Jennifer stood in front of the computer with dread and misgivings, but she did not hesitate. Mathilda was lost and we had to get her back. As soon as she activated the signal, the temporal alarm went off and she arrived, the woman I wished I’d never have to see again, Kink, the pirate of time and space.
Kink took in the room, acclimating to the time period. Her eyes settled on Jennifer and she grinned from ear to ear, almost literally. Kink had had her mouth extended. “Oh, Jen-darling, you’re looking older.” Ignoring Jennifer’s angry glares, Kink strolled deeper into the lab. “Ah, Ape-man, you’re looking…” But for once even Kink was able to know when not to speak, even she could see he was not in the mood. She turned away from Jamal, directing her words at Jennifer again. “Now where is my sexy Frank? He’s obviously misses my good loving, that’s why I brought the extra pair of arms.”
“Over here,” I said.
She looked at my direction and her smile became a look of disgust. “Is this some kind of sick joke? I mean, come on, Franky. All the effort I make for you. I replaced my compound eyes. I had the treatment to grow this hair for you. I got rid of the fangs, the neon skin… I look like a retro throwback all for you, Franky, and you call me looking like this???”
I’d only had the body for a few minutes, I hadn’t even seen what it looked like, but to hear her bad mouth it like that infuriated me. I did not think about I was vain, it was hard to be when the body I wore was never mine, but I did not like to be talked about like that. I couldn’t imagine anyone would. “It’s the quantum instability, you know I can’t choose what body I’m in.”
“Maybe, but that doesn’t mean you had to get stuck with THIS! I mean Ew! I’d have preferred that little kid’s body you were in when we were on Titan better than this. Blubber is just gross!”
That was enough of that, I decided. “We don’t have time for this. Jamal’s daughter was taken! We need to go save her!”
Kink turned back around toward Jamal. Even she could see the loss in his face. Her demeanor immediately changed. Her swagger and bravado disappeared. Apparently, even Kink could feel sympathy for another person. That didn’t mean she didn’t try to hide it. “Oh. Well why didn’t you say that in the first place?” She took a small orange translucent square from a hidden pouch on her neck and placed it in her wrist. “Scanning…” Kink jumped back. “Are you crazy!!!” She looked around at us, panic in her eyes. I don’t know if I had ever seen her so scared. “Do you know who she was taken by??? Freyja Reina del Tiempo! The Queen of Time! She controls 3000 years of the temporal stream! The Time Police won’t even enter her borders!”
“She’s Tilly’s mother,” I explained. “And she took Tilly away from us, away from her father. We need to get her back. Kink, we need to save her. Will you help us?”
Kink glanced at Jamal, then she looked back at me. “Fine. I’ll do it, but you owe me.” I nodded. I would do pretty much anything to get Tilly back. “Now, let’s get you out of there.”
After replacing the orange square in her wrist with a purple one, Kink holds her hand out toward me. Suddenly, the door to the chamber began to stretch! Not break or snap or melt, but stretch. There didn’t seem to be any damage done to the chamber at least not that I could tell. Within seconds it was big enough for my new massive body to fit through. As soon as I stepped through, the chamber resumed it’s former shape.
Kink stepped forward and examined me with her eyes. I thought she might be checking to see if I was all right, but I had given her too much credit. She was just checking me out. And the girl who had at one point covered herself in eyes, found me repulsive. “Yuck!” Kink turned away, choosing to talk to Doc instead of me. “We’ll have to be under complete protection. If the Queen every finds out, we’ll be lucky to ever have existed. Turn off all cameras, all scanners, anything that is observing us or that could be making a record of this.” While Doc went to shut everything off, Kink pulled from her coat a yellow metallic cone with flashing lights that was much too big to fit from where she had pulled it. She slammed it hard on the ground. “All right, everyone gather round, as close as you can. Everyone needs to be inside.”
We gathered around the cone and a hemisphere of light surrounded us. “Ugh,” Kink said, shrinking from my inadvertent touch. “Why couldn’t we do this when you weren’t covered in blubber?”
“Can you just shut up and open the portal?!” Jamal snarled. He was fuming. I could see he was barely hanging on. “She has my daughter! We need to save her! NOW!”
Chastised, Kink said, “Scanning…Ok, I’ve got it. Everyone hold on. Timesliding… Now!”
Everything went purple and staticky. Up was down, left was right, in was out, now was then. Without warning, we were there. We were standing on a white inclined pathway hundreds of feet off the ground. We could see dozens of other pathways, but no people. We could see buildings of various geometric shapes that looked like they had been made out of a single white material. We had seen this before. It was the future. “We’d better get moving before the Valkyrie… Oh no! They’re coming!” Doc shouted.
I looked up. Like a flock of birds, they descended, looking like a pack of robotic gargoyles. We had no choice but to run. Jennifer quickly outpaced us, Jamal in his orangutan body and me in my new fat one. I couldn’t even keep up with Jamal. And that was when I noticed Kink was gone. She hadn’t come with us. She had just abandoned us to the future. She knew we didn’t have any way to get back. That was why we needed her in the first place. I couldn’t believe she’d do such a thing! On second thought, I could. That was exactly the type of thing Kink would do.
But there was no time to ruminate on it, the Valkyrie were almost upon me and I was already huffing and puffing. There was nothing I could do so I stopped and turned around. If they were going to get me, then I was going to face them like a man. A fat, tired man. I stood waiting for death. I wasn’t going to go down easy, but I knew the odds. It was a better alternative to capture and torture. I just hoped my death would allow the others the chance to escape. If they could save Tilly, then my sacrifice would be worth it. But then, as the Valkyrie were preparing to descend up me, I heard a loud car horn. I turned to see a flying garbage truck heading our way!
to be continued…