<******> I see a hole.
<***********> Stick a pin in the hole and move the arm to any number.
<******> Ok brb getting a pin
The cursor was flashing at the beginning of the line following my last comment when I looked up from the strange dial. I was still holding a paper clip in my right hand, which was pushed into the hole and my left hand was on one of the arms connected to the centre spindle of the dial.
I don’t remember the exact time I pushed the paper clip into the hole but the fact that I was still holding the thing in the same place indicated to me that had anyone else been in my house watching me at the time I pushed it in they wouldn’t have seen me move despite the journey Téa had taken me on.
I pulled the pin out of the hole, let go of the arm on the dial and stared at it for a few moments. I’d looked at the dial thoroughly before pushing the pin in there so I knew there was nothing obviously different or abnormal about the thing. However I also knew of it’s abilities and therefore I was in a weird state of knowing what it could do, but not believing and at the same time believing what it could do but not actually knowing how it could do it. Talk about strange….and no I’m not just talking about my friendly, comedic American either!
I turned to the screen to check the time at the bottom right hand corner, it was at that moment I noticed a new line had appeared below my last line.
<***********> Well that was fun wasn’t it?
<******> Did you stay and do the dishes?
I honestly didn’t know what else to say. I guess in some ways I was expecting Téa to message me through our secure, online chat room protected by multiple VPN’s and other such things to stop us being tracked, but I was kind of surprised for it to happen so quickly.
<***********> After all that’s happened that is all you’ve got to say?
<******> I’m still struggling to process all that happened.
<***********> Which bits are you having trouble with?
<******> You know when I pushed the paper clip into the hole?
<******> Well I’m struggling with that bit…
I paused for a moment or two just to give Téa time to start typing something, then typed the rest of my statement in and hit enter before she had a chance to send her next message.
<******> …all the way up until the point where you said, “Here put your hand on this.” when we saw the old lady returning to the diner.
<***********> But I explained all this too you.
<******> And you did a damn fine job
It’s true no matter how mind bending the idea of a time travelling clock and an old lady that chased us through time without the clock sounded she did explain it really well, if you don’t believe go back and read the previous episodes where I explained it. But she’d spent the last few hours (of time travel time) talking in circles to me so playing with her seemed reasonable. And lets face it, we are talking about a time travelling clock thingie, it’s not something one just ‘gets their head around’.
<***********> So what is your problem?
<******> I didn’t get to see Janis’ full set.
I knew being hung up on not seeing Janis Joplin’s Woodstock set would bug Téa more than any other topic because of the way she reacted the few times I made a deal of it when we were face to face.
<***********> You own the DVD you numpty Kangaroo boy!!!!!!!#@@#@@#@@@
The extra characters at the end of her sentence indicated to me that I was getting to her. I had the choice of whether to stop, be nice and play her game or keep going.
<******> Yeah but it’s not the same as the real thing and you know it!
Obviously I chose the nice path!
<***********> Any chance we can talk seriously for a minute?
I nearly typed the words ‘not much’ but decided against it and told her to prattle on as much as she liked with her serious chatter, although I was a bit a bit more tactful that than.
<******> Prattle on babe!
Hey I didn’t say how much more tactful!
Téa must have decided that it was the best she was going to get out of me in the current climate and went on to tell me what she felt I needed to know at that point.
Her sentences on the screen where mostly written in a form of shorthand which I understood better than I thought. Despite being on a private network protected by VPN’s and spoofed addressed there was no names, places or people, and any direct discussion about the dial or what it did was hidden amongst abbreviations and single letter descriptors. It was a little difficult to read at times but we got there in the end and when I looked back over the screen of text it really did look suspicious but extremely cryptic.
She signed off the chat room telling me that she had things that she needed to do an organise, but didn’t give me an exact description of what those things were. I had a feeling they were to do with dial but due to our secrecy and the fact that she does have her own life to lead I didn’t push for answers. Besides I had this feeling in the back of my mind that it wasn’t going to be another three years until I saw Téa again.
The only other warning she gave me was to keep on the look out for old ladies. I tried to make a joke about her being the only old lady I was chasing but although she did add a smiley face to her comment I could tell she was being serious. She didn’t believe the old lady that was following her could find me easily given how far we were apart and because the connection seemed to be with her not me, however keeping watch was better than being caught out.
Despite knowing Téa had logged off I sat in my chair and stared at the screen for several minutes. I was broken from the trance like state I was in by a ringing doorbell. I logged off the chat room, but left the computer on, and headed out to answer the door. As I walked through the kitchen the person on the other side of the door started knocking hard. Whoever it was seemed to be in a hurry for me to open the door.
Previous episode here.