It's about time

It's about time

Private roleplay between Lonesome Butterfly and myself

288 readers have visited this universe since Tusho Ka created it.

Introduction

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We all like travelling to a multitude of destinations. Whether it be our sense of adventure, our curiosity to the unknown or our longing for what is on the other side, it all drives us to travel far and wide. Some of us succeed better than others. Some are forever stuck in the same place and others travel the 4 corners of the world. But what happens if that's not enough....

Besides travelling in space, people have found travelling in time. How do they do it, is it wormholes, technology, magic or special powers? The answer is yes, yes, yes and yes. Time travel has been happening ever since history began. There are people who know about it, but most have their own reasons to keep it a secret. If you don't have your own, Tempus might help you with that reason.

Tempus is one of the oldest institutions in the World, aside from that also one of the most unknown. It is not linked or affiliated with any government and operates on its own. Simply, they keep an eye on Time, and more specifically Time Travel. The organization is immense, scientist, field agents, wardrobe, research, administration, estate agents and most probably many more.

Want to apply? We apologize, but they'll approach you, not the other way around. Their employees come from all walks of life and get hired in different ways. The organization thinks of itself as eternal. Their rule: we only check on time travelling to the past. Future time travel is the problem of future Tempus.

Toggle Rules

The GM of this roleplay hasn't created any rules! You can do whatever you like!

The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 2 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler

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Time: 10AM
Year: 2019
Place: Somewhere in midwest US


It was a cold and cloudy day. The young man raised his collar to protect his neck from the wind. His hands clenched around the plastic bags he was bringing from the supermarket nearby. As he was coming to the large gates the security guard looked up at him. Out of habit Jason showed him his card, and the man simply tipped his hat and opened the gate by remote.

Walking up the massive driveway he looked to the far left and the far right and once again was amazed by the fact he was not able to see the end of the building. The massive wooden doors opened up to reveal a well-dressed lady behind a desk. “Good morning, Mr Rockler.”
Jason flashed a smile to the friendly woman, who he had seen sitting in the same place for years. “When will you finally call me Jason, I wonder.”
She replied with a small wink: “Not sure, but in any case not today, Mr Rockler.”

She pressed a button which made the door on her left buzz with a soft sound. Jason opened and stepped through the well familiar hallway. The building was old, but stylish. The thick red carpet was soft and cushy underneath his shoes. The walls were covered with wooden panels from bottom to about midway. From there up paintings depicting historical events lined the walls. The end of the hallway showed him 6 elevators. They had golden plated doors with relief that was hardly recognizable. He did not have to wait long before his elevator arrived, it always came quickly. This was the only one that would bring him to where he needed to be. In fact his security access didn’t allow him in any of the other ones.

The elevator was empty and arrived with a ringing sound on the 32nd floor in no time at all. The decoration on this floor was very different. It looked like crew quarters on a ship, which of course it kind of was. Warning signs, notice boards, metal floors and flickering TL-lighting. Jason flicked his card in front of the door of his room. Without him noticing the security camera relaxed as Jason stepped through the door and set back to its original setting from before Jason exited from the elevators.
He put the bags on the wooden table next to the kitchen area. The room he was standing in was his living quarters and had been for years. Despite the time he spent there you couldn’t really say it looked like a cozy, personalized room. No pictures, no art, no personalized cups. Just a few books laying here and there and a fruit basket with plastic fruit (which was there before he moved in). The kitchen area moved over in a dining area, the living room and a bed. It was a studio, but in rather small format. Jason didn’t mind the space, he had lived in worse. He pushed the remote to turn on to the TV before he put his groceries away in cupboard and fridge.

The cartoon channel came on, being the last thing he watched when he had turned the TV off. In the corner of the screen a small envelop appeared letting Jason know there was a new message. He grabbed a glass of juice (mixed with some vodka) and set down on his couch. With the remote he opened moved to the menu to read his messages. He entered his password and found 2 messages waiting for him. The first being from one of his friends and colleagues, asking if she could borrow one of his books. Without replying he moved to the next message which came from Tempus. The email was not much longer than the last one, but an assignment always came with a certain urgency.

He was tasked to meet his supervisor in briefing room 12B at 11AM sharp. Looking at the clock Jason realized he had about 15 minutes left to make his way up there. Not an oasis of time, but he would easily make it. The message gave no further instructions and Jason switched the TV off. I wonder when we are going now, he asked himself before closing his door.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai

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Year: 2019.
Location: Lower Manhattan, NYC.
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“The new woman became known as a Flapper. Flappers were young women who abandoned the traditional Renaissance era values of their parents….” Amelie read aloud as she held a slightly worn history book on the 1920s in America with one hand, and twirled a thick strand of her hair with another.
“….the dress length usually stopped right below the knees. When dancing the skirts would allow for an occasional glimpse of the knee, which was considered scandalous just ten years ago.”
Amelie would let out a giggle at the thought of a skirt that hit just below the knee being scandalous. ”Oh dear, they would think women nowadays were pure demon sluts from hell! I mean just look at these legs, boy I’m such a skank….” she’d say sarcastically, laughing as she patted her own bare legs sticking out from her short red floral print Boho Summer dress.

Before she could continue reading a voice from downstairs would startle her into dropping her book.
“Sunnu!*” her grandmother yelled. ”Come here! I have the shopping list for you!”
Amelie would sigh softly to herself, a bit disappointed she had to stop reading her book. However, there wasn’t a wiff of disappointment in her tone when she responded back to her grandmother. ”Coming right down!”

After slipping on a pair of red high top converses, and grabbing her betty boop wallet and smartphone, Amelie would jog down the steps to meet her grandma at the Kitchen sink where she was washing a stack of plates.
”There you go sweetheart, there on the counter. Remember your grandpa only needs whole milk, not the Vitamin D - they switched the colors on the jugs around, I just don’t understand why they’d do such a thing.” the older woman lamented a bit, before kissing her granddaughter on the cheek.”I got it, no worries. Be back as soon as possible.”

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Amelie had every intention of going to the grocery store, but first she wanted to stop by a local boutique to pick up an outfit she had seen on the shop’s website earlier that morning.


The style she was going for wasn’t current, so naturally it took her a while to find what she was after, but when she finally laid eyes on it Amelie was quite relieved - thrilled that the shop in Lower Manhattan had the outfit she saw on the website.
”Thank God it’s here…” she whispered to herself, before hurrying to try on the 1920’s inspired beaded nude sheer crepe flapper dress.

Thrilled with how the dress fit her, Amelie would quickly make her way out of the dressing room stalls and pick out bunch of pearl necklaces and a set of pearl earrings before rushing over to the checkout line, hoping to make it to the grocery store and back home to her Chinatown loft, before the sun began to set.


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When Amelie reached her home with groceries in hand it was nearly 8pm, but though the sun was setting it was still rather hot in the city, so as she walked inside her grandparent’s loft she was noticeably exhausted. However, as much as she wanted to sit in the chair by the doorway for a brief rest, she’d quickly put the groceries down and run up to the second floor of the loft and into her room - wanting to hide the botique's shopping bag from her grandparents so they wouldn’t ask questions about what she bought.

Amelie tried to rush back down before her grandmother realized she was there, however as she reached the top of the stairs she’d spot her grandma walking towards the bags of groceries that she had left on the floor. ”Oh, there you are. Where did you go? You came in like a ghost, are things alright?”
”Y-yeah, I’m fine grandma, was just putting my phone and wallet back in my room...” Amelie said, somewhat stumbling on her words at first.
”I’m here now though, and I’ll put everything up!”


Amelie would grab the groceries and make her way into the Kitchen behind her Grandma. The two would talk softly as her grandfather slept in the downstairs Master Suite.
Her grandmother would make sure she was set for the night before kissing her on the cheek and wishing her a good night.




