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thorog in time_n_jaalami

Chapter the 10th

"OK, there’s one foolproof way of fixing this." Kat was tightening a bolt on the fridge apparatus. There had been a heated discussion over whether it qualified as an apparatus or a contraption. Kat had won on account of being the one with the menacing spanner.

"What’s that?"

"Get Jan to do it."

"Does he even know what’s going on?"

"We can tell him."

"Oh, yeah! Hold on, Dimi’s downstairs."

"Er, Sor-" Kat began, but the girl was already running off to power on her computer. Kat sighed and returned to work on the bolt that was persisting in being loose.

"Hey, you know, I reckon I could make this thing a whole lot better just by moving some of these pipes around. I could even put outriders on this thing....maybe lower it...Sor?" She turned around, to find Sor frozen in a rather comic stance, mid-run, clearly overbalanced, ten feet from the fridge. "OK, so, no feedback from her," Kat thought to herself, as she turned back to the piping.

After a few minutes she decided that she should probably do something about the statue of her clone that should by rights have overbalanced by now. She put down the spanner and grabbed hold of Sor’s waist. It was like pulling a rag through treacle - she half expected a sucking sound as she slowly dragged the girl’s body towards the fridge. Then, with a sudden silent pop, they tumbled back in a heap.

"Argh," said Kat, who was currently being elbowed in the stomach.

"That’s strange," said Sor.

"No, I generally make those noises when people collapse on top of me."

"No, the way I bounced off the air. Hold on." Sor got up and made to walk back out of the vicinity of the fridge.

"Wait! What do you mean bounce off?"

"Like this." And she took a step away from Kat, and froze again. Kat blinked. Then she got a thought, picked up a piece of paper, balled it up and threw it past Sor. It stuck in the air. "Hrmph," she muttered to herself.

A couple of minutes later, the two Kats were sitting on the fridge, looking at the starburst of paper balls hanging in the air ten feet from them. Kat balled up another sheet of paper and tossed it half-heartedly at the barrier. "It must be the fridge. It’s keeping us from being frozen along with everyone else. But it only does a little bubble. Outside of it...molasses."

"So, um, what do we do now? Jan’ll be frozen too, won’t he?"

"Probably." Kat heaved a sigh. "I hate to say it, but I think we’ll have to get ourselves out of this fix."

"No, hold on! If you...do your thing and teleport us to Jan's house, then we could get him in the field, then he'd be able to help us, right?"

Kat held up the Assassins CD. "We need to fix it first, remember."

Sor's face fell. "Oh. Crap. Um, CD's downstairs. I'd grab it but....yeah." She pointed to the paper balls.


"We could push the machine down the stairs?" Sor suggested.

"Only thing I can think of." Kat got off the apparatus and started inspecting it. "OK. You push from here, and I'll pull from here, and try not to break anything."

Sor sighed and grabbed the fridge door, trying to avoid dislodging any pipes. "When we get out of this mess, you're rebuilding this so everything's inside and can't be broken and stuff, all right?"

"All right. Now. Heave!"

The two of them strained at the fridge, but it wouldn't budge. Neither of them were the strongest of folk, and Kat had had to add a bunch of stuff just to make it work in the first place. "Why," she thought as she strained to pull it even an inch, "couldn't it have been a time-travelling watch?"

After several minutes, Sor collapsed against the side of the fridge. "It's no good."

"You can't say that!" Kat was also feeling the effort.

"Yes I can. We've been trying our hardest, and we haven't even moved it an inch. It's too heavy. We're stuck here." She clambered back onto a nearby section that looked like it would support her weight, and sighed. "We're stuck in my own bedroom. We can't even get out of my house. Our first adventure, Kat, and already we've failed."

Kat stood up and walked over to her. "Don't say that. There'll be a way out of it. Somehow. Just give me time to think."

"Here, take this."

The Kats jumped. Firstly, because they'd got used to the silence, and secondly, because Jan was standing in front of them. Only it wasn't the Jan they knew. He looked older, and had the beginnings of a beard (or possibly just overgrown stubble), and dirt on his face. He was dressed in a tattered t-shirt and jeans, and he was holding a CD in his hand. Finally, he was glowing a slight, but noticeable, red.

"Jan!" Sor half-said, half-yelled in surprise. "How did you get here?"

"Never mind that. No time. This," he thrust the CD at them, "contains an audio recording of the Gettysburg address. It'll work for what you want it to. Now, I've got to go." He tossed the CD at Kat, who caught it awkwardly. "You two just keeping doing what you do best." He grabbed a cellphone from his pocket, hit a button, and held it to his ear. "OK. I'm done here. Reel me in."

"Hold on!" Sor said. "What do we do best?"

Jan was starting to fade. "Why," he said, "annoy me, of course." He winked. And then he was gone.

The clones looked at where their friend had been. Kat was the first to speak. "Sor, I think we just experienced, first hand, a Deus ex Machina."

"You know what this means, though?"


"We get out of this fix." Sor was grinning. "Not only do we get out of it, we find Jan, and we get to have adventures in time! It works!" She laughed, grabbed Kat by her arms and hugged her fiercely.

"OK." Kat was grinning too. "But first, let's get this thing working." She grabbed the CD and slotted it into the toaster. Grabbing a roll of string from her belt, she tied things together. "And that should hold until we get access to something more professional. Now...ah yes. The second problem."

"What's that?"

"I, uh, I don't know how to navigate."


Yaaaay! This could easily have gone on another 1000 words, but I decided you folk might want to write something too.

I have set out in my head a way we're navigating. Also how you're going to save me from being stuck in time. Also also, this requires Sor make a few minor edits to her story. I'll IM her and work something out soon.
I will totally go edit, since they make sense.

Also, I totally love the "What do we do best?" "Annoy me" bit. :D

Just because it's true...

Also, spifty av. It's a lot more real!you than your old skullx one.
heh. this just keeps getting better and better!

i seriously doubt that i can write anything on par with it! i'll have to ponder this...
Yes you can! You just haven't tried yet.
galaxy salsa

August 2008

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