Thursday is again upon us. Which means more time travel shenanigans.
At this point it’s getting really hard to explain what’s going on. So in short, two college students, an insane time traveling historian and a mercenary space cowboy are looking for a lost woman in time.
And now they’re going TO THE FUTURE.
If you’re behind/new/forgetful, catch up here:
And the new part!
Part 11: No Place Like Home
I’m really not sure how to count how long it takes to time travel.
Honestly. And this time it was even crazier than before. Chase and I didn’t even know how much gentler of a ride Demetrius’s warper was.
I felt like I’d just been tossed into the ocean during a storm with only a pool noodle. History swirled by around us, flashing with bright lights and explosive sounds.
Memories that weren’t mine shoved into my head, but they blended in so quickly I wasn’t even sure what they were at first. I squeezed my eyes closed and gritted my teeth, putting my hands over my head.
Jonah’s not crazy, and he’s had this warper for a while, right? Chase and I will be fine. Demetrius is already so sick this trip will barely even make a difference for him.
As each name went through my thoughts, the shared memories from each of them took shape in my mind. Flashing through in what felt like less than a second.
I was Jonah first, pretty obviously because I was wearing that dumb old hat. I was next to another man, who was dressed similarly, but with a few weird doodads added. We were in some old-timey looking town. The man looked worried.
“Just gotta remember to lay low,” I/Jonah said. “You gonna be okay?’
The man nodded. “Thank you.”
And then I was Chase. I was bent over a notebook by myself and I was… drawing? I balked for a second, wondering if this was actually Chase’s memory. He’d doodled when he was younger but the picture on the paper was so realistic and good. He still did art?
The image faded away.
Even though all the memories were short, Demetrius’s seemed to be the smallest.
I was buying some sort of soft, light blue cloth. And I was really happy about it for some reason. I told the man selling it that it was for my wife and our-
The memory cut off.
We’d landed, with all the grace of the Hindenburg.
“Oh you did it, you didit! You delightful genius cowboy!”
It was pretty obviously Demetrius’s voice that woke me up. And he also pretty obviously wasn’t talking to me.
I groaned and rolled over, grimacing. I was lying in wet grass. Rain sprinkled down from the sky and a smell faintly like smoke and gasoline tinged the air.
So this was the future?
“Just glad the old warper held up,” Jonah muttered. “We were lucky.”
The sound of Chase throwing up nearby added a nice ironic note to the end of that thought.
Rubbing at my head, I sat up slowly and looked around.
It looked like around where we’d just left. Somewhere in England or maybe Ireland. The grassy hills and cold, cloudy skies and everything. I could see the weirdly shaped skyline of a future city not too far away. And then some smaller shape in the distance in the other direction, towards the ocean.
Demetrius looked like he thought he was in The Sound of Music. Spreading out his arms, turning up his face to the rain and laughing. A really happy laugh, even if it still did have the touch of insanity pretty obviously there.
Chase groaned as he straightened up a little, rubbing at his mouth with the back of his hand. “Okay, so we’re here. Now we…” he swallowed, “we probably need some sort of plan from here, right?”
“And to know a little more about this world,” I shakily got to my feet and squelched through the wet grass over to help Chase up.
He eyed my hand for a second uncertainly before taking it and pulling himself upright.
“You okay?” I asked.
“Yeah, just… well… not really, there’s kind of a lot going on.” Chase shook his head tiredly and blew out a breath. “We’re, what, four hundred years in the future now? And I never even got a chance to get dressed.”
I winced and squeezed his hand a little, giving a hesitant smile. “Not every day you get to time travel though.”
Chase gave a dry chuckle. “And now I see there’s a reason for that.”
“But we do have a plan!” Demetrius’s voice came from a lot farther away than I expected. “We find Jane!”
I whirled around to see him already starting to stride off through the rolling fields towards the smaller building in the distance. He left a tromped-down path in the wet grass behind him. The obvious, uneven zigzag he was making was a little concerning.