After eating a late dinner Amelie would make her way up to her room and lock the door. She’d remove her dress and undergarments before slipping into a baggy t-shirt and placing her long thick hair into a loose high ponytail.
Once comfortable the young woman would go over to her dresser and dig through the bottom drawer until she found what she was looking for.
”There you are! Come, I wanna test you out!”

Amelie would flounce down on her bed beside her sleeping cat - waking the feline and causing her to jump down.
She’d light-heartedly apologize to her fur baby before holding up the gadget and tools she had just pulled out of her dresser up to her face. She hadn’t thought of a name for the thing yet, but seeing as how it reminded her of a light saber from the Star Wars series Amelie had begun to call it just that - her “pure-light saber.”

”Okay, now with this new emitter I got I should be able to quadruple the intensity on the light blade!” Amelie said excitedly to herself, before unscrewing the 40″ retractable heavy grade light blade from it’s old emitter, and replacing it with the new hardier emitter she made herself from a mix of various emitter parts.

”There! I think I’ll call you…Lux!” she said, naming her light saber after her favorite light mage on her favorite video game. ”Now, lets try it out!”

Amelie would close her eyes and begin to focus, and within only several seconds of doing so her hands would become encased in a bright white glow, and her eyes would shoot open…revealing that her once brown eyes had gone almost completely white, and were glowing much like her hands.

As she looked around now the air was much more visible, she saw the magic-inclined energy particles floating around in the air, the flexibility and movement of the air became physically visible, and the tears in the very fabric of space and time were clearly identifiable, all things that others couldn’t see and would casually walk through and by every day of their lives.
This form that heightened her senses greatly with the aid of the light magic that runs in her blood was a form she had only perfected entering a few weeks earlier, thanks to her second family of sorts - those on Plethora, the underground forum she found over two months ago, the place where she first learned that time traveling, and magic, were not just the product of fables - but indeed real.

Amelie sighed for a moment as she didn’t immediately sense the tear in time that resided on her small bedroom balcony.
”Oh no, don’t tell me I repaired it TOO much the last time….” she thought to herself as she walked towards the balcony door. However, after reaching the door the small tear would glow visibly, causing Amelie great relief.
”Okay, now lets see if I can indeed smooth out the edges of a portal with this thing…”

Amelie would push the retractable light blade back down into it the emitter and the base it was attached to, and then pressed the button on the holder - causing the light blade to shoot back out. A grin would make it’s way to her face as she confirmed the retracting nature of the blade indeed worked.
She then turned the blade on and instantly clenched her eyes shut afterwards, having accidentally looked directly at the blade as it turned on.

The new emitter she created did it job, it made the blade 4x bright than the original emitter it came with. To avoid drawing attention to herself Amelie would walk out onto the balcony and quickly pull down a thick sun-curtain she had nailed to the roof above her balcony. The curtain would likely block most of the light, and what the young woman was about to do next.

Amelie held out her free hand towards the tear and touched it ever so slightly with the tips of her fingers - causing it to instantly split open into a baseball-sized portal.
The edges of the portal were rough and uneven, something Amelie had come to believe showed instability - the reason controlling how and where she landed in the past didn’t always go smoothly. She hoped that by mixing her own magic with the energy generated from the light blade, that she’d be able to more easily warp the space on the rim of the portal - smoothing out the edges and the portal as a whole, to make traveling through it a smoother process.
”Where to go, where to go….” Amelia wondered aloud. She wasn’t dressed to go anywhere public, but she was desperate to see if her new gadget worked.
After a few minutes of staring at the small portal in front of her Amelie would think back to the Dressing rooms at the boutique she was in earlier. She knew for a fact that no one was in any of the other stalls, and out of reckless curiosity she decided to travel back to the exact time she was in the dressing room trying on her new flapper dress.
”Okay, this won’t create a paradox, because I’m going to be in the next stall….” she whispered to herself as she turned Lux on again and gripped it tightly - allowing the magic that encased her hand to also wrap itself around the entirety of the light blade.
”….but even if I do mess up, and land in the same dressing room, it wouldn’t create a paradox, as long as I watched what I said - right? Yeah, totally.”

Amelie took a deep breath before again holding her free hand out towards the portal, this time the magic encasing it would pour out into and around the portal - the memory of the dressing room stalls from earlier flowing through her and into the portal.
Within seconds the portal grew from a baseball-sized hole in time to a portal taller enough for her to walk through, with a wavy distorted image of the dressing room stalls showing up inside it. Amelie would drop her free hand to her side before holding Lux out towards the portal. While making sure to never look directly at the light blade, Amelie would run it along the inside edges of the portal - delighted to see it indeed smoothing out the edges.

When done the whole portal had markedly smoother edges, and while the image of the dressing room stalls inside the portal was still wavy, the distortion was far less prominent.
Amelie retracted Lux’s blade and then closed her eyes once again.
”Okay, here we go, back to the dressing rooms…the last stall…on top of the bench…I can do this!”

After focusing for approximately thirty seconds Amelie would open her eyes, which had now gone back to their normal brown color, and walk into the portal.



The feeling of being sucked through time and space was oddly calming, and not as dramatically chaotic as science fiction movies made people think - allowing for a somewhat comfortable exit from the portal on the other side. However, no matter how hard she tried in the past, Amelie always found herself stumbling, or missing the mark of her targeted location by a bit, or even falling down, upon exiting the portal.
This time however, much to her relief, the portal not only opened up inside the dressing room stall she wanted, but directly above the bench she was aiming for, and as she walked out she’d drop down directly atop the bench without a single hiccup.
”Yes! It worked!!”



*"Sunnu" is "grand-daughter" in Chinese.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler

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Time: 11AM
Year: 2019
Place: Somewhere in midwest US


Mr. Hassani was standing in the room looking over notes when Jason entered the room. The man was not like a direct supervisor, but Jason knew he was of a higher rank. The man was balding, around 50 years of age. His thin lips revealed he was upset about something. With Jason’s earlier encounters with the man, Jason wasn’t sure if Mr. Hassani would tell him what was so upsetting.

”Take a seat, Rockler…” the man said softly.
He took a seat, crossed his legs and folded his hands in anticipation. Jason gave off a relaxed look, ready for anything. This wasn’t his first rodeo and he wasn’t particularly worried about the upcoming assignment. It was warm in the room and he saw the older man dabbing his head with a cloth to stop the sweat running from his forehead. Mr. Hassani dropped the manila folder on the table and he shoved it in Jason’s direction. He opened the folder and began reading from the top. Honestly, there wasn’t much there. As usual it stated the date of today, the place where the anomaly would have taken place, the date the anomaly occurred and the method of Time Travel.

