C h a p t e r X I
G e t t i n g A l l M i s t y
Down on the edge of an empty interstate, a bus was rocketing out of control. There was suddenly a loud bang, and the bus appeared to freeze in time. A moment later, and the bus sped back up to normal speed, but slowly came to a stop along the edge of the road, before stopping altogether. The engine idled for a second, and then turned off completely. Everything was deathly quiet.
The squeaky door opened, and three figures stepped out; Kaitlin, Richard, and Aero. It was still night, and they were still in South Dakota. Brian, Kenzi, and Jon were nowhere to be seen.
Aero sniffed the air, and then sat down next to her two human companions.
“Amazing…” Richard said, holding up the remote. “I never knew this thing could slow down time.”
“What happened to them?” Kaitlin asked.
Richard thought for a moment. “When the driver swerved, both Jon and Kenzi hit the remote. I think they might’ve been shifted through time somewhere.”
“What do we do now? How do we find them?”
Richard looked down for a second, and examined the remote in the moonlight. In his mind, he knew there was a conscious decision to be made. But could he do it? Could he deliberately change previous events…? Perhaps… Their very being back in time was already alteration enough. Yes, he could do it.
Richard looked back up, and over at Kaitlin. “First things first… We’re going to save Brian.”
Kaitlin’s eyes went wide. “Save Brian, as in, stop him from dying?”
Richard nodded, and quickly began to switch some of the dials on the remote. “The way I see it, we’ve already messed up time quite a bit. Most of it being Brian’s doing…” He continued to work the remote as he talked. “Think about it; wasn’t he the one who opened the Door? And wasn’t he the one that distracted Jon from his sense of purpose, causing him to release that arrow into the Lamanite encampment?”
Kaitlin shrugged, starting to see his point.
“Okay, I think I’m finally beginning to understand this thing …” Richard said, adjusting two of the dials near the bottom.
“Still, that doesn’t explain what we’re going to do. How are we going to stop an entire army?” Kaitlin said in a matter-of-fact tone.
“A few more adjustments and…there! Okay; we’re going to jump back to just before Brian got hit in the head with an arrow. We don’t need to stop an army, just an arrow.”
There was moment of silence, as the two looked down at the remote in wonder. It was also a moment of truce. Would it even take them to that one crucial point? Richard silently said a prayer, and pushed the button.
There was the familiar bright flash of light, but instead of dissipating it seemed to grow with intensity. Then there was the sensation of floating through a current of water, but it all ended just as quickly as it had started. The light cleared, and it became apparent that they were standing in the jungle, just a few yards from the very valley they first appeared in. Aero growled, still trying to get used to the time-traveling experience, and the three looked up.
Right on cue, past-Richard and past-Brian fell from the air and landed in the middle of the clearing. The two groaned, and slowly got up to examine their new setting. Moments later, past-Kenzi, Jon, and Kaitlin also fell from the sky, Jon landing right in the pile of the crap as predicted. Richard let out a silent snicker.
“Wow, this is kinda weird watching myself do this all over again.” Kaitlin said.
Richard nodded in agreement, just as the horn trumpeted through the jungle the first two times. He held a finger up to his lips, signaling for them to remain as quiet as possible. It was only seconds away from the moment of truth. The past-Gang was now looking around confused and disoriented.
Then they heard the twang.
“Oh, that just sucks.” Jon said, turning to Kenzi. “If anywhere, why here?!”
Kenzi looked over at him and said, “Because that’s just our luck, Jon. RUN!”
As the two took off down the hallway, other employees began to do the same, trying to push each other out of the way. One tried to knock Jon down, but Jon responded by tripping him with his foot. This tumbled about five others trying to keep up, giving them a clear shot for the stairwell.
Jon ripped the door open, and grabbed Kenzi’s arm, trying to drag her down the stairs faster. They made it down three floors when Jon’s hairs stood on end, and everything became deathly quiet. There was an ear-deafening explosion, and the building shifted violently, throwing the two against the wall.
Smoke and ash instantly filled their lungs, and debris rained down. Jon tried to pull Kenzi down the next stair case, but she tripped, pushing the two down the rest of the stairs crashing into the concrete wall. Everything went blurry, and Jon faintly acknowledged Kenzi screaming as a metal beam crashed down on the two.
He looked over at her in his dazed state, and noticed that her eyes had become rigid, blood trickling out of her mouth. The two could no longer feel their legs.
“Do you think you’re ready to die…?” Jon said looking at Kenzi, the life starting to drift from them slowly.
