It's about time

It's about time

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Private roleplay between Lonesome Butterfly and myself

1,463 readers have visited It's about time 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.

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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.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler

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Time: Late afternoon
Year: 1965
Place: Syracuse, NY

Jason lit a second cigarette looking over at the table. A conversation had now started between the time travelers and the boys that approached the table before. ”They seem quite popular off the bat…”, he mentioned to Steven.
The man looked over at the table again. His forehead turned into a frown as he seemed to recognize the boys. ”Lucky ladies, getting the attention of the mayors son and all…" Contrary to his words he didn't seem that impressed. " Useless prick never did an honest day of work in his life. Can’t believe he even got his friends out of military duty though, that’s a new low.” The older man let out a heavy sigh and was shaking his head in disapproval.
”Wow, it seems that’s happening in all times…” Jason mumbled to himself. ”Which one is the mayor’s son?” he asked as blasé as he could.
”The one talking to the young girl there, Brett Beckerman. Best of luck to the girl…” Steven answered as he through his cigarette on the ground and stomped it out with his feet.
”I’ll be 2 more minutes, see you inside Steven.” Jason kept looking at the table. Both girls didn’t seem to have eyes for anything else than the attention of the boys. As they were getting up he saw them walking over to the cinema. Well, I guess that will keep them busy for some time.

Jason walked back inside and continued the now usual grilling of his burgers. Through the open kitchen he could keep an eye on the cinema entrance, but not as much as he wanted to. He called out to the front to see if there was anyone that wanted to switch, and a few minutes later he was taking the orders rather than making them. Every few seconds he would glance over to the cinema, even though the movie must be at least one more hour to go.
Just a few minutes later there was some commotion coming from the cinema when the two girls came storming out. From this viewpoint Jason could clearly see the ripped blouse one of them was wearing. She was going for the boys car like a bull running after a red cloth. He didn’t have a lot of time to think, but he could see trouble coming if the police was involved. It seemed however, that her friend had the same train of thought, since she jumped in between the car and her friend.
He couldn’t hear what was going on, but he lost focus of his work looking over at the two girls. He wasn’t alone, as most people in the restaurant as well as at the tables were now looking in their direction. He saw the two girls hugging and moving away from the muscle car in the direction of Sears. He heard Steven behind him: ”Well, they were asking for it, the way they were dressed…”

Jason flared up and felt himself getting red in the face. ”You really think so, Steven. I mean, we were near the two girls and my penis never left my pants. As far as I could see neither did yours, but maybe I missed something?” He maybe sounded more passive aggressive than he wanted.
He could see the man getting angry. Jason thought to calm himself down, this was a sign of the times. But then he didn’t feel it was an acceptable one. This was a difficult point in his job. He saw crimes and misjudgments happen in front of his eyes, but he was supposed to do nothing about it. He was protecting history, as terrible as that sometimes was. It was only normal that people wanted to stop murder, rape and injustice overall. Jason was no different in this, he had half a mind to beat up this Brett dude. If he would have been near them when it happened, he just might have. And this was the thing that Jason hated about himself. His first instinct should be to kick the crap out of him, and even the fact that he would think about reconsidering made him sick.

”Now don’t get fresh with me young man. Don’t act like I did something wrong. I gave you a place to work and a place to sleep, this is a strange thank you.”
Jason wanted to protest and opened his mouth to tell Steven that him accepting that Brett would make unwanted advances, was nearly as bad as making the advances himself.
”Before you open your mouth again I suggest you take get some fresh air outside and cool down.” Jason had to agree and went back to the smoking spot, this time without actually smoking. He hadn’t seen the girls coming out of Sears and thought he ought to investigate when he saw another commotion at the cinema.

Brett and his friend came nearly running out, looking around frantically. They walked to the middle of the parking lot looking in all directions. They didn’t find what they were looking for and they stormed in the direction of Henry’s Hamburgers. It looked like Brett had a bleeding nose and his belt was not yet tied.
”Give me a phone now! I am calling the police!” He literally screamed in Jason’s face.
”Oh my, what happened to you Golden boy. Want to call the police over a missing belt?” He tried to laugh it off, and cool down the situation. The police wouldn’t help Jason right now.
”That bitch punched me in the face, she needs to be arrested!” He was on his way to step over to the window to ask for a phone.
”So you want to call the police, many of them your fathers friends and acquaintances, to tell them the mayors son was beat up by a girl? Wowzers, I am sure that will be the talk of the town.”
Brett stopped. ”Well, she deserves to be….” he started doubting himself. ”You…you can’t just get away with something…” With a sound somewhere between agony, anger and frustration he left and walked towards his car. With a sound to destroy CO2 submissions the world around he drove off.

Jason called through the window, ”Steven, if you don’t mind I am just gonna check if those girls are okay, all right?” Steven let out a sigh and seemed ready to protest before his wife jumped in. ”Sure thing doll, see you in a few minutes.”
He took off his apron and his paper hat and walked over to the Sears. Thinking of her ripped blouse, he was pretty sure they would be at the fitting rooms. He followed the signs and from a distance could see the younger girl waiting at the fitting rooms. He could only think that the other one was occupying the fitting room itself. He was too scared of being recognized to come any closer. There was not a lot of room there to hide away, and although the purses were laying on a stool next to her, he didn’t see a way to get a hold of them. All he could do now was to stay close and try to pick up on their conversation.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler

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Years: 1965
Location: Syracuse, NY
Time: Mid-Afternoon.
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After only a couple minutes Irealia would come out of the dressing room stall and hold two shirts up, asking for an opinion on which is better. Before Amelie could even respond the excited redhead proclaimed she’d just get both, before walking over towards the cashier.
Amelie smiled slightly before pushing her way into the dressing room stall - locking the door behind her. After dropping their belongings onto the stall’s bench she’d quickly change her shirt and then shove her old torn shirt inside of her bag.
Staring at herself in the mirror Amelie sighed as she pulled her hair out of the pigtails she had styled it into earlier. Using her fingers she’d comb her long thick hair out until it was relatively straight, almost reaching to the ends of her miniskirt.
”I wanna go home…” she muttered, before closing her eyes and entering her heightened state of being. When she opened her now white eyes she’d look around her stall and quickly find not one but two tears, she’d touch one with her hand - causing it to open into a small portal the size of a grapefruit. She thought for a second about just widening it, pulling Irealia inside the dressing room, and leaving, however she quickly realized it wasn’t the right location - the cashier knew they were in the store still, and so did a gentlemen who had entered shortly after them, so Amelie dropped her heightened state, picked up their bags, and exited the stall.


”Ready to go finally?” Amelie said to Irealia as she approached her.
”Yeah, I just finished doll, so lets….go.”
Her friend paused for a moment before finishing her sentence, taken off guard for a second by Amelie’s hair being straightened out.
”So, where to? Maybe the city? Oh yes, lets go stroll by NYC!” Irealia said as the two made their way to the front door of the shop.
”Yeah, no. Lets just go home, I’ve had enough for one day.”
Amelie would accidentally bump into a woman’s shoulder as she was approaching the door - knocking a wallet out of her grasp. Without thinking Amelie bent down to pick it up and handed it back - apologizing.
She’d look up towards the woman’s face briefly with a smile before casually looking around the woman - spotting the man she had seen enter the store before.
As the woman walked away from her Amelie would find herself staring at the man, something about him seeming familiar for some reason. Before she could walk closer to get a better look her friend pulled her back towards the door and out of the shop.
”Come on, no gawking at strangers, though I must admit that one was quite the looker!” Irealia joked, letting go of Amelie’s arm only once the two were outside the front doors.
The pair quickly spotted a bus stop bench ahead of them near the Henry’s Hamburgers and began walking towards it.

”He looked familiar” Amelie muttered, more to herself than her friend, and after Irealia dismissed it as likely deja vu she’d agree, sit down on the bus bench, and cross her legs.
”We need to find somewhere to go. Maybe we can ride the bus around until we find another secluded spot?”
”You know there’s actually two tears in the dressing room of Sears. If only we could get in there without being noticed.”
Irealia quickly gave her friend a light tap in the back of the head.
”Of course we can! Come on, lets go back to the movie theatre, we can use the bathrooms and teleport to the dressing rooms! Heck, there might even be a tear in time we could use inside of the theatre’s bathroom.”

Just the mention of the movie theatre made Amelie feel slightly sick to her stomach.
”Yeah I rather not. I really don’t want to step inside that place ever again.”
Irealia sympathized with her, but eventually talked her into it - claiming it was their best option in the short-term.
”Fine., lets just make our stay in there quick.”

The two women stood up from the bench and then began to cross the street, but Amelie would stop in her tracks when she realized why the man in Sears looked so familiar.

”Oh my God, that’s him!” she’d say, before turning around and staring back in the direction of the department store.
It wasn’t until a car blew it’s horn at her that Amelie would snap out of her daze and jog across the street towards a curious Irealia.
”What? Who are you talking about and who are they - I’m confused.”
Not wanting anyone to hear Amelie would link arms with Irealia and begin to walk towards the theatre entrance - stopping short of going inside.
”That man, the man in Sears, that’s the cop!” she’d whisper frantically.
”What?” Irealia looked quite puzzled at the statement.
”From the boutique, with all the new memories, that’s him, that’s the same guy!”
Irealia would pull out of her grasp and instinctively look over towards the Sears before looking back at her friend, her expression suddenly stone cold serious.
”Amelia are you sure? Did you get a good look?” she inquired.
”I think so.” Amelie responded with, much to Irealia’s frustration.
”You think so?”
”Irealia! I’m sure, I know that’s the same guy -what does that mean? Why is he here?”

The two of them would again look over in the direction of the Sears before Irealia quickly opened the movie threatre door and pulled Amelie inside.
”Come, now! We need to leave immediately.”

Irealia quickly dragged a reluctant Amelie into the same bathroom she was assaulted in less than an hour ago, and after checking all the stalls she'd lean up against the bathroom door - not wanting to lock it since they wouldn't be going back out.
"I know this has to be uncomfortable for you, but we'll be out of her quickly. Going to create a teleportation gateway to the dressing room, and then we're going to leave.
"What if someone is inside there? Lets teleport to the Alleyway, the tear there should still be viable."
Irealia agreed and entered her heightened state in record time. She'd curse at there not being a tear in time inside of the bathroom, but instead of leaving she'd hold her hands out and begin to collect all the energy orbs floating about around her - dragging them in front of her hands until she had enough energy to create a gateway.
Amelie was not in her heightened state of being and couldn't see exactly what she was doing, but as a gateway began to form she'd question her mentor's methods.

"Wait, if there wasn't a tear how did you just create a portal!?"
Irealia smirked ever so slightly. "I didn't. I created a teleportation gateway, it would take far more energy for a portal - hence the reason finding a tear in the fabric of space and time is an easier way to create, and travel via, an actual portal."
"That doesn't answer the question, what did you just do!?"
Irealia ignored the inquiry and began to stretch the gateway until it was big enough for them to walk inside.
"Come, we're getting out of here asap, i don't want to be followed!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler

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Time: Late afternoon
Year: 1965
Place: Syracuse, NY


The younger girl was too apprehensive. Jason was sure she had time traveled at least twice now. She was the main target of his mission, but she kept to herself more than the other one. This young woman was more outgoing, really enjoying herself. She was also less careful. She flaunted around the shop in the direction of the register while her friend was in the dressing room.

He saw his chance clear now that the two girls were not together. As she was waiting at the register Jason closed in, casually browsing through the surrounding racks of clothes. The girl was talking to the lady at the register, not taking notice of him. He stayed close to hear what she was saying. Listening for any giveaways on her name, possible a location. She kept in her role though and did not let out any information that was useful to him.

He went back to perusing through the racks to slowly move himself away from her. Only a minute or two later he saw the other girl coming from the changing rooms. He tried to keep his eyes pierced on the shirt he pulled out. His eyes were pulled to the girl when he noticed the change in her hair style. While looking he saw how she bumped in to one of the other customers. He should have looked away, but he didn’t and by the time she stood up they looked each other straight in the face. Immediately he diverted his eyes downward, but he was scared it was too late. She had seen him back at the boutique, and there was a good chance she would recognize him.

He stayed back a bit as the ladies walked out of the store. He was 90% sure they wouldn’t be there much longer. He didn’t know what the plan had been, but he couldn’t imagine this was going according to their plan. After about 10 minutes more he walked out. He looked around, but he could not see the girls around. Of course he could have asked, but he doubted he would be able to approach them without them making a run for it. It may be best to return to Tempus, gather his thoughts and his findings and wait for the next time jump. He walked back to Henry’s Hamburgers.

”We need you in the back, kid.”Steven was busy taking orders, and by looking at the line it was busy. Jason walked into the back, put on his apron and started grilling again. After only 5 minutes he didn’t want to stay any longer. To be honest, the only reason he was grilling now was to do a favor to Steven for taking Jason in like he did. But walking out now wouldn’t make any difference. Jason would just be a slight memory in their lives for about 2 years maximum. They wouldn’t remember him afterwards unless they would see him again. He wouldn’t be looked for and he wouldn’t be missed, there were no lasting connections made.

Jason was aware of the popular belief of the butterfly effect. Any small change made in the past caused large differences at a later stage. He didn’t particularly believe this theory, history was mostly a solid definitive line of events. Small changes caused by time travel are rectified by time itself. However, most people that took the leap of traveling through time had bigger changes in mind. He wondered about the motivation of the two girls.

”Steven, I’ll be taking out the trash…be right back!” Jason grabbed the full garbage bin and stepped out the back door. He turned to the container and dumped the trash inside. He took off his apron and paper hat and folded them up, leaving them next to the garbage bins. He heard a commotion further in the alleyway. It sounded like a high pitched noise, and he couldn’t really hear it, but more …. feel it. As he looked over he saw lights moving, or at least he thought he did. It is like the little black spot in the corner of your eye that just keeps on moving further away the moment you try to focus on it.

