So here we are. Episode 1 of Relay. I said pretty much everything I wanted to in last weeks post. Please enjoy.
Byron and Julia sat silently in their car as the rain pounded down around it. Byron turned off the windshield wipers and checked the mirrors. Julia turned her cell phone in her hand, nervously waiting for a text. The rain continued to pour. Byron began impatiently drumming on the steering wheel. Julia quickly became annoyed with her brother’s behavior and placed her hand on his. “Please, Byron.” He stopped after a long, frustrated sigh. They listened to the rain hit the car. The sound put Julia in a trance, a trance she was abruptly knocked out of when her phone chirped. The text message read: drive forward, now. She showed it to Byron and he shifted the car into drive. The rain fell so hard they could see only the outline of the large warehouse where they’d parked. Byron let off the brake and idled forward. A door appeared through the rain and mist leading them into the warehouse. They traveled through it.
Fully inside, Byron stopped the car and shut off the engine. He turned off the headlights and all went dark. “Now What?” He asked eagerly. Julia shrugged her shoulders and peered out into the darkness. A knock came from the driver side window. Byron would have jumped out of the seat if he’d remembered to take off the safety belt. Instead it locked up on him. In a fit of rage he violently unbuckled it. The man outside the car motioned for him to roll down the window. “Man you scared the shit out of me!”
Byron wanted to continue shouting but the pistol in the man’s left hand persuaded him to stop.
“My name is Mr. Preston. Nathan wonders if you’d be willing to step out of the vehicle and follow me.” Mr. Preston said.
“Sure.” Byron muttered still staring at the gun. He and Julia left the car and followed the man through the dark warehouse. The car vanished from view as they neared a door. Light beamed from behind it. Byron and Julia followed the lead man through it. On the other side they found a plain white room with one couch and one chair. The man motioned and they sat on the couch.
“Nathan will be with you shortly.” He exited the door they entered. Byron stood and looked around the room.
“All the money we had to front for this, you think they’d at least be able to afford an interior decorator.” Byron walked over to the door and turned the knob. Locked. “And this is the part where they gas us and take all the money.”
“Byron I understand this is how you deal with your nerves, but please sit the hell down!” Julia looked at her phone. No signal. Byron sat and looked at his older sister.
“And you’re sure this will be worth it? I mean we just robbed a bank to pay this guy!” Byron crossed his legs and started shaking his foot. “And we don’t even know what this relay thing does!” Julia started to answer when the door opened and Nathan walked in. His lanky legs made short work of the room’s length. He smiled and sat in the chair opposite them. Nathan placed a brief case beside the chair.
“The money?” He asked.
“In the trunk of the car, just like you said.” Julia responded. Nathan talked into his sleeve and waited for an answer. When it came he seemed pleased.
“So you would like to use the relay? Excellent.” He smiled again showing unnaturally white teeth. “I suppose you would like to know more about them? Generally people know just enough to be interested. The relays are a way to travel between.”
“Between what?” Byron asked. Nathan grinned and opened the brief case. He pulled out a thermos and two bottles.
“We’re not sure yet.” Nathan poured a purple liquid into the bottles. “Worlds, maybe. Universes, probably. Time, absolutely.” He sealed the bottles off and handed them to Byron and Julia. “Drink this just before you travel through. It should keep you from getting too sick. The entrance is in a small Ohio town. This envelope contains entry codes to our facility.” Nathan handed Julia the codes.
“Ohio? You’d think it would be in a big city like New York or L.A.” Byron said. Nathan laughed.
“Maybe in a convenient Hollywood movie. This is the real world and these relays have been around a lot longer than New York City.” Nathan closed the brief case. “The relay will give you the opportunity to input some information before you pass through. We really don’t know why. Some seem to think it has to do with your destination; we don’t really have any proof of that. You can just make up a number or something. Most leave it blank; it doesn’t seem to matter.”
“You don’t know? What do you know about them?” Byron stood. “For all we know the thing turns us inside out!”
“I can assure you it does not turn you inside out.” Nathan motioned for Byron to sit back down. He did. “Our confidence rests in those who have come through from the other side. You see, there are entrance relays and exit relays. The relay in Ohio is Earth’s only entrance that we know of. We have three exits. My company controls two of these exits. On a fairly regular basis we capture beings coming through from other places. They are disposed of. We regularly send agents into the relay. One of those agents managed to return. He traveled to thirty different worlds before finding his way back. He provided most of the information I have given you today.” Nathan stood. “You seem like people who need to get away from something. There is no better way to do so.”
“Actually, we are looking for someone who has already used the relay.” Julia spoke up.
“I see. A customer of mine?” Julia nodded her head. “I generally try to keep other clients information confidential, but you paid so much extra; to hell with it. What is his name?”
“Mabry Sager.” Julia looked at her feet.
“Oh, I see. Hmmm.” Nathan walked toward the door. “Then I guess you are Julia and Byron; his children? He told me you may come after him. He paid me double to kill you if you did.” Byron jumped off the couch. “But,” Nathan continued “You paid much more than he did. I don’t know where you got the money, but it’s more than enough to make you my new favorite customers. Mr. Preston will be along shortly to get you on your way to Ohio. Good luck.” Nathan turned and the door opened for him.
“Wait!” Julia insisted. “Do you have any idea where we could find him?”
“Thirty-one.” Nathan flashed a toothy grin and passed through the door.
“Helpful.” Byron said as he leaned against the wall. “Thirty-one; some sort of riddle?”
“It’s what Mabry entered into the relay, idiot.” Julia returned to the couch. Byron grunted and began tapping his feet. After five grueling minutes, Mr. Preston open the door and ushered them back into the dark warehouse. Their car was gone, replaced by an old beat down blue station wagon. Mr. Preston took the divers seat. Julia and Byron both sat in back.
“Seat belts, please.” Said Mr. Preston as he checked the mirrors. “It seems you were followed here by some friends. This could get bumpy.”
“Friends?” Julia asked. She looked at Byron, who seemed as confused.
“The FBI miss. Something about a bank robbery.”