C h a p t e r XIX
S t a n d A L i t t l e T a l l e r
"This is Space Shuttle Endeavor; we have completed fuel cycles, and we're ready for pre-launch startup."
The astronaut slowly reached forward, and flipped on a series of small gray switches. A moment later the cockpit rumbled, but died down to a steady pace as the engines idled in the background. The radio com came to life, and sounded throughout the room.
"This is Mission Control, pre-launch startup as been enabled, and we're ready for secondary countdown."
"Rodger, Mission Control. Going into silent countdown…"
The astronaut flipped another switch, and sat back in his seat. They were resting back against their seats ninety degrees, waiting now as the Space Shuttle rested on the launch pad. They were about five minutes from launch, and were very tense. There was a thrill to every mission, but this one was especially exciting. They were sitting on twice the normal amount of fuel, as the shuttle had recently been retrofitted for orbital travel. They could now travel anywhere over the Earth in one mission, without need of refueling at the space station.
A few minutes later the radio came back on, and everyone tensed up. "This is Mission Control, we are ready to begin final countdown."
The astronaut looked over at his information panel, and then flipped on his own radio. "This is Endeavor; all systems are a go, and we are ready for countdown."
"Rodger that Endeavor, beginning countdown…"
As the numbers ticked back, the astronaut suddenly saw several of his dials spike. The magnetic interference doubled, and he got an unusual brief spark of static on his radio. Everything suddenly went white, and the feeling of the chair against his back disappeared.
When the light cleared, he found himself standing. A quick look around, and he realized that the rest of his fellow astronauts stood nearby, all in the same situation. They were still wearing their gear, but were standing on the edge of the sea coast. In the distance they could see the space shuttle, still resting on its platform.
"What the heck…?! Mission Control! What just happened?!" The earpiece in his helmet only played static. "Mission Control, are you there?!"
At that moment the engines on the rocket ignited, and the shuttle began to rise off the platform, slowly moving away from the Earth.
Onboard the space shuttle, the tall, blonde figure that was Brian came into being in a bright flash of light. The floor beneath him was rumbling as the shuttle was coming to life. In his hand he still held the unusually bulky time-remote, having just used it to transport the unsuspecting astronauts out of his way.
"Space Shuttle Endeavor; we just got a strange EM spike in your readings. Is everything okay up there?"
Brian ignored the radio, and quickly buckled himself into the pilot's seat. The shuttle rocked violently as the main rocket ignited, and slowly began to rise. The radio blared again. "Space Shuttle Endeavor, do you copy, over?!"
Brian reached over and flicked on his radio momentarily. "No comprendo!"
He was suddenly thrown hard against the back of his seat as the shuttle took flight. All the while NASA officials watched in confusion as the shuttle rose flawlessly into the air, seemingly devoid of its previous passengers. As shuttle passed through the cloud level Brian mockingly saluted, and then laughed.
"Now what, Jon?!"
The scientist, Kaitlin, and Richard all jumped in surprise as a flash of bright light erupted from behind them. Turning around they witnessed Jon come running through the final hole in the time-tunnel, before it closed altogether. He stopped just short of running into the three of them.
"Get out of my way! I'm going to kill Brian!"
As Jon spoke these words, a glowing orb of energy engulfed his body, and a disembodied voice spoke. "Thou hast finished using thine powers…"
A look of total shock came over Jon's face. He just stood there, looking forward in confusion, but then started laughing. It started small, but then it became the crazed laugh that only Jon could do.
"Fine! Be that way! I'm outta a here…!"
He pulled back out the time-remote he'd previously stolen from Richard, and with a crazy look on his face pushed the glowing button in the center. There was a bright flash of light, and then Jon was gone. The scientist shook his head, and sighed.
"Where the heck did he go now?!" Richard said.
"Have you guys noticed any other unusual time disturbances? Perhaps another Jon crossed your path sometime?" The scientists asked.
Richard and Kaitlin suddenly remembered when they had nearly been attacked by a second Jon back in the Nephite valley. Their Jon had tried to interrogate the second Jon, but he had gotten away, resulting in a power surge that flung them forward to the Reptile Gardens in the year 2000.
"Are you saying that he is going to majorly distort the time-line?" Kaitlin asked.