Throughout the light he saw the girls just appear. Not jumping into existence, not materializing, not appearing in any way that Jason was used to. What the hell are they doing… As the light fell away they appeared clearly as if they just turned around the corner. Force was not an option, even if he took one, the other would get away. He wasn’t sure which of them was allowing the time travel, although he had to assume it was the younger girl of the two. He wasn’t sure what to say to them, what would make them talk, stay, or even go with him.

The fact he saw them at all right now was pure coincidence. He was literally just taking out the trash, although it didn’t have to look that way to them. ”Good afternoon ladies. I think we all know and can accept that we do not belong here, in this time.” He paused a moment to let the ‘busted’ feeling sink into them.
”I think we also know that I am able to find you, trace you. Coincidences are real, but limited, so it is no accident we are here now, face to face.
I would like to invite you to my organization. We are interested in your mode of transportation. I extend the invitation to both of you. So it’s up to you. You can come now willingly, or we keep up this cat and mouse game.”
He stood there in silence for a moment, taking in their faces. ”But I promise, the next time the cat catches the mouse, I will not ask as friendly.”
He could still turn this mission in a full success. He might have just made the biggest break through in the case so far. Whatever hapened now, he should not forget that Tempus was able to track their signature, hard as it may be.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler

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Years: 1965 // 2019
Location: Syracuse, NY // Chinatown NYC, NY
Time: Mid-Afternoon. // Mid-Afternoon
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Irealia would push Amelie into the gateway before following closely behind her - making sure to close the gateway after stepping into it. Unlike when they use their magic to time travel and the portal closes behind them after a slight delay once they reach their intended location, when using a gateway to teleport within the current time-line they have to both open and close the gateway.


”Hey!” Amelie called out as she stumbled out into the alley. ”Don’t push me like that next time!”
Irealia would apologize as she closed the gateway and then turned to walk to where the tear in time was further down the alley, however before either of them could move a voice startled them.
”Good afternoon ladies. I think we all know and can accept that we do not belong here, in this time.”
Both Irealia and Amelie would simply stare wide eyed at the man who suddenly spoke to them, shocked more than scared. However after several seconds Amelie would recognize him as not only the officer from the boutique, but the man from Sears.
”It’s him” she’d whisper, causing Irealia to narrow her eyes at him as he continued to talk.
”I think we also know that I am able to find you, trace you. Coincidences are real, but limited, so it is no accident we are here now, face to face.
I would like to invite you to my organization. We are interested in your mode of transportation. I extend the invitation to both of you. So it’s up to you. You can come now willingly, or we keep up this cat and mouse game”

As the man took a dramatic pause Irealia would walk up beside Amelie and whisper softly to her in French.
”Donne moi ton sac.”
Confused as to why Irealia wanted her purse Amelie would ask why, but Irealia simply repeated herself, albeit more sternly.
Without any further hesitation Amelie handed her bag to Irealia, reminding her, in French, that Lux was inside it.
”I know, that’s the point.
Once again confused Amelie wanted to inquire about what Irealia meant, however the man speaking up again would grab her attention.
”But I promise, the next time the cat catches the mouse, I will not ask as friendly.”

Irealia smirked as she walked towards the man, stopping mere feet in front of him.
”Well, Tom, as it so goes in the show, every single episode Tom can never quite catch Jerry - who is always one step ahead of him. So, on behalf of all the mice around the world, I humbly decline your invitation.”
Seconds after she declined the invitation from the stranger, Irealia would take Amelie’s purse and knock the man over the head with it - causing him to fall to his knees.
”Irealia!” Amelie cried out as she jogged over to her friends side.
”Don’t worry, Lux’s handle is made of metal - it’s fine.” Irealia said rather casually, causing Amelie to nudge her in the side before lecturing her.
”It’s not that, you just knocked him in the head, are you crazy?”

The fiery red head would roll her eyes before handing Amelie her purse back and telling her, in French, to find the tear and get them out of here.
Amelie would stare at the man on his knees - struggling to keep upright, and then stare at her friend, before jogging several yards down the alley to where the tear was.
Her emotional state high, Amelie would close her eyes for what felt like an eternity to enter a heightened state of being.

The energy radiating from her in her heightened state usually turned her eyes white and caused her hands to glow brightly, however this time her entire body was outlined with a ring of bright white energy, and energy encased nearly every strand of hair on her head, causing her hair to glow almost as brightly as her white eyes.
When she touched the tear in time it instantly opened to the size of a full portal, something Amelie wasn’t used to. She usually had to focus and manipulate the energies around the tear for a brief period of time before it expanded , but in this moment the creation of the portal was almost instant.


Meanwhile, behind her Irealia lifted the groggy mans face up by his chin and leaned down so that their noses nearly touched.
”Cats have nine lives, consider this your first. You’d be wise to let the mice be, for next time we won’t be so nice.”
After her sarcastic remark Irealia would kick the man in his side - causing him to fall to the ground.

Having heard the scuffle behind her Amelie turned around and ran back toward Irealia, who was quickly searching the man’s pockets. After finding nothing she’d stand up just in time to meet Amelie.
”What did you do!?”
Ignoring her friend Irealia grabbed the bag from Amelie’s hand, took out Lux, and walked towards the portal.
”We’re leaving, now.”

Amelie would watch as her mentor walked over toward the portal, and as she began to smooth the edges of the portal out with the energy radiating from Lux, Amelie would turn back towards the man and kneel down on the ground so that she could roll him over. ”She’s not a bad person, she’s just trying to protect herself and…all of us.” she whispered to the man she assumed was unconscious.
Without thinking Amelie would pull the man’s head into her lap and place one of her hands on the back of his head.
”Come on!” Irealia called out, as she made Lux’s light blade go back inside it’s base.
”I’m sorry.” Amelie said to the man, suddenly feeling responsible for everything that had happened today, from the sexual assault to Irealia assaulting the man whose head she now held in her lap.
Unconsciously Amelie would place her free hand over an open wound on his forehead, covering it from the elements and cradling the mans head in-between her two hands. She’d apologize to the stranger once again before removing her hands from him so she could gently move him from her lap, however after she pulled back her hand from his forehead she was startled to see the open gash on his head was suddenly sealed.
Frightened she’d quickly move his head onto a nearby comforter discarded in the alley and stand, staring wide-eyed at her hand glowing brighter than she had ever seen it glow before…however, her train of thought was interrupted by Irealia grabbing her from behind.
”I’m not asking again, I will drag you inside this portal if I have to!”

Amelie would pull herself out of Irealia’s grasp and begin to follow her friend and mentor down the alley toward the portal. Halfway there she’d turn around and stare back at the man still laying on the ground, her facial expression showing a great amount of regret, but as she looked at him she could have sworn his eyes were open, a sight that suddenly caused her to sense the urgency of her predicament and jog towards Irealia and their portal home.










As the two women walked out of the portal and back into Amelie’s room they’d remain silent.
Irealia would undress down to her bra and underwear before falling back onto the bed and staring up at the ceiling.
Amelie on the other hand would walk into her bathroom and close the door. She’d strip out of her clothes completely and stare at herself in the mirror. She remained in her heightened state, a seemingly more elevated heightened state at that.
Amelie noted how her hair was glowing, and how the light usually restricted to around her extremities now outlined her entire body.
After nearly a minute of simply staring at herself she’d in an instant fall out of her heightened state and back to her normal self. She'd sigh before turning the water on at the sink in front of her and washing her face.

”I don’t understand, did I heal him?” she thought to herself as she dried her face.
”No, that would be crazy.”

As she walked out of the bathroom Amelie would lock eyes with her friend, who was now sitting up at the end of the bed.
”You know, it’s quite cold in here - you might want to cover those things up.” Irealia joked as she stared at her mentee's bare chest. Amelie rolled her eyes and walked over toward her dresser where she pulled out a thin white “I ❤ NYC” t-shirt and slipped into it.
”We need to talk.” was all she’d say, before walking out of her room and back down to the first floor, where she’d poor herself a glass of her grandmother’s wine in the Kitchen and then flounce down on the couch.
A minute or so later Irealia would come walking down the stairs, still in nothing but her undergarments, and sit down beside Amelie - who had already downed half the glass of wine.

Her mentor would begin to apologize for her drastic actions, but Amelie cut her off and began to tell her about her elevated heightened state, how she instantly created the portal, and how she had seemingly sealed the gash on the man’s forehead.
”I don’t know how, I don’t know what I did, but he had a gaping wound with blood running down the side of his head.…and when I removed my hand the wound was sealed and the blood dried onto his skin.” she’d say, before downing the rest of her wine in one swig - slamming the glass down on the coffee table in front of her when she was done.
”Irealia I don’t understand, I’m scared. What am I?”

Her friend would slide over towards her, sensing the anxiety as tears began to form in Amelie’s eyes. Irealia's concern quickly caused her to pull Amelie's head down toward her chest where she'd hug her tight.
”You’re you, don’t be scared, you’re so very special Amelie.”


For the next half hour Irealia would explain that what enabled both of them to enter their heightened states of being where they were able to see the energy particles around all of humanity, and manipulate them - as well as tears in the fabric of space and time - to traverse time and great distances, was sorcery, manipulation of magic that ran in their blood - inherited from generations long ago. She spoke of others who were able to manipulate their magic to do various things outside of time travel - from creating shields or projectiles out of pure energy, to healing. Irealia then explained how she manipulated the energy around them to create a gateway in the bathroom earlier, without a tear in time.

”So wait, to what extent can you manipulate the energy around you?” Amelie asked, causing Irealia to smile broadly.
”Quite a bit. But no matter how hard I have practiced, and no matter how hard I have tried, I could never heal myself. The stories of those like us who can use their powers to heal, they’re so few and far between, which leads me to think it’s quite rare indeed, and requires an elevated heightened state that apparently most of us can’t reach. But you, you reached it Amelie. Do you understand how special that makes you?”

Her mind began to wander as she thought about which parent she inherited her abilities from, whether they traveled time like she did, what she could do with her power, and whether or not she’d ever be able to reach that elevated heightened state again. However Amelie’s mind finally settled on the last image of that man in the alley way.
”Whether I’m special or not, we have a problem. That man, he knows what we’re doing, he saw us teleport and I’m positive he saw us leave.
He said he was from some organization? Are they following us? Have you ever heard of such an organization?”


Irealia sighed at the rapid fire questions as she ran both her hands through her hair.
”So many questions, before we have this conversation I think we could use something a bit stronger than the wine your grand-mum keeps in this place. Wanna get dressed and come with, or should I go out on my own and meet you back here in say 15 minutes or so?”

Amelie scooted further into the couch cushion and pulled her knees up to her chest. ”I think I’ll stay put. Be quick though?”
Irealia nodded before jogging back up the stairs to get dressed.

As Amelie turned the living room television on and began to let her thoughts wander, upstairs Irealia would pull out her phone and open up the Plethora forums. Unbeknownst to Amelie she had taken a picture of the man as she held his head up.
She’d include the encrypted photograph in a thread simply titled “Do you recognize this man?.”
As the owner of the site she’d pin the thread to the very top of the forum and mark it urgent, before getting dressed.

Once fully clothed Irealia would grab her phone and wallet and slide them into her pockets before head back downstairs.
”Be back asap, any preference in drink?” Irealia asked as she stood in the doorway.
”Jack.” was all Amelie would say, and Irealia would giggle softly to herself before walking out the loft and closing the unlocked front door behind her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler

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Time: Late afternoon // Evening
Year: 1965 // 2019
Place: Syracuse, NY // Tempus HQ


Her bag ..… What’s in the bag? Jason wouldn’t ask out loud, not yet ready to give away he spoke fluent French, and half a dozen other languages. Lux isn’t French, but Latin. Is she looking for a torch or something?

For some reason he kept his eyes on the younger girl. He felt more of a connection with her. She looked worried when the other had a confident look in her eyes. Jason wouldn’t call her scared, but more apprehensive. Of the two, the younger one was likely to be the one to agree with his request. As the other one came closer, he looked into her sharp and intelligent eyes.
”Well, Tom, as it so goes in the show, every single episode Tom can never quite catch Jerry - who is always one step ahead of him. So, on behalf of all the mice around the world, I humbly decline your invitation.”

Mere seconds later he couldn’t believe he had missed the move she made. He was fit and trained in multiple fighting styles. Still he was knocked over the head with a handbag. He didn’t know what Lux was, but he knew it wasn’t a pack of tampons. It hit his head bloody hard, and involuntarily he fell to his knees. Where the bag had hit his head he felt a slow trickle of blood coming down. Although slightly dazed and confused, his mind was sharp and mental notes were made and stored with the normal speed.

First thing he registered after the hit was a name. Irealia. Not a name he was familiar with, neither from the reports he had read earlier nor from the list of infamous time travelers that so far had omitted their capture. Half whispering to himself, half out loud, he uttered. ”You’re damn right something in that back is made of metal, Irealia…”
He touched his head to feel the wound on his head His feeling regarding the younger one was confirmed almost immediately. Her reaction was one of surprise, and if he didn’t know any better…disgust. She certainly hadn’t expected her friend to do this, making it clear they were acquaintances at best.

As the woman grabbed his chin to bring him in close, he noticed the bright light coming from behind her. He saw that she noticed it too, a slight smile on her face. A smile that didn’t make him feel any more comfortable. He acted groggier than he was, trying to gage what else she would give away in this first confrontation.
”Cats have nine lives, consider this your first. You’d be wise to let the mice be, for next time we won’t be so nice.”

I could have sworn nice meant something else Jason thought as he felt the foot connecting with his left rib cage. He felt lighter in his head as more blood was seeping out of the wound. The woman felt in his pockets until he heard the others voice again calling out in shock. Their reactions showed them in panic mode as they were looking for their way out. Jason couldn’t see exactly how they did it, but it certainly took longer than the scientific methods he knew. Also, it seemed more than a one-step process. As the young girl stayed by his side, the other walked away hastily.

