October 31st. 1909.
"Robert Lutece if you even think about moving your head you'll be bleeding from another crevice." Rosalind's sharp tone caused Robert, as always; to sigh and sink back in to his chair once more, staring at the same patch of ceiling as he pinched the bridge of his nose, a tissue gathering the blood that was gushing out in a steady flow. "As always your love and concern makes me feel like I'm hardly ill at all." He muttered somewhat nasally in return. Rosalind raised her head from where she was in the kitchen, peering through at the dissembled living room, past their machine and to her counterpart, who was slumped in a chair. She set the knife down and folded her arms. "You're not funny."
"Shall I be?"
"I don't think you're using the right terms."
"Will I be?"
Rosalind just muttered something about terminology under her breath, glancing back down at the carrot once more as she continued to thinly chop it up. "I'm not being force fed soup again am I?" Came the disgruntled voice from the other room.
"Indeed you are, Robert." Rosalind admitted distractedly as she worked. "Until you stop getting nosebleeds and headaches you shall and will be treated like a child. Am I clear?"
Robert, mopping up the last of his nosebleed with a small sigh, nodded his head. "As crystal." A soft smile slowly spread across Rosalind's lips as she walked out of the kitchen and set a glass of water down on the small wooden table at the side of the armchair. Robert felt himself smile back,-though it was a simple twitch at the corner of his lips. Their smiles were only for each other. No-one else deserved to see them.
However, their smiles were gone as quickly as they had arrived, as Robert changed subjects swiftly as he sipped his water. "We should head out soon," He began, before he slowly deflated at the smaller woman's look. How does she always know what I'm implying before I've even voiced it? Rosalind settled herself on her chair with a swift shake of her head. "Robert it would be the second time in two days. You really think Comstock appreciates the fact that we keep turning up?"
"I worry about the little doll, that's all."
"She's hardly an inanimate object, Robert."
"She's not a lamb either, metaphors are metaphors." Robert shot right back before he sighed, putting on his tie again. "It's only been a few weeks since we retrieved the child, Rosalind. She's a baby. She needs someone that isn't a scientist. Don't tell me you don't enjoy it when we visit her."
"We are Scientists. I also don't enjoy the fact that his wife wanders in here and spouts abuse at me." Rosalind replied sharply, her tone nettled. Robert slowly closed his eyes. Lady Comstock hadn't been too happy with them recently. Robert still hadn't forgiven himself for not being there when she had stormed in on Rosalind. Claiming that the child was a product of Comstock and Rosalind herself.—this thought had made him feel slightly ill when she had told him. If there was one thing he knew his counterpart didn't like, it was being wrongly put down. But the child was on its own, vulnerable and most likely terrified. He couldn't let that happen to a mere infant. He had been about to reply, when there was a knock on the living room door.
"Come in." Rosalind spoke in to her tea, resting the cup back down in its saucer.
Robert gave a polite nod to the young woman who was standing in the doorway, dressed in what could only be described as a business outfit. A long navy skirt that reached her ankles, with a matching waistcoat and tie over a white shirt. Her golden locks were tied up with a loose ribbon. Maria, their front of house.
"Yes, my girl?" Rosalind almost smiled. She had always been fond of the girl. Comstock had employed her simply to be a receptionist and nothing more. But Rosalind was slowly teaching her her ways. Maria was not one to be oppressed by the opposite gender, and Rosalind was quite glad of that fact. Smoothing her hands down her front, the girl spoke once more. "The children are starting to come out in to the streets, Miss Lutece. Will you be participating in Halloween?"
Robert frowned. "Participating? I hardly think we shall be dressing up—"
"She means the candy, Robert." Rosalind corrected, before she looked back at the small framed girl. "Yes. I think we shall." She gestured faintly to the kitchen as she turned the page in her notebook. "There's a tin of bon-bons in the cupboard. You don't mind giving them out to the little ones if they knock?"
