A Burst of Light
By John Pirillo
A burst of light. A symbol of hope spread across the heavens above Switzerland, dispersing the evil glows of the Nazi Thunder Blimps that girded the sky with what was to be hoped an impenetrable barrier of death and destruction.
Nazi Captains all turned their binoculars to follow the falling star, hoping to gain some kind of notice from their superiors instead of an early death for their inability to stop it from plunging through all their defenses as a knife cuts through butter.
The falling star rocketed towards Lake Lucerne and buried itself in the frigid waters in an explosion of mist and hot spray.
Soldiers and civilians out late in the village of Lucerne all turned to look, expecting an explosion to follow, or something worse. But instead, the waters stopped boiling, and then settled down. Even the geese and ducks, that had been frightened off in a massive evacuation begin circling back to rest again in their nooks beside the rocks of the lake.
Unseen by all a blue halo of light shot across the bottom of the lake, only spotted by the sharp eyes of an old fisherman who was also an agent for the Resistance. He tapped his collar, spoke into it, then spit into the lake, and continued to fish.
On the mountain behind him, a secret entrance began to roll up and out, and at the same time a blue halo of light burst from the lake near the forest shrouded edges and rocketed towards the entrance. Soldiers poised warily along the edges of the entrance, praying for the best, but uncertain what was approaching.
Then Rocketman arched up, and landed at the entrance.
Battle weary and just plain tuckered out, Rocketman stepped out of his suit to the cheers of his friends and fellow warriors. Captain Harry Jackson was finding it harder and harder to separate his own identity from that of the rocket suit he flew on missions. Good or bad, it was what was happening, but at that moment, when he saw the faces of so many he had never thought to see again, his heart stopped pounding in his chest and leapt into his throat.
Jet ran up and gave him a huge hug. "You're back. About time. Who gave you permission to go AWOL, Harry?"
Harry burst into laughter, wiping at tears in his face as the others ran up and began pumping his hand, slapping his back with congratulations and making him feel wanted and relieved to be back home. But he was still wary. He had been to so many different timelines. Some of them were so close to the original at first glance, then dangerously different upon closer examination.
"When's the last time Al put a frog in your bath tub?" Harry asked Jet, waiting for an answer he wasn't sure he was going to get.
Everyone dropped into silence, and then a voice from behind Harry said. "Just last night, but I try to not make a habit of it. And last time was two weeks ago after you decided to rush off to dance down with the Swiss miss."
Harry almost wept for joy.
He swung around and clasped Al to his chest. "God! How I've missed all of you!
Al's eyes were lit up with humor. "Then you won't mind letting go before you miss me permanently."
"Sorry." Harry said, letting go.
He turned back to Jet, who quickly hid a hanky he had been using to dry his own eyes.
"We've got a lot to talk about."
"I bet we do." Jet said, and then nodded to Al.
Al stepped around. "Harry, there's something you should know."
Harry gave them both a quizzical look.
Then they both parted, grinning like Cheshire cats. "Harry!" A girl's voice cried out.
Nurse Betty came running down a corridor of Techs, Soldiers, and Al and Jet to wrap her arms around him and kiss him over and over. He was stiff at first, conscious of everyone watching and then. "Oh Hell!" He blurted out and lifted her up into his arms and kissed her hard.
A barrage of applause and laughter lit the interior of the bunker.
"Roll 'Em!" Jet ordered.
The bunker doors rolled back into place, giving the hidden bunker an appearance of being nothing more than stone and moss.
Jet, Nurse Betty and Harry sat up all night talking. Harry would talk about what had happened to him. Al would join them, take notes, then leave. They would talk some more. Al would come back with fresh coffee and doughnuts. They would eat and drink, then talk some more. It was a long and joyful night for Harry.
In the end Jet sprawled asleep on one bunk, Harry on the other, with Nurse Betty squiggled against him, her head on his chest. Al sat there a long time watching the three, interpreting the notes Harry had given him and the ones he had taken. Much to discuss with Tesla and the others. Much that made sense and much that was frightening.
Finally, he laid a blanket over Jet, then Harry and Nurse Betty, lit a new pipe, and then exited a happy, but tired smile on his face.
Harry woke up to the sound of light snoring and smiled. He couldn't' believe his luck. Then he heard a second and louder snore. He opened his eyes and saw Jet sprawled out on the other bunk, snoring like a steam shovel out of control.
He disengaged himself from Nurse Betty's arms, and then slipped outside to the commissary where Al and Tesla were having coffee and bacon and eggs for breakfast.
"Join us, Harry." Tesla suggested.
Harry went to the food counter, selected a tray, put a coffee mug on it, two packets of sugar, and three doughnuts, eight bacon and eggs and a stack of pancakes and one waffle, plus three French toast. He sat down and began to dig in.