He held himself still and quiet as she turned him around and assured him that they weren’t bad people. His eyes were closed but burning at the same time. Like the Sun was burning directly on his face, the light almost making him blink. He felt her moving him into her lap and seemingly attending to his wound. ”I’m sorry.”
She apologized as the other urged her to hurry, clearly ready to go. He felt his head moving over to something softer than the ground, but harder than her lap. As she moved away, he opened his eyes and looked at how they were making their getaway. He saw her looking back, and she must have seen him with eyes open. He tried to shout: ”BE CAREFUL”, but he doubted if she heard him. It was meant for the younger girl, who seemed in more danger than she herself realized.

He could see the portal they disappeared through. He didn’t know if it was the strange angle in which he was watching, but he couldn’t see anything beyond the gateway. He noticed the girl looked lighter, like she was emanating a soft glow from inside herself. As the portal closed he moved his hand to his head, noticing the wound had closed itself, or had it….
As he got up, he saw the comforter his head had been resting on. Once again confirming that one of the strangers was nicer than the other, although that point was more than clear at this moment. Their mode of time traveling had its roots in magic, that much was clear. However, it seemed manipulated in some way, not as clean or natural as the other times he had seen it. Although the times he saw magic being used in time travel could be counted on one hand. Inventions, science and wormholes had been the most frequent in all his missions.

He put the comforter back against the wall and walked over to where he saw the two of them disappear. He couldn’t see anything that alerted him to time travelling. He did feel something in the air, like a vibration, a static. Not sure if this was always there or just a remnant of their magic, he let it be. He had learned about as much as could be learned here and he once again used his left thumb to reach for the homing button under the skin of his right arm. He felt himself disappearing from time and re-appearing into the chamber inside Tempus.

Walking out the chamber he bumped into a colonial soldier who, with his musket, almost put Jason’s eye out. ”Be careful where you are pointing that thing!” he blurted out.
With a better look he still didn’t recognize the man in front of him. He looked lost and for a moment Jason thought he might be an actual colonial, instead of a Tempus agent. From a distance he heard a familiar booming voice: Beckerman! Pay attention and step inside the chamber. Movement is about speed, accuracy and efficiency and you are screwing it up.
Jason gave a tap on the shoulder of ‘Beckerman’. ”Oh jeez, you have bigger problems than me.”
He paused for a moment, than spoke louder. ”No worries, Sarge, my fault.”
He grabbed the handkerchief that was sticking out of the young man’s pocket and dabbed some of the blood off his forehead. Before the booming voice replied he turned the other way and walked out.


Jason called Mr. Hassini from his room, and explained part of what happened. He wasn’t ready to share everything, even if the man insisted. ”It’s definitely magic, and they were not happy to cooperate.” It stayed silent on the other end of the line.
”You’re telling me you need back up, aren’t you? Fine, don’t give them the full information. Just their help in apprehending these women.” He paused for a moment, and Jason knew more or less what the man would say.
”I’ll inform agents Stevens and Hassad, they will be available when the next time jump occurs. Again, keep me up to date.”
”I don’t need Stevens and Hassad, I need Lucy.” He didn’t have to wait long for the answer.
”Absolutely not! First of all, she outranks you. Secondly, she is no back-up, she is the one taking over when you fail. You know you can’t take Lucy, so why even ask me? I am not even in charge of her anymore.
”Are you serious? Seems like she is not just outranking me then…. You know why I am asking, and it’s not about rank. She has experience with magic users, more so than I, Stevens and Hassad combined. I need someone from her team, and I only trust her. Either Lucy joins, or I am out. ”
He wasn’t normally the one to make a bold statement, so he hoped that would help. He was thinking of the women he was now chasing. The younger one might be in over her head, impressionable and peer pressured. Lucy was young, determined and very professional. He thought she might be a better person to reach out than he was. And definitely better than frikkin’ Stevens and Hassad.

”Let me know when you decide, I’ll be in my room.” When he did not hear any sign of protest, he hang up the phone. Finally having a moment to think, he realized how dirty he felt. He opened the door to his bathroom and unbuttoned his shirt. He looked at the mirror and held the handkerchief he took earlier under the hot water. He inspected the headwound up close for the first time, the handkerchief taking away most of the dried blood.
With the blood taken away he could not see any sign of a wound. For sure something strange had happened. He was hurt, and he was bleeding, and within seconds the girl had fixed him up. Closing his eyes he could still see the light she had been radiating. He jumped into the shower and enjoyed his half hour power shower. The evenly heated water was much better now than it was in ’65.

As he dried off, he got into his comfy clothes, not realizing if he was still on the case or not. To be honest, he knew he was asking for a lot. Lucy was the perfect person to help him out, but she was pretty much the perfect person for any mission. Lucy grew up at the institute, she wasn’t hired by Tempus, she was raised by it. Both her parents worked for Tempus, and this had been her home her entire life.

Her dad was a veteran agent, and legend has it, one of the best. He grew within the organization, and now his daughter was on the same path. For Jason, Lucy was like the little sister he never had. Her earliest missions had been in teams, and most of the time he was on the same mission. He tried to protect her more than completing the mission. And while they created a sibling-like bond, the powers-that-be didn’t like the attachment for either of them. Jason was not concentrating on his missions, and Lucy was being held back with the over caring.

Eventually, the inevitable happened and Lucy was promoted. She was leading teams rather than solo missions. And even there he heard she was excelling at everything. It had now been months that he had even seen her. Emails between the 2 of them stayed hazy, since neither could say much about their missions.

Jason poured himself a glass and sat down on his couch, going through his notes on the mission. Circling the name Irealia on top of the page. In the background he played hits of the 60’s, feeling in the mood since his adventure at Henry’s Hamburgers.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai

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Years: 2019
Location: Chinatown NYC, NY
Time: Late-Afternoon - Early Afternoon
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”Remember, you can’t control how someone else will approach you, but what you can control is how you respond to how someone approaches you!”
The wisdom of America’s favorite Doctor - Phil McGraw - poured out of the TV as Amelie laid sunken into the couch sucking on the ring pop she had found an hour ago shortly after Irealia left. She likely wouldn’t have moved an inch until Irealia returned if it wasn’t for the sound of her Phone going off for the third time on the second floor.
”Dammit why did I have to leave it in my room!” Amelie complained as she slowly pushed herself up and off of the couch.

By the time she meandered up the stairs and into her bedroom the phone had stopped ringing, but after checking the call history and seeing that all three calls came from her grandmother’s phone Amelie would stop sucking on the candy attached to her finger and dial her grandma back.

”Sunnu? Why you take forever to answer!?”
Her grandmother quickly went from lecturing her in broken English to explaining in excited Mandarin how her grandfather became sicker on the train, and ended up being taken to a hospital up in the Hamptons, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia - leading to him being admitted. Through tears Amelie apologized profusely for not responding to the previous phone calls before inquiring about her grandfather’s hospital stay. As her grandmother was responding to her she'd suddenly switch back to English signaling that a doctor or nurse must have come into the hospital room, seeing as how the older woman found it rude to speak in her native tongue around American’s she assumed couldn’t understand her.
”So he’ll be in the hospital for a week minimum?” Amelie asked her grandmother as she flounced down on her mattress and crossed her legs.
”Yes, Doctor here says at least a whole week. Will you keep house for us?”
Her grandmother’s question was more of formality than a real question, but Amelie still took offense for a brief moment at the remark.
”What do you mean, of course I will! I can come up there too, when are visitation hours?”
Her grandmother told her the hours but insisted she didn’t need to visit, or worry too much.
The two would converse for another ten minutes or so before saying their goodbyes.
After hanging up, for a brief moment, Amelie forgot about the days events and began looking up trains to the Hamptons. She spotted a train leaving in a couple hours and began to inquire about the price until remembering Irealia was on her way back to her loft and that the two had quite a bit to discus.
After sighing loudly Amelie would stand up from her bed and make her way back downstairs. She’d take only a few steps toward the couch before Irealia yelling on the other side of the door startled her
”Hey, let me in - I got booze!”
Worried about what her neighbors across the way might hear Amelie would quickly run to unlock the door and open it up for her friend.
”Shh, what are you yelling for?!” she’d ask, before moving out of the doorway so that Irealia could walk back inside.
Irealia left the door wide open and walked into the Kitchen, her voice was strangely distant but Amelie paid little mind to it and instead rushed back over to the door to close and lock it tight.
”So I got not one, not two, but THREE types of Jack Daniels….what do I get for that?” Irealia joked as she put the brown paper bag down on the counter.
”A gold star!” Amelie teased before going to pick up the bag. Irealia attempted to stop her but came short of touching her, and when Amelie’s hand touched the top of the bag it would go through it instead of grasping onto it.
”What the….is this, some sort of hologram?” she’d wonder aloud as she again tried to pick up the bag - only for her hand to once again go straight through it.
”Not quite, but close.”
Before Amelie could inquire more a knock at the front door drew her attention. When she looked in the peep hole she nearly fell backwards, for on the other side of the door stood Irealia, however in her condo also stood Irealia.
”What the hell is going on, tell me now!” Amelie demanded, before walking over towards the fireplace and picking up a fire poker.
”Woah woah, calm down - open the door, trust me, everything is fine.” Irealia pleaded, realizing she had spooked her friend. The version of Irealia inside the loft suddenly disintegrated, and Irealia’s voice now only came from the other side of the door.
”I’m sorry, let me explain!”
Hesitant Amelie thought about not opening the door, however her instincts told her whatever just happened was innocent, so after placing the fire poker back against the wall Amelie would open the door and let her friend in.
She noticed Irealia was in her heightened state, and questioned her not only about the state she was in but about what just went down.
”I didn’t mean to scare ya hun, you know, just wanted to show you a neat little trick.”
Irealia would put the real bag of drinks down on the kitchen counter and pull the bottles of Jack out before sitting down on a bar-stool.

Over the next several minutes Irealia would explain how the magic and energy they see around them while in their heightened states is actually inside every living thing and inanimate object around them, and that even when used to create a portal, gateway, or clone, the energy automatically begins to regenerate once it’s pulled from it’s starting location to create whatever one wants to create.
”Wait a minute, you’re saying you pulled energy from your body to create that clone of yourself?” Amelie questioned, a look of utter confusion written all over her face.
”Basically. Here, let me show you…”

Irealia would hold out her left hand - still in her heightened state, and after a deep breath she’d place her right hand directly on top of her left, wait a few seconds, and then begin to separate her hands as the energy inside them began to pull outwards into an identical representation of her, albeit a bit translucent in nature. The effect began to travel up her arm until eventually Irealia seemingly ran out of energy - causing the effect to not only halt but instantly reverse.
Irealia quickly dropped her heightened state of being and leaned over onto the kitchen bar-top, seemingly exhausted. ”Are you okay?”
Amelie asked as she walked over to her mentor and friend, sitting on the stool beside her.
Irealia went on to explain that even though the energy regenerates there’s a limit to how many times you can do something as big as creating a clone, and how it can drain you physically.
”Think of it like making a golf ball out of energy, and making a ball the size of a pool out of energy. Just by it’s mere size the ball that’s the size of a pool takes more energy to make and therefore it takes longer for the energy in the area used to regenerate. Also, something that’s markedly more complicated in design, such as a clone of yourself, will take more energy than something simple like an oval of energy the same height as you.”
Amelie nodded her head, following along but at the same time being a bit overwhelmed by the influx of new information.
”So, we can heal people and create clones…gonna assume we can fly too?” Amelie said mockingly as she pulled a bottle of Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey Whiskey towards her. However the smirk on her face faded when Irealia acknowledged that some people like them can indeed fly.
”Of course they can, because apparently we live in the Naruto universe…I need a drink.”
Sliding off the cold bar stool Amelie walked into the kitchen, pulled a rack of plastic cups out of a cabinet, and used one to pour herself a cup of Tennessee Honey Whiskey - no ice.

”I know, it’s a lot to take in, and I wasn’t planning on shoving everything down your throat so quickly, but things are different now.”
Irealia pulled out a cold beer from the brown paper bag and popped it open before continuing
”Threatening that man and knocking him out, no matter how extreme of a measure that was, I highly doubt it’ll stop him and whoever he’s working for.
I didn’t mention it earlier but I took a picture of him and put it on plethora - as a warning, but also do see if anyone else has encountered him, though something tells me whatever organization he works for isn’t sending only him out to chase us down.
We have to watch our backs now, we can’t trust anyone - more than usual.”

Amelie sighed at Irealia’s words, not because she disagreed with what she was saying, but because she knew everything said was right.
”This was supposed to be fun, something relatively harmless.” Amelie began, stopping for a brief moment to drop her ring pop in her whisky, take a sip of the drink, and then sit back down on the stool beside Irealia.
”But now it feels, I don’t know - dangerous? Un-fun? I had so many plans, places I wanted to go, people I wanted to try and see, but now I feel like I’m being hunted, I don’t like how that feels Irealia.”

The two women sat in silence for a moment, taking sips of their drinks while halfheartedly listening to the words of Dr. Phil on the television behind them - one phrase standing out;
”You can’t live your life like that ya know. You can’t be afraid to exist, if you do that the perpetrator wins. The best thing you could do to tell that piece of you know what that you’re a survivor is to go on living your life. Don’t be held hostage for the rest of your years, or you lose and he wins.”

”He’s right you know.” Irealia chimed in. ”We can’t be held hostage by this mystery organization, or cult, of weirdos. We just have to be smarter. You know, make it hard for them to catch us.. Hell, make them regret chasing us at all!”
A bit tipsy Amelie would dramatically lift her fist up into the air in support of Irealia’s idea.
”Yeah! Like lets show up at like, a riot or something, with like a lot of people around, they wouldn’t dare try to snatch us into some portal in the middle of a riot!!”
Irealia laughed. ”Okay maybe not a riot, but I get your point.”