"Of course not, Ma'am." Maria bowed her head once in respect before she walked to the kitchen, casting a small glance at the great machine whirring behind the two armchairs her Mistress and her brother were sitting on. She stared at the blue light for a moment, before she carried on her way.
She stopped, turning to look at Rosalind obediently. Rosalind's lips twitched for a fraction of a second, looking at the seventeen year old through her spectacles on the end of her nose. "Do take one for yourself too."
The girl beamed back at her, and nodded quickly. "Yes Miss Lutece. Thank you Miss Lutece." She was on her way out again with the tin, before she froze in the doorway, remembering her superiors. She turned to face the two and did an awkward bow of her head in apology. "M-Mr Lutece, too."
Robert just chuckled, nodding in acceptance. When she had left he turned to look at his 'sister' with a knowing gaze. "You're quite fond of that girl, aren't you?"
"I don't know what you mean."
An hour or so later, Maria knocked on their living room door again. The Lutece's had been quietly enjoying each other's company, silently reading as the fire blazed in front of them. Occasionally Robert would hold his hand down over the edge of the chair, his fingers linking with Rosalind's lazily as they read. Though their hands were quickly rested in their laps at the sound of the knock.
"Yes Maria what is it?"
"Mr Jeremiah Fink to see you Ma'am."
Rosalind was on her feet instantly, her face dropping slightly before she schooled her expression once more. "Very good, Maria. Send him in." She nodded, clearing her throat a few times before she repined a loose lock of her red hair in to its usual style. Robert however, had a grim look on his face as he shrugged on his coat. "What does Fink want at this hour?" He muttered in distaste as he stood shoulder to shoulder with the smaller woman, his hands clasped behind him and hers in front. When Fink entered the Laboratory, he was crude enough to shoot Maria a wink in thanks, who retaliated by glaring holes in to the back of his skull as she stood in the doorway behind him. Rosalind was quite struggling to hold her tongue at that, but she forced a polite nod. "Mr Fink. Such a pleasure to have you visit." Rosalind lied through her teeth, ignoring the light scoff Robert emitted. Jeremiah Fink took off his hat slowly, resting it on the wooden table. "Rosalind. How lovely to see you again." He smirked, looking up at her slowly. He looked over his shoulder at Maria and snapped his fingers. "Get me a drink, beautiful."
"Beautiful? Why you chauvinistic—"
"I'll do it, Maria." Rosalind seemed to have a silent conversation with her front of house with her eyes before she walked in to the kitchen and made a simple whiskey. No Rosalind. No arsenic. When she returned, Fink was commenting to Robert how having 'fiery workers' was bad for a business. Once again, Rosalind had to refrain herself from going back in to the kitchen and adding as much arsenic as she possibly could in to the liquid. She handed the businessman his drink, not expecting a thank you. Which of course, was never said.
"I remind you that my sister and I do not run a business as you do, Fink. We are but a simple research lab—"
"A corporation is a corporation, Robert. Remember that. I don't know why you don't put her on a course with me for a while. I'll soon get her in to shape for this line of work." Rosalind was quick to change the subject when she saw Maria's fists clench at her side. "What brings you here this evening?"
Fink slowly turned his head to glance over his shoulder, a sinners eyes focusing on Maria. "I'm sorry. You're still here?" He quipped. It was a reluctant nod from Rosalind that finally made Maria leave the room, closing the door rather loudly behind her. Fink relaxed slightly then, though his eyes never left Rosalind's. Something that put Robert on edge. With a grin, Fink spoke. "You've been busy lately haven't you Rosalind?" The man leant back against the arm of her chair. Rosalind turned and walked to the whirring machine she had spent so long working on. "I'm always busy Mr Fink."
"You should have a break some time. Get yourself down to the Good Time Club, darlin'. Unwind for a while—"
"I think that's quite enough of that." Robert interrupted swiftly, narrowing his eyes at the well-dressed man that stood in front of him. Fink was silent for a beat before he slowly grinned. "That answers my next question then. I always did wonder which one of you two was the older one. Never seen you in such a brotherly state, Robert old boy." He looked between the two for a moment, though Rosalind had her back to him, writing things down on a clipboard to distract herself from blowing a switch. Fink leant forward slightly, still perching on the arm of the chair. "Of course…you two don't really pay attention to that, do you?"
