Manhunt How Long Can You Run, page 1
Manhunt: How Long Can You Run
Colin D. Grimes
Copyright 2015 Colin D. Grimes
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Manhunt: How Long Can You Run
The rain was relentless, but it was the cold sweat of adrenaline that the man could feel trickling down his face as he lined up for the jump between the two houses. It was a jump that he has done several times already, but he still took a little time to steady himself before charging forward and leaping the seven foot gap. He landed on the second rooftop with a barrel roll and came to a stop when he slammed against a crumbling chimney stack.
Slightly winded he first caught his breath before standing and brushing down his long frock coat. He looked over to the rooftop that he had just leaped from and a smile spread across his face as he watched several policemen that had been pursuing him run up to the edge of the ledge before drawing to a halt; none of them wanted to take the risk of making the relatively small leap in such bad weather. Well not until their Sargent arrived on the scene at least.
The man knew that he now had a good three minutes until that happened so he nonchalantly waved to the stranded constables and headed towards the door that lead down from the roof into the interior of the building. It was the early hours on Sunday 30th September 1888, the location was Whitechapel in London and Jack the Ripper had just claimed his fourth victim.
The man approached the door, “Right let’s see.” He did not try the handle as he knew it to be locked. He rubbed some of the dirt from one of the small glass panels then crouching slightly pressed his face up against it. Through the glass could see the doors lock, and it still had its key inserted in to it. The man smiled as he straightened up. Turning his back to the door he rammed his right elbow through the glass panel. The panel put up very little resistance.
The man reached through the now broken panel and turned the key. There was an audible click from the lock as the key turned. This brought another smile to the man’s face. He freed his arm and hand from the door just as he heard the constables starting to run across the roof top again, He looked over his shoulder; “Sargent Maddox must have arrived, but you are too late Sargent, the door is open.” The man tried the handle and pushed the door.
The smile dropped from his face, the door would not open. He tried it again. The lock was now open, but he could feel the door to be jammed at the base. There must be a blot. Panic started to build up in the man as he pushed and kicked at the door, but it would not open. He released the doors handle and attempted several shoulder charges against the stubborn door, but it would not open.
He looked back towards the sound of the approaching policemen and knew that his time was up. He fumbled in his coat pocket to find a small black disc that he had hidden within. He found what he was looking for, just as the first of the policemen came from around the chimney. He man looked straight at the policemen, but then an object caught his eye just to the left of the policeman’s shoulder. “Damn, a crowbar; exactly what I need.” He looked back at the policeman, as the constable reached out with his arm to grab hold of his shoulder. “Until the next time, copper!” The man pressed the small disc in his pocket and disappeared.
Justin Ferry the third reappeared moments later on a launch pad at TimeJump International. “Run time one hour twenty six minutes and forty eight seconds; same as last time Mr Ferry.” Announced a disembodied voice through a wall mounted speaker.
“Reset the portal, I want to go again.” Justin called back to the voice.
“Right away Sir, If you would kindly take a seat in the recuperation room we will inform you when the portal is ready.” Responded the controller. Justin stepped down for the pad and headed to the room adjacent to the main portal arena. The controller started the process of re-setting the portal.
“Is that Mr Ferry back again?” The controllers’ supervisor questioned.
The controller looked up from his console, “Yes sir, it’s his forth jump in a row, and he wants to go again.”
The supervisor smiled, “Just cannot get past that door can he?” The supervisor looked down at Justin’s credit rating, “Well, being that his family owns half of InterCorp, he certainly has the money for it. Let him go as many times as he wants, we’ll just send his papa the bill.”
TimeJump International was the first and best leisure company setup to take advantage of the newly discovered ability to send someone back in time to a parallel universe there to live out a new string to a decision that had yet to be made. With the infinite number of decision made in the whole of time the potential to travel back and live out any fantasy you care to think of was limitless.
