I'm No Angel
Chapter 1 – Phone Call
These new surroundings astounded the fish as it dragged itself up on the shore. It's new appendages made it seem more natural as it looked back towards the vast ocean it had just climbed out of. The new substance it breathed was less dense than the water it used to inhale, but without it's gills, this fish could no longer breath underwater. The fish scanned it's surroundings, the tall jungle tree's swaying in the wind, the colours of the sky as the sun began to set, the smell of fresh air entwined in it's nostrils, the shadow that suddenly fell over the sand. The fish turned its head to the source of the shadow. It gazed up at the vast figure that stood before it, the colourful materials that hung over it's flesh, the strange 'Nike' symbol engraved into it's feet, the long, dark brown moss that rested on top of it's head. The fish tried to run away, but since it hadn't got used to it's new legs, it toppled forward into the sand, face first. It writhed in fear as the figure made it's way towards it. It closed its eyes, fearing the worst. But instead, found itself being lifted back up onto its feet by similar appendages attached to the creature. It also made a strange noise, but even though the fish couldn't understand what it was saying, it felt comforted.
"I'm not going to hurt you. Now run along buddy, you're going to do big things" it went. And with that, the fish headed off into the jungle, awaiting its new adventures. But before dissapearing into the undergrowth, it turned back to the creature, only to see it disappear in a flash of binding light.
- September 11th 2001 - Over a billion years later - 7:00AM -
"Honey, have you seen my tie?" Derek asked as he charged down the stairs. He turned the corner into the kitchen to find his daughter, Jessie, eating her breakfast. His wife, Angela, headed into the kitchen, her pregnant stomach stretching at her pyjama bottoms, she held Derek's tie in her hand. He smiled and walked over to her. He took the tie from her grasp and kissed her on the cheek. She groaned as he headed over to the mirror and slipped the tie around his neck.
"Do you have to go into work today?" she begged. Derek chuckled at this.
"Angie, The World Trade Centre isn't a job you can pretend to call in sick to. Besides, your due date isn't for another week" he said as he finished putting on his tie. He reached down and picked up his briefcase. But as he headed for the door, Angela's arms wrapped around his neck.
"But what if it comes early? Your 5 year old daughter can't drive me to the hospital" she explained. Derek rolled his eyes and turned to face her.
"We've been over this. If your water breaks, call Jerry. I left his number by the phone. He'll drop you off and then he'll call me. Then I'll get over to the hospital as soon as I can" he explained. Angela raised his eyebrows at him.
"I still can't believe you're friends with that numskull" she said. Derek looked shocked at this.
"Hey, Jerry isn't that stupid. He dropped you at the hospital the last time you were pregnant" he reminded her.
"He stopped at McDonalds halfway there," she reminded him. Derek sighed.
"At least he dropped you off safely" he finished. He pushed a strand of blonde hair behind her ear and kissed her lightly on the forehead. Then he leaned down and kissed her bump.
"Don't come out till I get back" he warned playfully. She laughed and hugged him before he opened the door. Before he closed it, he called into the kitchen.
"Have a great day at school Gorgeous" he said.
"Love you Daddy" Jessie called back, before he fully closed the door. The wind blew his fair brown hair into his face as he headed over to his Silver Porsche. He opened the door, got inside, started the engine and sped out of the suburbs towards New York City.
- 8:40AM -
Derek strode into Starbucks and headed to the counter. All the while, he didn't notice the figure in the hoodie staring at him. The figure watched as Derek paid for a cup of black coffee and headed back out of the front entrance.
"That's him," the figure whispered to himself as he snatched out his phone. Derek was halfway down the street when his phone began to vibrate. He took it out of his back pocket and looked at the caller I.D. It was an Unknown Caller. He raised his eyebrows and put the phone to his ear.
"Hello?" he asked nervously.
"Is this Derek Harper?" the voice asked. It sounded like a teenager.
"Umm…yes. Who is this?" he asked again.
"I can't say. But I'm begging you not to hang up" the voice replied with a hint of fear.
"Are you in trouble?" Derek asked with concern.
"Not really.But you are" the voice said gravely. Derek looked left and right.
"Where are you?" Derek asked.
"I'm in the Starbucks you just walked out of. But don't come back, I need you to stay outside" the voice instructed. Derek was confused yet terrified.
"Why? Are you aiming a gun at me or something?" he asked.
"Or something.But, if you carried on walking, you would've arrived at work" the voice replied. Derek raised his eyebrows.
"What's so bad about work? Besides the usual?" he asked. He heard a chuckle from the other end.
"Good one. But this is serious.Derek,you work at The World Trade Centre don't you?" the voice asked. Derek nodded.
"Who nods when they're on the phone?" the voice asked.
