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Adventure Romance Science Fiction

The world blinked, but James Cowell didn’t notice it. He woke from a strange dream, but couldn’t seem to remember what it was about. Jim made a pot of coffee and didn’t think about it.

Jim is a photographer and a good one. He took a cup of coffee into his home office to see if by chance someone out in this wonderful world needed his expertise with a camera.

An email from National Geographic was waiting in Jim’s inbox. It wasn’t the first time they hired him so the letter wasn’t a surprise. This contract would keep Jim busy for six months though. They want to do an expose on birds. The contract stated a fee of $100.00 would be paid for one photo of every species of bird Jim could take in a period of six months. Jim thought, ‘This is like manna from Heaven’. He wondered how many birds he could photograph in a day, 100, no, think realistically. Twenty or thirty would be more realistic.

Jim checked his equipment and dropped several blank SD cards in the camera case. He also included a telephoto lens to compliment his choices. That lens could read the surgeon general warning on a pack of smokes at a mile distance. Very useful in this future endeavour.

The first bird Jim photographed was of course a pigeon. Jim clicked two shots of the bird. When he looked past the bird a familiar face came into focus. Jim looked again, then used the zoom of his camera. Sure enough, it was his high school sweetheart. It only took him seconds to cover the distance separating them.

Jim said, “Janet, it’s been a long time. How are you doing?”

The woman gave Jim a blank stare.

“I’m sorry; you have confused me with someone else.”

Jim replied, “I don’t think so. Don’t you remember me?”

“No. I’ve never seem you before. You are mistaken.”

The woman turned to leave.

Jim said, “Janet wait a minute. I know it’s been a long time, but you must remember me. We had some good times together back in school.”

Janet hesitated a few seconds, a few long seconds before replying.

“I don’t know you, but you seem to know me. I never imagined I would meet someone who knew me and neither did the team imagine such an event. Can we go somewhere that will afford us privacy? This will take time to explain and I don’t want to give you an explanation out here.”

Jim said, “Sure. My place isn’t far. We can go there and be alone; be private.”

The odd couple settled down at the little dinette table in the kitchen. Jim went to a cabinet and it produced to shot glasses. His next stop was the refrigerator which produced a quart, mason jar of clear liquid.

Jim said, “I sense this is going to take a while, so I thought something to drink would be in order.”

He poured the little glasses full from the jar.

Janet said, “Thank you, but what is it?”

It’s commonly known as moonshine. Drink it. It will make your story easier to tell.”

Janet started her story after downing the shot.

“I don’t know you because we have never met. I know you don’t understand. Please give me time to explain it.”

Janet pushed her glass over for a refill.

“I am not from this dimension. The Janet you know is occupying the body of a clone. It’s my clone made from my DNA. She is safe and unharmed. We can’t make a simultaneous transfer, so a third body must be used. The memories, personality, and soul of your Janet is in my clone. When her being completed the transfer, I was sent into her body. The team remotely stimulated this heart to start it beating again with hardly a missed beat.”

I am part of a science research team and from time to time someone is sent to this dimension to observe or give humanity a little push in the proper direction. My name is Racine Onslo. Most of the time a transfer is completed without any problems. The process is foolproof. I and my team never imagined a person familiar with this body would ever meet. The odds of that happening are so astronomical it’s not even calculated, therefore no contingency plan is in place. Jim, I am forced to improvise as I go. At this point, I am concerned about what you will do with this information.”

Jim said, “I guess you expect me to run to the nearest TV station and start yelling to everyone who will listen. There is just one little problem with that thought. No one will believe me. They would probably put me in a rubber room and shoot me full of happy juice. Don’t worry about me taking!”

Racine said, “Very well. I’m glad you have that attitude. It will make my job much easier to accomplish.”

Jim asked, “Just what is your job? Why are you here?”

Racine replied, “My mission is to observe and report my findings. I have one hundred eighty cycles to find out the ramifications of an incident which recently occurred.”

Jim asked, “What is a cycle?”

Racine said, “I’m sorry. You know a cycle as a day.”

Jim said, “So you have six months to find out what happened with an incident. What incident?”

“No. That’s not entirely correct. We know what happened. What I am suppose to observe is the effects of the incident. Are you familiar with the Haldron collider in Europe?”

