“Timmie-boy!” G’fon yelled. “You left him behind!”
“It was too late,” Kink said, taking in the mountain top we were now standing on. “They had him. He was lost already.”
G’fon didn’t want to accept that. He couldn’t. “We could’ve tried…”
“And we could have been caught too,” Tam said. “He knew the risks and you should know them too. If you don’t understand that your life is on the line, your very existence, then you should leave right now.”
“Hey,” I said, trying to put the best light on everything, “at least he’s untethered, right? So he should be ok.”
“Yeah, sure, Frank,” Kink said, humoring me.
“Untethered?” Lu asked. “Untethered from what?”
“His previous timeline,” Tam said.
Lu shook his head, as if that answer physically disagreed with him. “What? Previous timeline? What are you talking about? What in the hells is going on?”
“Does he not know about time travel?” G’fon asked me.
“Time travel?” Lu exclaimed “Is he being serious? Frank, what is going on?”
Realizing that could be an incredibly hard to answer, I replied with my own question, “What do you remember?”
“What do I…what kind of question is that?”
“I would think that’d be an obvious one. If you remembered everything we’ve been through since we’ve met, I don’t think that would actually be that bizarre a question.”
“I remember when we met and you were a woman pretending to be an ambassador. I remember when I saved you and took you to the other dimension. I remember fighting and defeating Maqesh. I remember you using the horn of Tarrgair to rewrite time and making it so we never met. I remember having to stop that woman,” he pointed at Kink, “and another from destroying reality with that horn. I remember being taken prisoner and turned into a weapon. I remember Tilly destroying the horn and things reverting back to normal.”
“So you remember everything,” I said.
“And more,” he replied.
“Well, let me tell you what’s happened since then.”
When I had filled him in, Lu shook his head. “I told you that horn was dangerous. Tilly tried to correct things and…you see what happened.”
“Yes, we did,” Tam said. “But can you fix it? The Time Police are becoming unstoppable. They’re going ot ruin everything.”
“I can’t wave my hands and say a few magic words and make things how they were. But I can help.”
“Good,” Kink said. “Maybe you can start by telling me where we are. I can’t get any upstreaming data on my chronal display.”
“Chronal display?” Lu asked.
“Time watch,” I said.
“Right. Well, that might be because we’re not on Earth anymore.”
“That shouldn’t affect anything,” Kink said. “I can tell time on any of the 7 billion planets in the Elysium Consortium. It was a guarantee.”
“No. I’m sorry,” Lu said. “What I meant to say was that we’re not in the earthly dimension anymore.”
“Not in the ‘earthly dimension’?” G’fon asked. “What does that mean?”
“It means we’re in another dimension. I took us to another dimension.”
“Another dimension?” G’fon asked. “How many dimensions are there?”
“There are four dimensions,” Tam replied. “And we can travel all of them.”
“Oh, no,” Lu laughed. “There are many more than four dimensions.”
“Are you laughing at me?”
“No. Not at you. I’m laughing at the confusion. I don’t mean physical dimensions. Like up and down, left and right, back and forth. I mean realities. I’m talking about alternate planes of existence. The universe is like an onion. I mean, not really, but for this example sort of.”
“Because there are layers,” G’fon said. “So how many layers are there?”
“I have no idea. Hundreds? Thousands? Millions?”
“You have no idea? And you just sent us flying off into it?” Tam exclaimed.
“Don’t worry. I know how to traverse the dimensional ocean. We are far from lost. And I can get us home anytime,” Lu assured us.
“Yeah, I don’t know that I’m worried if we’re ever going to be able to get home,” G’fon said. “Not until we figure out how to defeat the Time Police, at least.”
“And how can we do that?”
“We were kind of hoping you could tell us.”
“How would I know? I’ve never heard of, let alone faced, the ‘Time Police’ before. How would I know how to defeat them?”
“Because no one else does,” I told him. “You’re our only hope, Lu.”
“I’m sorry, Frank, but I have no idea why you thought I could do that.”
“It’s not because I thought you’d know what you could do to them. It’s because I knew that they had no idea how to defend themselves against you.”
“I am your secret weapon. Is that it, Frank?” Lu Wu asked with a bit of amusement in his voice.
“Yes. Pretty much,” I admitted.
“I see. Well that certainly puts the pressure on me, doesn’t it?”
“Sorry. But we’re kind of out of options.”
“We had options,” Tam said, not bothering to hide their frustration. “But they were likely to cause our total erasure from time. And that is not something we would like to have happen.”
“No, I’d imagine not. But we shouldn’t just stand around here.”
“Agreed,“ Tam said. “We should begin formulating our plan to…”
“No,” Lu interrupted. “I mean we should not just stand around here. Traversing planes can tend to attract unwanted guests, I’ve found. So if we don’t want to get attacked we should we move somewhere safer.”
“Especially after last time, we did this,” I said, “you were eaten by a flying whale.”
“Yes. I’d like to not repeat that.”
to be continued…