Characters in this post
View character profile for: W.A. (Wrong Arturo)
View character profile for: Shiva
View character profile for: Miles Turner
View character profile for: Mia Turner
View character profile for: Logan St. Clair
View character profile for: Agent 47
"It's a trick," Logan said quickly, although her face indicated she was inclined to believe him in spite of herself. W.A., who tended to be more trusting (which wasn't always a good quality), saw the nervousness in Logan's reaction, and that only made him more nervous. Still, it could just be that the agent was really good at duping both of them.
Just then, a beeping sound came from one of Agent 47's jacket pockets. Logan quickly reached in and grabbed the object, which turned out to be a cell phone. "What's going on? What's with the beeping?" she asked the agent.
"Go ahead. Click it. Find out," he replied coolly.
Logan swiped the screen and looked at the beeping message.
"What does it say?" W.A. asked. Logan showed it to him. The flashing screen read, "Alert! Hostile activity detected in nearby dimension. Open portal now?"
"Latest technology, huh?" Logan said. "That figures. Now, if you want to travel to alternate dimensions...there's an app for that."
"You're really okay with us taking this and going to another world?" W.A. asked Agent 47.
"I don't have much choice about anything you do right now. And you won't believe me until you see it for yourself."
W.A. looked at Logan. "Should we?"
Logan shrugged. "Why not? We got a few minutes."
"Let's tell the others," W.A. said. They stepped out of the bathroom and saw Miles and Mia. They had been anxiously whispering to each other, but they looked up expectantly when the other two came into the room.
"Um, we have to go somewhere for a minute," W.A. told them. "Could you keep an eye on him?"
"Sure, I guess," Mia said. "You gotta run to the store again or something?"
"Actually," Logan replied, "we gotta go to another world or something."
"What?" Miles said.
"There's something...bad going down. And we need to check it out."
"Well, then, we should come with you!"
"I appreciate the thought, Miles, but someone's got to keep an eye on the agent."
"Well, let one of us come, then," said Miles.
"O.K. You want to?" W.A. asked.
Miles looked at Mia. "Is that all right? I know usually you're the more adventurous of the two of us."
"Yeah, but I'm also a little less trusting. I'd much rather keep my eye on Mr. X-Files."
"All right, then. We'd better get going. Not sure how long this window will last."
Logan pressed the button. As the vortex started to appear in front of them, she called out to Agent 47: "Now behave yourself, young man!"
And then, the three of them dived in.
Aaron Jones did not need any more stress in his day.
His car had broken down on the expressway. His manager had yelled at him when he called to say he was running late. The tow truck was taking forever to get here, and he got in an argument with his girlfriend when he called to her how bad his day was going.
It wasn't like him to get angry with Latasha, but it was one of those times when she had a bad day, too, and when they both needed sympathy from the other one, they tended to rub each other the wrong way. He wanted to make up with her, but he knew it wasn't a good time to call back yet. He wasn't calm yet himself.
"I can not BELIEVE the day I'm having!" Aaron said out loud to no one in particular. The overcast day wasn't helping his mood, either. "Can just ONE thing go my way?"
Just then, a loud whooshing noise happened, and there was a bright light, and the next thing Aaron knew, three people lay on the ground right in front of him.
The one on the bottom groaned from the weight of the other two people. "I'm getting too old for this," he moaned.
"Really?" said the only woman in the group. "I feel just fine."
"Of course you do. You landed on top of me!"
"Exactly," she said, as she got up.
The man in the middle, who looked younger than either of the other two, stood up and scratched his head. "Well, how long are we here?"
The woman looked at her phone and said, "A little less than an hour."
Suddenly, the man on the bottom took notice of Aaron. "Uh, guys, I think we're being watched."
The other two turned and looked at him. The younger guy (younger than the other two, but a little older than Aaron) said, "Ooh. Sorry about this. It's usually better if we can make our entrance a little more discreet."
"Are you kidding?" Aaron replied. "Three people just appear out of nowhere while I'm on the side of the road? Actually, I think it's something of a relief to know for sure."
"To know what for sure?"
"I'm having a nervous breakdown," Aaron said. "Only possible explanation. Y'know, it's more peaceful than I thought it would be."
