Previously: Someone called “Mindy” appeared in the present. Carrie met with Glen, who revealed he’s also from the future. Julie called for a temporal meeting, and Laurie overheard.
PART 3.15a: FRAGMENTED PLANS 1
“But Carrie and Luci aren’t here…”
“Frank, for all we know they’ve fallen under the influence of this Mindy girl already.” Julie crossed her arms. “Look, we’ve sent messages, and spoken to their parents, and that’s all we can do until they decide to respond.”
After clearing out of the school, the group of temporal teenagers had sent a series of messages back and forth, to the effect of reconvening at the LaMille mansion as soon as possible.
Corry cleared his throat. “Before you start, I’d like to once AGAIN voice my objection to my sister being here.”
“In which case I’ll totally overrule you again,” Chartreuse declared. “Laurie has as much right as the rest of us to know the truth! Remember, like me, she knew before. Prior to that memory wipe at the hospital affecting, you know, all non-time travellers.”
“Too bad that didn’t stick on you,” Corry griped.
“Look, Corry,” Clarke offered. “Chartreuse once forgot, and now she knows, and it hasn’t traumatized her. Plus she’s Laurie’s best friend, so it must have been tough not being able to talk about it. What’s the harm?”
Laurie’s head bobbed. “Yeah, stuff makes more sense this way! I wondered why Chartreuse was doing, like, those weekly readings on Carrie. Actually, I was starting to think that maybe Chartreuse and Carrie were in some sort of roman–”
“Laurie! Ixnay!” Chartreuse gasped.
“Except,” Corry said to Clarke, ignoring the outburst, “the situation got pretty dangerous last year. And there’s no reason to believe it’ll be any less so now. THAT’S the harm. I notice no one’s called Tim or Lee to bring them back on board?”
“Corry has a point there,” Frank granted. “Maybe…”
“No! Laurie’s here, and she’s staying!” Chartreuse argued.
“Chartreuse, you’re not running things!” Corry said. “Clarke, you understand this is a safety thing, right?”
“I suppose it is a consideration.”
“Um, shouldn’t I get to decide for myself?” Laurie ventured.
“See? She, like, wants to stay!”
“Corry did make a good point though, so…”
“Chartreuse, she didn’t say THAT.”
“Guys, let’s allow Frank to complete his thought?”
“Golly, I didn’t mean for this to be a fight.”
It was hard to say whether it was Julie’s scream that caught everyone’s attention, or the crash that came as a result of her smashing the jade figurine against the lemonade pitcher Jeeves had brought in earlier. Regardless, all eyes were now on the brunette as she stood, fists clenched, with broken glass and lemonade flooding the silver tray beside her. She took in a deep breath and threw the figurine on the ground.
“Much as we all might enjoy a good argument with Corry, we… don’t… have… the… *TIME*!” she shouted. “In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a homicidal redheaded girl from the future after Glen, Carrie and who knows who else… and what’s more, that girl seems to have the power to control people’s minds! I know first hand how that makes your argument here, and even our huge problems with Megan at school today, look so damn small that they’re barely even an afterthought!”
Corry was the first to break the ensuing silence. “Um, back up. Mind control? Julie, with all due respect… maybe you need to lie down.”
“I know what it sounds like,” she replied, jaw clenched. “But I also know I’m right. Don’t you remember? About that guy from the future who was held captive in this very room back when Carrie was in the hospital? He could do mind control too.”
Frank nodded slowly. “I wasn’t here, but I gather you mean Shady, the one who gave you the gun and turned you against Carrie. Who then told Luci that Carrie was a temporal weapon who would destroy the world. Who ultimately tried to kill everyone by blowing up the hospital.”
“No, the OTHER guy from the future,” Julie said, unable to hold back her sarcasm. “Obviously him!”
Chartreuse frowned. “Ooh, that does SOUND familiar… but I’m, like, a little sketchy, probably because of the memory wipe…”
Corry folded his arms. “Oh, please. You’re forgetting I saw this ‘Shady’ guy too, in the basement of the hospital. And while he did have some sort of power over us, if it was mind control, wouldn’t he have used that same power to talk his way out of jail?”
“Carrie might have done something to prevent that,” Frank put in.
“Okay guys, stop. Jewels, we’re all on board with the redheaded girl being our priority here,” Clarke said, moving to touch her arm. “What have you turned up so far?”
Julie flashed the tall blonde a grateful smile. “Right. So, after talking with the van driver and then going to visit the Clayton Hotel after school, I know this much about Mindy, our newest arrival.” She pulled out her small black book, to thumb through her notes.
“This Mindy was picked up somewhere out of town by Lars. According to the hotel desk clerk, Mindy stormed in this afternoon, asking about any long term guests, claiming shortly thereafter to be a relative of Glen Oaks and asking for his whereabouts. She was sent back to talk with the manager. Despite being seen entering his office, said manager told me he didn’t remember seeing anyone of Mindy’s description. I don’t think he was lying.”
Julie drew in a breath. “Mindy then went back out to Lars’ van, and got him to drive not only TO the school, but INTO the library, with nary a second thought. Mindy proceeded to get the principal to talk about Glen, and give up the location of a student, namely Carrie, without even a single wave of her gun. That’s VERY unlike Hunt.” She looked up. “So call me crazy if you like, but this all implies mental powers. Worse, as Carrie ran out, she looked to be in some sort of temporal pain.”