Jim nodded in a positive motion after taking a sip of his drink.

“One of my team members was part of the scientific group working with the collider. He only played a minor part and had no authority to dictate the actions the leaders made concerning the collider.”

“One experiment caused a wormhole to open to another dimension. Some of Mali’s teammates called it Heaven because of its passive nature and beauty. A short time later when a heavier particle reached near the speed of light, it collided into a barrier. It opened another wormhole to a different dimension. Some present called it Hell because entities started pouring out of the rip in the space-time continuum.

Unfortunately an accident destroyed many magnetic rings which forced the portal to stay open. It stayed open for about three of your years before repairs could be completed and the portal closed.”

Racine reached over and took both of Jim’s hands. It was a gesture common to Janet.

“I was sent here to observe what effect those entities are perpetrating on humanity.”

Jim said, “Honey, you don’t need to look very hard. Those things must be pure evil. I noticed all Hell breaking loose on the planet just about the same time that mishap occurred.”

Racine said, “Jim, will you help me accomplish my mission? You will not only be helping me but the entire planet will benefit from your experience and knowledge.”

Jim said, “Racine I have a contract with a national magazine. I can’t just walk away from it. I’d get sued for breach of contract.”

Racine said, “What is that contract? What does it obligate you to?”

Jim replied, “I am suppose to take photos of birds all across the country. As many different birds as I can find.”

Racine sat in silence for several minutes, thinking. Finally her face lite up and a smile engulfed her whole being. From her expression, Jim knew she was about to tell him something.

“Jim it’s perfect. You will travel around the country taking photos; I can be collecting data at the same time. I will travel as your secretary or lover. I don’t care. Anyone you meet and knows Janet will think we just found each other and got back together. What do you say? Want a lover to travel with you?”

Racine had a smile and expression of someone who just won a gold metal in a race. Jim thought about it for a few minutes.

“You know we can’t fake it. You will need to be my lover and show it.”

Racine stated, “I don’t think my role will be difficult to play. You are a nice man with many redeeming qualities. Beside people who know you will automatically think of me as your lover. I will not need to convince any of them of that fact.”

Jim thought about it for about ten seconds. He liked the ideal of Janet/Racine being with him. I was an easy choice.

Jim said, “You know I can’t ignore my responsibility to that contract.”

Racine responded, “I wouldn’t think of interfering with your job. I’ll just be the inquisitive lady in your life; asking questions and not causing any suspicion.”

For the next six months they drove from city to city and state to state doing their jobs. Jim had rented a RV, which they lived in. Jim took photos of lots of birds and Racine asked questions.

At one point, in their journey Racine made a request.

“Jim, I need to go to France and investigate their responses to my questions.”

Jim responded, “OK. You can claim you have relatives their.”

Racine liked Jim. He didn’t object to her past and never refused her proposals. Racine spent two weeks in France asking her questions.

Jim’s contract with the magazine was almost complete. Racine met Jim in Miami and they headed north. Jim had found and photographed seven hundred twenty one birds. The magazine was happy; Jim was happy and so was Racine.

Racine said, “Jim, you know this is my last night in this body. Let’s make it a special night. I want you to put a baby in this body.”

Jim said, “Why in the world would you want that? You said that Janet will return to that body. You won’t be around to enjoy a baby.”

Racine calmly stated, “You are correct. Think about it. You and Janet have a good past. You both will have a secret you can’t tell anyone else. She will want to stay with you if for nothing more than to have someone to talk to about this experience. Having a baby will bring you two closer together. Marry her and it will create a bond that will last a lifetime.”

When Jim woke up, Janet jumped out of bed.

“What are you doing here? Oh my God; I’m back.”

Jim said, “Calm down Janet. We have a lot to talk about.”

Janet said, “You’ll never guess where I’ve been.”

Jim said, “Want to bet on that. I know.”

February 17, 2021 18:19

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1 comment

Beth Connor
23:07 Feb 24, 2021

This was a great story. I loved that you tied accurate information in with fiction. Mentioning the Haldron Collider in Europe. I love that the Heaven Portal draws in the reader that recognizes the Higgs Boson but doesn't alienate other readers. Fun read.

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