Pam wanders out of the building and puts her coat on in the chilly evening air. She wonders where or even when this Voyagers Headquarters is. Evening is setting in. Pam looks up and tries to find the big dipper. Which would be a first if she could find it; she never managed to spot it when she went camping as a kid; she was the ridicule of many. Okay, that would be a point in favor of voyaging, she won't have to relive that. Can she say relive? Not really. If her parents were saved, her mom stopped, that would mean she would have a new life. Everything from this life would be forgotten. Tough decision, 'cause apart from the memory of her parents' death, which she could do without, she likes her life. She wouldn't want to change anything about it. Except perhaps meeting the dynamic Voyager duo. They kind of put her life upside down. And now the question is would she like an upside down life for the rest of her life? Pam sits down and pulls the flaps of her coat around her knees.
It is dark when Jeffrey joins her. The only light is coming from the big building. He sits down next to her.
"I was wondering where the big dipper is," Pam says after a while.
Jeffrey looks up. "It's too clouded to even see if we're on the right hemisphere." He turns his face to Pam. "Have you made a decision?"
"No, it's difficult. On the one hand." Pam puts up her left hand. "My parents would be alive and I would be with them, but I would not remember anything about my life so far. I would be leading a whole new life. On the other hand." Pam puts up her right hand. "Becoming a Voyager, I would still have my memories, but leading a life I know nothing about, yet. In both cases I would be having a whole new life. It's equal. Both have their pros and cons. I can't decide."
"Bogg and I like you to stay with us." Jeffrey puts his hand on Pam's right hand and pushes it down, disturbing the equilibrium.
"You do? Both of you? I thought Phineas and I kind of rubbed each other the wrong way."
"He wants you to stay too. Besides he likes to be rubbed."
Pam looks at him and raises an eyebrow. Jeffrey starts to blush and is glad colors can't be seen in the dark.
"That came out wrong."
"That's okay. I know what you mean. I hope. I think you just helped me make up my mind. I'll stay with you guys. Just promise me you will never just dump me somewhere in history."
"We won't. Bogg is too glad he has a back up guidebook, and I'm glad you can tell me a lot how smart I am for knowing all those things that took you years of studying to learn."
Pam wrinkles her mouth not unlike Kermit the frog. "Come here you." She throws her arms around Jeffrey and gives him a big hug.
"And I like the way you give hugs."
"That's better." She rubs his back then breaks up their hug. "C'mon, lets tell Garth of my decision."
Holding hands they walk back to the building.
"All right, we're back in 1926, a few days later than before," Bogg says after he has picked himself up. "Are you sure you're okay with being back here? Bad memories and all."
"Sure. I assume the police have taken the dead woman to the morgue by now, so I won't have to see her again."
"Good." Jeffrey quickly buttons up his coat. "Let's get back to the hotel to see if we can find Alice or Agatha there."
As soon as they go into the hotel the hotel receptionist steps up to Bogg and pulls him away for a private talk.
"It concerns the matter of your bill. You left without checking out."
"Yes, but that was because we knew we would be back in a few days."
"Hmhmm. We would have liked it if you had told us in advance."
"You still have our room, don't you?"
"Very good. We'll settle the bill when we leave at the end of the week." Bogg gives the receptionist a jovial slap on the shoulders and turns away.
"We'd rather you would be making a down payment, right now."
Bogg gives him his best trust-me-I'm-good-for-it smile. He's just been to Headquarters so he's got some money in the right currency, but he doubts it's enough to settle a hotel account. Voyagers often leave without checking out, and usually they don't come back.
Meanwhile Jeffrey and Pam have gone into the tearoom and drawing room to look for Alice. They can't find her. An elderly woman calls their attention.
"Are you looking for someone?"
"We're looking for Alice, Mrs. Neele," Jeffrey replies. "Do you know where she is?"
"She will be at the Guild Hall with that orchestra."
"She went to a concert?"
"A concert? If only. That dreadful Mr. Wigham, the director has offered her a job!"
Pam and Jeffrey look at each other.
"That's not right."
"I'd say. A single woman in an orchestra, traveling with a troupe? The horror, the horror." The woman leans a little closer to them. "They have men in that orchestra too. What will become of her. Such shame she will bring on her family. And she seemed like such a woman of class. It should be against the law that women are hired for jobs like that. A single woman traveling in mixed company!"
"Well, it wouldn't be such a problem if women over the age of fifty kept their opinions about it to themselves," Pam replies.
