The cell door opens and Bogg is thrown into the cell. The door closes, footsteps depart. Bogg closes his eyes. The cold of the stone floor is pleasant on his bruised face. How long has it been? Several hours. His interrogator got increasingly frustrated by the fact that the only thing Bogg could tell him was that he didn't speak any Russian. History class wasn't the only class he wasn't paying any attention.
Bogg sits up and looks around the cell. There's a small window with bars, a light bulb without a shade hanging from the ceiling and a wooden cot on either side. A man is sitting on one of the cots.
"Hi," Bogg says. "What are you in for?"
"In for?" the man asks with an English accent. "I thought this was a low budget hotel."
Oh, good, British wit, Bogg concludes. He hasn't heard that in a while and he can't say he is particularly interested in hearing it now. He gives the man a wry smile. "Got caught trespassing myself."
"Phineas Bogg." He scrambles up and extends a hand.
The man folds his arms and crosses one leg over the other. "Tell me, do they really think this is going to work?"
"Is what going to work?" Bogg doesn't have much of a clue where he is. From the brief moment outside he would guess it is Spring, perhaps Summer, depending on how far north he actually is. From the light bulb he can tell this is the twentieth century. Russia, probably Soviet Union, unless the Russian revolution never happened. The Briton on the bench isn't a clue to either. Czars were as paranoid about foreigners as Soviet leaders.
"Do they really think I am going to 'spill my beans' to someone who speaks English, dressed as a pirate? An English speaking Soviet Agent in his dress uniform would be less conspicuous."
Ah, Soviet times. At least he won't have to worry about instigating the Russian Revolution. Come to that, as long as he is in this cell his only worry should be how to get out and get back to Jeffrey and Pam. He's glad he gave the omni to Jeffrey. There are some advantages to being in love and wanting to touch her without her getting suspicious about it. At least the omni didn't fall into Soviet hands. At least not as far as he knows.
He sits down on the other cot, opposite the Brit. He's not going to be any help; he doesn't trust him. And he probably has every reason not to trust him. He wonders what happened to Pam and Jeffrey. He doesn't even know where they landed. He didn't see them when he came down. There were some shrubs and he hopes they have managed to hide there before those guards came to arrest him.
"What year is it?" Bogg asks.
"The year?" The Brit looks up in surprise. "Well, the thirty-first year of our Ford, of course."
Bogg frowns. He has never heard of the era of Ford. Another joke of the Englishman no doubt.
"I take it you have never read Huxley. I don't suppose you would have."
"No, I haven't, but I get the impression I should. What is it about?"
The Englishman gives a hearty laugh. "If you can get your hands on it, I suggest you read it. It's fun; it's a parody."
Bogg nods and makes a note to ask Pam or Jeff about the book. "What year is it in Common Era?"
"They must have done you over good if you can't even remember what year it is. It's 1939."
"1939." Start of World War II, that he remembers. Soviet Union initially had a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany. "Which month?"
April, that is still long before the hostilities start. Well, if you don't count the annexation of Bohemia. Pam started to teach him history a little while back. She didn't think on the job training was enough. That's when the trouble started, with Pam; and on a larger scale, with the annexation.
"What are you doing here? You don't seem to belong here."
"What an unusual line of questioning."
"I don't work for them." Bogg nods to the door. "I may be able to help you get out of here."
"How? If you don't work for them, you're obviously locked in here yourself. How are you going to get me out?"
"I have two associates on the outside that are going to try to get me out. You could come along."
"And how are your associates going to get you out?"
"I have no idea."
Outside a single guard is patrolling the path. He hears some disturbance in the bushes and moves closer to have a look. He is whacked over the head with a thick branch. He goes down and is dragged into the shrubs away from view.
"I've told you who I am and how I got here. Would you tell me who you are?" Bogg tries again. If past experiences are any indication, he's sharing a cell with someone who's not supposed to be in that cell in the first place. But to find out where the man does belong, he has to find out who he is.
"Fleming. I'm a stockbroker with Rowe and Pitman."
"What's a stockbroker doing in a communist country?"
"I saw a business opportunity. I would have a virtual monopoly here."
"You keep making jokes, won't you? What's the real reason you are in here?"
"You and I have no reason to trust each other. What is the real reason you are here?"
"I got caught trespassing."
"Same for me. Only in my case they called it espionage."
"Any truth in that charge?"
Fleming gives Bogg a mocking look in reply. "Of course not. It's preposterous. They don't even have companies with stocks I can broke. What could they possibly have I could spy on?"
"Stalin will go into history as one of the most paranoid men ever. So seemingly a lot."
"I guess so."
"Are you sure this is going to work?" Pam puts on the uniform jacket. Jeffrey puts the finishing touches to tying up the guard they ambushed. They have undressed him, and tied up and gagged him with aid of Pam's clothes. Pam is wearing the guard's uniform. She stuffs her hair underneath the cap.
"It's the best plan we've got. Just act like you belong."
"I'm just not liking the part where I escort you in as a prisoner. What if they ask questions? The only Russian I know is glasnost and perestroika, and we're about fifty years early for that."
"Don't worry. Now go. If you're this worried on the outside, imagine how Bogg is feeling on the inside."
