Saturday, June 3, 2017

Flurry: A Sound of Thunder (Part VIII)

Click here for the previous installment...

If this were an unrealistic action film—one that, for some reason, featured a gay couple—Serkan and Ace would have taken the time to hold hands and look into each other’s eyes one last time. And this time would last a lot longer than it would actually take to fall from x amount of height. The picture would probably smash to black just before the characters hit the ground, spending a few seconds of suspenseful silence before starting the music score and credits, letting the audience know that this truly is the end. But what’s happening here isn’t an unrealistic action film. It’s an unrealistic slipstream fiction story, and in this story, there exists a series of walking deus ex machinas known as Saviors. In recent times, there has only been one Savior alive at once. It is their job to teleport all over the world, and save people’s lives, before zipping away to save somebody else. Of course, this was not Serkan and Ace’s end. Having been from the future, Serkan didn’t think it was either, because Ace should still be alive come two years, but it was also possible that he changed things by time traveling. There was just no telling what would happen, because he didn’t have all the information. One important bit of information he was missing was that the two of them were in the best position to take care of something for a powerful group of people. These people needed the two of them to remain alive, at least for now. So they sent their Savior to rescue them.
Just before Serkan hit the ground, he felt something around his waist, and then found himself standing safely in a sparsely wooded area. The snow was gone. Ace was standing next to him, just as confused as he was. A woman was resting her hands on her knees and panting. “I hate the falling ones,” she said in between breaths. “I wish I could apport people. That would make my job a lot easier.”
“Thank you for saving us,” Ace said to her, even without knowing her motives.
“Don’t mention it.” She reached to her back, but came up with nothing. She touched her shoulders, and then started looking around. “Where the hell’s my bag?”
“Maybe you dropped it at the castle,” Serkan suggested.
“What castle?”
“Do you know how far we are from where you caught us?” Ace asked her.
“Are we even in the same time period?” Serkan added.
“I’m not a time traveler,” the woman explained. “And no. They don’t tell me where I’m going. But yeah, I must have dropped it wherever that was.”
Ace introduced himself, which prompted Serkan to do the same.
“Daria Matic,” she said. “Salmon Savior.” She looked around again, but it was more like she was taking in her environment. “I don’t know why I’m still here, though. They should be sending me off.”
“Perhaps they wanted you to stay long enough for me to cook a thank-you meal,” Ace said.
She pointed to his stomach. “Are you the guy with the quiche?”
This surprised them both. True, that was his go-to move for getting people to like him, but he wasn’t famous, or anything. “Uhh...I believe I am.”
She nodded and took a deep breath to finally get back to equilibrium. “Sounds good. Where are we, by the way? They wouldn’t have had me teleport us very far from where you’re supposed to be.”
“Kansas City,” Serkan said, pulling up the Escher Card to find their exact location. “Ever been?”
Daria looked longingly to the distance. “My home.”
They made their way back to the city through a ride-sourcing service. All the while, Daria stared out the window, admiring the sites. “City of Fountains,” she whispered to herself. “Hey, who runs this town now?”
Serkan wasn’t sure what kind of answer she was looking for, or how long she had been gone, so he just did his best. “The Tracers.”
She nodded. “Slipstream alive?”
“Uh, she should be?” he answered.
“What about Fairware?”
“What’s that?”
“Never mind.” She smashed her face against the glass. “Mendoza Park?”
“Yeah, it was named after—”
Daria interrupted him, “he died?” She looked down at the floor and thought for a few moments. “I’ll need to see his grave.”
“We can do that. I just have to find out where it is,” Serkan explained.
“I don’t know how long I have.”
“We’re here,” the driver announced.
“Take me to Slipstream,” Daria demanded.
“I don’t know who that is, lady,” the driver retorted. “If you don’t request the destination, I can’t take ya there.”
“Here’s fine,” Ace said as he was stepping out. “Now we have our own car.”
Once they were out, Serkan said to their new friend, “I can’t let Slipstream see me. I’m from a couple years in the future. She’ll never understand.”
