This is Goodnight Sweetheart, a Comedy that was popular at one time in the mid-nineties.
Disclaimer: The program was created by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gram
Goodnight Sweetheart the tune written by Al Boyle
I should point out here that this tale is totally made up. I have done no research at all on the whereabouts or tactics of the Royal Navy in 1942 and the battle of Portsmouth as far as I'm aware never happened. Though I suppose it might have done!
Goodnight Sweetheart, all my prayers are for you
Goodnight Sweetheart, I'll be thinking of you
Dreams and fortune can make us forlorn
But we'll be born. A new day had dawned
Gary's first reaction was to dash back across Duckett's passage. But then the Nazi policeman version of Reg Deadman walked in. He spoke, in German though Gary didn't realize this at first, 'You are using too much light at night for this area. Turn it down!'
Gary replied, 'Yes, fine, in a moment,' and moved to the time-portal hurriedly.
Von Deadman pulled out a pistol and pointed it at Gary's head. He screamed in the cliched manner of Nazi officers everywhere. 'You will do so NOW! Not obeying the orders of a Reich official is an offence and those that commit offences will be SHOT!' Slowly, very reluctantly, Gary moved back to the shop, noticing that now it seemed to be selling various Nazi regalia.
'Keep your hair on!' muttered Gary quietly as he did so. He had hoped the Nazi policeman would leave. But sadly for him, the door opened and he saw Yvonne, his wife. A version of Yvonne Gary didn't instantly recognize. She was wearing a Khaki uniform, a black raincoat and a hat with a little Swastika on the brim. Now he remembered.
What was happening to Gary was complicated. That's what happens if one wonders around in an alternate version of time! Of course, he could remember what had happened in the original version of History. But now it had been changed, Gary's make-up had been changed a little as well with it, and he was remembering a different version of himself. Complex!
One thing he did remember was that in this reality, his wife was a major Nazi. She always was ambitious. But the idea of 'his' Yvonne been a Nazi just didn't ring true. She would never have been a Nazi in any circumstances. Just went to show that when timelines changed, people themselves did. Gary wondered if it was the lack of guidance from himself that had turned Yvonne. Then he remembered what type of guidance he had given her. It hadn't helped! Yvonne seemed very insistent and as a high-ranking Nazi there was no arguing with her.
'Gary darling!' said she, 'I havent seen you for ages! If I didn't know better, I'd say you where deliberately avoiding me. I trust you appreciate how annoying I find that!' Yvonne gave a sweet but dangerous little smile.
'No, no, of course I'd be delighted to spend time with you!'
'Excellent! So get going!' Yvonne tapped Gary on the back side as he went. 'Nice arse!' said she appreciatively. Gary came to Yvonne's staff car, a Mercedes but one with two little Nazi's flags. The driver, Ron, saluted them both and the vehicle started up. Gary was driven across the London streets with the car, as it was carrying an important Government official, ignoring any traffic lights, road wigns or any other road users. While it did, he took some time to re-familiarize himself with this timeline.
It had appeared, he had remembered, that 1942 was the key year. In the Battle of Portsmouth, much of the British Navy in the Channel had been sunk with little loss to the Lufftwaffe. With that, Hitler was tempted and so invaded and conquered Britain. With the resources of Britain, and much of her Empire, the Nazies had subdued the Soviet Union. America, which took very long to be an enthusiastic ally anyway, remained on the sidelines, unable to do anything.
Most of the world had become a German/Japanese hegemony. Various disgusting programs had been carried out against different peoples. The Jews had been exiled, then the Nazis had decided that wasn't enough and slaughtered them. Few remained. The Slavic's were next as where many Catholics, gypsies, Arabs. It was just one people been wiped after another. The blacks and Asians were turned into virtual slave races. Apartheid ruled throughout Africa.
Gary was thinking that he would like to know a bit more about the Battle for Portsmouth. There had seemed to have been a lot written about it. The Nazis liked to crow! As Gary entered the chambers of Yvonne, he nodded to Ron, who said in German, actually! 'A word of advice. Be nice to Yvonne. She's getting a bit suspicious!' Gary and Ron had been up to some dodgy deeds!
' Er, yes, I'll be careful' replied Gary in the same German. As soon as he said that, Gary thought to himself, 'Since when did I learn to speak German?' shaking his head. But it was, in fact, pretty poor German and Ron wasn't impressed!
'Gary, Gary, I've told you before, you'll never get anywhere in this world if you don't improve you're German. You have to learn the language of our masters!'
