C h a p t e r V I I
M a k e Y o u r T i m e
A week had passed since the events of the Lamanite camp. They had been reunited with Jon, and were headed further south. They had also picked up another companion along their journey. Aero, the she-jaguar seemed attached to Kenzi more than Kenzi was attached to her. It followed her everywhere she went, and at times it almost seemed if Kenzi could sense its thoughts.
They were hiking along the edge of the Land of Melek, heading down the westward route to the valley they had first appeared in after leaping back in time. Richard was obsessed with the idea that it was the epicenter of all this activity. They had all agreed that the so-called Commander was in fact a time-traveler, and possibly the reason they were stuck back here in the first place. The question was, why had he replaced Jon’s Lamanite Commander? But apart from that, he was the only one that could travel through time. He was their only ticket back to the present…back home.
Apart from hiking along the volcanic chain of Melek (which had been an interesting sight), Jon had been teaching the Gang fighting skills. Mostly he taught in swordsmanship, as this was his particular skill, but he also did bowshot. The Gang had been getting pretty good, but strangest of all, Kaitlin was picking up swordplay faster than everyone else. Kenzi however, was best at bowshot.
They had encountered no Lamanites or trouble yet, but Jon still insisted on having practice sessions every time they rested from the hike.
Richard had spent most of his time thinking about time. One thing still bothered him. If the Door was linked up to the church, was it linked up to other places? And if so, were other things or other people being affected by this too? He knew that as they got closer to the source of where this all started, an answer would present itself.
Finally it happened.
One day they were hiking up a particularly steep hill that Limha had mistaken for a mountain. About two thirds of the way up even the Ninjas were panting, and Gigel called for a quick break.
Kaitlin wiped a layer of sweat off her forehead, and walked over to a rock where Kenzi was resting. As she was walking over, she stepped around a small bush, and heard a crunch under her foot. The rest of the Gang apparently hadn’t noticed. She looked down, and after moving her foot, saw a small, silvery-white object lying in the grass.
As first she couldn’t tell what it was, and bent down to pick it up. Kenzi looked up, and noticed what Kaitlin was doing.
“What’d you find, Kaitlin?”
Kaitlin picked up the strange object, and instantly recognized the material as plastic.
“I’m not sure…” She said, still examining it.
She turned it over, and could clearly see the Macintosh Apple logo. It took a second to grasp the situation, but when she did, she gasped.
“What is it?” Kenzi asked more curiously, getting up now to see what it was.
“Hey guys, I think I found something…” Kaitlin held up the cracked and dirt covered iPod for everyone to see.
Kenzi gasped, and covered her mouth in shock. Richard and Brian quickly made their way over, and saw it too.
“How the heck did that get here?!” Richard said, looking at it in disbelief.
Gigel and Jeneum walked over too, and looked at the curious object, but didn’t seem impressed.
“What is it thou hast found?” Gigel said tilting his head slightly, trying to decipher its purpose.
“Is that an iPod?” Brian asked, floating nearby.
“But how…?” Kaitlin began.
“Hey guys!” Jon yelled, from somewhere else further up the hill. “I, uh…found…something…”
Richard looked up, and saw Jon about twenty yards away, with something in his hand. He seemed completely wrapped up in whatever it was that he had. He looked up, and quickly ran down to the rest of the group. In his hands was a CD player, covered in mud and bits of plant. Upon arriving, he spotted the iPod Kaitlin was holding up.
“What the heck?!” He said, looking back and forth between both objects.
Suddenly, a thought crossed Richard’s mind, and he took off running up the hill. At first no one seemed to notice, but they all looked and spotted him charging up the hill.
“Young one! Where art thou going?” Gigel yelled after him.
As Richard sped up the hill, he began noticing glints of silver, from light reflecting off multiple modern day objects. The farther up the hill he ran, the more things there were scattered all over the ground. Finally he couldn’t run without hearing things crunch under his feet. He kept going, and didn’t stop until he hit the top of the hill. He bent over to catch his breath, and didn’t notice it until he finally looked up again. When he did, he gasped too.
“What is it?! What do you see?!” Came the echo of Kenzi’s voice.
From where he was on the hill, he had a perfect view of the entire valley, and most of the surrounding hills. It was the same valley they had first arrived in, but the entire place was filled with literally hundreds of thousands of modern objects, scattered as far as the eye could see. Only the jungle and background hills hindered his view of the ground.
