“You There!! Stop!! What are you two doing out after curfew!?!
Zsofia and I exchanged startled glances. Security Otters? Curfews? What was going on here! It would certainly explain the darness and quietness of the Holt but raised far more questions. However, even I could see that stopping to ask this fellow what was going on was probably a bad idea and we would be better off attempting to talk our way out of it.
I was desperately trying to come up with a plausible excuse that didn’t involve starting a sentence with, “hi, we are from the past…” or “So, when is this and who are you?” I’ll be honest, I was failing. Luckily Zsofia was somewhat quicker on the uptake. She was suddenly a whole lot closer than I expected and lent her head against mine, she started to explain that we were on an assignation. I don’t think she used the word assignation but you get my drift. She sounded shy and nervous, not at all like the bold confident otter I was used to. Thankfully, the security guard thought this nervous behaviour and my somewhat stunned look was a symptom of two otters having a secret meeting. He was more understanding than he may have been, giving us a huge wink but did tell us somewhat sternly to get out of the corridor as quick as possible. It was, apparently, strictly forbidden to be in the corridors at that time. I daren’t ask why as any otter from that time would already have known.
Thinking ourselves extremely lucky to have got away with this, we darted through the closest door. It was only when we were on the other side that we realised that the door we were now on the far side of was the one that said “Felis silvestris: Do not Disturb”. All boldness restored, Zsofia decided to take advantage of this and have a look around. The room was somewhat larger than I remember seeing in the otter living quarters. It seemed to be furnished with more soft looking cushions, blankets and fleeces and less water than is traditional and I started to have my suspicions about the inhabitant of this room. Zsofia came hurrying back and informed me that in the corner, in a particularly warm looking nest of fleeces, was a curled up pile of fur which appeared to be breathing. We unanimously decided to take our chances with the security otters and very quietly removed ourselves from the room.
With somewhat more caution than we showed previously we set off down the corridor again heading towards the communal areas of the Holt to see if we could find any clues about what on earth was going on! We made it to the research teams’ common room and saw a brand new looking notice board which looked like it might hold at least some answers to our questions. As we started reading we saw the same flash of light from outside the room. We decided that another encounter with security would be pushing out luck a little too far. There was no other option than to try the emergency return devices. There was, after all, only a very small chance we would end up as a Peter/Zsofia amalgamation. We grabbed as many notices off the board as we could and pressed the buttons.
Now, if the time tank makes you feel like a cork being removed from a bottle, the emergency devices gave you a similar feeling being dragged backwards by a giant bungee cord. After a second or two of wildly hurtling whilst also staying still, we found ourselves in a heap in a much more brightly lit and more populated common room. A heap but I am pleased to say we were still very definitely two otters!
Peter Paddlefoot and Zsofia Smoothcoat.
My goodness that Peter is a fabulously thorough report writer! Fascinating reading I thought. I can’t imagine what all this curfew and security business is all about. Most concerning I can tell you. The notices that the chaps grabbed before their return have been passed to the analysis teams. I shall be having a good look at them myself too, just as soon as I can get them away from Simon Swifttail. He believes they may link to the prophecy apparently. Felis sylvestris evidently had him quite excited too.
I must say this time travel business is proving to be splendid. I was curious about those return devices, Brian Russetcoat tried to explain them to me. He said something about the travellers remaining tied to their original times and being able to reverse the journey in the same way as you would release a stretched elastic band. Sounds marvellous to me. Very useful and a lot easier than carting about an emergency time tank and a Cedric I ca tell you! Anyway, enough of this, there is a meeting to go over these finding in more detail which I must attend. I am hoping there will be some of these excellent clam scones I have heard about, all this thinking has made me quite peckish!