Previously: Clarke is talking to his sister Mary about visiting people on Sunday. Carrie asserted to Clarke that she’d only work now with Glen – who has a mental power of suggestion.
PART 3.18b: MAKING THE ROUNDS 2
An innocent enough topic. Clarke had wondered, given how he and Julie had brought Lee up to speed on the time machine last night, whether Lee had been trying to verify any of their story. The dark haired teen stood up then, turning and coming face to face with Clarke.
“Whoa, high guy, sneaking up on us?” Lee said, lifting an eyebrow. “It’s just one accidental occurrence after another today, isn’t it?”
“I… guess so?” was all Clarke could think to answer.
“Well, unless you need me for my library skills too, I need to be on my way,” Lee continued. “Say hi to Julie for me!”
Lee made as if to continue past Clarke, but he stumbled, reaching out for the taller boy’s shoulder to regain his balance. As he did so, he muttered near Clarke’s ear, “Red Barren there doesn’t know I helped bring him to Julie’s. Please don’t let on.”
“Oh… right. Of course,” Clarke said. Lee simply flashed him a smile and a thumbs up before heading out of the cafe.
“He’s an interesting character,” Glen remarked, pulling Clarke’s attention back to him. “Not part of your little ‘group’, is he?” The redhead gestured at the recently vacated seat across from him. Clarke hesitated, then joined Glen himself.
“According to Carrie, there is no group,” he evaded.
“Ah! She’s spoken with you then? Good, good. You DO realize her decision was inevitable, yes?” Glen said apologetically. “She’s the one with the destiny, after all. The rest of you… yourself, Julie, Frank, Luci, Tim, Chartreuse… am I missing anyone?”
Glen paused invitingly, but again Clarke did not take the bait. “Well, whatever,” Glen shrugged. “You’re all aware now that I could put the ‘whammy'” – he made little quote marks in the air – “on any of you to find out. If I really wanted to. But there’s no point, as no one in your time traveling bunch has any role to play moving forwards.”
“And how would you know what role we might play?” Clarke replied, trying not to sound irritated.
Glen made a vague gesture in the air. “Didn’t Carrie say? I’m from the future, like Mindy was. I don’t mind telling you that, and I’m sure Julie’s figured it out by now – in fact I’ll have to make sure I don’t underestimate her, the way I did last night.”
“So you know the future, yet Julie was able to surprise you,” Clarke replied, shifting back to his manner of not quite asking a question.
“Mmmmm,” was Glen’s only reply as his fingers began drumming on the tabletop. “Fair point,” he admitted. “The thing you have to understand about time is that, even though it resists universal change, individuals still have the free will to screw things up locally. I mean, let’s say Julie is slated to die in a month. Doesn’t mean I CAN’T save her then; time could compensate. But it wouldn’t be easy to accomplish. If we extend the analogy towards trying to prevent the outbreak of the temporal war and all the deaths that stemmed from that? It becomes downright impossible.”
Clarke clenched his jaw. “Glen, you speak of deaths as if you were talking about the weather.”
Glen paused. “You’re right, I’m sorry – that must seem incredibly callous. Forgive me, I’ve been a little… distracted these last couple days.”
“Worried about Mindy?”
“Carrie, actually,” the redhead countered. “More and more I’m discovering how she’s… different from the Carrie I expected. For instance, she actually fears the power that she has, rather than embraces it. I’m not sure how to change her attitude. Any ideas?”
“Can’t your powers change attitudes?” Clarke cut back before he could stop himself.
Glen ran a hand back through his hair. “Another point to you. But it’s not like I wander around using my mental abilities indiscriminately. Embracing one’s powers doesn’t mean abusing one’s powers.” He frowned. “As I suppose I did last night, so if an apology helps there, fine, you have it.”
Clarke nodded. “All right, I’m sorry too, for getting judgmental. But you know, cutting Carrie off from her friends isn’t going to help your cause.”
“I’m not trying to cut her off from her friends, merely your inexperienced time meddling!” Glen countered, slapping his palm on the table. “That’s the real danger here! Of course, the fact that Carrie apparently came close to banishing Frank from this time period last night probably isn’t helping her mood. I just… damn it, I just wish she was more like her future self!”
The tall blonde sat for a moment, gauging Glen’s sincerity. “You need to stop seeing her as Carrie, the girl destined to control time, and start seeing her as Carrie, the normal, everyday high school student,” he suggested at last. “Because right now, more than anything else, that’s how she wants to be seen.”
“Ridiculous! Others like Mindy may come, she can’t put her head in the sand and ignore that fact!”
Clarke didn’t reply. Throwing up his hands, Glen turned in his seat to regard the cafe itself. “Where’s my food, anyway?” he grumbled. “It’s been almost twenty minutes.”
As if on cue, Theresa came into view, dodging around a man in an overcoat. She set a cup of hot chocolate down in front of Clarke. “Here you go,” the waitress said to him with a smile. “I know you didn’t order it, but another customer changed their mind, and you seem to need it. It’s on me.”
