Previously: Luci discovered Linquist’s logbook was in another language. Someone named “Mindy” crashed a van into the school library and chased after Carrie, claiming Glen was a temporal fugitive.
PART 3.14b: THE CONSPIRACY UNFOLDS 2
At the warning, Julie spun to face Clarke. “But…”
“Frank ran to the office to keep tabs on things there,” Clarke continued doggedly, “And there was an announcement that all students are get into a classroom and remain there until further notice. We need to comply, to avoid calling attention to ourselves.”
Julie clenched her jaw, but based on the van driver’s expression, she realized that she had probably obtained as much information as she could from him. “Okay. But listen, we’ll need to convene a meeting of all time travellers ASAP,” she asserted, moving around the van. And coming face to face with Corry.
“A meeting which will include me, I presume?” the redhead said.
“Not today,” Julie said, trying to dodge past him.
“Hold on!” Corry countered, moving to block her. “With something of this magnitude? I could cause even more damage by being out of the loop. Besides, if I’m not aware of whatever time travel stuff you and your friends have been unleashing, how can we be expected to effectively run the school together, partner?”
Invoking the partnership caught Julie off guard. She was tempted to point out how Megan was really the one in charge now, only to have a small voice interject, “T-Time travel?” from behind the adjacent reference shelving unit. Everyone spun as Laurie Veniti poked her head out.
“Laurie!” Julie said. “I told you to stay back, out of sight!”
Corry’s twin made a little shrugging motion. “Yeah, but that announcement said to go into the nearest classroom, and since I saw my brother creeping up on you I figured we could all go somewhere together… with Clarke too! S-So what are you saying? Because there’s something about time travel… something I can’t quite put my finger on…”
“Hold on,” Clarke interrupted, raising his hand. He’d noticed the school librarian hang up his phone, and Mr. Price was now heading towards them. “We really need to table this discussion for later.”
The halls were deserted. Hunt had apparently managed to evacuate the school during the hour Carrie had spent in the auditorium. Good. At least, Carrie assumed the building had been evacuated – she supposed some people might still be managing a silent lockdown inside the classrooms. But there were no police officers roaming the halls like she might have otherwise expected, and the level of ache in her head implied the massive changes were done with – for now. She decided to risk visiting her locker.
She found the note inside. It was unsigned, but Carrie knew who it had come from, given the handwriting. ‘Suggest you don’t go home.’ it read. ‘Meet behind park, at ravine. Will explain.’
“Yes, I think you’d better explain,” Carrie murmured. “Who is this sister of yours, this Mindy-onomatopoeia? Are you really some fugitive from the future? Or are you merely from a time traveling family that you elected not to tell me about, GLEN??”
She crumpled the note in her hand before grabbing her coat and bookbag and slamming her locker door shut. She felt confused, frustrated, and even a little scared. “Goddamn time travel,” the blonde cheerleader concluded, striding to the nearest hallway door and kicking at the crash bar with her heel to open it. “Why can’t I have a normal life?”
Moments after Carrie’s departure, a nearby door clicked open and a young asian girl poked her head out. She glanced up and down the vacant hallway before closing the door again. “I think we’re in the clear, Tim,” Luci whispered. “That noise had to be the last people evacuating. My guess is that no one expected people to duck into the yearbook room. That’s why no one came to get us.”
The blonde boy shifted uncertainly from his position under the table. “You think?” he asked. “I mean, that lockdown can’t have been a drill, not with people sending messages about a car crash and a gun. Maybe we should stay a bit longer? After all, we’ve sent something to our parents to tell them we’re okay, and it’s not like we’ve got nothing to do…” He gestured at the notebook open on the floor.
Luci grinned. “I’m glad you find Linquist’s language as fascinating as I do. But you said you had some reference books at home – so if the coast IS clear? We could make better headway there. It would probably put your parents more at ease too.”
Tim considered, then nodded, gathering up the pages of notes he and Luci had been making since lunchtime that day. Shortly after, Linquist’s logbook in hand, the young girl followed Tim out of the room.
Carrie paced back and forth at the tree line of the park, glancing in mounting annoyance at her watch. “An hour,” she muttered. “On top of the time it took to get to the note, so where the hell…” She paused as she caught sight of someone motioning to her down in the ravine. Stomping a little closer, she was able to recognize Glen’s coat, so she hurried down to meet him. Finally.
“Don’t you shush me!” Carrie said, noticing that Glen had a finger pressed up to his lips. “You’ve got a lot of explaining to do, buddy!” Nevertheless, she did keep her voice down.
