Miranda Kate’s Picture Choice: 1
Title: Time and Motion Part 3
The Professor and Valdimir blinked their eyes repeatedly trying to clear the flash burnt onto their retinas and see behind it, to what had appeared. It turned out to be nothing - they were still there, in the Professor’s basement, in front of the computer.
The Professor looked round, while Vladimir sat in closer to the computer screen.
“Did anything change?”
“On the screen it has, Professor.”
The professor turned back to the screen and peered at it. It looked strange, chaotic, with far more blank spaces.
Vladimir started typing. “I’m not sure…I can’t quite work it out, or if it is what I think it is, we could be in for a shock.”
The Professor waited for a couple of minutes, but Vladimir stayed glued to the screen typing at random moments. “Well? Come on Vlad, give me something, that flash wasn’t just in our imagination.”
“Oh no, it definitely wasn’t Professor, it’s just…how do I explain it? If I am right we have just accessed the …well like the control panel of the mainframe.”
Vladimir glanced at the Professor who was staring at him, but the crease between his eyes indicated that he hadn’t fully understood what Vladimir had said.
“It means we’ve managed to access where the sim is controlled from.”
“What we can now control the sim?” The Professor’s eyes were wide with trepidation rather than delight.
“Well we can control ‘our’ sim – our existence within the sim. We can now decide where we want to be – so to speak.”
“But the basement is still the same.”
“I know, that’s puzzled me a little, but I think this is like the constant, the structure, and we can sort of ‘download’ a different reality outside.”
“Outside?” The Professor leapt out of his seat. “Well let’s not waste any time, let’s go and check it out.”
It was Vladimir’s turn to look concerned, but the professor ignored him and walked to the stairs, taking the steps two at a time. Valdimir rushed after him.
The house was the same, but when they looked out of the front room window, life outside wasn’t. The snow was gone and sunlight was streaming in the windows. People passing by looked different; they were wearing less, and the style of their clothes had changed – they looked more casual and westernised.
“Come on, let’s go out and take a look.”
When they opened the front door a wall of heat hit them, and they both stepped back inside to remove their sweaters. The house was the same outside, and the surrounding houses, but as they walked down the street other buildings had appeared and more and more people passed them.
In their usual reality the Professor’s street was in a quiet residential area, so where were all the people coming from? They found out when they turned the corner at the end of the street and saw all the shops, in particular a string of fast food restaurants.
They stopped and looked wide eyed at each other, not just at the existence of the shops, but all the displays and sign boards were in English - not Russian. Then they noticed the cars; all new and a wide variety of makes. There was even a Porsche parked outside one of the restaurants – such affluent vehicles would never be parked out in the open in Moscow.
They paused on the side of the street, both unsure what to do. Vladimir turned as though to walk back to the house, but the Professor caught his arm. “Let’s go in, let’s sample some of the food – I can speak English.”
“But we don’t have any money.”
The Professor pulled out his wallet. “Want to bet?” The notes he took out were all green and much narrower than Rubles. Vladimir’s mouth fell open. “It seems the sim equips us for all eventualities.”
They crossed the street and walked into a restaurant with an ice cream advertisement on the outside. They sat by the window and picked up the menus, trying out some of the words they found on it.
“I’m going to try a ‘root beer’, see what that’s like. What about you Vlad?”
“I’ve always been curious about a ‘malt’.”
When the waitress came over the Professor ordered. She didn’t seem to bat an eyelid at the heavy Russian accent or at how they were dressed. It was as though she’d served them every day.
When the drinks arrived a few minutes later they drank them down, enjoying the new flavours. They stared out of the window while doing so, enthralled by the new world around them; too busy observing to speak.
It was then that Vladimir spotted it; a black sedan, parked up on the other side of the street just passed the restaurant.
The Professor noticed Vladimir’s expression and followed his gaze. Two men got out of the car. One of them opened the back door for another man to get out. He was wearing a blue shiny suit…although the shine was odd, it seemed to fade in and out and ripple across the surface as though playing with the eyes. The Professor blinked, but it made no difference. And then his eyes moved to the face and he froze; the glass of root beer half way to his mouth. The man was looking straight at him.
“He’s looking at us Professor.” Vladimir whispered.
“I see that Vlad.”
“What should we do?”
“Nothing, just wait.”
The man in the blue suit didn’t move. He remained standing there, staring at them through the glass.
“Shouldn’t we go out there Professor?”
“If he wants us, he can come to us.”
And as though the man had heard them, he started crossing the street towards them.
Like what you just read? Have a question or concern? Leave a note for the author! We appreciate your feedback!
You can read more of my writing on my blog - Finding Clarity - at http://purplequeennl.blogspot.nl/ or join me on Twitter @PurpleQueenNL