“Good start,” Jonah approved, not looking up from fiddling with his warper. He blew on it a few times as a teeny spiral of smoke spilled out of one of the panels. A few raindrops sizzled on its surface. “Looks like you folks have this pretty well handled.”
I like to stay positive, but that was a bit too much of an exaggeration.
I dropped Chase’s hand, starting forward. “Demetrius, you… hey, could you wait…?”
“But we’re here!”Demetrius turned around to face back towards us, spreading his hands upward. His curls stretched longer, dripping over his face in the rain, and his smile glowed through the grey weather. “We’re back where she could actually be! I have to find her. She should be right… right…” his words trailed off. He turned around in a slow circle. When Demetrius came back around to face us, his expression was puckered in confusion. He scratched at the back of his head. “What was I saying?”
I felt my shoulders slump a little under the wet fabric of my coat. This wasn’t looking promising.
“Oh my gosh,” Chase muttered, rubbing a hand over his face.
Jonah shifted uneasily, clearing his throat. “Should be a road not too far from here, if you folks want to get going towards New London…”
My first thought was mainly just “New London!”, with a lot more exclamation points. Because that sounded seriously awesome.
But then the way Jonah had said that sunk in. I turned to face him with a frown. “Are you… not coming with us?”
Jonah gave a half wince, half smile and shrugged, backing up a step. “Well, I… see, I have some other stuff I gotta…”
“Ohhhh no you’re not,” Chase cut him off. He raised his eyebrows, propping his hands on his hips. “You’re our only sane tour guide we have for around here. You can’t just go running off.”
“Besides, you said you wanted to come with us and help find Jane,” I pointed out. “What’s wrong?”
Jonah swallowed and stuck his hands in his coat pockets. “Well, see… there’s…” he wrinkled his nose. “I just got some people around here who don’t really like me that much. Rather not stick around if I don’t have to.”
“Okay,” Chase put up a hand and winced. He was quiet for a second before he spoke again. “I know you… don’t want to hang around, but we really need to know more about this world and…”
“And we don’t want to get ourselves killed while we’re here,” I added. “I don’t think we’ll have much of a chance at finding Jane like this. We don’t even know the first thing about breaking into places.”
Jonah opened his mouth and raised his index finger, then stopped, looking past both of us. He squinted one eye. “Might at least stick around to help you two get him to town.”
I turned back around to see that Demetrius had started off on his quest towards the distant building by the ocean. And looking less steady by the second. My thoughts flashed back to the first time I’d run into Demetrius. He didn’t come through time travelling half as well as he’d like to have us believe.
“Hey! Demetrius, wait!” I waved an arm and started running after him. Rain spattered in my face. The wet grass whipped at my jeans and the blanket skirt I still had loosely tied around my middle tangled and caught as I tried to run. I slowed down for a second, yanking apart the knot and just throwing the blanket over my shoulder.
Demetrius didn’t seem to hear me, still tromping along through the grass with his wet curls swinging around his shoulders.
“We’re not going that way yet!” I called at him again as I got closer. I scrambled up the rise he was climbing and finally got up next to him. My breath came in gasps, the cold, wet air feeling raw in my throat. I grabbed at Demetrius’s sleeve, pulling him to a stop. “Come on. Come back with the rest of us for a bit.” I stopped and swallowed another breath. Some of the nausea from warping again was starting to come back. “We need to work out more of a plan, remember?”
Demetrius turned to face me, blinking a couple of times. His face looked paler than before, and the circles under his eyes were darker. He gave me a kind of vacant looking polite smile. “Hello, what’s your name?”
Oh no, not this again.
I kept my gaze locked on his for a few more seconds, hoping he’d come around, but he just kept giving me that questioning look.
I bit my lip. “I’m Zoey. We met a couple days ag-… no, wait I think we met yesterday, actually.” Man, it was hard to keep track of time when you were travelling through it.
“Oh, that’s nice.” Demetrius wasn’t looking at me anymore, searching his pockets instead. He turned in a slow half-circle, shoving his hands in every fold of his long coat.