'If I must!' sighed Gary.
Then the door to a bed chamber opened and Yvonne's head popped out. She said sweetly, or as sweet as someone wearing a Nazi hat can be! 'Gary darling come into bed and bring a nice stiff weapon for me!' grabbed Gary's hand and dragged him in. Yvonne was in a full female Nazi outfit, complete with knee-length skirt, hat shirt, a little tie and Nazi badges.
She quickly unbuttoned her outfit, throwing off her dress, revealing very sexy suspenders and expensive red knickers! She kissed Gary very firmly and threw him onto the bed. It has to be said that Gary enjoyed this type of thing. In actual fact, Women in uniforms he found a considerable turn on! But this was taking things a bit too far! Thought he!
Outside, unable to stop himself from listening, Ron smiled at the thud, thud, thud of the vibrating sexual gymnastics! Much later, Gary was lying in bed, wearing only a pair of pants. Yvonne was in a pink, silk, nightie. 'Now then, said Yvonne seductively. 'Why don't you lay back and I'll have something nice and sweet to put in your mouth!'
'Arr,' said Gary opening his moth and closing his eyes.
'This!' snapped Yvonne and pushed a pistol into his open mouth. 'Get up!' ordered she to the astonished Gary, 'Yes, look surprised' Yvonne was ironic. 'I have found out about your little affair with that barmaid. I will kill you. And Ron, him knowing about it. I am going to crucify you to a cross in Leicester Square, cut of your genitals and stitch them to your mouth and let the crows and seagulls slowly peck you to death!'
The Nazi version of Yvonne was quite capable of doing this. Gary looked up in terror. 'No, don't get dressed!' Yvonne screamed, 'I want you to look stupid!' Yvonne let out a shot between Gary's legs making him jump and move.
'What have I been getting up to in this timeline?' muttered Gary to himself as he was marched away. 'Oh, yes, that,' remembered he, that even in this timeline he had been unable to resist the temptations of using his Nazi contacts, though he hated them, to play about with a nice little mistress which Yvonne had obviously found out about.
So poor? Gary was thrown, in chains, into an unkempt prison cell with Ron as company. But that was some comfort to know that even here his mate Ron hadn't fallen for all that Nazi propaganda. Even if Ron was a bit of a crock. Though Ron did sigh, 'and I'm missing the cricket!'
Ar, Cricket! Gary thought about that, Cricket had not been abolished though it had come close. And indeed, England where World Champions. Although this was partly due to the fact that due to its stiff resistance to the Japanese in the '40s and early '50s Australia had been invaded by a combined Japanese/Dutch force and it's population wiped out to the last man with the loss of 20m lives.
Some Japanese sheep grazed there now. It said a lot for Gary's thoughts on Cricket that he almost thought this was worth it! Where it not due to the fact that every Pitch was daubed with a Nazi swastika! 'Oh, that's all we need!' groaned Ron as Gary looked up to the figure of Von Bussel. He was looking very pleased with himself with a rather gloating smile
'Vell, what do you think? Like what I've done? I think this reality is a considerable improvement!' Von Bussel grinned evilly. 'Nice to see the Master race where it should be. You know, only us three have any idea what really happened. I'm not sure that Ron really counts. He seems a bit confused!' Von Bussel pulled out a pistol. 'I should just shot you know for safety. But then, Yvonne wants to crucify you, cut of your genitals, tie them to your mouth and let the crows and seagulls peck you to death and she is insistent.
'You know, it really is difficult persuading even the Nazis of my contributation,' Von Bussel continued. 'Even now, some of them aren't convinced about my altering history. Still, I have made enough of a deal to be happy myself! Maybe I'll see you on the cross!' laughed Von Bussel exciting.
'What a git,' groaned Ron. The precise relationship now between Ron, Gary and the timeportal was a little complex! To say the least. 'And here's someone else!' and the head butler, Peters a clever Black man, but due to his skin colour unable to rise above the rank of Butler came in and made a pretence of checking the locks. Then he drew out a key and quickly released Gary and Ron.
'We haven't much time,' started he as he unbuckled the keys. 'About five minutes, actually. But I can get you to a safe house for a while. Beyond that!' Peters shrugged. But Gary was just happy to be out of the cell.
'Peters, I just need to get to Duckets Passage!' Gary stammered.
'Why, what good will that do?' asked Peters.
'It might be our only chance,' said Gary.
'Is this to do with your?' said Ron, slightly aware of Gary's time-travelling.