Over the next few hours the two women would drink, eat, talk, and practice various magic tricks. It was dark by the time Irealia took her leave, going back home to fill her husband in on all the day's events. Amelie on the other hand stayed up for hours after her mentor left, practicing the tricks Irealia taught her and desperately trying to reach that elevated heightened state she had reached in the alleyway earlier - failing every time.
By the time she fell asleep she was well past tipsy and failed to make it to her bedroom - instead winding up sprawled out in a rather unladylike position atop the staircase.



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The sound of her ringtone echoing downstairs caused Amelie to wake up. She’d close her legs and pull them under her shirt, confused for a moment as to why she was atop the staircase, but as her phone rang again she’d stumble down the stairs and towards her mobile device on the coffee table, squinting as the morning sunlight blared through the windows.
”Hello?” she said groggily while stretching, just to be greeted by a pre-recorded message about buying into a timeshare.
Rolling her eyes she’d hang up and drop her phone on the couch - quickly flopping down beside it. Glancing over to the wall clock beside the flat screen Amelie saw it was nearly noon - a normal time for many her age to wake up, but extremely late for her.
”11:45? Gees!”

Not exactly hungry, and still somewhat tired, Amelie would curl up into a cushion and turn the news on.
After half an hour or so of a table of women squawking over the latest political happenings Amelie would make her way upstairs, take a shower, and then slip into a black tropical floral print sports-bra and short set. She’d jog downstairs and slip into a pair of black sneakers before pulling her running belt out of the fridge - the two water bottles on the side already in place and filled up.
Amelie would take a few minutes to strap her phone in, plug her earbuds in, and shove a few essential cards into their holders,before picking the keys off the counter and walking out of the loft - locking both locks behind her.
Once outside Amelie would shove the keys inside the secured area on her belt that her cards where in and zip it up before bending over to comb her long thick hair into a high ponytail.
After her hair was set Amelie would stand up and stretch, casually looking at the people passing her by as she considered where she wanted to go for her run.
”How about City Hall Park! Yeah, City Hall it is!” she’d whisper to herself after a couple minutes of stretching.



Within several minutes Amelie was walking inside City Hall Park, and after double checking her shoes were tied tight she’d begin her run.
It was a hot morning in the city, and it only took five or so minutes before sweat began to roll down her skin, but Amelie never slowed her pace, she kept up her brisk run through the park as various tunes off her Spotify playlist played in her ear.

Before she knew it half an hour had gone by, and as a pair of commercials played in her ear Amelie would come to a stop in front of a large water fountain - taking a seat on a nearby bench.
Her mind traveled back to the previous day and then the day before it at the boutique. It was then that she remember the 20s style dress she had purchased and the reason she had bought it in the first place. It was then that an idea popped into her head, and excitedly she’d pull out her earbuds, detach her phone from her running belt, and dial Irealia.

Her friend didn’t pick up, and after seeing that it was 1:30pm Amelie wasn’t surprised Irealia didn’t pick up and assumed she was asleep. Nevertheless, unlike most in the 21st century, Irealia actually listened to her voice-mails, so as soon as she heard the beep Amelie began to leave a message.
”Hey, I thought about what you said last night, you know - about being smarter. Call me back, I have a plan that I think you might like, it doesn’t involve a riot but there would be quite the crowd, it’ll be something else that’s for sure. Just call me back, so I can fill you in….”

After hanging up Amelie would pull out one of her water bottles, nearly downing all the water inside it before being splashed in the back by water. She heard kids playing by the fountain and assumed the water that hit her in the back came from one of them, but when it happened again she’d turn around to check and see.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler

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Time: Evening
Year: 2019
Place: Tempus HQ



Jason could not see a thing. He stared in the distance, but the mist surrounding him did not allow his senses to work properly. He felt stressed. Even though he could not see them, he knew people were running past him, their faces hidden. It took a bit before he smelled that what he thought was mist, was actually smoke. It burned his lungs with every breath, feeling this could be worse than the occasional cigarette he smoked. He stared and pinched his eyes almost to a close. The smoke made his eyes tear up, but he could swear he could see the fire that must have caused the smoke. A glowing warmth in the distance explained why people were running in the opposite direction. He felt he should do the same, but he was not able to move. There was something he had to do first, but his mind was blank, like every thought was replaced by the smoke around him.

Then he saw her face. Not in front of him, and not running past him, but in his head. The girl he needs to save, the girl that was in more trouble then she herself realized. Suddenly finding his feet he started moving forward. Not slowly, but running himself, in the direction of the fire.

The light became clearer and clearer as he neared her. He arrived at a clearing, a market place. In the middle was the fire that seemed to burn at 1000 degrees. In the dead center of the fire, he could see her. He stopped, not realizing if she was in the fire, or if she was the fire. He could see her face, but could not hear what she said. The sound around him was one of screams, crackling fire, and houses im- or exploding. She was crying, strange that the tears did not evaporate as soon as they left her eyes. She was in a panic, her mouth wide open in the silent scream.

Jason ran forward, going slower and slower as if stopped by an invisible force. He looked around and saw her, the other woman. He couldn’t hear her either, but her mouth was moving quickly. He just knew that it was her that slowed him down. He tried to grab something from his belt, but he did not find the gun there that he sometimes had. Instead he felt the bow on his back, and the quiver filled with arrows. He took the bow and put an arrow across it. He was no Robin Hood, but he was decent at handling the instrument. He aimed at the woman, feeling his head pounding more every second. His heart was coming out of his chest, and he heard the beat of it in his head, faster and faster. As he aimed he felt the force of the fire intensify. The knocking in his head became louder. While still aiming he tried to bring up his shoulder to cover his ears, but it didn’t work. He dropped the bow as he brought his hands up. As he fell to his knees in pain, he felt the floor underneath him, and woke up.


It took a few moments before he realized it had been a dream. His eyes still felt blinded by the light he had seen. And the pounding in his head hadn’t stopped, as if he could still hear it. It was another few seconds before he noticed that what he heard was not in his head, but someone knocking on the door. Jason got up and walked to the door, only realizing now he had been sleeping on the couch. As he opened the door a blur of curly hair burst through it.

”How the flying fuck did you arrange this?” Lucy went past him and landed herself comfortably on the couch. Most people would be shocked at seeing her like this, she was relaxed the moment she entered. When she was on missions she was far more serious and controlling, and a lot of agents hated her for it. They felt nepotism was at play with her, but objectively she was just one of the best in the field. As their missions went on, Jason always had the feeling he needed to keep her humanity in check. Following rules was one thing, but Jason always thought humans were doing the job since they could make decisions based on emotions. Lucy had a tendency to become too robotic. Thankfully, Jason's presence changed her attitude to the better (according to Jason).
”Welcome to my humble abode.” Jason replied softly, closing the door behind her. He saw she was still in mission gear, dressed as a Norse woman from the 1100’s. He could swear she was Lagertha of Norway, or at least she could have inspired the myth.

”So, here I am, fighting on the snowy battlefield, when I get a message that I am needed back here. Then, when I do arrive back in Movement, they tell me to directly report to you.”
Jason responded with a cheeky smile, showing as much of a laugh as his still pounding head allowed him to. She caught his smile: ”Yes, you heard me right, report!” She paused another few seconds to let the message sink in.
”I never thought they would let us do a mission together again, and now they pull me out the field for just that reason. What the hell is going on? By the way, totally good to see you of course…” she finished with a smile of herself.

Jason opened his mouth to start explaining. He told her everything. From Mr. Hassini choosing him for a special investigation, to his travel to NYC, and the adventures in the 60’s. Lucy showed shock when he told her he was knocked down by one of the girls. She knew he was normally able to hold his own. When he told her about the girl emanating light, she looked in thought, and kept most of that same look until he was done explaining.

She moved over to his couch to sit next to him. With her hand she moved his head down, and she inspected the wound. ”Well, you washed away most of the blood, just some left in your hairline. If it wasn’t for that, I couldn’t have said anything had happened to your head. Still the same ugly and old face, but at least fully intact.” She laughed at her own joke.
”Hey, don’t make me regret calling you in for help.” he said, as Lucy moved back to the other couch. ”Anyway, I am not sure what to think about my mission. Calling for your help was a long shot, and I didn’t think it would work. I did it half to test how serious they were about this mission. And from the result I can say…, pretty serious.” his forehead frowned as he went deeper into thought.

”Jason, I know you, you are smelling conspiracies again.” When he lifted his shoulders, she threw her hands to the air. ”Can you never assume a mission is just a mission? There doesn’t have to be a deeper agenda or secret about it. They discovered a new way of time traveling, and naturally they want to know all about it. Let’s leave it at that. Anywho…. Seems like your girl is in trouble. Even if she was working with the other woman, it doesn’t sound like they are totally on one line. You don’t think it was a good cop, bad cop situation?”

Jason shook his head. ”No way, first of all, we are the cops, not them. They were too shocked and unprepared to have come up with that. You and me have played it before, and even then, you can see that the look of the good cop is not a believable one. You can only pull it off when the subject is scared. And I am sure I neither was, nor looked scared of the situation.” As he let his head hang down a bit he whispered: ”I just hope she is okay…, and careful.”

He got up and walked to the fridge, taking out some orange juice, Lucy’s favorite drink. As he handed her the glass, he continued. ”Anyway, testing how serious this case is was only half of the reason I asked for you. Although I have been here for quite a while, I haven’t dealt with magic users much. And I had the idea you did…” he looked at her questioningly.
She looked like she was in doubt, as if what she wanted to say couldn’t be said. ”I know less than you might think. Yes, I have dealt with magic users, but every time I did, the people were completely different. And also, the way they used magic was completely different. It is not as exact as the science we are used to. I was tasked to get two of them, but one I never found.” she fell silent. She stopped talking and Jason raised his eyebrows.
”And?..... That’s one, what about the other one.” He was getting anxious, the more time went on, the more he realized he had no idea about this stuff.
”The other one died, Jason. I shot him. He…attacked one of us, and I did not see another way of stopping him.” The way in which she spoke stunned Jason. He knew this girl from her early childhood. She was caring, reasonable and smart. Killing had never been her way, and he was shocked to hear her confession. He thought he could hear the shaking of her voice.

”I…wasn’t aware you ever killed anyone. That never happened in our missions, although there have been opportunities for it. You know I have, even when I really didn’t want to. I just didn’t think you ever would.” He took a sip of his own drink, not really knowing what to say next. It was easier talking to Lucy when she was her happy cheerful self.
”Sorry Jason, but I don’t think you really understand. Dealing with magic-users is different. They can be explosive in nature, and we have little idea of what they can do. If someone is close to dying and you have no idea how to stop it, a bullet might be the only thing.”
Her words made Jason think back to his dream. He had reached out to his bow himself, and aimed it at the woman. He was ready to shoot her, so what Lucy was saying wasn’t that unbelievable. Still, he did not want Lucy to know. Not that he was ashamed, but he was happier to keep her feeling guilty. Murder and death needed to be the last option, the taboo, the final thing in order to save the situation.
”It’s difficult. They are scared of us, and we are scared of them. You know as well as I do that most Travelers are not happy to give up what they are doing, and exchanging it with going along with someone they don’t know. Most people we look for end up coming 'cause there is no option left. For magic-users it seems there is always an option left. I actually asked to be removed from the case after that. I needed some time…”

”When was this?” Jason asked softly and carefully.
”About a year ago…” she responded, not looking him in the eyes.
”WHAT? A fucking year ago, and now you tell me? Why didn’t you tell me earlier? You need someone on your side to work through this. You can’t just do every thing by yourself, you need to count on the people around you.” he was angry. He thought he was a close friend, a confidant, someone who was inside, but outside at the same time.
”Bullshit Jason, don’t be such a hypocrite. You are not really the sharing type yourself. I needed to deal with this and I did. You know that if I would have told you, everyone would have known. Not because you would tell anyone, but secrets are only secret if there is one person who knows it. This place is gossip central, it’s like people live at the water cooler. I can’t afford to show that kind of weakness around here. Maybe you can, but I have teams to lead.” she turned red with anger herself. Calling him out and putting him in his place. He didn’t know what to respond and for a while they sat together in silence.

”You know, I heard we have magic-users on staff. But I never met one. Did you?” he tried his best to ignore the earlier comments.
”I have heard the same rumors, but that’s all it is… rumors. It wouldn’t make sense to go after magic-users so much if we had a few of them on our side.” She was quiet for a moment, and then looked Jason in the eye. She continued with a small voice: ”We have one in the Dungeon though….”

The dungeon was a holding facility on the lower levels. It wasn’t as bad as the name would suggest. Half of it could be described as a rehabilitation center, and another part was more of a training area. However, a small part was like a prison. They always promoted a peaceful way of dealing with time travelers, and for most this was perfectly acceptable. But there were always those that had the wrong intention, and Tempus had to keep them separated in order to protect the timeline.

”You are shitting me, aren’t you… How would you even know? I am sure it’s not something we advertise.”
A smile appeared on her face. ”Well, it’s not like I am supposed to know about it. I heard my parents speak about it, they thought I was asleep. Of course this is years ago, but I have no reason to assume he or she is not there anymore.” she had that cheeky smile. It made her look like a naughty child.

”What else do you know? Any idea what they did, or how they were caught?” his head was starting to spin faster.
”No clue, but…. should be worth checking, right? Neither of us have access to that level, but if Hassini let you and me work together again, maybe he’ll allow this too.”
”I don’t think so. The Dungeon is not something they would like anyone to have access to. To be honest I have never been there myself, I just led people to the door, but from there it’s the security. I think we have to think of something else. I think it would definitely be worth it to speak to this person. Not to be harsh, but we might not be prepared enough at the moment to complete this mission.” he finished his drink, getting ready to go to work.
”Agreed, I can get us on that level, but we need to get passed security. We can always say we are there to instruct at the training facility.”

