#BlogBattle 22 Theme: Time
It was beautiful. No, even magnificent couldn’t describe the masterpiece before him. Every line smooth, and every light shimmering in hues of blue and white. Dietrich couldn’t have been more proud.
He pressed his index finger up into the bridge of his nose and was momentarily distracted by the lack of glasses to adjust. He’d been wearing safety glasses for so long it was odd to be without them, almost like missing an appendage.
“It’s finally done, Dieter, old man!”
Mr. Getner stepped up beside the middle-aged scientist/engineer and slapped him on the back. Dietrich bent forward with the impact but stayed rooted to the floor.
“Yes, sir, finally done.” His eyes never left the contraption–his greatest work.
His patron’s hand rested on his shoulder, a slight tension in the grasp of his fingers near Dietrich’s neck.
“Listen, you’ve done a splendid job and she’s a thing of beauty. I’ve brought in Wilson to take over.”
Dietrich’s muscles seized in shock. Had he heard Mr. Getner correctly?
“Sir?” he said and turned a questioning gaze on the other man.
Getner gave him another hard tap on the back. “Yes. Wilson will continue the tests. You’re time is up with us in here, Dieter, old man.”
“You make it sound like a prison sentence, sir. This is my life’s work! I can’t just leave.”
“Now, Dieter, old man,” Getner said, his voice betraying a firmness bordering on anger, “you be reasonable. We’ve worked together for ten years on this project. I commissioned it. It’s much more my life’s work than yours.”
Dietrich watched Getner motion over the two guards always stationed near the secured entrance. It was the only way to and from the room.
“Phil and Dave will escort you from here on out.”
“You can’t do this to me, Mr. Getner. I need to be here, to see it in action, to know it was a success. Please. I can’t leave the mountain. Not yet.”
“Oh, you’re not going anywhere but lockdown. Consider your prison sentence starting today. In fact, Dieter, old man, the only reason you’re not off to meet your maker right now is just in case this hunk of metal doesn’t perform and you need to be persuaded to make it work.”
Getner shook his head and interrupted Dietrich. “Take him to cell block D, boys.”
Dietrich stumbled back. He head swiveled back and forth, looking between Getner and the two guards. He was a fool! An utter fool.
“Please, don’t do this.” He begged, but it fell on deaf ears.
The guards continued their steady pace toward him. Getner pulled a cigar from his pocket and shoved it between his puffy lips, but he didn’t light it.
On desperate impulse, Dietrich side-stepped and dashed toward the main computer console against the far wall. Middle-aged scientist or no, he was still in fantastic shape.
The guards hadn’t been expecting the mild-mannered Dietrich to react the way he had, and it took them a few seconds to compute what was happening. Dietrich was counting on their sluggish thought process to finish inputting the codes.
He was about to do the stupidest, most amazing thing possible, but even if he died in the process, it would probably be better than being locked up in Getner’s mountain for the rest of his life.
He pressed enter and ducked under the desk, emerging on the other side away from Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumb. They both stood with hands outstretched and fingers spread wide.
“Sorry, fellas, but I’ve got other plans,” Dietrich said. He had to assume the possibility of death was making him a little cocky.
Getner threw his cigar at the floor and marched up behind the two guards. “What’s this now, Dietrich, you buffoon? Stop this now and come along quietly, or you’ll regret the day you defied Leroy Getner.
Dietrich glanced over at the machine, its lights beginning to flash in concentric patterns. The door slid open with a slow whoosh. Just before Phil could make it around the desk, Dietrich dashed over and into the opening of the machine.
He turned in time to see Dave pull a gun from his chest holster and aim it at Dietrich, a look of concentrated rage shooting from his eyes.
Dietrich panicked and reached to press the button to close the door, but his hand slipped and missed, a bullet went streaming passed his shoulder and ricocheted off the interior. It made contact with Dietrich’s calf, grazing through several layers of skin. He cried out in pain and grasped his leg as he fell to his knee.
But there was no time. He had to do it now, or he would never make it. Getner could be heard screaming at Dave not to shoot. “You idiot! You could damage the machine.”
The three of them were coming Dietrich’s way. He blinked back the tears forming in his eyes and reached up to press the large green button near the door. It whooshed closed faster than it had opened and then the interior lights went out.
Other than the small window high up on the door, it was dark.
Dietrich’s breaths were coming in fast, shallow waves from the excitement and pain. The machine made the strangest sounds, the whoosh-whooshing louder by the second. It drowned out the banging on the door and Getner yelling obscenities.
*** *** *** ***
Dietrich moaned, agony filled his aching muscles and one calf in particular as he worked to stretch from his cramped position on the hard floor. His hand hit against a smooth metal surface.
At first he couldn’t remember where he was until his eyes popped open. Sunlight streamed in through the little window. The time machine. He’d escaped in the time machine.