By Flaming Trails
A Back To The Future Story
Disclaimer: I don't own BTTF. If I did, I wouldn't be writing this disclaimer.
This is a story from Normal Doc's world. Normal Doc is like VampDoc, only without the vampire business. No Clara or other adventures past Doc going into the future.
But, as you'll see, you don't necessarily need all that time-hopping to have some wacked-out adventures. . . .
Thursday, November 10th, 1955
Hill Valley, California
2: 14 P. M.
Dr. Emmett L. Brown carefully adjusted the delicate instrument before him. He ran his eye over the dials and nodded his approval. "Everything is in functional order. We're ready for the primary testing."
Marty smiled at younger Doc's extremely technical and precise way of talking. "Okay, let's go for the gold."
Doc blinked at the slang, then shrugged it off. He made a few more adjustments to the mind-reading machine, then picked up the geodesical helmet and carefully strapped it onto his head. The machine began to quietly hum. Doc picked up a suction-cup like sensor, then paused, looking at the teen before him. "Are you sure you want to go through with this? I can always substitute Copernicus if you're uneasy."
Marty shrugged and kept smiling. "The first time you tried this on me, I had just walked in the door, Doc. You weren't too keen on asking if I wanted to then. I'm okay with it."
Doc chuckled as he recalled that fateful night a few days ago. He moistened the suction cup and stuck it to Marty's forehead. Electrical impulses started racing up the wires on top of the machine. "Now, just think of your full name and your date of birth. You never told me either piece of information, so it should be a dependable and secure check to test if the machine is workable."
Marty did so, hoping that the mind-reader would work. Doc had done all he could to make sure it was in perfect working order. If it did work, Marty was going to sneak in a warning about him getting shot in the future. The resultant death of his friend in 30 years had been preying on his mind lately, what with the mess with his parents. He had to make sure it didn't happen. "Okay, Doc, got it."
"Shh!" Doc concentrated hard, trying to sense thoughts through the haze of static he 'heard'. Marty concentrated just as hard on his name and birthdate.
After a minute, Doc sighed. "Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Six months of labor and planning, and all I hear is static! I can get that on the radio!"
"Try it again, Doc," Marty urged, not wanting to give up. "Twist some of those dials or something."
Doc looked at the settings. "You could be right, my friend. I might have the setting wrong." He adjusted a few dials and tried again. They both concentrated hard, but there was no connection.
Doc tweaked the settings 5 times before finally throwing up his hands. "I give up, Marty! The machine simply does not want to function." He started to unhook his receiving helmet.
"Hang on a sec, Doc," Marty begged, wanting one last chance. "You never touched that dial." He pointed to a knob slightly separate from all the others. "Maybe it's a tone up/down thing. Is it?"
Doc looked at the knob. He knew he had told himself never to use that particular knob, but he didn't remember why. It was quite possible Marty was right and it was a 'volume control', so to speak. If he 'turned up the volume', maybe he'd be able to hear thoughts in the static. It was worth a shot. "Sharp eyes, Marty. I'll try it. Start concentrating."
Marty shut his eyes and thought hard. Shutting his own eyes, Doc turned the knob.
It turned out Doc had not used the knob because it was wired to a noncrucial faulty part. Turning the knob had a tendency to give those involved in the experiment nasty electric shocks. And that's just what it did to Doc and Marty.
"YOW!" Marty ripped off the suction cup and held his head. It felt like a bolt of energy had passed through his brain! With a sudden headache, he slumped against the machine.
Doc let out his own cry of pain and immediately switched off the machine. "God DAMN IT!" he yelled. His brain felt like it had just been jolted awake. He quickly unstrapped the helmet from his head and ran to get some aspirin or something to relieve the pain.
He returned with the aspirin and a cold towel for Marty. "I'm so sorry, kid. I forgot that part was faulty. Are you okay?"
"I've got a killer headache," Marty moaned, holding his head. Doc pressed the cold towel to his forehead and handed him 2 aspirin and some water. "Jesus, Doc, I'm sorry, are you okay?"
"It's not your fault. I should have labeled that dial." Doc watched as Marty gulped down the water and aspirin. For a moment, he had a strange feeling as he watched the kid. A feeling his life had suddenly and irrevocably been connected to Marty's, that a link had prematurely formed between them. Then it was gone, replaced by worry over the teen's condition. "Has that assisted you any?"
"Yeah, I feel a little better." Marty looked at Doc and felt - odd. It was like something that had been sleeping in his brain had been awakened. He felt close to Doc, like they were somehow part of each other. Then the feeling faded in a wash of pain.
Doc angrily kicked the machine. "Stupid piece of junk! I'm tearing it apart tomorrow. It doesn't work and it's not safe. There's no reason to hold onto it." He looked back at Marty, eyes filled with concern. "I'm so sorry this had to happen to you, especially at a time like this. Why don't you go lie down for a little while?"
"Yeah, okay." Marty headed up to the room Doc was loaning to him during his visit. "Too bad for Doc. I know he put a lot into that machine. But what was that funny feeling?"
Doc shrugged. "My scientific calculations must have been flawed. Damn, six months labor. . . . Well, maybe I could use some of it in the time machine I'm destined to invent. But I have no idea what that strange feeling was."
It was rather unfortunate neither of them spoke aloud. Otherwise, they would have realized the machine had worked. Just not quite the way Doc had intended it to work.
It had created a mental link between their minds.
And it would take them 30 years to realize it had happened.