"I beg your pardon!" The woman nearly blows her top. "How dare you speak to me like that. I shall speak to whom ever I want about whatever I want."
"Right, don't expect me to take an interest though. C'mon, Jeffrey, we know where we need to go." Pam throws her head in her neck as she marches out of the tea room.
"I don't think anyone ever talked to her like that," Jeffrey says. "Did you see how purple she got?"
"Aubergine, I would say. Where's Phineas?"
"He went with the receptionist. Bogg! Bogg!"
"Yah?" Bogg steps out of the office behind the reception desk. "What is it? And could you chime it down a little? The receptionist thinks we're a family: husband, wife and their darling son. So if you could call me something a long the lines of father, it may actually keep us from getting kicked out of this hotel for obscene behavior."
"Hmm, and you want me to call you honey? I don't think so," Pam replies.
"You can call me dear, sweetheart."
"You mean deer, with antlers."
Jeffrey clears his throat. "Before the two of you get on a roll with this name calling, we have more urgent matters. Agatha has apparently taken a job with an orchestra. I doubt she's supposed to do that."
"Right. What do we do about that?"
"Find Agatha and talk her out of taking that job," Jeffrey says.
"Or find the guy who gave her the job and talk him out off offering it to her," Pam suggests.
"Sounds like a plan," Bogg says. "You talk to her, and I'll talk to him."
"You don't even know who he is, deer," Pam says sweetly.
"No, but I know you are going to tell me." Bogg takes Pam by her arm and escorts her out of the hotel.
They arrive at the Guild Hall and Pam makes a face. How are we going to get in here? she asks without saying.
"Just behave like you belong here," Bogg says again. "Then other people will also think you belong here." He walks into the building followed by Jeffrey and Pam.
They hear the sound of music and decide to find out where it's coming from. The main hall of the Guild Hall has been refurbished into a concert hall. A small string orchestra is practicing. Jeffrey spots Alice/Agatha sitting in the second row listening to the orchestra. They sit down with her.
"Hello, Alice," Jeffrey says.
"Hello, Jeffrey. I see you are all back. I thought you had all left after that unfortunate incident. I don't think I would like to stay in a place where I saw a woman murdered."
"Neither did Pam, but she feels better now, so we're back."
"You'll be happy to know that the hotel manager was arrested for that poor woman's murder," Alice says to Pam.
"Murder? I thought it was suicide. She had the gun in her own hand," Pam replies.
"That's what the hotel manager said. But the police were unconvinced. It was quite a spectacle when they came to take him away."
"Where you there?" Jeffrey asks.
"No, I wasn't, but they are such gossips at the hotel."
"We know," Pam says with a smirk.
"We heard you were offered a job with the orchestra," Jeffrey says.
"Oh, yes, that was quite wonderful. I was just playing something for my own entertainment, when Mr. Wigham stepped up to me and invited me to join his orchestra. Naturally I declined at first. It is such an inappropriate thing to do. But he was quite persistent and insisted I would come to one of his orchestra's recitals and then decide. I did, and it was such a wonderful experience. I changed my mind. I will join his orchestra."
"But you can't!" Jeffrey exclaimed. "What about - what about your family?"
"They'll be quite all right about it. Do you believe, I placed an advert in the paper and not a single relative contacted me? No, my mind is quite made up. I never thought I would be a concert pianist, but meeting this troupe ... I'm quite excited about it."
"But, but, you can't. You're Agatha Christie!"
"Oh, don't you start with that silly nonsense too. People at the hotel have been saying that to me for a week now: 'You look just like that missing Christie woman'. I just laugh them away." Alice gives a laugh. "I think it's terrible that poor woman is missing. But it is even more terrible if you start seeing her image in random strangers. I'm not Agatha Christie, and that's final."
"I guess convincing Agatha is not going to work," Bogg whispers to Pam.
"That's where you come in and talk to Wigham," she replies.
"The man who offered her the job at the orchestra. I think that's him, waving the baton at the others."
"I'll get right to it."
The director gives his orchestra a short break. Bogg gets up to talk to him. Some of the musicians come over to Alice to talk to her and tell her how excited they are about her joining their orchestra.
"Mr. Wigham." The man addressed turns around. "A word in private with you, please."
"About Mrs. Neele." Bogg puts a hand on Wigham's shoulder and directs him to a quiet corner.
"What about Mrs. Neele?"