Rosalind slammed her pencil down on her clipboard and turned to face him angrily. "Mr Fink if you're just going to sit there and spout nonsense I shall have to ask you to leave—"He had already slammed her in to the desk then. "Comstock has ears everywhere my dear. You and your…'brother' think you can just deceive him that easily? Huh? Didn't want him to leave you, did you? Didn't want him to go back to his own universe, leaving little Rosalind all alone."
"Unhand her this instant." Robert shoved Fink out of the way. Rosalind had never seen him looking so heated and angry. She didn't dare move a muscle, just stood there with her back pressed against the wall. For a second, Fink looked like he was going to take a swing at the taller redhead, but he stopped. Glowering at the two of them.
"You really think he's going to let the two of you try to take the brat back? Back through that tear? He's not happy with you, Lindie." There was something about the way that he was grinning at her, under his thick moustache, that made Rosalind press her back in to the wall a little more.
"Don't call me that."
"Don't call her that."
Both sentences were snapped in unison, causing Fink to laugh to himself as he slid his hand in to his back pocket. "What you're doing is sick and wrong. I'm not a man of religion, Rosalind. You know I'm not. But this?" Robert was standing in front of her then, his arm out to the side, blocking Fink from her view. Robert felt her hands slowly tighten on the back of his jacket, and he moved his other arm behind him, keeping her as close as he could. "Robert…"
"I know." He murmured, squeezing her arm, Fink pulled a handgun from his back pocket, causing Robert to stumble back with Rosalind behind him. "What Comstock is doing is wrong, Jeremiah. You know that. You must know that. She's a child. An innocent child—"
"Orders are orders, Pal. Sorry." He shrugged, like it was an everyday situation. "The Prophet isn't happy with the two of you. So he's told me to…take care of you. You see," He stepped forward and the Lutece's stepped back. "Rosalind Lutece never really focused on the safety of her machine. Always malfunctioning it was. Terrible…terrible accident." He explained, cocking the gun back as he took a step closer. Rosalind shouted then, over Robert's shoulder. "Maria! Maria call the police! Call them now!"
"She can't hear you, sweet stuff." Fink tutted. "She hasn't been able to hear you for a long time." Robert just about managed to hold his sister back from running at him. With a thick swallow, Robert glanced over his shoulder. The machine was there, crackling and sparking at their close proximities.
"I can imagine the newspaper article now. 'Lutece Lab Crisis. Rosalind Lutece and her 'dear brother' were using their machine in aid of The Prophet," All the time he was speaking he was backing them up slowly. "When something short circuited, killing all the members of the household. Their servant, Robert Lutece and Rosalind Lutece herself. Columbia is devastated at such a tragedy."
"Robert." Rosalind breathed, her hands tightening on the back of his jacket some more. "Robert I—"She broke off in to a small gasp when she felt the warm heat of the tear on her back. Identical blue eyes met, a large hand met a small one. Fink was side stepping over to the controls now, the gun never leaving his hand. Robert stared him down, holding Rosalind as close as he could. Fink continued to muse as he stared at the controls, still dictating the apparent newspaper articles of the next day. "But there was one more casualty, unfortunately, people of Columbia. One that Rosalind Lutece was yet to reveal."
Rosalind felt her heart slowly ache in sudden, horrifying realisation. "A secret that only The Prophet himself knew. One that, as it happens, he shared with his partners. Four casualties. The Siblings of Science, their excuse for a servant…and?" He glanced down at Rosalind's lower half. "Such a shame it'll never get to see life." He sighed, shaking his head in a false grief. It was that that sent Robert over the edge. He stormed forward. "You insufferable excuse for a human being! How could you do something like this?—"
"Robert!" Rosalind was trying desperately to tug him back, one hand on her flat-at the time- stomach. She felt sick. Physically sick that someone as unfaithful as Fink knew of her darkest secret. "Robert please! Please!"
