time bandits [pt. 3]
Introducing, the tireless talent of this time, Michael.



"There's a Spike in the Matter Stream Robert," Tabitha pointed out, with some urgency. "And I don't know where/when it's coming from!"

Robert looked at her, dazed, because on the Quantum Level there was always an immediate answer. "Just confirm it on the monitor Tabby. It's right ---"

No, it wasn't.

Oddly enough, the spike seemed to come from Nowhere. They both examined all the monitors, the EKGs, questioned the AI ... nothing.

Finally, it hit him as the Displacement Field auto-activated; and an old man exited wheelchair bound.

"You're from an alternate reality?"

"Of course," the man said.

Robert stroked his chin. "But why? I don't understand why you would be here."

The older man smiled, raising his eyebrows. "Interesting that you queried why, and not how? Perhaps you already know?"

Robert and Tabitha glanced at one another and smiled. "Well Quantum Theory states that whatever could happen would happen, and indeed has --"

"YES YES I KNOW THIS!" The older man said. "I just, assuming by your reaction or lack thereof, you were Expecting me," he frowned. "I guess not."


"Well, sit down," the old man commanded. "This could take a while."

As he explained his presence, Tabitha kept glancing over at the Quantum monitors. That same Spike was Still there, in spite of the fact this old man was right here, in their time and reality. To her, it didn't make any sense at all.

"Why would this abnormality Still be present if the cause is here," she thought to herself.

As Robert continued talking to the man, it suddenly hit her.

"Hey," she called to him. "Heads Up!" And she tossed a booklet at him.

It passed right through him, cleanly.

He wasn't there. It was a Hologram.

He smiled, "but of course I'm not here. You know the Laws of Quantum Theory. Had I just 'barged' in here as you had, I'd be in the same predicament as you are!" He chuckled. I'm still in my reality. No matter exchange ... well, measurable anyway."

Tabitha got up from her seat and brought up a new display, another Spike in the field. "Hey you two, we have another Spike. And this one's a big one!" Her eyes became as wide as her opened mouth. "We have a group coming through the DF, and we cannot stop it."

Robert and the older man turned to face the Quantum Machine, the Time Shield immediately went up as Three barely recognized humans emerged with strange weapons none had seen. Caught behind the Field, the lead Stranger barked an order to the Three. "Release the Field! There's been a Temporal Violation currently active."

Robert and Tabitha looked over at the old man.

"Of course you had to know!" The old man smiled as he disappeared.

Robert and Tabitha again looked to each other, and to the Monitors. There were Spikes everywhere now!

The Stranger continued. "Release the Shield NOW!" Looking more urgent than before. "The incursion has already collapsed Space/Time Continuum!"

They considered, but it was too late! The Strangers disappeared. Then three more appeared, and another three, and another.

Finally it stopped. And so did the Spikes.

They both realized what had happened.

Tabitha was First to speak up. "You realize that we can now never drop that Shield, and, we cannot exit into the world?"

Robert again rubbed his chin, and now brow. "Yes I know. We're marooned on Time!"

*** The old man's point of view.***

It was a flick of a cigarette since I could recall being in my old garage. The hueful haze consumed my tangible body and transformed me into an electronic ghost as I squeezed into the screen.
And all of a sudden, a good-looking man in his 40s and a wierd lady wearing symmetrical latix came to welcome me to an advanced world—an alternate reality—that's how they call it.
Their first few questions seemed like a distant traveler walking through my skull, sinking into my own comprehension. Though I, too, am gathering all the missing pieces of evidence to study the Wierd case, I could finally tell myself that this is part of my new reality.
"I guess it's true!" was the only thing I could say now.
The woman turned her head to the monitor while the man continued to shovel up my mind like a police interrogation.
They had an emergency, as the quantum monitoring board shows a new distinct energy activated not two kilometers apart.
I was a sleeping rock on my wheelchair, investigating the bizarre place I've never been in.
There are glassy jars in different sizes filled with neon liquid, laboratory gowns, battle suits, and piles of wire, and the lights are everywhere, giving me a heaven-like aura in the daylight. 
I got much more freedom than I used to have after the woman proved my intangibility. I believe it's another bag of power to possess, but these two can't approve of it.
They celebrate my own stupidity through their unsettled faces. They look at each other, voicelessly arguing.
"It's not what you're thinking it is!" said their eyes as they crossed each other's minds.
I don't know how I should feel; neither my presence nor theirs is blurry. Perhaps it's still part of my fiction.
And then the three strange humanoid robots came to appear just before the three of us. Their alien suits were ironed by advanced machines and weapons that were certainly indestructible—a liquid propellant firearm and a Glock 17 (C-MAG).
These two stupid scientists learned to exclaim in disappointment, not as I expected, while I'm covered by thin layers of protection and a fearful coat.
"I am Android 1-1-7! From the world of Bomberlight!" said the chief, which sounds like a broken telephone.
Our eyes pop out like a surprised cartoon character. The two soldiers behind them could destroy the entire headquarters with a single blow.
"We are summoned to arrest the entity that crossed the in-between world!"
"The in-between world? Oh, come on, tell me this is not a joke!" I exclaimed.
"Uh-oh, it's not!" said the lady as her eyebrows bladed down my consciousness.
"The in-between world could be the most powerful area in the entire universe. For example, one entity who is trapped or purposely lives in this world can possibly travel through the past and the future," the man explained.
The moment I heard this, I felt a candy-scented hope in the air. My demonic mindset grins at the hope of the possibilities of my past regrets. A lot of things play over my head.
"Of course, he forgot to mention the consequences." My mind speaks.
"We are running out of time! Show us the entity... now!"

To be continued.

© ubik