Hamilton Gode

by Luca

Chapter 4

"I'm not Luke Skywalker," Zachary told Baragsen. "Hamilton is not Darth Vader!"

He laughed. "I met George Lucas once. A nice man. Some film fans believe he shot scenes from that movie here, but he didn't. It was in Tunisia."

"I don't care!" Zachary almost shouted at him, like an angry child. "He's not my father!"

"I'm sorry if you don't like it." Baragsen sat back in his leather bound chair.

"Why wouldn't he have said?" Zachary asked, clinging to a slim thread of logic which dictated, wrongly, he would have told him when they met in Paris.

"That is something you will have to ask him if you ever get the chance."

"And you? Who are you? Hamilton wants me to tell him your plans for Paris," Zachary blurted out, surprised, taken off guard, and upset by the revelation.

Baragsen clasped his hands together in front of him on the desk top.

"I am not the enemy here," he said slowly, looking at Zachary directly. "Emile will take you and your friend Lowerstoff to the quantum research facility. There you will get your answers."

He opened one of the drawers of his desk and removed a package. He pushed it across the desk.

"Take this, you might find it useful."

With a wave of the hand he dismissed them and although Zachary was reluctant to stand up and leave, Emile tugged at his arm so Zachary moved and followed him out of the room.

Lowerstoff spoke for the first time when they were back outside. "Where is this research place?" he asked.

"Ibaraki," Emile replied, "Japan."

When they got to Rabat it was dark, a quarter past midnight. Lights shone across the airport. The terminal building was all glass, lit up from inside. Zachary watched the people moving around in the terminal, arriving, departing, or waiting to meet someone. They walked across the tarmac towards the jet. Zachary felt like a film star. Never would he have imagined any of this. A private jet stood discretely in a dark space, in a quiet corner, illuminated only by a few lights. It was still very warm as they climbed the steps, but as soon as they were inside it was cool. The stewardess in her blue uniform with gold braid showed them into the passenger cabin. She reminded him of a similar stewardess on another plane. They took their seats, buckled up, and waited.

Lowerstoff was sat next to Zachary in an individual seat, Emile was opposite. The passenger cabin was more like a small lounge rather than seats in rows one behind the other. The engines roared into action, the stewardess closed the door, turning the handle which looked heavy, like the handle of a safe. They started to move. Through the little port holes Zachary glimpsed some flickering lights breaking the darkness outside.

Once they were in the air their amiable hostess served drinks and nibbles. Zachary smiled at Lowerstoff, then turned to Emile.

"What is all this?" he asked him.

"You really don't remember anything?" Emile threw the question at him as if he didn't believe it was true.

"Well, nothing much before Paris. Nothing from my past. Except little fragments."

Emile frowned. "You don't remember me?"


Zachary suddenly wasn't certain he hadn't drunk something weird. Did he say what I heard, he wondered?

"We're kind of related, you and me."

Lowerstoff was looking at him. Zachary thought he was just as surprised as he was. Or maybe he was thinking something else. Wondering about Hamilton. He must have known this.

"We're related?"

"Kind of."

Zachary took a large gulp of his drink. The alcohol was comforting. He felt himself relaxing and drifting away from worrying about the past which was all a fog. He should have been concerned. He was, in a way, but it was just another revelation.

"Why didn't you tell me this before?" Zachary asked him.

"I wasn't sure you weren't making it all up. This amnesia thing."

"You know a lot more than me. All this quantum research experimentation. About Hamilton. And whilst we're posing questions, what about Baragsen? What are you doing with him?"

Emile seemed to reflect on all this. Zachary was sure he was about to reply, but they were interrupted.

"This is Malcolm Davies, your captain, we will be stopping to refuel in Turkey, in a few hours. Sit back and enjoy the flight. If you need anything, ask our stewardess, Anita. Thank you."

They heard him switch off the intercom. Zachary returned his attention to Emile.

"You don't remember when we were young?" Emile asked.

"No," Zachary told him, finding it difficult to hide his annoyance. Why always all these questions? Why couldn't people believe him when he told them he didn't remember? It wasn't so hard to understand.

