As Corby and Geoff came out of the hospital, Geoff found himself speeding his pace, almost losing Corby in the process. He needed to get away from the hospital as fast as possible. He had wanted to see her so badly, but once he’d seen her lying there with her parents by the body he felt queasy.
‘Hey, are you okay? Geoff! Wait up!’ Corby called, running up behind him as he slowed his pace. He turned to look at her imploring expression and took a seat on the bench on a nearby green. She sat beside him and sighed.
‘So, can you get in touch with the, you know, whatever it’s called? Surely we can work out a way of doing something, anything!’
Geoff leaned back and tried to clear his head. What could he do? Nixa would be furious, that much was certain, and would have turned most of the Board against him taking part in any future high-profile missions. Who could he trust? And what would be the point anyway? He had failed, and a girl was dead. He leant forward, wracking his brain for something to strike him. He could hear Corby’s chest rising and falling, her breath, her heartbeat, steadying itself. The rhythm was strangely comforting and he concentrated on it. In and out, slow and soft...
That was it.
He turned and looked at Corby. He couldn’t believe it. How in Flint’s name had he missed it? He was so shocked at his own stupidity, his mouth dropped open.
‘Er, Geoff? Are you...is there something wrong?’
Corby looked rather alarmed at Geoff’s expression, and flinched away when he didn’t displace his gaze.
‘All this time...staring me in the face...’ Geoff muttered, still staring.
Corby paused. Geoff waited for the light of realisation to spark in her eyes.
‘Geoff? I don’t-’
She stopped. Her eyes widened and she let out a noise that Geoff could only guess was a gasp, with a bit of a squeal at the end.
‘Think about it, if I can get a friend to hook us up to the system to keep in touch with them in the present, give us some equipment...we could do it.’
Corby was mentally kicking herself for not clocking on earlier, but she paused, hesitation in her eyes.
‘But...it’s not that simple...I don’t think I’ve time-leapt with another person before...and who’s to say the connection with the E.H.P.D would sustain through time? It might just fizzle out, and then what?’
‘Well...then we’re on our own, but so what? We know where and when she’ll be. All we need to do is get us both there, we can stop her! We can help her!’ Geoff blasted, his eyes filling with hope.
‘Well, I’m not sure how it will work, but I guess there’s no hurt in trying. I just hope we don’t get spliced in time.’
‘Spliced?’ Geoff blurted.
‘Yes, if I don’t leap properly, sometimes half of you can be left behind...not a very pleasant experience. I’ve only done it twice and luckily it hasn’t been any body parts, only...well, clothes.’ Corby stuttered.
Geoff laughed drily at the thought.
‘Well if it happens it happens, at least we’ll be doing it for a cause.’
Corby leant back on the bench, watching the people walk by on the main street.
‘Look, you dreamt about her, I had this feeling about her, and all I knew was that she was...important. We need to do this Corby.’
Geoff waited in silence, subtly pushing a button on his watch; Corby didn’t notice. Corby suddenly jumped up.
‘What am I thinking? Of course we’ll do it! We may have failed separately, but Leigh brought us together, maybe for a reason. So we could save her. Yes!’
Her face lit up and she smiled for the first time in a long time.
‘Well I’m glad you say that because we’ve got company of the non-human variety, so we need to pick up some supplies and get moving, fast.’ Geoff announced.
‘Non-human company?’ Corby questioned.
A young woman walked leisurely past Corby and stopped by Geoff, who was staring straight at her. Her long red hair and porcelain skin made Corby do a double take – she was very beautiful. Her long limbs looked graceful under a gorgeous cream trenchcoat.
‘So? You call that subtle?’ A silky voice tinkled.
‘Yeah, yeah okay, I screwed up. Let’s go, I need a favour.’ Geoff replied.
‘A favour? Are you crazy? Do you know how mad Nixa is? He’s demoted you – did you know that? And you’ve got three points on your licence for smashing your earpiece.’
Corby stood, silent, whilst this rendez-vous took place, completely nonplussed by the conversation. Geoff grabbed the red haired girl by the arm and pulled her into the park. Corby followed and stopped beside a large tree.
‘Look, I need you to hook me up to Tolstoff and get me a new earpiece. That’s all. No weapons, no potions, nothing else. Please Flix, you’re the only one who can and will help me.’ Geoff pleaded, but his tone was playful, as though he knew the girl well.
‘And where, exactly, is Tol? He’s on leave –
‘He’s in the human world. If I’m not mistaken, he’s with his brother in the blue mountains, Australia.’ Geoff replied.
The girl turned to face Corby for the first time, who quivered in surprise as she met her gaze.
‘Hey there, I’m Flix. Don’t worry I won’t bite. Usually.’
Corby scoffed and then smiled as Flix pulled something tiny out of her ear.
‘Here, I’ll find Tol and hook you up to this line. I’ll hook up to your line from HQ to keep an ear out.’
‘Where we’re going, you won’t be much help, but thanks.’ Geoff accepted the earpiece.
Flix appraised Corby again.
‘Time hopper? Huh. That’s pretty cool. Well, good luck, both of you.’ Flix added.
She turned and in the blink of an eye, was gone.
‘Err, okay, so what just happened?’ Corby asked, her eyes flicking to Geoff.
‘You can thank me later, don’t you worry.’ Geoff laughed as he placed his earpiece and then straightened his damp jacket.
‘Now, I need you to time-leap. Back to say, fifteen minutes before Leigh jumps. We can work from there.’ Geoff stated plainly.
‘But, its not that simple, if I get distracted we could be displaced – we could end up fifteen seconds before it happens, or at the other side of town! It’s hard to pin-point one particular moment. I haven’t had much practice because, well, I’ve never needed to jump to a specific time and place, I just go, I drift.’ Corby’s last words reverberated with a thin sadness; Geoff felt it.
‘Well, we can always try again, right?’ Geoff replied.
‘Well, not exactly- time is always shifting and I need time to rest before I jump again.’
Geoff looked hard down at Corby and smiled.
‘Whatever it takes. Now let’s do this, for Leigh.’ Geoff replied, strength and purpose in his features.
Corby nodded and took Geoff’s hand. She closed her eyes silently.
‘Hey you dumb fairy freak! I was on my holiday! I mean what is that?’
A loud and familiar voice boomed around Geoff’s head.
‘Glad to have you on board Tol, and in such a good mood.’ Geoff chucked.
‘Yeah, yeah, you owe me big pixie boy.’ Tol retorted.
Corby ignored Geoff’s mumblings, concentrating hard.
‘You ready?’ She asked.
‘As I’ll ever be.’ Geoff answered.
‘For Leigh.’ Corby echoed quietly, then took a deep breath.