All three of them were on their feet and were brushing off their clothes. "No, actually, um, everything's fine," said the older guy. "We just...um..."
"How long have you been doing this?" said the woman. "You still haven't gotten good at coming good at coming up with alibis?"
The older guy grimaced at the woman. "Fine. You want to do the explaining?"
"Nah. Context is for wimps. But I will introduce us." Brightly, she turned to Aaron and said, "I'm Logan, this is Miles, and over there is a guy we just call 'Old Man.'"
"That's W.A.!" the man retorted.
"Your name is 'Dubbay'?" Aaron said quizzically. "What does that mean, exactly? 'Old Man' might be easier to remember."
W.A. glared at Logan. "I hate you," he quipped.
"No, you don't," she said cheerfully.
"Um, sorry, but we didn't catch your name," said Miles.
"Aaron. And I'm still not convinced you're not all hallucinations. But at least you're friendly ones."
"Having a bad day?" asked Miles.
"The worst. And, honestly, when I was just wondering if one thing could go my way, this happened. And...it doesn't really feel good or bad. Just...weird. So...I can't complain, I guess?"
"Hey," Logan said. "Sorry to interrupt, but just a random thought: Where's the big emergency that our friend back home told us about?"
"Yeah, good point," W.A. said. "I mean, I guess it's nice if we can help fix this guy's car, or something, but that hardly seems like an emergency."
"It doesn't feel like an emergency 'till you're the one running late for work, dude," Aaron responded.
"Fair enough," Miles said, "but it doesn't seem like the agent would have his timer set up for that."
"Right," Logan replied. "I mean, it's kind of a lame overcast day. But what are we supposed to do? Give everybody raincoats?"
W.A., who had noticed some very strange things happening just that moment on the expressway, looked up at the sky. His heart skipped a beat. "It's...not an overcast day."
The sound of his voice got everyone's attention. They looked up. There were no clouds anywhere. The sun was being blocked by a giant, alarming-looking object.
"Is there an eclipse scheduled for today?" Miles asked Aaron. "If so, we probably shouldn't be looking directly at that."
"Man, what do I know or care about that?" Aaron replied. "I gotta get to work. You think I'm concerned about eclipses or full moons or whatever?"
Just then, there was a loud ringing sound. But it wasn't just Agent 47's phone ringing. It was Aaron's. And it was everyone else's. A deafening sound of phones rang all across the expressway.
What W.A. had noticed a minute earlier was people stopping along the side of the road and looking up in terror. If this was an eclipse, nobody seemed to know it was going to happen. Now, even more people were pulling over and answering their phones -- something they wouldn't ordinarily do if they weren't already scared.
Aaron saw that the number was unlisted. He swiped to listen. Logan put her phone on speaker. "Hello?" Aaron said.
The cool, cold voice came back, and it echoed across the expressway from Logan's phone. The voice could be faintly heard coming from others' phone as well. The voice said this:
“Hello. This is the last day for your planet. You can try to resist if you wish, but ultimately any such efforts are useless. There will be no debating or arguing or willingness to change on this end. Our minds have been made up. Make your peace with your families and your gods, if you have any. Tell your citizens to do likewise. This ends our communication.”
W.A.'s blood ran cold. He imagined the others felt the same way. The message repeated on a loop. They all listened several times, frozen, before Logan hung up. Logan's smirk had disappeared. She said a few words that W.A. wouldn't repeat.
"That slimy agent! He put us here on purpose to wipe us out!" she fumed. "I'd be more impressed at how clever he was if I wasn't so hacked off that he did this to us!"
"No! Don't you see?" W.A. replied. "ITF had this set for an hour. We didn't set it that way. They must have known that it would allow them as much time as possible before they had to leave."
Miles filled in what everyone else was thinking. "This wasn't an abandonment. This is a rescue mission."
"Mr., um, Aaron, is it?" W.A. said.
"Come with us," W.A. continued as the three of them started to run. "We have to get people out of here. We have to round up as many people as possible."
Aaron had started to run as well. Although he wasn't sure if he wanted to follow this weird group, he didn't have much choice or time to think about it at the moment. "Round people up? What for?"
"See that?" W.A. pointed at Logan's phone. "As far as this world is concerned...that's Noah's Ark."