TT3.61a: The Conspiracy Unfolds

Previously: Last year, Julie was mentally influenced to shoot Carrie. Carrie recently had a future vision at the dance. Megan beat Corry for leadership at school, right before a van crashed into their library.

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3.14a: THE CONSPIRACY UNFOLDS 1

MiniBannerChartreuse had just finished the table of observations for the physics experiment she and Lee were conducting when the sound of screeching tires and a loud crash from outside caused her pencil to slip from her fingers.

Lee, along with a few other students, quickly moved to positions where they could look out the second floor window. “Holy geez,” Lee said after a moment. “It’s kinda hard to tell from this angle, but it looks like some crazy driver crashed right into the school library!”

“Whoa,” Chartreuse gasped. “That must be, like, why I got bad vibes from the place this morning.” A number of other students in the classroom exchanged glances. Frank and Clarke immediately registered Julie’s absence, and before the teacher could stop them, they dashed out of the room.

***

“Julie, get my sister to safety!” Corry called out.

Julie noticed that Corry had elected to pull Megan away, as the younger girl had apparently passed out from shock. Did Corry think keeping their new rival safe might reverse the junior’s coup? Julie shook her head – she could think about it later, right now they had more immediate concerns.

“On it,” Julie responded, taking hold of the arm of Corry’s wide-eyed sister. She deftly maneuvered the two of them back, further away from the crazy redhead with the gun.

Even as she did, the crazy redhead’s attention was drawn to the man who was now slowly advancing upon her. The school principal raised his hands and froze at her attention. “Stay calm,” Hunt said. “Put the gun down. We don’t want any trouble.”

“Then you’ll hand over Glen Oaks,” the girl retorted. Her gaze was fully upon him now as she spoke very deliberately. “Tell me, where can I find Glen?”

“He… he’s a student here. He would be in class now,” the principal responded.

“What class? Where?” she pressed.

“I… I’m not sure…” Julie noticed that the principal’s eyes seemed to be glazing over, as they locked with those of the redheaded intruder. Julie’s own eyes narrowed. Something about this struck a chord inside her. An unpleasant chord.

But it was hard to get a bead on things, as she was still leading Laurie back into the book stacks, with other students shouting around them, either trying to hide, or run for the exit.

“WHERE?” the gun toting girl repeated.

“I… really… don’t… know,” Mr. Hunt replied, his voice shifting into a rather eerie monotone. “I can… look it up…”

The redhead let out a sigh of frustration. “Never mind. How about Carrie Waterson, where is she?”

“Right there.” Mr. Hunt lifted his finger to point. Julie snapped her gaze over in the direction the principal was indicating, in time to see her blonde classmate dashing out of the library doors, one hand pushing hard into her temple.

“Stop! Carrie!” the girl with the gun cried out. She began sprinting after her. “I have to warn you about Glen!”

Corry, who had been hauling Megan towards the same door, froze as the armed redhead ran right past. Julie registered that fact even as her gaze shifted back towards the principal. He seemed to be blinking in confusion at the latest development, only now turning to look towards the main library doors.

“Damn it,” Hunt cursed, moving back for the library office. “Did I just tell her…? Mr. Price!” he called out. “Tell the main office to announce that students are to remain in their classes when–”

The bell rang signifying the end of the school day. Frowning, Julie watched as Hunt disappeared into the small office with the librarian. She then swept her gaze back across the scene, ending at the shattered picture windows, which were now letting the wind blow in among the book stacks. Most of the students were gone. The van was simply sitting there with the driver behind the wheel. The driver.

Julie took a step forwards, only to have a hand clutch at her shoulder from behind. She twisted her neck around, seeing Laurie’s frightened face. “G-G-Golly, Julie,” Corry’s sister stammered. “W-What’s going on??”

“I don’t know,” Julie replied, clenching her jaw. “But I’m going to find out, okay?” She clasped Laurie’s hand. “Duck down, and stay quiet. Wait for me or Corry to come back here for you.”

She was going to get some answers.

***

‘Why is it time travellers enjoy pointing guns at me?’ Carrie wondered as she charged down the hallway. ‘I mean, don’t they have some better technology available to them yet? Something less lethal, maybe? That’d be nice…’

She heard the library doors get bashed open behind her. “Carrie, stop! Listen to me!”

“Pass,” Carrie mumbled under her breath.

It didn’t help that it was getting hard to think at all, what with the temporal pressure hammering at her temples. That van should not have crashed into the library. More to the point, this redheaded girl was not supposed to be in their time. Of that, Carrie was certain. Yet at the same time, she recognized her pursuer as the one who had been in her vision at the dance last month.

Carrie swallowed. That’s right. In her vision, this same girl had been standing in front of her, and the redhead with the hazel eyes had raised a hand, holding that knife… oh, hold on. Knife, not gun. So why the gun now? And what was her connection to Glen?