'Well, we just have to trust him, Peters!'
'I can't just get you there, the roadblocks are a nightmare. But look I can get you to a safe house, and we can take it from there. I know of one!' Gary agreed with Peters, it gave him a chance. Peters was a key member of what was left of any resistance to Nazi rule in Britain. Gary was hurried out of the building by a secret exit, bundled into a car and in half-an-hour was in a boarded up room underground in secret.
And later on looking at Peters who had just come down the stairway next to a large column. Peters, Gary now vaguely remembered was the person in the original reality who had been presenting weird, clever, but totally non-understandable programs on advanced science. Here, he was presenting a large book to him. 'You said you wanted to know more about the Battle of Portsmouth. Well you could read through this...'
Peters showed Gary the heavy book which seemed like around 1500 pages to Gary. 'Or perhaps I could summarize for you.' Gary nodded his brown-barnacled head. 'Very well, fascinating battle that, I must say. Lots written about it. Amazing the little coincidences that happened to both sides some argue that the actions of even single people could have changed the conclusion, then who knows what might have happened?'
'Could you, er, expand on that?' Gary asked.
'Well,' said Peters and in his normal manner when not working picked up a pair of modern Binoculars, knocking over a lampshade as he did so. 'Some say that simply one of these might have saved the British. The Luftwaffe got the British fleet not on battle alert. Several of our larger ships were sunk with little loss to the Germans. Well, they couldn't be on one indefinitely, you know! Yet the British Radar and scouts never spotted the Luftwaffe until it was too late. But with one of these with twice the viewing range, they might have done!'
Gary looked and moved his hand to pick up the Binoculars. He wasn't sure if the loss of a few battleships would have made such a difference but might it have done? 'Erm, I wonder if I could borrow those?' Well, he had to admit that it was his wife, the original version that had the idea. She had suggested taking a modern weapon back to the 40s to help the Brits, but the problem for Gary was that he didn't want to take something too modern or devastating or else there could be a Nuclear war in 1944, but something like an updated pair of Binoculars was ideal!
'Why sure,' continued Peters. 'But of course, in War there where problems on both sides. The Germans had the wrong type of bullets apparently, and the only casualties they had occurred with some planes colliding with each other, and the steering of the Planes setup was not the best. But most lay with the British. When even a few attacking aircraft manage to find some warships unprepared, there really is only one winner.'
'Also,' Peters walked around as he talked. There was more of a touch of the mad professors about Peters. 'There was the case of the British shaft drilling system. It was very wasteful. With just a alteration of the Gap/systic flow, energy could have been saved, converted into bullets, quickly and given the British more ammo!' Gary looked non-comprehending the last statement.
'I think I'll go with the Binoculars!' said he. 'You know, it really is sad that with the Raciest laws in place a talented man like yourself doesn't get appreciated more. You've been a great help,' indeed Gary was a little relived. At least he had some kind of plan now. Even if getting back to Duckettts Passage wouldn't be easy and he wasn't sure of it's conclusion.
'Well, that's how it is,' sighed Peters sadly. 'I always wanted to be a University lecturer, but that was just silly. I'm quite lucky not to live in slavery like my Brothers, really. But I have a feeling my run of luck is coming to an end. I wish things where otherwise but, what can you do?
'That's one thing I can do,' whispered Gary frantically, 'I can think of a society where races are treated equally, black fellows can have professional jobs, be top sportsman, taste freedom. But it's not this one,' Gary thought that things where not necessarily always great for non-whites where he came from, but it was a damn sight better than here.
'You'll be telling me there'll be a Black President of America, soon!' Peters laughed.
'That's probably going a bit too far, I can't see a Black President of the USA in any lifeline!' said Gary.
Actually, in this reality, the USA had been conquered as well and lived as a satellite state, not the super-power that it had been in Gary's lifeline. Gary now, however, really thought it was time to get back to Duckett's passage. 'Peters, Ron, I need to get to Duckett's passage. This could be the only way to save the world from the Nazi domination. Trust me, I have a plan'
Now, there was a sit-com. Only Fools and Horses. One of it's major characters was a slightly dimn character known to one and all as Rodney the Plonker. Gary had an uncanny resemblance to him, surprisingly. He sounded like Rodney at times. So, the world could only be saved from the Nazi's by Rodney the plonker! Could be in trouble.
Peters looked at Gary and Ron, 'Is this one of Gary's little...'
'I think so,' replied Ron.
'This might cost me my life. But all right, I'll give it a go!' Peters agreed.