"I understand you have given her a position at your orchestra."
"I want you to take back your offer."
"Why? I've been looking for ages to extend my orchestra with a pianist, and when I heard her at that hotel piano, I knew she was the pianist I wanted. Anyone who can get a half decent sound out of a hotel piano is a good pianist, but she ..."
"She can't become your pianist."
"She gracefully accepted my offer. I don't see why she can't be pianist in my orchestra."
"Because she isn't really who she says she is."
"She's not Mrs. Neele."
"Well, whoever she is, I still want her as my pianist."
"You can't. She's Mrs. Agatha Christie and she has to go back to her family."
Wigham looks around Bogg at Alice. "She's Mrs. Christie? I've heard people at the hotel whisper about that, but she just laughs at them. Is she really Mrs. Christie? Then why would she tell me she's Mrs. Neele?"
"She has dissociative amnesia," Bogg says. He looked up the event of Mrs. Christie's disappearance in a guidebook while at Headquarters. "She had a shock and then her mind made up a new identity for her to deal with the shock. She will remember again who she really is in a little while. In the mean time, she can't join your orchestra. She would just leave again when she realizes who she is."
"I see. What should I do? Should I go to the police and tell them I've found Mrs. Christie?"
"I guess you could do that. At least tell her she can't join your orchestra."
"Of course. If it was my wife that went missing, I wouldn't want her to forget about herself and then join the circus."
"Or an orchestra," Bogg adds.
"No, I wouldn't mind so much if it was an orchestra. Thank you for your information. I will talk to Mrs. Neele right away."
Wigham walks over to Alice and asks to have a private word with her. Bogg goes back to Jeffrey and Pam.
"I think our work here is done." He shows them the green light.
"Can we stay here and see how it works out for Alice?" Jeffrey asks.
"We know how it works out for Alice."
"Yes, but can we stay here and watch?"
"Why do you always want to stay and watch?"
"Because that's the real historic event I remember from my history book."
"Phineas, if we go back to check whether Marilyn has gotten a green light, would you want to stay for her performance?" Pam asks.
Bogg eyes her. Why did I agree to a third party in our team?
"It's the same thing, Bogg," Jeffrey says. "If you let me see how it works out for Alice, I won't say anything about Marilyn."
"All right. We'll stay a little longer. But if it hasn't worked out by the end of the day, we're still leaving."
A few hours later the three Voyagers are sitting on the stairs looking into the hotel lobby when DI Vincent comes walking in, in the company of a tall man.
"Mr. Christie?" Jeffrey whispers to Pam.
"I guess so."
DI Vincent asks where they could find Mrs. Neele. The receptionist points them to the tea room.
"Agatha," Mr. Christie says as he spots his wife. She gives him an I-know-you-but-can't-quite-place-you look. "It's me, Archie."
"Oh, Archie, my brother. My dear brother what brings you all the way out here?"
"Agatha, I'm your husband, Archie."
"Have you seen enough?" Bogg asks Jeffrey.
"Yeah, I guess."
"Good. I'll be right back." Bogg runs up the stairs.
"Where are you going?" Pam asks.
"To change into my own clothes. I can't travel around time dressed in 1920s' clothes."
"But you can go around time dressed as a pirate?"
Pam gives him an incredulous look.
"Don't ask," Jeffrey says. Bogg runs up the remainder of the stairs.
"Would it help if I told him he looked better in these?"
"It might. Although Bogg is probably not ready yet to take your opinions at face value."
Pam smiles. "We'll get there one day."
A/N: Just skipping over Marilyn's performance. Not much exciting happing there anymore: just some hip wiggling and general flirting with the audience. The point of this exercise was to show that there is nothing wrong with an OC that has an angsty past and great powers (knowing history in this case) as long as she does not take over the story. Bogg and Jeffrey are quite capable of spotting, saving and setting straight Marilyn Monroe and Agatha Christie themselves. This story came out about half the length of the original; I guess I made a lot of short cuts plowing over the plot holes that involved Drake (Dei ex Machinas). However, I think there might be some in this story too. I'm open to suggestions on how to fix them. Anyway, QED.
Disclaimer: Bogg, Jeffrey, Drake, Garth and Susan belong to Scholastic and James D. Parriott. Story idea was adapted from CassBogg's Drake's Revenge. Pandora "Pam" Townsend came from me. If you think she's a Mary Sue, feel free to kill her. The pun: Sue Townsend created a character named Pandora.