"We are living on a quantum timeline. I can't explain it all to you, I don't fully understand it myself. But, what I do know is there are different timelines, they intersect, but that isn't normally a problem, except now it is. And, Hamilton has something to do with this problem that's come up. Baragsen simply wants to resolve the situation without turning the world into chaos. I was staying with Baragsen because my mother sent me to him. Maybe that had something to do with Lowerstoff and you trying to kill her."

Wow! Zachary thought, he didn't know how to answer all that.

"We didn't try to kill Violetta," Lowerstoff interrupted.

"The exploding drone?"

"That was Hamilton. I had no idea. I had no idea what was in the case he gave me, or what would happen."

"Well, I might ask you," Emile gave Lowerstoff an intense stare, "what YOU were doing with Hamilton?"

"Maybe it had something to do with those intersecting timelines? Maybe it was something else, but I was obliged."

"Obliged!" Emile laughed.

"If I can sum this up, nobody knows anything," Zachary said.

"Except, Hamilton made me," Lowerstoff added.

"How about we get some rest it's nearly 2AM?"

Zachary ignored Lowerstoff and Emile, he was falling asleep and arguing between themselves about what was going on when nobody knew, wasn't getting them anywhere.

Zachary had come to realise that he fell in love very easily. Fabien, Adil, and Lowerstoff, he had feelings for each of them and if he didn't already have Lowerstoff with him, he could have fallen for Emile. His love life was a mixed bundle of relationships which anybody, including himself, would find difficult to unravel. Everybody is some sort of voyeur when it comes to peeking into the lives of others. The thing about Zachary's relationships was they were something he didn't pay too much attention to, he was drawn into all that was going on without much thought. He put most of the odd things that were happening down to himself, somehow connected to his memory loss. The one thing which did make him worried was the idea that Lowerstoff might vanish from his life. He could live without Fabien and Adil, but Zachary needed Lowerstoff. Imagine if Lowerstoff wasn't real. The stuff he said about Hamilton made me. Maybe subconsciously that idea spurred Zachary on to discover what was going on?

The private jet was incredibly comfortable. They each had a bed, and Zachary slept until late the following morning when Lowerstoff woke him up. He was pushing him and talking rather excitedly.

"Wake up! Wake up!"

Slowly Zachary came round. "Hi," he said weekly, opening his eyes.

"Come here," Lowerstoff pulled him up out of the bed.

He saw Emile, his face pressed close to a window. Lowerstoff dragged Zachary over to that side of the plane. "Look," Lowerstoff said, and he did, blinking at the daylight.

Flying next to them was a jet fighter. Lowerstoff pulled Zachary back to the other side of the plane. There was another, identical jet, on that side too.

"This is Malcolm Davies, good morning everyone. If you look out of the windows you will see we have an escort. We shall be landing shortly in Kyrgyzstan where we will refuel again. This plane does not have the capacity to reach our destination without a few stops enroute."

"What about the fucking jets?" Lowerstoff was shouting in Zachary's ear over the captain's announcement.

"The escort is quite normal," Malcolm continued, speaking calmly. "We will be landing at a military base to refuel."

"A military base!" Lowerstoff seemed unnecessarily upset.

"I would ask you to close all the window blinds, please. No photography is allowed and we need to be discrete. Thank you for your comprehension. We shall be on the ground in about twenty minutes."

It was then Zachary noticed they were descending.

"Don't freak out," he told Lowerstoff, "its only to refuel."

"I don't like it," Lowerstoff replied.

"Yeah, well, nothing we can do."

Twenty minutes later the wheels touched the runway.

They were a long time sitting in the plane wondering what was going on. When Zachary could wait no longer, crouching down he lifted the window blind and peeked out, but there was nothing to see. Of course, Lowerstoff was at his shoulder anxious to know what Zachary could see and he insisted on taking Zachary's place to look for himself.