So, later on that evening as rain spat down, Gary and Ron where bundled into the boot of a car which Peters drove. Ron said to Gary, 'You could be in trouble, I've heard Yvonne wants to cut of your genitals, tie them to your mouth, then crucify you in Leicester Square as the crows and Seagulls...' Gary sighed as he was getting a bit fed up of this been relayed to him,
'Slowly peck me to death, yes, yes, I know, thank you!'
'Just passing The Fuhrer square now!' Peters said. Of course, Hitler himself had died some time in the early 60s. His succession had passed to his son, but then there was some very ungainly squabbling amongst the Nazi leadership for his succession and one of his relatives had taken over and now his successors ruled like the old style Roman Emperors, unelected, unaccountable, save by assassination which only made matters worse, and with no talent for leadership whatsoever.
Just before they entered the turning to the shop, the car stopped. Gary pecked out and saw in horror Von Deadman with his hand raised in a stop sign. He hastily dropped back down. Von Deadman stepped forward and said to Peters. 'One moment, please, random search, just want to check out on any criminal activities you know!' He prodded various bits of the car with his truncheon, but to the relief of Gary wasn't in the mood to check the boot.
But Von Deadman did pick up the Binoculars. 'What are you doing with these old things, not the latest model, are they?' he laughed. Then he slowly put them back and waved the car on its way. But Gary was thinking on other matters. To Gary, the original reality was been slowly driven back in his mind and taken over by the new one. It was almost as if his old life was becoming a bit of a dream and he had to pinch himself and concentrate to remember it in detail at all. In time, he would forget it totally if he couldn't go back. That was the nature of changing time. The Gary of the Nazi timeline would take over his body totally.
But then there was another problem. Just as he got out of the boot he heard a voice. 'There he is, I thought he'd come sneaking around here!' Gary looked and to his horror saw Yvonne a little way back on the top of an armoured car. Gary ran as fast as he could to the shop where the portal lay. Yvonne said to Von Bussel, 'I'll look forward to his execution. How many is that this year?'
'50000, 40000 for political crimes,' answered Von Bussel. 'Nice round number!.'
Yvonne cried aloud in German screeching at her Stormtroopers to fire.
Gary dashed inside the shop. But Ron wasn't so lucky. As bullets hit the pavements, Ron was hit in a hail of them falling dead. Gary looked in grief for his friend, lingering for almost a moment too soon. For bullets where aimed at him and he had to move as a shell from a tank hit the shop, Gary only in the nick of time dived through a burning flame, over some bins and through the time-portal in high speed to the sound of explosions behind him.
'There you are, Gary, You've been away ages again!' said Phoebe to him as he returned to the Royal Oak back in the '40s. But then she noticed that Gary was bleeding from cuts, bruised trembling in a terrible state. 'What has happened to you?'
'We have a problem. A very serious problem. We are facing a surprise attack of the worse kind. I've only just found out,' Gary breathed deeply. 'I have to get to Portsmouth Harbour as quick as possible,' Gary then realized that he did have a couple of days. But laterally only 3 till the attack. 'Time to do a bit of cleaning up of myself,' he muttered.
So later, he was trying to relax himself and to focus with a beer on a corner of the Royal Oak. When he saw his friend Reg. 'I think we need a bit of cheering up again, how about another of your songs?'
'Yes, come on!' cried a few others.
'Fair enough,' said Gary and went to play one. But one which summed up his mind at the moment.
I see a bad moon rising
I see that troubles on the way
I see thunder and lightning
I see that is coming my way!
Don't go out tonight,
It's gonna take your life
I see a bad moon tonight!
Well, this little werewolf didty wasn't greatly appreciated as much as his other songs.
'What type of song is that?' grumped Reg.
'Bad moon rising, trouble on the way, Gary, We've been at war for 3 years, don't you think we don't know that,' groaned Phoebe. 'Oh, well, can't like them all I suppose.' Disappointed, Gary stopped playing. 'Time, please, everyone!' said Phoebe. 'So I suppose you're off to this Portsmouth thing,' said Phoebe gloomily as the drinkers slowly left the Royal Oak and Reg started to clean up.
'I'm sorry, I have to, it's really important,' answered Gary, meaning it this time!
'Well, in that case,' growled Phoebe. 'I'm coming to. Don't whinge to me about security leaks, I can come at least as far as Portsmouth Harbour. You might need me!'
'But, this is secret!' protested Gary feebly.
