The TeleChronomicon Files: Where it is Always 1895
In the TeleChronomicon
Technicians Gallahadion and Azra sat at the control console, checking the various screens and gauges.
The door to the control room slid open and Leonatus entered. He ambulated to his control chair and seated himself.
Gallahadion pressed a final button, then undulated to face Leonatus.
THE EXPERIMENT HAS BEEN A SUCCESS, LEONATUS. THE STORY THAT CREATED THIS ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE, UNIVERSE 6A4321888333-AA, ENTITLED THE ABOMINABLE BRIDE WHEN IT WAS BROADCAST FROM EARTH, HAS ENDED, WITH SHERLOCK HOLMES AND DOCTOR WATSON SEATED IN THEIR BAKER STREET FLAT CONTEMPLATING AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE IN WHICH THE TWO OF THEM EXIST IN MODERN DAY EARTH.
Gallahadion fluttered his wings excitedly.
THE TIMELINE OF THE UNIVERSE CONTINUES FORWARD, he REPORTED, more calmly than he felt. THREE WEEKS HAVE PASSED. SHERLOCK HOLMES AND DOCTOR WATSON CONTINUE TO LIVE THEIR LIVES.
DELICIOUS, exulted Leonaus. DELICIOUS.
Azra had continued to check his own screens and turned to face Leonatus.
TODAY, OUR SUBJECT HAS BEGUN FILMING A NEW EPISODE OF THE TELEVISION SERIES SHERLOCK. I HAVE THE COORDINATES.
VERY GOOD, AZRA. BRING THE SUBJECT UP ON THE VIEW SCREEN.
Azra turned back to the console and pressed a few buttons.
A smaller screen within the larger screen glowed into three-dimensional life. On the screen, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch was standing on the modern day set of Sherlock, dressed in contemporary clothing, waiting patiently while a hairdresser ensured that his hair was styled properly.
BRING UP THE SHERLOCK OF UNIVERSE 6A4321888333-AA, Leonatus ordered.
Gallahadion pressed a few buttons, and a second screen glowed into three-dimensional life.
In this universe, in this time-stream, it was night. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, looking exactly like the actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman of Ur-Earth, were dressed in evening clothes, and seated in the balcony seats of the Queen’s Hall. On the stage, a violinist was performing.
Gallahadion and Azta looked at each other out of the corners of their eyes.
This was it. This is what they had been working for two Earth years to achieve.
They were going to attempt to withdraw a subject from his own timeline, from Ur-Earth, and transport him into the body of a subject in an entirely different universe – one that was occupying an entirely different timeline over 100 years in the fictional past.
Theoretically it could be done. But in Actuality….they were about to find out.
CHARGE THE TELECHRONOMICON, ordered Leonatus.
Gallahadion reached out and pressed a button. TELECHRONOMICON CHARGING, he acknowledged.
ACQUIRE THE SUBJECT, ordered Leonatus.
Azra pressed another button and a square of transparent white light appeared over the body of the actor, Benedict Cumberbatch.
SUBJECT HAS BEEN ACQUIRED, Azra reported.
VERY WELL, said Leonatus. ON MY COMMAND
Gallahadion and Azra rested their fingers on the appropriate buttons on the control console of the TeleChronomicon and waited.
January 15, 2016, Baker Street Set, Bottle Yard Studios, Bristol, UK, Ur-Earth
Benedict Cumberbatch stood patiently, waiting for wardrobe to finish their last minute ministrations.
When the last of the minions had signified satisfaction with their work, they withdrew behind the cameras.
Benedict seated himself in his chair and picked up the violin. The scene would open with him playing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Something to add a touch of humor to what would then go on to be a pretty serious piece of work….
He placed the violin beneath his chin…
Suddenly, a swirl of black-and-white kaleidoscopic stripes enveloped him. He had the sensation of falling…falling…falling
March 15, 2016, Queen’s Hall, London, England, Earth, Universe 6A4321888333-AA
Sherlock Holmes sat with his eyes closed, enjoying the music sweeping over him. Tivadar Nachez, Hungarian violinist extraordinaire, was in rare form tonight. The music was glorious…it was transporting him far beyond this world, into a world of his imagination…
But suddenly… a swirl of black-and-white kaleidoscopic stripes enveloped him. He had the sensation of falling…falling…falling
Benedict Cumberbatch opened his eyes with a gasp.
Then he gasped again. Instead of being on set, surrounded by bright lights and cameras, he was seated in a… in a…. where was he?
It was a concert hall…and down below on the stage someone was playing the violin in front of a wacking great orchestra. He looked to the left. Martin Freeman was sitting beside him, dressed in a tuxedo…wearing a moustache.
Benedict looked down at himself. He was wearing a tuxedo also.
They seemed to be in a private box. No one else was in there with them.
Benedict looked upward. There was a ceiling up there, with chandeliers.
He looked around wildly. No camera, no lights, no film crew.
Martin had noticed his agitation and leaned toward him.
“Holmes,” he whispered. “What’s the matter?”
Benedict stared at him. Holmes?
Martin placed a hand on his arm. “Holmes, what on earth is the matter?”
“Nothing….Watson,” Benedict said, forcing himself to smile reassuringly.
He turned back to face front, looking down at the violinist. Away from Martin’s gaze – Watson’s gaze? – he allowed his eyes to widen.
Was he having some sort of psychotic break? If he was having a psychotic break would he know he was having a psychotic break?
Because he knew who he was. And he knew where he was supposed to be. And this surely, surely couldn’t be Victorian, England.
And he couldn’t be sitting beside someone who looked exactly like actor Martin Freeman but who was actually Doctor John Watson.
TO BE CONTINUED