Before those thoughts could manage a foothold, the bell rang, signifying the end of classes. Students began to pour out of the classrooms. “Perfect,” Carrie moaned, feeling the vice around her temples tightening. She closed her eyes, squeezing out tears of pain.

No way could she think about whys. Not now. She had to lead that crazy girl in the red dress somewhere NOT IN THE HALLS, somewhere SAFE, somewhere she’d STOP damaging their timeline. And that place wasn’t out into the parking lot, with all the parents, no, that was liable to make things even worse. So where?

‘All right, track star,’ Carrie thought. ‘Time for some fancy action.’ With a quick look over her shoulder to make sure the gun toting maniac was still in pursuit, she summoned up a burst of speed, sprinting into the (thankfully) deserted school auditorium, down near the stage podium.

In one fluid movement, Carrie yanked open the loose door she knew about down on the lower right corner of the stage. She boosted herself through it feet first, landing between the rows of extra chairs stored there. She immediately reached up to slide the door shut behind her, then lay quietly, trying to keep herself from breathing too hard. The chair leg poking against her bottom really didn’t help matters.

The sound of running footsteps in the auditorium turned into walking footsteps, then there was nothing. “Carrie?” came the redhead’s voice.

A pause, and then Carrie heard her pursuer ascend the steps onto the stage itself. “Carrie, I’m fairly certain that you didn’t time jump, and thus are simply hiding in here. It’s not my intention to harm you. Come on out so that we can talk.”

Carrie remained where she was. She heard the sound of a brief search, interrupted only by some sort of muffled announcement over the public address system. Then more silence. Her headache was ebbing. That felt like a good sign.

Right when Carrie thought it might be safe to move though, she heard the girl’s voice again. “All right, Carrie, have it your way,” the redhead declared. “But in case you can hear me – I, Mindylenopia Oaks, member of the Chronologic Patrol, am here for Glen Oaks. My brother is a dangerous fugitive from the future. You must not trust him! I will be in touch.”

A pause, then running footsteps, then the auditorium door, and then silence. Still, Carrie waited twice as long as she had the last time before finally edging the stage door aside. When nothing happened, she pulled herself back into the auditorium.

There was no one there. What’s more, the throbbing in her head had regressed to a point where it was almost bearable. Letting out a sigh of relief, Carrie headed cautiously for the hallway, rubbing absently at the sore spot where the chair had been jabbing her. Wishing she had any idea as to her next move.

***

The van driver still seemed partially dazed as Julie pulled open his door. She noticed that while he had a bump on his head, his seat belt had managed to protect him from serious harm. “Vat’s goin’ on?” the driver murmured, turning his head to regard the brown haired student. “Vere am I?”

“I’ll ask the questions here,” Julie asserted. “Who are you, who was the redhead, and why is she after my friends?!”

“I… I be Lars,” the driver stated blearily. “Vat redhead you mean?”

“Your passenger,” Julie said, peering a little more closely at him. Did he have a concussion or something? “You know, the one with the gun.”

“Gun?!” Lars said. He turned to regard the empty seat next to him, then finally made an effort to sit up. “She’s gone! Mindy’s gone!”

“Mindy?” Julie said, jumping on the name. “Is that the person you were driving here?”

Lars reached up to press a hand to the bump on his head as he replied. “I tink… yes, she tell me to drive her into this town, and her name, it sounded like Mindy.”

“Sounded like? You’re not sure? You’d never met her before today?”

“No, I… oh my goodness! My van is in library?!?”

“Focus please, just a couple more questions,” Julie said, snapping her fingers to retain his attention. “Did Mindy say anything to you when you were driving? About what she was doing or why she came here?”

“No, I… we came to town, we stopped first at hotel, she go in, then come out and say Glen is at school. So we come to school. I mention school probably over soon, so she tell me to keep on driving towards window.”

Julie blinked. “So you did?”

“I… I did. Somehow it make sense at the time…”

Julie felt a chill run up her spine. *It made sense at the time*. She remembered thinking the exact same thing before shooting Carrie last year. After that man had spent time talking to her on the phone. Influencing her with his voice. There had to be a connection.

“Who introduced Mindy to you?” Julie pressed. “And did Mindy mention anyone else she was working with??”

“We meet by bridge… I… I don’t think she say,” Lars replied, throwing up his hands. “Who you be anyway? Student?” He only now seemed to realize Julie’s age.

“Irrelevant,” Julie said, trying to sound as authoritative as possible. “Tell me, was it Mindy herself who convinced you to listen to her? How did she do it?!” Lars simply opened and closed his mouth, a baffled expression on his face.

“Jewels,” came a quiet voice from behind her. “The police are on their way and teachers are trying to get everyone into lockdown. We need to get out of here.”

*

-Some of this makes sense, right? If not, please let me know.

-Hello to new blog follower professorumbraum! If you were also the person reading the entire archive on the weekend, you made last week’s views look normal instead of rather sad, thank you.

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