The clothes he had been wearing yesterday were laid out, everything clean and pressed. ‘Wonderful!’ he thought, ’between them Esau and Levi think of everything. Now to get bathed and dressed, and see what wonders the day will bring.’ Smiling, he headed for the bathroom.
A couple of hours later, bated, dressed and fed, he walked out the front door. He stopped at the top of the steps and looked out over the scene; so peaceful, so beautiful, it filled his soul with joy. He spotted Ebenezer and Menshem in the rose garden, and went to join them.
“Good morning, sir,” Robot Menshem greeted him. “Did you rest well?”
“I did, Menshem, thank you. I feel amazingly well today. I am still getting used to the wide open spaces. When I grew up here, we were in a big city. It seems strange to see no other houses around.”
“Yes, sir, I remember them. Many were destroyed in the bombings, and in the end the rest were so ruinous that they posed a great danger, so we demolished them. It took many generations and much hard work to create what you now see.” Menshem explained.
“I can readily understand that, and you have created an Eden here. In fact, I would have called it that, had I been around. I know Felicity means being happy, especially in a high degree, or bliss, and that certainly fits, but how did you come up with it in the first place, before all of this had come into being?”
“Well, sir, at first we cats lived in the houses that were least damaged. We called it Feline City. During the years they were grew more and more dilapidated and dangerous,” Ebenezer told him. “They were so bad that the Robots couldn’t keep up with the repairs. When we finally battled the rats to a standstill, and reached an agreement, one of the things they objected to was calling the place Feline City, and since, in the way of all things, the words became slurred and run together, until it sounded like felicity, we all agreed that that was what our place would be called. Now it truly is Felicity.”
“It truly is,” Peter agreed.
During the next few days he explored the land and the house, browsing through the books in the library, and poking around in the desk. There he found a key with a tag that said ‘safe, laboratory’. He puzzled over that for a moment, until he remembered that P.C. had been an inventor. ‘I wonder what is hidden in the safe?’ he mused. Suddenly, as if the key had imbued him with new life, he hurried out to the cellar stairs. He knew that was where P.C. had worked.
At first, it seemed to be a normal cellar, with shelves of preserved foods, a coal cellar, and other mundane things. For a while, he stood, puzzled, until he realized that the cellar was no nearly as big as it should be. Carefully, he examined the walls, moving boxes and feeling along the wall for a hidden door. His hand touched a small raise in one of the concrete blocks. Excitedly, he pushed it, and with a low groan, a section of the wall swung open. At first, it was too dark to see anything, but as he stepped in, light sprang up around him, and he saw a perfectly preserved laboratory. He walked around, looking and gently touching things, feeling awed. These were the tools the great P.C. had used for him many inventions. Including his incredible time machine!
As he walked along, he noticed a small iron door set into the wall. Could that be the safe? He walked closer and looked. There was a keyhole, so he put the key in and turned it. It was stiff, but soon the door was open. Behind it was a small safe, with a combination lock. Now he understood the numbers on the tag on the key. Carefully, he followed directions, and the safe door swung open. Inside were papers, and on top of them, a small silver box. The Time machine! Lifting it reverently, he removed the papers, and set them all on the work bench. The top paper was labeled ‘instructions for Time Machine’. Peter stood, his heart pounding, staring at his find. Here was his chance! If he could master the use for the machine, if it still had power, or could be powered up, he could go back, find Hannah, and bring her here, where they could live in peace together.
Tears filled his eyes as he pictured her the way she was just before he was sent away to fight the enemy. He was never sure what happened to her, but he knew the whole area where she had been had been demolished in saturation bombing. If he could get to her right after his deployment …..