Back home, I plugged Wand into the eyeWand port at the base of my crystal ball and started the download. I'd just started running a bath when there was a knock on the door. It was Knight. And he already had his top off.
"Oh, not now. I'm about to get in the bath" I said before he had a chance to say anything. "But you can go over that lot" and I pointed at the 'ball, "if you like."
"I..." he said.
"Thanks" I said. "Make yourself at home. I may be a while - I've just spent more than five minutes in the company of both my sisters, so the resulting headache needs a good long relaxing soak to banish it." I turned away from him, not daring to look back - I had noticed his most impressive trouser bulge and knew I wouldn't be able to resist him if he turned on the charm.
I practically slammed the bathroom door, locked it and leaned back on it releasing a huge sigh. I did it! I resisted.
An hour and a half later, I emerged from the bathroom amid a cloud of steam. Knight was sitting at the dining room table engrossed in the data collected by us DeVice's. He'd even put his top back on.
He looked up as I entered the room. "This is fascinating" he remarked, all thoughts of sex gone. "It appears a chronothaumic explosion occurred, or is still occurring " he corrected himself, "at the site of the hospital."
I raised an eyebrow.
"The strange thing is, there're two ignition points."
I lowered the eyebrow. "Really." I didn't mean to sound dismissive. It's just that something about him makes me contrary and stubborn. Even though I was intrigued and had even contemplated what he was about to say, I still denied it.
"One has only just started, or is about to start. The other has been going for about 45 years!"
"OK" I said. "Shall I open a bottle of wine?"
"I wish you'd stop being so damn flippant" he stated, obviously annoyed.
"Coffee, then?" I asked, Mary-Mary-like and tipping him the wink.
He caught my eye for a moment then threw it back. "Suit yourself."
I stared after him as he stormed off into the living room. Moody git. Contemplating the data displayed in the crystal ball, I realised he was right. Blast it! From the dynamics of the two ignitions, it seems that a collision was underway. A collision that had been ongoing for 47 years. One had - will - start not two weeks from now, the other began in 1960.
Oh, well, I thought. I can't do anything about it now, so I might as well go upstairs and get dressed.
I had cooled off, moisturised and was all but dressed when a couple of unfamiliar noises and one not so unfamiliar familiar caught my attention. I ignored the sounds from downstairs - it must've been Knight moving things around - and turned to the window.
There on the window sill was Beaky, looking smug. It was that 'I know something that you don't know' look.
"Oh, clear off, you little sod" I half-heartedly snapped. Beaky remained where he was for a second or two, managing to look even more smug before turning away with his beak in the air and flying off over the flats opposite.
* clunk bonk "Uhhhh... Yeah!" *
Now that did sound suspiciously familiar. Like Knight in the throws of, well, sex! And it wasn't me he was throwing!
Pulling on a t-shirt, I left my 'room and bounded downstairs, bursting into the living room.
Instinctively I ducked as something flew at my face. Lifting my head, I was confronted with an actually naked Knight sprawled over the settee, straddled by a half naked, time travelling tart!
I turned around to confirm my suspicions. Yes. There, splattered on the wall at head height was... Well, you can imagine what it was. Turning back, I noticed two, let's just say matching globs of moist ejecta on Knight's sweat-sheened, heaving torso. And one in his hair. And another sliding down the tart's neck.
My hands planted themselves on my hips.
"My. Someone's been productive."
My rage levels were at incoherence, but somehow the fabric of reality wasn't being affected. There was no thunder and lightning, objects weren't flinging themselves around the room with gay abandon - apart from the 'stuff' that had recently been flung, but that wasn't my doing. Well, it was, but not this me. Explanation coming up.
Somehow, my reality affecting emotional outburst switch had been flipped to the 'off' position. And I know I didn't do it.
I was looking forward to that. Bugger.
"It was me" the tart said - still astride the panting, semi-conscious Knight - with a look of intense concentration on his face.
"What's the look for?" I demanded.