”Sir?...This must be a joke…..” Jason said while looking over the paper.
The date of the incident was a mere 3 days ago. Jason was a man who had traveled far and wide, had fought for and against the Roman empire, had been in the New World before the Europeans were. He was being send on a mission a measly 3 days back?
”Do I have the look of a jokester on my face, Mr. Rockler?” the old man said angrily.
”Have I ever joked in front of you before? Have you ever heard rumors on my stand-up routine. Do not forget your place here, Rockler. I give the orders and you follow them, or have I missed a memo?”
Jason read on in the document. ”My apologies Sir, that is not what I meant. But this is barely an incident. The way of Time Travel is listed as unknown. Are we sure this is even worth investigating at all?” Jason took a deep breath. It felt beneath him and honestly, 3 days could not do much damage. At least not as much as his other assignments would have.
”The signature of travelling is known, but we don’t have the actual connection as to how they are doing. It. In the past 12 months we have seen this signature more and more, but without any results on our investigation. This time the signs were 10 times stronger. It is the most positive lead in this case so far, that is why we are sending you.” he sighed and looked Jason straight in the face.
”Meeting over, Rockler. Go to Movement directly and give them the order. I will see you as soon as you return. ”

Jason stood up and walked out the room, his assignment left inside. He went left, back to the elevators. Moving up one floor there was an immediate change in atmosphere. The moment the doors opened Jason could see this floor being more alive. Teams of agents were walking over to Movement. Two of the scientists were running the opposite direction. Jason saw agents walking with Viking weapons, and others carrying a pick-axe and dressed for the Yukon gold rush. He walked out and joined the waiting room to patiently await his Movement.
Jason had waited in this room for hours on previous missions. The science behind it was not something he understood, but it was volatile and getting it accurate was a tough and lengthy job. He quickly noticed Mr. Hassini must have prioritized his mission. He was only there for 10 minutes before he was called to one of the Movement chambers.
He moved into the brightly lit room. The entire ceiling seemed to emit the light as a clear lamp could never be seen. Depending on the size of the team there were bigger and smaller chambers. The one Jason stood in now was large enough for only one person. A pill and a small cup of water were ready for him upon his entrance. He was not sure what was in the pill, but it helped your stability directly after the Time Travel. He had tried without before, but preferred to take the pill now. The empty cup went back on the small board on the side of the chamber. A voice in the chamber confirmed Jason’s name and his destination in place and time. After he confirmed all, there was a countdown from 5. The light turned so bright Jason could no longer see. And by the time he regained his sight he was looking at the wall of an alleyway, Manhattan, 3 days earlier.

Walking out of the alleyway he recognized the outlines of Chinatown. The incident he was here to investigate would happen in about 30 minutes and could have happened in about 3 or 4 buildings surrounding him. He stepped into the first shop on his left, which was a gift shop. It wasn’t crowded, but there didn’t seem to be any space to hide away or appear out of nowhere. He exited the shop and looked at his other options. He looked at a clothing boutique and a bank. In the file he read before there was nothing about a bank robbery or anything in that line. It was the most logical option, but Jason’s instinct told him to go with the boutique.

Walking toward the door he held it open for a young women to go in before him. Inside it was quiet, it seemed to be a bit of a specialist shop. He felt out of place in here, maybe caused by him not really looking at the clothes, but at the surroundings more. He went through a few of the racks to seem to be looking for something. As the girl he let in moved to the dressing rooms he walked up to the register. ”Excuse me, NYPD…”
Jason quickly flashed her a paper in his wallet, not giving her a lot of time to look at it. For most people the notion of the police force alone was enough to answer a few questions.
“Have you seen anything or anyone strange in the store today? Like a person that shouldn’t be there, or that wouldn’t normally come here?”
She looked a bit shocked with the question and hesitated before answering. ”Up to the moment you asked me, I thought this of you, sir. The other people so far I have seen before, or seem right at home. Most woman leave their partners outside, since there isn’t much for them in here.”
Jason thanked the lady for her help. As far as he could see all here was normal. He moved to the door to go and check the bank. It seemed his instinct had let him down this time.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai

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Year: 2019.
Location: Chinatown, NYC.
Time: Late Morning - Early Afternoon.
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Amelie quickly covered her mouth, hoping her excited outburst went unheard.
”I can’t believe it worked! Wait, what am I saying, of course it worked - I’m a genius!”
Amelie would dramatically flip her ponytail over her shoulder with one of her hands after her “genius” remark - promptly slamming said hand against the wall.
”Ow ow ow, okay, maybe I’m not a TOTAL genius.”

The temptation to visit herself in the past was hard to resist, however when she heard one of the workers knock on her past-self’s stall she’d remember that the woman’s next stop was the supposedly empty stall she was in.
”Shit!” she thought, before closing her eyes. As she entered her state of heightened senses, Amelie would levitate herself to be in line with the portal that was still open.
Her eyes would shoot open as soon as the knob began to turn on her stall.The ridges of the portal had become jagged again, however she didn’t have time to smooth them out, and would quickly fall backwards into the portal.


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Upon exiting the portal Amelie would fall hard onto the railing of her balcony, and roll off the side of the railing facing the road below. Reacting quickly she’d grab a hold of the railing before falling to the ground.
”Shit shit shit!” she proclaimed aloud.
Teleporting short distances and levitation were two things Amelie had been working on in the past month, however even though teleporting into her room would have been an easy fix to her current dilemma she couldn't risk anyone from the numerous units across the street seeing her do such a thing. Instead she’d throw Lux over the railing onto the balcony chair and with her now free hand push the balcony curtain out of the way so she could more easily grip the railing and begin to pull herself up and over it.
Once safely on the right side of the railing again the frightened young woman would fall to her balcony mat completely out of breath, tears unconsciously falling out of her eyes.

Her grandparents premium 2-story loft was on the top of their 4-story building - with the second floor of their loft technically being the fifth story. Amelie knew if she would have fallen from her second floor balcony she could have gravely injured herself at best, and died at worst.
Her nerves were shot, and even though she only had a thin t-shirt on Amelie would stay curled up on her balcony for several minutes before it occurred to her that the portal had never been closed.
She’d slowly stand to her feet and wipe the tears from her eyes before holding her hand out towards the portal. Her eyes were glowing white, seeing as how she had never left her heightened state, and only after her magic sealed the portal back up would she close her eyes and return to her normal state of being.

As she made her way back inside Amelie would pick Lux up from her balcony chair, casually inspecting it as she shut and locked her balcony door behind her.
”Thank god you landed on that chair” she whispered as she flopped down on her bed and pressed the button that caused Lux’s light blade to shoot out of it’s base.
After confirming that the blade was free of any cracks Amelie would retract the blade back into it’s base and roll it under her bed before reaching over to the night stand, turning off her lamp, and then falling back onto her bed.


Amelie would spend nearly half an hour staring out the window on the other side of her room. The night sky was clear, the stars fully visible, and she’d become hypnotized at the view in a way, as she mentally recalled what had just happened to her.
”I can’t be that careless again. I can’t return through a portal that has jagged edges in such a rush…I didn’t even try to control my exit, and it nearly cost me my life…that was so stupid! ”

The potential for creating a paradox was far from Amelie’s mind as she began to drift to sleep, she was far more worried about fully mastering portals. Her failure to exit the portal properly was forefront in her mind, not the fact that she chose a bad moment to go back in time to.



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”Sunnu!” Amelie would hear off in the distance through the fog. It wasn’t until her grandmother pounded on the door that she’d awake fully and her grandmother’s voice would become much louder.
”Sunnu! Wake up and unlock this door!”
”I’m coming, hold on…” she’d call back as she rolled out of bed and stammered over towards the door, which once opened became Amelie’s leaning board as her grandma immediately lit into her.
”You know I no like when you leave door locked overnight! Why was door locked? And why you don’t have a bra on? Your nipples are all out there!”
Amelie’s cheeks became flush as her grandma poked her in the chest.
”Grandma!!” she whined back, much like a child would. ”I was sleeping! Who sleeps with a bra on?”
Her grandmother would look at her slightly cross for a few seconds before the expression on her face relaxed.
”Yeah yeah, okay. Well breakfast is ready, come eat and be social with your grandfather. His cold is still bad, so I made green tea not coffee.”
”I’ll be right down.”
Her grandmother would begin to walk down the staircase, but stopped only after taking a few steps, yelling back towards Amelie as she closed her bedroom door.
”And put a bra on before you come down!”

Sighing as she flounced down on her bed Amelie would shake her head and smirk softly to herself. ”She can be so embarrassing sometimes, I swear!”


