Chapter 2: The Russian Connection
There's actually a perfectly reasonable explanation for the DURPS' disappearance, aside from general software bugginess. According to Ralph's earlier explanation of how the DURPS works, it physically has to relocate itself to the destination in order to open the other side of the portal (he specifically refutes Gyrode's proposition that the travellers move with the DURPS). However, later on Ralph is seen hanging out of a portal while Gyrode stands the other side holding his legs. The DURPS hasn't yet had the opportunity to open the end of the portal that Ralph was hanging out of. It couldn't do it while Gyrode was still holding on to his legs because they still needed that side of the portal open.
What the DURPS has done is suddenly remember that it needs to open the destination portal for Ralph in France, otherwise Gyrode is feeding Ralph into nothingness and there's going to be a temporal *paradox at some point because, technically speaking, the DURPS should have already opened the destination portal as it's already happened. It's taken the opportunity of being in idle mode to go and open the destination portal now, while it's not being used!
Basically, Ralph's forgotten how his own machine works. Isn't science wonderful?
Natalia, GRACE and VIRTUE copyright © DarkeAngel.
*Here's more food for thought - the paradox doesn't take place because the DURPS has already closed the loop in that particular situation later on, even though at the point where Gyrode held Ralph's legs it was a paradox. Time travel is really confusing!