“It’s Frejya,” Jamal said, looking at the giant spaceship hovering above us.
“I think we all figured that out, dad,” Tilly replied.
“I hadn’t,” Lu Wu said.
“She’s going to kill us with that ship,” I said. “I would have thought that she would have had a way to know her daughter was down here.”
“She knows,” Tilly assured me. “She just doesn’t care.”
“I think we know that’s not true, sweetie,” Jamal said. “She’s stolen you enough times to prove that.”
“Yeah, sure. I’m a fun hobby when she has the time, but that horn is worth so much more than a fun hobby.”
“No offense,” Lu said, “but I think we should be more worried about the giant spaceship and what it might do to us than whether the person piloting it knows we’re here or not.”
“You’re worried about the ship?” Kink asked.
“Yes!” Lu replied, earnestly.
She shook her head. “Don’t be.” Then the robot snakes flew out of the sand. The snakes hurtled toward the giant starship growing larger as they did until they were nearly upon it. Freyja’s starship fired on them. Ten of the snakes were incinerated in the blast, but two of them continued upwards, impacting with the ship with a massive explosion.
As the force of the impact washed over us, flashes popped all around us. Suddenly, we were surrounded by twenty women and every single one of them was Freyja. “Those all can’t really be her,” I said.
“Oh, but they are,” one of the Freyjas said.
“You can’t do that!” Tilly yelled at her.
“Of course, I can, dear,” another Frejya said.
“But what about the space/time continuum!”
She shrugged, as did several other Freyjas. A different Freyja spoke, “Hey. I wasn’t the one that eliminated the Time cops. But don’t worry, my girl, once I get the horn I’ll fix everything.”
“Everything in your favor,” Tilly replied.
“Of course.” Freyja smiled.
“You’ll never get the horn,” Kink said.
“Of course, I will,” Freyja said. “You know you can’t win. You have no chance.”
“Nice try, Queenie,” Kink replied, “But to get my horn, you’re going to have to catch me first!” Kink reached out, grabbed me, and pulled me to her, “Come on, Frankie! Let’s get out of here!” And before I could open my mouth we were gone.
We reappeared in a darkened room, just the two of us. There was no one else here. Jamal, Tilly, Lu, none of them had come with us. She had left them behind to suffer the whims of Freyja. There was a large window looking out into the night sky. Though it was so clear, it could’ve just been looking out into space itself. There was soft music playing and I noticed a bed a few feet away. “What the hell are we doing here, Kink?”
“What do you think, Frankie?”
I pulled away from her. “This is crazy! You need to put a stop to this!”
“There’s no stopping our love, Frankie.”
“You know what I’m talking about!”
Kink frowned. “I’m trying to end it, but Freyja keeps coming after me. I can’t stop her. The horn doesn’t effect her. Everything I do she has a counter for, no matter what I change around her. Everything I try she’s already thought of. I take away her empire, she makes a new one. I destroy her ships, she gets a dozen more. I turn her soldiers into puppies, she sets everything on fire. I can’t stop her.”
“Then get rid of the horn,” I told her.
“Oh, yeah? If I gave it to you, would you get rid of it?”
“Why don’t you hand it over and we can find out?”
She laughed. “Nice try, but you’re going to have to do better than that.”
“Then you can just destroy it and we can be done with all of this.”
“But without this horn, there will be no one to stop her.”
“Then bring back the Time Cops, return things to how they were, and then destroy the horn.”
“So we should just let her win? She’s been slowly gaining on the Time Cops since the war started, pushing them further and further back, without me she’ll win. Eventually she’ll rule all of time and space. Nothing else can stop her.”
“You don’t know that.”
“No? Well, as long as I have the horn, I can tell you I’ll make sure she loses. Just think of all the billions of people she’s been ruling over. The trillions of people! Think about their lives, about how they suffer. Wouldn’t the universe be better off without her?”
“And have you take her place? No, it wouldn’t Kink. We don’t need you as Queen.”
“Me as queen?” she laughed. “Where’s the fun in that?”
“Then why do you need the horn?”
“That’s a pretty personal question, there, Frank.”
“Kink,” I growled.
She sighed. “I want to open up the timestream, Frank. I want to destroy the roadblocks. I want time to be free!”
“That sounds dangerous, Kink.”
“You’d rather it be controlled by someone like Freyja?”
“Then you’ll help me stop her. You’ll help me beat her.”
“I thought you said there was no way to beat her.”
“I can’t go after her directly. That won’t work but I can still go after something she loves.”
“You mean someone. You’re talking about Tilly.”
“Yes. I’m talking about Tilly. Who else would I be talking about? What else does that old witch care about? She cares about herself. She cares about her empire. She cares about her daughter. That’s it. I can’t do anything to Freyja. She’s immune. Anything I do to her empire, she can undo. That only leaves her daughter. That’s her weakness.”
“I’m not going to let you hurt Tilly,” I told her.
“I don’t want to hurt her, Frankie. Where I’m planning on going, she won’t even be there.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m saying she won’t be there…yet,” she replied, winking. “If you catch my meaning.”
It took me a second, but when I got it I wasn’t happy. “You’re talking about her conception! You’re talking about erasing her from history!”
to be continued…