BACK AND FORTH
Author: Elizabeth Windsor-Soup

Chapter 9
SEARCHING FOR THE TOOLS

                                               Chapter Nine   

                                      SEARCHING FOR THE TOOLS

       I arrived back in the laboratory to a greeting by an ecstatic Maria. I felt more than a little concerned that I had made promises that I felt, in hindsight, I might not be able to keep, and it worried me. I sat with Maria and explained what is going through my mind.


     "You must understand, Maria, that I might have been the cause of King Harold's defeat at Hastings. You see, if I do not return and do the things that I have promised Harold. After Harold's victory at Stamford Bridge, he might not have stayed in London as long as he did, waiting for me to arrive, thus giving Duke William the means of consolidating his beachhead," I said, wearily.


     "What have you promised him, Antony?"


     "I promised him the means to gain a decisive victory over Duke William."


     "How, precisely, do you intend to do that?" asked Maria, eagerly.


     "That is simple, my dear. By going back to June 15h 1982, the day after Mario Benjamin Menendez surrendered the Argentine forces on the Falkland isles to Major General J.J. Moore. The British ordered all the Argentinian weapons given up and placed in huge piles, so that the British troops could gather them up and dispose of them. Even now, there are thousands of mines still buried in the ground, and the British army, are, even to this day, trying to dispose of them."


 

"If I understand you correctly, Antony. You are going to collect these weapons and redistribute them to Harold," she said, with a grin. "There remains just one problem," she continued, "How are you to collect them? You are going to need a great deal of help. Where is this assistance to come from?" She folded her arms. And then I knew I had some explaining to do. This task is not going to be easy.


 

My brain went into top gear, searching for a way to overcome the problem.


 

"I have an idea, Maria. I am a member of the British Anglo Saxon Historical and Re-enactment Society. I know of at least three members of our society who are ex-servicemen who were in the Falklands conflict. I shall approach them, and ask if they would give me their assistance in recovering some of these weapons," I said with a confident air. "I need your viewpoint on this matter, Maria. What do you think?"


 

"You are going to have a tough time convincing them to return with you, and, that you have a time machine, too. Come on, Antony; get a grip on reality. No-one in their right mind is going to believe you."


 

Of course, I knew that Maria is right, but, I mused, if I invited them to dinner, then I at least could show them my laboratory, and then try to convince my comrades to come for a ride. I wondered if at least they might humour me, and, if I broached the subject very carefully, I might just gain their confidence.

                                             ************


 

Sunday afternoon is warm, with light breeze. The smell of newly mown grass and a gentle hint of thyme flavoured the air. A swallow swooped low scooping up the soup of insects, narrowly missing my head. This beautiful day is perfect. I had beside me, my wife, Maria. I had everything a man could wish. I turned to gaze at Maria. Her beautiful features, enhanced by the dappled shade of an ancient oak gave her skin the sheen of a teenager. We held hands as we strolled further into the meadow, across a shallow stream, and into the garden of Paul Jones.  


 

Paul is a retired, ex-paratroop regiment officer, proud of his Special Forces involvement, and is a weapons expert, too. He had retired shortly after the Falklands conflict to write of his burning interest, the study of Anglo-Saxon Battles.


 

     "I noticed you from across the field," yelled Paul, from an upstairs window. "Come right in, the kettle is on. I'll be down in a moment or two," he called, grinning.

 

     Maria loved Paul's naughtiness with her. She thought him cheeky and flirted dangerously with him, not that that bothered Alison, his wife of twenty-five years or so. It's just fun, and everyone understood each other and are comfortable.

 

     I sat on a dining-room chair. I watched my beloved Maria make the tea, stirring the pot. She reached for the tea strainer, mugs and spoons, so deftly, as though she was born an Englishwoman. As Maria walked passed to the refrigerator to get the milk, I stole a ginger biscuit from the plate. A hand slapped mine and a disapproving glare put me firmly in my place.

    

     "And how is my beloved Maria, this fine day," asked Paul, as he strolled through the doorway.

 

     "If you wash your hands, I might just give you a hug," she replied, batting her eyelids, in a mock, menacing sexual manner.

 

     "Alison is taking a shower. She will be down in a few minutes," he replied, taking Maria in his arms and giving her a bear hug.

 

     "You dirty little shit. You've been playing doctors and nurses again." She said, grinning. "Can I go up and see Alison?" she asked. "Antony wished to speak with you on a matter of some delicacy, and I think you ought to hear him out."  

 

     "Oh, is he going to offer me a threesome, wife swapping, perhaps?"