Like divine retribution or simple coincidence, as he pushed up the blind a bit more there was a loud noise and a sudden flash, a very large fire work had lit up the sky! Lowerstoff pushed open the blind fully and Emile and Zachary each did the same at the other cabin windows. Explosions. This wasn't the 4th of July or Bastille Day, nor Guy Fawkes night. The miltary base they had just landed at was under attack.

"Fuck!" Emile's expletive summed it up perfectly.

Zachary left the two of them and went towards the front of the aircraft. Ignoring the baby doll stewardess he opened the door to the cockpit. Malcolm and another guy, presumably the co-pilot were sitting in their respective seats. What he could now see were explosions all across the airfield.

"Have we refuelled?" Zachary asked, as the pilot turned to look at him.

"No, the truck is over there I think." Malcolm pointed to a tanker off to their right about two hundred metres away.

More explosions lit up the sky.

"Can we take off?" He thought that was a reasonable demand given the circumstances.

"Not without refuelling and then only if the runway's still there.

As if to answer that question, they saw a little further away in front of them two jet fighters moving to take off. Two minutes later they were airborne, the flames from their engines momentarily lighting up the airfield.

"If I get the truck here can you fill the plane?"

They both looked at him as if he were stark raving bonkers, which he probably was, but then again Zachary didn't want to get stuck in the middle of a war, a coup d' é tat or whatever the hell was going on.

"It will take a while," Malcolm replied.

Zachary was already leaving. He took that statement to mean he could fill the plane. Seemed easy enough to Zachary, like filling a car at a service station.

"What are you doing?" Emile was standing there in front of him, next to the stewardess.

"I'm going to get us refuelled."

That stewardess was not just a pretty face, she had the cabin door open and the steps were folding out. They could hear sirens and there were at least two fires in different parts of the base. The flames lit up the fire fighters and other military vehicles. Where they were was deserted.

"You coming?" Zachary turned back momentarily and grinned at Emile as he exited the plane.

Emile followed him and they ran towards the presumed fuel truck. The adrenilin was pumping through their veins. Zachary didn't stop to think about what he was doing. He had one goal, to reach the tanker. When they were close he saw the windscreen of the lorry had been shattered. The driver was lying back in his seat. Zachary climbed up and reached for the door handle, turned it and pulled open the door. He reached in and grabbed the driver who was obviously dead. There was enough blood everywhere to know that. Without hesitation Zachary pulled him back through the door and let the body fall onto the tarmac.

"Get in the other side!" he shouted to Emile, and as he climbed in and occupied the blood covered seat. The keys were in the ignition. He started the motor, engaged first, and turned towards the plane.

"Something coming this way." Emile was staring out his side.

As they moved forward Zachary turned and caught a flash of headlights in the review mirror.

"Looks like a jeep," Emile said.

That's all we need, he thought, but they were already next to the plane.

"It's okay, it's turned away." Emile sounded as relieved as he was.

Malcolm and the co-pilot were standing by the steps of the plane. They came up to speak to Zachary.

"You have to stay where you are. Turn the motor off. We will get the hose attached. Then you start the ignition and we pump the fuel. Got it?"

He got it. "Yes," he told him. "How long?"

"As long as you want to stay here. A full load will take about forty-five minutes."

Forty-five minutes felt like much too long.

Malcolm and the co-pilot were pulling out the fuel hose and attaching it. Once they had it fixed he gave him a wave and Zachary started the motor.

He came back round to the driver's window. "That's it, we're pumping fuel."

"Can we make it fifteen minutes?" Zachary asked him.

"Yeah, okay, but that won't get us too far."

"If we get out of here, that'll be good enough."

The sirens had stopped and it seemed unnervingly quiet. Emile was still there beside Zachary, he hadn't said a word.

"You're some kind of hero," Emile said.

"One covered in blood. I just need to get us out of here."

"Yep, that's what heroes do," Emile laughed. Zachary thought it was his attempt at dealing with the tension.

As he waited in the tanker with the motor running, Zachary looked across at the plane and caught Lowerstoff staring through the cabin window. In that instant he realised he had done this as much for Lowerstoff as for himself, not for anyone else, for... the two of them.

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