"Anna Benkley. Yup. That's me.
"Oh, you're probably wondering why my last name is Benkley. Well, my adoptive father, Christopher, wanted to leave some kind of impression – bring honour to his family name. Well, see, he accidentally killed somebody. Some MTV camera-man named Max. I remember when he burst in the orphanage screaming and yelling and waiving his arms about frantically like a sick bird. He king of looked like one too, he looked a mess. And frightened.
"'I want to adopt!' he cried, at the receptionist desk, searching in his coat for his wallet. 'How much? How much?'
"The receptionist was astounded and she stuttered, 'Would you like a boy or a girl? Please cal-'
"'Nooo!' he shrieked, his eyes darting out the window behind him. 'God damn it! I don't care!'
"Then I walked into the office, confused and startled at the noise, rubbing my eyes.
"'Not meaning to be rude of anything, sir,' I told him, 'but can you SHUT UP?'
"Then his eyes widened in amazement at the sight of me, 'You!'
"He turned to the receptionist. "I want her – give me her!'
"He strode to my side and dragged me by the arm to the desk.
"'I need somebody to take care of my house whilst I'm gone. Someone trustworthy, something with zing! You're just the girl for the job! I what to adopt you.'
"He looked mad.
"'Anna,' the receptionist said kindly. 'Do you want to be adopted by this, uh, man?'
"'Oh course she does! Anna!' he exclaimed wildly. 'Such a marvelous name!'
"He seemed very interesting, a bit zany, but that was okay.
"I suppose it just clicked.
"'Sure,' I said. 'Why not?'
"And then the man in the white-uniform filled out the form and he, me and the receptionist signed the form. He stuffed it into his pocket and pulled me away but we were stopped. I need to collect my luggage.
"So then he drove in his old 90s Ford and arrived at his house.
"'Quick! Let's get inside!'
"His house was very small – at least it looked that way. The walls were covered in science-fiction movie posters and books – Like Back To the Future, Star Wars, and HG Well's The Time Machine.
"'Have you made a time machine?' I asked, totally loosing it.
"'Hah! I wish!' he laughed coldly. 'Now, come on, let me show you the garage.'
"Blue prints and mechanical parts lay scattered on the floor, then he showed me the cellar. This was where he did his research. There were books and computers and I was certain an established wi-fi connection too. Instead of wine there were a number of chemicals in bottles, and a box of wires in the corner.
"'Okay,' he said seriously, 'Now, I'm going to be thrown in jail for awhile, but I'll be back probably in ten years! Now! You may just be a girl, but Anna, you must take the utmost care of this place. I didn't want to leave it empty or nobody could report disturbances. This is what you'll do – there's some money in here – in the bottle with the label "DANGER – UNDILUTED GAS INSIDE" use it for food or anything you need. And finish me when I'm in bars, promise me that.'
"'Uh, sure,' I said, completely overwhelmed. 'What's your name?'
"'Oh!' he exclaimed. 'it's Christopher. Christopher Benkley.' And then he explained the Vh-Box and I listened in awe.
"'And call me Uncle – none of this 'dad' nonsense.'
"That's what he said.
"And then we heard the mob outside and he gathered me in his arms and disappeared.
"'Good luck,' he said, waving.
"I didn't properly see him again, until 2021, when I was nineteen years old. Thinking back, he put a lot of trust in me, and I kept everything safe, occasionally being visited by the orphanage to check everything was fine."
'So, does that sound like a convincing biography?' Anna asked her boyfriend, Damien, over the phone.
'You don't need a biography,' Damien sighed. 'I doubt you ever will. And you forgot your other life, by the way, at the orphanage - with me!'
'But if I did make one...' Anna continued. 'If, say, Chris and I got in an interview...'
'Then sure! Best Seller. Oh, and you've still gotta ask the old man about that –'
'Yes,' Anna breathed into the phone, tucking her hair behind an ear. 'I'll ask now.'
Anna jumped off the bed, wireless phone in hand and yelled, 'Christopher! Uncle! Where are you?'