"Yes. We are running out of time, and must act now…!" As the scientist spoke, there was a massive explosion overhead.
The explosion showed up on all the screens around the lab. In fact, even the lab shook violently from the mysterious phenomenon. Kenzi looked over, and watched a very large spike show up on the screen that covered the back wall.
"What the heck was that?!" Kenzi said.
Dr. Smith and Dr. Strang quickly ran to their workstations, and began typing furiously. "Oh no!"
"What?! What's going on?!" Kenzi asked.
"It's Brian!" Dr. Strang yelled. "He's found other test subjects! And he's detonating them!"
Kenzi's jaw dropped. "WHAT?!"
"He's destroying the time-line!" Dr. Smith said.
"Wait; where would he get more of those bombs?!" Kenzi asked.
Dr. Strang shrugged while she typed. "His remote probably has a detector. If he can get around, then he can find more of them…"
"What the heck was that?!" Kaitlin asked, as the entire ground shook.
The scientist pulled out his own time-remote, and looked at it momentarily. "Oh crap… It seems that Brian has found some of our other test subjects… And he's actually blowing up chunks of the timeline."
"WHAT?!" Both Richard and Kaitlin exclaimed.
The scientist shook his head and reached into his pocket. What he pulled out appeared to be a small, silver ball, about the size of a baseball. "It seems Brian's turned on us, and we have no more time to play his games… take this."
As he handed them the silver ball, he pushed a blue button in the center. The ball charged with energy, and instantly a translucent shield came up around Kaitlin and Richard.
"This will protect you from the time-disturbance…" He looked down at his own time-remote, and set the dials. "Time to begin Plan-B."
There was a bright flash of light, and he disappeared. As he disappeared, there was a second much less bright flash of light, which engulfed the hospital corridor they were standing in. The building layout began to change before their eyes, and what was once a hospital became the inside of some dark concrete corridor. The two remained unchanged, standing inside their small shield bubble.
The Book of Jon
Okaaaaay, I guess I have gone temporarily insane. Well let's take this one step further; I went to the JFK assassination and found out who killed him; went to Dino times and found out what killed them; went back to France and started the French-Revolution; went back to the Cold War and almost started World War III; and then went to the future, found the cure for Cancer, and went back to give it to the White House, thus curing Cancer.
Oh yeah; I also tried to fix time a couple of times, which resulted in myself almost getting killed by Aero that one time I visited the gang, but finally got over my insanity, and went back to the gang with their problems going on right now…
And thus ends the Book of Jon.
Brian smiled as the shuttle disappeared in a flash, but not before being rocked by the explosion of his latest find. Like Jon, he had journeyed across time, using his bulky time-remote to detect and find other time-remotes much like the one he had. After some fiddling around, he discovered that these remotes exploded, causing massive explosions. It was something that only Brian could personally enjoy.
After detonating a few of them over Earth in several different time-periods, he had witnessed some unusual affects happen to time. He was careful though, not to get himself caught in the explosion, or pop out anywhere near where he'd detonated one.
Right now he was floating over Earth, sometime in the early 21st century. He guessed 2005, but couldn't be sure. He had only a couple of these remotes left, which incidentally were similar to the one he was using to begin with. He decided to take a break from his fun, and sat back as the shuttle's autopilot took over.
Another bright flash of light, and Jon appeared next to Kaitlin and Richard, who were still standing inside the shield. The ground vibrated again as another time-disturbance changed their new building into a lobby of some office building.
"What the heck is going on?!" Jon asked, watching this transformation.
"Jon! Quick, get in the shield!" Richard yelled.
As Jon stepped in, there was a bright light. It rushed over the landscape; changing everything as it came by…changing things back to the way they should be. The original hospital hallway returned, with the nurses still walking back and forth as though nothing had ever happened.
"He did it…" Kaitlin said breathlessly.
"Would somebody please explain what I missed?" Jon said frantically.
"Brian's ruining everything!" Richard said quickly.
"Well there's a shocker. Be more specific!"
There was another flash, and the scientist reappeared next to them. "Okay, timeline restored. You can turn off the shield…"
"Okay, data's coming in now… YES! Time-line is restored!" Dr. Smith yelled.
"Confirmed! Irritations are dissipating…we're ready to send her," Dr. Strang said, turning to face Kenzi.