 

     "I'll wife swap you around your ears if you don't pack that in. Besides, my husband is the only man I will allow near me. However, if you were to offer me a good enough bribe, I just might consider."

 

     "Maria! Stop it. I'm here to chat with my buddy. Bugger off and visit with Alison"

 

     Paul waved his hand toward the door, and Maria made her exit, while Paul pulled up a seat opposite me.

 

     "I've not seen you in a few weeks, nor have I had a call from you, Antony. I'm going to drop over to demand an answer as to why Alison and I have not had an invitation to your mega house-warming party. I trust that you're going to organise something, I hope."

 

     "Yes, of course, but I have more pressing things to ask of you."  

 

     "What do you mean, pressing? Is everything okay with you, old man?"

 

     "What I am about to ask, and what I am about to tell you must never leave these walls. First, I need to know what happened to the weapons surrendered by the Argentine forces after the Falklands conflict?" I asked, wondering if he would be in breach, of the Official Secrets Act, to tell me, or if it were general knowledge. "If I had a time machine, and I wanted to take a bunch of silenced Sterling sub-machine guns to give to King Harold, what would you say to that?" I blurted.

 

     I could see from the expression on Paul's face that he loved the idea of sending Duke William of Normandy back to his shit-house of a castle in Normandy.

 

      "Hey, that would be a bostin idea, Antony. You just imagine Harold's housecarls laying down a bunch of fire on those thieving Norman bastards. You could lob a few grenades at those Norman arseholes, too," he retorted, sipping from a mug of tea.

 

      The delighted look upon Paul's face said all I needed to know about how he felt about the Normans of the past.  

 

     "That, Paul, is just what we are going to do," I said, slapping my hand hard down upon the table and ratting the tea mugs.

 

     Paul nearly choked on his ginger biscuit, the spray of ginger crumbs emanating from Paul's oesophagus sprayed with pinpoint precision upon my tea-shirt.  

 

     "I need those weapons, Paul. I have a time machine, and I have brought Earl Harold back to visit with Maria. You can think me mad, but I will show you proof. What is more, my good friend, I have made a promise to Harold that I will give him the means to win at Hastings."

 

     "Fuck off!"  

 

     "It's true, Paul. I have met Harold, and he is very nice, too," said Maria, standing with Alison in the doorway. "Antony would like to show you what we discovered."

 

     Paul's mouth dropped wide open, and he turned to Maria.

 

    "You know that this is a joke," said Paul  

  

     "While you were chatting away down here, Paul. Maria told me everything that has happened these last few weeks," said Alison, as she strolled over to place her hands upon Paul's shoulder. "I am sure," she continued. "That Maria and Antony would not tell such an absurd story, and expect that we would believe them, at least without basis or good cause."

 

     "You have a time machine, Antony? Despite what I have just heard, that still sounds a preposterous concept," replied Paul, checking the date on the calendar.

 

     "I can assure you, Paul. I do indeed have such a device. What is more, I wish you to see the time contraption for yourself. Are you willing to humour me?" I asked, earnestly.

 

     Paul turned to Alison, held her arm, with an eager look upon his face.

 

     "Oh, alright. As long as Alison is in on this, then I don't mind humouring you."

 

     "Come over for dinner at seven, and we will be delighted to demonstrate out new toy to you, Paul. You are invited, too, Alison," I replied, light heartedly.

                                            ************

 

     "Dinner will be ready in half an hour, honey. On my security monitor, I see Paul and Alison pulling up the driveway," said Maria, with an excited tone.

 

      I opened the front door and greeted my guests. I ushering them into the living room, to sit and partake in a vodka and tonic, in Paul's case, he had a light beer. Alison made her way to the kitchen to speak with Maria, leaving Paul and myself to discus my lunacy.

 

     "After we've eaten, I would like to show you the laboratory, the time machine, and then give you a personal demonstration of the device."

 

     I spent twenty minutes or so explaining how the discovery of the cellar and of the ridiculed ideas of the amazing brain of great Doctor Sprig. This evening Paul is to meet another guest, Doctor Bill Norris, who, as it happens, arrived seconds before Maria called everyone to the dining room.

 

     The evening went very well, with Bill and Paul chatting away as though they had known each other since boyhood. The girls, on the other hand, amused themselves with other, more feminine chatter, whispering now and then, interposed with the occasional symmetrical ejaculation of girlish giggling that permeated the dining room, with us men-folk momentarily ceasing our deliberations to gaze at the ladies. I guess that us boys might all have wondered what hilarious verbosity could possibly have initiated such eruptions of giggling and cackling, during their outbursts.

 

     The meal now, at last, over, and we all helped to clear the table, the quicker for us all to retire, en-block, to the cellar-laboratory.