He burst out of his office across the hall, his hair disheveled. The only difference prison had given him was more grey hairs and an extreme dislike for anyplace with bars, including zoos. He had discarded his lab coat and instead stuck with dark pants and a light vest, but he couldn't resist putting a pen behind his ear.
'what? What's wrong?'
'Calm down, I just wanted to ask you if I could visit Damien sometime...'
'But he lives in Kentucky!' he exclaimed. 'I'm sorry, Anna, but I don't have that kind of money!'
'What if you made a type of teleporter?' Anna asked carefully. 'Then you could get money for making it too...'
Christopher Benkley went insane.
'I told you! I don't have that kind of money – it would take thousands to run – to research!' he returned into his study. He worked for office Sci-Corp from home.
'What if I helped fund it?' Anna continued, not ready to give up. 'I have loads saved – you could use some.'
Christopher's head popped out of the study door and his face muscles worked furiously, yet subtly.
'Well,' he said slowly. 'I suppose that's possible.'
Anna squeaked in excitement and threw her arms around the scientist. 'Thank you!'
'But only if you help pay!' Christopher yelled after her as Anna bounded away back into her bedroom down the hall.
'He said yes!' she hissed into the phone-piece. She could hear Damien's grin.
'Yeah, I heard all of it. You're bother really loud, you know?'
'Well, I try,' Anna waved away the comment. 'Anyway, I'll talk to you later. See you!'
In-between school and work, Christopher and Anna spent time in the garage and cellar theorizing and researching over the Internet and books.
For inspiration, Anna had pulled the cover off the old VH-Box to remind them of how they came to be – and how Christopher came to go to jail – reminding him not to make a mistake. He even covered the VH-Box back up again but each time, Anna tore it down.
'I never want to go back to that god-damn place again!' he yelled, looking through a mechanics magazine. 'Ever!'
Anna smiled at him occasionally in encouragement.
When she came home form her waitress job at a cafe called Herb, one night a few months later, Christopher was ecstatic. He had finally figured out the secret to teleportation.
'You have to send a powerful electrical pulse into the object you want to teleport with the pulse to a level where the atoms will decompose! Then, you send it through space to your desired point by sending the atoms through the satellite system and telephone lines to reassemble the atomic structure at the arrival point!'
They had a small celebration that evening and drunk some hard liquor. Johnny Walker Black Label was Christopher's favourite.
'How will we access the satellite?' Anna asked the next morning with a terrible hangover and Christopher gruffly mumbled something like, 'telephone systems... radio... some kind of broadcasting unit...'
Anna informed Damien of their progress over the months and a year later, after many long work hours and sleepy afternoons, Anna came home to an incredibly smug Uncle.
'What's that look for?' she asked. 'Did you sneak into the booze again? You know your doctor said to keep it low...'
'Close,' said Christopher with a glint in his eye. 'But no! It is so much better. Come to the garage!'
They scrambled into the garage, dodging past boxes and stray airplane and car parts, Christopher flicked the lights on.
In front of them was-
'You finished it!' Anna screamed, and she pulled her hair out of the pony-tail and threw the band away. 'You completed it! You-'
'I did' Christopher said, and then his face darkened. 'But I haven't tested it. I wanted you to be here to see if our first model will be a success. And I truly hope it will.'
He glanced over to where the VH-Box was sitting.
'What will we call it?' Anna asked, shuddering with excitement and glee.
'What do you think we should call it?' came the reply.
Anna stared at the device contemplating. It had an Ariel sticking out of the top of a parking meter with what looked like a telephone – or part of a telephone – the numbers to dial attached on the pole.
Anna knew how it worked. One would input the telephone number and/or IP address into the machine and both numbers would appear on the screen of the parking-meter along with your own, directly underneath.
'Remember that the exact location within the choice area will be completely random. And you have to remember to insert a dollar to get out a metal band you clamp around your wrist. Otherwise it won't teleport you!' Christopher had told her when he explained its structure.
'Would we both appear at the same place?' Anna had asked.
'Yes, yes,' had come the reply.
Anna came to a decision, and it was so simple, she didn't know why she didn't think of it before.
'What about the Relocator?'
Christopher smacked his forehead, 'Now, that's an idea!'