The rest of the Gang and Ninjas came up behind him, and took in the view. Anything you could expect to see lying around a house, office, or church was out there, lying in the field; boxes, appliances, furniture, books, computers, a shed, clothes, and even a couple of cars. The list went on and on.
“My dear gosh…” Jon said, taking in the view.
“…Well, that can’t be good.” Brian said, with that same flat expression on his ghostly face.
“This…this doesn’t make sense.” Kaitlin said, almost in a whisper.
Aero, sensing that there was something significant about this, sniffed the air, but didn’t seem interested.
“What…happened?” Kenzi asked, looking back and forth.
“These many things…they are from your lands?” Gigel asked.
“Oh yeah…” Jon replied.
There was silence for a few moments, as everyone just stared.
“I have a pretty good idea where this all came from.” Richard said.
“Well don’t leave us in suspense over something as trivial as a theory.” Jon said rather disdainfully.
Richard shot Jon a look, and then looked back at the valley. “That Door didn’t just pull us back…it's been pulling anything and everything that just happened to be in the vicinity.”
“So, does that mean others have been pulled back in time?” Kenzi asked.
Brian started cracking up over the thought. “I’d hate to be them…” He said jokingly.
Kenzi turned and looked at him in disbelief. “Brian…! You are one of them! What did you think we were doing here?! Just visiting…Ah!”
Kenzi had been standing close to the edge, and the section of ground collapsed out from under her feet. She dropped onto her back, and began rolling down the side.
“Kenzi!” Everyone yelled.
They all took off down the hill after her, but she had gotten a ten feet head start, and was picking up speed. The ledges on this side of the hill were a little steep in some places, and as the others pursued, they had to jump several feet quite a bit.
Kenzi rolled over a three-foot drop, and came to a rest next to some bushes. She was still about half way up the hill, and her body was now covered in bruises. She moaned, slowly pushing herself up into a sitting position, and rested her back against the ledge…and then she screamed.
Jon had seen her go over the edge and heard the scream. His first thought was that the drop must have been a much higher fall.
Everyone quickly reached the ledge, and stopped in time to look down. Kenzi, sitting with her back against the ledge, was looking at a body in the bushes…it was the imposter Commander.
He was in pretty bad shape, with shreds of skin missing, and his clothes stained in his own blood. He almost looked dead. Aero jumped down, and began sniffing him. The Commander suddenly stirred, and they could tell he was breathing.
The others jumped down from the ledge, and approached his body. As the Gang slowly gathered around, his eyes opened, and fear instantly filled them.
“You…!” Richard said accusingly. “Who are you, and…where did you come from?!”
The Commander began to speak in slow, hard breathes. “I was…one of the first…to build the Door…” He started coughing for breath, and momentarily paused. “I only…wanted to…to fix it…the…the time-line…it must…must be restored…”
His head went lopsided, and he stopped breathing. Kenzi began to tear up, and Kaitlin started shaking her head, constantly whispering 'no' to herself. Aero continued to sniff the body, and stuck its mouth in the Commander’s robes. It cautiously pulled out a silvery object.
Richard watched as Aero pulled it out and began sniffing it. Everyone seemed occupied with the death of the Commander, and was beginning to freak out.
“It is time for answers, young ones.” Gigel said, his men standing beside him. “Ye and this strange fellow have spoken to us in riddles, and we grow weary of this game…”
Richard bent down, picked up the object, and began examining it.
“What do we do…? WHAT DO WE DO?!” Kenzi shouted, looking up from her hands. “We’re stuck here! We’re freakin’ stuck in the Book of Mormon!”
Kaitlin put her hand on Kenzi’s shoulder, while Aero rubbed against her side, trying to comfort her distraught master.
“Something’s not right…this doesn’t make sense…” Kaitlin said, her breath growing short.
“Calm down. We’ll be fine!” Jon said, stepping forward.
Brian simply floated nearby, and watched as the group began to degrade. A small grin crossed his face, as the chaos unfolded.
Richard continued to examine the mysterious device. It was definitely electronic. It was about the size of a remote, and painted a silvery white. In the center was a soft gel-like button that glowed a bright blue. Above the button was a small silver screen, and a series of dials that were set to certain numbers. Going against everything Richard had ever learned, he closed his eyes, and pushed the button.
“Young ones! My patience grows short…!” Gigel shouted one last time.
There was a massive burst of bright light, and the entire Gang was wisped away. When the light cleared, the Ninjas found themselves alone on the side of the hill.
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