G’fon looked around. “Well, I don’t see any whales anywhere.”
“Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there,” Lu warned him and the rest of us.
“I was thinking more along the line of underground, but sure, some large animals have chameleonic capabilities too.”
G’fon looked worriedly up into the sky, then down at the mountain beneath us with an even greater concern. “Yeah, maybe we should go somewhere else. Preferably somewhere with a rocky ground that isn’t so easy to burrow through.”
“All right, Lu,” I said. “Lead the way. Take us somewhere safe.”
Lu nodded. “Safe is a relative term, I’ll take you to the nearby city. That should be ‘safe’.”
“There’s a city near here?” Tam asked, looking down the mountain at the barren landscape.
“Yes. It’s not too far. Just a little walk.”
“And it’ll be safe there?” G’fon asked, staring warily at the ground beneath his feet/
“Sure. There’s safety in numbers, right?”
“Unless some of those numbers want to hurt us,” Tam said.
“It is very unlikely that any of the inhabitants will want to hurt us.”
“But not impossible?”
“This is another dimension,” Kink said. “It’s likely that almost anything will want to hurt us.”
“That’s not completely true,” Lu said.
“But not completely false either?”
“No,” he admitted. “Not completely.”
“That’s fine,” Tam said. “It’s not like we want to stick around this place. We’re here just to regroup. We need to formulate a plan and get moving, start fighting back.”
“Agreed,” I said. “So what do we have in way of plans?” We all turned our heads to Lu.
“It’s up to me, is it?” he asked. I nodded. “Well,” he said, “I guess what we should do depends mostly on what we aim to achieve.”
“Stop the Time Cops.” G’fon said
“Yes, but how? I mean, we don’t want to just eliminate them from existence, do we? From what I’ve heard that has been tried and it failed miserably.”
“Yes,” I looked at Kink. “Eliminating the Time Police all together did not work out well.”
“Maybe we can make them forget us?” G’fon suggested.
“Yeah right,” Tam replied. “And how long will that last? Like any of us could keep from breaking any of their rules.”
“That’s true,” I said looking directly at Kink.
“Hey!” she exclaimed. “They meant because of how harsh the Time Cops’ rules are. Not because of what any of us may or may not do.”
“I meant that trying to get the Time Police to forget about us would be pointless,” Tam said. “They exist throughout time. None of us are likely to lay low for the rest of our existence. They’d be aware of us again instantaneously.”
“Not to mention,” I pointed out, “that making them forget us doesn’t solve the actual problem of the Time Police and their excessiveness. We need something that would calm them down, something that would make them return to their original way of doing things.”
“Or maybe a little more, I don’t know, let’s say lenient.”
“Kink,” I admonished her.
“What?” she asked innocently. “Just because we’re trying to save all of existence doesn’t mean we can’t make things a little better for us while we’re at it.”
“Yes, it does,” Lu said. “Selfishness is the destruction of the many.”
“What now?” Kink said.
“To achieve our goal, our hearts must be pure.”
“So you’re saying I should just leave then?” Kink began to laugh at her own joke. No one else did.
“I am being serious. This is a serious endeavor. The righting of the universal order. If you are not serious about this, perhaps it would be best if you did leave.”
“I should leave?” Kink said, growing angry. She and Lu seemed to be getting along like fire and dynamite. “Maybe you should leave! I started this! You’re the new guy! You don’t even care about any of this!”
“Ok, calm down, Kink,” I said. “He didn’t mean it.”
“I meant it,” Lu said, glaring at her, his stoic demeanor breaking. “You asked for my help. I am not here to play games.”
“Games!” Kink snarled. “My life is on the line here! My very existence! I’m not playing any games! I’m dead serious!”
“Good, then perhaps you should act that way.”
“All right, primitive man,” Kink replied. “Give me lessons on coping mechanisms. Because there’s certainly no way the understanding of the human mind has evolved past what you know in the past several thousand years.”
Lu was taken aback by her outburst. “Apologies.”
“Save your apologies,” Tam said, cutting in. “And let’s instead worry about whatever that is.”
We all turned to see what looked like a gigantic cat racing up toward us. I looked at Lu hoping he’d have a spell he could sling to save us. Instead, he simply yelled, “Run!” and began to race off the path down the mountain.
to be continued…