Anna laughed and beamed at her Uncle, her adoptive father, 'Do we test it now? What will happen if it goes wrong?'
'If it goes wrong then we might be stuck as unstructured atoms for the rest of our lives! We'll be obliterated!'
They stood in silence for a few moments, observing the rusty parking meter's frame.
'I say we use a rock or something,' Anna decided, 'something we can send to Damien. Then he can tell us if it works!'
'Okay' Christopher said in complete determination. 'But we can't send a rock – the band won't fit around that. It's made for human transportation.'
'What about my Green Day poster?' Anna queried.
'Didn't they die from drug abuse last year?' Christopher raised an eyebrow.
'No!' Anna said loudly. 'You're thinking of a different band. Green Day was one of the ones Cryogenically frozen. Anyway, wait here, I'll go get it.'
She rushed out of the garage and Christopher fished a dollar coin out of his pocket and gave it to Anna when she rushed back, 'Do you know his IP address?'
'Yeah,' Anna said, the poster rolled up in one hand, a crumbled piece of paper in the other. She handed the poster to Christopher and he uncurled it and his forehead creased as he viewed picture, intrigued.
Anna slid the dollar coin into the parking meter and copied out Damien's IP address and phone number with the numbers on the pole. When she finished she pressed the E button and a bracelet clanged in the coin retrieval. It was made of gold and had the IP address and phone number stamped on it.
'Wow, it worked' Anna gasped, taking the poster and clamping the band around it.
'Put it on the floor and then press the * button.' Christopher instructed.
When Anna left the poster on the floor and pressed the * button there was a flash of bright blue light and then the lights of the building went off. Christopher and Anna stood in silence, holding their breath, and then the lights came back on.
'Where'd it go?' Anna squeaked. The Relocator was nowhere to be seen. 'Oh no!'
'Oh no is right,' Christopher agreed, 'Well, at least give Damien a ring and see if he received the poster – and the Relocator too – I forgot about that. You'll have to instruct him to send himself over so we can all get it back – then we'll have to go to Damien's and then send ourselves back here from there.'
'How tedious,' Anna commented sadly.
'That's science,' Christopher said, shrugging.
Then they heard the phone ring back in the house. They rushed back inside and Christopher tripped over the couch in a hurry as Anna picked up the phone. It was Damien. He wanted to know what a parking meter and Green Day poster was doing in his bathroom.
'Random Relocator!' Christopher barked as Anna held the phone to Christopher's mouth, but she took it back immediately.
Fifteen minutes later, Damien had appeared in the house and he emerged from the laundry carrying the meter and the poster, kicking a mop out of the way.
'It works,' he admitted to the two as he walked into the living room. 'Well-'
'DAMIEN!' Anna shrieked and she threw her arms around the boy, holding him in a tight embrace. 'I'm sorry I haven't talked to you properly in so long!' Anna kissed his stubbly cheek in adoration and Christopher took the Relocator from Damien's hand and looked away from the display of affection.
'Yes, yes – that's okay – that's fine – uh – yes - Anna! Stop kissing me! Okay,' he dropped his voice down to a whisper. 'I need to talk to you.'
Christopher knew that tone even if Anna didn't. It was the same tone he heard from every disapproving woman he dated in high-school and occasionally the barmaid when he had to leave because of his intoxication. It was a tone of rejection.
'Oh, sure,' Anna mumbled innocently and Damien, tall and handsome with dark hair, led her into a different room – the kitchen. Christopher sat on the couch and listened to the radio he had just turned on. The song playing was a remix of Britney Spear's song "Hit me Baby One More time"
'Bah,' growled Christopher and he changed the station.
News: Star Wars: A New Hope remake failed at the Box Office with an amount of-
'Hah,' Christopher muttered and he strained to listen to the report over Anna's sudden yells of dismay, anger and sorrow. Something tugged at Christopher's chest. He knew this would happen. He had only met Damien once, when Anna handed him the phone to speak with Damien about a possible trip to California three years ago.
