square and find a shelter until the right time. That old warehouse seemed to be a good place to hide him self...
Kate was disappointed. She could not find Mark. She decided to go back to the warehouse. Maybe Mark had already there, trying to fix the Timechanger...
Hudson and Kate approached the warehouse from the opposite directions. Stepping slowly headed to the door, looking over their solders. Another step and they hit each other...
- - AAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- - AAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Eventually, Sparkless proved to be a very intelligent hamster. He was not able to understand the instructions of Dr. Liv about cutting the rope, but he sensed that was the right thing to do. Before the dark felt, the two prisoners were free of their bounds but still locked in the prison. They had the Time Machine... but they did not have Hudson and Kate...
Back in the warehouse, the other heroes of our story, were trying to catch their breath. They could not believe in their own eyes! When Kate stopped screaming and Hudson recovered from the shock, he explained to her the reason of their presence in that place. Then Kate explained him the problem with the code of Timechanger. They had enough time before dark... Hudson was en excellent programmer. He would fix the problem in half an hour!
- - Kate, please, keep this light close to the console. Thank you. Do you think that something smelts badly round here?
Now the Timechanger is ready. The only thing they have to do, is to go to the prison and set Dr. Liv and Mark free. The dark covers Hudson and Kate. Now they are just outside the prison. None seems to be there. It's a fact. Goya saved them for second time that day. Knowing that Goya was very ill, all people of Toledo, including the guards, went to an evening ceremony to Toledo's cathedral, to pray for his health. Hudson and Kate walk very carefully in the corridors of the prison. They look left and right. The prisoners are sleeping. No sight of Dr. Liv, or Mark, or the Time Machine.
Doctor Liv and Mark were in their cell when suddenly they smell something strange, something like horses dung...someone was approaching... They are standing still. Two shadows appear in the corridor.
Hudson and Kate looked inside the last cell.
- - Boss at last I found you!
- - Hudson my boy at last, you came to save us.
- - Boss we must open the cell and set you free! The Timechanger is fixed. Mark and Kate will use it to go back to 2012 and we'll leave with our machine for 2007!
- - I don't want to disappoint you Hudson, but the keys are in a soldier's pocket and we have not see any of the soldiers round here for the last 3 hours.
- - Yes Doctor Livingstone, we know! For a strange reason, all people have gathered to the cathedral this evening. That's why we manage to come here without trouble! But there must be a way to open this door!
- - I know! Kate do you have tweezers on your hair?
- - Tweezers? I am afraid, no.
- - Wait Hudson! I have a wire in my pocket.
The pockets of Dr. Liv were really like a box of miracles! Hudson took the wire and managed to unlock the cell.
- - Mark take Kate and go to the warehouse, Timechanger is ready! Leave as soon as you can. Good luck...
Mark shakes Hudson's hand. They could be friends some moment in the future.
- - Come on Kate, let's go. Doctor, I was very happy to meet you. And Hudson, I really admire you. Thanks for everything! We supposed to save you and finally you saved us! I hope I'll see you in the future! And by the way, Kate don't you think something smells awful?
Mark and Kate run away and Dr. Liv and Hudson enter the time machine were a very happy hamster is waiting for them. Hudson sets the data: 13/7/07.
- - Boss, we are going back!
- - Yes Hudson, I know, I know! Remind me when we arrive to give some flowers to Miss Spenser!
- - Ok boss!!! By the way, what do you think about Kate? She is very beautiful, yes? And very smart! She is only 2 years older than me and she has already finished her Thesis and before they called her in the Timechanger team, she was working for NASA!
- - Hudson! Push the button please!
- - Yes boss! Ready? Go!
Hudson hits the button and the journey to future just started.
Mark and Kate were almost out of the warehouse, when two soldiers with torches in their hands, saw them and they run after them. Breathless, they enter the warehouse and run to the Timechanger. They had only a few seconds to escape.
- - Hurry up Kate, hurry up!!!!!!
- - I'm ready! Enter the data!!!
- - We have no time! Just push the button!
- - We can't do that, we have to set the date and the year first!
- - Push It! The soldiers are here!
- - No!
- - Ok I'll push it!
- - Noooooooo!
- - Oups I did it again!
Pedro Berruguete was at his atelier working his masterpiece "Saint Dominic presiding over an Auto-da-fe". He used about twenty people as models for his painting and he was waiting for the appropriate light to fall on "Saint Dominic's" face to start paint. When suddenly a big noise was sounded and a strange vehicle appeared in the middle of the atelier... The models petrified. Even Pedro dropped his brushes. And when the door of this strange vehicle opened and two human beings appeared, the models, leaded by "Saint Dominic" himself, run away as fast as they could! Pedro is astonished! This unbelievable thing has to be paint!
- - For Heaven's sake, Mark! Where have you taken us?
- - Sorry Kate, I'll fix it! I don't know where we are, but I know where we are going to be! 2012! Ready? Now!
Back in 2012, the scientists' team, including Nicole and Józek, are waiting. It's just a second after the Timechanger start it's journey. Strange thing, yes? But future is already past and past is just a possible future! For the Poland team, nothing has happen yet! Józek has not see his cousin and Nicole has not see Dr. Liv. It's the day before their arrival in Poland of 2012, when the rescue team of Mark and Kate left for Vesuvius... When the two of them arrive, seems that only a second passed! But in this second, past changed! In a dark corner of an Art gallery, a painting of Pedro Berruguete, changed for ever...
Hudson and Dr. Liv were approaching the twentieth century. They were only a few years away from home. And then a red light appeared on the control panel.
LOSS OF NUCLEAR POWER!
And that was it... The machine stopped. The plutonium that powered the Time Machine was over... And the last indication was: July 16, 1945, New Mexico
To be continued...