The Professor’s room was ransacked, someone was obviously looking for something.
“What ever they wanted it looks like they got it.” Flex announced.
“Well I may have messed up some twenty-fifth century Super String Theory negotiations but I stopped a twenty-first century thief by hiding my instrument in here.”
He reached into the bottom panel of his bookcase and pulled out the gyroscope that he considered had something to do with the entire affair.
Flex took it looked at it with amazement, “You know professor, you may be right about this not having much to do with the dimensional attraction but the waves may have been altered enough to throw off the calculation, and then there is of course, Ernestine. They needed to get her out of the way — they chose a perfect way.”
“What do we do now?” the professor asked.
“When Ernestine has completed Marta’s story there will be an opportunity for you to take this machine to the hospital room, That is when I will leap and hopefully we will be in the same place at the same time, including Simon.”
“When and where, shall I wait?”
“Unfortunately you are going to have to become Ernestine’s best friend and remain by her side, when I leap Arnold should be back and I am sure he will be here quickly and you will explain this all to him. However, I am sure Petra has filled him in.”
“That’s all, a vigil?”
“Yes, but let me escort you over there, we don’t want to loose that machine. See that little indent over the face of the timer? That is what Simon is looking for.”The professor stood at the bedside of Ernestine he thought about Flex and the amazing ability he had to touch her mind and realized what she needs to come back to them. He had made it safely to Ernestine’s room with the gyroscope with the assistance of Flex. He had a bad feeling however, and erred on the side of caution by placing the object behind the hose in the fire box just outside her room. After staying with her for a few hours he started worrying about the actual sequence of events he was going to have to maneuver to assist Ernestine along. Then he thought better of it and took the instrument and wrapped it in a Johnny inside the waste bin. He was going to go insane.
When he got back to her bed a very familiar voice spoke.
“Professor, what brings you here?” Stev the linguist stuck his head in the door. “Well it looks like you finally came to your senses and had her admitted. Is she having problems?”
With all the shifting, jumping and activating he decided to trust no one at this moment. “Yes, I actually told Mildred and Louis I would wait till they got here.”
“Hey the toy, you had for the … transfers you tested. Do you still have it?”
“The professors guard went up. No, why do you ask?”
“Oh, I don’t know, just curiosity. It was kind of cool.”
The professor was shocked that Stev would use that phrase — he wouldn’t, it is probably some twenty-fifth century jumper who googled (I’ll have to ask Flex what they are calling it four hundred years from now) “common twenty-first century catch phrases” and came up with that.
“So, Stev you wouldn’t believe what I’m thinking is going on.”
“What is what?” the professor was getting playful.
“Oh the reason for all that? To change the alignment of the string.” he answered quite casually.
“So who would be able to do that?”
“Why Repo of course. Are you playing with me?”
“Stev, of course not. I’m just getting tired of waiting here.”
“Don’t, I’ll stay.”
“Would you do that for me?”
“Of course, man. You know I would.”
“You know what, if this was the first incident, I would leave, take you up on your offer, but … I did give them my word, I better stick around.”
He proceed to pull a chair up next to Ernestine’s bed. He watched Stev look around the room. He walked over to the window picked up some things and put them down. He even had the nerve to look in her closet.
“Well, I’m out of here.” Stev announced.
“Ok, see you tomorrow.”
As Stev left the professor shook his head and couldn’t wait to tell Stev the words that came out of his mouth.
Ernestine sat up recognized the professor and slumped right back down again. He ran over to her side and whispered her name. She opened her eyes and looked at him, but she was in some kind of a semi-comatose state. She smiled and tried to whisper Arnold’s name. He told her he was on his way and what should he do for her.
“Can I see the instrument?”
“Of course” the professor replied as he reached in and unwrapped the gyroscope.”
As if she had built the instrument herself she opened the small panel and pulled and turned a tiny knob and gave it back to him. He wrapped it back up and put it back in the laundry basket.
“Keep it safe, give it to Arnold.” she said and then went back to sleep.
He was glad for the fact that Flex was right, but was dismayed to see her unconscious and helpless.
The professor heard footsteps moving quickly down the hallway and stood out of sight just behind the door. When he saw it was Arnold he took his mood to be serious and moved with speed and followed his lead. Arnold grabbed Ernestine and the professor grabbed the johnny-wrapped gyroscope and they disappeared down the stairwell.
“There here,” were the first words Arnold spoke.
“Arnold, is that you?
“Yes, hello — sorry about that but we have little time. The professor stopped him and showed him another way out, he had been a student here after all and knew all the ins and outs of the place. The professor had them wait on the landing and he disappeared through the door and was back in minutes with keys to one of the emt trucks.
Once in the parking lot, Ernestine was comfortable on a stretcher in the back and Arnold and the professor were driving out of the lot, the professor suggested Arnold find the sirens while he drove, “I don’t think they would expect us to be making so much noise trying to sneak out of here.”
“Good idea, I like the way you think.”
“Where can we go that would be safe? They don’t have any device on Ernestine do you think?
“How about a weekend in the Berkshires?” Arnold asked.
“If you want me to drop you off, I will but they may look for you as well and ask questions.”
“All right, I’m in for the weekend.”
“You’ll never guess where I’ve been,” Arnold smirked.
“Twenty-fifth century or thereabouts.”
“Yes, when I got there Petra was quite upset with me. Then when she realized I wasn’t Flex, she was even more angry then I ever saw Ernestine.”
“Our job is to keep Ernestine safe, and away from them.”
“Yes, I was getting quite nervous, Ernestine actually woke up and turned the knob on the contraption and then fell back to sleep.”
Arnold told Edward he was going to change his mind about where they were going so as not to have anyone trip them up. “Tell me what Flex will do.”
“This is even better, he pulled out of his pocket a chip the size of a button and told the professor that it was a device to hear what Ernestine was going through, she should meet Flex along the way.