For two years, Dawson Filter and Sylvester Denny had been in quest to discover the True Meaning of Feelings. For nearly all of that time, they had no idea whatsoever how to find it or where to start looking. They’d endured attack and legal proceeding, dragon and Scottsman. But now they knew exactly who knew the Meaning, and had a time machine to get to him.
But of course, complications.
“What is the meaning of this?” a thin man in a dark green cloak asked them. He must have heard them in the hallway.
“Well, see,” Sylvester Denny pointed to his eyes nervously, “we’re search – looking for the True Meaning stove Feeling; and Wayne Rubblefish – or some of his goons, I guess, stole our time machine. That’s what this is.” He banged on the side of Felipe’s time machine a few times, causing it to shed lavender-scented dust.
“I gave Wayne Rubblefish direct orders not to waste his time meddling in your affairs.”
“I suppose we can leave, then?” Dawson Filter said.
“No, I think it’s best if we call Rubblefish down here now to sort this out.”
The man pulled a pager from his satchel and pressed several buttons on it. After several awkward minutes, Wayne Rubblefish emerged.
“You wanted to speak with me, Xavier X?”
“Yes. I would like you to explain to me what this time machine is doing in this room against my direct orders.”
“Well, you see,” said Wayne, shuffling a deck of cards, “this is a time machine. You only gave me orders to leave these folks alone a month ago; but I brought them here a year before that. It’s just that they’re arriving now.”
“They say they’re leaving.”
“I don’t think you kidnapped these individuals. I think you brought them here to conspire against the Illuminati for the Blind.”
Xavier X pulled back his hood, revealing his glassy eyes and bald spot. Wayne Rubblefish pushed Sylvester, Dawson, and Felipe into the time machine and jumped in after them.
“The moon, 1932?” Felipe asked. Dawson Filter nodded, and the machine twitched.
When the door opened, Twelve-Anne Stradivari and Babe Listowel rushed over to greet the time travellers.
“How did it go?” Twelve-Anne asked, “Did you find the Meaning?”
“No, we picked the wrong Sherlock Dracula. We need to find his twin, Sherlock Dracula,” answered Dawson Filter.
Wayne Rubblefish had run out of the machine, and had set to work knocking items off of the Quest Committee’s tables, making sure to pick items at irregular intervals to maximize unsightliness.
“Where is this Sherlock Dracula?” Babe Listowel inquired inquisitively.
“Franell. It’s a dwarf planet, largely uncharted.”
“Oh! That Sherlock Dracula.” Felipe said, “Nice man, bit eccentric. I have Franell’s coordinates for June 27, 2096. That’s when he likes me to visit. Hey, they’re even on the floor. How convenient.”
Twelve-Anne picked up the octagonal piece of paper to which Felipe pointed. 1889127, 1782. June 27, 2096. She tossed the paper to Felipe, who caught it in the back of his hand. Without skipping a beat or skipping, Felipe typed the coordinates into his time machine. The time machine had the habit of making sounds without any regularity, ranging from loud clanking to rhythmic whistling. It gave the impression that the machine was in need of maintenance, although Felipe was never able to stop the sounds with any repairs. This time it purred.
The Quest Committee and Wayne Rubblefish boarded the time machine. Wayne stuck his foot in the door to try to keep it from closing, but only lost his shoe in the attempt. Felipe pressed the button to travel, and the machine gave a sound very much like chuckling.