This was the newest leisure pursuit for the idle rich in the 23rd century. People could travel to any point in time and there create a new parallel universe by taking a different decision to the one that was originally made. One of their most popular jumps was for someone to travel back to Texas on Friday, 22nd November 1963 in to the body of Lee Harvey Oswald and decide not to pull the trigger; just to see how the world would be if JFK was not killed on that sunny day in Texas.
But this was not for Justin Ferry the third or his friends. They had become bored with the normal type of ‘what if’ jumps, and had chosen their own kind of entertainment instead. Justin had long since discovered that the thrill was not in the hunt, but being hunted; so for him and his friends they had chosen a time in history where they could be the hunted and see who could last the longest on the run.
Whitechapel England was selected due to the probability of being shot by the chasing policemen being very slim, as few policemen in England in the late 1800’s carried guns. There was, of cause, still the chance of dying whilst on a jump, either by accident or by other means, and if you died whilst on a jump you could hardly activate your recall disc could you, so once you were dead you stayed dead.
With a time of one hour twenty six minutes and forty eight seconds Justin was way out in front of his friends on his runtime, this could have been put down to the fact that he was the only son of the world’s wealthiest family and he could afford to jump back into his fantasy universe as many time as he wanted too. The Ferry’s family owned fifty-one percent of the biggest corporation in the world; InterCorp. It had been said that if the Ferry family tried to sell their stock in InterCorp that it would take the entire cash monies printed in every county to pay for them. Therefore Justin could quite simply live in the alternate universe that he had created without the putting a dent into his family’s vast fortune.
But Justin was not happy at his runtime; he believed that if he could only get past the door on the rooftop that he had found himself trapped on; that he could run forever, just like Jack. “Mr Ferry, the portal is ready for you sir.” The disembodied voice rang out in Justin’s rest room. Justin acknowledged the voice and made his way to the portal launch pad, tossing a towel that he had been using to wipe the sweat from his face to the ground. He stood on the portal and took a deep breath before reaching into his coat pocket and checking that his recall disc was still there. Once he had assured himself of its location he announced that he was ready to go. The portal controller activated the portal and Justin disappeared from the pad. The controller then re-set the stopwatch counter to measure Justin’s latest runtime.
One hour and twenty-four minutes in to Justin’s run and he came face to face with his old nemesis again; the locke
Justin waited for the footfalls and shouting to die away before turning and heading off down the dark stairway. He reached a landing when he suddenly heard a stamp of a boot to his left. He spun around and came face to face with two policemen who had been hiding in the shadows. “Got ‘ya!” one called out as he grabbed hold of the lapel of Justin’s coat. The second policeman grabbed hold of Justin’s arm and hosted it up his back. Shoving Justin face up against the wall he called out to the first policeman “I’ve got him, Jones, go and get Sargent Maddox. Tell him that we have got the Ripper!” It took a moment for Justin to realise what had just happened, but as soon as it registered with him he reached into his coat pocket with his free hand and found his recall disc. He pressed the disc.
“One hour, twenty-five minutes.” The supervisor noted as he looked over the portal operators shoulder.
“And still counting sir,” added the operator. “Mr Ferry must have finally got passed his door.” His supervisor nodded.
“Well it’s taken him several attempts. Lest see how long he can run for now eh?”
Back in the stairwell Justin was not running very far. As handcuffs were snapped shut around his wrists, he released his hold on the recall disc and it fell to the ground unnoticed by the policemen, who were overjoyed to catch Jack the Ripper, the scourge of Whitechapel.
The small black disc landed on the floor of the stairwell, rolled around in a circle a couple of times and then fell flat. On its side it displayed an orange LED with the legend – ‘Low Power’ alongside it. It seems that Justin could potentially run forever, whereas battery powered electronic devices could not.
Thank you for reading my book. If you enjoyed it, won’t you please take a moment to leave me a review at your favourite retailer.
Colin D. Grimes.