Hamilton Gode

by Luca

Chapter 7

It seemed pretty amazing how the pilot managed to land, but thank God, he did, and they were still alive. Unbuckling his seatbelt Zachary turned around and looked over at Lowerstoff. In that split second he realised he loved him. He had said that before, but that instant it hit him full on, like a shockwave. An after shock, perhaps. Coming that close to death Zachary knew he couldnt live without Lowerstoff and that left him with a dilemma.

They had travelled halfway across the world and been dragged into bizarre situations sometimes not even real, not this reality anyway. Throughout this trip they had come close to the edge, risked their lives, and not learned a lot. The one thing Zachary did know now was Hamilton had forced Lowerstoff into his reality and he didn't belong here, but that would be true if he followed him back to where he had originated from.

Logically, this crossover, the infiltration of Lowerstoff into this timeline was causing a few anomalies. That made sense. Zachary thought it a small price to pay for being together with the guy he was in love with, the guy who was... his soul mate.

"Jesus! Look at that," Emile shouted, and they all turned as one in the direction he was pointing.

They heard the engines before they caught site of the trail bikes bouncing across the fields at the edge of the forest. It was obvious they were coming towards them. Emile had his pistol raised. Zachary pushed his arm down.

"What you gonna do? You can't shoot them all."

There was, he counted seven trail bikes with leather clad riders fast approaching. A couple of minutes later they pulled up in front of them and the broken helicopter whose blades were still spinning slowly. Three of the group dismounted and the other four unshouldered automatic weapons. The one who must have been the leader lifted the visor on his helmet and spoke very quickly and forcefully, in Japanese.

"What did he say?" Zachary asked.

Nobody answered. Then the smaller guy on his right lifted his visor. Suddenly Zachary was staring into dark eyes which despite their situation he found attractive, almost mesmerising. He smiled.

"You need to come with us," he said.

When no one moved the older group leader got angry and barked out some orders, which none of them understood. Maybe the pilot did, he seemed very nervous.

"If you prefer," the younger one who spoke English continued, "you can wait here for the police. They maybe wont kill you."

He was persuasive, both by his speech and that certain attraction. Zachary had to admit, even in potential life and death situations his libido intervened.

"Let's go!" he said, as much to the others as to the sexy leather clad biker.

Zachary climbed on his bike and Emile and Lowerstoff took their places behind the other two riders. Zachary thought Emile drew the short straw as passenger behind the snarky group leader.

"Hold tight," Zachary's driver said, and Zachary closed his arms around the slim waist.

The bike roared alive, jerked forward, and they made a sharp turn. Then they were heading back around the forest edge, the countryside a blur of green. He concentrated on holding on as they bumped over the fields at speed. Zachary was squeezed up close behind the boy and gave no thought to who these leather clad bikers were or where they had come from.

Soon they were off the fields and onto a dirt track which kicked up a lot of dust. With Emile in front on the leader's bike and the others behind, Zachary had his eyes shut against the dust being churned up. When he did take a peek over the driver's shoulder he saw they were coming to a tarmac road, which to his relief appeared empty. Certainly there were no police cars or sirens, but he was soon reminded they had pursuers.

Rounding a long bend Zachary could see some way down the road what looked very much like a road block. No surprise, if he had had time to reflect, the police probably condoned off the entire area. They lurched off the road, once again tearing across fields of tall grass, tall enough to whack his legs like so many tails of a whip, even wearing jeans he felt the sting.

Eventually, they slowed a little and came to a halt after topping a hill and looking down on a prairie and stream of fast flowing water. Beyond the stream was more grassland and a steep insurmountable rock face. They cut the motors and dismounted. The brief silence was shattered by the unmistakable sound of a large motor and looking in that direction Zachary saw a big helicopter top the ridge on the other side of the stream.

When it had landed, rotors still turning, they dashed on-board crouching down and being blown by the considerable draft of those blades. Zachary looked back briefly at the scene below as they took flight, then the side doors were closed and they took their seats along each side of the chopper. It was too noisy to talk. He was seated next to his driver with Lowerstoff on the other side, Emile was opposite. There was nothing left to do now until they arrived at wherever they were going.

Nothing to do, however, did not mean nothing happened. For a brief moment amidst the noise of the engines the inside of the helicopter wobbled. That's the only way to describe it. Zachary found himself looking at a moving blur, a sort of fog had descended. He looked to Lowerstoff who was there next to him seemingly undisturbed. He wanted to ask him if he was experiencing the same thing he was seeing, but he didn't try to say anything. The small slim guy on his other side, his leather clad driver, was also seated there next to him exactly as if nothing unusual was happening. Opposite there was no one. Emile and the rest of the bikers had vanished. As quickly as this distortion arrived, it cleared, and everyone was there. Another time reality slip? He didn't know.

The flight was quite long, but it would be difficult to say exactly how long. It wasn't very relevant, they had escaped, or at least avoided what may have been a deadly encounter. Now Zachary was wondering who had arranged all this?

When the helicopter landed there was an odd swaying sensation. He knew they had touched down, the motors were slowing, the engine noise becoming less loud. Maybe, he thought, he was drifting into another reality, because they lurched up and down like a seesaw. Then the door opened and the guys across from them were climbing out. As Zachary followed Lowerstoff off the chopper it was clear what the swaying and lurching was all about. They were instantaly hit by a gale, the wind was strong enough almost to knock you over and it carried the salty spray of the sea. Zachary crouched into the wind following everyone else. When he did look to one side he saw they were on a ship. Not just any ship, the long flat deck was immense, this was an aircraft carrier.

