TT4.93b: Timeline Four Redux

PREVIOUSLY: Frank, Laurie and Tim ended up in the future of “Timeline Three”. A timeline where Mindy never travelled back. But then Carrie got herself to destroy “Timeline Three”…

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Luci had just arrived at home when when she received the call. She pulled the device out of her pocket, blinking at the display. “Answer,” she told it. The call connected. “Phil? Something wrong?”

“Yes. No. I don’t know,” he said, his holographic face looking very frustrated.

Luci tossed her key fob on the side table and shut her front door. “How was the visit? Is Laurie okay?”

“Laurie’s fine. Luci, I’ve pulled my tow truck over to the side of the road.”


“I don’t know. But I feel like maybe it’s bleedthrough?”

She peered at his expression. He seemed sincere. “Can’t be. There’s no major operations planned in the area that would attract attention.”

“Luci, I’ve pulled over to the side of the road, and for no particular reason, I’m remembering that time I worked on a Chevy in… I think it was senior auto shop class.”

“Phil, I swear, we’re not up to anything.” Luci chewed her lower lip. “Want to meet though? At the small cafe on the outskirts of town?”


TT4.81b: Do You Mindy?


PREVIOUSLY: Did Carrie go back in time to find her mother? Is Mindy somehow pulling strings in the present?

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minibannernew“No, that feels wrong,” Clarke objected. “Glen wanted Julie’s time machine destroyed. Why would ‘Future Carrie’ want it restored? Why work against the person she sent back? We’re missing something.”

Luci frowned, but apparently couldn’t think of an immediate defence for her position. After a troubled glance in Frank’s direction, she resumed her pacing.

“Let’s all back up,” Lee suggested. “Consider ways our rich witch’s note COULD have been written by our version of the track tease. For example, maybe it was dropped off after destroying the chip, but before she went after her mom? Thinking it was possible for us to make another chip or something.”

Julie shook her head. “Doubtful. Carrie’s started using new stationery in the last couple months. My note was on plain paper. Why the difference?”

“Also, Carrie was pretty adamant about not invoking more time travel,” Chartreuse added. “Problem is, I’m not sure I, like, buy Luci’s theory either. After all, the mystery note’s basically led to all of us, you know, being here and theorizing about time travel. Which is, like, exactly what ‘Future Carrie’ would want to avoid, yeah?”

“We weren’t always working together,” Clarke pointed out.

Julie winced. “Yeah, look, about that… Clarke, I…”

He flashed her a tired smile. “We’ll talk later.”

“Know what? We’re putting a lot of faith in handwriting here,” Corry decided. “And handwriting can be forged. Moreover, Julie, the note never referred to you by name, did it?”

“No,” she admitted. “You think it was a setup by someone else? But who outside of our group would know enough to be able to pull it off?”


TT4.77a: Double Blind

PREVIOUSLY: Julie is secretly rebuilding the time machine. She hoped Tim would pick up a microchip, to keep it away from Glen.

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minibannernew“You look like someone with a problem.”

Tim looked up to see Theresa, the redheaded waitress for the cafe, next to his booth. “You c-could say that,” he said glumly.

He saw Theresa glance quickly around the area; there weren’t very many customers at the moment, which apparently convinced her to slide quickly into the seat across from him. “Seems like I’ve got a second. Want to talk about it with someone impartial? Some of your friends, Clarke in particular, have found that such conversations help.”

A smile tugged at the corners of Tim’s lips. “Better I don’t. It’s not possible to s-stay impartial on THIS subject. I know from experience.”

Theresa chuckled. “Sounds like you’re trying to assimilate something big all at once. Maybe you can break it down into more manageable portions?”

Tim fiddled absently with the straw in his milkshake for a moment, before glancing at his watch. It had been less than an hour since he’d left Julie’s; just over three hours remained before he would be making the pickup for her. As agreed.

