Laurie

TT4.87b: Trapped

PREVIOUSLY: Frank caught Carrie up on everything. Then Glen told Carrie why she can’t save her mother.

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PART 87b: TRAPPED

She had allowed the time stream to coalesce about her, had been about to pinpoint her mother and jump to her, which was when…

“Carrie, when your mother was taken, she was pregnant.”

The water became deathly cold. Cracks formed in the scene around her, and then the image shattered, leaving Carrie standing back in the small airport lounge, staring at Glen. With a twisting in her gut. “No,” she whispered. A reflex word, because deep down, she knew it to be the truth.

Things were starting to make sense.

“I’m sorry,” Glen said. He looked around. “Carrie, maybe we can still run away together.”

That time in the hospital, when she had felt like she and her mother couldn’t both exist, because of a strain on the time streams… it had actually been because she and a sibling couldn’t both exist. One person with temporal powers was bad enough, to have two?! Insanity. Why had nobody ever told her this?

“My Dad… did he…”

Glen shook his head. “He didn’t know. Elaine was barely a month along, I’m not sure if she even suspected.” He continued to look around nervously. “Carrie, please, we need to get out of here.”

The repercussions continued to wash over her. If she saved her mother, all she was doing was pushing her fate onto her unborn brother or sister. Removing herself from the timeline as a child wouldn’t fix things either. The future could simply try again, with someone else. How could she do that? How could she make someone else suffer in the same way that she was suffering here? How could she make a SIBLING suffer that way? Was the path forwards with Glen truly the only one?

Glen pulled at her arm. “Carrie…”

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TT4.87a: The Plain Truth

PREVIOUSLY: Carrie went back in time to save her mother. Frank has caught up to her at the Miami airport.

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PART 87a: THE PLAIN TRUTH

Carrie’s back

Frank ignored everyone else in the Miami airport, devoting all his attention to not losing sight of Carrie. After all, this might be their only chance – and she was angling for an ‘Employees Only’ door. He shoved the walkie-talkie back in his pocket and got a grip on the belt of his slightly-too-large pants as he ran. He pushed past someone, mumbling an apology.

The door Carrie was aiming for seemed to open in front of her as she arrived, and she charged through it at full sprint. Frank tried to sprint himself, reaching out and catching the door before it could swing shut. He burst through, spotting Carrie down the passageway.

“Carrie!” he called out, risking the shout now that they were out of the main area. “Carrie, wait, we’re in another timeline!”

“Frank, stop,” Carrie said.

Except she hadn’t said it – the voice had come from behind him. He spun as the door closed, revealing… Carrie. Another Carrie. Except this one was dressed differently. She was wearing a white blouse with a blue business suit, her hair having been gathered up underneath a flight hat. Which made her look much like Elaine Waterson had, moments ago. “Carrie, what–”

Frank stopped, for as he turned back to look at the prior Carrie, she disappeared. One second she was there, then there was a flash of light which made him blink, and then… nothing. Empty hallway. Of course, Frank realized – she’d escaped through time, to become the Carrie in the business suit, who was here now. Frank turned back to her. “Carrie?”

“You couldn’t stop her,” Carrie observed. “Maybe you can’t stop me either. But I have questions. So many questions.”

“H-How far back did you just go?”

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TT4.86b: M. I. A.

PREVIOUSLY: To figure out the Miami International Airport, the time group split up – Laurie, Tim and Mindy in one group, Frank and Glen in the other.

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PART 86b: M.I.A.

M.I.A. (in 2014)

“I don’t think we’re getting a boarding pass unless someone buys a ticket,” Laurie sighed, watching Mindy talk to the airline receptionist.

Tim poked her arm. “Or maybe it’s only…” He used both hands to slip on the sunglasses he was holding. “A matter of ‘time’. Yeeeeaaaaaahhhh?”

Laurie slapped a hand over her mouth to keep from laughing. “Tim! Ohmigod, no, we have to stay serious. Also, I hated that CSI show. The original was better.”

Tim pulled the shades back off. “S-Sorry, couldn’t resist. And you seemed really tense.” He glanced over towards Mindy, then back to Laurie. “Tense is not good. Understandable, b-but maybe you need to try to relax?”

Laurie pulled her hands back to her sides, her eyes again on Mindy. “No. Carrie’s in trouble. Frank’s trusted us to keep track of Mindy. I can’t screw that up. I can’t relax.” Her fingers curled.