After putting on her undergarments Amelie would stare at herself in the mirror for a few moments and then pull her hair out of it’s messy pony tail so she could brush it.
As she went over the memories of last night and her time at the boutique she’d remember an odd conversation with the cashier, about a police officer coming in and questioning her.
This was a conversation she was seemingly remembering for the first time, and as she brushed her hair she couldn’t help but replay the memory in her mind - questioning why it felt so fresh to her.
After her arm grew tired from the repetitive brushing Amelie would drop the brush on top of her dresser and her thoughts would shift from the boutique to what she was going to wear.
She’d eventually settle on a matching navy blue leggings and tank-top set, and slip on a pair of white ankle socks.
After grabbing her phone she’d leave her room and head downstairs.


Amelie spent the next hour eating breakfast and talking with her grandparents - occasionally butting in as her grandmother lectured her grandfather about their plans for the weekend.
It was a Saturday and the couple eventually decided to take a weekend trip up to The Hamptons to visit close family friends. Amelie questioned whether or not her grandfather was healthy enough for a three day trip, but he’d quickly shoot down any insistence that he couldn’t handle it.
”It’s just a three hour train ride, under two if we take the express.” he’d say, ”I just have a cold, not the plague you know!”
Amelie playfully rolled her eyes at her grandpa before picking her bowl up from the kitchen bar and walking towards the sink.
”Fine, okay, at least let me help you pack?”



After spending over an hour helping her grandpa pack up a suitcase, Amelie would call an uber for her grandparents as they got dressed.

The next half hour flew by, and next thing she knew Amelie was kissing her grandparents goodbye at the front door.
”Sunnu, you no have parties while we’re away, okay? No parties, and no crazy things okay?” her grandmother said with a smirk.
”Oh yes, me, the girl with no friends and no life, I’d totally throw a massive party while you’re away - and break all your precious china!”
The two would go back and forth light-heartedly as Amelie wheeled her grandparents bags out to the Uber and kissed them goodbye once again.
”Have fun!”
She’d wait until her grandparents were settled in their car and pulled off before she turned around and made her way back up to their fourth story loft.




”What to do…what to do….” Amelie said aloud as she walked into the now empty loft and locked the door behind her.
It wouldn’t take long for her thoughts to drift back to the events of last night ”I should really tell Irealia”
Amelie thought, before walking over towards her phone.
She’d quickly unlock her phone and begin to text the creator of the dark web forum Plethora, who had become not only a friend, but a mentor, in the recent months;

”Irealia, are you awake? I could really use a friendly ear. I had a close call last night - but I also figured something out! Msg me back when you can <3”

After pressing ’Send’ Amelie would drop her phone on the coffee table, snuggle with one of the pillows on the couch, and turn the TV on. She’d only make it through five minutes or so of the ID show she had on before she’d sense a disturbance in the air around her. She didn’t think too much of it - chopping it up to the air conditioner, and went about watching the television….that is until a hand touched her shoulder, causing her to scream.
”Amelie, dear, you’ve got to get better about detecting disturbances in the space around you.” Irealia joked, before closing the teleportation gateway she had traveled through and flouncing down on the love seat beside the couch. As Amelie caught her breath the tall slim thirty two year old Texan ginger sitting to her right couldn’t help but laugh.
”I really scared you, didn’t I?”
”Yes! Yes you did!” Amelie responded quite loudly, before sitting up straight. ”And for the record I have gotten a lot better about noticing disturbances in the space around me, I just sometimes have a hard time distinguishing teleportation gateways from portals - okay?”
Her defensiveness made that white lie of hers all too obvious, but instead of teasing her further Irealia just nodded.
”So, what’s this close call that you experienced?” she’d ask, while leaning down to the candy bowl on the coffee table - pulling out a few starburst as she waited for a response.

Amelie would sigh and think for a moment, before telling Irealia everything that happened, from Lux to nearly falling off her balcony.
The two would talk for nearly half an hour before Amelie would casually bring up having a new memory - something that seemed to alarm Irealia more than it did her.
”Wait, this new memory was of a cop? Questioning the boutique cashier you say?”
Amelie would crinkle her nose up a bit, unsure of why this was even a big deal.
”Uhh, yeah…the cashier told me some story about an officer looking for strange people in the shop? I mean, I’m sure it happened the first time. I just didn’t remember properly.”
”Are you sure?”
”I mean, I think? It’s not a big deal Irealia, me falling off the balcony should be more shocking than that!”
”I guess so..I mean, of course.”
Irealia would sit quietly, deep in thought, as Amelie rambled on for a few more minutes. She’d eventually interrupt her young friend and ask to see Lux.
”Oh sure, one second - I’ll go get her!”



*"Sunnu" is "grand-daughter" in Chinese.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler

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Time: Late afternoon, 3 days ago
Year: 2019
Place: Manhattan


The bank was a bust. Upon entering he had the feeling he was in the wrong place. Jason couldn’t really put his finger on it, but his gut spoke volumes. He went to the counters and joined in one of the lines. The security guard’s eyes were poking in his back and he realized the guard would not be so quickly convinced by a flash of his wallet. In order not to raise more suspicion he acted the part of an impatient client. With a few minutes of a lot of heavy sighing and constantly checking his watch, he left the queue and got out of the building.

Jason’s eyes were once again fixed on the door of the clothing boutique. Did I miss something? Aside from the lady and the register and the girl trying on the dress he hadn’t seen anything. Jason felt bad about going back with no information. He knew the case wouldn’t be the easiest one he ever solved. It wasn’t a elderly professor lost in the gladiator pits, or a computer analyst in a concentration camp. Someone travelling back in time for three days would not stand out like a soar thumb. They didn’t dress different, act different or speak different than the other people there. They wouldn’t use new age terms for old fashioned things. They wouldn’t be threatening the Aztec priests with a lawsuit.

Jason had hoped to find something though. Not to boast, but he was good at his job. He had a knack for it. The part historian, part actor and part detective fit him like a glove. It fit him so well, he could not believe his gut let him down. In a last attempt at success he looked back at the boutique and decided to go in once more.

The girl he saw earlier was now paying for the dress. It seemed the most normal thing in the world. Jason couldn’t see what she was buying as it was already in the plastic bag provided by the store. When she left through the door he saw a slight smile on her face. Alone in the store now he stepped again towards the lady at the counter. ”Excuse me, sorry to be such a bother. Do you mind if I just check the dressing rooms?”
Her face showed she was clearly bothered, but she didn’t put up a fight. She simply gave a hand gesture towards the dressing rooms before going back to folding clothes. Jason walked to the back and saw the three dressing rooms, none occupied. He opened each curtain slightly but did not see anything out of place. To be honest, he could not even be sure which of the rooms was just used by the girl.

He realized it had been a long shot, and that he was about 15 minutes past incident time, but he would have blamed himself for not checking. He walked back and out the store without a word. He turned into the alleyway where he had come from earlier. Making sure he was out of sight and in the shadows he used his left hand to press a button underneath his skin on his right bicep. Pressing it firmly for 5 seconds made him disappear back to his own timeline.

The chamber he appeared in was a different one then before. He stepped out and walked to the reception. He gave his name and mission and they changed his status from On Mission to Home Base. They gave him the room number to wait in, to give his briefing on the mission. Walking to the room he still had a bad feeling. He was almost sure he had been in the right place, but whoever had been Time Traveling there, they had left shortly after.
It wouldn’t be the first time someone tried to get off Tempus’ radar by jumping through time quickly, but it didn’t feel the same. He didn’t look forward to the debriefing. It didn’t happen much that Jason had a mission where he came back with zilch. Especially not in such a strange type of case.

