Chapter XXI Armageddon


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Chapter Fifteen

The Launch

 

When the one-hour count down began, Madam Malysheva made a few final adjustments to their clothing just as they were about to climb into the capsule. “Good luck my drushki and may God go with you”. Adam smiled at the big Russian lady as he slipped into the capsule; he had grown quite fond of her in the last twenty-four hours. Her knowledge and efficiency was impressive and gave him added confidence for what lay ahead. She had explained the make up would not be affected by heat, cold or water. It would take several days for it to wear off. Same with the beard, wig and Eve’s dyed hair, the disguises would not fail during the mission.

 

Terry was over the hatch on his usual perch preparing to once more go over the controls they already knew inside out. “Remember we will control everything from here, when you return to the capsule just press the green button and I will begin the recall sequence, in no more than 90 seconds you will be home. Now, should anything go wrong which is most unlikely you can still program the capsule from your end? All you have to do is manually set the date and push the red engage lever. Oh, and Madam Malysheva asked me to remind you to take the water containers. That is very important; it will be hard going in the heat. And you are not going to find any water fountains on the streets of Jerusalem. Okay, do either of you have any other questions”? Adam looked up, “Yes, what is this sand coloured mesh thing under my seat”? “Ah, almost forgot that, it’s to cover the capsule after you arrive, it will effectively camouflage it from anyone passing nearby. Now if there is nothing else I will go over once more the actual feeling of traveling through time. Once we launch the capsule you might experience a feeling of rapidly dropping down an elevator shaft in total darkness. This will only last a for ten or fifteen seconds then all will be still, your arrival two thousand years in the past will come very gently, not even a bump at landing. You will know you have arrived because the sudden bright sunlight will flood the capsule. When you land and if our calculations are accurate you will be approximately one mile from the outskirts of Jerusalem. A thirty minute walk should get you into the city. From the moment you land and leave the capsule the mission will be in your hands. Do the utmost to seek out Jesus or maybe one of his followers, failing that gather as much information as possible before you return to the capsule? Be very careful, even well disguised you will still be strangers in a city that may well be in some turmoil over the arrival of the Messiah. Allow yourselves plenty of time to return to the capsule, and please no risk taking”.

 

Terry was interrupted by the sudden crackle of the loudspeaker, fifteen minutes and counting. “Well my friends it is almost time, I hope I have covered everything, do you have any questions”? Greeted only by silence Terry secured the hatch and slipped down the side of the capsule onto the floor. Adam made a final adjustment to the hatch from inside then dropped back into his seat. They both fastened their harnesses and tried to relax as they waited for the minutes to tick away.

 

Five four three two one, whoosh; it was indeed a feeling of falling into a black bottomless pit. After a few seconds everything became still and silent, no rush of air or any sense of moving. Adam held Eve’s hand; he could barely see her face in the faint glow from the instrument dials. For the thousandth time he wondered if they would be successful, if they would survive. Would he one day marry Eve and could they ever settle down in a World at peace? Would he ever see Hunter River again?

Adam didn’t have the answers but at least he intended to give this mission of peace a damn good try.

 

Suddenly the capsule filled with bright sunlight, it took them both a few seconds to adjust their eyes and focus. They appeared to be in a shallow gully in what looked like very dry and sandy terrain. A light was flashing to indicate it was safe to open the hatch. Adam unhooked his harness and reached overhead to release the hatch lever. When the hatch swung open they were hit with a sudden wave of heat. Adam climbed out first then helped Eve lower her feet gently onto the ground. They gazed around at the barren landscape, they could just see the shimmering skyline of Jerusalem in the distance, everything was still there was no sign of life. They stood in silence trying to gather their thoughts. Eve spoke first. “Are we really standing here in the Holy land two thousand years ago? Are we really here and about to meet Jesus? I doubt we will find out if we just stand here in this awful heat, its time we get moving”. Adam remembered the camouflage netting and climbed back into the capsule to retrieve it. Together they secured the capsule and spread the mesh cover over it. Walking to the top of the gully they prepared themselves to head toward Jerusalem. As they were leaving Adam looked over his shoulder in the direction of the capsule, he was amazed at just how well the mesh hid it. He really needed to concentrate in order to make out the shape; the capsule was almost completely invisible. It gave them both a feeling of confidence; it would be unlikely to be spotted before they returned.

 

Adam took a deep breath and said “Okay let’s get this show on the road, time for us to go save the World”. They adjusted their clothing checked their belts and made sure the equipment was functioning correctly. Each had a freshly filled water bottle, or to be more accurate, goatskin water containers that hung around their necks. They stepped onto what appeared to be a rough trail that led in the direction of Jerusalem. Adam gave Eve a hug and a kiss, and then taking her hand began walking toward the city. Their mission had started, where it might lead only God knew.

About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
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