“What is this?” I hear you say, “has he actually got back to this serial and stopped leaving us on that cliffhanger from part 3?” Yes, dear reader, indeed I have. We left our dimension-jumping hero in a ruined wasteland nearly two months ago. Here is part 4…
My “brother” smirked. He knew he had me at that point.
By that, I guess you could say I was convinced – and he knew it. I did not trust this woman despite having had no contact with her. I must admit that this man claiming to be my brother had a watertight argument considering the circumstances.
But this was no time for reflection. We slipped deeper into the tiny storeroom, but that was only a couple of feet. We still didn’t know if she could see us, but we knew she was moving around outside.
‘Can’t we jump again?’ I whispered.
He raised a finger to his lips and shook his head.
Beyond the door frame, I heard feet crunching against debris, taking efforts not to be noticed.
My “brother” leaned forward, pulled my head close to his and said. ‘If we go when we’re this close, she can follow.’
I went to speak again but he clamped his hand over my mouth and mouthed two words: BAD IDEA.
Outside, she was still moving around but getting farther away from us. Her feet stopped moving and suddenly, I heard her voice.
‘Yes?’ she nearly spat.
A broken male voice responded but I couldn’t quite make out the words.
‘No.; I saw them come in but not out. I don’t think they’ve jumped. I would know about it. Now get off this line, I will tell you when I have something.’
He interrupted but she cut him off.
‘I don’t give a shit about Veronica! Tell her if she wants to put her fucking neck on the line instead, she is free to swap places with me and I’ll sit on my arse at her desk.’
We heard her feet retreat from the room and climb the foot of the metal stairs we passed on the way in. ‘Right boys, please tell me you didn’t go up here.’
We waited for her to reach the mezzanine and quietly slipped from the building, making our way back to the square where we started.
The adrenaline took over me and I collapsed into a heap. It was strange to think that less than an hour ago I was enjoying my coffee, minding my own business, and now I was here in a London that had had the shit nuked out of it.
My “brother” must have read my thoughts. ‘I know this must be difficult for you to get your head around.’
‘Whatever gave you that impression?’ I snapped sarcastically. ‘I will help you, but you need to give me some answers now.’
His barely contained smirk was followed by a quick nod of the head.
‘There is someone.’ He cleared his throat and waited for me to comment. When none was forthcoming, he carried on. ‘He needs our help, your help specifically. There are people after him. That woman in green is one of them. He’s a political activist in the place where I come from. Black rights, mostly, but he’s also an anti government campaigner. They’ve tried to kill him several times but now they are tightening the screws. An inside informer told him they are going to attack him at home. We have about an hour before they come for him. They will kill him.’
‘Why do you need me?’
‘As a decoy so he can escape. Don’t worry, we can get you out as soon as he’s clear. It’s all been prepared for.’ He blurted the words out, startled at the sound of something far off.
‘But why me?’
‘You look like him.’
I raised an eyebrow.
‘It’s our other brother.’
‘We don’t-‘ I stopped. This is what he had been trying to impress on me with all these jumps. Those critical words. We don’t have another brother – not in this world – but in his world.
‘Will you help him? The future of the country depends on it.’
Did I really have a choice? ‘Yes, but one more question. Who is that woman and what does she want?’
He cleared his throat and looked down at his feet. ‘My ex-wife and she wants to kill me.’