As an employee of the Institute for Time Study, Hannah was busy scouring the internet for any information about the impending end of the Mayan calendar. With only six days left to solve the riddle, she was feeling the pressure mount with each tick of the clock. She had to figure out why the Mayans had not continued their calendar past December 21st of the year Two Thousand Twelve.
“Rats my laptop died’ she said as the hot bright sun beamed on her face. She was sitting at an airport in her home town. Sweat dripped from her brow. She got out her huge crumbled map. Bringing out the phone for internet use the man at the desk beside her coldly said ’10 dollars per hour fee’ Hustling through her bag she found a ten dollar bill.
“Here you go sir,” she said as he handed her a paper with the Wi-Fi code on it.
Hannah certainly had no time to waste on this type of problem. She had just argued unsuccessfully with her boss Mrs. Salyer, the assistant Director of the Institute that she needed an updated laptop so she could be untethered from wired connections in every way. She gave her watch a quick cursory look, all the while it was the time they agreed to meet, he would not be on time. As she sat witing for him she remembered her conversation with Mrs. Salyer.
‘No you cannot have an updated laptop. We have new employees and can NOT give you an updated laptop that is final’ Mrs. Salyer said as she infinites the T sound. Hannah rolled her eyes and walked to her office.
Looking at her watch she saw it was 3:36. ‘Joe is six minutes late’ she mumbles to herself. Within a stack of their research papers she found one that stuck out to her. Joe came running in the office. “You’re late again!” Hannah said and handed him the paper.
“Has he called?” Joe asked, huffing and puffing as he landed in his chair.
“Has who called?”
“No, not from the television show, the guy that took the DeLorean back to the 1950s.”
“Joe, we do not have time for another of your half baked schemes. There is no way Salyer is going to fund some extravagant hair-brained shenanigan you come up with. I couldn’t get her to update my laptop, I know she won’t fund your wild goose chase.”
“The flux capacitor is a proven technology ‘Buzz’,” Joe resurrecting the nickname Hannah earned in high school, the one that caused her to frown menacingly for the briefest of moments. She glanced at the Buzz Lightyear and Woody figures that were perched on the book case beside her work station and for a moment thought it might finally be time to take them down.
“I haven’t heard that in the longest time,” she said smiling from ear to ear. Joe smiled seeing that he had used a joke to brighten a friend’s day.
“You know maybe we could go to a Mayan Museum and see if we can find anything,” Joe suggested.
“Mrs. Salyer would never approved that’ Hannah said assuringly.
“Sometimes I think she wants us to fail. I have tried to contact Doctors Cooper and Hoffsteter to get them to consult with us, but all I can get from them is this ridiculously long message. Joe reached over to press the button to replay the response from Dr. Cooper.
“This is Doctor Sheldon Cooper, genius physicist, yes the one who beat Steven Hawking in Words with Friends, also the one who is in a relationship agreement with Doctor Amy Farrah Fowler, I am too busy figuring out quantum physics, the order of nano technology and other issues along the line that will qualify me for my well-desrved but as of yet unaanounced Nobel Prize for Physics. If you want to leave a message I might be able to get back to you sometime the first of next week, assuming that our Star Trek marathon is not interrupted, and that we get our extended World of Warcraft siege completed, and that the world does not end as the Mayans so inaccurately predicted. I mean really, why can anyone not see how foolish a proposition that really is, especially the Mayans. How can anyone so supposedly advanced not have had the foresight to extend their mathematical algorithms past December 21st of this year. On my new Windows 8 laptop calendar app I can see all the way to at least the year 2548. Apparently Microsoft’s engineers have ‘The Mayan Calendar Inaccuracy’ in their software design. (Beeeep)
“Post script, this is Doctor Sheldon Cooper, genius physicist again, I was not done and that machine should not have cut me off. I will have to write a letter to the designers of the Vtech phone company to tell them they need to increase the capacity of their message. If they expect intelligent responses in their messages they must allow more time. Anyhoo, we will still be around after December 21st and can take your call then. Thank you for calling.”
“Is he serious?” Hannah asked.
“Trust me, Sheldon Cooper does not kid. He has the sense of humor to a turtle.”
“So I guess we have no other choice but Doctor Brown,” Hannah said, resigned to the most unlikely choice.
“Buzz, he is not only our best choice, but I am afraid the only one.”
Hannah turned to look at the small grey circular clock on the wall that ticked away what could be the final hours of her existence. No other plan had brought them any closer, so this one was at least worth a try. For a brief moment she let her hand rest on her desk phone, trying to follow the chain of command and receive approval from Betsy Salyer to follow this plan. Knowing the response, Hannah shook her head, then jumped up and joined Joe as they made their way to the parking garage for their trip to see the illustrious Emmit Brown.
Hannah’s hopes began to fade when they pulled up in front of the address they had for Professor Emmit Brown’s home and workshop. The grass had not been cut in several days and newspapers were overflowing from the paper box at the end of his driveway. She walked to the front door of the house to knock while Joe made his way around to the shop entrance.
The front door creaked open as she knocked, revealing a scene that she had not expected, an immaculate living room with everything in its place. Doctor Brown was known as a genius scientist with significant deficiencies in his domestic abilities. There was no evidence to support his in any room as Hannah called out repeatedly “Doctor Brown are you home?”
“Buzz? Did you find him?” Joe asked as he finished searching the garage and joined her in the kitchen.
“No,” Hannah said with obvious disappointment in her voice. Joe worried about his young colleague, who hadn’t quite learned how to transition from caring too much and feeling every setback was a fatal one.
They both turned toward the front of the house as they heard a loud whine, then skidding tires and finally an impossibly loud and sustained crashing sound. When they exited the front door, they could see a lot of dust and debris settling around the top of the garage door and the distinct rear end of Doc Brown’s iconic DeLorean sticking out with the park lights flashing their rhythmic patterns.
“Doctor Brown are you okay,” Hanna said as she pounded on the driver’s side door after clearing away some of the debris that had encased the car during the crash.
“I can’t swing the door up, something is blocking it,” Brown replied.
Hannah pointed at at a heavy beam that as lying across the top of the car, preventing the doors from swiveling up as usual. She and Joe wrapped a rope around the shortest part of the beam and then tossed it across one of the exposed rafters above the car to use as leverage.
“Great Scott!” Brown said as he tumbled from the car to face them, his wild, white hair as unruly as ever.
“Are you okay?” Joe asked.
“Oh fine my boy, just fine. I am afraid I cannot say the same for Dorrie!”
“You call your car Dorrie? Is that a nickname for DeLorean”
“Actually it is from the Little Mermaid! No, wait that’s not right. What was the name of that movie wehere the little fish goes off to seek his fortune and winds up being terrorized in an Australian dentist’s office fish tank?”
“Finding Nemo,” Hannah said coolly. She was already discounting Joe’s plan.
“Exactly. I think my favorite part was all those seagulls flying around saying “Mine, mine, mine, mine.”
“Doctor Brown, we need to talk,” Joe said.
“What, oh yes. By the way, who are you people?”
Follow this link to Chapter 2
Note: This is the first installment of a multi-part serial fiction work created by Hannah McAmis and Joe Owens. Hannah is a 16 yr old junior at Twin Springs High School and I had the joy of meeting her and her family on a recent mission trip to Belize. Please understand this is merely an opportunity to collaborate on a purely fictional work. As Christians we both know the world will not end on Friday, but thought we could have some fun with the subject.