"Wait, it was just that easy?" Kenzi asked.
"Heck no; Dr. Daw had to go back to the exact time you five were pulled in by the Door, and prevent it from opening," Dr. Strang said.
"Then why aren't we back in the seminary room?" Kenzi asked.
"Because Brian has still destroyed several chunks of time that we will eventually have to clean up, and Dr. Daw probably gave the others a temporal shield to protect them long enough to help them stop Brian…" As Dr. Smith finished, she turned and led Kenzi out of the room down the hallway again. As they walked, Kenzi once again noted the similarities between her and the Other-Kenzi she'd previously seen.
"Do you have any children?" Kenzi asked.
Dr. Smith raised an eyebrow. "You know I can't tell you. That would reveal the future."
"It's just that…" Kenzi hesitated. "How did you guys find me?"
Dr. Smith paused, and thought for a moment. "Yes, that was strange… You kind of materialized inside the lab. At first we thought you had somehow gotten your hands on a time-remote, but then we saw that you didn't have one… And then there was the matter of you being in that strange state of shock…"
"So…you don't know where I was before I appeared here…?"
Dr. Smith looked at Kenzi suspiciously. "Yes; prior to your coming here, we had no idea where you were. It was as if you disappeared off our scopes…"
They continued walking in silence, but Dr. Smith glanced back over Kenzi. "Is there something you want to tell me?"
Kenzi paused too, and almost told her everything, but decided not to. "No… It's nothing."
They continued walking, and came to a large white chamber, with several energy nodes sticking out of the room, each pointed to the center of the room. Dr. Smith led Kenzi over, and put her right in the center. She then turned, and headed towards the exit.
"We're sending you right back to the others, so don't be surprised if they're a little surprised by your appearance."
"Wait!" Kenzi protested. "There must be more?"
She turned around, and looked Kenzi in the eye. "Look, what you've seen here must be kept confidential. You can't tell anyone how events are going to play out…this is between you and me…or the future…" Dr. Smith winked, and then slowly closed the door. Kenzi gasped, but before she could do anything, there was a bright flash of light.
"Okay, time-line restored. You can turn off the shield…"
Richard pushed the button in the center of the silver button, and the shield disappeared around them. The scientist took it from them, and put it in his pocket. At that moment there was a flash of light, and Kenzi appeared next to the gang.
"Kenzi! You're back!" Kaitlin said.
"What happened to you?" Richard asked suspiciously.
Kenzi smiled, but then turned and gave the death stare at a nearby Jon, who was looking at the ground sheepishly. He scratched the back of his head, and cleared his throat loudly.
The scientist however, intervened. "Never mind that now; let's get Brian and end this thing. You five have screwed everything up far enough…"
He activated his own time-remote, and in a flash of light they were gone.
Brian floated through the zero-gravity environment of the shuttle, and pulled himself into the pilot's seat. Scattered across the control panel were the extra remotes he'd come to acquire, but he always kept his personal time-remote on him at all times. Looking out the window, he had a great view of North America. He was very tempted to detonate one of his remotes over this time-period, but he was still hesitant. This was his time-period, and he half-thought that somewhere below was his past-self sitting in a classroom. What would happen? But these thoughts only added to the excitement. He was now surer than ever that this would a worth-while endeavor…
Suddenly there was a bright flash of light, and he literally jumped out of his chair. He quickly turned around to see the others and some scientist floating a few yards away. The gang had become disoriented by the lack of gravity, and was starting to float off the ground.
Before they had time to react, Brian pulled out his time-remote, and pointed it at them all. A feeling of panic overcame him.
"I won't go back! You can't make me!"
Jon did a double-take on Brian, and frowned at him. "Brian, it's over! We're going home! This adventure is over!"
"Fine, you go home! I'm a time-traveler now!" Brian shouted back.
"A time-traveler?! Brian; you're destroying the very fabric of space and time!" Richard said.
"What are you going to do Brian? Keep going on your little crusade to make everyone's life a living disaster?" Kaitlin asked.
Brian smiled. "Yeah, that's about right…"
Kenzi finally lost it, and stepped forward, her right hand outstretched. "Brian! It's time for this to end! You have screwed us over from the beginning! This is all your fault!"
He paused, but shrugged. "So…? Does it look like I care?!"