Aero’s quick reflexes caused her to jump almost six feet in the air, and grab something in mid flight. She landed gracefully, and looked over at the two with a hint of pride in her eyes. Kaitlin didn’t recognize it at first, but as Aero walked closer it became obvious that it was an arrow. Richard’s jaw dropped.
“Holy crap!” He took the arrow from her mouth, and examined it closer.
“We did it… We saved Brian!” Kaitlin shouted.
Richard looked back up, and watched as the Gang, including a flesh and blood Brian, ran into the jungle line. Strangely, nothing felt different to him. He still remembered Brian dying the first time, but felt as the new memories began flooding his consciousness. Things were a little bit better.
“Good; now to save Kenzi and Jon.” Richard pulled back out the remote, and looked at the silver screen. A large spike was beginning to grow in one particular part of the image. He typed in a few commands, and then looked back up at Kaitlin.
“I think I found them. I’ve programmed it to take us to the exact time they appeared in.”
Kaitlin pulled Aero closer, and Richard pushed the button. There was the bright flash of light, the quantum foam briefly engulfed them, and the three landed feet first in some office-like environment. They spotted Jon and Kenzi standing nearby, looking straight ahead. In fact, Richard noticed that everyone was looking straight out the window on one side of the building. Then the employee yelled.
“Oh my gosh! That plane’s gonna hit us!”
The tidal wave happened again, as everyone tried to get to the stairwell exit. This time, Jon and Kenzi were both pulled back by a stronger man as he rushed past, throwing open the door, slamming it into Jon’s face. Jon fell to the ground, and pulled Kenzi down with him.
“OW!” He rubbed his face, and sat up just in time to see the plane break through the glass windows. Suddenly there was an ear-wrenching screech, and both Kenzi and Jon closed their eyes while trying to cover their ears. It was an unearthly sound, and almost made his eardrums explode. Then, just it quickly as it happened, everything was silent. Seconds passed, and the two slowly looked up.
Everything was frozen, like time had stopped. People were in mid-flight across the room, and several were lying on the ground with their hands over their head. The plane was partially inside the building, with the tip through the window, and shards of glass frozen in the air.
Jon and Kenzi slowly stood up, and looked over to see Richard, Kaitlin, and Aero standing triumphantly nearby.
“What…what happened?” Kenzi asked, still looking around.
Richard smiled, and twirled the remote in his hands. “This nifty little gizmo can do quite a bit with space and time.”
Jon walked towards the plane, touched the hot metal, and looked back. He raised his hand, paused, and then said, “You know what…spare the details, and just tell me where the heck Brian is.”
Richard quickly looked back down at the screen on the remote, selected his target, and pushed the button. There was a flash of brilliant white light, and Brian appeared in the middle of the room, literally in the flesh. He looked around in confusion, and then turned to see the Gang. The look of confusion turned to a look of anger.
“YOU! WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME?!” Brian started walking towards Richard.
“Brian, I didn’t know you liked being a ghost so much…” Richard said, smiling mischievously.
Brian looked down at the time-remote, back up at the room, and then at the Gang. “WHY?! Why did you have to change me back?!”
Jon laughed out loud. “Yeah! Not so fun now, is it Brian!”
There was a crack of glass, and Jon suddenly went rigid. He spun around quickly, and saw a figure down the hall. He had stepped on a peace of shrapnel glass, and appeared to have been tip-toeing up on them.
“YOU!” Jon took off down the hall, and chased the now fleeing figure.
Everyone took off as Jon continued to pursue the unknown attacker. At first glance Richard worried that it was Jon’s other self again, but this character looked taller, and appeared to be wearing some type of military jump suit.
He rounded a corner up ahead, but took the turn to sharp, and slammed against the window. Jon kept running at full speed, and plowed straight into the figure. The two slammed against the glass hard, and both fell to the ground.
The Gang continued to run down the hall at top speed, watching as the mysterious character stood up quick, and pulled out a time-remote of his own. Everyone instantly froze as he pointed the remote at them. Jon, however, quickly grabbed the figure’s leg, and pulled hard. The person pushed the button, and fired a blast of energy against the window, thus blowing out the glass.
Jon tried to get up and push him over, but the person quickly jumped through the hole in window, and fell out of sight. Then, Jon jumped through also, hot in pursuit.
“Jon you idiot! No!” Kenzi yelled.
The Gang ran up, and stopped in front of the now open window. Below, Jon managed to catch the mysterious character in mid-flight. Then just as quickly as he had attacked, Jon was gone in a flash of light, while the other figure continued to fall.
Everyone just stood motionless, looking down into the empty space below. Kenzi covered her mouth, and Richard shook his head.
“Jon, you don’t make this easy, do you?” Kaitlin said to herself.
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