|Curious Notions |
POD: August, 1914
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
|Nationality:||United States (home timeline)|
|Date of Birth:||c. 2078|
Paul Gomes (b. ca. 2078) was an employee of Crosstime Traffic. He and his father Lawrence traveled to an alternate designated "3477", wherein Imperial Germany defeated Britain, France, and Russia in a brief war in 1914, and subsequently occupied Europe in the late 1930s and then the United States in 1956. The Gomes traveled to that timeline's San Francisco to run a shop called Curious Notions which sold electronics. The technology their store sold far was more advanced than the average citizen had encountered in that alternate, as Germany kept technological advances a secret.
Paul and his father 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 his father didn't quite disagree, Lawrence argued that the products brought sufficient profit to purchase the resources the home timeline required.
Paul's concerns proved accurate. One afternoon, Inspector Weidenreich of 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 made-up 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 - though both repeatedly denying that they were in love.
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.