PREVIOUSLY: Mindylenopia is at the LaMille mansion, as others prepare to meet Glen in Willowdale Park.
PART 82b: AFTER EFFECTS
Corry carefully lowered himself down into the park swing. “Damned if I know.” He used his cane to brace the swing and arrest it’s motion. “Might as well focus on Glen. What did you turn up?”
In the swing next to him, Lee grinned. “Luci, show him the article about–”
“Hold that thought,” Clarke interrupted, looking towards the tree line. “Let’s tell them both at once.” Luci turned to see that Glen had emerged, and was approaching them, looking around warily.
“You’re short a few people,” the redhead pointed out, stopping at least three metres away.
“Research is ongoing,” Lee countered, before Clarke could speak. “You didn’t specify we all had to be here.”
“Right. Look, if your plan is for the others to knock us all out, then ply me for secrets about my abilities? Save your time, I won’t talk.”
“Oh, shut it,” Corry barked. “As if locking you in a box somewhere would be of any use. Me, I’m interested in what’s been discovered so far. Up to you if you want to listen too.”
Glen glared, but did close the distance between them. “Do you actually have documented evidence that Mindy has been hiding out in the town’s past?”
Luci glanced at Clarke, who nodded. She pulled a page out of the folder she held. “To start, an article from ten years ago. Talking about Linquist’s research taking a bizarre turn ‘since taking in that street girl’.”
Glen motioned with his hand, and after a momentary hesitation, Luci handed over the page. The redhead scanned it. “There’s nothing conclusive in this,” he objected. “No mention of who that ‘street girl’ was.”
“But notice the bizarre turn,” Clarke said, pointing. “Linquist publishing a paper about relativity. Wormholes. Surely that points to an influence by Mindy.”
Glen shook his head. “No, it proves the opposite!” he said scornfully. “I guess Carrie never said? Mindy’s memories of such things would have been scrambled by the temporal banishing. Linquist would have needed something in his own background to put her pieces together this way, yet you’ve now said this was a bizarre detour for him. You’re wasting my time.”
“Except we also have some later news articles!” Luci protested. She pulled out another page. “Including this one, where an interviewer says Linquist believed that aliens were feeding him information. If he started to think that Mindy was–”
“Luci, wait,” Clarke interrupted again. “Glen, you say Mindy’s memories would have been affected?” When Glen nodded, Clarke turned to look at Lee. “The stuff Linquist was doing before that bizarre turn, wasn’t it about memories?”
“Thought experiments, yeah,” Lee agreed. “Including recollection under hypnosis. It was good enough to get that minor award.”
Corry leaned forwards. “Maybe that’s the real proof then. Linquist got access to the wormhole stuff by fixing Mindy’s mind.”
Glen’s eyebrow twitched. “Show me the rest of your articles.”
“My original mission was to get ‘Glen’ away from Carrie, using any means possible,” Mindy answered Frank.
“How does a time machine help you do that now?” Frank asked.
Mindy shrugged. “It could have let me reason with one of them, away from the other. Worst case scenario, it creates the option of travelling back and planting as many subconscious triggers for Carrie as I could. Anyone spot that poetry I submitted some five years back?”
“So you again admit you’re trying to manipulate us,” Julie noted.
Mindy sighed. “Seriously? My poem was minor. Calling you last weekend, so you wouldn’t lose hope, was minor. I haven’t done anything major.”
“You crashed a van into our school library,” Frank reminded.
“Anything lately! Though short term damage like that is also minor,” Mindy said dismissively. “Time recovers. Also, I was younger and more impulsive then, stop trying to corner me.”
“What about the note you wrote me in Carrie’s handwriting?” Julie accused. “It was you, right? ‘Rebuild it, in secret,’ et cetera?”
Mindy shifted uncomfortably. “Right. Kind of minor? To be honest, I tapped Carrie to write that note herself, but it was years ago, back before her powers awoke. Kept it vague, removed the memory… I mean, it stood to reason that Glen would have her destroy the machine, after the stunt you all pulled on me with it. I just had to figure out who would be the best person to give that note to afterwards.”
“SIX WEEKS of my LIFE, Mindy!”
Mindy ran her fingers back through her hair. “Okay. Okay, sorry. That was a bit more long term – but come on, less than 12% of a year? It’s not as bad as it could have been. Not as bad as what happened to Linquist.”
“Why, what happened to him?” Laurie asked, biting her lip.
Mindy exhaled. “Euh. Well, I mentioned I had language trouble after the banishment, right? Truth is, we Temporals have our own language, and what with switching back and forth due to my memory blanks, Linquist kinda figured it out.”
“Hold on,” Tim said. “You mean, the language in his logbooks…?”
“%That little witch%…”
Luci jerked her gaze from Clarke back to Glen. “What??”
Glen waved dismissively. “Mumbling gibberish, never mind.”
Luci frowned, trying to peg why the strange words felt familiar, but Glen was already addressing them again. “Okay. It’s not a strong case, but it’s more of a case than I thought you’d pull together. For the moment, I’m on board with your suspicions.”
“Okay,” Luci said, temporarily setting aside his mutterings. “So, do you have any idea where Linquist and Mindy could be hiding out?”
Glen handed the sheets over to Corry. “No. In fact I may have run into them a dozen times and not known; Mindylenopia would have been on her guard for me, while I can’t say the same. That witch would even slip past Carrie’s headaches now, given how Carrie was the one who sent her back for those fifteen years or so.”
“So you’re not much help, is what you’re saying,” Lee remarked.
“I’m saying I’ll be looking now. You want a suggestion? Let’s talk with the guy Carrie referred to as ’Shady’.”