Jason was surprised when he opened the door. Mr. Hassini was already there, waiting for him. Last time I needed to debrief to him he made me wait for over an hour. What is going on here….?
”Sorry, sir. I checked the location and time, but there was nothing out of the ordinary. It was like looking for a business man in a group of business men. Everything looked like it belonged.”
Mr. Hassini looked at him with deep thinking eyes. Like he was trying to look straight into his soul, like he tried to read his mind. ”You’re lying,” he said.
”You have ideas, you have thoughts, you have suspicions. You have no evidence, and that’s why you are not telling me.” The man sounded strict, but direct. There was no anger in his voice, but Jason seemed to spot a hint of curiosity.
”Let’s not pretend this was a normal mission in the first place. Tell me what you think, not what you can prove.” He gestured at a seat and Jason sat down. The door opened again and a lady came in with two steaming cups. Ugh, I hate tea, why always the tea? She put the first nasty smelling cup in front of Mr. Hassini. The second she put in front of Jason, and to his surprise he saw the cup filled with coffee. Thankful, he took a sip and started explaining.

”I apologize sir, but this is not how I usually give a debriefing. But, if you insist.” Jason put the cup down and told his supervisor the story. He told him about the boutique and the bank, and about his decision to go back to the boutique again. The entire time the older man listened with full attention, not one moment dismissing any of Jason’s thoughts and ideas.
”I am not sure why you send me on this mission sir. It’s done and although ideas and thoughts are nice, they don’t bring us a clear cut case. I thank you for your confidence but I think it is better for me to concentrate on my next mission.” Jason finished his cup of coffee. Feeling refreshed and energized he thought he would go to the gym for a bit.
”Stay seated, Mr. Rockler. I never said your mission was over. Stay on the case, do more research. Check newspapers, reports of similar incidents. Find out what the hell is going on. If there is a new type of Time Traveling signature we must chase it until we find out who and how. You will not be assigned another mission until I am certain you are done with this one. Your access level has been upgraded for certain sections of the record room. Use your time wisely. If you need to Travel, simply go to Movement. They will inform me of your trips directly, and I will authorize or not authorize then and there, without the red tape. Go with your gut, and give me results.”

Jason could not believe what he had heard. His reputation in Tempus was not spotless. There were other agents with good records and a more clean way of getting the job done. Younger people than him were climbing the ranks faster than he ever could. He had been an agent for quite a few years now, and although he was getting solo missions, he was never put in charge of a team. He didn’t know if he should be happy or worried.
”Sir? This is a surprise. I…, I will do my best.” Jason stumbled over his words. He never had any ambition to climb the ranks. Bureaucratic crap, he had always called it. He enjoyed what he did, and had no intention of changing. Seems they have a different idea Even though this was unlike previous assignments, this case was intriguing somehow.
”I don’t need your best, I need results. Doesn’t matter how I get them. Show me something soon before I must call upon someone else. Higher people than me are watching this case closely.”
Jason left the room and decided to set up a plan first. Let’s get to my room first, I need a drink.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler

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Years: 2019 // 1965
Location: Chinatown, NYC. // Syracuse, NY
Time: Early Afternoon. // Mid-Afternoon.
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”Here she is, press the button to retract the light blade.” Amelie said as she tossed Lux to Irealia and then flounced back down onto the couch.
She’d go on to explain how it worked, and her theory about how smoothing out the jagged energy around the edges of the portal made the transportation through time smoother.

”That’s amazing Amelie!” Irealia said, as she played with the retract button on Lux’s base. ”After years of time traveling even I find the magic involved hard to control upon exiting a portal. Don’t get me wrong, I can control it, but only to a point. You say this gave you complete control?”
Amelie gleefully explained how she pictured exactly where she wanted to land, and landed there perfectly.
”It couldn’t have gone better! Well, in terms of exiting the portal initially...”
Irealia smirked and then tossed a retracted Lux back to Amelie. ”This is really something Amelie, but it makes sense - the energy from this blade, in conjunction with our magic, being strong enough to warp the energies surrounding the portal. If only we could create that same intensity without ‘Lux.’”
Amelie’s eyebrows shot up at the notion. ”That would be…quite something!”

The two women would chat light-heartedly about Irealia’s recent adventures in 1912, and the Suffrage Parade she took part in, until Amelie grew hungry and suggested the two go get lunch.


”You know I’m pretty hungry now that you mention it, where to missy?”
Amelie would sit back and think for a minute before a McDonalds commercial gave her a wild idea.


Seeing Amelie’s wide excited eyes Irealia knew something was up. ”Uh-oh, what is that brain of yours cooking up?”
”Did you know that back in the 60s when McDonalds and Burger King first started, there were a bunch of other chains that tried to give them a run for their money? I just watched a documentary about it on YouTube the other day! The biggest competitor was a place called Henry’s Hamburgers! We should go there!! There was one in Syracuse, let me look it up again!”
Amelie grabbed her phone and began googling until she found the location in Syracuse, New York.
”Here we go! Built in 1960 the Syracuse location was open until 1974….hmm, which year should we go back to!?”
”Wait, we’re going back in time - for a hamburger?”
”Not just any hamburger! A Henry’s hamburger!!" she'd joke. "Besides, it’ll be fun - I love the 60’s, I have a ton of outfits that would fit for that decade - come look!”

The two women would make their way up to Amelie’s bedroom and go through a collection of mid-to-late 60’s attire. The two both wanted to wear mini-skirts, finding the allure of wearing a mini-skirt in a time when they were just coming on to the market and facing resistance, too much to resist.
”Okay okay, if we’re going to twinsies in these skirts lets go back to the mid 60’s! 19…1964! No no, 1965!”

Amelie would rush to get dressed in a lime green and white high-waist mini skirt, white knee-high socks, and a loose lime green button-up blouse. Irealia would put the same outfit on, but instead of lime green and white her colors would be yellow and white.
The two women then spent a good half hour doing their hair - Amelie opting for big poofy pig-tails reminiscent of the 1960’s doll Chatty Cathy, while Irealia opted for a more simple flipped bob style.


After digging in Amelie’s closet for purses the two would go through her small stash of old money, gathered in various ways. The two would count out ten dollars in single dollar bills they made sure were dated before, or in, 1965.
”Alright then, lets get going. After all that work I’m even more hungry now!”
Amelie nodded in agreement, and the two would go back and forth reminding each other of the various things they should and shouldn’t do - from turning their phones on vibrate, to remembering the lingo of the time. Irealia would eventually deem them ready to go, and after entering her heightened state she’d use the picture Amelie googled earlier to form an image of the Henry’s Hamburger restaurant inside of a portal she'd create atop Amelie's bed.
The two women stared at the people loitering outside of the restaurant in 1965….the image of where they wanted to go wasn’t as clear as it could be due to the jagged edges of the portal, so without thinking Amelie used Lux to smooth the edges and image out.

”Look, there…there’s an alley at the end of the strip mall behind the restaurant, it’s against a brick wall so that should be a good place to land and walk out from!”
Irealia wasn’t as convinced as Amelie but due to her hunger agreed with her young friend, and after securing Lux inside of her purse Amelie would close her eyes, enter her heightened state, and picture exactly where she wanted to land before entering the portal - followed directly by Irealia.





The two would walk smoothly out of the portal at the very back of a dark damp alley against the brick wall Amelie had spotted. Not a single person was in sight, and the two easily were able to return to their normal states and walk out of the alley and head towards the restaurant without being seen.

”I gotta say, that was the smoothest exit I’ve ever experienced through a portal. That thing sure is a godsend!” Irealia whispered as she patted Lux through Amelie’s purse.

As the two women approached the restaurant all eyes locked onto them. Sure, they were in style for the decade, but the mini-skirt was still a new thing, and while the other women loitering at the order window or nearby cars wore similar hairstyles and dresses shorter than what their parents probably liked, Amelie and Irealia were the only two in Miniskirts.

