“Dr. Li,” the big American said, in perfect Chinese ,as the researcher turned to find him standing where none should have been.
“Who are you? How did you get here?”
“Actually, Dr. Li,” the big man smiled, holding up empty hands. “I believe you brought me here.”
“I brought you here,” the small, Chinese scientist frowned as he turned from the computer he had switched off to better hide the data he had been reviewing. “I find that difficult to believe, as I don’t even know you,” he told the man in a three piece navy suit who looked quite immaculate. Too immaculate to have come through the security that kept him a virtual prisoner in his own laboratory.
“Maybe if I explained….” Clark suggested, before stepping back, as the smaller man stepped forward, an obvious attempt to gauge his intentions, and aggressiveness.
“Why don’t you, before the security forces comes to drag you off to some unpleasant little cell, reserved for people that break into places they don’t belong to.”
” Unlikely.Now, I know that you’re researching sound frequencies to pierce the spatial barriers between dimensional walls,” he told him.
“Old news. And a failed experiment three years ago is hardly a source of interest today. Whoever you are….”
“I don’t think the experiment you performed just twenty-three days ago was a failure.”
The scientist couldn’t keep from betraying his surprise as he blurted, “How did you know….?”
“Dr. Li, I believe your experiment pulled me from my dimension into yours. I was hoping you might be able to reverse the process, and send me home.”
“Is this some American joke,” he sputtered now. “Listen…..I have been very patient, but I have no time for….”
“Dr. Li, until twenty-three days ago, I was living in another dimension. Another world quite like yours, but with obvious differences.”Then I heard a sharply-pitched squealing sound, and ended up here on this world. In this dimension.”
“And how do you intend to prove this to me,” he snorted back in turn.
“I’m not sure, but I can tell you, I heard the same sound again just nine days ago. It helped me trace you once I learned of your experiments, and what you are doing.”
“Were doing. I told you, I left those experiments behind over three years ago.”
“Then you’re still using the same kind of high-frequency sound waves for something else,” Clark persisted. “And what you did opened a rift that brought me..”
“Dr. Li, who is this trespasser,” a man in uniform leading two guards demanded as the door opened just then.
Clark cursed himself for being so distracted he had not been paying attention to his surroundings. He had not come to start an international incident. He had come seeking help.
“Don’t shoot,” Clark addressed the men in the same fluent Chinese as two rifles rose to point his way. “I’m not armed.”
“You will come with us, American,” the officer spat. “And you, Dr. Li, had best come, too. The captain will want to know why you are entertaining strange Americans in your lab after hours.”
“I do not even know this madman,” Dr. Li told him.
“Come,” the officer snapped curtly, pulling a pistol to gesture them both out. “Now.”
“Dr. Li, if I can prove my claims, will you at least listen to me,” he asked.
“You will get your chance to prove yourself to my superiors,” the officer sneered. “And you had better be convincing.”
Clark sighed again.
“You do have a one track mind,” Chang Li told him grimly. “Only I doubt you’re going to be in shape to prove much of anything once the lieutenant has you in his custody.”
“So, you are willing to listen,” he asked.
“As you wish,” Chang nodded as they left the laboratory, and stepped into the starry night beyond the dimly lit building near the edge of the larger university.
“Good. Lieutenant, I admire your professionalism, and dedication. Please tell your superiors that I mean your nation no harm, and only wish to speak to the doctor on a matter of personal urgency.”
“You are trying my patience,” the lieutenant snorted just before the American grabbed his charge, and leapt into the sky.
Right up into the sky.
And kept going.
Lt. Yung gaped as he and his men just stared into the dark sky, not even seeing a silhouette at which to aim. For nine years, he had maintained a spotless record in the ranks in service to his country. Until now, he had managed a flawless, unquestionable record.
Until now, he was sure he was sane.