For the next 3 hours they thought up a plan that might work. Both were excited, but exhausted at the same time. Jason had slept a bit, but his dream had not given him any rest. All through the night they talked about all sorts of things, but he wasn’t yet ready to share what he had seen in his dream. After they had the plan together they said goodbye for the night.
As Lucy stepped out the door on the way to her own room, Jason sat down on the bed. He was excited for the next day, hoping to get a step closer to finalizing his mission. When he laid his head on the pillow he fell into a more comfortable and dreamless sleep.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai

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Years: 2019 // 1927
Location: Chinatown, NYC, NY // Harlem, NYC, NY
Time: Mid-Afternoon - Evening. //
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Amelie stopped at a French bakery on her way home from City Hall Park and picked up a box of Apple Almond Tarts. She opened the box of treats halfway up the cement stairs that led to her building’s front entrance - only closing the box once she reached her loft and needed a free hand to unlock and open the door.

Once inside her place she’d lock the door behind her, place her running belt on the kitchen bar-top, detach her phone from the belt, and slip out of her sneakers, before flouncing down on her couch with the box of tarts.
Amelie pulled up Spotify on the Smart TV in the living room and started up one of her playlists before placing a few tarts in her lap as she leaned back into the couch and began to scroll social media.
After answering a host of notifications on Instagram and Twitter Amelie started to browse various shopping sites, until eventually landing on the website of the same boutique she bought her 20s flapper dress from the other day.
The dress she had bought was beautiful, and she loved it, however as she kept browsing the boutiques web page she realized she wanted something a little more glamorous than what she bought.
The site’s 20 vintage section was filled with fringe, but being the history buff she was Amelie knew fringe was not something actual flappers wore, so she’d continue to scroll through the 20s section until she landed on a beautiful authentic 20s sequin evening gown. The style was beautiful to the modern eye, but also still true to the more glamours side of the roaring twenties fashion scene.
Amelie would shove the last tart on her lap in her mouth before dialing the boutique - she wanted to verify they had the dress and hat she saw on their site, in stock in their shop.

After waiting on hold for a few minutes the boutique’s cashier on the other end of the phone confirmed they indeed had the set in-stock at their NYC location. Amelie wouldn’t waste any time, she’d keep on her two piece running attire, slip back into her sneakers, and grab her card and phone before leaving for the shop.




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By the time Irealia actually responded back to her Amelie had arrived back home from the boutique, took a shower, and was halfway through her favorite Steven Spielberg flick - The Lost World: Jurassic Park.

“Hey, a plan you say? I hope it’s nothing crazy hun. Call Me”

Amelie would read her friends text and sigh at having to call her during her favorite movie, even though she had watched the flick so many times she could quote it word-for-word.



”Hello?” Irealia said, picking up her phone only after a single ring.
”Why can’t you wake up at a normal time? You’re making me miss my movie!” Amelie responded, causing Irealia to laugh. ”Nice talking to you as well.”

After a few friendly jokes Amelie would go on to tell Irealia about a legendary night spot in Harlem called The Cotton Club.
She’d go on and on about the flapper culture, the Jazz performances, and how it was such a major hot spot in NY at it’s height. Eventually Irealia would have to cut her off and inquire about what exactly the Cotton Club had to do with this plan she had.
”You said bring them to us! You know, a place that’s large and crowded. Plan for them to be there, toy with them in a sense. Well, the Cotton Club was huge, extremely crowded, and well - the it place to be!”
Irealia snorted at Amelie’s respond. ”You think I forgot about your little obsession with flapper culture - didn’t you? I bet you just wanna go to this club for selfish reasons, no?”
”Hey, it's not just because of that!” Amelie yelled into the phone, quick to defend herself. It was true Amelie had an immense interest in the performing arts, loved flapper culture, and often read books and articles about such things, and she admitted her love of flapper culture did influence her choice of the Cotton Club, but was quick to point out that the crowds and scene was the driving force behind picking the venue she did.
”It’s a large venue Irealia! I know the place, I’ve studied up on it a lot! I even know exactly what day we could go back to! A day where the crowds were wild for Bobby Short, the place was packed, we could doll ourselves up, it’ll be great!”
Irealia could sense her friends excitement, and wasn’t necessarily against the idea, but was failing to see the point in such a plan.
”Okay, I hear you, but what’s the point? We could go someone else to drag them out - why this Cotton Club?”
Amelie Sighed. ”I know, but think about it, it’s the 1920s….we’d be heavily restricting their attire, we’d make it a lot harder for them to use whatever technology they use - stifling their communication abilities among other things, and there’s literally no way they could snatch us from that place without us making a scene - which wouldn't be worth it for them, think about it!”

Irealia was quick to point out that most of the things Amelie listed would also be negatives for them, and her pupil agreed.
”Yes, but the difference is - we’ll be ready! And we’re also not trying to catch someone, they are, meaning they’re be constantly looking for opportunities to pounce, they’ll be more one edge than us - no matter how calm they attempt to be. On the other hand, we’ll be right at home.”
She began to see the point her friend was making, but Irealia still felt like there was something else Amelie wasn’t telling her.
”Okay, fine, lets do this thing - tonight. But Amelie, if whatever you’re not telling me backfires….”
Amelie quickly cut off her friend.
”….just trust me.”




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Amelie would spend the rest of her afternoon binge watching Jurassic Park and reading the “The Legendary Cotton Club” book she had purchased on her Tablet, as well as the “The Roaring Twenties in New York” book she had up in her room, during commercial breaks.

Around 8pm she’d text Irealia to see if she could come over so they could begin to get ready. Her friend wouldn’t respond, and instead appeared in the middle of her living-room five or so minutes later.
”One day I’m going to accidentally hit you over the head with something, you know, because I mistake you for a burglar.”
The two women laughed and teased each other briefly before making their way up to Amelie’s bedroom.
”Two beautiful dresses! Do I get to choose which one I want?” Irealia inquired as she spotted the two 20’s-themed dresses laying on her friends bed.
”Oh no, this one is mine! You can have the other one.” Amelie said, making sure to quickly pick up the sequin evening gown she had purchase earlier in the day.
”Why? This other one is a true flapper dress, I thought you’d like that more, no? The one you’re claiming is an evening gown!”
”I know, I have my reasons - leave me be!”
Amelie would playfully stick her tongue out at her friend before going into her closet and pulling out a short dark brown bob-cut wig.
Irealia would help her tie and pin her long thick hair down so she could place the wig cap over it and then slip on the wig.
It was weird for Amelie to see herself with short hair, but after a few seconds of staring at herself in the mirror she’d undress down to her undergarments and then slip into her beige gown.

”Wow, you look quite beautiful! You’ll be all the rage!” Irealia said with a smirk, but even though Amelie agreed the gown itself was beautiful she was insecure wearing it and began questioning her own plans.
”I don’t know, maybe this whole plan is too much, we could call it off.”
Irealia would have nothing of her suggestion as she began to slip into the nude crepe flapper dress Amelie had bought a couple days ago.
”Look missy, I know there’s something you’re not telling me, and if you want to spill before we go - spill it, but you’re most definitely not calling it off now.”

Amelie sighed as she grabbed the sequined turban that matched her dress and slid it over top her wig. She was a nervous wreck. An introvert who was never quite comfortable with her femininity and sexuality, Amelie knew making herself into a spectacle for a crowd of men went against everything she typically did. She was hoping the years of acting in jr. high and high school plays and being a theatre nerd of sorts would be enough to get her through the night.
”I can do this, it’s just like a play, or a movie….yeah, I’m in the Great Gatsby, playing a role.” she whispered to herself as she stared in the mirror.
Irealia acted as if she didn’t hear her friend talking, and continued getting ready.


Only after both girls had slipped into their matching silver matte 3-inch heals, and put on their deep red lipstick and subtle accessories, would Irealia speak up again.
”I found this little gem after talking to you on the phone earlier, it’s the same color as yours, I guess we’ll be sisters?” She’d hold up a deep brown finger wave wig and show it off for a bit before slipping it on.
”Sisters it is! I don’t really have purses that match the times, but I do have jackets from the era with pockets.
Amelie would pull out a long black single breasted overcoat out of her large closet for herself and point to another, shorter, single breasted jacket for Irealia. However her friend would make her way into the closet and pull out a long brown fur coat.
”I think I like this more, it has pockets too, and they’re on the inside - how interesting!”
Amelie rolled her eyes. ”Seriously?”
”What? Furcoats where all the rage in the 20s, this fits the time just as much as your jacket!” Irealia would slip the heavy jacket on and playfully pose in the mirror.
”I’m not saying it doesn’t fit the times, I’m just saying it’s a bit extra, but you know what - I don’t care, are you ready? Irealia would nod. "Okay, well there isn’t anywhere directly near the club we can go but from reading I know there is a shop at the end of the block that’s owned by friends of the guy who owns the club. They would close the shop early whenever big acts were slated to appear at the Cotton Club. If we go back to November 30th, 1927 the big headliner of the night was Bobby Short. He was a popular guy, there’s no doubt the shop at the end of the block was closed so we can land there!”

Irealia nodded as she sat down on the bed, sucked into something on her phone.
The room was silent as Amelie entered her heightened state, saw the time and place of where she wanted to go in her mind's eye, and focused until the image of their drop location appeared inside the portal. She'd then begin to smooth out the edges of the portal using Lux, all while Irealia went through her stash of various currency - carefully picking out 20 one dollar bills that were dated appropriately for the time period they were traveling to.
”Without purses I think you’re going to have to carry Lux in your pocket. I’d do it but my jacket is far more fitted than yours, plus the pockets on mine are on the outside while yours are in the inside. The only negative is that you’ll have to stay in that jacket the entire time, we can’t risk you taking it off and losing Lux.” Amelie remained in her elevated state a she tossed Lux to her friend and then quickly topped off her cat's water bowl.
”Not a problem. It's the end of November in NYC, and I bet the place we're going to doesn't have central heat, meaning it'll be cold so I’ll be fine keeping it on.”

The two went back and forth for a moment about whether or not there would be central heat in the Cotton Club before Irealia would hand Amelie ten of the one dollar bills and then the two would make their way inside the portal.



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When they came out the other side of the portal they were instantly greeted by near pitch darkness and immense cold. The only bit of light was courtesy of lights out on the street shining in through the shop’s front windows.
”Oh my God, it’s so cold!” Amelie whispered as she dropped her heightened state of being and buttoned her coat.
”And thank goodness for this lovely fur coat.” Irealia joked, just as the portal closed behind her.
Amelie would take a second to look around before pointing to a side exit.
”Lets go out there. Doubt there’s anyone in the alleyway at this hour, and if there is they’ll think we’re with the owners or something the way we’re dressed - for sure.”

When the girls walked outside the alleyway was a lot brighter than one would assume, and it was completely empty. Amelie held the train of her gown in one of her hands so it wouldn’t touch the ground as they made their way out of the alleyway. Once on the street there were many people out and about in force at nearly 8:45pm - according to a large clock on a nearby building, and as they approached the bright lights of the Cotton Club the accumulating Taxi’s and long lines worried Irealia.
”How in the world are we going to get inside this place? Even if we look of wealth, so do half the people in this line.”
Amelie nodded, the sensation of butterflies welling up inside of her stomach becoming quite noticeable.
”Look bitchy and follow me.”

Amelie walked past the line of men and women and straight up to the door, with Irealia somewhat nervously following behind her, and as expected the duo were stopped by the doorman.
”Hey, just where do you two broads think you’re going?” the doorman asked before aggressively grabbing Amelie by the arm. Nervous to no end Amelie swallowed for a second before putting on quite the brave face.
”Well I’ll have you know TK is waiting inside for me and my sister, you wouldn’t want to upset him would you?”
The doorman’s grip on her arm loosened a bit for a moment as his eyes widen, but they’d quickly narrow and his grip would tighten a bit before he leaned in, responding to her quietly enough that only her and Irealia could hear.
”What did you say broad? You should think twice before…” Amelie would cut him off before he could finish his sentence.
”Why I never, you could have him finger me but after I tell him how you manhandled me…”
Amelie purposely let her sentence end short and linger for a few seconds, causing the man to doubt his decision to deny her entrance.
Sure enough he’d end up letting go of Amelie’s arm and begin apologizing profusely, stuttering a bit.
”I-I’m sorry Doll, g-go in, please, sorry.”
Amelie smugly walked by the man and into the club - pulling Irealia behind her.
Once inside the smug expression went away and she was once again the nervous shy girl second guessing her plan.

”Are you going to tell me who TK is?” Irealia asked in a whisper as the two pushed through the crowd and made their way towards the main bar.
Amelie would stop several feet back from the bar and lean in close to Irealia’s ear - whispering so softly that even Irealia herself struggled to hear.
”TK is short for The Killer, Owney Madden’s nickname. He runs the place, and is also kinda connected to the mob and stuff, but no worries, he’s not even here tonight - we’re good!.”
Amelie would make her way towards the bar and order Lemon Juice once there. Irealia would stand in shock for a few moments before following her friend over to the bar.
"Oh, no worries, we just used the ominous nickname of a mob guy to push our way into his club....yeah, that's totally nothing to worry about.... Irealia thought, before she went to order, however before she ould Amelie would lean in and tell her that the Cotton Club was also a speakeasy, and the way to order alcohol with her drink was to put the word “Pure” in front of her order.
”Ah, well isn’t that cute” Irealia responded softly, before leaning into the bar and asking for a “Pure Orange Juice.”