Being a naturally introverted young woma Amelie was a bit uncomfortable with so many eyes on her, but Irealia ate up the young women staring daggers at her while their boyfriends and male companions stared eagerly.
”Why hello there sir, may I have two cheese burgers and some of your famous onion rings? I’m quite famished.” Irealia said somewhat dramatically as she leaned into the ordering window, making sure her skirt lifted ever-so slightly for the audience she knew was behind them.
Amelie on the other hand crossed her arms over her chest in a slightly protective stance - twirling back and fort unconsciously as she took in the sights around her. It was only when she heard Irealia say “Famished” that she'd turn around and tap her friend on the shoulder - whispering in her ear.
”Famished? Really?” she said with a small laugh, before ordering the same thing as her friend - but adding a cup of lemonade, something Irealia would quickly add to her order too.

Henry’s Hamburgers was a carry-out establishment where people typically ate at their cars or took their food home. Thankfully however on this day there were two picnic tables set up, and after getting their meals the women would sit down at the picnic table furthest from the group of cars in the restaurant's parking lot.
”Dear god, could they stare any harder?” Amelie said as she opened her brown bag and pulled out her food.
”Lets give them something more to stare at!” Irealia joked, before crossing her legs.
”Come on girlie, don’t go all shy on me now - do it!” she whispered, eventually goading a slightly embarrassed Amelie into crossing her legs as well.

The two conversed for a while about various things they spotted in the strip mall they were in and about the men they saw staring at them, until the conversation eventually made it’s way back to the boutique.
”I know you’re sick of repeating it to me at this point, but mind repeating everything that happened again? Start from the beginning, this is the last time I'll ask, I promise!”
Amelie sighed and after a brief protest repeated her story again. Irealia would press her for any interaction she had with the cop and without thinking Amelie would spit out how she had walked by who she assumed was the police officer on the way out but he never talked to her directly. ”And that’s it! It’s not a big...deal.” Amelie’s voice trailed off before she could finish her sentence, quickly realizing that passing the man she assumed was the police officer on her way out was again a memory she felt like she was remembering for the first time.
Irealia too noticed the change in her story and dropped her burger onto the table before quickly leaning in towards Amelie.
”This is the second time your memory has changed involving this officer! Do you still think these new memories aren't odd?”
Amelie crinkled her eyebrows and shook her head softly in confusion.
”I-I, I don’t know.”
Irealia sighed, unconsciously running her hand through her hair before leaning back again. The two would remain silent for a brief moment before Irealia eventually spoke up again in a low voice.
”Look, we all get memories scrambled up sometimes, but the fact that your new memories involve a man claiming he’s a cop, bothers me. I’ve seen this before, with other Plethora member's stories….a cop, a security guard, some form of law enforcement, questioning those who were around them when they time traveled. On the surface it seems innocent enough, but put all together don’t you think it’s a bit strange?”
Amelie shrugged. ”I guess so, yes. What are you trying to say though? Does the energy and magic involved in our method of traveling set off alarms or something that alert the authorities to the establishments we land in or by?”
”I thought that myself, but when this phenomena occurs when one is traveling to the 1800’s or middle ages I don’t think we can chop it up to a security system - no?”

Before she could respond Amelie would feel a hand on her shoulder and jump slightly.
”Oh, I’m sorry ma’am - didn’t mean to frighten ya there.” said a handsome young man with bright blue eyes and dark brown hair. Amelie felt her cheeks flush a bit as the young man smiled at her.
”O-oh, it’s quite alright. May I help you with something?” she responded, with a warm smile - attempting to mask her nervousness.
”Well I couldn’t help but notice you from across the way, you’re right beautiful. Me and my pal Jimmy over there, we were heading to the theatre and would love if you and your friend joined us.”
The young main pointed to a man around the same age as him several yards behind them leaning on a black muscle car, before then pointing to the theatre across the street.
Amelie began to turn him down before Irealia cut her off.
”Oh yes, we have time! Would you two mind walking us back to our hotel after the movie though?”
”Of course ma’am, that’s not a problem at all!”
”Swell! Come on Layla, we’re gonna have a gas!”
Irealia would introduce herself as Rachel and Amelie as Layla to the brown haired man, before leaving him with Amelie and approaching his blonde-haired friend.
”Layla Is it, well I’m Brett. Pleased to meet ya!”
Amelie would smile softly and shake his hand, the two would then throw away Irealia and Amelie's trash from the picnic table before walking over towards the car his friend and Irealia where standing at talking.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler

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Time: 3PM
Year: 2019 / 1965
Place: Somewhere in midwest US / Syracuse, NY


Back in his room he walked to the small cabinet on the far side. He took out a classy looking bottle with a golden brown substance inside. He poured himself a small glass and landed 3 ice cubes in it. Taking the tumbler, he sat down on his couch and let out a sigh. Just when he thought he had this institution figured out, he was thrown another curve ball.
Jason was not one to wait in doubt, and at this moment any idea is better than no idea. He emptied his glass in a few quick sips and headed to the library. It was quite a walk as it was at the end of the east wing of the building. The room was large and fully filled with computer equipment. The amount of searching stations was enormous, and Jason had no problem finding a free spot. As usual he sat a bit to the side, he wasn’t a big fan of close encounters with his colleagues. Always those colleagues that try to talk your ear off…
There were no books to be found here, or at least not any physical ones. Most of the books were in storage and a team of administration workers was digitizing them. Jason had never met one of them, but he had heard the stories. All historical books could be found in the system. Sometimes it took a while to find what you were looking for due to the enormous amount of titles available.

This time Jason was looking quite specifically. He wanted to search the Time Travel Diaries, basically the mission reports of the institute. For all reports you had to fill out a list of questions before writing the report itself. One of those questions was the amount of time between the time at which travel started back to the point where they arrived. When he entered the search term 3 days, he received 406 results of past cases. When he applied the case status filter to ‘solved’ only 23 cases remained. With a sigh escaping his lips he opened the first case and started reading.

90 minutes later Jason had gone through 20 of the cases. Mostly the reasons were to save a loved one from an accident or worse, or to simply win the lottery. The last case had been a bit more disturbing. The case had not been solved based on the 3 days time travel. However, when the man went back 40 years and killed a farming family they were able to catch him. With the interrogation it came out he had tried his theory first by travelling back 3 days. It once again showed Jason the seriousness of the job he was doing. It might not be killers every time, but there was always a chance.
He leaned back and rubbed his eyes when he heard a zooming sound and saw a message appear on his computer screen. The message told him to immediately report at Movement where a message would be waiting for him. Jason gave his notebook at the reception and asked to load the unsolved cases on there. He could take the notebook (which looked like a book) back in time to keep the cases at hand.

Soon he found himself back in the elevator moving up to Movement again. Coming to the reception desk he simply showed his card to receive the message left behind. He took the letter without a word and moved back into the waiting room for the second time that day. He looked at it and noticed he had to make another stop before going.
A few rooms down from the waiting room was the Changing room. Considering the range of history and clothing, you’d expect it to be massive. The room you could enter was merely 10 x 6 meters. At the desk you gave the year and place and your clothes would come from the back. Jason always saw it as a bit of a mystery. It never took more than 10 minutes, which should mean they have masses of people working there, or it was a highly automated system. Whatever it was, you could always see the same grumpy lady sitting in front.