“That shows how much you know about Slippy. But if you won’t take me to her, then I suppose Kyle Stanley will do.”
“Kyle Stanley?” he asked. “The lawyer?”
“Yeah, don’t tell me seeing him will interrupt your timeline too.”
“I don’t...think so,” he replied. “I never met him. I only ever worked with Rutherford, and he’s never been much help.”
“I just wanna find my friend’s grave. Stanley will know.”
Before either of them could assure her that they would help, the snow returned. It didn’t just start falling. At first, it would blink back into existence, and then blink out. It did this a few times, like the interface of a cracked phone struggling to keep the screen on after having been in the toilet. The three of them could see that something was wrong, but people in the street seemed to be part of it. They too would spontaneously switch between summer clothes and winter clothes, without having any clue that anything was changing.
“What’s...going on here?” Daria asked.
“We don’t really know. I guess I thought someone went back in time and stopped the snow from ever happening, but maybe Keanu found a way around it.”
This scared her. “Keanu? You’re dealing with a Snowglober?”
“Yeah, so it would seem.”
“Oh my God,” she said, more frightened than ever, “I have to get away from you two.” Just as she turned to put distance between them, the weather stopped oscillating, and remained in its wintery state.
Former founder of High Castle Corporation, Keanu ‘Ōpūnui appeared suddenly to block her way. He was still missing one arm. “You must be the Savior.”
She slowly back away. Ace and Serkan shielded her about as well as was possible when dealing with someone who could manipulate time.
Keanu continued, “don’t worry, I cannot hurt her. The powers that be would be all over me about that. You, on the hand, are fair game.”
“We didn’t do this to you. It was that woman you were keeping as some sort of slave.”
“Yes. I didn’t actually come for you.” He nodded to their house. “I hear she lives here. I was hoping to pay her a visit and return a favor she did for me.” He presented his shoulder stub.
We live here,” Ace told him.
“Exactly.”
“What?”
“Ugh,” he sighed. “You two will never understand time travel.” He started heading for the front steps. “Anyway, I have to go kill your daughter.”
With zero hesitation, Ace planted his leg in front of Keanu’s, and then slammed his face right onto the pavement. The snow was painted red...and could probably go for a cool mil if seen by the right obnoxiously rich white people. Keanu calmly picked himself up, wiped his mouth, and dialed his phone. “Twenty seconds oughta do it.—Thanks Jesi.”
Time suddenly started rewinding. They could perceive their own actions in reverse, but could do nothing to alter them...not until time restarted at its normal pace, and in the proper direction.
“Let’s try this again,” Keanu proposed. Again, he started walking towards their house, and again, Ace forced him to the ground.
“I don’t care how many time friends you have!” Ace yelled at him. “I’ll never stop droppin’ you down!”
Keanu stood up, but did not wipe the blood from his face this time. Instead, he aggressively placed it right in front of Ace’s. “You think you have any power? You think you’re safe? You think your daughter’s safe in that pocket world? I got a friend who can cross dimensions, bitch! You can’t stop us!”
Ace moved his feet in closer. “That’s the second time you’ve used that term. The third will come with consequences.”
Keanu lowered his voice and looked at Ace with crazy eyes. I said biiiiiiiiiiiiiii...”
Ace reached up and struck Keanu in his throat, which caused him to stumble backwards and try to protect himself. Ace wasn’t done, though. He punched Keanu in the face with a nice right hook. Keanu’s arm broke his fall, but Ace took this opportunity to kick him right in the stomach. He then proceeded to whale on Keanu’s face over and over again, each blow as chilling as thunder. Serkan tried to pull him away, but wasn’t strong enough. “Think you can talk on the phone now? Who ya gonna call? Huh? HUH!? You killed her. You killed Leona, you piece of shit!”
“STOP!” Serkan ordered.
Ace looked up to see a few bystanders on the sidewalk, a couple of them holding their phones down at the scene.
“Who the hell is Leona?” Serkan asked after someone he thought he knew stood back up and hunted for his breath.
“I don’t know,” he answered before starting to walk away. “I don’t know,” he repeated, mostly to himself. Click here for the next installment...

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