- Text Size +

Chapter Notes:

Blue Cheer - Summertime Blues

Well, Mr. Harper couldn't be here 'cause he stayed too long at Kelly's Bar again
And if you smell Shirley Thompson's breath, you'll find she's had a little nip of gin
Then you have the nerve to tell me you think that as a mother I'm not fit
Well, this is just a little Peyton Place and you're all Harper Valley hypocrites

- Harper Valley PTA (Jeannie C. Riley)


“Wow, Abbey Road Studios! This place is, man, it’s totally legendary!” HD gushed. He and Tom were just outside.

“You got a plan?” Tom asked.

“Not really. We’re gonna wing it.”

Great,” Tom said in a tone that made it obvious that he thought it was anything but.


Rick drifted in and out of consciousness and his Communicator’s translation of Czech seemed to be working only when it felt like it. The women carried him to their home. At least it wasn’t far from where the car had hit and dragged him. Everything hurt like hell and he had no idea what was going to happen and was hardly in a position to do anything about it, anyway.

They got him onto an examining table, or at least he thought it was some sort of an examining table, but there were stirrups at one end of it, “Help me with this,” The auburn-haired one said, wheeling in a large contraption that he could not identify but looked old, even for the time period.

“Hang on; I’ll get the camera, too,” Noemy said. She disappeared into another room.

“Ah, let me put this on you,” The other one said. It was a heavy apron or blanket with some sort of - what was it? - metal, perhaps, embedded within the fabric. She donned a similar item, “Stay in the parlor!” she called out to Noemy. She added a rectangular metal plate to the contraption, left the room and Rick heard a slight buzzing noise.

She returned to the room, took out the plate and replaced it with another one. She moved his metal-fabric apron a little, left the room again and that same low buzzing sound was heard.

She did this several more times, sometimes repositioning his body as she worked, sometimes not. When she was finally done, she called out, “You can come back, the x-rays are done.”

Noemy came in and set up a tripod, “I took the liberty,” she said, and produced an old-fashioned gold pocket watch with a chain.

“Ah, Papa’s old watch! Have you wound it?”

“Yes, yes, of course. It is almost five in the morning, yes?”

The auburn-haired one peeked at a large grandfather clock in the hallway, “Yes, it looks to be. Now, let’s photograph him, first a full body shot, then you’ll tour around his extremities.”

Rick could hear snapping as the camera was used, “Here, turn him a little,” Noemy said, and the one - her sister, he surmised - complied.

“Mister, you seem to be remarkably resilient,” said the auburn-haired doctor as she turned his left arm so that it faced palm up, “What’s this? You have, it appears to be a tattoo. Come look, Noemy.”

“That is no tattoo. I don’t know what that is,” Noemy said, looking at the copper and silver bands on Rick’s left wrist. She had no way of knowing that they were marks of his part-Calafan ancestry.

“His other side does not match.”

“Maybe because that arm was almost off. Perhaps the colors take a while to, to regenerate,” Noemy offered.

“I’m sure I don’t know. Good thing I have no patients this morning. Have you got any clients for the studio today?”

“No. When do you next have a patient?”

The auburn-haired one consulted a huge book, “Uh, two o’clock. Mrs. Klinghofer. I should not put her off.”

“Then you’ll need this room,” Noemy said.

“Yes, huh, we’ll put him in the extra bedroom. Are there sheets on that bed?”

“I’ll check,” Noemy ran upstairs.

“Mister, you are a lucky man. Of course, I would not blame you if you saw things a bit differently, seeing as not,” she checked the grandfather clock again, “a half an hour ago, you were being dragged in the street by some careless maniac of a driver,” she paused for a second, “But you are here now, and not in some hospital or prematurely dumped into a morgue, or perhaps at the police station, run in for vagrancy, seeing as you have no money and no identification on you. We take in strays here, like puppy dogs. And we don’t trust our government much for, you see, it hasn’t always been this free and easy and I suspect it will not be for too much longer. So for now you will rest in the old extra bedroom and perhaps some of my father’s old clothes will fit you. The neighbors will talk, you know, once they find out we have a strange man in here. We will say you are a cousin.”

