I know you're going to read this through because, well...because you just are. Let me explain. Now, at this moment you are wondering just what the hell this letter is all about, right? It's just arrived on your doorstep, in a really official-looking brown envelope, with a London post-mark. And Wimbledon is on the telly at the moment...second match-point to that American guy you don't like.
You see, you're reading this on the morning of the 28th June, at 10.50 am. Am I right? Course I am. And you are now dead freaked-out. Yeah, we know more about you than you think! Got your attention now, haven't I? Read on.
Look, I know how you’re feeling right now. I honestly do, believe me. It's been over a year now since that night, you know, when Ady and Brian disappeared into the wild blue yonder. I know you wrote that story, and you made out you were dead hard, and it didn’t bother you. But I really do know how you felt then, and how you feel now. How? Well, it'll become clearer as you read on. You know, I almost feel like saying I wish I could see your face as you read this - but that would be really stupid.
Sorry I'm babbling a bit. This is a weird letter. The weirdest you'll ever read in your life, I promise you that!
Anyway. Ady and Brian are dead aren't they? That's what you're thinking now. And this letter has just brought it all back again. And your eyes are getting damp just reading it...and you're starting to hate the sick bastard that wrote it. Right?
Wrong. Okay, so you read that article online, about how a weird flying machine crashed out of the sky in the 17th Century, and how two blokes' bodies were found in the remains? Well, sorry, but I got some news for you.
This letter, I'd better tell you now, has been (will be?) passed down through the family, for the past (next?) two hundred years or so. And it has been sitting in a bank vault for the last century, waiting to be delivered to you on a specific date. Today. If you want to know how, well just figure it's been written into somebody's will or something. I don't know the details, but it doesn't really matter how. The fact that you're reading it now proves it worked.
Look, the year I'm writing this in is 1783 AD, okay? And this letter has got to be the earliest use of the word 'okay' in the whole history of the English Language!
Seriously though, you have got to take this letter at face value (although I don’t know why I'm telling you this as I know you will)...because you now have to follow some instructions.
What you have to do now, is you have to look up a phone number in London - Keith Ashley, living at an address in Springfield Close, Camden. Phone the number (it’s a shared house, Ashley’s the landlord). And when someone answers, you ask to speak to “Ghost“. When they ask who it is, say you're a mate of Vonner's. Okay?
A guy will then come on the phone and ask you who the hell you are. That's Ghost, and if you remember Ady's story - Skyriders - then you'll know that Ghost is another one of these guys from the future that's “jumped“ back in time from the 22nd Century. Well he's as real as Ady, and he's in London as you read this!
You tell him your name, and your address, and tell him you know where Adrian Vonner is, and that you know how to avoid the War. He'll know what you mean, and he'll start to get excited and ask you loads of shit about “when did you jump“ and stuff like that. Just tell him to shut up and get his flyke up to Loughborough. After he's calmed down, he'll say okay and hang up. But don't worry, he'll arrive in a day or so. And when he does, you have to give him these instructions. Now this is important. This is technical stuff.
Take the flyke up to 50 metres above the intersection between the High Street and Greenclose Lane. Start from Zero K, kick into Primary First and head due South. Wind the throttle up to the red line and keep it there, then ride up through the gears, making sure not to let it drop below 3890. Ignore the coils, they'll start fluctuating like a demon beyond 230K, but that's what you want.
I know what he's going to say. Those are instructions for a jump. That's right, they are. It’s okay. Ady knows Ghost'll have converted his flyke to petrol, and that he'll have a full tank. You see, if Ghost follows those instructions to the letter, then he'll end up here, where we are. And he'll miss the War.
And so will you, Sonya, 'cos you'll be on the back.
Actually, we know you'll follow our instructions correctly. We both do. You see - and this is the bit that you will (and I did!) find hard to believe - I'm you, Sonya.
You and Ghost will arrive here in the year 1782, which was just last year for us! Okay, so you'll crash into the river Soar (like Ady and Brian did two years ago!), you'll end up breaking a couple of ribs, and there won't be a lot left of the flyke. But what the hell, bones mend, and who needs a flyke here? There's no such thing as petrol yet, but we don't care. We've got some land now and- but I don't want to say too much. Might spoil it for you!
Enough to say that you'll be safe, and you'll be with Ady. Because I'm with him. Right now. He's sitting here as I write this.
Oh yeah. I almost forgot. That's the strangest bit about the whole affair. You must bring this letter with you. Why? Well, I'm not sure exactly what we're going to do with it now, or how we're going to get it up through the centuries to you (me!), but Ady reckons we should just stick it in a strong-box with some instructions for now, and wait till they invent bank safe-deposit boxes! The oddest part about it though is that I didn't compose this letter myself. I just copied it down from the one I brought with me (the one you're holding now)...and I daren't change a single word, in case I wipe out my own rescue!
Thing is...if I didn't write it...and you didn't...then who did? Seems like maybe God gets a look in after all.
One more thing. If Ady and Brian made it to the 18th Century, then who was it that crashed in the 17th and ended up in the history books? Well, the tale's well-known in these parts. It was a flyke, and most of it ended up in the blacksmith's forge, (the bodies got burned - they thought they were witches!) but...well, we're not certain, but we think we know who it might have been. Ghost says Jefferson K arrived in London a year or so after Ady. Ady seems to think he may read the original “Skyriders“ story, put two and two together, and make his way up to Loughborough to try and follow our trail. Well, looks like he gets his calculations wrong! Time travel, don't ya just love it?
Anyway, I'll love you and leave you, kiddo. The only regret I have is that we never get to meet!
15th August, The Year of Our Lord Seventeen Hundred and Eighty Three.
Skyriders - The End