-SCIENCE FICTION AUTHOR-
Time Split - Briggs
Sarah's battle to escape the post-apocalyptic nuclear world results in a fight for her life and the need to seek help from an old friend.
The long awaited sequel to Time Split.
Alert. The below text contains spoilers.
Havelberg, Germany, 15th March 1930
Sarah suddenly found herself standing near a town square, the cry still deep in her throat. Her initial shock gave way instantly to surprise when she realised everything Jason had said was true. She had wanted to believe him but, despite this, a small part of her mind had denied it could ever be possible – yet here she was in Jason’s Germany.
A demonstration was taking place and in the commotion, nobody had even noticed her unusual arrival.
Quickly she looked around. There was no time to lose. She had to find Jason; she had to find him now. Three minutes, her mind kept screaming, only three minutes, he had said.
She scanned the streets, her senses on high alert, but could not see him anywhere. She started towards the square, then suddenly she was bumped from behind. She glanced at the perpetrator, as they passed, and was shocked to see it was Jason.
She tried to grab him, but missed.
“Jason!” she yelled. “Stop! You must listen!”
He continued through the crowd, the noise of the demonstration drowning out her cries, oblivious to her presence.
Sarah could see the door to a building across the street open; some men in uniform were making their way down the stairs.
As Jason crossed the road towards them, she found herself caught up in the crowd. Pushing against the mass, she forced her way through the demonstrators and was just about to break free when her right arm was abruptly grabbed from behind.
She looked back, shocked, then stopped and stared, her mouth open in astonishment. For vital seconds it seemed as if time was no longer moving, but instead was frozen like ice. The crowd around her blurred as though part of a dream and the only reality was the man who stood before her. “Briggs,” she said. “How the hell did you get here?”
A flash of light snapped Sarah from her daze and she looked down in time to see the glint of a blade discreetly clutched near the soldier’s left hip. Shocked, she tried to pull back, but he held her in place so firmly she barely expanded the distance between them and was still comfortably within the man’s reach.
It immediately became apparent he was just toying with her when suddenly she found she was no longer moving away, but instead was being dragged closer.
“If you don’t struggle, I’ll make this quick,” he hissed, his face an emotionless mask.
Sarah screamed, aware she was in a square full of people. She did not expect Briggs to be phased, but still, the attention it would draw would be undesirable, especially if he was about to commit cold-blooded murder.
She knew the man was cool under pressure, but she hoped that this would be enough to force him to back down.
She felt him pause, just for a moment, and immediately took advantage of the hesitation. She pulled back again as hard as she could, writhing her body from side to side, to loosen his grip.
Briggs raised the knife when silencing the woman took priority over discretion. A successful blow just behind the ear would sever her spinal cord with minimum blood loss, terminating her life instantly. To the casual onlooker it would appear as though she had just fainted.
Sarah raised her free hand in a vain attempt to protect herself, then suddenly she was flung to the floor. She landed on her side. Briefly confused by the change of events, she was convinced at first she had been stabbed, but a quick check revealed no blood and she also realised there was no pain. She looked up from the ground and saw two men trying to wrestle the knife off Briggs.
For a moment, it seemed as though the young, powerful individuals may get the better of the soldier, who had been caught off guard by the assault, but his training and ruthlessness was not to be overpowered by mere youth.
A quick twist of the wrist loosened the grip of the man who had a hold of his knife hand and in a move so fast it was impossible to see it coming, Briggs punched him on the side of the jaw, using the weapon to add weight to his blow. As the young man crumpled to the floor, knocked out cold, Briggs turned his attention to his colleague, who had been trying to wrestle the soldier from behind.
Reversing the movement, he swung the knife in a clockwise direction and plunged the blade deep into the man’s neck.
Behind Briggs a look of shock briefly washed over the German’s face before he loosened his grip, dropped to his knees and fell forward to lie diagonal to his colleague.
Sarah scrambled backwards, distancing herself from the scene, before climbing to her feet, desperate to escape Briggs, but more importantly, to stop Jason. She pushed through the crowd and broke clear just in time to see the scientist, gun in hand, stepping backwards away from the guards.
“Jason! Stop!” she screamed, then jumped when the sound of gunfire echoed off the buildings surrounding the square.
She turned her back on the drama as first the guard and then the official, who had been standing behind him for protection, fell to the ground.
Briggs cleared the crowd, he stopped – and for a heartbeat, stood staring smugly at Sarah. He had not killed her, but had still achieved the desired outcome. The altered timeline was saved; Hitler was as good as dead. He blinked and then she was gone.