“Him? But he’s in jail somewhere,” Clarke protested.
Glen waved his hand in the air. “Hi, I have mental powers. Plus Tim’s father is a lawyer, right? The combination should be sufficient.”
“But how does getting to that guy help?” Luci asked.
“Simple. ‘Mindy’ would have known ‘Shady’ was coming,” Glen countered. “To awaken Carrie. More, that he had a time machine. Excellent opportunity for our nemesis to refresh her own knowledge, and perhaps obtain anything else he’d brought along, before mentally adjusting him and leaving.”
Luci and Clarke exchanged glances again. “So, that’s a scary thought,” Luci admitted. “Still, if Shady got adjusted to forget, what’s the point in us seeing him now?”
“Because wherever ‘Shady’ was staying in town back then could be a good place for Mindy to stay now,” Corry concluded, looking up from the articles. “Besides, it’s the only temporal lead we have, right?”
Glen crossed his arms. “Unless your missing friends have a better plan?”
“I’ve give Julie a call,” Clarke decided. “Wait here.”
“So, is that it, Mindy?” Julie said, her hands tightening on the back of the couch. “Is that all your manipulations?”
“Yes,” Mindy said. Then, glancing sidelong at Tim, she sighed. “No.”
“What else?” Frank asked, rubbing his forehead.
“It’s okay, you’ll like this one,” Mindy assured. “The time travel chip? The one that you had Tim bring here last week? It survived.”
Tim nearly fell forwards off his chair. “What? But I SAW Carrie destroy it!”
“She destroyed something, sure. You’re forgetting that I was paying attention to the time machine situation, thus had prepared a worthless dummy chip of my own. Just in case. And when Tim came to the cafe before heading out on the mission? I saw my chance.”
“You had him pull your dummy chip out of his pocket to give to Lee instead,” Julie reasoned, working to rein in her anger.
“Oh, I couldn’t be sure exactly what would happen, but I left Tim with the suggestion to hide the original once he was alone, and to use mine in all interactions,” Mindy admitted. “He brought the correct one to me the next day. He didn’t know at the time. It was to keep him safe.”
“I feel so used,” Tim said, biting his lip.
“Mindy, honestly? With all those manipulations, you’re not sounding much better than Glen,” Frank said.
“Rude! I’m on your side. The temporal gun? For helping Carrie with her temporal self? My doing. You’re welcome.”
“It was hidden in a safe,” Julie reminded. “Was that done by manipulating Linquist?”
“Okay, a bit, yes!” Mindy said, becoming visibly exasperated. “But I couldn’t fix him, or do anything that might prevent Carrie from actually banishing me after my first trip into your time. So I made the best of a bad situation. It’s all worked out to this point, what’s your problem?”
“You were, like, silent too long.”
Everyone turned to regard Chartreuse, standing in the doorway. Julie glanced reflexively at the china cabinet; Chartreuse must have come up through the pantry access. She wondered how long the mystic had been listening.
“What do you mean, Chartreuse?” Laurie asked, standing and moving closer to her.
Chartreuse took a deep breath. “Carrie’s WHOLE deal was in how she’d ended up, you know, destroying timeline three. The one Glen and ‘Future Carrie’ wanted. Except she hadn’t.” Chartreuse advanced into the room, ignoring Laurie’s outstretched hand. “You beat her to it, Theresa.”
“Very flattering, but Linquist’s knowledge was not a direct–”
“Not merely due to Linquist. It was through your cafe interactions with us. Both the, like, covert, in convincing us to be part of Carrie’s life, or, you know, the more overt, creating that fire to split Carrie and Glen apart on their first date. We’re in YOUR timeline now. We have been since the beginning.”
Mindy shook her head. “Minor, minor, all minor, major events would still happ–”
“Minor stuff ADDS UP,” Chartreuse interrupted again. “Before this? I could still kinda make it work. Now? No way. There is NO way the Carrie in ‘timeline three’, the one who once left with Glen, has ever been my– been our Carrie. Except our Carrie never, like, knew that before she ran away! And if she’d known, maybe she could’ve stayed, could’ve figured something out!”
Mindy leaned forwards. “Even IF Carrie is now different, Glen still has the power to steer her back. Remember, he’s the villain here, not me. I came to you today of my own free will.”
“Free will?” Julie cut in. “Or did you come here because talking with Tim made you realize we’d soon have Glen identify you?” Mindy shot her a look. And Julie jumped as her phone rang again. She glanced at it, and upon seeing Clarke’s name, excused herself from the room.
“So, Glen’s talking about breaking us into a jail, how are you doing?”
“We’re with Mindy. She’s been rewriting time,” came the response.
Clarke nearly dropped his phone. “What? A-Are you okay?!”
“I’m fine. We’re all fine, but in her own way, this woman’s been as manipulative as Glen. It’s annoying.”
“So… um, what do we tell Glen…?”
“Nothing. Simply bring him here. I think these two Temporals need to talk it out.”
Clarke blinked, sure he’d misheard. “Bring him? Julie… Jewels, those two hate each other.”
“Right,” she agreed. “But Mindy needs someone to take her down a peg, and we can’t keep this from Glen for long. Besides, it might be the only way to figure out whether all their plots are because of their time war… or whether one of them truly has Carrie’s best interests at heart.”
Clarke glanced towards the others. From the way their voices had begun carrying, it sounded like an argument had arisen about whether Linquist could have learned the power of mental manipulation. “Okay. We’ll be there in less than half an hour.”
NEXT: Temporal Alignment
ASIDE: That’s Mindy’s history for you. I think the only missing piece at this point is how timelines work in the “Time & Tied” universe; that’s coming next. Are you enjoying? Care to vote or recommend?