'Then why did you tell us all, you Narna?' laughed Phoebe.
Gary thought. Well, he wasn't going back to the nineties until he had sorted this. Perhaps it would be nice to have Phoebe's companionship. He looked across slowly at her, 'All right then. I'll be leaving tomorrow early. I know the precise time and date that the raid is going to happen.' Gary raised his eyes nervously. 'Thinking about it, I'm probably the only one that does!'
'I'm coming to!' said Reg.
'What!' cried Gary in horror.
'Come on, you might need someone of sense in their!'
'In that case why should I ask you, Reg!' Gary rolled his eyes as sense was not normally something mentioned in the same breath as Reg Deadman. 'But, all right then,' Gary was just making his way upstairs when Stan said,
'I think I'll come!'
'What, why, Stan?'
'I know a thing or two about Ships, Gary. I was on one in the last war and during some of the Twenties. I was actually first Lieutenant. It was only a destroyer, but still a decent ship. Sailing is in my blood. After all that Hitler has chucked down up on us, it would be nice to get one over on him!' Stan was a little man, nearing pension age that looked like your typical Eastend Londoner.
'Lieutenant, rubbish! I don't know who Stan is trying to kid, people like Gary I suppose that don't know any better but he never made it past Petty officer,' muttered Reg.
Phoebe smiled, 'Stan was on three ships and each one of them sunk!'
'Not my fault, though!' protested Stan.
'Oh, very well, come along then, Uncle Albert!' said Gary, jokingly to Stan. Gary watched OFAH as well!
It was outside the security gates of Portsmouth harbour. Gary was trying to persuade the sentries to let him in but with limited success. 'Look, I have to get through. Just let me see your Commanding officer. This is important. Oh, don't waffle on to me about red tape. I'm on your side, this could be crucial. Just let me talk to someone in authority. It doesn't have to be long.' Gary was getting frustrated with the bureaucracy. Timing was crucial here. An attack was due in a matter of hours.
But the sentry finally agreed. 'I'll take you to see Mrs Deeppeck. She'll know what to do!' It was only the presence of a Policeman, an ex-naval serviceman and a typical Eastend barlady that pesuaded the Sentry to do this. Had Gary been on his own, he might have had a much tougher job. So he was taken to one of the offices.
Mrs Deeppeck was an odd and powerful woman. She was of Indian origin having joined the Navy in the Raj. It was unusual in the least for the Navy to employ in such a position a Indian female secretary, but she did have talent and these where desperate situations. In fact, Mrs Deeppeck had influence far more than here mere position as Secretary implied.
And she took some convincing, but many others in her position wouldn't have been convinced. 'I'm sorry Mr Sparrow, but I just can't keep the fleet on alert due to your, frankly rather suspicious word. We can't keep the Fleet in readiness permanently. We have done so for a few days. We've had no attack yet, it would be unfortunate indeed if the Luftwaffe attacked now of all times.'
'Unfortunate, rubbish,' thought Gary. Now he remembered, the points about the fleets movement where in public display in the Nineties. He wouldn't have put it past Von Bussel to have read these and have passed the relevant information over to the Nazis. But then he couldn't really say, 'Well, in fact I've just been to the future and have seen a security leak where someone has looked into the past about these events to change the future,' could he!
But he was wondering how to convince Mrs Deeppeck. 'Maybe if I just stood around here, doing nothing and in a few hours I'll just have a little look out,' said he with his Binoculars taking a little look.
This didn't work. 'You don't seriously think I'm going to let you look out with that dodgy thing!'
'You have to admit she's got a point it does look a little suspicious!' added Reg rather unhelpfully.
Phoebe was struck by an idea, she been about in the 40s and knowing Gary well. 'Mrs Deeppeck, why don't you just let Gary, under supervision, go to your main look-out and let him see through them if there is any pending Luftwaffe attack? If there isn't, then you know that Gary is a bit of a loon and you can let him go.' There was a little pause. Mrs Deeppeck was looking like she was wanting to be convinced but not sure. Gary was holding his breath, he had nothing more to add here.
But then Mrs Deeppeck said, 'Fine, I will agree with that. But what are those Binoculars, Gary, I don't recognize those.'
Gary had been prepared for a question like this. He said, trying to sound very impressive and mysterious, 'Well, this is from the source where I received this information. It's from the Germans, you know how good they are at technical matters. It's one of there latest designs. Fortunately I managed to acquire a prototype. It's good though!' Gary was relived that Mrs Deeppeck appeared to accept this.
