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The shopping was done, and at 16 o'clock they were in the Gasthaus, drinking coffee and eating cakes and fancy bread twists with a good appetite, except Jodie, who disliked coffee and felt as if the time-travel was going to happen soon again.

 

There was a chorus of yells, hoots, and brutal laughter.

 

"What on earth's going on?" exclaimed Joey, looking over Evadne. And down the side street came an old man, with long grey beard, running for his life, while rotten fruit, stones and other missiles followed him.

 

"Why, it's Herr Goldmann, the jeweller!" cried Jo, and it clicked in Miranda's mind - Grandmamma was here, and so had to be Joey. But she's not old now. But then, 40 was old to Miranda.

 

"What are they doing to him? The Brutes! Rob! What are you after? Come back at once! Oh, my hat!" Joey cried, and then followed Robin. All the girls followed her, except Miranda and Jodie. Joey was shouting at the Nazis using her vocabulary.

 

"You low cads! You cowards! How dare you chase an old man like this? Twenty of you against one! You - you huns! You - Hans Bocher! Last winter, when you were all starving, didn't Frau Goldmann send soup and coffee everyday to your home? And didn't Herr Goldmann give you a job so that you had a regular wage? And this is the way you show your gratitude? You deserve to starve!" Joey shouted.

 

"He's a Jew! Jews have no right to live!" Declared the sullen Hans Bocher. "Give place, Fraulein Bettany, and hand over the old Jew to us! Better take care or you'll be in trouble for this."

 

Cornelia went forward to attack the Nazi with her language, but Miranda was outside by then, and stopped her so she could get her bit in, and said it in clear German, which she had a lot, even in their time the girls had to be trilingual.

 

"When it comes to the end of the day, we're all just flesh and bone, and no flesh is better than any other. Anyway, Join the Nazis and you join being defeated. I'm from the future and I know you will be defeated," she said simply, before letting Cornelia and her Americanisms take over.

 

And then the red swimmy light came, and Miranda and Jodie disappeared very suddenly.

 

"Jodie, wake up! It's Okay, we're back in our own time," Miranda said. "I gave the camera to the police, your dads been let out, Jacob Kingsley has been locked up. I've got something else to say, but until you're awake and alert I won't say it,"

 

Jodie sat up, smiling, but Miranda did not smile back. Something was wrong, Jodie knew it.

 

"What's happened? Is dad alright?" Jodie asked, with panic in her voice.

 

"He's alright, Mamma walked into him and they're going home once they've got us safe and sound. But the time-travel guy has given us some bad news. The machine's breaking down, and if it continues, It will be a threat to the world. Anyone in a 70 mile radius will be propelled into the past, and the illness will pass on to all of the time-travel machines throughout the world, and not a soul will be on the planet. And in time-travel, you never age or die until you're back in your own time," Miranda said.

 

"It needs to be properly destroyed or fixed, then," Jodie said.

 

"If it's destroyed, there's a thing that means that all the people who have used this machine die or are trapped in the time travel tunnels forever. And we can't fix it because we don't know how it got broken. There could be a chance if we knew how to fix it, but at the moment it looks like everyone will be stuck in the past or several hundred people die,"

 

"I think I know something about this. Come on. We're going to visit Jacob Kingsley," Jodie said.

 

The girls made their way to Jacob Kingsley's cell. They arrived and looked at him.

 

"What do you snivelling babies want?" he asked in a sneering fashion.

 

"What did you do to the time-travelling machine, and how can it be fixed?" Miranda asked firmly.

 

"Why should I tell you, you little devils?" he sneered.

 

It took an hour to get him to reveal the secret. When it looked grimmer than it could be, Jodie got some inspiration.

 

"Well, either you have to bound around the past forever, get destroyed when the thing is destroyed, or tell us what we wish to know," Jodie said, a very slight quiver in her voice.

 

He told them what he had done, and the girls relayed it to the time-travel manager.

 

"Ooh. Oh dear. This means only one thing," he said. "Two people must go back in time and then come back. Doesn't matter how quickly it is done,"

 

"I'll do it," said Jodie.

 

"But doing it will be very dangerous. There is a high death risk, and even if you don't die, you would fall violently ill, and that could kill you," the manager said. "It isn't my job to let children die,"

 

"I don't care; the lives of other people matter to me the most, and if I do die hardly anyone would care," Jodie said, very strongly and stubbornly.

 

"She is right. After all, two people or hundreds of people to die, I'd rather have the first option. Even if we do die, it would be very different if many people died, when it could be prevented and let the world go forward,"

 

"If I could get it stable then I could destroy it without people dying, but I would like to know your parents are accepting of this,"

 

"It's us, the world into limbo, or hundreds of people dying. There isn't any time to be picky. And there is a chance of us surviving, but destructing the machine is sure to kill more than that" Miranda said.

 

"Alright, but wear these," He said, pointing to two what looked like spacesuits. "They'll lower the death risk by a little,"

 

The two girls stood in the time machine.

 

"Are you sure of this?" the manager asked.

 

"This means you can get it stable and destroy it without any more fuss," Jodie said.

 

He pulled the lever and the two girls disappeared.

 

He worked as fast as he could to get the system stabilised, and succeeded.

 

The two girls were in a whirl. They could hardly see anything except the red swimmy light, although now and again they saw part of a scene. A lake bluer than blueness, snail-setting on a window, two girls falling through ice. As each picture flashed the girls got sicker and sicker, not from the pictures. Jodie especially was ill.

 

Escape from Nazis, a lot of bombing, an island, the Oberland, Joey stuck in a box... with the bombing Jodie was unconscious, but Miranda held out until the box incident. Without realising this, the girls spun stealthily along, until the system was stable and they weren't time-travelling. Very quickly they were taken to the English branch of the San.




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