Narr: Max turned a corner, pulled the trolley over, and
parked in front of a small light blue house. He hopped down and waited
for the rest of them to
Keane: Um, we’re going to your mom’s?
Max: Yeah, I just want to give her something.
Keane: Well why did we pass it a block ago, and why did we park around this
Max: My mom’s seen a lot in her day, but she still has trouble adjusting
to modern technology. If she sees our trolley she’ll ask a million questions
about how we converted it, and we’ll never get out. Easier just to walk
Narr: Everyone shrugged and giggled a little, and followed Max down the street.
As they passed the third house or so, the air seemed to shudder and Max’s
mother’s house sort of popped open. Flames poured out, and Max’s
mother tumbled out onto the lawn, badly burnt, her face torn up, and missing
a few limbs. Molly dragged a shrieking Crisp toward the house, following Max,
Slotter, and Keane, who picked up Max’s mother and moved her a few lawns
Crisp: OH MY GOD SHE’S DEAD WHAT DO WE DO WHAT DO WE DO WHAT DO WE
Molly: (soothing) Shhh, it’s okay, it’s okay. Do you remember
when you joined us how we told you about Max’s mom? How she’s
Crisp: (still upset but calming down a little) Oh…oh yeah…like
a starfish, right?
Molly: Right. Not to worry. Her limbs will grow back by morning, and her
skin will heal up. She’ll be fine. It’s okay.
Max: Mom! Mom, are you okay? Well gee, you’re not too bad. Not like
the last time, huh? At least this time you’ve got one leg.
Mom: Oh, sure, it’s been much worse. It sure smarts, though.
Max: Molly’s going to call Aunt Susan so you can spend the night there,
Molly: Of course, I’m on it.
Mom: What the hell happened?
Max: They’re pressure explosions. Drallus’s field.
Mom: Well jeez, child, go fix it already, would you?
Max: Okay, Ma. For you. Just one thing.
Narr: Max produced from his pocket the mother-of-pearl brooch he had safely
tucked away, and held it out towards his mother.
Mom: (taken aback, in a happy sort of way) How…how did you…?
Max: Anything for you, mom.
Narr: Max kissed her on the forehead and started leading the rest of the
Flashpack back to the trolley. Max’s mother called after them.
Mom: (calling after them) You’re a good boy, Maxy! Momma loves you!
And eat something, you’re too skinny!
Narr: They reboarded their space-converted trolley and Max flew them toward
Molly: So, what’s the plan, Stan?
Max: Well, the first step is to find Jimmy and get him to safety. Drallus
will be coming for him.
Molly: He won’t be safe anywhere, Max.
Max: I know, but we’ve got to at least get him out of there. We’ve
got to try, Molly.
Molly: What then?
Max: Somehow I’ve got to disarm this field. And killing her wouldn’t
be so bad, either.
Molly: How did it come to this? How did Drallus end up being the one we have
Max: There’s no use getting nostalgic, Molly. We have a job to do.
Drallus is the enemy now. You’ve got to keep your head.
Molly: It’s just really overwhelming. How are we going to pull this
Max: We’re going to visit Alyssa.
Molly: (shocked, confused) Alyssa!? Just how do you expect to go visit Alyssa?
You don’t just drop in on Time Steppers, Max. It’s rude. They’re
like Gods. You can’t just stop by for tea. Not to mention the fact that
they live outside time? How do you expect to even find her? If you know how
to stop time then by all means, please enlighten us!
Max: Why don’t you ask Slotter?
Narr: Molly looked over at Slotter, who was staring intently at her watch.
Molly threw her hands up, exasperated.
Molly: Okay, just what am I missing here?
Slotter: (as if in a trance) I know how to do it. Gee, to think all these
years…(starts giggling kind of insanely)
Molly: What is it?
Slotter: (laughing outright now) Oh god, Molly. All these years...you remember
as kids when Mom warned us only to go outside between one and two? And we
used to only play outside for an hour every day?
Molly: Oh no. You can’t be serious.
Slotter: She meant outside time. (beat) HOLY CRAP I CAN GO OUTSIDE TIME!!!
Max: Don’t get ahead of yourself. Time traveling itself is tricky business…going
outside time is downright complicated.
Slotter: Yeah, but I figured out the time thing when I was – what,
Molly: (laughing) Your mom was so freaked. She comes upstairs and you’re
wearing a powder wig that covers your whole head!
Slotter: They say kids are figuring it out earlier and earlier. And anyway,
Max, I’m the best Time Turner you’ll find these days.
Max: I’m just saying, don’t rush into it blindly. (beat) But,
if you really do have it figured out, hurry it up because we don’t have
a lot of time.
Keane: No pun intended.
Slotter: Well she said between one and two, right? So…I guess I just
have to wind my watch?
Keane: Yeah, but to where?
Crisp: One o’clock, it would seem. You can be outside time between
one and two. So…you have an hour.
Molly: It’s just a couple minutes after one now.
Keane: Maybe you have to set it at a time that’s between one and two.
Slotter: So, one-thirty?
Keane: Maybe. Or one-forty. Or one-forty-five.
Max: That seems too vague. This has to be very specific.
Slotter: I think Crisp is right, we should try one.
Keane: Bad idea, girl. If you want to be so specific, I think one-thirty
is the way to go. It’s exactly between one and two.