Later, Gary was thinking it was only a short while until the all-important raid. He did know this, he had the precise times almost imprented in his memory. But at the moment, Reg and Stan had gone out for a quiet smoke and a brew-up. Gary turned to speak to Phoebe, when there was a thud and Phoebe was knocked unconcious by someone in the cool evening.
Gary heard a voice, 'Nice and easy now! We'll just go for a short walk shall we? You've made my life difficult here for a while, making me a wanted man putting my name to the Police and all!' It was Von Bussel and in the balconies shadows, Gary could see he was pointing a small Pistol at him. In fact, Von Bussel's plan was to take Gary out to the harbour in a boat, then shot him and slip away quietly.
Von Bussel continued, 'Still shouldn't be for long. I happen to know that after the invasion I will be well rewarded. Now get going!' Von Bussel moved Gary along to a little boat where he intended to row him to the harbour. Von Bussel could have just shot Gary there and then, but he was thinking it would have been too much in the view of the navy patrolmen, Von Bussel had just sneaked in there, after all.
Gary was rowed a little into the Harbour. Then Von Bussel pointed his pistol at Gary. And Gary heard a shot.
Reg and Stan had just finished their brew-up. Reg said, 'Think I might pop over to see if I can find a beer!'
Stan sighed, 'Much as I like a pint, shouldn't we check up on Gary and Phoebe first? Things could be getting important!'
'Suppose!' agreed Reg. So the two moved back to where Gary had been. And now he wasn't!
Reg saw Phoebe slowly getting up and ran to her to help. 'What happened to you?' asked he.
Phoebe stood up. She was feeling rather sick in the head after been banged, but she was a tough woman and would recover. She staggered and hang on to Reg in the dark. There wasn't much light here, just a few lamps on the shore. The Sea's green waves sloshed up behind her and a little further down. She said, 'I just felt a band on the back on my head and went out. Where's Gary?' she asked panicky.
'What has he gone, don't you know where?'
'No idea, we'd better look for him, there may be Nazi spies around!' suggested Phoebe. The three had a quick look around. 'He doesn't seem to be about.' groaned Phoebe, thinking they may have to just give up and wait for him.
But then Stan, proving that 3 pairs of eyes where better than 2 and who had been looking around carefully spotted Gary in the shadows in a little boat out in the harbour. 'There he is and someone with him. Is it just me or does that person with him look a bit suspicious with that pistol? Hold on, it's that Von Bussel,' finished Stan, recognizing the man with Gary.
Then Reg took a hand. With his pistol, he took a good aim and shot Von Bussel from long range with unclear vision. It was the shot of his life. Von Bussel fell into the water, dead from the bullet. Gary looked up, wondering where that shot had come from, then saw his friends in the harbour bay. He gave them the thumbs up sign, surprised that Reg had turned out to be such a good shot.
As was Phoebe. 'Reg, where did that come from, since when where you a crack shot?'
Reg replied a little pleased with himself, 'Used to be a marksman in the old days. Once went into the national police shooting competition. Have to say, even though I do myself that was a good shot. Good thing I remembered to bring that pistol we have in the Royal Oak. Thought this might be a dangerous mission. Even top marksmen might not have made that.' Reg smiled. Meantime, Gary was in a hurry. There was little time left, but he thought he just about had enough.
Gary hurried to where on of the main look-outs where stationed. 'How's it going?' asked he.
The look-out replied, 'Very quiet, I can't see anything. Even if something was coming I'm sure we'd be told on the radar. Reckon there's nowt on tonight.'
Gary smiled, 'Well, before you do, take a look through those!' said he handing the man his future Binoculars. 'Latest prototype. German actually, we knicked it. A bit hush-hush really. Just look through it like so and keep looking, especially towards France. Now tell me what you see!' The look-out did as Gary suggested and put the Binoculars to his eyes.
For a few minutes the look-out was silent. Then he gasped. He looked at Gary. 'German planes. Lufftwaffe. An entire squadron of them flying across the channel.'
'Enough of a security risk for you?' asked Gary
'I'd say,' agreed the look-out. 'I'll inform the base command of this. We should go to red alert!'
Later, but not much later, Gary was sitting in a harbour air-raid shelter, looking out as the planes started their assault. He was thinking that at least the fleet had time to prepare, but it looked like Battle was still about to commence. The defence gunners started shooting at the planes which launched torpedoes and bombs at the harborage. Flames lit up and the ground shook as bombs hit nearby.
