Saturday, July 13, 2019

Enemies & Bookends (Hermione 4) S. H. Marpel

Enemies & Bookends (Hermione 4) S. H. Marpel

It was either leave these four trapped in ancient times, or risk their lives to save our world in the present.

Helluva choice.

It they died, we’d all be dead soon after.

If we tried anything without them, we’d die just a little later – but still dead.

Because evil doesn’t take opposition lightly – unless it’s overwhelming. And even then, they still put up a good fight.

So: fight and live, or fight and die.

Our secret weapon was among those trapped in time. Something we didn’t know about.

Then or now.


There I was, a half-mile from my palace and on foot.

I’d just discovered that my powers were back. But not inside a half-mile diameter from my own palace.

Fortunately, goddesses can command the random chariot here in Ancient Egypt to carry her back to their palace – even in these days before taxi’s.

Because somehow that localized time-block effect was still in place. I wasn’t going to be able to time-space-shift anywhere inside it to anywhere or any-when I needed to be.

And walking a quarter mile on the uneven streets of this Egyptian capital city – in this heat – wasn’t queenly, or “goddess-like”. Besides, not every chariot driver can say they escorted a goddess back to her palace. Payment enough by itself, but I touched his shoulder and smiled at him as a tip. By his face, it must have seemed like heaven.

My own attendants soon enough realized I was outside and came rushing to me with sun shades, fans, and treats as they found me walking up the steps to my palace. They worked to keep up as I took the steps two at a time – again, not very queenly, but I was in a rush.

At last I made it through my throne room lobby and into the antechamber that held the “blackboard room”.

I took my cue from catching a glimpse of Tess through the open doorway. She was smiling, not bored out of her mind. My news could wait. And needed to wait, if I was going to hear what they’d discovered.

Tess heard my foot-falls and my quiet voice dismissing my servants before entering the “blackboard room”.

She stood and fully turned towards me. “It looks like our boys may have finally figured it out.”

I raised an eyebrow as I stopped to wait for the explanation. The two young men were standing near one wall, each with a piece of chalk in their hand. They only needed white lab coats to be completely in their element. Smiles on their faces showed pride in their work.

Of course, that made my news even worse.

Tess prompted them, perceiving my response as what passed as typical caution for me.

Ernst was first. “The short answer is yes, this inability to move through time is all temporary. The long answer has a ‘but’: we need the machine we built to reverse the effects.”

Tess came over and hugged him, which got a hug in return.

Bart came around from behind this couple. To tell me directly.

“Yes, I did find a way to reverse the effect. The details are pretty technical. Essentially, I had to find an x-factor that was unexplained. And solving for that led me to the conclusion that Tess was right. What she calls ‘simultaneous time’ then balanced the equation.”

Ernst cleared his throat. Bart looked at him. And Ernst nodded, glancing toward me.

Bart shrugged and turned back to me. “My partner-in-crime wants me to skip to the punchline.”

I raised an eyebrow and waited.

“It was you that made the time machine work.”

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