The two women would take a couple sips of their drink and look around the rather packed establishment and up towards the stage at the front of the room that was seating a small band behind an empty microphone.
”I thought you said there was a show here tonight?” Irealia whispered as she maneuvered closer to Amelie, attempting to break contact with the touchy old man behind her.
”Yeah, about that…”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler

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For the second time in less than 12 hours Jason was woken up by knocking on his door. He quickly jumped into his jogging wear as they had agreed. He opened the door and Lucy came through. His hair still in sleep-mode Jason looked in the mirror but decided to leave it. If he was going to work out, or at least pretend to, this might be the look.
”Well, I can see you’re prepared,” Lucy said with a wide smile on her face. ”Come on, let’s go. Training is starting in 10 minutes, I don’t wanna be late.”

Together they left the room, walking in silence to the elevator. As Jason swiped his card passed the reader inside the elevator he pushes the number to the lower levels. The doors opened a few levels lower and 5 young trainees stepped inside. They all looked unknowing at Jason, but in awe of Lucy. Jason figured they had been at least introduced to the field leaders, and Lucy had a great track record. If any trainees were to be assigned to her, it would most likely be the top of the class.

The doors opened at the bottom floor, and all of them got out. As they walked through the hallway they saw the security guard in front of the Dungeon. Just before reaching him they turned right to the open floor where the gym equipment was stalled. Sarah, one of the coaches was there. Her eyes opened wide when she saw Jason and Lucy. The two of them had spend hours and days in this space when they were younger, but lately they hadn’t really stopped by. Sarah was quite a bit older than the two of them, so she had seen them growing up in this space.
”My two babies, how are you?” she said as she came closer and gave both of them a tight hug. ”Always happy to see my old recruits, but it does hardly seem you need the training. Both of you are out in the field so much, you must get more practice than most of us.”

Sarah offered the two to run the training, something they had already hoped for. It hadn’t been the weirdest assumption. When they were training themselves there were tons of older agents coming to help out.
In total there were about 15 trainees. Lucy knew some of their names, but Jason had no clue who any of them were. That wasn’t the worst for their plan though. She would be getting most of the attention. The exercises they gave them were tough, pushing the limits of some of them. Lucy seemed on edge as she was walking from one pair to the next, pushing them harder, giving stern feedback to most. Aside from the examples they gave in at the beginning of the class, he stood to the side, more observing than anything else. He sought out the biggest and most aggressive guy of the bunch. He indicated to Lucy that he should be the target of her criticism.
Every minute she would lash out at him. ”Come on Ryan, you can do better than that. Why do you keep on holding back your weight. You can do better than that.”

Jason saw the guy turning redder and redder. Frustration, anger and aggression all rising to the top. ”My goodness, Ryan, that’s what you think the exercise is? Have you paid any attention so far. Justine, come here, maybe if switches opponent he can finally get this right.”
A small girl came forward and switched partners. As they continued the exercise Sarah came over to Jason and whispered: ”I knew you wouldn’t come without a reason. Anything you want to tell me on why Lucy is behaving like this?”
”Would you believe me if I say it’s a necessary evil?”
”I would, I can cover for whatever you need as long as you tell me it’s worth it.”
”Sorry, I can only promise that after it works. But thanks for the vote of confidence.” he smiled. Just as he said it he heard the crack and smack they had been waiting for. When he looked over he saw the big guy stumbling back in surprise and Justine on the floor screaming in agony. Lucy stormed over together with Sarah as they knelled next to the girl. Jason shouted to the guard: ”Hey, you there. Come over here to help out.”
One could see the confusion on his face, doubting if he could move in his position. ”What are you waiting for?”

The extra push helped and the man came hurrying over. As the guard helped out with the girl, Jason leaned close to him. With a slide of hand he nicked that dangled from his belt. He replaced it with the standard card Lucy had given him earlier. Jason backed up slowly, gave Lucy a knowing look and with a quick swipe he opened the door to the Dungeon. As he stepped through the door he had felt the burning eyes of Sarah in his back. He knew she wouldn’t say anything now, and she would help them out, but he owed her an explanation later on.
As soon as he stepped through the door he learned why they called it the Dungeon. The lighting on the wall was weak and far in between. Also it gave kind of a green hue instead of the normal yellow gold light in the rest of the building. The walls were made out of stone, dark and cemented blocks. For the first 20 meters there was nothing but the hallway. At the end the space ended in a T and he choose to go left. He was in shock when a bit further he saw another guard sitting there. Jason grabbed the papers Lucy had prepared from inside his training jacket and walked up to the desk with confidence.

”Morning, papers please.”
”I’m here for the psych evaluation of the magic user.” As the words left his mouth he started to believe himself at least.
He started laughing: ”Ha, after 15 years here there is little psych left to be evaluated. I am at a loss to see you all still trying.”
”As most of us, just following the instructions from the big wigs upstairs.” Jason said, laughing himself.
The man told him to go to cell 7A, and gave back the papers. As Jason followed the directions he didn’t have to go far. The cell in question was probably one of the oldest ones. Jason wondered what kind of people would be behind the other doors. He knew that some of the people they would take in later ended up working for Tempus. A weird recruiting method, but not extremely unlike how Jason himself came to do this.

He shouted back at the guard when he was at the door so it could be unlocked. When he heard the click, he opened the door and stepped inside. The inside looked very different. The yellow colored lighting was back again, blinding Jason slightly for the first 10 seconds. The walls here were white and the room was divided into 2 sections. The first part was empty except for a chart holder with folders inside and a comfy chair. The glass wall in the middle separated him from the prisoner beyond. He noticed that there was no door in the glass, and Jason wondered if the prisoner ever left the small space. The man behind the glass was standing up straight, just in front of the glass and staring straight ahead. As Jason grabbed the charts and moved to the chair to sit down, neither the body of the prisoner nor his eyes moved one bit.
He opened the folder and wished he could memorize all of it instantly. Under facts there was hardly anything substantial. His name was left empty and his DOB was listed as ‘in the early 60s’. He was clearly Caucasian, and from his hair, nose and jawline Jason would have guessed the man was of Irish heritage. Jason cleared his throat as he started: ”No name listed, so…what do I call you?” He looked at them man waiting for an answer, but nothing was coming. He still stared straight ahead not having moved a bit. According to the sheet he was nearing his 60th birthday, but the man looked over 80. Although he stood straight and tall, his skin looked malnourished and slightly see-through somehow. The man had charisma, and energy shining from within that impressed Jason. How the hell does he do that after being here for so long?

The man started speaking suddenly. A high voice, breaking at certain points. It was in English, but not present-day English. Jason recognized it as 1800’s English, having heard it mostly on missions in that time. The words and sentences didn’t make sense. They didn’t form a cohesive story or gave Jason any idea what the man was talking about. Jason had seen it before, and it scared the living daylights out of him. It sounded like a person suffering from dementia. Locked up in their own head and memories without any means of escape. They lived their own memories and dreams twisted by reality and their own fears. Jason’s grandmother had Alzheimer when she was still alive. He remembered the rants she would have. Crying like a 5 year old for her mother to come back. A mother that had dies 70 years prior. Jason remembered the feeling of helplessness for both his grandmother, as well as his father. Seeing the person suffer and standing there without an option to help. A sleepless nightmare where death is the only wake up in sight. Jason remembered crying himself to sleep after the last visit before her passing.

Jason had to pull himself back to the words the man said. ”Never, not till the end will they see. The cotton fields shining, the sea glistening, the rocks of old.” All of a sudden the man started to laugh out loud. With just the two of them there it gave Jason an eerie feeling. He wondered if the guy had been crazy to begin with or if this place him like this. Jason went to the first pages in the folder he was holding. The first document was supposed to be where and when he was captured, but instead Jason looked at 5 fully redacted pages. All pages full of black marker, not leaving a single word for possible context.
Jason checked his watch, knowing he did not have a lot of time left before the guard would be back in his usual position. He didn’t learn anything from the man. They tried their best, but it could be considered a flop. He skipped the entire folder to display the last page of the document. Every line just had a date and the simple words: ‘still nothing’. The last date was only three days ago, and the entry before that was only a few days before that. Jason could see about 3 different hand writings on the last 3 pages. Before that the handwriting was mostly the same, pages and pages of it. The last official form in the document was a full psych eval, in the same writing as most of the file. Again, a lot of it was blacked out with marker afterwards, leading Jason to believe the original documents must be stored elsewhere. The name at the bottom of the eval said Richard Hannity, PHD. A name to keep in mind…

Jason opened the small slot on the door, shouting out to the guard to unlock again. As he heard the zoom of the electronic door unlocking he put his hand on the handle and opened it. Behind him, out of nowhere the man changed his tone. With the same fluency as before, he started to speak in Italian. Jason picked up a word here an there, but couldn’t catch all of it. ” Vedranno quando si svegliano. Non puoi vedere la luce con gli occhi chiusi. Trova il fuoco, restituisci il fuoco al custode, devo trovare la luce.”

La luce…., the light Jason turned around the door handle never leaving his hand. ”What light? Do you know what it is, how it works? ” His voice was high, his pace was quick. He had the feeling it meant something. He wanted to turn around and keep pressing, but the man had shut down. Again staring into the distance. He stared at Jason, but it more looked like he was staring through him. Not a sign of life anymore as soon as Jason had responded. He checked his watch again and stepped through the door disappointed. He closed it and with a steady pace and a quick goodbye to the man at the desk.

As he neared the door he pressed his ear against it. With a smile on his lips he could still hear Lucy screaming at the guard to help out with the stretcher that had made its way to the training floor. He opened the door and stepped through. Looking over the floor he could see all the attention was still focused on Justine and her leg. The big guy, Ryan, was nowhere to be seen, probably send somewhere else to cool down.

Jason walked over to the group and with a quick grab he took the card he put on the guards belt earlier. The card he used to get in the Dungeon he dropped to the floor. He tapped the man on the shoulder. ”No worries mate, Lucy and I will take her to sickbay.”
They each took a side and moved the stretcher towards the elevator, moving it in and going straight up. Inside the elevator Justine was crying softly and Jason got an opportunity to speak to Lucy softly. ”Is it broken?” Lucy gave a small grumble, indicating Jason should shut up for now. At the sickbay they left the girl behind and while Lucy gave the nurse an update, Jason checked on one of the login stations. As message appeared for him, indicating the day had only just begun. Same movement detected, 30 November 1927, 142nd and Lennox, NYC.

”So.., we’re off to the 20s then?” Lucy had appeared behind him. ”She is fine by the way, it’s just a small fraction. I was with their class before and she is always winging and complaining. Whoever recruited her must have been blind. Just tell me it was worth it, did you get anything?”
Jason’s first reply was a sigh. ”Well, I did see him. So he is still there. If it helped much I don’t know. But let’s go, we have some travelling to do.”

It took them less than half an hour to get all their stuff sorted and for them to appear into one of the Movement chambers. ”I hope you didn’t forget your hipflask.” Lucy said knowingly. ”After all, we are heading to prohibition era America.” The smile on her face was unmistakable.
”Oh please. No law has been trespassed more than the prohibition law. Introduce rules and regulations and it might help, forbid the consumption all together and mayhem is ensured. ” He took the standard pill in his mouth and swallowed it with some water. The voice clarified the travel information. ”Lucy MacKenzie & Jason Rockler, 30 November 1927, New York City.” The countdown started and after 5 seconds the light brightened and before they knew it, they were in a back alley in the streets of NYC.

They walked to the street and looked left and right to see where the time travelers may be found. ”Unless they are looking for someone specifically living here, I can only see one destination.” As he said it Jason nodded his head towards the Cotton Club. A famous club not only for prohibition, but also for some of the talent that got their break in this place.
”How do we get in? Is there a backdoor or something?” she looked at the front of the building, checking for windows or other entries.
”We’re not black enough for the backdoor to this place. And I don’t want to shake down the security. This is high level mafia territory, and I don’t want unnecessary problems. Let’s join the line and show a bit of money when we get to the front.”

It took about an hour before they were in prime spot for entering. Jason shook the hand of the guy at the entrance, and left a nice tip in there. In the next 2 minutes he was making his way to the bar, while looking out over the crowd. ”Not bad to see Bobby Short, though, missions could be much worse. We might even get to see the Duke, he played the Cotton Club, although I am not sure when he started. ” His eyes wondered the overcrowded room. It wasn’t the safest of places, and he was worried for the girl he was trying to find. Thankfully, Lucy could stand her ground, he was no longer her babysitter, but her team mate. ”Pure Whiskey please,” he told the bartender as he slipped him some coins.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler

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Years: 1927
Location: Harlem, NYC, NY
Time: Evening
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”Oh god, don’t say that…” Irealia muttered softly as she shook her head. ”….what now?”
Amelie smiled and put a hand on her friend’s shoulder. ”It's nothing too bad, I'll explain but lets get a table first!”

The two women would brainstorm for a moment on how to get a table before settling on good ol fashion bribery. They each had ten dollars on them, Amelie agreed to use half her cash to bribe a friendly waitress into giving them a prime table, and much to their joy the waitress took what would equate to nearly $75 in 2019 dollars and walked them over to an empty table directly in front off to the left side of the stage.
”Please, don’t mind the crowd, they’re getting a bit anxious but I’m sure Bobby will be on stage very shortly!”
Both Irealia and Amelie nodded with a smile at the woman’s statement and waited until she turned and walked away to talk to each other again in a hushed tone head-to-head even though the growing complaints over Bobby Short’s absence was growing loud enough to mask them talking at a normal volume.
”So, Bobby is a no-show tonight, and it leads to a riot..."
Before she could finish Irealia would complain about coming to a time where a riot was about to take place.
”I mean come on, I know you said lets bring them to a riot when we were drinking the other day but I thought you were joking and understood how bad of an idea that is!!”
Despite Irealia’s quiet hushed tone her frustration was still evident in her voice.
Amelie quickly explained how the riot broke out due to Bobby not showing but was quickly dispelled several minutes later by a car backfiring out on the street which was mistaken as gunfire for a while until a witness outside confirmed it was just a backfire.
”Nevertheless, the riot is brief and there is no actual gunfire, but I want to prevent the riot before it happens.”
Irealia inquired as to why, not fully understanding her friends plan. Amelie shifted a bit in her seat and unbuttoned one of the buttons of her coat before responding.
”You said bring them to us but control the situation. I highly doubt they know the history of today, it’s so obscure - only someone uniquely interested in this era, place, or time, would know about it. Also, even if for some odd reason they knew of the history that is to happen here today, there’s no way they’d know about me wanting to change it.”

