“All right, all right,” Kink cut in. “I think we’ve all had enough of your family drama. It’s boring me to tears. And you wonder why I want to put all of this to an end.”
“Bring it on, pirate,” Freyja said. The machine Lu was hooked up to began to start whirring. His eyes popped open, but I don’t think I could really call him ‘awake’. He was not part of the machine and it was booting up.
“Stop it,” Tilly told both of them. “None of this is helping anybody! We all need to just stop all of this.”
“You’re right,” Kink said. “I should end all of this.”
But before she could get any further a hand popped out of her face. We all froze.
“What the hell…?” the past Jamal exclaimed.
Suddenly, the hand reached up and grabbed the magical horn. With one quick motion, it yanked the horn off of Kink’s head and pulled it out through her face.
“No!” Kink screamed, grabbing her forehead. She spun around to see the future Tilly standing behind her with the horn in her hand. No one had noticed her sneaking back there. We’d all been too distracted with Jamal and Freyja yelling at each other, obviously part of their plan. It would have been nice to have been included in the plan.
“Give it back!” Kink screamed.
Tilly held up the horn and smiled. The horn burst into a cloud of dust.
“Nooooooooooooooooo!” Kink roared. She reached toward Tilly, but the girl phased herself and Kink passed right through her.
“What did you do?” Freyja growled.
“I destroyed the horn,” Tilly told her. “Now neither of you will ever get it.”
“You idiot!” Kink snapped. “You just handed the universe over to your mother! Is that what you wanted?”
“That’s where you’re wrong, pirate. Unlike some people, I understand there needs to be a balance.”
“What did you do?” Freyja demanded.
“Oh, nothing much. I just returned the Time Cops into existence. So that means they should be busy restoring the timeline to its pre-Kink-and-Freyja-try-to-destroy-all-of-time-and-space state. As we speak, they should be busy erasing everything the two of you did to screw up the timeline and putting it back to the way it was. That also means that the two of you are in some serious trouble for major crimes against the space/time continuum, so, if I were, I’d probably get running.”
“You didn’t!” Kink exclaimed.
“You didn’t have the time.”
“It only takes one second to make a wish.”
“Why would you…?”
“You better start running, Kink. I don’t think the Time Cops are going to need much incentive to arrest you.”
“This isn’t over between us, Mathilda. You have made an enemy today!”
“I’ve made many,” Tilly replied. Kink sneered and then vanished.
Tilly’s gaze switched to her mother. “It’s your turn, Freyja.”
“You think I’m scared of some Time Cops?” she replied.
“Well, I may have given them a wee bit of a boost.”
Tilly smiled. “Yeah.”
Freyja glared furiously at her.
“You’d better get moving, Freyja. I don’t think your little skirmish with Kink has left your little empire in the most sturdy of shapes. The Time Police might be fixing things back to how they were but we both know you and they have a difference of opinion on how time should be. What I’m saying is that maybe while they’re at it, they might decide to trim back on some of your territory. You know, a little here, a little there. Hey, look at that your spaceships are all gone.” Tilly pointed down the street. The destruction was all gone, as if it had never been.
Freyja nodded. “Nicely played, Matti, but this game isn’t over yet. Not by far.”
“Uh-huh. ‘I’ll get you next time, Gadget.’ Bye-bye, Freyja.”
Freyja rolled her eyes and then vanished into the timestream. Lu Wu and the machine he was hooked up to disappeared seconds later. Hopefully, they, too, were erased from time, along with Lu’s experience of being attached to it/
The future Tilly stepped up to Jamal and gave him a hug. “Bye, Dad.”
“You’re going?” he asked.
“Yeah. I better.” She waved her no longer cybernetic hand. “Time’s catching up to me.”
“Bye, Future Me,” our Tilly said. “It’s always really weird meeting you.”
“No kidding,” future Tilly said and then disappeared.
Past Jamal had also disappeared, returned to where he should have been in the timeline. Then it was just the three of us. “Ok,” I said. “So how exactly are we supposed to get back to our time?” Though I suppose I spoke too quickly because we were soon surrounded by Time Cops. “Hey. Nice to see you guys back,” I told them. They didn’t seem as happy to see us.
“Mr. Clay, Mr. Sampson, Ms. Sampson,” one of the time cops said, “you’re going to have to come with us.”
to be continued…