Narr: Slotter raised her eyebrows and surveyed everyone’s faces. She
was met with shrugs and shaking heads and worried expressions. Finally Max
patted Keane on the back and took charge.
Max: One-thirty it is. We can’t let time get away from us while we’re
trying to stop it. Wind the watch, Slotter.
Slotter: Should we stop the trolley?
Max: How much fun is there in that?
Narr: Slotter took a deep breath and wound her watch to one-thirty on the
dot while Molly, Keane, and Crisp huddled around her and shut their eyes tight.
She too shut her eyes and pushed the wind-up button into the side of her watch.
Slotter: Here goes nothing.
Narr: Through their eyelids they could see a bright flash of light. They
felt as if they were free falling, and despite Max’s cries of-
Narr: -they heard a low humming noise that lasted about twenty seconds. They
felt themselves land with a jolt and opened their eyes to see Max sprawled
out in the drivers seat, his head lolled around towards them.
Max: That (breath) is one hell (breath) of a ride.
Narr: They all looked outside the trolley at the small dusty room they were
in. It was like a grandma’s house. It was kind of dark and musty but
comfy and smelled like baking. A woman far too young to be a grandma was sitting
in a rocking chair near them, rocking a baby.
Alyssa: (warmly) You’re a little late.
Narr: They all stepped slowly out of the trolley and walked toward the woman.
Alyssa: That would be me.
Keane: Is that…your…baby?
Alyssa: Why, Time Steppers can’t have babies too?
Keane: It just seems a little…tiring. I mean, she’s going to
be a baby forever, right? That’s…a lot of diapers.
Alyssa: Wisely observed. And no, this isn’t my baby. This is your muse,
Slotter: My what?
Alyssa: Your time turning muse. She made your watch.
Slotter: She’s just a baby!
Alyssa: Muses are born in the Realm of Forward Time and live lives like any
normal mortal. When they become old, they pass on to the Realm of Backward
Time and spend half their lives personally crafting a Time Stopper – like
the one you have there.
Narr: Slotter looked at her watch, which was stuck at one-thirty on the dot.
Alyssa: When the Time Stopper is finished, the muse chooses a newborn Time
Turner who will own it. When you are old enough to time travel, your muse
guides your discovery of how the watch works.
Slotter: So she’s getting younger?
Alyssa: You can only go outside time once. This is why you didn’t figure
out how to do it until now. This is when you were destined to do it. Because
you need my help. Your journey outside time drains her energy. It ages her
faster. Remember, she’s aging backwards.
Slotter: So what happens when we go back?
Alyssa: She has no more purpose here. She will pass.
Slotter: Okay, that’s heavy.
Alyssa: You don’t have time to worry about it now.
Keane: We’re outside time. Shouldn’t we have all the time in
Alyssa: Here time stands still. But in the Realm of Forward Time, Drallus
is preparing to destroy your planet. And the longer you don’t experience
time, the harder it will be to readjust to aging. I can only keep you until
it’s your two o’clock. You should have come at one.
Crisp: I told you.
Molly: So…how much…time…do we have? Agh, this is confusing.
Alyssa: About fifteen minutes.
Max: Can you help us?
Alyssa: This is deeper than I think any of you realize. Do you even know
who you’re defending?
Max: Earth. America. Jimmy.
Max: What about Jimmy?
Alyssa: Jimmy is an incarnation.
Keane: I’m sorry, run that by me again?
Alyssa: Your president, Jimmy, is the reincarnation of Thomas Jefferson.
Slotter: Um, like, founding father Thomas Jefferson?
Alyssa: One and the same.
Molly: We’re saving Thomas Jefferson’s life!?
Keane: Oh, brother.
Alyssa: Look, I know this is going to be kind of a shock. But you have to
understand the gravity of this situation.
Max: Well what do we do?
Alyssa: She’ll come to you.
Slotter: She’s coming HERE!?
Alyssa: No, you’re safe Outside Time. But she’ll find you once
you’re back in the Realm. Take this.
Narr: Alyssa reached into the blanket that was wrapped around the baby and
pulled out a small blue velvet sac with gold thread tied tightly around the
top. She held it out toward Max, who accepted it gingerly.
Max: A spell pouch.
Alyssa: This spell will remove someone from existence.
Max: This is the spell that's going to kill Drallus?
Alyssa: I didn't say that. It will remove someone from existence. But spells
are unstable. Use them wisely. Drallus is powerful and experienced. She will
not be taken easily. This pouch alone will not defeat her.
Max: Well, how do I-
Alyssa: You will know, when the time comes. All of you, listen closely. You
have been together so long. You’ve been through countless adventures.
You’ve grown up together. Things are about to get very, very complicated.
Know who you have to trust.
Slotter: This. Is so. Intense.
Narr: Alyssa nodded toward the trolley, and the five of them boarded, as
if in a trance. They studied each other’s faces for what would have
been a few moments, if moments existed there. Max took a deep breath and in
a strong but quiet voice, said…
Everyone: (spoken, a little afraid) Flashpack.
Narr: The baby in Alyssa’s arms suddenly started crying.
Alyssa: It’s time.
Narr: Can President Jimmy Novacs really be the reincarnation of President
Thomas Jefferson? Is the past at stake now, as well as present and future?
Will the Flashpack be able to defeat the powerful Drallus? Tune in for next
week’s episode of Epic Echoes: Revelations, or the Kingdom Come.