The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin
Johnson was only gone for two minutes. However, he returned wearing different clothing, so it was easy to assume he’d been gone a long time and time-jumped back to talk to us.
“Sorry to keep you waiting,” he said, unnecessarily. “I have permanent quarters set up for Miss Sorley, and a plan for you, Mr. Franklin. Miss Sorley, if you’ll wait here, I’ll return in a moment. Mr. Franklin, if you’ll say your good-byes?”
I waited for him to leave the room, and then turned to Dahlia.
“Well, kid, it’s been interesting knowing you.”
Monday, September 22, 2008
“So you’ll be able to make the delivery no problem?” Digger asked.
“Yes, I’ll head straight there, even if it means being late for your meeting,” I told him.
“You’ll have some time. I’m going for coffee first, to see Calla before she heads to class. It’s only a short walk from there to the warehouse.”
“I’ll let you out up here.” I pointed at the corner up the block. “Good luck with it.”
“Yeah. You seem to really like her.” I smiled.
“I do,” Digger nodded. “Thanks.”
We walked through the garden with Agent Johnson, passing flowers and vegetables. In the distance there was a small hill, and he led us straight towards it. There was a doorway, somewhat concealed by the foliage. We entered, and stood in a white room the size of an elevator.
It was eerily similar to the FBI’s headquarters, with the same white panelling that seemed to light the room itself. There were no discernible exits or windows. Johnson put his hand against the wall, and it glowed around his fingers.
Dahlia leaned against my arm, still dazed by the news that her family was dead. I held her up, and faced Agent Johnson.
“Telekinesis? Like, moving stuff with your mind?” Dahlia said, coming out of her grief at the use of this unfamiliar (to me, anyway) word.
“Yes, exactly.” Johnson nodded. “People have talked of the possibility for centuries, and we tapped into how to do it. It has to do with quantum mechanics and the intrinsic nature of reality…”
We both stared blankly at him. He grinned. “Maybe that can wait. Yeah, anyway, I can travel through time without a chronometer.”
There were several moments of silence from everyone in the room as I tried to comfort Dahlia. I tried putting myself in her shoes and couldn’t do it. Yesterday she was a teenager on a farm with a family and a normal life. Today she was in the future, and her family had been dead for probably a century or more. She was surrounded by strangers, and had no home to go back to.
“So what happens next?” I asked, when I realized no one else was going to start talking.
I leapt for Agent Johnson, ready to pummel him into the ground. Zebediah had almost vaporized us with lightning, and Johnson had let us dangle as bait for that fiend. His chronometer had almost stranded us in the distant past, and only luck had brought us to safety. He had walked in with his usual cocky smile, and all I wanted to do was knock it off his face.
I woke up the next morning with Dahlia gently shaking my shoulder.
“Diggory, pssst, Diggory, wake up!” She whispered.
“Dahlia? What is it?” I answered, rubbing sleep from my eyes.
“I woke up and looked around, and we’re in the weirdest place…” she said, her eyes wide.
I sat up in my crazy chair and looked around, seeing the white walls of the FBI’s temporary quarters. I rubbed my face.
“I get that this is a weird place, but it’s nothing to be concerned about. We’re safe. These are the good guys.”
I looked at Agent Jameson of the Federal Bureau of time Investigation as he popped out of a time portal and down to the grassy field I was sitting in. I gently shook Dahlia Sorley’s leg to wake her.
“Whazzu… huh?” She said blearily.
“Wake up, kiddo, it’s our ride. We’re getting out of here… I think.”
Jameson walked over, so I stood up to greet him. We shook hands.
“Brilliant work, Mr. Franklin! Quite the innovative method of calling for help.”
“Pardon? Who did what now?” I asked, taking his compliment with my usual grace.
I fiddled with the chronometer for a long time, trying to figure out the different settings. I avoided the button I thought of as the activation switch, the one I had pressed to turn the machine on and bring us here. I didn’t want to get us even more lost than we already were.
I stood on a grassy plain with Calla Wiley’s twin sister, Dahlia Sorley. We had been some fifteen years in my past, where I’d been visiting their family farm with the intention of rescuing Dahlia from the murderous time-terrorist, Zebediah. I’d succeeded in my goal; we’d lived through his attack.