'Bloody hell!' screamed Phoebe as dust fell onto her from the ceiling. 'This is a major raid all right. This is worse than the other time I was bombed out. At my sisters. The entire house blew. I only survived because I dived under the big dinner table. Beryl received a compound fracture to the leg. But we where lucky. Family next door got a direct hit and all were killed. Bloomin war!' cried she.
'Get down!' cried Gary as an explosion rocked the shelter. A beam fell from the roof onto the unfortunate Stan's head. It was more than he could take, him been a pensioner and all. He fell, dead, which Reg confirmed after a brief examination.
'No, Stan!' cried Phoebe, but there was nothing she could do, 'He's been coming to the Royal Oak from before I was born!' she sobbed. She looked at his corpse sorrowfully. 'All right, so he wasn't the greatest one for conversations or bright chat, but the place won't be the same without him. We'll have to drink to him when we get back!'
'If we get back!' Gary pointed out as the bombing was getting a bit active. Gary took a look outside and saw the flames and smoke rise from explosions, ships rocking many of which where on fire, the screams of the planes swooping above, the rattle of the bullets from the defending machine-gunners. Gary had been told that the RAF where on their way, but he couldn't see any sign of them.
Gary was wondering. Had his warning come to late? Was it hear and now the time that history changed after all? If it had he wondered what he would do. Well, there would be no going back to the Nazi-run 90s obviously. So he decided that if this was where Democracy, freedom and Britain died, then he might as well die with them. He looked around nervously.
In the harbour one of the ships had been hit. Not a major one, as it happened but it looked big enough from where Gary was watching. Gary saw the explosions rip the deck and heard the sailors scream as many jumped into the sea on fire, some drowning, some suffering a hot death in the engine rooms of the vessel. Hmmmm, that wasn't very funny, was it?
One thing Gary did think, as he often thought when in the middle of events like this was that the various modern-day film makers really didn't have a clue about what it was really like in the middle of a WW2 battle for all of their special effects, one just couldn't reproduce anything like it. It seemed a bit of an odd thing to think, but Gary couldn't help but think, 'Speilberg, you haven't a clue!'
But the flames forced Gary back down into the shelter where he had to remain for the rest of the battle. In a clear, but smoky morning, in a confused and busy port, Gary tried to find some information on what had happened. He managed a brief conversation with Mrs Deeppeck. 'Many of our vessels have been hit, hundreds of sailors dead or injured. But none of our major battleships, we managed to put them out to sea. Also, the RAF did manage to arrive, just about in the nick!'
'Where their many Lufftwaffe casualties?' Gary asked.
'Yes, several dozen of their planes where reported as hits. Seemed to be nearly half of their squadron, also a few took a detour to Southampton , we where able to warn them of that.' Deeppeck was been a little modest, this was her been very efficient that spotted a few planes heading of elsewhere, the only one in the base that had the time to notice.
Gary was a bit more hopeful with this bit of information. It didn't seem to be the changed version of history, but he couldn't quite tell. He said, 'Well, glad to be of help, I'll just be on my way then!'
'Not so fast!' coughed Mrs Deeppeck. 'We need to know precisely how you managed to obtain that interesting bit of information, and that cute pair of Binoculars of yours!' Well, actually during the mad dash to the shelter, Gary had dropped the Binoculars in to the harbour water where it lay in the depths. Bit of a relief really! But Mrs Deeppeck snapped her fingers and a couple of very large guards took Gary into custody.
Around mid-day, PC Reg Deadman was having a quiet lunchtime mild and Phoebe was serving at the Bar of the Royal Oak and a few scattering of customers where present. Reg looked up and Gary walked through and ordered a beer.
'Gary how you've been haven't seen you for three days!' said he.
'Took me that long to convince the relevant authorities I wasn't a spy!' sighed Gary.
'You are a Spy!' pointed out Reg saying the obvious.
'A Nazi spy, that is!' said Gary, sighing at Reg, thinking about his recent experiences. It was nice to come back to the familiar if a bit barren, well, this was war-time after all! surroundings of the Royal Oak. He gave a little wave to Phoebe. Gary intended to have a quiet pint, honour Stan's memory then take a very nervous look into the Nineties.
Gary still wasn't totally sure what he would find there. The news he had been hearing from the Radio, press and Newsreels didn't look like the events at Portsmouth was a major defeat like he had heard in the Nazi timeline, but he still couldn't be sure until he checked in the nineties. And he wasn't sure what he would find there! After a stiff pint, he thought he would have to find out.
