Alan the assistant wriggled out from underneath the hard shoes and fell into his seat with a “huff”.
“So then, what did I miss”, he said, brushing some dust off his lab coat and shaking himself off like a wet dog.
The professor instantly replied in a quiet whisper “a brain”. “Pardon”, said Alan scraping some dust out from each ear with his little fingers. “Oh nothing much really happened”, answered the Professor.
Both men sat back and turn their heads to the screen. His Assistant asked “So what’s happening now then, and why is it doing that”.
The display screen flickered, sputtered and jumped as time flew backwards. The Professor didn’t answer and they both waited incomplete silence for something to happen, every now and then feeling their stomachs churn and mouths salivated from the smell of the cooking margarine which drifted out of the machines whizzing cogs.
Whilst the Professor watched his beautiful machine gracefully turn the pages in the book of time (well as graceful as an elephant turning the pages of a very fiddly small book, whilst wearing mittens). He had to concentrate hard to answer his Assistants earlier question (like an average TV viewer being ask to explain what a quadratic equation is, during their favourite soap opera) “well the problem that the machine is having could be… erh, well it could be because some idiot filled the finely tuned machinery with margarine, but I’m not entirely sure. All I know for certain is that I and by that I mean we, aren’t going to tinker with another cog, screw or flappy diode on this magnificent machine
until it’s finished its journey through time, and has shown me all the wonders of the universe, Ok”.
The Assistant looked across at the Professor to answer his rhetorical question, when he’d noticed that the Professor had a mad piercing stare in his eyes, which were glued to the screen. He’d also saw that the Professor’s fingers which lay on the arms of the chair had squeezed the fabric so tightly that they had gone through it and were now crunching the wood underneath. Alan has proven that he isn’t a good judge of human body language many times in earlier chapters, but this time his basic instinct of self-preservation (kind of like the feelings that stops you from walking off the edge of a cliff to see what it would happen), kept him still and quiet.
Finally, his Assistant realised that the Professor didn’t want to answer his inane question anymore and they both just sat back waiting to see what amazing secrets the device would reveal to them on the next jump.
At the same time that the men had talking and bickering amongst each other the Chroniton wave machine had been running at triple its maximum speed (whatever that was), with a constant squeal that only the ally dogs could hear. It finally began to slow down again and the awful high pitched noise could be heard by the men as well. The sound should have made both of them run away with their fingers in ears panicking, but their eyes didn’t let them move, due to the fantastically bizarre images that had appeared on the screen.
“Boy… what’s the time reading, quickly boy, please tell me!”, said the Professor, trembled at the sight of what he