First time for everything. And this was the first time I have spaced on putting up my time travel story part for Thursday. -hangs head in shame-
To be fair, I jolted awake at like one in the morning and remembered, but by that time Thursday was over and done with.
Here we have part 13! A part that bears a name I’ve wanted to use for a very long time. xD
Let’s get into it.
Here are past parts if you want to catch up:
Part 13: Mission Improbable
Amazing how even across so much time, in a different country and practically a different world, that special “hotel feeling” is the same—even in a futuristic Metrotel.
Sleeping on a different bed and looking at a different ceiling when you lie down at night. The new sounds outside. The new smells and just the feeling of living in a different place that’s not yours and that you don’t belong in.
I loved it.
Chase was always a little more of a homebody, though. He had a harder time getting to sleep with all those weird screechy sounds outside. I said they were probably modern sirens, but he thought they sounded more like dying owls.
Also, the chemical smell that Jonah said was just cleaning fluid was giving Chase trouble. I mean, yeah, it smelled kinda bad, but with how jumpy Chase was being, you’d think it was mustard gas or something.
Seriously though, this hotel room was so cool. The beds were filled with helium or something so you could pull them down from the ceiling when it was night and have the floor space during the day. The windows had controls for tinting them as much as you wanted or making them completely reflective.
There was even a room service machine that would pop up with whatever you wanted. I only figured out that it required payment after already getting a bunch of soap, towels and some sort of food called “Zags.”
I returned most of the soap, but Jonah used a card to pay for some of it—the towels and the Zags. I was kind of glad he kept the Zags, because even if I had no idea what they were, I was still completely starving. Plus, they had a cute little colorful container with zigzags all over it.
I watched as Jonah swiped his card in the machine, frowning. “Where’d you get that? I thought you said you didn’t have a card.”
“I don’t,” a smirk pulled at the side of his mouth. “I grabbed it off Pep, since he owes me money anyway.” He moved to put the card in his pocket, then hesitated, his hand hovering in mid-air. Then he turned back around to where Demetrius and Chase sat on the room’s weird couch. “Hey, you guys want some food?”
A grin split my face. Because the only thing that could make the cool future hotel experience even better was room service food.
Chase sat up straighter instantly. “Please. The last thing I had was that jerky I couldn’t even chew.”
I put my hand up. “Same. You’ll have to help ordering, though, because I don’t know what any of that stuff on the menu is.”
“Well, that’s a majority.” Jonah smiled. He looked over to Demetrius. “What about you, Morrow? Have anything you’re hungry for?”
Demetrius had his head rested against the back of the couch, his hair splaying out across the back cushion and his gaze vacant. He didn’t look like he’d heard.
His face looked so pale that for a few seconds I had to look and reassure myself he was still breathing.
“Hey,” Chase elbowed him. “Food. Are you hungry? We have…” he looked over at me. “What do we have?”
I spread my hands and shrugged. “Zags? I dunno what they taste like, though.”
Chase looked back to Demetrius. “We have Zags—whatever those are.”
Demetrius didn’t move at first, but he blinked a couple of times and turned his head. “Beg pardon?”
Jonah folded his arms, frowning. “Your arm feeling okay, buddy? And when was the last time you actually ate anything?”
“I . . . ” Demetrius left his mouth open for a few seconds and furrowed his brow. “I believe I had something to eat in . . . Zimbabwe . . . ”
“Yeah, Zimbabwe was too long ago.” Jonah turned his attention back to the room service dispenser. “You remember any of your favorite food from this time?”
I leaned to look over Jonah’s shoulder. “They have . . . a lot of different shaped snacks. And . . . ” I wasn’t even sure what the rest of it was. Mostly looked like some sort of fried stuff.
“I’m gonna take a look at his arm really quick,” Chase said, sounding a little worried. “And you guys get the food. He doesn’t look like he’s doing that great.”