Noemy came back, “All set. Look, the arm is all reattached.”

“It’s amazing. Let’s get another set of photographs. And then maybe you will help me get him into the spare room and you will head to the Farmers’ Market alone, yes? We still need groceries. Apparently now we need some more.”

“You shouldn’t be alone with him. What happens if he turns into something else, something horrible?”

“Eh, I will be all right.”

“No, I will call Pawel,” Noemy said, “Although it will be presumptuous of me to do so.”

The auburn-haired one looked at Noemy skeptically, “You have known Pawel for over two decades and you have never called him first?”

“I, it just doesn’t feel right doing that.”

“Then give me the number and I shall call him. Keep, uh, keep taking pictures, please. And find out if he is in any pain. It’s hard for me to tell and I’m not so sure he does understand everything we are saying. In any event, I have some morphine I can spare, if it comes to that.”


“Here, let’s do this,” HD said, “You be my agent, and I’ll be some new talent you’re trying to get signed.”

“I am dressed casually, almost exactly like ya’ll are,” Tom said, “It’s not gonna fly.”

“Huh, you’re right. Maybe we’ll just say you’re my brother.”

“Friend, okay? Let’s not make this too complicated. When we get in, then what?”

“There are a buncha recording studios, and there are rooms where they do the mixing and the engineering. We know the album is done, but sometimes there’s post-production, where they re-record a track or add another voice to a chorus or whatever. So we might find the band in one of the studios. There’s also, uh, the sound engineer. It’s possible that he tanked the album.”

“Who would I be looking for, then?”

“Mainly David Gilmour or Roger Waters,” HD consulted a PADD surreptitiously, “The sound engineer is, he’s a guy who did some music recording of his own, but it was later.”


“Alan Parsons.”


When Pawel arrived, he and Noemy carried Rick up the stairs to a tiny bedroom with a steeply sloped ceiling. The other woman followed, with a small black bag in one hand, “Are you in pain?” she asked Rick, once they’d gotten him into the room’s little twin bed. The word sounded like pin.

He realized she was addressing him directly, but he was just too tired and overwhelmed and pained to say anything. He ended up just staring at her.

“All right, hmm, maybe morphine isn’t needed right now. I will get the tape player. I need to dictate my findings. We, uh, can you develop the x-rays and the film, Noemy?”

“Sure,” she said, “Pawel, can you help me, and come to the Farmers’ Market with me?”

“I should stay here,” he said, “In case he tries anything,” Pawel was almost as slight as the two women were. He didn’t seem to be much of a bodyguard.

“It’s all right, really,” said the auburn-haired one, “I don’t think this one will do much other than sleep. But, uh, thank you for coming over, Pawel. Sorry we had to wake you so early.”

“It’s all right,” he said, and he and Noemy left.


Back in 3110, it was the morning and Polly was coming to, “Ugh. Oh, uh, hi, Sheilagh. Didn’t see you there.”

“Thinking fond thoughts about 1978? ARCNET was developed at Datapoint Corporation, in San Antonio, Texas. It should be nice there,” Sheilagh said.

“I’ll need, gawd, I’ll need hair,” Polly said, touching her head.

“Not to worry. Crystal takes care of that. She can have you fixed up in less than a minute, no lie.”

“Hmm, ah, now that makes sense.”

“What makes sense?”

“Some of the actors I know - this is all very hush-hush, you see - but sometimes when they’re thirty they look like they’re losing their hair and then suddenly, at age thirty-two, they have more than they ever did before. This must be similar to what they use.”

“It probably is. I can definitely see the application. I’ll, uh, I’ll have Kevin give the Flux Capacitor a last check while you get hair and then we can both get period garb, okay?”

“Sounds good to me,” Polly said.

“I just hope there’s no shooting,” Sheilagh said under her breath, hoping the other woman hadn’t heard her, as she left to get the proper clothes for 1978.


No I wouldn't put you on because it really did, it happened just this way
The day my Mama socked it to the Harper Valley PTA
The day my Mama socked it to the Harper Valley PTA

- Harper Valley PTA (Jeannie C. Riley)

You must login (register) to review.