pro_patria_mortuus: (je ne comprends pas)
Enjolras ([personal profile] pro_patria_mortuus) wrote2015-03-15 11:36 pm

(no subject)

When Enjolras and Bahorel return from a sparring session to room 89, it's with the idea of the loan of a book, and drinks, and doubtless conversation. It turns out, however, that Joly and Combeferre are already in the room.

This is fine, of course; it's no trouble whatsoever. And the rooms are as much Combeferre's as Enjolras's. It's only that Combeferre and Joly are elbows-deep in some kind of experimentation which distracts a certain amount of attention.

There are weird devices that beep and blink with multicolored lights. There are wires and whirring noises. There's a green liquid that's steaming somewhat ominously, although Joly catches Enjolras's glance and assures them both in a bright voice that it's perfectly safe. (Bahorel looks faintly disappointed to hear it.) There's Combeferre's pterosaur specimen, decanted from its jar and hooked up to one of the weird devices, which is producing a warbling wail like a drunken songbird.

It's not worth asking about the experiment just yet, let alone inquiring what world and time those mechanisms might have come from. Enjolras leaves Bahorel to ask anyway, and poke at things, and generally make a nuisance of himself. He himself goes to wash up.

A few minutes later, in shirtsleeves with a freshly washed face and hands, he returns to the main room. He's just in time to see a fountain of brightly colored steam shoot for the ceiling. The little devices are shrieking and warbling, and Joly makes a startled sound -- Enjolras has covered the distance to the table, he's reaching to pull them away, whoever's nearest, out of danger -- but just as his hand closes on Combeferre's sleeve, either his vision wobbles or the air itself does, and they're somewhere else.

Quiet falls like a weight. The table with its devices and bubbling liquid and pickled pterosaur is still there, but the devices have gone silent. Joly is here, Bahorel, Combeferre; his arm is solid under Enjolras's hand.

But under their feet is lush greenery. Strange plants surround them, and a blue sky overhead. The air is warm and swampy and full of unfamiliar odors. There are buzzing noises, and a clattering of strange insects, and somewhere far off a bleat deeper than any sheep or goat. No walls. No buildings; no civilization; no humans in sight, except their little cluster. Nothing familiar at all.

For a heartbeat, they're all wide-eyed.

Then Bahorel is shouting with laughter, and Joly exclaiming and Combeferre starting to sputter questions.

Suddenly there's a loud buzz, and a large dark shape falls from the sky in a rapid, erratic path. Enjolras pushes forward on instinct, putting himself in front of Combeferre, sees Bahorel doing the same--

And they're back in his familiar room at Milliways, just as they were, except that there's a beetle the size of a small dog on the table, tucking its wings away.

(It's only later that any of them will realize just how many days passed in the course of those few moments. This is why you shouldn't play with pterosaur corpses and time-manipulation devices you don't fully understand, kids!)
clayforthedevil: (teeth)

[personal profile] clayforthedevil 2015-03-16 12:40 pm (UTC)(link)
The beetle gives itself a shake and starts trundling forward, knocking over bits of equipment.

Bahorel, standing in front of Joly, gives a cheerful shout and jumps forward to grab one of the beetle's front...horn...things and lifts it up. It clacks its wing-casings open for a moment and then settles down to trundle in place again, pushing against his grip with what seems like serene patience, for a beetle.

It's much stronger than its size suggests. Bahorel picks it up by the underbelly; it goes on trundling in midair. He grins at Joly and Combeferre.

"Not what you were fishing for, I think, but still a fine catch! What is it?"
merryeccentricities: (Default)

[personal profile] merryeccentricities 2015-03-16 01:28 pm (UTC)(link)
"It's a beetle." All right, not the most stunning observation, but there it is. "I won't know what kind until I can look it up. Let me--" he reaches for it, and it starts to open its wings again. Bahorel puts a hand over it, and it buzzes alarmingly. Hmm. "..Maybe if we put a blanket over it?"
wings_of_a_swan: (Default)

[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-03-17 12:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Combeferre is grinning. "Joly, do you realize where we just were?" He leans over and looks at the beetle in unconcealed delight.