”Place?” was all she said when he stepped up to her.
”Good day to you as well, Miss MacKenzie. How are you doing today?” Although his attempt was extra cheerful, there was no reaction from the stern woman. Her half glasses were down on her nose, like an old-time librarian. Without moving she repeated. ”Place?”
A small sigh escaped his mouth as he checked his letter and gave the answer. ”Syracuse, New York.” Knowing the next question he added himself: ”1965.”
She madly typed in the information and a few minutes later Jason’s clothes came to the front. He quickly changed and went back to the waiting room. He was scheduled to arrive a day before the arrival of his current objective. He would have some time to get used to the lay of the land. It might make it easier to spot something that looks out of place.
Some 20 minutes later it was time. He once again went to one of the chambers and before he knew it, he arrived in 1965.
Last time there were some different buildings to choose from where the incident could have taken place. This time though, there was only one building which could be the target for a time jump. Henry’s Hamburgers was surrounded by a parking lot, not big by todays standards, but big enough. Jason saw cars parked where people enjoyed their food, and a picnic table in front where guests could sit down.
The children’s play area was not a thing yet, and drive-through didn’t exist. But the place was clearly recognizable by their signage. Jason had never been here, and honestly had never heard of the establishment itself. He weighed the option of going in as a customer. However, with the small seating area, the absence of his own vehicle and at least a day to spend, it wasn’t the obvious choice.

Instead Jason walked to the back of the restaurant, where he saw an older man taking out some of the trash. ”Sir, you think there is any work here for an honest man?” He walked up to the man and stretched out his hand waiting for the inevitable handshake.
The man invited him inside, and in a small office the two spoke. ”Where are you from, son?”
Jason answered with Kansas City. For some reason the man looked suspicious, although Jason couldn’t really place it. He looked around the office and started to notice the little things quickly. A medal on the wall, a picture of men in uniform, and a newspaper opened on the page with updates on the Vietnam war.
”Mr. Henry…, I won’t be here long. I was just cleared from medical leave, but they told me I have to wait before I can go back to Nam. I’ll just stay for a few days, but I find it hard to sit still and do nothing.” He added a bit of a pout, knowing all to well the selfie hadn’t destroyed it yet at this time.
The older man’s suspicion seemed to die right then and there. He got a smile on his face, stood up and pat Jason on the shoulder. ”Good man, Mr….” he waited for a response.
”Rockler, Sir. Joseph Rocker, but call me Joe, please.”
”Excellent, Joe. If it wasn’t for my bad legs, I would have loved to join you myself. We need every bit of help we can get to kick those commies back to the USSR. My wife burned her hand yesterday and we are a bit short in the kitchen. Think you can manage that?” The man walked to the door of the small office and opened it. ”There is an apron on the counter in the kitchen. And by the way, I am not Henry, it’s just a name. Call me Steven.”

Jason thanked him and walked to the kitchen right away. He picked up the apron and washed his hands. In a minute or 2 he was introduced to the colleagues and he started grilling. He enjoyed this part of the mission. Getting to know the people of the time, their stories and their hopes and dreams. Although war was raging and there were more diseases than in his own time, somehow the 60s seemed to be less cynical. And an honest day work actually felt good.
Jason’s position was optimal. Henry’s Hamburgers had been copied of the McDonald’s set-up. An open kitchen where the guests could see the food being prepared for them. He could see all people walking up to the windows without problem. He kept flipping burgers till the place closed for the day. He worked without a break but always with a glass of water around. He was sweating and regretted not having an extra shirt on him.

As the staff was all leaving, Jason stood behind. He needed a place to sleep and was looking for the nearest motel. He was happily surprised when Steven and his wife came up to him and offered him a bed and a shower for the night. He gladly accepted and at least did not have to worry for the night.
On his bed he read some of the other files without learning much from them. He was looking forward to the next day, hopefully to be able to make headway in the case.
The day had been a long one, so it was no surprise he fell asleep quickly.

When he woke up in the morning it was because of a knock on his door. It was Steven’s wife who now called for him. ”Joe, dear? We are going to the restaurant in 30 minutes, are you ready?”
He replied he would come with them as soon as he had a shower. And with the cold shower he had it only took him 10 minutes to be fully ready to go. In the kitchen there was a plate ready for him with some eggs and bacon. With a smile on his face he started eating right away and cleaned his plate afterwards.
Steven looked at him strange when Jason cleaned the dishes. Clearly it was the woman’s work, and letting Jason do it was not right.
”My dad died a long time ago. I always had to help my mom around the house. Really, I don’t mind.”

They got in the car, and drove to the restaurant. The work hadn’t changed much except for starting with eggs before the burgers. Jason noticed however, that by 11 am the burgers had already fully replaced any of the egg orders.
He knew that the incident was not long from now. He kept his eyes open on the customers while diligently doing his job. His attention was raised by the people at the cash register. He heard a tut-tut from one of the older ladies and noticed all men standing just a little bit taller. Steven’s wife came to Jason. ”Can you believe that Joe? Our country is at war, and those girls come up here barely wearing anything. It’s worse than those hippies.”
Jason just nodded as he tried his best to get a good view. When he finally saw the girls in full he knew right away they were the time travellers. First of all, they stood out like a soar thumb. Although the miniskirt was getting popular in Europe, America was a bit more conservative. Adding the bright colors and the feminist attitude Jason could be sure. In addition, of course, he recognized the girl immediately. He had seen her less than 24 hours ago in a small boutique in China Town, over 50 years from now. The other one, he could not recognize. She wasn’t in the same shop before.

His mind was racing. If there was more than 1, it might be a bigger issue than he had expected. It also ruled out an accident, seeing as it happened twice in a short time and considering the women were dressed for the occasion. Jason noted they went to sit at the table outside. ”Steven, can I take a quick smoke break?”
Steven agreed and walked out with Jason. They lit their cigarettes as they looked out over the parking lot. ”Those girls, do they look familiar to you?”
Steven told him he had never seen them before. ”Probably some city girls out for the day.”
Yes, and a far way from home… Jason thought. He saw the boys going over to the table and picked up the conversation. He could intervene now, but he had no idea how they had traveled. He needed a softer approach then just giving himself away. With his paper hat and apron on, he could only hope the girl wouldn’t recognize him. Although he was pretty sure she didn’t get a good look the day before.
If they leave, I might have to follow them. He was thinking of a way to get hold of their purse. He needed some clue on how they were doing this.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai

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Year: 1965
Location: Syracuse, NY
Time: Mid-Afternoon // Late-Afternoon
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”So much for just coming here for a quick lunch…” Amelie thought as they approached the muscle car. Brett would introduce her to Jimmy before the foursome walked across the way to the movie theatre.
After they reached the ticket window Brett would buy the tickets for them and then order their snacks ahead of time - choosing the movie “The Sons of Katie Elder” and what they’d have to eat without even asking them.
Irealia seemed irked at the presumption of what she’d want to eat and watch, but with a quick whisper and nudge to the shoulder Amelie reminded her what time they were in and her friend would calm down.

--

Constantly aware of her surroundings Amelie took note of how many people were in the theatre as they walked in with their snacks.
She spotted a group of three girls in the very front row, and only a couple other couples sitting in the middle off to the right.
Being a fan of sitting in the back of movie theatres Amelie was happy to see Brett taking them to the top row in the middle of the theatre.

As they waited for the lights to dim only one other duo - a mother and her small child - would enter the theatre before the movie started.

--

”Dean’s such a cool cat, a real bad ass - you dig?” Brett said halfway through the movie as he looked over to Amelie.
”Oh totally, he’s so sharp! I’m really liking this movie!”
”Right on. I don’t think they know what’s going on though?” Brett joked, before leaning back and pointing over towards Irealia and Jimmy - who were making out.
Amelie had been so busy spectating the crowd and watching the movie that she hadn’t even noticed.
”Oh wow, uh - they’re having a gas.” she mumbled softly, a bit taken aback that her married friend was so easily making out with another man.
”We could give them a run for their money you know?”
Without much of an invitation Brett would lean over to kiss Amelie, but her nervousness would cause her to accidentally knock over her drink into Brett’s lap.
”Oh gee, I’m so sorry! Here, let me get that.” she’d say as she bent down to pick up the ice and put it back in her cup. ”I saw the girls room on the way in, I’ll go get napkins!”