Amelie would go on to admit that she knew changing history was pretty risky at best, and insanely dangerous at worst, but that she thought her idea wasn’t that dangerous and fell on the low end of the risk meter - something that made Irealia roll her eyes.
”Hear me out! I want to stop the riot by…” Amelie looked around for a second and then leaned in rather close to Irealia’s ear. ”…getting on stage and performing one of Bobby’s songs!”
For the first time Irealia’s worry and frustration vanished off her face and a smirk would appear, she liked the idea.
Happy to see her friend smirking Amelie would smile back before asking Irealia to hand her the stopwatch she had set to the clock outside on the street while they were approaching the Cotton Club. Once the watch was in her hands she’d tap on it as she began to talk again in a hushed tone even Irealia struggled to hear over the complaining crowd around them.
”I have to do it soon, several minutes before the backfire. It took a lot of research to figure out when it happened but belief it or not a book I found online had a copy of the police report with the date and time of the police force’s arrival on the scene and how long the incident had been in progress before they arrived. With that I have a pretty good idea of when to go up on stage, and it’s soon.”
Amelie took a big gulp of her drink before unbuttoning her coat completely.
”In case we get separated when the backfire happens, you see that side exit? Don’t go out that way, go through the exit further in the back, it has double doors so you won’t get trampled, I’ll follow close behind you. We’ll meet up outside by the clock tower and stay close to the scene. I have another idea on how we can get out of here afterwards that will put these people following us in a tough spot, that is if they actually show.”
Irealia nodded.
”Oh he’ll show, I don’t know why yet but he has a mission of some sort that is leading him to consistently follow our trail. He’ll take the bait, he can't resist following us.”

A man yelling at a server about the performance he “paid handily to see” being delayed would prompt Amelie to once again look at the stopwatch in her hands.
”It’s time.” she’d say, before grabbing Irealia’s cocktail and downing the rest of it in one big gulp.
”Hey!” Irealia playfully complained. Amelie promised to buy her another drink before standing up, handing her coat to Irealia - who would cling tight to the garment, and making her way to the side of the stage. She’d tap the pianist on the shoulder and the older black gentleman would look down towards her and smile.
”Why yes ma’am, can I help you with something?”
Amelie smiled kindly back at him before nodding her head.
”Well yes sir, you see the crowd is getting awful anxious waiting for Mr. Short. I was wondering if you’d like to help me quell their angst?”
Amelie would go on to explain her desire to perform Bobby Short’s “Ill Wind” for the guest in an attempt to prevent any further unrest. The man was surprisingly game for her idea, and after a brief discussion with him and the band about shifting the pitch up to F, the Pianist would begin to play the opening of Bobby Short’s “Ill Wind.”

To say that Amelie was nervous would be putting it mildly, as she held the train of her dress, walked up onto the stage, and made her way to the microphone, she had so many worries and concerns running through her brain. However by the time she let go of her dress and let the train fall to the stage the crowd had begun to settle down. The shouting and complaining ceased, and all eyes were on her.

Amelie closed her eyes as the Pianist neared the note she was waiting for, and cleared her throat. She was more comfortable in a higher range, and even with the pitch change to a higher F “Ill Wind” still required her to singe at a lower range, something that would feel strange to her even if it was actually easier on her vocal chords.
”You got this…..you’ve practiced this….it’s all good….” she thought to herself moments before jumping into her rendition of Bobby Short’s “Ill Wind.”

As she belted out the Bobby Short tune Amelie would mostly keep her gaze atop the crowd - avoiding direct eye contact with anyone. She made sure to glance over her shoulder at the band and lead them back in a couple times with her hand at parts that required a break in the music
As she reached the end of the song and took a breath to properly belt out the songs final belt Amelie would look at eye level with the crowd and almost immediately lock eyes with a man who bore a striking resemblance to the man her and Irealia had encountered in the Syracuse alleyway the other day. She would keep eye contact through the end of the last note and during most of the roaring applause, smiling slightly.
It wasn’t until a short white man walked up on stage beside her and placed his arm around her waist did she break eye contact with the man in the audience and look over to the older energetic man holding on to her.
”Oh doll I can’t thank you enough, they were about to burn this place to the ground - you’re a life saver.” he whispered to her as the crowd continued applauding. The man, who Amelie assumed to be the club promoter, would push himself in front of her and grab the microphone to address the crowd.
”Thank you, thank you everybody. We are delighted you enjoyed the performance by Mrs….um, Mrs…”
The man looked over his shoulder at Amelie, again grabbed her by the waist, and quietly asked what her name was. She thought about giving her gaming handle - Babydoll - as her name, but before she could say anything she was startled by the sound of the backfire.
Within seconds the crowd jumped up in a frenzy and began running for the various exits. Amelie would slip out of the grasp of the club promoter and jog towards an equally startled Irealia.
”Remind me later to gush over your voice, but for now lets go. That backfire scared me to death!” Her friend whispered into her ear as a bunch of people ran all around them.
Amelie would pull her coat from her friend’s grasp and quickly slip into it before grabbing Irealia’s hand and heading towards the side exit with a bunch of other frantic patrons.


Once outside the two women would quickly mix in with a crowd of people hiding inside a neighboring shop's outside dinning space, but once the cops arrived everyone would shuffle out of the dining area and back onto the sidewalks on either side of the street..
”He’s here by the way” Amelie whispered in Irealia’s ear as they made their way back onto the street - forcing the young woman to once again hold the train of her dress in her hand to prevent it from dragging on the ground.

”Wait, he is? Where!?” Irealia demanded, looking around frantically, only for Amelie to tell her to stop.
”First off, like you always tell me, don’t look so obvious...and secondly, I saw him while on stage inside, I have no idea where he is any-”
Amelie would abruptly stop talking as she spotted a man she thought to be him loitering on the street with a small crowd of Cotton Club patrons.
”Wait, is that him? Across the way, under the streetlight beside the girl in the red dress.” Amelie asked her friend, while trying to get a better look without moving from behind the first couple of rows of patrons in the crowd on her side of the street, which was on the opposite side of the street from the man she had come to think of as their “time traveling stalker.”
It took a moment for Irealia to spot him, but when she did her facial expression immediately switched from eagerness to one of annoyance. ”Yeah that’s him alright.” she muttered, before grabbing her friend by the wrist.”Come on, I have a little idea of my own now, follow me.”
Nervous by her impulsive friends sudden idea Amelie wanted to inquire about it, but Irealia gave her no chance to and pulled her out from the hidden safety of the crowd, directly into the middle of the warded off street, and up to a pair of police officers.
”Excuse me sir, that man over there was holding onto his waist and looking about rather frantically, I’m just terrified he might be the one with the gun!”
Irealia played the damsel in distress role up quite a bit, and after she dramatically pointed out their time traveling stalker to the cops they would push the two women behind them and pull out their guns, demanding everyone on the side of the street their stalker was on to freeze, before singling him out individually.
”You! Back up against that wall right there and don’t you think about running boy!”
Irealia would snicker as she pulled Amelie back onto the sidewalk and away from the scene.

”Oh my god you’re insane! I can’t believe you just did that, you are actually insane!”
Amelie couldn’t help but laugh as she shook her head, the two of them walking at a brisk speed away from the scene. ”An insane genius you mean!” Irealia joked back, before pointing out the Harlem Grande Hotel at the end of the next block. ”Come on, lets get a room there!”


As the two women walked down the block hand in hand Amelie would inquire about what Irealia’s plan was after going to the hotel. ”I don’t know, maybe we stay a while? Maybe we leave?” she’d respond.
”He saw us walk off in this direction. If I was a time traveling stalker I think the first place I’d check for a pair of women I’m following, at night in a big city, would be a hotel - no?”
Amelie raised an eyebrow at her friend, and the two women would giggle a bit before walking up to the hotel entrance.



Thanks to their gift of gab, and Irealia’s Act 2 of the damsel in distress, the two friends were able to get a pretty good deal at the bed and breakfast - one night, double beds, and full amenities including food service, for $4.50. The two thanked the young man behind the desk and asked if he could send dinner up to them in their rooms this late. He informed them it was past the dinner time but since they had gone through such a traumatic event he'd make sure to get some food up to their room shortly.
So after once again thanking the young man the two women walked up several floors until they reached their room.

Much to their surprise the room was quite warm, the furnace had apparently been turned on in advance.
Irealia would turn on a pair of lights in-between the two beds, and in near unison her and Amelie would fall back onto each of the beds.The two said nothing to each other for a few minutes until finally they found it too warm to stay in their coats and stood up to disrobe - Amelie down to her under garments, while Irealia left her dress on but slipped out of her coat and jewelry.

”Okay, so what was your plan for us to get out of here?” Irealia joked, causing Amelie to throw a rather heavy pillow at her. ”Forget that! You kind of ruined it with your impulsive decision! I still can’t believe you did that, what if they arrest him!?” Amelie mulled aloud. Irealia shrugged ”I mean I suppose it would kinda suck for him if he got arrested, but hey, I doubt that happened, he probably got out of it - right? We just slowed him down by a bit. Like hopefully an hour or so. Or at least half an hour, I hope.”
A sudden knock at the door caused both women to jump a bit, but when the knock was followed by a call for “Room Service” both of them calmed down.
”Coming!” Irealia said, waiting for an unclothed Amelie to go hide in the bathroom before she opened the door.
She would take the two plates of roast beef, potatoes, greens, and fresh fruit, from the attendant along with two glasses and a pitcher of lemonade. Irealia then thanked the woman and tipped her a few coins before closing and locking their room door.

Always starving Amelie almost skipped out of the bathroom, quickly grabbing the plate with the bigger portions from her friend. ”Why thank you!” she teased, before flopping down on her bed with her plate of food and glass of lemonade.
”Now, lets talk about that show you put on. Where in the hell did you learn to sing like that? What did you do, swallow a Billie Holiday pill before we left?”
Amelie erupted into laughter at her friends comment, nearly choking on her food.

The two would spend the next half hour talking about Amelie’s initial performance, the club, and various other things, as they ate all the food on their plates.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler

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Year: 1927
Time: Evening
Place: Harlem, New York
After taking his glass from the bar, he took a sip. He coughed a bit involuntarily. Not that the taste was bad, but this home-brewed stuff was always a lot stronger than what he was used to.
He leaned up and turned his attention to Lucy. ”Okay, let’s scan the room. I am sure they have a good costume, so it won’t be easy to spot them. Especially when it’s this busy.”

Lucy nodded, and moved slightly away from him. She was still close, but clearly took it upon herself to scan the left side of the room. As Jason moved a bit more to the front, he recognised he could not get very close to the stage. He could not imagine the two girls were able to get close either. The name Bobby Short rang a bell to him, but it wasn’t really more than that. But one of the nice things about his job was that he could see artist from history getting famous. The guy must be popular… Jason thought as he was slightly pushed and pulled by the crowd.
He nearly spilled his drink, and instead of getting upset he just downed it before going back to work. He scanned the crowd as much he could without much success. The clientele inside was hard to typecast. It seemed there were people of all places in society. There were definitely some dodgy buff guys around. Jason would need to watch his step if he didn’t want any trouble with them.
There were shouts all around him. People were getting anxious. It was stuffy and the alcohol was flowing more freely than Prohibition would have suggested. He took a wide stance in order to make sure he wouldn’t fall over. He checked over to the side to make sure Lucy was okay. Not that she needed the checking, she found a good spot, out of the walkway. He had hardly been able to spot anyone when the piano music started.

The people around him started to get a bit more settled upon hearing the melody. It gave Jason some chance to look around and approach a few of the tables in the back to see if he could see the women he was looking for. As the voice started to fill the room, he couldn’t help but enjoy the song. He only started to suspect something when he heard the murmers around him. All spoken softly, as not to disturb the song: ”that’s his song, but it doesn’t look like it’s ol’ Bobby singing.”
With his curiosity slightly poked, Jason looked over at the stage. His eyes widened when he saw her there on stage. Her dress was of this time, and her hair looked different. But there was no doubt in his mind this was the girl he was looking for.
He tried to get Lucy’s attention to indicate their target was on stage. He tried to make his way closer to the podium, but couldn’t get far due to the mass of people in front of him. Jason was blown away by her rendition of the song, and the positive sounds around him told him they felt the same. Jason looked over intently, half wondering if the girl would start glowing again, but no such thing happened.

He looked into her eyes, captivated. As she finished the song, she looked over the audience and locked eyes with him. He could see the moment she recognised him, a smile appearing on her face. Bad news… Jason thought. It wasn’t a positive smile. It was a tempting, teasing, challenging smile that she threw him. As if this was a game to her. She had no idea her stunt could hurt history itself.