Kenzi's countenance suddenly changed, and anger flooded her through. The only other time she had felt such rage was back in the apocalypse when she faced the thugs in the gulley.
"BRIAN! I hope you burn…!" As she spoke, the jewel in her ring shimmered, and began to glow with energy.
"KENZI! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Jon lunged forward trying to knock her down, but wasn't able to move fast enough without gravity.
A steady stream of fire erupted from the ring, and raced across the cabin towards Brian. Brian watched in horror, like a slow-motion film, as the flame engulfed him. The remote he held was instantly torched and exploded outward.
Richard braced himself, and felt an intense wave of heat overcome him. The massive shockwave engulfed the gang, and everything went white as the reality-shattering bomb detonated. However, just as quickly as it all began, the heat subsided, and Richard felt reality returning. His feet found surface, and the sensation of gravity returned.
The intense whiteness had disappeared, so he slowly opened his eyes. He was sitting back in the seminary room, his box and scriptures laid out on the table before him. The others were in the same state, and were sitting in their seats as though bracing for impact. They were all in their respective seats as before, except for Brian who was still standing next to the divider. Slowly they too opened their eyes, and looked around in shock at their new surroundings.
Angela suddenly came walking back into the room, pushing the TV-cart in front of her. She pushed it into the corner, and then looked over at the five petrified students. "What's wrong, you all look like…someone died or something."
Jon looked over at Brian, and started chuckling to himself. Everyone else caught on, and started laughing too. Brian frowned, and looked back at the divider, which was now open. Instead of a dark abyss, behind it laid the other half of the primary room… Right where it always belonged…
Richard stepped out of the building and onto the concrete sidewalk by the side of the church. It was still very cold out, but the sun had risen just above the horizon, and everything seemed a little more alive. Kaitlin, Jon, Kenzi, and Brian were also standing outside. They were looking off into the town, as if staring into space. Richard stepped forward, and joined their number.
"I don't know if it's of any consolation, but I found something interesting after class…"
The others turned to face him, and saw that he had his scriptures opened. They were opened to the Book of Alma, Chapter 43, verses 28 and 30. And Moroni placed spies round about, that he might know when the camp of the Lamanites should come. And he also knowing that it was the only desire of the Nephites to preserve their lands, and their liberty, and their church, therefore he thought it no sin that he should defend them by stratagem; therefore, he found by spies which course the Lamanites were to take.
Kenzi spoke in a whisper. "The Nephite Ninjas…"
Richard smiled, and closed the book. "When I heard the new Ninja Leader speak, I thought his words sounded familiar, so I did some digging…"
Kaitlin sighed. "Does this mean what we did was real? Was it all real?"
"I don't know, Kaitlin. We may never know… For all we know we could have imagined it…" Jon said solemnly.
Kenzi shuddered inside. Silently she hoped that it was all part of her imagination. She didn't want to think that her posterity would bring about the end of the world. Let alone that it was her destiny to do it, too…
"I don't care; I still think I was ghost." Brian added in.
Richard shrugged. "Does it matter, really? I mean, we're here." He stretched out his hand, and pointed across the town. "Whether or not what we saw was real doesn't matter anymore. Time will forget those events, and we're back where we belong. Only we can truly remember what happened…"
They others nodded, and started to walk away from the building. "Still, I would've liked to keep my ring." Kenzi said, holding up her right hand.
"Yeah right!" Jon shouted. "I can't believe I gave you that!"
"I can't believe you gave Brian a zombie-wielding sword…" Kaitlin said.
Jon blushed, but eventually shrugged. "By the way, I forgot to give you a gift, Kaitlin."
Now it was Kaitlin's turn to shrug. "At least I didn't spray Moroni's men with crap…"
Richard shook his head and smiled. "It's good to see you're taking a positive outlook on this."
Brian rolled his eyes. "You people…"
"Don't worry Brian; the Seminary Gang is far from over… I have a feeling you'll get your moment of glory eventually…" Richard nodded his head, and then turned to head up the street. The others continued walking towards the now approaching high school, but remained silent.
Jon smiled inwardly, and reached in his pocket to pull out his gloves. However, his hand met a strange object, and he frowned.
"What is it Jon?" Kenzi asked.
Jon pulled the object out and gasped. It was the time-remote he had stolen from Richard previously.