Inside they were shielded from the elements, but the mammoth ship was still rocking around like a duck in a bath tub. Maybe his senses exaggerated the movement, but it swayed and lurched as they stumbled through the passageways. Zachary grabbed the hand rail going down a deck and at one point grabbed onto Lowerstoff.

"You alright?" Lowerstoff turned and gave him an odd look.

Finally, he found himself in a large empty room. Empty of people except for Zachary, Lowerstoff, the bike driver who had accompanied him on this trip, and Emile. The walls were steel riveted sheets, there were some tables, a large board holding a map pinned to it, and rows of chairs. From the far side of this cavern in the middle of the ship, with no natural light, appeared a familiar figure. Familiar by his moustache and jet black hair, there was no sky blue jacket, Panama hat, or flared trousers. Those were replaced with a navy uniform and if Zachary wasn't mistaken, not any old uniform, but that of an Admiral.

In his right hand was a gun, the very same Magnum 357 he'd carried in Paris. He stopped and raised his arm and they were all looking down the barrel of his big gun. All, not exactly, it was pointed at Lowerstoff.

"I do regret this," he said to all of them.

The loud crack of the Magnum reverberated in the large metal clad room. Zachary saw Lowerstoff drop backwards onto the floor. The impact had hit him in the chest and the force pushed him back. He rushed to his side, crouching down beside him. Blood trickled bubbling out of the corner of Lowerstoff's mouth as he tried to speak to Zachary. There was a huge hole in his chest. Zachary looked into his eyes and held onto his shoulders. He watched as the light faded from him. Then Zachary turned around and there was nothing there. The room was suddenly bright.

Zachary recognised this room. So familiar, it took him a minute to clear his head. This was the Foyer Des Jeunes Travailleurs De La Cité Des Fleurs. He blinked several times, worrying if it was real. What just happened? He asked himself.

There was a knock on the door. Zachary moved a few steps towards it, then hesitated. Suddenly it occurred to him that he could open that door and there would be nothing beyond it. Or worse, an inferno, hell and damnation. Why that thought? He guessed it was programmed into every Christian. Even if you have nothing religious about you.

Another knock on the door. Zachary was not a courageous person. He froze, watching as the door handle moved. Slowly the door opened onto the world outside.


Zachary couldn't believe he was standing there. It had to be a hallucination. He was experiencing a passage to the other side. But... when they talk about near death experiences, you meet relatives, friends, pets, and they all have one thing in common. They're dead. Lowerstoff was dead, but he hadn't been touched. He'd fallen to the floor when Hamilton fired his magnum. He had crawled next to him. Held him. The last image was his face, staring into Zachary's eyes.

Maybe, by some miracle he'd survived. Then, how did he get from an aircraft carrier off Japan back to Paris and wake up standing in his old room?

Lowerstoff walked in and stood in front of Zachary.

"How did you get here?"

Zachary's mouth was open in surprise.

"I've always been here," Lowerstoff smiled.

"No," Zachary insisted. "I left you on the floor of that room. On the ship. You were shot." He wasn't mad, that really happened.

"Quantum reality," Lowerstoff replied, rather smugly.

"Quantum reality! Don't play games with me."

Zachary was breathing hard. He was about to have a panic attack. His thought process couldn't cope with this.

"Sit down," Lowerstoff said calmly, and guided Zachary gently to sit next to him on the bed.

For no apparent reason a picture of Fabien sitting next to him in exactly the same position, came into Zachary's head.

Seeing he was distracted, Lowerstoff asked: "What are you thinking about?"

"You died. Back there on the ship in Japan."

"People believe in God, in Jesus, in reincarnation. All sorts of crap." Lowerstoff had turned to look at him.

"It's probably not completely crap if people believe in it. There must be something, some grain of truth."

Zachary kind of believed in reincarnation himself. It was a comforting idea. But this, this was not reincarnation.

Maybe Lowerstoff read his thoughts. "A grain of truth, wanting to believe, whatever. It's not like that. There are more than one of you. More than one of everybody. We exist multiple times. At the same time. Separated. But you still exist. Always."

"No! What does that mean? You're talking nonsense."

"There are a trillion, trillion, choices. You make one, the world follows. You die in one world, you're still alive in a trillion others."

Zachary stared at him blankly.

"You can't call it reincarnation, because you have always been here. Okay, I suppose usually you start back at the start."

"Lowerstoff, you are fucking with my brain."

"Simply then. I died in Japan. You are alive here. Like you are playing the tape again. Except you will make different choices."

Zachary nodded like one of those stupid dolls stuck on the dashboard of a car, spurred into nodding by the momentum.

"I shouldn't know all this. You should have started over as yourself as a baby somewhere. But Hamilton fucked with the multiverse. So here we are."

Lowerstoff did not seem at all perturbed by all this. Even though he'd died, hadn't he? Shot by Hamilton, Zachary's father. What kind of a sick joke is that?

"This means you are still alive. You didn't get shot. And you are here!"

"Yeah, well... You can forget what happened in Japan. That world carries on without me. There is just this world now. For us. To make our choices."

Zachary looked at him and he looked around the room, it all appeared solid enough.

"This time," Lowerstoff said, "we will have the upper hand."

Zachary smiled at him. "I guess we know what happens?"

"Not exactly, but we do have a second chance."

And that was it. One story came to an end. For Lowerstoff, for Zachary and for you!

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