Amelie would pick up her purse, and the purse she was holding for Irelia, and maneuver around Brett as well as Jimmy and Irealia - who were still making out, and head out the theatre room and down the hall to the bathroom.

She was relieved to see the stalls empty and almost locked the door to secure a moment alone for herself, but instead decided to just go straight to the sink to clean the drink off the arms of her shirt.
After cleaning herself up she’d place the purses down on the counter and walk to the far end of the bathroom on the opposite side of the entrance to get a small stack of napkins from the old-fashion dispenser. She’d hear the door open but didn’t bother to turn around until a hand landed on her shoulder.
For the second time in one day Amelie jumped at being touched on the shoulder unexpectedly, and for the second time in one day it turned out to be Brett.
”Oh my -, you scared me again!” Amelie said with a laugh, before remembering where they were.
”I don’t think you can be in here Brett, couldn’t you get in trouble? Here, let me get a few more napkins and we can go out into the hallway to try and get that stain out your pants.”
”Boy you’re jumpy!” he said, followed by a small laugh. ”Not a worry, especially if no one finds out.”

As Amelie turned around from collecting a few more napkins she’d see Brett lock the bathroom door.
Suddenly uncomfortable Amelie would try to walk by him quickly towards the now locked door.
”Lets not risk it?” she’d suggest while attempting to pass him by, but he’d grab her by the arm - causing the napkins to fall from her hand.
”How about you get down there and clean it off me instead?” he’d suggest, before shoving Amelie to the ground. Stunned, and scared, she’d remain on the ground amongst all the strewn napkins, however once she spotted Brett unbuckling the belt around his waist she’d quickly jump up and try to unlock the door.
”Not so fast, chick.”
Before she could unlock the door Brett would grab her, shove her up against the door, and rip the top of her shirt open - forcing the first few buttons on her shirt to rip off and fall to the ground.
”No, stop! Let me go, please.” she begged, as he shoved his hand down in-between her shirt and bra.
”Well aren't you stacked, no foam domes in here - just what I like.”
”Please…stop.” Amelie pleaded, unable to prevent him from groping her.
”Look skirt, dress like a slut and get treated like one,” Brett proclaimed through a smirk, any trace of the kind boy she thought he was, was completely gone.

After grabbing at her chest he’d move his hand around Amelie’s throat and forcibly kiss her a few times before whispering in her ear. ”We’re gonna have a blast.
Brett would unbuckle his belt and undo the fly on his pants with his free hand and then let his bottoms drop to the floor, but this time when he went to shove Amelie to the ground she’d fight back, her fear morphing into anger - causing her kickboxing and self-defense training from years earlier to kick in.
”I said stop it!” she yelled, before kneeing him in his groin and then kneeing him again in his face as he was bent over in pain - causing him to fall back onto the floor in even more pain. For good measure Amelie would then grab a metal soap dish from a nearby sink and throw it at Brett’s chest.
”You fucking creep!” she spat, before grabbing both her and Irealia's purses, unlocking the door, and running out into the hallway.

Amelie quickly ran back to the theatre room and up towards her friend, who was now sitting in Jimmy’s lap.
”Hey, where’s Brett?” Jimmy asked, but Amelie completely ignored him and pulled Irealia off of his lap.
”I need to talk to you” she’d say, before attempting to pull her away from Jimmy - but Irealia resisted.
”Wait, what? The movie’s not over yet!”
Amelie pulled Irealia towards her and whispered sternly into her ear. ”Irealia I’m not joking, lets go - right now!”
Her friend could tell by how she used her real name, and by the tears forming in Amelie’s eyes, that she was serious.
”What happened?” Irealia asked

”Come on!” was the only response Amelie gave before she pulled her friend down towards the Emergency Exit and then outside into the side parking lot of the Theatre.
"Here, take it!" Amelie said, as she handed Irealia her purse.
It was only when they were outside that Irealia would notice Amelie clenching the top of her ripped shirt.
”Amelie, what happened?” she asked once again, but her friend simply started walking ahead of her, making her way back across the street towards the Henry’s Hamburgers and the Strip Mall behind it.
Frustrated by not getting an answer Irealia would grab Amelie’s arm in an attempt to force her to stop.
”Dammit Amelie, tell me what happened!?” she said firmly, attempting not to yell too loudly.
Without thinking Amelie turned around and slapped Irealia before yanking her arm back.
”Don’t touch me!” she yelled, anger oozing from her, however it quickly dissipated when she realized she had just slapped her friend and mentor, and she’d quickly begin to apologize profusely, tears streaming down her cheeks.
Irealia waved off the apologies and wrapped one of her arms around Amelie’s shoulder and turned the two of them away from the Henry Hamburgers and any prying eyes, and faced them towards the emptier side of the parking lot.
”Please, tell me what happened. Why….why is your shirt torn Amelie?”
Irealia wasn’t an idiot, she was beginning to piece together what might have happened before Amelie finally let the truth spill out.

”He followed me to the bathroom, he forced himself on me…”
”Did he…”
Amelie would shake her head furiously as she wiped the tears away from her eyes, anger and frustration once again taking over.
”No! He didn’t rape me…but he tried to, dammit!”

Amelie would pull herself from Irealia’s grasp and begin to cross the street towards the black muscle car parked near Henry’s. She wasn’t sure which of the boys it belonged too, but she didn’t care, she was angry and wanted to take it out on something.
Not exactly sure of what her friend was going to do, but knowing it couldn’t be good, Irealia quickly ran to catch up to her.
”Hun, whatever you’re planning - don’t do it!”
”Watch me!”
Amelie was still clenching her torn shirt at the top preventing her bra from being exposed as she angrily walked towards the vehicle. Thankfully Irealia would step in-between her and the car before she could do anything.
”I understand you’re mad, but doing something that would cause the cops to be called is the last thing we need! Do you want to be stuck here?”
Amelie sighed, her anger slowly being replaced by good ol’ commonsense. She knew Irealia was right, and the last thing they needed was to cause an even bigger scene.

”I Just wanna go home”
”Yeah, me too. Well after I get my hands on that piece of shit who had the nerve to touch you!”
Amelie smirked slightly. ”There's no need, I made him regret it.”
The two would smile at each other before hugging their frustrations out.

As she pulled out of her friend’s embrace Amelie once again clenched the top of her torn blouse.
”Unfortunately I think we made too much of a scene to casually walk back over to the same alley without being watched. So how about this, lets go in there and get your another top. We should have enough money for that.”
Irealia pointed to a Sears shop at the end of the strip mall behind the Henry Hamburger’s restaurant stand. Amelie agreed.
”Sure, okay. Who knows, maybe we can travel back home somewhere inside there too!” she'd whisper to her friend.




The two women would make there way inside the Sears and after asking where they could find the particular type of blouses they were searching for, they’d head over to the back of the store.
After picking out a few blouses Amelie would settle on a slightly more pale version of the torn top she had on already and quickly made her way over to the cashier.
”Mind if I switched to this top in here? Seeing as how my current blouse is ripped?” Amelie asked after paying for the top. If they had been in their current time this request would have been met with some skepticism at best, and a flat refusal at worse. However the bubbly cashier in front of her said it wasn’t a problem and pointed her back towards the dressing rooms.
”Thank you!”

”Hey, mind holding this for me? I’m gonna try on a few tops!” Irealia said before handing her purse over to Amelie. Before she could even protest her friend had ran into the dressing room before she could, and seeing as how the only other dressing room was occupied, Amelie sighed and stood outside of the stall her friend was in, using a combination of their purses and the blouse she just bought - held tightly against her chest - to cover up the top of her torn shirt.

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