Tim shook his head. “Laurie, if you wind yourself up too tight, you’ll crash, like you–” He winced, but couldn’t think of another way to end the sentence. “Well, like Chartreuse said you have before. I’m sure you’ll d-do your best, we all will, but if the unexpected happens… d-don’t beat yourself up, okay? If there’s one thing I’ve found out about our time group, it’s that n-nothing really goes according to plan.”

The redhead nibbled on her lower lip. “Right.”

“You’re d-doing good here,” Tim assured her. “Give yourself permission to smile at my lousy j-jokes.”

The corner of Laurie’s mouth twitched up. Which was when the walkie talkie she was holding crackled to life. Her arm jerked up. “Yes?” she gasped, mashing the talk button.

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TT4.86a: Miami is Nice

PREVIOUSLY: Carrie went back in time to save her mother. Glen and Mindy said that wouldn’t work, and a group of Carrie’s friends have gone back to find her.

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PART 86a: MIAMI IS NICE

The waves lapped quietly against the shoreline until shortly after midnight. At which point the waves found themselves lapping up against a set of car tires as well. Inside the car, the redhead who had her thumb on the dashboard slumped forwards unconscious. Another redhead, in the driver’s seat, winced as she looked through the windshield.

“Brilliant, Mindylenopia,” came Glen’s voice from the back. “Hey, let’s make the time machine into a car! Then you can ride in it! Except you can’t drive on water!”

“Shut up, Glinephanis,” sighed Mindy. She put the car into reverse and eased backwards towards a beachside boardwalk on the compacted sand.

Next to Glen, Frank turned to regard Tim, who had also fallen unconscious. It would probably be one of the last times Tim would succumb; this arrival in Miami marked his third time trip. Frank thought back to the first time the blond boy had regained consciousness after time travel, back in the 1950s.

Tim had seemed nervous, so Frank had brought him along as they had gone to track Beth, leaving Mindy alone with… well, Beth. To make their Carrie stand-in think that her prior weeks in the future had been a dream of sorts.

***

“Sorry we didn’t get a chance to talk before leaving,” Frank apologized. He attempted to split his attention between Tim, and the tuning of Julie’s tracking device. It was hard to be sure which building on this block contained Beth. “It all happened so fast. Are you sure you’re okay with this, Tim? I mean, what did Chartreuse say to you?”

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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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TT4.83b: Double Trouble

PREVIOUSLY: Glen and Mindy explained temporal theory – and said that Carrie would never be able to save her mother in the past.

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PART 83b: DOUBLE TROUBLE

minibannernew“Wait, stop,” Laurie protested. “How can there BE this ‘Future Carrie’? Isn’t she from that old timeline three? Chartreuse said it’s gone!”

“Not entirely,” Mindy said, looking uncomfortable. “In a sense, timeline three is a few milliseconds in our future. We’re constantly in the process of overwriting it. So Future Carrie’s still a threat.”

Frank shook his head. “I don’t see it. After all the changes, why isn’t ‘Future Carrie’ destined to be from our timeline now?”

“She may be, but as we Temporals know, perception is everything,” Mindy sighed. “Did your Carrie grow up alongside Glen? That’s timeline three. Or did she grow up in a mental hospital being spoon fed memories of growing up alongside Glen? Because that could be our path now. They both lead to Future Carrie.”

“What? No!” Chartreuse gasped.

“Then we’ll finish our time machine and go after our Carrie,” Julie asserted. “It’s time travel, we can get to her in the past before that future happens. We’ll tell Carrie that she’s been living timeline four, to give her another path forwards.”

“Won’t work,” Glen asserted. “Unless you leave soon, Future Carrie will easily spot when her past self ceased influencing your present, and she’ll tie up the loose ends to preserve her own timeline. Even if it means the mental hospital in her past. Soon enough, you’ll all be adjusted to think your version moved away or something. I warned you, didn’t I? But oh no, nobody listens to–”

“Oh, stay shutted up,” Mindy interrupted. “Know what, Julie? Yes. Doing that is better than doing nothing. Possibly better that Carrie end up with Glinephanis here versus… yeah.”

“Meaning we’ll need to temporally hide out until until the machine is complete,” Luci realized. “To avoid this Future Carrie’s interference. How do we do that? What do we tell the rest of the school? What do we tell Carrie’s father?”

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