"Well... Ummm..." there was some lip biting going on, "You see, as well as damping your emotional state, I'm also... Uhhhh... Ooohh... withholding... Ummm... something."
My face was a blank.
Then realisation popped in and fired. "I see." I was so unamused, that had I been The Queen Of Hearts, the whole population of Wonderland would have been decapitated. Giving up, I said "Carry on, then." The tart gave a brief smile of acknowledgement then appeared to relax, eyes rolling back into his head, mouth slightly agape and finishing off with a judder that started in the pelvic region before spreading throughout the rest of his body. In his state of semiconsciousness, Knight grunted and smiled. Somehow, through gritted teeth and pursed lips, I managed to hiss: "Let me get you a towel" before dramatically leaving the room.
A little while later, Conrad Folkard-DeVice the time travelling tart, Knight and I were sitting around the dining room table trying to discuss matters calmly.
"But I still don't see why you had to shag him, Conrad?"
"Don't you? Honestly, I thought you'd grasp this concept straight away" the tart replied.
"I get it" Knight interjected. Two pairs of DeVice eyes fixed on him. "Conrad and I had to have sex because the DeVice in him - you - remembers bursting in and catching them at it."
"That's as may be" I grudgingly admitted, "but you could've said no."
"I did" Knight answered, "but then Conrad explained that we had to. And who am I to mess around with time? Anyway, it's not like I cheated on you. For a start, he's" and he pointed at the tart "you in 2261. And you're the one that keeps saying we're not 'an item'."
Grrrr... He had me there. But I wasn't going to let it go. "Still, you could've put up a bit more resistance. If he'd said he was Anne Boleyn reincarnated -"
"Well, actually -" interrupted Conrad.
"Quiet, you!" I snapped. "Actually, why exactly are you here? Other than to shag him, of course."
To his credit, Conrad didn't react. "We're on a search and rescue mission. My ship's in deep orbit scanning for a missing VIP transport... Ohh..." He paused for a couple of seconds, the look of confusion on his face replaced by one of recognition. "Deja vu" he stated matter of factly, then gave a little judder not unlike the 'release' one from earlier. I nearly threw up. "I remember this" he continued. "I was - you are - researching the origins of the Supernaturals." He looked pleased with himself.
"Yes. We know the cause are chronohexatic particles created by a chronothaumic explosion occurring between 1960 and now, well, two weeks from now, actually" Knight supplied.
"I remember taking the scans with Inexcusable and Indescribable at the hospital."
"And what a palaver that was" I said."Oog. Yes." Conrad winced at the shared memory. "Jinkies! I've got it!" he almost shouted. "That explosion was caused when a future-travelling witch neglected to clear her flightplan with the TTCT. The Temporal Traffic Control Tower" he explained at our enquiring looks. "She encountered turbulence at about 1960 and didn't, or couldn't, leave the timestream, consequently spreading herself over the next 47 years before dissipating. Unfortunately, the 'Tower, not knowing about the witch, cleared the VIP transport's flightplan before proper scans of the path could be taken, all because of political pressure from one of the passengers. It collided with the spreading remnants of the witch in 2007 and had to make an emergency landing.
"There's the cause of your C-Hex particles!"
"How do you know this?" I asked.
"We intercepted the distress call and telemetry of the transport before it left the timestream into 2007. It's temporal navigation array must've picked up the traces of the witch too late to avoid them.
"Well, that and your memories of this conversation, which are now flooding back.
"Unfortunately, we're having difficulty locating the transport."
Ooh! I wonder if that was what nearly squashed me last month? "I might be able to help you there" I said. "I almost got flattened the other night by a ship that -""Landed in Carey's Meadow" Conrad chimed in. "I remember now. 200 years or so can leave one's memory a little hazy" he said. "I'd better call the Straxus and let them know where to pick the transport up from.
"I'm glad I stopped by, now" he smiled.
"Mmm..." I agreed somewhat sarcastically. "A fantastic shag* and info to aid your mission. I can hardly wait for my life to be so easy!"
* Well, Knight is a fantastic shag!