'No,' Christopher had declared firmly and handed the phone back to Anna with raised eyebrows. She cried loudly that night and Christopher became irritated and had to fish some wine out of the cupboard. But her misery was for the better. Christopher didn't trust that kid here with Anna, not with him blindfolded or handcuffed, not with full supervision. He wasn't there all the time. It was something in his voice... something sly hidden under the charm. He didn't like it one bit.
'You bastard!' Anna shouted and Christopher gave an inward cheer at the sound of a slap. 'My Uncle and I put so much work into this and you tell me you've met somebody else!? Well you can leave right now – yeah, that's right – we're taking you home – Uncle was right about you all along!'
The scientist felt incredibly smug then but he forced back a grin as the two entered the living room. Christopher took two one dollar coins out of the slot in the Relocator. When the Relocator had arrived, the bands had disappeared from their wrists and reappeared as they had before being put in the parking meter coin slot; as coins.
Christopher took the coins from the slot and slid them back into the machine before inputting the location which he copied from the "before" part of the parking meter's slot.
He pressed E three times and three identical bracelets came out. He threw one at Damien, handed one to Anna (whose face was streaming with silent tears) and clasped one around his own wrist.
'To Loser Ville!' he cried as he pressed the * button.
Each of the three felt a powerful tingling, vibrating sensation and each became temporarily blind, and deaf as they travelled through the satellite system to Damien's house. They reappeared instantly in Damien's kitchen and his adoptive mother, busy cleaning dishes, screamed with shock.
'Here's your dollar, kid,' Christopher said, picking a coin from the change-slot and throwing it at Damien, who caught it, looking bitter and grumpy.
Then the scientist punched in the coordinates for home and he said, quite loudly as he pressed the * button, 'Nice slap, by the way, Anna.'
They returned home at roughly 9:57 PM EST and once Christopher pocketed the gold coins, Anna ran into his arms and burst into tears.
Feeling quite awkward, Christopher patted Anna's head as she cried. He muttered, 'He was no good for you – people like him deserve to be sucked into the time-space continuum and lost forever!'
Anna gave a small, weak laugh into his vest and Christopher smiled: a laugh's a laugh.
'Now,' he said, all serious, 'I think we should have some rules for the Relocator. Don't you think?'
He was thinking of the Damien-situation. He wasn't ready for another one.
'Oh, please, we're both responsible adults-' Anna objected.
'Exactly!' Christopher boomed, jumping away and waving his arms. 'We think we're responsible so it's why we have to look out for each other!' Anna sniffed. 'So we should-'
'Promise,' Anna finished, whipping her eyes and struggling to look like she didn't care about rejection, 'that we'll tell each other and get permission before using it?'
'Precisely,' Christopher uttered 'Also! I think we should both be congratulating each other! The Relocator will make big bucks – big bucks! We're scientific geniuses, I tell you!'
'You'll always be the genius,' Anna said bashfully, 'I'm just your helper, the sidekick.'
'And a genius sidekick at that!' Christopher exclaimed.
'The government will love us,' she said suddenly, rolling her eyes. 'But... what will they call us? Orphan Anna and adoptive father who likes to be called Uncle?'
'Psshh!' Christopher waved a hand, 'They'll call us Christopher and Anna Benkley!'
'Fair enough, 'Anna shrugged and she sighed, looking at the Relocator with a frown. 'I'm really tired,' and with a final look towards the VH-Box, the Relocator and the scientist, she left, giving Christopher a kiss on the cheek.
Christopher's face split into a grin as she left and then he stared at the Relocator, thinking quickly and seriously of the night's events. The Relocator was a success, Damien was out of their lives, Anna was in a bit of a rut. He couldn't just go to bed after a night like this!
'Just one time...' he murmured with a mischievous glance towards the garage door.
Once power had been regained, Anna sprinted into the garage, the Relocator and Christopher no where in sight.
'What…?' she murmured, and then she noticed a yellow-sticky note on a wooden garage beam. She read it with wide eyes, completely bewildered. 'Back in Five...'
A/N: I'm feeling quite attached to these characters, but this is the end of the sequel. I'll mark it as completed but if I write other parts of the story - other "adventures" I'll put them in. If you want. Feedback is greatly appreciated! I haven't written science-fiction like this before.