As the applause started to erupt around him, he tried his luck again, approaching the podium. He was making some headway, not knowing if Lucy was following or not. As a short guy grabbed the microphone a gunshot sounded behind Jason. He looked over his shoulder at Lucy, who seemed shocked, but not hurt. The tables where people had been sitting, enjoying the performance, were suddenly overturned. The sound of breaking glass around him, only drowned by the trampling of feet and the sound of screams from the other guests. There were not enough doors to let everyone out, and all the people in front of him now came in his direction.
It became warmer as if the gunshot started a fire. He was pushed and pulled again, and with difficulty he made it to the wall. Lucy joined him a few seconds later. Along the wall it was a lot easier to make it to the podium and beyond. ”I couldn’t see, but she must have left through the side exit further up.”
After a few seconds he help open the door to go through.
”You take this one, I see another door back there. Meet you in a minute.”
Jason went through the door coming out on the street. It was busy with other people that came out of the club. There had not been a second shot, but he couldn’t lose his focus now. He couldn’t see the woman out here, but it was hard with the mass amount of people. He asked one of the men waiting outside.
”Did you see someone exit through here? I am looking for the singing girl. ”
The answer of the man was sarcastic. Something in the line of the amount of men that were looking for her now. He turned to a girl dressed in red standing next to him.
”Have you seen her, I swear she must have exited here.” The woman was looking at him intently.
”I am sure there is nothing she can do that I can’t. For the right price I can show you a hell of a night.’ Jason waived her off with an impatient gesture. He looked further around, but nobody seemed to be particularly helpful.
A commotion on the other side of the street caught his attention. When he looked over he finally saw what he was looking for. It seemed they were both here again, not just the younger woman. Unfortunately, between Jason and the two ladies there were three police officers with a weapon aimed at him. There was no question it was directed at him, since they did not seem to protest the other former Cotton Club patrons moving out of the way.

”You! Back up against that wall right there and don’t you think about running boy!”
Knowing there was no way to deal with this quickly, and understanding the officers were on edge, Jason adhered to the instructions. He put his arms on his head in a slow manner and backed up to the wall behind him. As the two officers on the side kept there distance and their gun pointed, the middle officer came closer. ”Turn around and hands on the wall.”
Jason slowly turned, seeing the trigger happy scenario playing in his mind. He tried to think hard about the police force in the 20s. The police in New York had been corrupt as long as it had been in existence, but he couldn’t remember the level of corruption in this time. As he faced the wall he felt the officers hands over his body. He padded him three or four times on the hip before concluding there was nothing there. ”May I ask what you’re looking for? I might be able to help.”
Jason’s voice sounded too impatient and rude. In any case, that’s how it came across to the officer behind him. ”Shut up!”
Jason’s hands were being pulled down and were placed in cuffs. They weren’t particularly comfortable, but Jason had seen it coming and had widened his wrists as much as he could while they were placed. He was dragged off, and for the first time he could look around him. He caught a glimpse of Lucy and with his eyes he indicated she should follow the two. He would see her later. They had worked together long enough for Lucy to know exactly what he meant. He saw her walk off in the same direction the two women had gone a minute earlier.

All the way walking to the 14th precinct a few blocks down, he couldn’t believe how stupid he had been. They had wanted to set him up, and it had worked. He was disappointed in himself. He had felt a connection the the younger one back in Syracuse, thought she wasn’t out to watch chaos unfold. But he had been wrong, she had intentionally tried to influence history by getting on that stage. She had looked him dead in the eye, knowing she would set him up minutes later. Jason had hoped it didn’t have to get to this point.
In the precinct he was put in a jail cell together with about 20 others. For some reason he was the only one here with the cuffs still on, and the menacing smiles on the faces of the others didn’t make him feel very comfortable. As the officers left him in there some of the bigger men came his way. They might have been looking for money, but their question didn’t indicate that.
”Who are you with?”
Jason didn’t understand. He was alone, Lucy might be around, but he doubted that they were aiming at that.
”Are you one of TK’s boys?” Jason still didn’t have a clue, but he wasn’t about to admit he was nobodies boy. He took a guess. ”You think I would be in here if I was TK’s boy? They’re not stupid enough to get caught.”
In hindsight, it hadn’t been the most considered answer he could have given. He dodged the first fist he saw coming towards his face. By cupping his hands and relaxing his wrists he was able to get out of the old fashioned handcuffs he was wearing. He flung them around and the next person attacking him got the cuffs in his face. The others moved away a bit. Before they could recuperate the officers showed up again, taking him out the cell to ask him some questions.

Minutes later, he sat on a simple chair, no desk in between him and the standing officers.
”What did you do with the gun?” the question was soft, but sounded angry at the same time.
”I don’t have one, never had.”
”Then who was firing the gun around the Club. People clearly heard a gunshot happening just outside the doors.”
”Maybe you should ask someone that was outside when the shot was fired. I was inside, enjoying Bobby Short’s replacement.”
The officers were quiet, perhaps not knowing what to do. They left him sitting there for a moment. A minute later they came back, seeming angry and disappointed. ”You’re free to go, next time you should be more careful…”
Jason got up and walked to the door. ”More careful like what?…. Standing?”
Their faces did not seem amused and Jason did not want to push his luck. It had already taken about an hour and a half to get all of this done. He only had half an hour to meet Lucy again.
Five minutes early he arrived at the corner where he had been arrested just before. He was tempted to get another drink, but he decided not to. If they would have smelled the whisky on his breath he would probably still be in the precinct. A moment later he saw Lucy show up at exactly the right time. It’s nice that their code still worked perfectly, even years later.
”You seem unscathed,” she laughed at him.
”Come on, they are in a hotel close by. ” Jason asked if she knew the room number.
”Of course I do. They even tipped me when I brought them room service.” she said as she winked at him.
For the first time since they arrived here, the smile came back on Jason’s face.

”Awesome. That means you can pick up the plates again too. Try to split them up somehow, it will be easier than taking them on together.” Lucy indicated that it shouldn’t be a problem for them to be separated.
They arrived at the hotel, and Lucy slipped back into an apron she had found in the back. As they reached the floor where the ladies stayed Jason saw they were almost to late as a girl was about to knock on the door already. They stopped her just in time and send her to the kitchen with some lame excuse. As Jason hid in a cupboard on the same floor, Lucy knocked on the door.
In a well played role, Lucy assumed the voice of a nervous young, shy, working girl.
”Uhm.., sorry to disturb. I am here to pick up the plates. Also…uhh…the Maitre D’ said there was something wrong with the payment. He requested you to come to the front desk.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler

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Years: 1927
Location: Harlem, NYC, NY, and Manhattan, NYC, NY.
Time: Evening
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Amelie sighed a bit as she flounced back on the bed, the sounds outside their hotel window being far quieter than New York City was in their time - something she was glad for as a migraine began to creep up on her. Irealia picked up on the fact her friend had a headache as she began to rub her temples.
”You alright? You know, there’s probably not any aspirin we can get our hands on easily but do hotels have ice machines in the 20s? Maybe some ice would help?”
After giggling a bit Amelie sat up and shook her head.
”No, this is the day and age of iceboxes.” she’d say in response, before pointing over to a small icebox a radio sat atop of.
”They operate with like a large chunk of ice that keep things cool. Electric refrigerators, or ice makers, aren’t a common thing yet. To get chopped ice I’ll probably have to ask for an ice pick!”
The two women laughed for a moment before Amelie again started rubbing her temples.
”Okay maybe I will go ask for a pick or smaller block of ice - if that’s even possible for them to do.”
She’d stand up and reluctantly slip back into her dress - a feat Irealia assisted her in.
”Hurry back, I’ll stay here and wait for room service to come back and get our plates.”
”No worries,” Amelie began, as she sat down on the edge of her bed and began to slip into her shoes. ”…just put the dishes in the collection basket and we can put it outside the door.”
Amelie would point to a large basket beside the radio and wait for her friend to pile all their dishes inside it before standing up and taking the basket from her.
”I’ll be right back, hopefully with Ice.”

Amelie would grab the hat that matched her dress and slip it on with one hand and then use the same hand to open their room door - holding the basket firmly with her other arm. Once out in the hallway she’d kneel down and place the basket beside the door, lock the door, and then shut it.




As expected there was no ice machine or shredded ice readily available, however the friendly young man at the front desk offered to shave some ice off their main ice block and wrap it up for her with a towel.


”Here you go ma’am! I even wrapped the ice up in some plastic for ya underneath this towel, so the ice doesn’t just soak through that towel there."
Amelie smiled as she took hold of the wrapped ice and then put it to her head.
”Does that feel okay ma’am?” asked the man as he settled back into his front desk chair. Amelie nodded. ”Feels great, thank you kindly!”




She found herself walking back up the stairwell slower than she had walked down them, enjoying the coldness pressed against her temples, the desired effect occurring a lot quicker than she expected.
”Who needs Aspirin when you have shaved ice!?” Amelie joked to herself as she finally reached her floor. As she partially opened the stairwell door on her floor she’d spot a young woman with a cart of dish baskets being approached by a woman and man. She couldn’t hear what they said to her but it sent her scurrying towards the stairwell door. Amelie quickly let go of the door and stepped back down a few stairs as to be out of sight. The young girl apologized as she jogged down the stairs past her, and as soon as the girl passed out of view Amelie would peer through the glass opening in the stairwell door in time to spot the man closing himself into a cupboard and the woman knocking on the door. It was in that moment that Amelie realized this woman was likely not with the hotel, and instead with the man she assumed to be their time traveling stalker - though she hadn’t been able to really catch his face before he closed the cupboard door in on himself.
”Uhm.., sorry to disturb. I am here to pick up the plates. Also…uhh…the Maitre D’ said there was something wrong with the payment. He requested you to come to the front desk.” Amelie heard the girl say.
”Okay maybe it’s not that guy and whatever organization he works for! Maybe it’s just a pair of everyday burglars! We got this, we can take two common criminals!” she’d think to herself, before she flashed back to what she had remembered seeing their stalker wearing in the Cotton Club and compared it to what she saw the man in the hallway wearing.
”Dammit it’s him…and whoever this girl is.” she’d whisper to herself, before her room door opened.


--------------



Irealia wanted nothing more than to strip out of the dress she had put back on after hearing the woman knock on their door. However as she walked towards the door barefoot it hit her, not only were their dishes placed out in the hallway but this wasn’t 2019, nothing goes wrong with cash payment, it’s not like a credit card.
”Oh well that’s a tell if I've ever heard one” Irealia whispered softly as she backtracked and slipped into her shoes. Without a second thought she’d enter her heightened state and within seconds begin to pull the energy out of her body and outwards into an identical representation of herself.
Once done Irealia was drained, she pulled as much energy out of her body as possible to create a clone that wasn’t translucent and could more authentically pass as real instead of a more translucent clone that would have taken less energy.
”Pardon me, I wasn’t dressed. I’m coming.” she said in a normal tone, before taking a deep breath.
She’d feverishly slip into her coat and pat the pockets to assure Lux was still inside it before gathering up Amelie’s coat and money. Irealia did not second guess herself, she trusted her instincts and walked into the bathroom and forced the collection of energy inside the room to form into a gateway.
The feverish red head then slid against the wall beside the front door and waited until her coat-less clone walked forward a bit before she opened the door.

--------------



Amelie spotted Irealia as she walked out of the room and agreed to go down to the front desk with the woman. Without thinking she’d swing the stairwell door open and call out to her friend.”No Irealia, wait!”

Relief washed over Irealia’s body as she saw Amelie through her clone’s eyes. It was only once she saw Amelie did a full plan form in her head, and as she slid from behind the door and around the wall to reach the bathroom she had her clone hold it’s hand out towards Amelie in an attempt to calm her.
”I know….I know. Remember where we came from, okay?” her clone would say, before looking over toward the woman who had knocked on the door.
”And where exactly did you come from? Same place as him I bet…you don’t look as in shape though, bet I could out run ya.”
Irealia’s clone smirked at the woman before suddenly darting towards an open Window.
Before jumping out of it and onto a fire escape the clone looked back at Amelie and told her to run - figuring her snarky remark would be enough to make the woman follow her instead of her friend.

As her clone ran away Irealia, who had managed to slip into the bathroom without being seen, clenched Amelie’s coat tightly before walking into the gateway.


--------------


Amelie watched as her friend jumped out the window and onto the fire escape. She wanted to follow but knew the man in the cupboard would likely grab her before she could reach the window, so instead she’d push the stairwell door open and begin to run down it.
As she reached the bottom there were two doors, the one that led into the Lobby and an Emergency Exit, she opted for the Emergency Exit.

Within seconds of walking out into the alley Amelie was freezing and instantly dropped the wrapped up shredded ice onto the ground.
”Damn!” she muttered out loud as she remembered she left her coat up in their room. However she knew she didn’t have time to pout, she had heard the frantic footsteps of someone following her down the stairwell and they were only a couple of flights behind her, so after picking up the train of her dress and tightening the hat on her head Amelie jogged out of the Alley and down the street.


New York hadn’t quite become the city that never sleeps in the late 20’s, so the streets were quiet and dark, however as she jogged further into the city more people appeared to be out and more places appeared to be open.
She’d run past several men who either cat-called her or physically tried to grab her, but she was able to dodge all the unwanted advances and continue running for several minutes until she finally approached the brightly lit Grand Central Terminal. Without a second thought she’d go inside the terminal and briskly walk past an empty stage and various closed food carts. There were very few service stations open and only a few couples loitering about waiting on their trains, so it was easy enough for Amelie to find a bench to herself off away from everyone else.
She’d drop the train of her dress and wrap her arms around her upper-body as she took a seat She was freezing, and hoped to god she had lost whoever was following her.

As she unconsciously rocked herself back and forth Amelie played over in her head what Irealia said, not understanding what her friend was trying to say to her. She begin to mentally fret over how the two would meet back up, and as she began to shiver she’d close her eyes.

In her own world she didn’t notice footsteps approaching her, but suddenly a man’s voice spoke up in front of her.”You must be freezing, here..”
Amelie opened her eyes and slowly glanced up in front of her.

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Character Portrait: Amélie Bai
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"Each time is true, but the truths are not the same."

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The Young Rogue Time Traveler!

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Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler
Jason Joseph Rockler

"Each time is true, but the truths are not the same."

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The Young Rogue Time Traveler!

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Character Portrait: Jason Joseph Rockler
Jason Joseph Rockler

"Each time is true, but the truths are not the same."

Character Portrait: Amélie Bai
Amélie Bai

The Young Rogue Time Traveler!


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