Pam nods. She creeps out of the shrubs and looks both ways before stepping out onto the path. She dusts the dirt off the uniform as best as she can, looks around again and then beckons for Jeffrey. He joins her. Pam grabs hold of his upper arm and they start walking towards the building.
"What are glasnost and perestroika?" Jeffrey whispers.
"Openness and reconstruction, two terms used in reform of the Soviet Union. The policy caused the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War."
"The Cold War ended?"
"Yeah, 1991. What did you think, that time stopped after you left? I'm pretty sure it also went on after I left. I doubt the world came to an end a few years later."
"Well, I never gave it much thought. I pretty much live in the past these days. Why didn't you tell me?"
"You never asked."
"How was I supposed to know I could ask?"
"Do you mean you were worried about asking me things, or do you mean you didn't realize the world kept on turning for sixteen years?" Pam keeps looking around, anxious someone might see them. "Could we talk about this later, when I'm less likely to snap at you?"
They reach the door to the building. It could be an office building of some sort. There is some lettering above the door, but that's of no use to Pam or Jeffrey. They look at each other for encouragement.
"Here goes," Pam says and pushes open the door.
The hallway is immense. Carefully they step onto the tiled floor. Acting like you belong somewhere is a lot easier when you don't have to fear what will happen after you've attracted the attention of someone.
"Where to now?" Pam asks.
"Well, I would put Bogg in jail, and I would put a jail in the basement, so to the stairs, I guess," Jeffrey replies.
They hear footsteps coming towards them. They both stifle. Then Pam quickly pushes Jeffrey in an alcove and tries to look casual herself. A man in uniform rounds the corner. The moment he sees Pam he shouts some commands at her. Pam jumps to salute. She doesn't know what the man wants from her, but saluting can never be a bad idea. He stops in front of her and salutes. He speaks some more. His eyes dart to the left. Pam takes this as an indication that she should leave.
"Da," she says. She salutes once more and then she marches away.
Jeffrey carefully peers out of his hiding place after he hears the second set of footsteps walk away. He sees Pam look around the corner and quickly heads her way.
"That was close. I feel my heart pounding in my throat."
"What did he say to you?"
"I have no idea, but I think I responded correctly, 'cause he stopped shouting after I walked away, didn't he? Now quickly to find a stairs."
Moments later, without further run ins with men in uniform Jeffrey and Pam arrive in what looks like a cell block. Jeffrey stands on his tip toes to look into the first cell through the small barred window in the door.
"This one's empty."
"You check this side. I'll check the other."
They work their way down the block.
"Bogg, are you in there?"
"Kid?" Bogg gets up and walks to the door.
"Pam, I've found him." Pam quickly rushes over.
"Bogg, are you all right?" Jeffrey asks with concern when he sees his friend's face in the dim light.
"Much better now that I'm seeing you. Have you come to get us out?"
"I have a cell mate called Fleming. I don't think he belongs here anymore than I do."
"I guess in that case we have come to get you both out," Pam looks at the stranger on the cot.
"Hmm, and do you have some kind of key to all doors in your underwear?"
"What I have in my underwear, Mr. Fleming, is strictly of limits to you."
"I've been known to go where people don't expect me to come."
"Someone's coming," Jeffrey whispers when he hears foot steps in the distance.
Jeffrey and Pam both startle. Bogg returns quickly to his cot. There are no hiding places in the cell block. Jeffrey just tries to hide behind Pam. He hopes the light is dim enough and the guard preoccupied enough for him to stay unnoticed. Pam jumps to salute as soon as the guard comes into sight. He's carrying a tray with two bowls on it. He's a little surprised at seeing Pam, says something to her, to which she nods and then gives her the tray. He produces a key ring and opens the door to the cell. He has a little trouble removing the key from the lock. Pam thinks quick and kicks the guard against his hip. He stumbles into the cell and she hits him with the tray. Fleming jumps forward and takes the guard in a choke hold.
"I hope you guys weren't hungry."
"Thanks for coming," Bogg says. He touches Pam lightly on her arm. Right now, he wants to give her a big thank you hug, but he's afraid he can't stop there. He pulls back his hand after giving her arm a light squeeze.
"That was quite impressive," Fleming says. He drops the unconscious guard and takes his weapon.
"Yes, there's quite a dent in the tray." Pam drops the metal tray on the floor. "I suggest we leave."
They exit the cell. Jeffrey gives Bogg a hug. Fleming locks the cell door.
"Which way?" Fleming asks.
"We came that way." Pam points.
"Then we leave that way." Fleming leads the way. The Voyagers follow.
Fleming peers around the corner to see whether it is safe to enter the hallway. "No one. Let's go."
They run across the hall. From the other end two guards emerge from a room. They spot the foursome, shout something and run towards them weapons drawn.
"Quickly, the other way." The four fugitives run the other way. They round a corner and find another door leading to the outside world. The door is however locked; they have reached a dead end.
"Oh dear." Fleming leans against the door. "I think our goose is cooked."
"Not quite." Pam produces the omni from her pocket. "Just close your eyes and think of England."
When the guards come around the corner they find that the four people they were pursuing have disappeared entirely.