| Curious Notions |
POD: August, 1914
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Nationality:||United States (home timeline)|
Lawrence Gomes (c.a. 2040) was an employee of Crosstime Traffic. He and his son Paul were sent to an alternate where Germany won World War I, conquered Europe, and then went on to defeat and occupy the United States in 1956. The Gomes were responsible for the shop Curious Notions, an electronics store which specialized in technology far more advanced than was available in the alternate.
Lawrence and his son were often at odds, as is common between fathers and sons entering adulthood. Paul was particularly critical of the products Curious Notions sold, maintaining that they were attracting the attention of the Germans. While Lawrence didn't quite disagree, he argued that the products brought sufficient profit to purchase the resources the home timeline required.
Paul's concerns proved accurate. One afternoon, Inspector Weidenreich the German Feldgendarmerie entered the store and demanded to know where Curious Notions got the technology that it sold. Panicked, Paul lied and claimed Chinese merchants were their source. Partially mollified, Weidenreich left. When Paul told his father of the incident, the equally panicked Lawrence compiled a list of Chinese retailers taken from the phone book, and gave that list to Weidenreich.
The list included Charlie Woo, an electronics expert who was just as puzzled by Curious Notions as the Germans. Woo was arrested. His daughter, Lucy, confronted the Gomes, and demanded that they help get her father released. While Lawrence was content to simply let it go, Paul, feeling guilty, made some inquiries, and Charlie Woo was released.
However, the damage was done. The Germans were convinced that Curious Notions was a criminal endeavor. Moreover, the Triads, a Chinese criminal organization that Germany had driven underground, also became interested in the store. They convinced Lucy Woo to investigate the store, which she did grudgingly. In the meantime, she and Paul developed a friendship and mutual attraction.
The Germans finally decided to arrest the Gomes and close the shop. Paul was out when the authorities arrived, but Lawrence was arrested. Paul became a fugitive, and finally turned to the Triads as his only hope for getting his father back. Paul proved adept at playing the criminal organization off of the German authorities, promising their agents Stanley Hsu and Bob Lee his secret. The Triads were able get Lawrence released, but at the same time Paul was found by another Crosstime Traffic employee, Sammy Wong, who rescued Paul from Triad surveillance.
Paul grew careless, however. He sneaked out of the hotel room Wong had stashed him, and was immediately arrested by the Germans. During interrogation, the Germans brought in Lucy Woo as a bargaining chip. Before Paul could crack, Sammy Wong gassed the station, knocking everyone inside out. When Paul was revived, he insisted that Lucy go with them. Although Wong was unhappy, he capitulated.
The three then rescued Lawrence Gomes from the Triads. Wong made arrangements to bring the Woo family to the home timeline.
Both Gomes faced review from their supervisors. They were allowed to keep their jobs. Paul continued a more romantic relationship with Lucy Woo.