Demetrius rubbed one hand over his face, looking thoughtful. “Food from . . . this time? Have I been here before?”
I bit my lip and looked back at him again. This time sickness stuff really wasn’t doing him any favors. We were in his own world now—I guessed, in the same city he used to live in.
Maybe he just wasn’t used to this part of town? Maybe he’d never stayed in the Metrotel before?
“We’re in your . . . ” I stopped and redirected my sentence. “We’re in the time with the Historian Society now, remember?”
Demetrius’s face lit up, at that. “Oh yes! Right. So we’re ordering food from this time, then?”
“That’s the only time we have room service hooked up with, I’m pretty sure,” Chase muttered as he started unwinding the dirty bandage from Demetrius’s arm.
“That would mean there are . . . ” Demetrius narrowed his eyes in thought. “This time has blackbird pie, doesn’t it?”
The room went silent. Chase stopped messing with the bandage and looked up worriedly.
Jonah shook his head and sighed. “Never mind. I’ll just order a bunch of the stuff I know is good.”
And so, a few minutes later, Demetrius had his arm bandage replaced and we had our little glass-topped table filled up with a bunch of weird looking food.
I didn’t realize just how hungry I was until we actually had a meal in front of us. I barely even knew what I was smelling, and I still felt like I’d fall over from how good it smelled.
Apparently, food coloring and weird shapes is even more of a thing in the future than it is in our time. Sandwiches with everything colored weird. Paper containers full of pink hearts and yellow stars and other shapes. It looked like cartoon food. It looked like something Chase’s mom would look at and just die because it was so unhealthy and non-organic.
But Chase’s mom would have to forgive us later, because we were all too starving to care. And besides, we had a heist to plan, and we definitely couldn’t do that on empty stomachs.
Jonah took a few seconds to explain what everything was—mainly just what was sweet and what was salty—and then we all dove in.
The “Zags” things ended up being my favorite, because they basically tasted like French fries—dramatically zigzagged French fries. And dramatic zigzags made them taste so much better, for some reason.
I kind of stole the whole container away for myself and determined to get Zags invented earlier in time than they had been.
All of us were a little shaky after going without food for a while, Chase especially. But I guess that food was more filling than it looked, because we all tapered off eating pretty quickly.
Well, actually, all of us except Demetrius. At first, when the rest of us were all stuffing our faces, he just poked at it and nibbled like he didn’t quite remember what food was. But when he finally seemed to realize how hungry he was, the man ate like a horse. He probably ate more than twice what any of us did.
If he couldn’t even tell us when the last time he really ate was, it wasn’t that surprising. He wasn’t just naturally a rail-thin guy; he’d been starving.
All of us tried not to stare while he inhaled half of the food there. I nibbled on my zags, waiting until we could shift into planning mode.
Demetrius slowed after a bit, less on the brink of dropping dead from hunger. And Chase cleared his throat, looking over to Jonah.
“So. You said you broke into this place before. Even if you’re not going to talk about why, you can at least tell us what we need to know about it, going in.”
Jonah nodded, scooting the chair he was sitting on closer to the rest of us. “Yep. And I already think I have an idea for how this can go.”
I leaned in closer, “So do you think it’ll be easier or harder, breaking in with more people than just yourself?”
Jonah twisted his mouth to the side. “Upsides and downsides to both. But if we’re going in to steal a person this time, that’s a bit more complicated than just grabbing an old warper. It’s more to organize, but more people is better for a job like this. There are a lot of different jobs to be done.” His gaze flicked over to Demetrius for a second.
I couldn’t help grinning again.
Chase laughed. “Zoey, if you can’t control your expressions better than that when we’re going into this place, we’re all going to die.”
“Hey, I can be secretive when I want,” I protested. “I just like smiling. And this is so cool! It’s like Mission Impossible or something.”
“Nothing is impossible, young kid,” Demetrius put in, sitting up straighter as he carefully broke down one of the food containers so that it was flat. “Simply improbable. It’s only impossible if you don’t try.” He looked between Chase and me. “What are we talking about?”
