Chapter 26: This is Heavy!

The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin

I took a big step back from both Jameson and Johnson, raising the gun. I pointed it at one and then the other, trying to watch both at the same time.

“Somebody better answer me!”

Jameson pushed his weird goggles up onto his head, and he looked confused underneath. Johnson just stood there with a wry grin, shaking his head. He put his hands in his pockets and looked at the FBI agent.

“You opened this can of worms, buddy.”

Jameson stuck out his lip and stomped his foot again. “You are in grave danger, Diggory Franklin. We don’t have time for this.”

“Make time!”

Jameson looked at Johnson, his eyes imploring. Johnson shook his head.

“I don’t have the authority!” Jameson complained.

“So take him to someone who does.” Johnson shrugged. “I’ll get him later.”

Jameson nodded, and clicked a button on his amazing watch.

“Agent Jameson, requesting immediate extraction.”

An indigo blur appeared a few feet away, and rippled to form another one of those weird tunnels of blue and purple light. Jameson looked at me.

“You want answers? You come with me.”

I looked at Johnson, who was still smiling. He just shrugged again. “You’ll be safer than here. You don’t have a lot of other options.”

I grimaced. I pointed the gun at Jameson. “Any funny business, and you’ll pay.”

Jameson shrugged, as if it didn’t matter to him. He took my arm, and led me to the tunnel. I could feel it pulling at me, like a suctioning wind rippling through my hair and over my skin.

“Whooooooooooooooooooooooooah!” I called out as we spiralled through the light.

It felt like someone had grabbed hold of me by the belly button, and pulled forward. We zoomed and then, all of a sudden, popped back into existence. We stood on a platform, surrounded by glowing rods and metal bars. I blinked, disoriented.

Jameson stepped off the platform, and pressed a button. The glowing rods dimmed. I looked around and saw a white room with edges, like we were inside a soccer ball. Up near the top I could see a window, where some sort of technician was presiding. They pushed a button and one of the wall sections opened, a doorway.

“You coming?”

I nodded, following. “Where are we?”

“That’s not the right question,” Jameson said. “It’s more like, ‘when are we.’ You’re in the future.”

“So you’re not really an FBI agent, then?”

“Yes, I am. Agent John Jameson, of the Federal Bureau of time Investigations. The ‘t’ is silent.”

“What? Why?” It was an inane question, but it was the first to occur to me.

“Well, it saved changing all the letterheads.” Jameson shrugged.

I followed him out of the soccer ball and found myself in a white hallway, with smooth walls. He started walking, so I followed. There were no obvious lights, it was more like the wall panels themselves provided the illumination.

“So where are we going?”

“You wanted answers. I’m not authorized to give any. I shouldn’t even be bringing you here.”

Jameson started walking, as if he was done saying anything.

“Then why did you?” I asked, following the big man down the corridor.

“Because I can always erase your memory again, if they decide you’re not supposed to remember. That’s what we did the other day.”

“Excuse me?”

I raised my gun, pointing it at him.

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Finally up-to-date. Wow.

Finally up-to-date. Wow. The last few chapters has been quite a ride! I can't wait to see what happens next! (Except that I _must_ wait... argh!)

Thank you for sharing this with us! It is excellent!

GASP

OMG THE FUTURE?

Now see...

...this is why this story rocks. I knew this was gonna happen. And it's still freakin' AWESOME anyway.

Expectation

Part of belonging to a culture means we come to expect certain things from stories, in arcs. So, if I foreshadow something predictable, I darn well try to make it epic when it shows up, so it was worth the wait.

The other thing to do is be subversive -- build an expectation and then mess with it -- but that's tricky to pull off. I think I do that every once in awhile, but I try to just let the plot go where it goes and hope it's a ride people enjoy.

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