They began running out the door for the soon-to-expire time pad that would take them back home. The tall, jaunty man, the cat-like girl, the saloon girl and the detective. They were quite a group.
“Do you mind,” panted Fletcher to Hermia, “telling me how you got here?”.
“I just reasoned it out,” she shouted back.
“Now, that's a western quote!”
“Oh, shut up, the lot of you!,” wheezed Sinclair, “That's it, in the distance!”.
The time pad, their means of a lift back to their era, shimmered 50 feet away from them, crackling with the blue electricity as it charged for take-off. Just then, as they sprinted across the sand, shots fired from the distance. Fletcher's hat was shot high in the air.
“Oh hell, it's Ferdos again”.
Fletcher scooped up his hat, and securing it back on his head, he stumbled but regained his balance.
“Give me back my woman, you curr!” resonated from the distance far behind them. Fletcher's hat was once again shot off. He rolled his eyes.
The pad crackled again, the blue branches of charge leaping higher. There wasn't much time at all. Fletcher reached to pick up his hat again, but it was shot at from the sand, and landed a horse's length beyond the pad.
Fletcher panted in annoyance, “She's not your woman! Now stop shooting at my bloody hat!”.
Hermia, Chess, and Sinclair made it safely to the pad, a blue circle of about 3 metres in diameter. They recovered their breath, all three gulping in air, when Chess realized Fletcher had ran beyond them.
“Fletcher, you idiot!”.
Fletcher had made it to his hat, and grabbed it, before wheeling back to the pad. His accomplices eyes bulged, willing him to make it. His legs pummelled on the sand, kicking up dirt behind him as he moved forwards.
Hermia cried out, and Sinclair reached to Fletcher, as the electricity arranged itself into a super-charged sphere of energy. A voice, clear in reception, echoed around them “Take off initiate”.
Sinclair's hand grabbed Fletcher's and hauled him above just as the pad ascended and crackled through the time vortex. The two shared a brotherly grin.
Then suddenly, they were back at the lab, the clean white walls enveloping them in the comfort of your own time zone. Fletcher brought in Sinclair for a hug, and chuckled.
“Thanks, old friend”.
“Any time, cowboy,” was his reply.
“You idiot, you stupid, brilliant idiot,” laughed Hermia, joining the huddle.
Chess shrugged, why not join in?
The four huddled in a laughing, group-hug, assembled once again. They relaxed and stepped back, and Fletcher adjusted his hat.
“So,” he smirked, “I bloody well hope you have a good case for me”.
fin (for now)