Glen simply sighed, leading Carrie back deeper amid the tree trunks before speaking. “Is it true then?” he asked. “Was the person who crashed the van into the school looking for me?”
“She wasn’t only looking for you,” Carrie shot back, “this ‘Mindy’ girl waved a gun around and went out of her way to tell me you were a fugitive from the future. What the hell is that supposed to mean?!”
Glen looked genuinely shocked. “Mindy? It was Mindylenopia? Oh, I’m so sorry, Carrie. I had hoped to have a little more time before explaining the nature of my mission, but if she’s forcing my hand…”
“Mission?!” Carrie felt a cold hand grabbing at her heart. Somehow, she’d still held out hope that this was all some sort of cosmic misunderstanding. That Glen would be as confused as her about the situation. No such luck. “You mean you really ARE from the future?”
“If you are indeed the ultimate temporal weapon.”
Carrie took a step back, stumbled on a root, and fell to the ground. “Oh God. Oh God, y-you knew about… the whole time?! B-But… does this mean you’ve never cared about me as a p-person?!?” Insanely, that felt like the thing which mattered the most. “I mean, on that first date, when you said you’d be honest with me, and that you merely sensed some extraordinary ability – was it all lies to get close to this weapon that I’m supposed to become?!”
“Oh, Carrie, no,” Glen said, kneeling down beside her. “I do care about you. And that is how I felt about you at first… about future you. The reason I never said anything to you about your destiny was because, well, your friend Chartreuse seemed to be providing you with something of a power basis. And there was no reason for me to start your training right away.”
“You were… sent back to train me?” Within her spinning thoughts, something clicked. “Of course. The reason you didn’t trip my headache that day in the drama room, out of time – is because you were somehow already a time anomaly. That’s also why, whenever I centred on you in a vision, my senses inevitably pulled me forwards into the future… because that’s where you originated.”
Which was what had also led her to see Mindy, that time at the dance. Her jaw clenched at the memory. “But if you’ve come back for me, who’s this Mindy? Is your sister an agent for the other side??”
“Actually, if this is the Mindylenopia I know, she’s an agent from our side gone bad,” Glen explained ruefully. “And she’s not my sister. For the record, Temporals don’t use ‘last names’ – those imply a certain ancestry. I’m more properly known as Glinephanis. I selected the name Glen Oaks shortly after my arrival in your time. It was the name of some memorial gardens in a nearby town. She must have learned of my name at the hotel here, then given herself a similar last name, to play with your mind.”
Carrie wished the pounding in her temples would cease. It wasn’t a temporal headache any more, but it was almost as bad. “So… the Chronologic Patrol?”
Glen frowned. “Chrono what? Carrie, there is no such thing.”
“Oh gawwwwwwwwwd,” Carrie moaned, lowering her head down to between her legs. “I can’t take this. Not now. I was all set to have a nice, relaxing evening… instead, I’ve got a girl from the future trying to kill a trainer I didn’t even know I had, and possibly me as well! Assuming you’re not lying, being some fugitive yourself, out to kill me in my sleep!”
“I assure you, I’m here to help,” Glen said. “Is there anything you’d like me to do to prove my sincerity?”
“Yes! No… I don’t know!” Carrie said, grabbing two fistfuls of her hair. “How could you even… wait, yes! If you really came from the future, you must have a time machine! Tell me, where is it?”
Glen stood back up. “I didn’t come here via a time machine, Carrie.”
“No? If not, how in hell could you end up in my present?!”
He smiled. “Carrie… you sent me here. Your future self did. Using your abilities.”
Mindylenopia forced herself to stop and take in a few deep breaths before approaching the house. She had to stop rushing things – she’d made it back. The hard part was over. There was more time now, time to work carefully, time to be cunning. Time to control the people she was talking to with more finesse.
Time to come up with a better cover story.
She wasn’t used to having that time. In retrospect, her improvised crashing of the van had done little aside from paint a target on her back. But for all she’d known, “Glen Oaks” had already recruited past-Carrie as his personal temporal guardian! She’d had to gamble that while at school, they wouldn’t be together. Hadn’t she?
Well, they were probably together by now.
Mindy continued her advance towards the house. Having time or not, after a half hour of observation here, with no sign of either Glen or Carrie, she had to DO something. “This world better appreciate what I’m going through for them,” Mindy muttered as she adjusted the zipper on the jacket she’d ‘borrowed’.
She rang the bell. An older man answered the door and looked down at her. “Yes?” Hank Waterson said tentatively. Mindy simply smiled.
Hopefully you’re enjoying this. Maybe even enough for the weekly vote? Or better yet, some sort of remark? Views are actually down since publishing twice per week. Bad form?