The Train: Episode 4

It was still early as Michael, Nicole, Dr. Ricer and Lucy sat at a table by the window in a nearby diner. While Lucy worked on a chocolate shake, Michael sipped a cup of coffee.

“So we’re in the past?” Dr. Ricer asked.

“I’ve gone over it again and again, and unless we’re victim of some bad acid trip, that is the only real explanation,” Michael said.

“What if this is some sort of virtual reality thing like they do in the movies?” Lucy asked. “You know. Like we’re all strapped in this chair, and we just think this is happening?”

“I doubt that is the case,” Nicole said.

“Even if it is, the only way we could get out would be, perhaps, to follow the simulation through to its end and see what happens then,” Michael pointed out.

“We’re in the past?” Dr. Ricer repeated, still stunned

“I think we need to start by dealing with that cop,” Michael said quietly.

“Why’s that?” Nicole asked.

“Because if he puts it together that we were there, don’t ask me how, he might come after us,” Michael explained.

“Then I’ll deal with him,” Nicole said.

“How?” Michael asked.

“In my own special way,” Nicole said.

“I don’t think so,” Michael said. “At least not in the conventional way. This guy has to either turn himself in or be dealt with by someone else in this era. What I mean is either we manipulate this guy into confessing, or we get him to anger someone so much that they take care of him.”

“Why go through all that trouble?” Nicole asked.

“Look. If we truly are in the past and we’ve been placed here to make a difference, then our influence must be as minimal as possible,” Michael advised.

“So what do we do?” Lucy asked.

“If we’re going to pull this off, we’ll need a base of operations, a place to work from. We’ll also need some seed money,” Michael said.

“Seed money?” Lucy asked.

“Yes. It means money used to fund an operation like this. I’ll start with learning more about our target while you guys change clothes and find us a place to hold up,” Michael instructed.

“Wait a minute. Why you? I’ve had more practice. If you recall, the conductor—”

“Mr. Bentley,” Lucy interrupted.

“Right. Mr. Bentley said that I am the tactician and strategist as well as the expert in psychological warfare,” Nicole completed.

“I’m not disagreeing with you, and the time will come when I. . . ,” Michael caught himself. “Sorry. The time will come when we’re going to need to combine our talents in order to stop this guy. But right now, we’ve got to blend in and learn more about the subject. Once I figure out what we’re dealing with, we can form a decent plan,” Michael said.

“Why should you be the one to gather information?” Nicole asked continuing her protest.

“Because I’m a male of average height and weight with a common hair color. Easy to blend in. You, on the other hand, are a beautiful blonde dressed in an outfit that’s not considered suitable for our standards, let alone the standards of the 1930’s.”

Michael had more but stopped when the prickling sensation returned, running up and down his back.

His head shot up, and he slowly looked around. A burly man at the counter working on a coffee. A busy waitress and the cook. Just then the front door to the diner opened, and the bell above the door jingled, alerting the waitress to an entering customer.

A man wearing a coat two sizes too large walked in. He kept his head low and seemed to favor his right leg. Michael noticed that he had both hands shoved into his pockets, and he kept his eyes on the man at the counter. When the waitress approached, he ignored her.

The man at the counter moved his right hand from his coffee mug to his coat pocket, shifted his weight, and rotated in the stool to face the front door.

Everything slowed as Michael’s mind switched into high gear.

As Michael watched, the man at the counter pulled a gun from his pocket. Michael leapt up from the table, swinging wide with his cane, and struck him across the forehead, causing him to drop the weapon. Taken by surprise, the man at the door turned toward Michael. Retrieving his cane, Michael quickly launched it at the armed man just as he raised a pistol. The cane spiraled through the air like a missile, striking the man in the throat.

When he grabbed his throat, Michael dropped to his back and kicked him in the right leg. A satisfying crack sounded, and the man yelled out in pain as Michael slid into the wall and quickly grabbed his cane.

Nicole was a blur of blonde hair and fishnets as she slid out of the booth and struck the man at the counter in the stomach with an open palm, causing him to double over just long enough for her to bring her hand up and strike him in the jaw. Then twisting under his arm, she grabbed his hand and flipped him over her back, slamming him to the floor.

She quickly kicked him in the jaw as the wounded man limped out of the diner.

“That was amazing!” the waitress exclaimed.

As Michael watched the man tear out of the parking lot, he realized they couldn’t stay to explain their heroism to the police.

Looking toward Nicole, he urged, “We need to leave. Now!”

While Michael paid the waitress, Nicole grabbed his bag and Dr. Ricer and Lucy slid out of the booth.

“But wait,” the waitress protested.

“Lovely place by the way,” Michael said as Nicole tossed him his bag. “Wish I could have tried the pie.”

Hurrying away, they ran a couple of blocks before stopping in an alley.

“What was that?” Michael asked Nicole.

“I can defend myself without a gun. Self-defense is the first thing I learned,” Nicole replied.

“We really should find a safer place to rest and make a plan,” Dr. Ricer said.

Looking down at her tight leather skirt and fishnet stockings, Nicole added, “And I need to change.”

Published in: on June 3, 2011 at 7:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

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