In Temporal Police Custody

“Come with you?” I asked. “But we didn’t do anything wrong. It was Kink and Freyja who…”

“Yes” the Time Cop replied, “well, we’ll see about that.”

“You’re accusing us of some kind of crime?” Jamal asked, completely flabbergasted. “We just saved all of space and time!”

“That still needs to be determined.”

“My daughter just save you all from nonexistence!”

The Time Cop looked at Tilly. “Not me,” she said. “The older version of me. Presumably I’ll do it when I get older.”

“Mm-hmm.” The Time Cop pulled his temporal knob from the pouch on his belt, affixed in the air, and a door appeared. He turned the knob and opened the door to the Central Hub. “Move along. Don’t make me send for more backup. Fixing time is much easier when the anomalies are compliant.”

“I bet the ‘anomalies’ are much more compliant when they don’t hear you call them ‘anomalies’,” Jamal replied.

“It’s been a long couple months trying to fix this mess you’ve all made, so just work with me here. None of us are in the mood.”

“Come on,” I said. “What choice do we have? We can’t stay here.”

“No, you cannot,” the Time Cop said. “If you tried to stay in this incorrect time period, we’d be forced to remove you. And if removing you became problematic, we’d be forced to prune the timeline so that you never arrived here at all. Don’t make us prune your timeline.”

We all agreed we did not want to be pruned, so we all walked through the door into the Central Hub. The main floor was looking awfully busy with Time Police running everywhere. Some were carting people away. Some were preparing to go off their next mission. Some looked to just be transporting paperwork. But every single one of them seemed in a hurry. We were met by a different group of Time Cops who had crossed the room to meet us. They turned to Tilly. “All right, Ms. Sampson, you’re going to have to come with us.”

“No!” Jamal stepped in front of his daughter. “You’re not taking her anywhere!”

The Time Police seemed unimpressed. “We’re taking her to be questioned.”

“And then what?”

“And then when we are done getting our answers, we’ll crossreference her answers with yours and Mr. Clay’s and then run them against the Temporal database to see if your stories check out.”

“Check out? Why do you need to talk to us to do that. You can just go back and check what we did. You’re time police. You travel across time.”

“We’re well aware of what we can and cannot do, Mr. Sampson, but we are also aware of what your daughter and her mother are capable of.”

“Her mother has nothing to do with this! We’re not responsible for what she does!”

“No. You’re responsible for what you’ve done and we’re going to make sure that you are held accountable for all of it.”

“And you think I’m just going to let my underage daughter go away with you? With no lawyer? No guardian?”

“There are no lawyers in temporal law, Mr. Sampson.”

“And there are no parents either?” Jamal fired back. “Is that it?”

“Fine,” the Time cop sighed. “You want to come and sit in and stay quiet? Fine, come along. What do I care? You’re both going to be asked questions and you’re both going to answer them. Any funny business and you’ll both be paying the price.”

“Paying the price?” Tilly laughed. “You hurt me and you’ll be screwing with causation seeing as how I was the one who brought you back from nonexistence. Without me to grow into future me, you and your buddies wouldn’t even exist. You want to mess with that?”

“We’re fixing that issue as we speak.”

“Oh, really? So, then by hurting me all you’ll have to worry about is pissing off my mom. Or are you taking care of her too?”

“Ok,” I said, stepping in. “That’s enough of that. Let’s not cause any more trouble than we already have. The Time Police are just doing their jobs, which the older version of you made sure that they would be around to do, so let’s let them do it. And the sooner we cooperate, the sooner it can all be over and we can finally go home.”

“As if ‘soon’ has any meaning to these people,” Tilly muttered.

“He’s right,” Jamal said. Then to the Time Cop. “We’re ready to go.”

The Time Police led Jamal and Tilly away and a new group stepped in their place. “And now you, Mr. Clay.”

I followed the cops across the vast complex into an uncomfortably small room. “Take a seat, Mr. Clay,” they said, so I took the only seat and sat down. To my surprise and annoyance, they then turned around and left me alone in the room.

I waited there for several minutes before a new cop stepped inside. “Hello, Mr. Clay. Are you ready to get out of here?”

I recognized the voice immediately. “Kink! What the hell are you doing here?”

to be continued…


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