Chase’s voice echoed over to us from where he and Jonah still stood: “Do you need help herding him back here?”
“Nah, I think I got it,” I called back. “Just give me a sec.”
Demetrius had finally found what he was digging for and pulled it out, holding it up in the direction facing away from me. “Have you seen…?” he stopped and trailed off. He looked from side to side, then over his shoulder, finally spotting me. Spinning back around and stumbling a step, he held up a picture of Jane that was different from the one he’d showed me the first time.
This one had a darker background. It looked more like a professional portrait, and Jane’s features were clearer.
The sense of déjà vu I’d gotten before – the first time he showed me a picture of her – tickled at the back of my mind. This time at least I had something to click it into. This was the one that was cut out of the picture in Demetrius’s old house. Only this picture was much more wrinkled up and dirty looking.
“Have you seen this woman?” Demetrius asked intently. “Please.”
I grimaced, putting a hand on his arm. “You already asked me that before. I haven’t.”
He looked like a balloon someone had just let half the air out of. His head dropped down to his chest, his hair dripping in his face and down onto his scarves. He groaned, rubbing a hand over his face.
“But we’re going to help you find her, okay?” I leaned over so my own wet hair fell in my face, tilting my head to try and meet his eyes. “We’re in the right place now. We’re gonna figure it out.”
Demetrius raised his head a little bit to look at me, a spark of hope showing in his eyes.
I gave him a smile and reached over to take his hand. “Come on. Let’s get out of the rain and get a plan together.”
Thankfully, this time he let me bring him back to Chase and Jonah.
Demetrius looked between the two of them with his eyes slightly narrowed like he was studying them for a second before he spoke. “The… prophet,” he pointed to Jonah, then to Chase. “And Master Hunt, correct?”
Jonah barely hid a snort of laughter.
“Close,” Chase replied, folding his wet arms across his chest and trying not to let his teeth chatter as he talked. “Jonah and Chase, actually.” He jerked his head towards the skyline of the city “Let’s get going.”
“Right this way, ladies and gents,” Jonah stuck out his arm to the side and we all followed him, through another stretch of wet grass to a slick, paved road.
We kept close together, moving in a huddled group down the road and closer to the outlines of the city Jonah called New London.
Demetrius led the pack again now that we were out on the road. He stayed about a yard ahead of the rest of us, muttering to himself and spinning around or zigzagging a few times.
I edged a little closer to Chase, rubbing on my arms and trying to stay warm in the same way he was. He looked at me out of the corner of his eye, before managing a bit of a tight-lipped, shivery smile.
“You gonna steal a coat when we get into town or something?” I asked, giving him a sideways look back. “You’re not gonna make it long around here with just a flannel shirt.”
Chase looked a little pained and folded his arms tighter.
“I could probably find something when we’re actually in town,” Jonah offered.
“Mm. Maybe.” Chase blew out a shaky breath. “I think finding somewhere to stay and getting our plan together would be higher priority.” He looked back over his shoulder towards the other building that was now barely a speck in the distance. “So that’s the Historian Society, huh?”
Jonah tugged on the brim of his hat and looked down as he scuffed his feet along the road. “Yep.”
I lowered my voice, “So we’re gonna break in or something, right? A heist to get Jane out? We have a lot we need to do.” A heist in the future on some sort of fancy, exclusive society. This was going to be so cool.
“Zoey, you look like you just won the lottery,” Chase remarked, his voice tired. “Chill out.”
“Actually…” Jonah rubbed a hand on his neck. “We might not have as much to do as you usually would for this sort of thing.”
Chase and I raised our eyebrows in surprise and looked over at him at the same time. I glanced towards Demetrius, who still was off in his own world, muttering to himself.
“Oh yeah?” Chase asked suspiciously. “And why would that be?”
Jonah twisted his mouth sideways and shrugged. “Well, I’ve sort of… broken in there before.”
If I’m honest this was one of my more spur-of-the-moment cliffhangers. But.
Hope you guys enjoyed, and tune back in next week for more adventures!