“Plus Carrie knew this girl,” Corry admitted. “As Mindy arrived, Carrie said ‘It’s HER’. You think she was able to see this coming?”
“We could ask Carrie, if she were here,” Chartreuse murmured. She began to fidget. “I’m starting to think this Mindy has, like, taken her hostage and is even now writing up a ransom demand!”
“No, Carrie can defend herself,” Frank asserted. “I’m sure she put Mindy in her place.” Nevertheless, his fingers drummed nervously on the couch. Another silence settled on the group.
“Okay, Julie’s onto something,” Corry admitted. “New question, how do we corner this Mindy person and find out what her true intentions are with respect to our resident temporal weapon?”
“Yeah, uh, I was just trying to figure out how you corner someone who can control your mind,” Clarke said.
“Lee,” Chartreuse concluded. “Julie, the other day you said Lee never, like, seemed to be influenced by any attempts to control him?”
“Yes, that’s true,” Julie sighed. “And I guess Lee owes us one for finding Sing’s necklace. But even if he has some type of mental immunity, would he really be able to catch this Mindy? She seems to be a lot more in-your-face than Shady ever was.” She paused. “To be fair, we’d have to give Lee all the background information too. Tell him what he’s getting into.”
“I don’t think Carrie would go for that,” Frank said.
“Carrie’s not HERE,” Corry pointed out. “Damn it Dijora, you can’t play favourites, bringing Laurie in while hesitating on Lee!”
Everyone turned, blinking at the person whose presence they’d all but forgotten. Laurie sat there, her hand raised in the air.
“Sorry, Laurie. Go ahead,” Clarke encouraged her.
She brought her hand down. “See, um, I was thinking that if you can do all this time travel stuff – which sounds totally cool and all by the way, despite the additional freakiness that seems to come with it – er, but anyway, if you can do it then why don’t you simply transport this Mindy girl to another time? Like days in the future? That would give us all longer to plan, maybe get a jail cell set up for her that traps her powers. Or something like that?”
“If Mindy’s a time traveler, she’d only time jump her way back out,” Corry countered.
“No… no, no, hold on, Laurie’s onto something there,” Frank realized, leaning forward in his seat. “If Mindy really could time travel freely, wouldn’t she be acting with more finesse? She’s been as subtle as a brick – as if she’s on some sort of deadline. Maybe she’s due for a temporal pickup. And if our time machine yanks her out of time, maybe it thwarts that. After all, we now know she doesn’t have to be touching the handle of the time machine to be transported, only one of us does. Heck, if whatever her story is checks out later, we can return Mindy moments after she was taken.”
“Nice thought, but how would we manage Mindy reappearing in a cell?” Clarke asked.
“It would take some doing,” Julie said, frowning. “But, as was the case with us, an initial time trip might knock Mindy out. And assembling a cage in a day or two isn’t impossible, not with my resources. Meaning as long as Lee’s the one to guard her, we’re in the clear.”
“In that case, we should, you know, displace Mindy from time as soon as possible, right?” Chartreuse asserted. “Given how, the longer this Mindy’s in town, the more people’s lives are in danger. Notably Carrie’s and Glen’s.”
Julie thought back to the expression on Mindy’s face, when she had scanned the library and then squared off with principal Hunt. “Agreed,” Julie said. “We’ll act now. Tonight. I think I’ve got a plan…”
Carrie swirled her straw unenthusiastically in her strawberry shake as she contemplated what Glen had told her. She finally looked up, and after verifying that no one else was paying attention to them in the corner booth of the cafe, spoke to her companion once more.
“All right,” Carrie said quietly. “Let me try to work through this. Please help me out if I ask?” When Glen nodded back, she took in a deep breath. “You’re saying we both exist in timeline three. The first timeline being the one where I didn’t exist.”
“Right. A poor timeline, if you ask me.”
“Shut up, I didn’t ask for help there.” She couldn’t handle his efforts to be charming, not now. “That initial timeline was overwritten with timeline two, the one wherein someone brought my mother back in time, and then she met my father, creating me. But within that second timeline, my powers only awakened in the far future, for me to fight in a war. A war between us – the Temporals, for lack of a better word – and some others, which you call the Mundanes.” She rubbed her forehead. “You seriously use that term? It’s so cliche.”
“If the shoe fits.”
“Fine. Enter timeline three. Which is this one, the one where my powers have awakened as a teenager, due to that war spilling even more into the past. As such…” She paused to regroup her thoughts, taking the opportunity to sip at her shake again. “As such, I’ve kind of expected Carrie from timeline two to intercede at some point, steering me back on whatever path she originally took. Steering me back into alignment with the unpowered timeline. Why are you not from that one?”
“Versus me also being from timeline three, where you’ve had your powers for decades? Yeah, I see your issue,” Glen yielded. “Thing is, timeline two Carrie, what little I can gather about her, would have been little more than a pawn, being used by others. You, by contrast, with years to perfect your abilities, are a force of nature. Why would you force yourself back onto lousy timeline number two?”
His argument did make some sense. After all, if the present were to morph around a person, turning them into a millionaire, why would they fight it? “I guess I follow that,” she said. “But in that case, why would I send you back at all? It’s simply creating timeline four, where I’m getting early training. I’m sabotaging my own past… aren’t I?”
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