Becker rounded the corner and crashed into the back of Matt, almost knocking him over. He immediately pulled his EMD up to a firing position, thumbing the safety off.
“What is it?”
Matt let out a laugh. “I don’t think you’d believe me if I told you,” he said, stepping aside so that Becker could see.
In the clearing in front of them, in the middle of a cretaceous forest, was a phone box. Unfortunately for Becker, that wasn’t the most surprising part of it as, sitting on top of it, trying to fasten a tin can to an antennae with what looked like bubble gum, was a teenager. He looked like something out of an American surfing movie from the eighties and at present he was frozen in place, his dark eyes huge as he stared at them.
“Hey, Ted, how’s the booth coming along?”
The blonde haired teenager didn’t even notice them to begin with, emerging from behind the phone box and looking up at his friend for an answer. Becker looked him over, from the knee length shorts and cropped sweatshirt to his high-top trainers and sighed. Between this one’s outfit and the bright orange shorts on the other one, it was like the worst eighties fashion trends thrown onto two people.
“Ted? What’s wrong, dude?”
The one on top of the phone box, Ted, pointed and the blonde looked their way.
Ted dropped down off the top of the phone box, eyeing the black clad security man, Matt, and Becker suspiciously.
“Who are you?” Becker demanded, his hands till on his EMD. These two may look like idiots but that didn’t mean they weren’t dangerous.
“I’m Bill S Preston, esquire,” the blonde announced.
“And I am Ted Theodore Logan,” the dark haired one finished,
Before they added in synchrony, “and together we are Wyld Stallyns!”
Becker and Matt watched, slightly bewildered, as the pair went through an elaborate air guitar routine.
“If you don’t stop that right now, I’m going to shoot you,” Becker warned after a few moments, causing them both to stop mid leap.
“Heinous,” Ted muttered, his companion nodding in agreement.
Becker tightened his grip on the butt of his EMD, resisting the temptation to shoot one or both of them just for the hell of it. He’d been talking to them for under a minute and they were already annoying the crap out of him.
Matt and Becker turned as the man left behind to keep watch over the anomaly shouted, running toward them.
“It just closed! I didn’t even have time to warn you. It was okay one moment and the next, poof! Gone.”
Matt sighed. Of all the places to get stranded, this wouldn’t have been his first choice; it was only luck that nothing had decided to put them on the dinner menu yet. It wouldn’t be long before the local wildlife realised that there were new snacks wandering about.
“What now?” their other guard asked.
“Now we find somewhere defendable and we wait for it to open again,” Matt told them.
“Or maybe we don’t,” Becker mused, making Matt stare at him as though he’d lost his mind. “Those two got here, didn’t they? We can get back using whatever anomaly they arrived through. From the looks of it we’ll be about 20 years out but it’s better than being stuck here.”
Matt glanced at them. “You two, come over here.” The pair hurried over obediently. “We need you to take us to the anomaly that brought you here, okay?”
“What’s an amom-”
“Anomaly, dude,” Bill whispered helpfully.
Ted smiled in thanks. “Anomaly?” he finished.
“The big sparkly thing in the air that you walked through in order to get here,” Becker said.
Bill shook his head dismissively. “Didn’t see one of them, sorry man.”
“Then how the fuck did you get here?” Becker snapped. “You’re in the middle of a forest that’s a few million years in the past, in case you hadn’t noticed!”
Ted’s happy smile faded. “Dude, chill. I don’t like him,” he said to Bill.
Matt put a hand on Becker’s arm to stop him saying anything else and smiled in what he hoped was a friendly way.
“He didn’t mean to yell at you; he’s just a bit stressed because we’re stranded unless you can show us how you got here, so that we can go back the same way.”
Bill folded his arms across his chest and shook his head as Ted made a zipping motion across his lips with one hand.
“Look, we just want to go home,” Matt tried again. “And we need your help for that.”
The pair glanced between each other as though in silent conversation.
“Not until he apologises,” Bill announced. “He was being a dick to Ted.”
Matt sighed. “Becker?” It was almost funny watching Becker turn into a petulant teenager, looking to Matt with a ‘do I have to?’ expression before glaring at Bill. “Just say it, would you?”
“Fine. I’m sorry,” he told Ted.