"Because I know you can see me. How else would you know if I'd stopped walking or not?" Derek explained.
"Impressive. You always were a bright spark" the voice complimented. Derek's eyes went wide.
"How do you know me? And why the hell are you talking to me?" he ordered. A sigh sounded from the other end.
"Derek. Listen. You CAN'T go in to work today" the voice begged almost like Angela. Derek didn't know whether to laugh at the fact that the voice was begging or the fact that the voice was almost as whiny as his wife.
"Why not?" he asked.
"Because if you do…" the voice paused for a while. Derek was becoming impatient.
"What'll happen?" he ordered. The next two words made Derek's blood run cold.
"…you'll die" the voice finished. Derek narrowed his eyes.
"Why would you say something like that?" he ordered.
"Derek, I'm not joking. I wouldn't joke about something like this.And besides, you won't be the only person who dies today" the voice continued. Derek could feel his legs getting tired.
"Could I sit down?" Derek asked.
"Sure. There's a bench to your right," the voice instructed. Derek headed to the bench, put his briefcase on the sidewalk and sat down.
"Anyway, what'll happen today? How will I die?" he asked with a serious tone. There was a long pause between the two of them. But eventually, the voice continued.
"At 7:59 this morning, American Airlines Flight 11 left Logan's Airport enroute to Los Angeles. There are 87 people on board that flight including the crew. 15 minutes later, United Airlines Flight 175 departed from the same airport also heading to Los Angeles, including the crew, this flight has 60 people on board" the voice explained. Derek nodded.
"But on each flight, excluding the passengers and crew, there are 5 hijackers. They're going to seize control over both planes," the voice continued.
"Then what'll happen?" Derek asked, he was starting to sound scared.
"At 8:46AM, American Airlines Flight 11 will crash into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre" the voice said. Derek couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"Look kid, if this is a jo-" he tried to speak, but was interrupted by the voice.
"Whilst people are still trying to handle what happened, at 9:03AM, United Airlines Flight 175 will crash into the South Tower. Everybody on both flights will die, not just them, but hundreds of people who work at the World Trade Centre. Either falling debris or people who decided to jump will crush people on the ground" the voice continued. Derek could feel a tear rolling down his cheek. He wiped it away and began speaking.
"How many…how many people will die?" he asked.
"Excluding the hijackers, 2997 people. Two more planes will also be hijacked, American Airlines Flight 77 will crash into The Pentagon at 9:37AM and United Airlines Flight 93 will crash near Shanksville, Pennsylvania" the voice continued.
"Why Shanksville?" Derek asked.
"According to research, Flight 93's target was either the Capitol or The White House. But some of the passengers on board were able to fight the hijackers. The hijackers crashed the plane when they thought the passengers would regain control" the voice finished. Derek was speechless.
"How do you know all this? Are you a terrorist working with them? Is this a joke? Cause if it is-" he tried to finished, but he was interrupted by a yelling on the other end.
"WHY WOULD I JOKE ABOUT SOMETHING LIKE THIS?" the voice yelled.
"This disaster will be remembered forever. President Bush will even say so," the voice continued.
"Then how do you know all this? And if this disaster is going to happen, why the hell don't you stop it?" Derek asked.
"Don't you think I would? I can't change history, all this stuff has to happen, or who knows how it'll effect the future," the voice continued. Derek's eyes went wide.
"The future? What are you? A Time-Traveler or something?" he asked. The voice paused for a few seconds.
"Yes.I'm from the year 2012" the voice continued. Derek's mouth hung open.
"2012? You're from 11 years into the future? But wait, why would you save me? Out of everyone who's going to die, why me?" Derek asked.
"Because,you need to survive for what's going to happen, if you don't, something terrible will happen" the voice concluded. Then, Derek remembered something.
"Wait, what time did you say the North Tower gets hit?" he asked.
"8:46AM" the voice said. Derek glanced at his digital watch. It read:
Derek glanced up to the sky as a plane soared dangerously close towards the World Trade Centre. And sure enough, there was the sound of an explosion, the sound of people screaming and then there was the sound of people running to see what had just happened. Derek was frozen in shock, everything the voice had just explained was actually happening. He brought the phone back up to his ear, only to hear the dial tone. Almost instantly, the phone rang again. The Caller I.D. read: Angela. He answered the phone and put it to his ear. He could hear Angela sobbing on the other end.
"Derek, oh thank God. Are you okay?" she begged.
"Honey, I'm fine. I'm okay" he replied.
"W-what happened? I heard the explosion all the way from the house," she sobbed. Derek stared towards the pillar of smoke as it ascended towards the cloud.
"It's The North Tower. It's been hit" he replied with disbelief.