Book 2 of The Quantum Cat
The Stained Glass Ferris Wheel
Alyssandra Lawrence was perfectly content. She had a career she loved, and she owned her own home. She dated, but there was nobody special in her life, that is, until a stray cat showed up at her front door, exhausted and clearly bewildered. She invited him in, fed him, and on a whim, decided to call him "Boyfriend". She cuddled him and talked to him, and just generally enjoyed his company, until one day a couple of weeks later, when he answered one of her rhetorical questions in perfect English. She found this fairly disconcerting.
Jeffrey Goldstein is a brilliant scientist who has come up with a whiz-bang invention the government would very much like to get its hands on. His former high school classmate Alyssandra Lawrence, whom he hasn't seen in years, has rescued a stray cat who turns out to be a wise-cracking Theoretical Physicist from a dimension where felines are the dominant species. He's a feline billionaire who owns a Time Share on Mars, and during a research project he accidentally tumbled through a dimensional portal.
A mischievous kitten named Schrödinger who can walk through walls, and a gender-selectable android named Dimitri previously owned by the Mars counterpart of the NSA, round out the crew.
The five of them have suddenly found themselves thrown together, forming a most unusual nuclear family, forced to combine wit and wisdom, in an attempt to hang on to Jeffrey's invention, avoid a particularly determined assassin, and secure the future of planet Earth.
LOCATION: Alysandra and Boyfriend have teleported from the luxury Starship Athena back to Alysandra's home on Earth. They realize they've miscalculated. They're not entirely certain on which day they've arrived, and now someone is about to enter the house. Panicked, they rushed toward the guest wing where they quickly and quietly locked themselves inside a bedroom.
EXCERPT FROM BOOK 2 OF THE QUANTUM CAT
It had now been dead quiet for fifteen minutes.
I looked at Boyfriend. "What do you think?" I asked him quietly. "Did we land in the right time line?"
"Frankly, I haven't a clue, but the sudden cessation of activity is indeed encouraging," he replied.
I sighed. "OK, we should definitely be clear to go back into the main part of the house by now, don't you think?" I asked Boyfriend hopefully.
"If someone were in the house and they were about to find us," Boyfriend asked suddenly, "Where would we go? What would we do?"
I froze in place and met his gaze. Good point. That was one seriously scary scenario.
Although we each wore our respective version of Jeffrey's quantum teleportation device, and we could depart at a moment's notice, the question was, to where? We definitely didn't want to be separated from each other. The very idea made me feel physically ill. But we didn't have a back up plan, and a quick mental review of our options had me drawing a complete blank.
The Athena was out because whatever I was supposed to do or see or learn hadn't happened yet. Mars Towers was out. It could be occupied and we couldn't take a chance of accidentally freaking out some poor unsuspecting tenant. Jeffrey's place on Mars was out because we had no idea who actually owned it or what the current occupancy situation was there either. We didn't know anything about Jeffrey's house, my office at the publisher's place was insufficiently private, and Boyfriend's home was in a whole other dimension. We had no clue whether we could even get there from here and neither of us were ready to risk it if a perfectly good inter-dimensional shuttle was available, which was pretty iffy in the first place.
The perfect answer suddenly struck me. "I've GOT it! Inside the brick wall on Platform 9 3/4!"
He just gaped at me.
"You want us to land INSIDE a brick wall someplace?" His eyes were big as saucers. "Are you insane? Do you have a death wish?"
"No, listen, it's good idea!" I insisted. "You and I watched Harry Potter together one night when you first turned up here, remember?"
He nodded dubiously, waiting for me to continue.
"OK... You remember the train station scene in the movie when the people walked quickly towards one of the solid brick columns?"
He nodded again.
"...and it was a portal which led to the wizarding world, so they could pass right through it, right?"
Another dubious nod.
Boyfriend was clearly wondering where I was going with this.
"... and then there they all were on Platform 9 3/4 where people were boarding Hogwarts Express!" I concluded happily.
He blinked. "Does this story have a happy ending?" he asked, definitely confused by now.
"Definitely," I said confidently. "Universal Orlando. The theme park. "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter." There's a hologram that looks just like a brick pillar. You walk through it and on the other side is a replica of Platform 9 3/4 from the movie, and a train that looks just like Hogwarts Express. It's one the attraction's rides. If we land inside that hologram just as the park opens, nobody will see us arrive. There are so many people we'd just blend into the crowd. Licensed Working Companion Animals are permitted, and since we'd land inside the park we wouldn't have to clear security or provide documentation. We'd only have to make it look as if you were on a leash so nobody would hassle us. Once inside, we'd have both the time and the safety of our surroundings to be able to determine what our next move should be."
"That's not bad at all for a spur of the moment emergency plan," he said thoughtfully. "Do you have a leash?"