"You'll rot in Hell for this Fink. Don't think you won't get your penance! By damn someone will give you what's coming to you and I'll be damned if it isn't m—"Fink had already pulled out the main circuit then, causing the tear to squeeze shut around them. The sound of their screams caused him to take a step back. He watched as they convulsed, every ounce of their precious machine was being pumped through their veins. The lights blew out as their screams escalated, their clothes spattered with blood and burnt skin. Fink said nothing, just wandered back to the arm chair and finished the drink Rosalind had made him minutes before. When two charred bodies hit the floor, he sighed and placed his top hat back on his head, adjusting his top hat on his head.
"And now, we have the new song from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. OMD to all you kids. Something soft for that hangover I'm sure lots of you are dealing with... A classic in the making here I'm sure. Seeing us in to 1981, its OMD's new single, Souvenir."
The soft music was the first thing that Rosalind opened her eyes to. But soon enough she was closing them again, a harsh light seemed to be flickering on and off. Causing her eyes to ache no matter how much she screwed them shut. Anyone with half a brain could have figured out that the previous voice was from a radio. Albeit, a little more casual speaking than what she was used to in 1912 but it was a radio all the same. It was his words, however, that caused her to sit bolt upright. "1981." She whispered to no-one in particular. She instantly looked to the skies, expecting to see fire raining down from the heavens. After a moment, she mentally kicked herself. 1981, Rosalind. Not 1983. Two years yet. Holding a hand to her head, she took in her surroundings as she heaved herself to her feet. An alleyway. Delightful. She turned her head, coughing in to her hand. The light that had been previously aggravating her had been a flashing neon sign on the side of the wall that simply read 'Jacko's.'
As it turned out, 'Jacko's' was a dingy café that seemed to only serve food that was covered in grease. It was mostly deserted apart from a few lonely drunks who were slumped in the battered chairs, staring blankly at the tacky plastic menus. The music she could hear was coming from a small silver radio that was perched on the counter. A large hairy bulk of a man, most likely Jacko. , was slouched over behind the counter. In a net vest that showed every single inch of his thick grey body hair. Rosalind was trying to focus on his face and nothing else, but it wasn't exactly an improvement. A long bead of snot was sliding from his left nostril, only to be sucked back in to the darkness every time he sniffed. Rosalind shifted a little, before she raised her chin and walked over. "Excuse me? Could you be a good fellow and tell me where I am?" Jacko was silent for a moment before he slowly raised his head. "Chicago. Where'd you think you are, Queen Victoria?" He sneered, the bead of snot finally sliding on to his upper lip, only to be swiped away with his wrist. Rosalind could see it caught up in his arm hair. She refrained from dry heaving. At his words she straightened, a look on her face that she was quite sure Robert would be apologizing for had he been here. She spoke then, her tone clearly a nettled one. "Well if I'm Queen Victoria I expect I should be at the Royal Mausoleum in the English Country of Berkshire. Seeing as I died in 1901 due to Rheumatism in my legs and the cataracts in my eyes—"She broke off her tangent of how he was blatantly abusing History suddenly, her face slowly falling. Dead. I should…I should be dead. Fink killed us. But I'm in Chicago in 1981. How does that-The Tear. We must have gone through the tear….Robert. She instantly looked over her shoulder, backpedalling out of the café instantly. Rosalind's head whipped from left to right, only now realising that her hair had become unpinned in the commotion. Her waist length red hair was whipping about her face in the harsh wind. "Robert!" She shouted in to the wind as she ran out in to the deserted suburban street,
So I know this chapter has been quite a slow one. I just needed to write their deaths, (It's all on Rosalind Lutece's wiki page if any of you are confuzzled.) I promise that the next chapter will have some more body in it. Reviews are one of the main things that keeps me going, like any other writer. So please leave me one to let me know how I'm doing! I should have the next chapter posted up really soon.