And The Race Against Time
Al Bruno III
Conquest Of The Planet Of The 70’s
Time has stopped, 90% of the Earth has been destroyed and we may be the last human beings alive. Annabelle Jones thought, And here I am modeling a gold bodysuit!
It wasn’t just any bodysuit, it had been designed using Professor Tibbs’ gospels of science and Lady Indigo’s principles of sorcery. In theory the skintight weave of leather, kevlar and alchemically treated thread would protect her from eldritch magic and hard radiation.
All that and it comes with a helmet and goggles.
“I feel ridiculous.” Annabelle said. She was in the Laboratory, a part of the bunker that had been set aside for Project Omega. It was a chaos of computers, engine parts and mystical tomes.
“Hold still,” Lady Indigo’s azure features were set in a scowl. She was hard at work making last minute adjustments to the suit, “I have no patience to play at being a seamstress.”
“Sorry, this is all just a little strange to me.” Annabelle ran her hands over the fabric.
“I felt much the same way the first time I gave birth to myself.”
“How are you girls doing over there?” Professor Sidney Tibbs called to them from a tangle of circuits. He was hard at work putting the finishing touches on his own part of Project Omega. The technically and mystically modified Kawasaki Kz1000 was only a part of it. The motorcycle was inside of a giant sphere of white metal and glass that was bordered on either side by giant Tesla coils. Professor Tibbs had christened his device the ‘Photon Sling’ but everyone else in the bunker called it the ‘Celestial Treadmill’.
Annabelle called back, “We’re fine, just talking about you.”
He chuckled and went back to his soldering iron.
“How sweet you two are,” Lady Indigo said.
“Sweet? What do you mean sweet?”
Lady Indigo raised a painted eyebrow, “If it was the end of the world and there was a handsome man watching my every move I would have shared my body and true name with him by now.”
“It isn’t like that.”
“Isn’t it?” There was an air of exasperation in the blue-skinned woman’s voice. “now for the rest.”
Annabelle retrieved the gloves, goggles and crash helmet from the table behind her. She put on the goggles first and blinked as the whole world seem to become a a little sharper. The goggles had been specialy treated and with them she could see in the dark yet never be blinded by a flash of light.
So much work for a one way trip. Annabelle put on her gloves, like the boots they were the color of gun metal. Then she pulled the gold plated crash helmet over her head and fastened the chin strap.
Lady Indigo held up her left hand, the second and fifth fingers glowed momentarily. “Perfect,” she said, “as perfect as possible under such conditions.”
“Can I take off the helmet now?”
“Yes,” the blue skinned woman, “I am done here.”
Before Annabelle could say anything else Lady Indigo was walking out the door. At first Annabelle had found the woman’s brusque behavior infuriating but now she understood it was just her way. In her old life Lady Indigo had surrounded herself with apprentices and servants. She didn’t know how to win friends and influence people, and she really didn’t care to learn.
A new suit, a new motorcycle and a new gunbelt, Annabelle smiled to herself as she pulled the helmet and goggles off. With a get up like this she could actually be a superhero. She wondered what it would have been like to zoom through the streets of River City. That would have been one way to live up to the ridiculous nickname she’d been given by the gangs and mobsters.
Her hands settled on her holsters then she remembered they were empty. “Where are my girls?” she called out.
Sidney was putting the finishing touches on the Photon Sling’s main hatch, the hatch that would allow her to climb into the device when the time came. “They’re over there,” he pointed vaguely, “on the workbench.”
“Right by you.”
“I don’t see-” Annabelle began but then she saw her revolvers. What she saw made her shout, “What the Hell did you do?”
“Yes that!” Thick wires had been embedded in the grip of each firearm, they gave off a dull glow that pulsed like a heartbeat. The chambers had been altered too, strange rounds had been welded into place, they were gold and throbbed in time with the wires on the handles. “You’ve ruined them!”
“Not at all.” Sidney put his work aside and approached her.
“Then what did you do?”
“I installed Schrödinger bullets,” he took one of he revolvers from her hand and examined it.
Annabelle wanted to reward that comment with a withering glare but just couldn’t. She slipped the other revolver into her right holster “What the Hell does that mean?”
“Simply put, each of these chambers is empty and loaded at the same time,” he placed the other revolver in her left holster, “you’ll never need to reload again... but fifty percent of the time when you pull the trigger nothing will happen at all.”
She just stared at him.
“It has to do with quantum physics,” he began to blush, “you see-”
“Your hand-” she spoke softly, “-is still on my hip.”
Now he was really blushing, “Oh! I’m so sorry!” He pulled his hand away and retreated a step.
“I didn’t say you had to move it.” Annabelle grabbed Sidney’s hand and drew him close for the kiss they had both been waiting for.