“Oh, uh… thanks,” Clarke replied, blinking at the redhead in surprise.
She lifted an eyebrow back at him. “Don’t look at me like that. I’m still a perfectly normal waitress.” Theresa glanced at Glen. “As for you, I’m sure your club sandwich will be out shortly. Remember, patience is a virtue.”
She moved off again, leaving Glen to fume quietly in his seat. “How is it that I always get such lousy service in this place?” the redhead grumped, glancing from Clarke to the mug in front of him. “I mean, what do I have to do?!”
Clarke shrugged. “Dunno,” he answered, taking a quick sip. “Maybe you should tip more.”
Glen frowned. “Tip?”
“Oh, loverly. I’m getting the impression that this Glen is not a people person,” Mary remarked.
Clarke rolled over to lie on his front. “Not really,” her brother agreed. “I mean, he’s friendly enough, but he’s not above playing tricks in order to achieve his goals. And he sees this big picture, rather than the individuals involved in it.”
“Sounds a bit like how Julie used to be.”
Clarke fell silent for a moment. “Glen feels more dangerous,” he said at last. “But then again… maybe you’re right. Maybe Glen needs a friend like me to help him fit in a little better.”
“Well, I’d love to be right, but you’re still being cagey about these conversations,” Mary replied. “I mean, there’s a lot of reasons why Glen might have thought this ‘burden’ Carrie has is a good thing… including psychological problems on his part. Can’t you give me more detailed information?”
“It’s… complicated,” Clarke sighed. He couldn’t very well relay the parts of his conversations that were about time travel. “Besides, aren’t you just listening to me as a sister?”
“True enough. So, you were saying that you were on your way to Tim’s place?”
“Yeah,” Clarke affirmed. “And when I got there, I discovered Luci was with him.”
“C-Clarke! You’re here!” Tim said, looking up from a desk of notes and beaming at the tall boy as Clarke walked into the bedroom.
“Hi,” Clarke said, nodding at his friend. “I didn’t realize you already had company.”
“Well, after last night I decided we’d best figure out what the heck we shot Carrie with,” Luci noted. “And Tim’s the main translation man for Linquist’s notes.” The young girl gestured from the edge of the bed, where she sat with Linquist’s temporal gun, back towards the curly haired boy.
Clarke looked from Tim to Luci and back. “How much do you know about what’s going on then, Tim?”
Tim opened his mouth to reply, but again it was Luci who spoke first. “I told Tim all the highlights,” she stated. “Time machine, Carrie’s funky powers, his memory loss from before the hospital… seemed only fair that he know at this point.”
Clarke frowned slightly. “I see. And… Tim, you’re okay with this?”
“Oh, sure, he’s managing fine,” Luci continued blithely. “Actually, we figure all this additional background info should help with the translating.”
“Luci, I asked Tim!” Clarke said sharply, turning again to look at her. She jerked her gaze up from the gun towards him, and inwardly he cursed himself for taking that tone. He didn’t seem to be having the best of luck with people today…
“It’s all right,” Tim said quickly, standing up and moving to place a hand on Clarke’s arm. “I am f-fine, her information really will help with the translating, and it doesn’t look like I’ll be any more involved than that.” He paused. “And knowing about this t-time group also explains why I hardly see you lately.”
Clarke flinched slightly, turning to look the shorter boy in the eyes. Had he not been hanging around Tim as much? He supposed that he HAD been paying more attention to Julie ever since the time machine factor had reappeared last month… and of course he’d wanted to speak with Carrie and Frank on occasion… but he had come by Tim’s house just last Monday. Or, no, had it been the previous Monday? For that matter, when was the last time he’d made a drugstore run for Tim’s medications?
“I… I’m sorry, Tim,” Clarke said as he realized the truth of the situation. “I never made a conscious decision to avoid you.”
“ANYway,” Luci cut back in pointedly, “you’re just in time. We’ve managed to recharge the gun, and were about to take a test shot. The thing’s non-lethal, by the way, that’s what Tim realized yesterday, hence shooting Carrie with everything we had. This time, we’re sure the safety’s engaged and the gun’s set back to level one, so we shouldn’t experience such massive kickback. Observe.”
She picked up the gun again and, bracing herself back against the wall behind the bed, took aim at a pillow sitting across the room on Tim’s dresser.
Clarke frowned. “Is it safe to be firing that thing off indoors?”
Tim nodded. “Oh, sure. Well, we’re p-pretty sure,” he amended. “I mean, near as I can figure, it’s now configured to be the equivalent of a sci fi phaser on low stun.”
“But if you’re not a hundred percent certain, perhaps we should–” Clarke never got a chance to complete his sentence. Luci had already pulled the trigger, and even before the sequence of lights on the gun was done flashing, a pulse of energy shot out of the barrel. The pillow on the dresser exploded in a cloud of feathers – and the glass in the mirror behind it shattered into a hundred pieces, all of them spiralling out into Tim’s bedroom.
-Next Episode: Shattered
-What do you think… Is Glen like Julie or not? Is Luci evading issues, like Frank was? Do you want to comment, or click the voting link?