“And what are we going to do when we do go out there?” I asked.
“Well,” Kink began. “That’s open for debate.”
“We have…” Freyja said, showing an uncharacteristic crack in her confidence. “…a difference of opinion on just what exactly we should do. Some people think one thing, some people think another, and others think a third. We haven’t really reached a consensus. Obviously a full assault on the Police Hub is out.”
“It’s the only way we could be sure to knock them out in go,” Fount countered, furiously.
“It’s the only way we could sure that we would all be wiped out in one go,” a man dressed like a janitor replied. We hadn’t been introduced yet.
“There’s no way we could take them,” one of the triplets said. “There’s too many of them. And on their home turf, that’s just dumb.”
“You’re dumb!” Fount yelled. “If you don’t realize taking the fight to those stupid cops is the only way we can win, you’re an idiot! If we try to play games with us, they’ll just pick us off one by one. Anyone we take out they can replace. They’ve got time on their side. All we’ve got going for us is our nanocarbon gonads. We might as well start swinging them around and bashing in some heads!”
“Or we could try to be smart,” Freyja said. “We have brains, Fount. And more importantly, we have out of the box thinking. The Time Police expect us to act like criminals. They expect us to attack them head-on. Or they expect us to act like soldiers, tactically.”
“But,” Kink said, “They can’t anticipate us acting like a bunch of anarchists! If we act like us, they’ll have no idea what we’ll do.”
“That’s not really a plan,” Jamal said. “You’re basically just saying ‘go out there and cause trouble.’ How is that supposed to help?”
“Not just trouble,” Freyja replied. “Controlled trouble. Diversionary trouble.”
“Diversionary trouble?” Tilly asked. “Against the Time Police? How can you divert them when they’re the masters of time? You used to be on equal footing, Freyja, but you’re not anymore. They not only have the upper hand. They have all the hands.”
“So what’s you idea, girl?” Freyja asked. “Give up?”
“No,” I said.
“Then what, Frank?”
I smiled. “Magic.”
They all looked at me as if I were crazy, even Tilly and Jamal joined in. “You wanted out of the box thinking. Well, I’m out of the box.”
“Is this about that stupid horn you were talking about?” Kink asked.
“No, the horn is gone,” I replied. “Tilly destroyed it. But that doesn’t mean we’re out of magical options. In fact, I know just the person to ask to help us out.”
“Oh, do you?” Freyja asked, skeptically.
“And who would that be?”
“The Great and Powerful Lu Wu!”
“Who’s that?” Freyja asked.
“I don’t know,” Kink said. “Hey, anybody ever here of this…what was his name?”
“Lu Wu,” I replied, unamused.
“Anyone ever here of Lu Wu?”
I watched as everyone in the entire room shook their heads. “I knew a Liu Shu once,” one of the triplets said. “He was this incredible acrobat from Perion-11.”
“I met Liu Hu once,” Fount said. “I think it was during the Han dynasty.”
“Lu Wu is a great sorcerer,” I told them. “He is the gatekeeper of this dimension. He can help us.”
“Is this what we’re going with?” Fount asked. “Magic? Sorcery? This is a better idea than taking the fight to the Time Police?”
“It’s certainly an unexpected one,” Kink said. “The Time Police won’t expect this.”
“Because it’s idiocy!” Freyja sneered. “Magic! I have seen all of time and space and never have I seen anything to make me believe in magic.”
“How can that be?” Tilly asked. “You inoculated me against it.”
“I did no such thing,” she replied.
“Yes you did.”
“I made sure you would be safe from anything that I knew could ever harm you. I made sure that not even time or space could hurt you.”
“Yeah, well, the other timeline of you, the real timeline, knows that magic is real.”
“I highly doubt that,” her mother said.
“Well, it is,” I said. “And it’s exactly what we need to save the day.”
“Not a chance,” Fount said.
“I agree,” Freyja added, as if she hadn’t already let us plainly know her opinion.
“Well, I’m in,” Kink said. “If Frank thinks it’s real, than I’m in. We need to hit them with something they won’t expect. This is that.”
“That is dumb.”
“Yeah, well, just count it as your ‘Diversionary Trouble’,” Tilly said.
“She’s right,” Kink agreed. “You can just count on us as one of your diversions.”
“What do you mean ‘us’?” Freyja asked.
“I’m going with him.”
“You are?” I asked.
“Yes, Frank,” she said. “Me and you on a mission to find the great wizard! What could be more perfect than that!”
to be continued…