 

     Below stairs, I saw the look of utter amazement on the faces of both Paul and Alison. Paul gazed over at the various pieces of electronic equipment and gasped.

 

     "So this is the time machine?" asked Paul. "And it really works?"

 

      Bill strolled over to the computer and initiated the sequence of switches to set the APT generator humming into life.

 

     Maria stepped into the ATP tube and waited for Bill to commence energizing her genetic profile and deliver to her her personal force field. A moment later, she stepped out of the ATP tube and stood before Paul.

 

     "You notice the purple glow that surrounds her. It shows that the force field is functioning. You can try to touch her if you like. There is a slight tingle to the fingers. You will notice the hammer on the bench. If you will, Paul, pick up the hammer and strike her with it. Be assured, there's no danger of hurting her," I said confidently.

 

     Both Paul and Alison reached out to feel Maria's arm. Alison, as she felt the tingle in her fingers, she pulled away, startled. Paul, on the other hand, tried gripping Maria's arm a grinned.

 

     "It is like trying to grasp cold iron, Antony. The tingle is something else, too, not hurtful, more like placing a nine-volt battery on the tongue. Are you sure you wish me to hit you with the hammer, Maria?" he asked, picking the hammer from the bench.

 

     Paul gave a light blow and the hammer glanced off the force field. Once more, he repeated the act, and this time with some force, and again the tool slid to one side.

 

      "That is absolutely amazing," exclaimed Paul "You cannot be hurt in any way!"

 

     Bill stepped forward, offering to analyse Paul's genetic make-up, which he eagerly accepted so to do. Anyone who might have been sceptical, is now fully convinced that we at least have a means of personal protection. The time machine, though, needed some demonstration, and shown to function as Bill had described to Paul. I strolled over to the time machine, with Paul and Bill following, then I listened as Bill explained the inner workings of this vehicles systems to Paul's ever-eager ears.

                                              ************

 

     At this point, I must explain to the reader, that for the sake of space in these pages, that I had, previously (by telephone) explained to Bill the situation, and that I had been to visit with Earl Harold in 1066, telling him of the events that took place. It will come as no surprise to learn that Bill's awareness, understanding, enthusiasm, and historical interest, led him to participate in the venture with which I'm eager to see through to it's ultimate conclusion.

                                               ************

 

     "Antony's wish to go back to the Falklands isles worries me, Paul. There would seem to be some 'over-kill' involved," said Bill, as he searched the faces around him.

 

     "I see it like this, Bill," said Paul, pausing to take a long, thinking breath. "Those bastards, in the face of a previous invasion by Harald Sigurdsson, not only took ungentlemanly advantage the fact that King Harold is engaged in the north, but ravaged the south of England. They were raping, pillaging and wantonly killing. Then, after the defeat of Harold, William enslaved the free Saxon people under a yoke of oppression that took eight hundred years to correct. No, Bill. The Normans will be ousted, and England will never have to suffer, as they did in North and west of this country, who where so devastated, the starving took people to eating the dead. That is my input and I will not change my view for anybody." Paul retorted, his tone is almost aggressive, but from the heart of a man who had experienced fierce hand-to-hand combat at Mount Tumbledown on the Falkland isles, whilst ousting another dastardly invader of British territory.

 

     "I understand your point, Paul, and a very persuasive argument, too. I shall concede, and cast my vote to arm King Harold. There is one proviso that I will ask of you both. That I shall, at all times, accompany both of you to visit with King Harold. That also, I shall bring with me two other scientists and that we should educate the Saxons to a state where they are able to defend this island for ever."

 

     I knew that all in the laboratory understood my personal view, so the need for a vote is out-weight by agreement to proceed to the next stage of the plan, and that is, to obtain the weapons we required to give to King Harold's housecarls.

 

     I needed to know if extending the length, and, or breadth of the time machine would be a problem, so that we might bring back from the Falklands those instruments we were to transport to Hastings. I am pleased to hear that Bill had said that anything electrically coupled to the vehicle, as we referred to the time machine, became part and parcel of the vehicle's structure, and that the force field would encompass anything that too is electrically coupled to the machine.  

 

     The decision is taken, unanimously, to move the time machine to my workshop, purposely built onto the garage so that I might have a project building capability, and the extra-high voltage electrical cabling should be routed there, to accommodate our requirements, both there and in the laboratory. I felt that we, as a group, should take a breather, to inwardly digest what we were about to embark upon, to put forward ideas and come, ultimately to a plan of action that would not disrupt too much the space time continuum. It all sounded like Back To The Future stuff, and that is not what it is. This was a serious business.



 

 

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