Chartreuse

TT4.91b: Rewrite the Future

PREVIOUSLY: They need what Julie has, to help Mindy travel back. But Luci tried to throw Julie out, after some uncomfortable truths were revealed.

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PART 91b: REWRITE THE FUTURE

Julie had pulled her glasses back out. The way she tapped at the arms and blinked very deliberately helped Frank realize that they were some sort of technological device; maybe she was using them to read the daily news. Or to communicate with someone?

Then again, Luci didn’t seem to be concerned by Julie’s actions. The asian woman merely glared at her house guest from across the dining room table, as Julie continued to stare at her lenses. Deliberately ignoring everyone present. With a sigh, Frank made sure Tim and Laurie were okay on the sofa, the blonde boy doing his best to console their redheaded friend, then he returned to the table.

“Okay,” Frank sighed. “Julie. Here’s the thing. What you’ve got? Luci thought it would make this mission safe for us. Or safer, at least. Knowing that, why would you willingly take those items away, increasing the danger?”

“Because obviously Luci doesn’t need them after all,” Julie said dryly. “Besides, if she truly cared about safety then her resistance friends wouldn’t be–”

“I have been trying to FIX that, Julie! I was making an effort, and I’ve redoubled my efforts since losing–”

“Oh, I’m sorry, you want points for better late than nev–”

“Okay, stop,” Frank said, cutting between them. He drew in a long breath. “Look. I obviously don’t know the whole history here. But I DO know you two – or knew you – when you were my age. Back when Julie tended to work on her projects all by herself, while Luci had a habit of speaking her mind regardless of the consequences. Back when, despite those differences, you both cared. About each other, and about what was going on around you. So, know what? I think that means you still care. Both of you. Somehow, you’ve simply blinded yourselves to that reality over the last thirty years.”

Julie’s posture went rigid, and she reached up to pull her glasses back off. Luci bit down on her lower lip, turning away from Julie to face the wall. For a moment, neither spoke.

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TT4.90a: Fight the Future

PREVIOUSLY: Stuck in the wrong future, Frank and Tim meet Mindylenopia – because Future Mindy in their past will have suggested it.

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PART 90a: FIGHT THE FUTURE

She came around the side of the building moments after Frank and Tim sat down on the bench. Frank hoped his initial shock didn’t show on his face. After all, Mindylenopia looked so much younger, having reverted back to being the teenage-looking version who had driven the van into their school. With shorter hair and everything. And despite the chill March air, she had her jacket open, revealing a tight red blouse, which matched her knee length skirt. Hoping to distract them, maybe?

Frank started to rise, only to have her gesture for him to sit. The redheaded Temporal then sat down next to him, peering out at the landscape. “So, are you simply Mundanes trying to speak our language?” Mindylenopia asked, without turning. “Or are you under someone else’s control, trying to determine my true allegiances?”

“The former,” Frank answered, before he could stop himself. Perhaps she’d exerted her power. “We…”

“If you’re able to run interference for me tomorrow night, keep talking, if not, I have no use for you.”

“We want to make sure you succeed in your…”

“Great, then can you find a redhead who could double for me, and who also speaks your rudimentary Temporal?”

It occurred to him that Laurie kind of fit that description. “Maybe, but Mindylenopia, can I finish a…”

“No. Concerning the redhead, switch to a definite yes or no, otherwise I’m out.”

Frank let out an exasperated sigh, as he realized Mindy’s future incarnation was at least ten times less patient than Theresa had ever been, even on a bad day. “Yes, PROVIDED,” he added quickly, “that I come with you.”

Mindylenopia frowned and finally turned to look at him. “%You want to go on a suicide mission?%

Tim flinched. “S-She says you could get killed.”

“Will,” Mindylenopia corrected. “Will get killed. Because I’m the only one travelling back, and as such, anyone else still in the compound after I leave? Has no chance.”

“Why, are you planning to blow it up?” Frank said, eyes widening.

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TT4.88b: Future Imperfect

PREVIOUSLY: A fifty-year old Carrie has abducted her teenaged self. Characters have pursued her from their past… to the uncertain future.

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PART 88b: FUTURE IMPERFECT

And Carrie felt the time streams pulling at them, and there was nothing her friends could do, she was being pulled away, pulled off into the future, down a path that had no turns…

Wait, could she move? Was Elder Carrie losing her grip? Her fingers twitched, but no, that wasn’t enough, she was unable to pull away… a single tear trickled out of the corner of her eye, as Carrie Waterson, the future Temporal Weapon, surrendered herself to the inevitable. Her hands slipping into her jacket pockets.

Which was where she felt a hard object. Of course – it was the meditation crystal. The one Chartreuse had given her yesterday, or rather the day of the talent show. Carrie had brought it along with her, feeling like it might help her to feel connected to Chartreuse… and by extension all of the other people she had been hoping to protect. But she had failed them. She had failed them all. Even her parents.

Carrie’s fingers curled around the crystal object, aware that more tears were coming. Because here she was, at the mercy of her Future Self, being time shifted into Her Future… a future where Carrie would never see her parents, her friends, or that one ray of sunshine – her once possible girlfriend – ever again.

“CARRIE!”

Oh no, now she was imagining Chartreuse’s voice in her head.

“Carrie, are you there?! We don’t, like, have much time, but PLEASE hear me, there’s something you’ve gotta do!”