Obviously the teens didn’t hold a grudge as the moment the words left his lips, Ted’s smile returned. He reminded Becker of a puppy dog, so eager to please and happy with any scrap of attention. From talking to him so far, Becker thought with a smile, he probably had the same IQ as well.
“So how did you get here?” Matt asked them, adding, “In English, please,” as Ted opened his mouth to speak.
“In the booth,” Ted told him, pointing to the phone box. “Hey, do you have any tape? The antennae got broken.”
“Yeah, there was this gnarly flash and then we ended up here,” Bill added. “We just gotta fix it and it’ll be fine.”
Becker just stared at them. “You got here in a time travelling phone box?” he asked in disbelief.
Half an hour later, with the antennae on the phone box held together with tin cans, superglue and cable ties that Becker had produced from one of the pockets on his tac vest, everyone piled inside. Bill typed a string of numbers into the telephone keypad and pressed two buttons at the bottom.
“Becks, that had better be you with your hand on my arse,” Matt said. He managed to turn around, with great difficulty. It was a tight squeeze with the six of them crammed into the phone box.
“Oh, sorry dude. Thought you were Bill,” Ted told him and the hand was removed. Bill turned and they shared a glance, leaving Matt under no illusions as to where Ted’s hands were now.
The box suddenly jolted, a flurry of blue and orange sparks swirling past the doors as Bill pushed them open. He went outside and Becker saw him freeze, his eyes widening as a muttered, “Bogus,” escaped his lips.
Becker looked out. They were in the middle of the Anomaly Detector room, surrounded by a ring of armed security personnel who all had their weapons pointed at the phone box.
“I don’t believe it. We’re back.” He stepped out, Matt just behind him, and spoke to his team. “It’s fine; you can lower your weapons.”
A few of the men looked dubious at that order, given the situation, but one by one they did as instructed. The moment they had, Ted emerged and went straight to Bill, the pair of them looking around interestedly.
“This is excellent!” Bill announced, he and Ted doing a quick air-guitar before bouncing off to explore, some of Becker’s security personnel hurrying after them, frantically trying to stop them touching anything they shouldn’t.
Becker saw Lester approaching, indicating for Security to round up the two teens again.
“How’s it going, dude?” Bill asked, waving as they were herded back.
Lester just stared at him for a moment before turning to Matt and Becker. “Explain.”
“See, we were in the booth when there was this weird flash and the antennae kind of fried and ditched us in this totally bogus forest. Ted was fixing it- he’s awesome at that,” Bill added, earning himself a smile from Ted who was nodding enthusiastically next to him. “Then these dudes showed up and-”
There was a pissed off sigh from Lester, one that Becker knew all too well. “Is there any danger of you making sense anytime soon?” he asked Bill, who just frowned at him.
“The anomaly closed and we would have been stranded had it not been for Bill and Ted’s offer to bring us home again,” Matt informed Lester, taking his attention away from Bill.
Connor was walking around the phone box, peering inside and looking up at the antennae. “You’re telling me that this can time travel? Cool!” He looked back to the two teens. “Can you tell me how it works? How is it powered? What kind of fuel does it use?”
Ted just shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know; Rufus just told us how to work it.”
Suddenly, Bill took Ted’s arm and turned his wrist so that he could see Ted’s watch.
“Dude, we gotta go. We’re gonna be late.”
The pair of them hurried back into the box, promising Connor that they would come back soon so he could have a look at the technology and closed the doors. Moments later there was a flash of light and the phone box seemed to sink through the floor, leaving nothing more than a small patch of swirling sparks on the ground. The whole process was over in a matter of seconds.
Around the room, everyone just stood and stared at the spot on the floor. After a moment, Lester spoke.
“I really did just see a telephone box vanish into the ground, didn’t I?”
Matt nodded. “You did.”
Lester looked relieved that he hadn’t been hallucinating. “Good. Well, back to work,” he said, looking around at the staff. He retreated to his office once they had all wandered back to their desks and offices.
“Well, that was different,” Becker commented as they walked back to Matt’s office.
Matt grinned. “Dude, that was a most excellent adventure.”
“Call me dude again and you’ll be sleeping on the sofa…”
Becker kicked him.