"We were in the Cretaceous Period! Instead of bringing a pterosaur to us, our device sent us to the pterosaurs!"

Combeferre fumbles for his notepad--he still writes notes in pen, even with all the tablets and computers accessible in Milliways. It's an unscientific conservatism, to be sure, but habit is habit, and in fact, a ballpoint pen is new technology to him. So he feels he's being brave enough. He's gently introducing the dawn of progress to his own writing habits. He can do that for himself, even if that wasn't possible for France or the world.

"It may be a coptoclavid--it's hard to tell..."

He begins to scribble.
merryeccentricities: (Default)

[personal profile] merryeccentricities 2015-03-17 01:36 pm (UTC)(link)
"Yes! -- Can we be sure it was the Cretaceous? Large beetles were common across many eras, and it's hard to be sure what happened exactly because someone was tampering with our equipment. Er, sorry, Enjolras, we can't give you a proper explanation."
clayforthedevil: (teeth)

[personal profile] clayforthedevil 2015-03-17 01:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Bahorel grins shamelessly at Joly's irritated glare. "You're welcome for the assistance. But I have no need to be paid in beetles; who's taking charge of the spoils of the voyage?"
wings_of_a_swan: (Default)

[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-03-19 12:58 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre frowns. "Well, we were trying to get a pterosaur from the Cretaceous, so I had inferred that our device sent us to that era--but I suppose we may have...misaimed."

He looks at Joly with a half-smile. "Next time we experiment with sensitive machines, we shall be sure to bar the door and refuse to admit anyone disruptive." This is said with a pointed glance at Bahorel.

"But I will happily keep the beetle, unless..." Combeferre trails off, remembering that he is sharing quarters with someone regrettably uninterested in beetles. "Well, Enjolras may prefer not to have an additional lodger."
merryeccentricities: (Default)

[personal profile] merryeccentricities 2015-03-19 01:58 am (UTC)(link)
Joly, currently trying to tie the beetle's shell closed without hurting it, looks up for a moment. "We'll take it. Bossuet and I, I mean. I can keep it locked out of my lab and we've got room to give it a cage or something."
wings_of_a_swan: (Default)

[personal profile] wings_of_a_swan 2015-03-19 03:26 am (UTC)(link)
Combeferre has no trouble interpreting Enjolras's look. He sighs and concedes. "Very well, Joly. I suppose it can play with your cats."
merryeccentricities: (Default)

[personal profile] merryeccentricities 2015-03-19 06:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Bahorel shakes his head at the unspoken discussion; Joly catches it and stifles a laugh. He's already getting to keep the beetle, no need to gloat about it. "Combeferre, you can come over and study it whenever you like, of course, and I'll keep records of its diet and and so on."

The beetle buzzes against its wing-tie again. "And I should probably take it to our rooms now. I'll let you know how it settles down?"

Well, he'll make Bahorel take it back to the room; Joly's not sure he can keep the beetle from making an escape in the halls. But between the two of them they manage to control the beetle, and even calm it down somewhat by tossing a coat over it, so that in just a few minutes Joly is opening his own door to cheerfully tell Lesgle "We have a beetle! And also I think we went back in time. If that's how that works here! How's your day been?"
Edited 2015-03-20 00:36 (UTC)
tire_moi_mes_bottes: (Check this out)

[personal profile] tire_moi_mes_bottes 2015-03-20 12:28 pm (UTC)(link)
"My day?"

Lesgle is in his nightshirt, sitting up in bed. "Why, it was unremarkable. I caught no beetles." After a moment's thought he leans over and turns on the light, scrubbing his face. Such tufts of hair as remain to him are sticking up. "And so far as I know I've only been going forward in time. Creeping in this petty pace from day to day. Pardon my English; it's Shakespeare-- But come in, come in, I haven't rented out your place to any new tenant yet. Tell me about your beetle, my dear fellow, and it's so pleasant to see you again. I was sure you'd be back. Didn't I tell you so, cats?"