Captive Moment

I know that most of my blogs feature either silly tales or half-way pleasant photos, but every once in a while I’ll post a snippet of my more serious work: and this is one of those ‘every once in a whiles‘. I’ve chosen to present an excerpt from this book/e-book…

Yes, that’s right: I also write under the ridiculous name of Clive Thunderbolt. It’s to differentiate between the family friendly stuff of Paul Trevor Nolan and slightly more violent and vaguely sexual stories, such as the above tome. Don’t blame me for the pen name: my son thought it up.

Anyway…to the excerpt…

Wozniak couldn’t help himself interrupting again: He was used to telling stories – not listening to them, “Yes, yes. There’s a theory in quantum physics that suggests that everything that can exist – does exist – somewhere. It’s just the matter of accessing it where the problem lies.”

“That’s right,” Katherine nodded her appreciation. It seemed that this lecture was more for Janice’s benefit than anyone else’s’, “All potential events and decisions – every possible twist and turn of our lives – takes place somewhere – in some dimension – with vastly varying consequences. From what I understood from the necessarily brief induction I received in Wycksford, it seems that in one reality a rock may fall from a cliff: In another it may remain in place for another hundred years. The ramifications of that event in one world may result in a world vastly different to the one in which it failed to take place.”

Wozniak was off again, “Exactly. In one dimension a Prince may get brained, and the kingdom falls to a barbarian horde…”

To his surprise it was Janice who, in turn, interrupted him, “In the other he passes by in ignorance, builds a huge castle nearby, and founds a dynasty that lasts for a thousand years. What a brainteaser. You know this really is quite fascinating. But is it real? I mean – this is all very nice in theory – but where is the evidence to prove that it really exists?”

Wozniak indicated Katherine with a backward slant of his thumb. “You’re looking at her.”

Janice pursed her lips, and answered, “The jury is still out on that.”

“Well let’s allow the principal witness her time in court, shall we?” Wozniak suggested.

Katherine nodded her polite gratitude, and took up where she had left off; “Wycksford accessed multiple alternate states two years ago. It was a very hush-hush affair: Only a small knot of people knew anything about it – even the existence of the theory. Peter Wozniak – the other one, that is – was one of that small group. Naturally – being a mere secretary – I was not. Well, very quickly they realized that they had a tiger by the tail: To say that they grew fearful would be the understatement of the year. Can you imagine what might happen to a society if anyone got hold of such a working technology? Well just not anyone: How could you trust your own government with such technology? Nowhere would in inaccessible. Enemies of the State: Terrorists: Criminals: If they operated LLD, there would be no defence against them. Absolute anarchy would rule. Civilized society would collapse. And perhaps miscreants would soon be crossing into societies throughout all inhabitable dimensions. As a worst-case scenario – in the wrong hands – perhaps religious extremists, or ethnic supremacists  – it could result in the destruction of civilization everywhere. And I don’t mean everywhere in the world: I mean everywhere – with a capital E!”

“In which case, I for one, sincerely hope that this is just a theory, and has no place in reality – any reality.” Janice opined in a shocked tone.

“But it isn’t.” Katherine sounded desperate to convince the doubtful woman who stood before her. If Janice was to be of any genuine help with her task, it was of absolute importance that she believed the truth. There would be no time for hesitation. “Wycksford took the only logical course of action.” she continued, “Despite the vociferous arguments from Peter Wozniak: They destroyed the only operating machine, and incinerated every piece of data pertinent to it. Short of mass suicide, they effectively erased it from history.”

Giving Janice and Wozniak a moment to assimilate this, Katherine continued her lecture.

“Everybody thought that was that. Job done. Game over. To use a mixed metaphor, they’d bottled the genie, and capped the well. Now all they had to do was sit back and wait for all the members of the team to pass away in the fullness of time, as nature intended, and the threat would be over forever. Then two days ago I never turned up for work. I had some important papers on me at the time. They searched high and low for me – but of course they didn’t find me for hours – and I was in a state of shock when they did. Of course I had no idea what had happened to me. First I thought I was having a nightmare, from which I’d soon wake up. When I didn’t, I actually thought that I’d gone mad. There I was driving to work in the early hours, then suddenly it was mid-morning, and everything had changed. I was still on the same road, but the turns were different. There were suddenly many more trees lining it. Brambledown was different too. There were no border guards or check point. I was becoming hysterical when I raced for Wycksford – only to find no trace of it. At this point I was in danger of becoming seriously unhinged. So I hid in the woods until dark – when suddenly I was sitting in a field just outside Wyksford. I could see my car was parked in a nearby lane. I didn’t try to comprehend what had happened to me: I just cried with relief. A returning search party found me shortly afterwards.”

“And your bosses?” Wozniak enquired. “How did they react?”

“I think you could safely say that the sky fell on them. They understood completely what had happened to me. LDD was back – and they didn’t control it.”

“Correction:” Wozniak spoke gravely. “They don’t control it. Present tense.”

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013

If you quite enjoyed that, you’ll be thrilled to learn that the e-book is available just about everywhere (see side bar for access to a few well-known stockists) and as a book via the publisher,, which is accessible by clicking the Lulu logo on the side bar.