“They’re not dead,” Kink explained to me. “…or at least they’re not in any state that the Time Cops can’t revive them from.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” I demanded.
“Hey,” Tilly said from the chair she was strapped down to. “Maybe you can help us first, then you can worry about them?”
“Right,” I said before trying to undo the straps, but they didn’t seem to want to come undone.
“Ugh,” Kink groaned. “Move aside, primitive.” She touched something on her arm and the straps around Tilly dissolved. “Now can we get out of here?”
Tilly rubbed her arms. “She might have a point.”
I helped Tilly up to her feet. “What were they doing to you?”
“They were getting ready to erase me. Erase both of us. That’s what they were doing.”
I glanced over at Kink. She smiled smugly. “See?”
“But that’s not what the Time Police do,” I said. This was making no sense to me. The Time Police were good guys. They kept order to the time stream. They made sure that nothing went wrong, that no one overstepped their bounds, that time didn’t collapse on itself. Why would they be trying to erase anyone? Why would they be trying to erase us?
“Yeah, well, either we were misinformed or something has changed,” Tilly said. “But for the moment, maybe we should worry about getting out of here.”
“And go where? Where will be safe? They’re the Time Police. They patrol space and time. All of it. Where would we be able to go to be safe from them?”
“Don’t worry, Frankie,” Kink said. “I came prepared. I have us an escape route.”
“To where? Where can you take us?”
“Somewhere safe. Somewhen safe. That’s all you need to know.”
“Fine,” Tilly interjected before I asked another question. “Let’s get going.”
“Of course,” Kink said, “there’s one problem.”
“Yeah?” I asked. “What’s that?”
“One doesn’t just jump out of the Temporal Police Hub.”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m saying to escape we need to get out onto the floor so that I can open up a temporal door.”
“Onto the floor!? You mean where all the Time Cops are?”
Kink nodded. “Yes.”
“Oh, that sounds like a great plan.”
“Well, since the Hub blocks all other kinds of time travel, we really don’t have a choice. No one can jump in and out of here. They made absolutely sure of that.”
“No one? Then how’d you get here?”
Kink held up something that strangely looked exactly like a doorknob. “With this.”
“A temporal knob!” I exclaimed, recognizing the police-issued equipment. “Where did you get a temporal knob?”
“That would be telling. And I wouldn’t want you to get jealous, Frankie, what with me fingering other men’s knobs and all.”
“Are you done flirting?” Tilly asked, trying to help her father up from the ground. “Can we go now? I’d rather not be erased. My continued existence is kind of important to me.”
“Well said.” Kink swung the door open. “All right, troops, get out there and march.”
“March?” I asked.
“You’re my prisoners, remember?”
So the three of us pretended to by Kink’s prisoners, as Kink marched behind us in her stolen Time Cop uniform. However, since Jamal was barely conscious, he was just trying to stay on his feet. Surprisingly, it all seemed to be working. We were able to reach the floor without an incident. No one appeared to be paying us any mind. We were just another case in a sea of chaos. For a second, I thought we might actually manage to do this.
Kink took out the knob and held it out in there, waiting for it to connect to the central temporal nexus. But instead of a door appearing a loud klaxon began to sound.
“Unauthorized Use in Progress!” a voice reverberated across the room. Every cop on the floor turned toward us. It was a very large floor and there was a very large amount of police officers on it.
“Oops,” Kink said.
“Maybe you should get us out of here,” Tilly told her. “And apologize about it later, huh?”
Kink continued to fiddle with the knob. Unexpectedly, the floor actually activated. “Stop her!” one of the cops yelled.
“Kink!” I urged her to hurry up.
“Don’t worry,” she said.
“They’re coming for us.”
“Hurry!” Tilly yelled.
“They’re trying to block me out,” Kink told us. “But don’t worry. I’ve got this.”
“Don’t worry!?” I screamed. “We’re surrounded by Time Cops on the middle of their floor and our only escape route is being blocked. How can I not panic?”
“Because there’s nothing in the universe that can keep me out.” Kink twisted her wrist and a door emerged from the temporal Hub floor. “See?” she said as she turned the knob. “Told you not to worry.”
I pointed at the Time Cops as they started to rush us. “What about them?”
“Stop showing off!” Tilly yelled, “and get us out of here!”
Kink swung the door open. “Fine. Let’s go.”
to be continued…