‘Clarke wants me to help Julie,’ he thought to himself once again. ‘He’s always saying how pleased he is that I’m still able to look out for Julie on his behalf. I only hope I’m not playing into her delusions. Or setting myself up for some retaliatory action by Glen.’

The thought brought to mind an additional problem. Clarke would be expecting a call from him soon… as would Chartreuse. He couldn’t tell them the truth, not yet, not tonight. Julie had suggested deflecting, claiming to be tired, and leaving any discussions for tomorrow. But saying that was a half truth at best, and the more he thought about it, the more picking up this package all by himself made Tim uneasy.

What if Julie really had come unhinged, and had concocted this crazy plot in order to get rid of him, thereby preventing him from getting her the help she needed? Or what if she was telling the truth, except Glen knew exactly what was going on, came after him, and then completely altered his memory of events?

“H-Have you ever suddenly found yourself not knowing who to trust?” Tim finally asked of the redhead.

Theresa cocked her head to the side. “Actually…. yeah. Big time.”

Tim focused his gaze on her. “When? What did you do?”


TT4.75b: More Questioning

PREVIOUSLY: Julie told Clarke’s sister that she had a way to not cut herself off completely. Chartreuse struggled with how to admit her feelings to Carrie.

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minibannernewClarke followed Tim upstairs to his bedroom. “You know, we could simply talk down in the living room,” he suggested.

Tim shook his head. “All discussions with L-Luci about L-Linquist’s l-language have been in my room. M-Might as well keep the weirdness confined to that part of the house.”

Clarke frowned. “What’s Julie doing that’s weird?”

“Nothing. S-Sorry, that’s not what I m-meant…” Tim pushed open the door to his room then gestured at his desk chair, moving to sit on the edge of his bed. Clarke closed the door after them before sitting. “It’s just, everything’s kinda connected,” Tim finished. “And I don’t want m-my parents walking in at a bad time.”

“Right. Okay.” Clarke rubbed his neck. It felt like they should ease into the conversation. “So, how are your studies?”

Tim smiled. “Fine. Also, Julie appreciated your birthday card.”

Or Tim could cut to the chase for him. “She… said that?”

“Not at first,” Tim admitted. “I’m still trying to understand her m-mannerisms. Her exact words were, ‘At least he didn’t send a gift too’, but she seemed flustered. The way L-Luci gets sometimes when explaining to me about a l-linguistic time travel thing that once included Frank.”

“Ah. And her parents, did they…”

“They d-didn’t do anything. They d-didn’t even come back to town this year. Jeeves got Julie a cake, that seemed to be enough.”

“Right,” Clarke said, feeling relieved. He’d hated the idea of not being there for Julie while her parents were around. A thought occurred. “How much has she told you anyway? About her family?”


TT3.65b: Making the Rounds

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.

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MiniBanner“Yeah, sure, I’ll see about tracking down those library books on town history for you,” Lee was saying, as Clarke came within range of their conversation.

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?”


TT3.49: New Arrival

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MiniBanner“Welcome back to school!” the teacher announced. “I am Mrs. Haye, and this is senior English.” She came around her desk. “Now, many of you already know each other, seeing as our scheduling algorithm tries to synch you up based on your homeroom from last year. But it’s been a whole summer, and I don’t know all of you! So, as I call out your names, please tell me about something that interests you.”

Carrie Waterson tuned out the glorified roll call, choosing instead to look around the room. She noted that everybody who knew of the existence of the time machine remained in her homeroom, which was kind of nice. Though none of them had made any time trips since last year. Well, as long as Carrie ignored whatever the hell had happened – would be happening? – back on her birthday.

When the first present day minted coins had started to appear in late June, allowing for a round trip return to their present, Carrie had shut down the idea of time travel. She’d been keeping the machine under her bed since last December, wanting to be able to escape with it, if anyone came after her. Like, someone from the future, wanting to tap into her lurking demonic temporal powers.

The very thought of those powers caused Carrie to shudder involuntarily. This despite her mounting familiarity, due to the sessions she’d ended up doing with Chartreuse over the summer.