***

Frank gently tapped at Laurie’s face until she murmured and her eyes blinked open. She immediately sat up, seemingly registering how he’d taken her out of the time car, to be laid in a field. “What happened?” the redhead gasped. “Did it work? Are we in the future?”

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TT4.85b: Closing The Loop

PREVIOUSLY: The time machine has been rebuilt into a car. We know events will send Frank (et al) back in time to pick up Laurie.

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PART 85b: CLOSING THE LOOP

“Coin goes in here,” Julie said, indicating the slot on the Cavalier’s dash, where a radio might once have been. “The silver box thing from the old machine – which was a pain to install, by the way, but is one of the few items we can’t reproduce yet – is back there. It’ll auto-set the year and ultimately flash fry the currency. Keypad here is for entering the other coordinates, namely month, day, and time.”

“So you’ve fixed that random variance thing?” Corry mused.

Julie shook her head. “Nope, still a factor. If you arrive an hour or even a month off from the time you input? Don’t blame me. Now, when you hit the hashtag, or rather pound key, it routes the entry through the assembly on the floor of the passenger side. Including Luci’s old modified circuits, meaning the pocketwatch you see here should also display your actual time of arrival.”

“Wait, you kept the pocketwatch?” Luci asked, reaching to tap where it had been mounted in the dash. “Why not use the digital time display from the car itself? Still an overheating problem?”

“Because the watch belonged to Carrie,” Mindy interjected. “Or rather her mother. From when she was left at the orphanage. Right?”

“I think so,” Frank agreed. “It never actually kept time, but in Luci’s first reparations over a year ago, Carrie insisted on trying to hook it in. So we did, to humour her – and it’s somehow synched up accurately upon arrival.”

“Mmm hmm. Thought so,” was Mindy’s final word about it.

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TT4.84b: Crossing Paths

PREVIOUSLY: Beth is replacing Carrie in the present, as a time machine is rebuilt. Laurie was taken on a time trip.

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PART 84b: CROSSING PATHS

minibannernew“Should we really let Chartreuse spend so much time with her?”

At Frank’s remark, Luci looked up at him, then followed his gaze towards Beth. Their stand-in for Carrie was back at school this Friday, after two days out “sick”. Beth seemed to be adjusting surprisingly well to the present, all things considered. She had just stopped en route to their table in the cafeteria, in order to talk with the pink haired mystic. Luci considered that fact – it wasn’t the first time the two had spoken. “Why not?” she answered him.

Frank frowned. “People might start to talk. And if Carrie’s not actually here to defend herself against rumours…”

“Defend herself against what? A relationship that we’re pretty sure was forming anyway? For all we know, us being here together, there’s rumours concerning our old relationship too. Besides, before Glen, Carrie used to spend time with both us and Chartreuse. So, since he’s gone, why wouldn’t ‘Carrie’ resume talking to our group again?”

“Okay, well, that’s another thing. Did Glen really leave?” Frank countered. “I got an email from him yesterday.”

Luci pursed her lips. “Yeah. I got one this morning. Vague ‘watching you’ stuff though, and according to the school, his ‘parents’ pulled him out – I think he must have timed those emails to send off in advance. Before he left with our future travellers last Sunday. To keep up appearances.”

“Or Glen could be hiding out in town,” Frank countered. “And covering it up with his powers.”

Luci shrugged. “Maybe. So what if he is? Frank, at this point, I’m done with my second guessing. It’s given me nothing but grief. We have to trust our future selves.” She glanced back at Beth. “As to Chartreuse, look at it from her point of view. In the span of a weekend, she lost her potential girlfriend, and Laurie, her best friend. If hanging with Beth is her way of coping, I don’t think we can fault that.”

“Right… right,” Frank sighed. He ran his fingers back through his hair. “And the busier Beth is, the less she might be prone to exploring our ‘astral plane’ too much. Which is good. I’m just worried that we’ll end up missing something.”

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TT4.84a: Adjustments

PREVIOUSLY: Recreating a time machine will take weeks. Future incarnations have appeared, with a plan for making Carrie appear to still be in town.

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PART 84a: ADJUSTMENTS

minibannernew“Saints alive!” Beth Parker crossed herself and fell to her knees at her apartment door. “Is it really you?”

“Yeah, uh… look, get up.” Frank pocketed the radio transmitter with one hand, the other rubbing his forehead. Damn Carrie and her whole divine intervention story the first time they’d encountered Beth. “Truth be told, I was never actually an angel, and I – we – kinda need your help.”

“I always wanted to thank you properly. I’d hoped you’d return to me,” Beth said breathlessly as she scrambled to her feet. “I’ve become very religious in the last year, did you know that? What am I saying, of course you know. And my part time work at the Clayton hotel has almost earned me enough to get professional singing lessons! I plan to do gospel. Are you pleased? Am I on the right path?”

“Beth, please, I’ll explain everything.” Frank paused. “Okay, no… that would confuse you. But I’ll hit the highlights, so long as you come with me now. To the, um, oh heck with it, to an Astral Plane.”

Beth peered out into the hall. “Why now? And where is your partner? The one who looked like me, the one named Carrie?”

“That,” Frank concluded, “would be why we need your help.”

***

“We’ll pull a girl out of the past,” Luci whispered to Frank. “Is that ethical? That can’t be ethical.”

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