"Quite the situation you have found yourself, eh Ms. Quinn?" Mr. Johnson asked the youngest Elizabeth. He eyed the two older Elizabeths, then nodded to his silent companion. Without warning he slapped a metallic band to their arms, pressing a button on the bands as he swiped. Both Elizabeths' eyes widened in regretful recognition as they both faded into the muggy air around them.
"Must send things back to their original places, Ms. Quinn," Johnson stated dryly behind Elizabeth. "Speaking of which," he continued as he closed cold metal restraints around her wrists, "we must be getting back to our own time. Our transportation awaits."
Everything was still cast in the dark shadow of clouds, but the rain and wind had, for the moment, ceased. Must be the eye, Elizabeth noted. She continued to scan the scenery, only to have it jarred by the site of a cold, industrial-looking cube. The only break to the sterile white were lines racing around it in a curious pattern. Are those... are those fractals? she wondered.
"Ah, admiring the fractal wiring?" Johnson asked, noticing her awestruck stare. "It makes navigation on various frequencies much easier."
"As it does for those who rely on the radio portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, particularly radio operators and cell-phone users."
"Impressive, Ms. Quinn!" a voice from the cube cried out to them. Elizabeth looked up; the silhouette of Jason Petrovsky overtook the doorway into the fractal-infused cube and spilled onto the dry grass. "Even if when mischievous you're on top of it!"
"It's not like I asked to be 'helped' by two of me from the future," Elizabeth retorted.
"And yet you were, as you say, 'helped.'" Jason clicked his tongue, making that tuttut noise Elizabeth always hated, no matter who made the sound. It made her shrink back. "It simply won't do, Ms. Quinn, it just simply will not do."
"What won't? Your pitiful attempts to frighten me into your precious agency?"
Jason glared at her. "No, Ms. Quinn. I'm referring to your mischief. It's always the one with an affinity for physics that you have to watch!"
"The same can be said for other company," she muttered.
His eyes narrowed. "I'll simply pretend I didn't hear that. Rogers," he called, addressing the silent one, "set the course for the present, South Entrance."
"What about Ms. Quinn?" Johnson questioned, gripping her arm suddenly. She started. Jason's eyes narrowed slyly.
"Upon our return take her up to JP-7. A few preparations will have to be made, but I will follow you up shortly after."
Elizabeth tried to make a face at Jason's retreating back, but he paused. He turned slightly, adjusting his glasses and reaching into his pocket. He failed to hide the smirk growing on his face. "Johnson, I have a feeling these are in order." He pulled out two strips of cloth.
"I couldn't agree more, sir," Johnson replied, swiftly gagging and blindfolding Elizabeth. She squirmed, but it was useless. They'd jolted to a stop. The sliding of metal was heard and she was half-led, half-dragged into a tile hall.
"I'm sure you've figured out," Johnson said after a bought of silence, "that the 'JP' wing of our facility is Petrovsky's private wing. Yep, seven huge chambers, all to himself. One is his living space, but Two through Seven are his pride and joy. Those are his personal experimentation chambers. I've poked my nose in Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six a time or two, but I have yet to see beyond the door of Seven. But," he whispered in her ear, "I've heard that while he's using JP-7, especially in the dead of night, the most horrid and spine-chilling of shrieks can be heard throughout the facility."
Elizabeth swallowed uncomfortably. But there was no time for further chatter, they paused and the piercing sound of a heavy sliding door grinding against the tile floor wrought the air.