“Breaking into the Historian Society to get Jane back,” Jonah pushed his hat back from his face. “Remember?’
Demetrius perked up. “Yes! Yes, of course . . . ” he started to push up from the couch, but Chase grabbed his arm and pulled him back down.
“Let’s play it safe and try not having you throw up everything you just ate,” Chase advised.
I tucked my hair back and looked over to Jonah again. “So what was your plan? How would it go?”
He blew out a breath and rubbed his hands on his worn jeans. “Well, we have a few problems to work with. Morrow and I can’t show our faces, mainly. So that means you and Chase’ll have to be the inside folks on this.”
I felt my pulse jump excitedly.
Chase’s brow furrowed. “Inside? Like…?”
“Like the ones inside the building. Morrow and I would be outside and take Jane away when we get her, then hopefully, you two could come after us without them figuring out what we were doing.” Jonah smiled. “You two work great together anyway, so you’ll be fine.”
“So how would we get in?” I asked. “I mean, do they usually allow visitors?”
“They do, but that wouldn’t get you where you need to go.” Jonah fiddled with the brim of his hat. “The one thing I’m hoping will work for us is that their appointment schedule is always a mess. There are always a ton of official historian people from all over the globe going in and out, so if you show up and say you’re official and have an appointment, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll let you through. Most of the security is focused on protecting the artifact cases anyway, not admittance at the door.”
“But they never let anyone to the level Jane would be at,” Demetrius interrupted. He was leaning forward with his elbows on his knees and his hands clasped, his dark eyes bright and his eyebrows drawn. “The fact that they’re keeping anyone from history in the facility at all is one they’d keep as quiet as possible. I’d never even heard of them doing such a thing before, and I’ve been with them for over ten years. Where do we look?”
The rest of us fell into shocked silence, again staring at Demetrius.
Man, had a full stomach really done that much for his coherency? Or was it just the topic we were on?
A dying-owl-siren went off in the distance, breaking the complete silence.
Demetrius sat there looking thoughtful and intense for another few seconds before he realized we were all staring at him. He frowned, looking annoyed. “Well?”
Chase swallowed and cleared his throat, still not pulling his gaze away from Demetrius as he spoke up again. “Maybe just check in the most out of the way places? Look for a basement or get in through locked doors…?”
“I think we’d have a better chance if we split up to look,” I pointed out. “It would take less time.”
Chase stiffened. “Zoey…”
“Actually, I was sort of thinking that,” Jonah put in. “You’d still be working together. But just working different angles. Zoey could pull off being someone big and important, since the lady representatives usually get priority. And Chase, you could do what I did last time.”
While I thought the idea of a proven method sounded safer, Chase didn’t look too thrilled.
“What did you do last time?” Chase asked, wincing.
“Jumped the janitor and took his place.”
“Oh. That sounds…”
“Brilliant!” Demetrius burst out, spreading his hands and grinning. “As a representative, Zaphne would see the polished and official part of the society, and as a janitor, Chad would be able to see the other half. We’d cover everything!”
Okay, so maybe a full stomach didn’t do any wonders for his memory with names. But he did have a point. This idea covered all our bases.
Jonah nodded, his own smile coming back. “And if I just get my hands on a few communication buds so we can keep in touch, we should be set.”
“We’d need disguises, of course,” Demetrius added.
“And more bandages for his arm,” Chase nodded towards Demetrius. “And I’d really love to get myself some pants that actually fit before there’s a possibility that I’ll be running for my life.”
“Okay, so a shopping trip first,” Jonah amended. “But other than that, it sounds like we got ourselves a heist.”
Our own Mission Improbable. We were gonna nail this.
I smirked and held a hand over to Chase. He reluctantly gave me a highfive.
I’m now taking bets on how this mission will go. Anyone? xD
See you guys next week! Have a great weekend. ❤