Ray Sullivan publishes science based fiction adventures on Amazon, Smashwords, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, WH Smith and other good eBook retailers as e-books. Additionally all of his books are available in paperback on Amazon. He also muses on technology, posts comedic books in serial format and discusses the world of self publishing.
Books written by Ray Sullivan
Friday, 5 April 2013
Parallel Lives chapter 80
Sam was genuinely scared, sat next to Martin who was
tearing down the outside lane of the motorway, headed towards the South West.
Whenever the outside lane was blocked, Martin swerved into the centre lane and
'You'll lose your licence,' suggested Sam, hoping to instil
some caution, although he believed his life to be at more at risk and
infinitely more important than Martin's licence.
'Let me worry about that,' said Martin, in the knowledge
that the same technology that was actively looking for the vehicles belonging
to Michael Watson and the Howells had been programmed to ignore his hire car's
number plate. Police cars were his biggest potential hindrance, and judging by
the level of the summons he had received he would have little problem squaring
things with them.
'You're not concerned that I can't handle the speed,
surely?' he asked Sam, faintly amused, 'I’m trained to drive like this,' he explained.
That was small comfort to Sam, who was sure that the other road users weren't
equally trained to respond accordingly.
'Obviously we are rushing to the South West. Am I going to
be able to contribute?' he asked. If he wasn't, then getting out at the next
services seemed a sensible idea.
'Oh yes, you're involved. You know John and his condition
as well as anyone on the payroll. Well except for Michael, but I doubt we can
persuade him to assist at the moment,' replied Martin. He had been told there
was a crisis looming and the project information may be the only way to avert
it. Despite a very bad start to the day he was starting to rise out of the crap
smelling of roses, and it was his full intention to capitalise on the
situation. He remembered something he had been asked to enquire about.
'On our way in to Manchester I heard Staples muttering
about the word "Spartan", does it ring a bell with you?' Sam thought
deeply, momentarily forgetting the real fear he felt as a passenger.
'Well,' he started, 'I may be getting this wrong because I
was driving when he did most of the burbling, so I didn't actually hear much of
what he said.'
'But,' asked Martin, looking sidewards at Sam. He could
tell there was a "but". Feeling the fear return as he realised that they
were weaving in and out of motorway traffic and Martin wasn't even attempting
to look forward. Sam blurted.
'Just after you and the airforce guy returned from having a
piss at the services on the M62, Staples used the word "Spartan", but
it wasn't that word that made me listen. Normally, well normally post bringing
him off the medication, Staples reported events as though he was reading them
out of a newspaper, or repeating them off a news bulletin. Moderately useful
stuff, simply proving the principle.
'But then he was different, it was as if he was in a
conversation, no, it was if he was being interviewed,' said Sam, racking his
brains to remember exactly what it was he had heard. Martin looked unimpressed,
but was listening very closely.
'We did that to him, early on. Before we realised that it
didn't reap much, we would ask him specific questions. Usually he didn't
understand the subject matter so we allowed him to roam free in the end. My
guess is he was tapped into a dimension that was behind us on the timeline or
hadn't given up on the strategy.' Martin accelerated past a row of cars then
braked violently when he realised the traffic up ahead was slowing across all
'But this was different,' stressed Sam watching the closing
distance nervously, 'whoever was asking the question obviously kept on pushing
for the same information,' he said, remembering the event almost ten hours
Martin and Jim were fumbling with their seatbelts as Sam
accelerated towards the motorway, the petrol pumps flashing past in a blur.
John had started to mumble again, clearer than before but a mumble all the
same. In the corner of Sam’s eye he saw Martin press the record button on his
tape machine before resuming the activity with his seatbelt. It was obvious
that the only person taking any real notice of what John was saying was Sam,
despite his functional disadvantage seated in the front of the car.
'Never heard of it, don't know,' then, 'I told you.' There
was a series of mutterings, in which the word "Spartan" featured
twice, both times in the negative.
'Poisoned water? Yes, I know about poisoned water. A whole
city ill and dying, I know about that,' he had said. Sam had started to listen
more closely, had tried to catch Martin’s attention, flicking his hand between
the front seats, nudging Martin’s leg.
'To be honest, I didn't give it any further thought. The
Spartan bit, that's important, isn't it?' Sam asked. Martin nodded, biting his
'Yes, but the bit about the poisoned water is more significant,
did he indicate which city? Whether it was here or abroad?' Sam shook his head.
'No idea, Staples sank back into his muse after that, and I
became engrossed in the driving, couldn’t hear that much over the engine at
motorway speeds anyway. Perhaps the Sergeant heard something more?' Martin sat
back, pleased. He knew he had cuffed the report culled from his recorder at
several points, had filled in gaps he was unsure of. But Sam’s interpretation
of Staple’s ramblings concurred reasonably closely to what he had transcribed
into his report. The point about the airforce guy was relevant, though. If this
was as important as it appeared to be then anything extra he could remember
would be useful.