The two men watched him eat in silence, their eyes wide with amazement.
"Remember when we used to be able to do that without busting out in our guts?" Tesla asked.
"I don't remember a time when I could not bust out in my gut from eating that much."
He shoved his empty plate back and eyed the counter where more doughnuts were being laid out.
"Go ahead, Harry. There's plenty of time to make small talk." Al suggested.
Harry went back. He put three doughnuts on a plate, then shrugged and pushed them all on his plate. He refilled his mug, poured some coffee in it this time and returned to the table.
Al and Tesla both snatched a doughnut.
"Spoils of war." Tesla said between bites.
Al just crinkled up into a smile, and said nothing.
A moment later Jet slammed into a chair between everyone and reached for the doughnuts. "I like your choice of breakfasts, guys."
Harry smiled. "Hey!
"Oh, yours, huh. Good I didn't want to hurt Al or Tesla's feelings." Jet grabbed three more from the stack and began eating.
Tesla leaned across the table. "When you translined as you called it. Did you get any unusual readings on your sensors?"
"Actually, I did."
He grabbed a napkin, Jet's pen..."Hey!" Jet cried out and Al's tobacco pouch. "Hey!" Al cried out.
Harry dumped the tobacco on the napkin, and then began stirring it into a pattern.
Al was about to grumble about his tobacco when his eyes caught what Harry was trying to communicate. He looked to Tesla, who looked as excited as a little boy.
Both men got up and hurried off.
Harry sat back. "I thought I'd never get rid of them."
Jet laughed. "Harry's back!"
Jet stopped laughing. "Harry, aren't you going to ask me how she got here?"
"Why should he?" Nurse Betty jumped in as she sat down and reached for a doughnut, yawned, then grabbed a napkin to put the doughnut on. "He's a big boy. He can figure it out."
Harry looked at her. "You look..."
"You would too after all I've seen." She told him.
The bunker she was in with Eisenhower and his staff was deep beneath the London Bridge. The British had built it prior to World War Two as a place to secure the royal treasury and their top secret weapons both. It could only be reached by several shafts that went miles deep in the earth.
Eisenhower and his staff had felt the bunker they were hidden in shudder.
Nurse Betty had been serving them coffee when it happened. She dropped her tray and let out a startled yelp.
Eisenhower stood up and took his cap off and bowed his head. "We must pray for those who no longer live."
She gave him a fearful look, and bowed her head.
Three days later Nurse Betty had been secreted from the bunker along with Einstein and the brightest of his men. The rest stayed to create the Resistance, which Harry would later on join in the future once Hitler's power over the world was cemented.
Eisenhower looked at her. His eyes stern, but soft and gentle at the same time. "Harry is lost to us. You know that."
She nodded, feeling tears start to turn from the corners of her eyes.
He put a hand on her arm. "But if you are brave, there may be a way for you to find him."
He took her and his men on a ride in a B-52 bomber, escorted by what remained of the British Air Force. As they rose above London she could see that it was mostly a smoking crater now. They passed over France and she saw the melted Eiffel Tower. It was the same across Europe, wherever the West had stood up to Hitler. Smashed and destroyed by nuclear tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles.
"They got them first." He had told her, his eyes filled with sorrow for all the lives lost. "But we shall not be defeated." He clenched his hands into fists.
They flew for several more hours, and then landed in a secret base in the Swiss Alps. The bomber was destroyed in the landing and swiftly removed from view and hidden beneath huge camouflage nets.
Eisenhower brought her to the shelter there. He took her through a long corridor that ended in a brilliant white room. Einstein stood there with Teller and several other scientists of enormous intellect and ingenuity. Einstein turned and beckoned to her.
She went to him. "The General informs me you are willing to search for Harry. This is so?"
She nodded swiftly.
He smiled. "Then let me show you and the General a little something I have worked up."
He led them into a side room where brilliant lights spotlighted a Rocket suit. Designed for a smaller person.
Harry took Nurse Betty's hands in his and pressed them. "You were very brave. They never guaranteed you would find me, did they?"
She shook her head, tears forming. "No and I never gave up, no matter what...what..." She began to weep seriously. "Horrors I saw or experienced. Oh Harry, Harry!" She sobbed.
He gathered her into his arms and held her.
Jet got up. "I think I got an appointment with Einstein or something."
He grinned and took off.
Harry rose and Nurse Betty rose with him.
Outside on the mountainside Nurse Betty and Harry sat side by side in the traditional pose of lovers across the eons. Her head on his chest, his eyes on the stars.
"Someday this will all come together for the world. There will be peace again."
She shook her head. "Harry, stop it."
He glanced at her. "What?"
"You talk too much!"
She pulled him down into a kiss.