'Fancy playing one of your songs, well, a better one than the last effort?' suggested Reg.
Gary declined, 'Sorry got to go. Urgent department business!' this was almost true.
With a nervous sigh Gary cautiously, very cautiously made his tentative way across the time-portal back to the Nineties. The first good news was that the shop was still there and in the way he remembered in the proper non-Nazi victory version of history. He looked around, yes it was how he remembered it, for sure. Then Gary remembered something and looked at the Videos's he was selling. The War years, 1939 - 45. How Gary sighed with relief.
The next thing was that Ron burst in. 'Gary, there you are, haven't seen your for a while, where have you been?'
'You wouldn't believe where, but I might tell you!' Ron looked suitably miserable so Gary tried something. 'Ron, whats the state of your marriage?' he asked, really hoping without any regard for Ron's feelings on the matter in typical style that the answer would be that it was terrible. This was because if that was so, it would mean that Gary had done it, with a little help and time was back on it's proper track.
So, to confirm, Gary asked Ron, 'How's your marriage now?'
'Terrible, surprised you asked, it's getting worse,' replied Ron gloomily.
He didn't quite expect Gary's reply, 'Brilliant, brilliant,' and hugged Ron, knowing that meant that everything was now ok. Unfortunately looking at Ron's face, he suddenly realized that Ron might not appreciate this!
'Well, I'm glad you think it's brilliant, my life in such a mess,' grumped Ron.
'Are, well, not for you, obviously, sorry, I'll explain later!' As he said this he heard a noise. It was from his Radio that was playing a tune. Well, if one could call it a tune. It seemed to Gary like a washing machine played backwards. Actually it was an example of typical nineties oldskool rave. But Gary wasn't a fan. Well, he was in the nineties! He didn't have to go back to the nineties!
'Dear, oh dear, what is this rubbish?' he complained.
'I think some kids like it,' said Ron in some agreement.
'I wonder what would be the reaction of those would be in the Royal Oak if I played them this!' said he shaking his head. Mind, if he thought that stuff was bad, it was probably a good thing he would never be around to listen to what they would be playing on the Radio around 15 years later. 'I bet no-one will get nostalgic over this kind of thing!' laughed he, wrongly as it happened.
Then Gary noticed what was on the little TV he had in the shop. It was one of Dr. Peters programs. 'He's on again, I said he was a bit of a nutter!' smiled Ron, but Gary thought there was more to Dr. Peters than many thought.
There was a ring on the shop's door and Yvonne entered. This been the non-Nazi version of Yvonne, obviously! Then looking at her, Gary thought that she wasn't that happy with him either. He did wonder what it was for, having to adjust his mindset back to the proper nineties timeline. Then he remembered. Good lord, on top of everything else he had forgotten about his meeting up with Yvonne's parents!
'Gary,' snapped Yvonne. 'If you wanted an excuse not to see mum and Dad, I expect a slightly better one than, "Oh, there's a bit of a collector's due at a pub in Bolton"'
Gary stammered back, 'Erm, did I say that,' in puzzlement, then he looked at Ron and figured out what had happened. From the shrug that Ron gave to him, it was clear that Ron had given this as an excuse to cover his absence. Yvonne often did ask Ron where Gary was when he was in the 40s and sometimes Ron gave excuses that sometimes where quite ridiculous as this one was.
Gary gave Ron a 'What type of excuse was that?' look to which Ron replied with a
'Tell someone that gives a damn!' type of look.
Gary wished he could say to Yvonne, 'Well, the thing is Yvonne, I've been back to the 40s through a timeline actually, where I encountered a Nazi timetravellor who was trying to change history which I managed in extreme circumstances to stop so all-in-all and with a near death trip to a Nazi run England I'm sorry I missed your Mother, oh and I did have an affair with a 40s barmaid in the meantime...'
So without giving himself away, he couldn't really say that could he? 'So, in fact you're seeing Mum tomorrow, enjoy it!' Yvonne ordered.
'You where just a bit too good as a top-Nazi,' Gary muttered to himself about Yvonne! Gary looked at Yvonne. She was glaring at him with a very stony face. He also looked at his mate, Ron who he was glad to see alive this time, Ron was also glaring at him with a very stony face. Gary sighed. 'So this is the welcome the conquering hero gets! thought he!
Goodnight Sweetheart, all my prayers are for you
Goodnight Sweetheart, I'll be thinking of you
Dreams and fortune can make us forlorn
But we'll be born. A new day had dawned
Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight!