Chapter 11

Modern Time

The ship arrived back to the time of which they had left. The crew of the Acme had never been so relived to finally be back home…Even if "home" was a strange new world. After returning to Area 51 the ship and crew was grounded due to repairs and debriefings. Sam and Jackie were sent out with a recovery crew to the cave they had hidden the little duck in upon arriving in 1916.

"Where is it?" asked Jackie.

Sam flashed the light around, "I know we had left it in here."

Jackie wondered, "Do we have the right cave?"

"I know we do," stated Sam. "It's gone. The little duck is gone. Someone must have found it during the time it was sitting here."

"Who?" wondered Jackie.

Sam shrugged, "I have no idea. Whoever it is has found a spaceship with a time-warp device on it."

Jackie stood frozen for a moment and shined the light upon her own face as she spoke, "You know how bad that could be, right?"

Sam assured, "First, whoever found it probably found it decades ago and had no idea what it was. They probably junked it. Second, from what I have seen it's impossible to screw up time. It's already set. We, you and me, were supposed to go back and help Grandpa Fred."

Jackie took her word, "I hope you are right about that."

Sam assured, "Trust me…Everything will be fine. Probably some old farmer found it before Groom Lake became a base and junked it someplace. It's was a long time ago."

Jackie winced, "I just have a bad feeling about this."

Sam stated, "Everything will be fine."

Colonel Stockwell's Office

Fred sat across from the base colonel upon the debriefing. It was rather strange for Fred, debriefing a man, who he out ranked, and yet that man ran the entire program.

The colonel looked up from the paper before him; his eyes settled upon Fred, "Sir, I just got a memo from the Pentagon. You might want to read this."

Fred took the paper and looked down upon the single paragraph, "Time Walker Program? What's that?" He read some more, "You're kidding me right?"

"They are not kidding," Stockwell shook his head. "They want to spin-off a secret program within Area 51 that deals with time travel using the technology we just discovered."

Fred replied, "Kind of rushing it, aren't they?"

"I agree," he nodded, "they do seem to be in a hurry to get it up and running. The ship will be in dry dock for repairs. There are a few names being floated around to head this new project and I understand your name, sir…Is on the top of the list."

Fred winced, "Me? I can barely keep a crappy spaceship in orbit."

Stockwell shrugged, "They want to keep it here at Groom Lake and under the Area 51 umbrella."

Fred gave a cockeyed look, "Why? Everyone knows this not-so-top secret base. This base is supposed to be off the map and yet it's all over that internet thing and television. This project will get leaked too."

Stockwell agreed, "In order to keep the base top secret we purposely allowed these conspiracy theories to evolve; getting more and more bizarre with each telling, to the point where no one can tell fact from fiction. The same will happen with this new program…It's how we keep secrets today. We make the whole thing into a conspiracy so no knows what is truth and what's fiction."

"Poisoning the well," nodded Fred, "oldest trick in the book. But time travel? Time travel? No offense but with the ship and now program, pretty soon you're effort to poison the well will turn out to be entirely true."

"It's a risk," admitted Stockwell. "Are you willing to head this new program? You can choose chose who works on it."

Fred agreed to the offer, "I'll run the program. When does it start?"

Stockwell gathered, "That's up to you, sir."

Fred replied, "Let the crew have some R&R first. Then I will spring this on them."

"Good choice, sir," he agreed.

Going Home

Home never seemed so welcoming for the crew of the Acme. They had no idea about the new program. They were simply told they earned a month off and most agreed to return with Jackie and Daniel to rest at the farmhouse.

Davy was excited for he was going to get his new kidney in two months meaning Daniel would be the donor. He decided to rest up before the surgery and was glad to be home and have his brother back with him, even though Davy was now in his fifties.

Fred drove the large blue van back to the house; he pulled into the drive and stopped the vehicle, "Jackie?"

She called out from the back, "What?"

"Did you have some work done to the house while we were gone?"

She shook, "No." She moved towards the front of the van and looked out the windshield, "Where did that huge addition come from?"

Fred replied, "I was hoping you could tell me."

"Are we at the right place?" she wondered. The house looked like her home but the addition on the back was bigger than the original home. A few cars sat in the driveway. She had closed down the house before leaving but now it looked open and people were living there.

"I know this is the right road," stated Fred.

Daniel had come to the front of the van to see, "What happened to my house? Who is living there? Jeepers, did we accidentally lose the house when we went through time?"

"I don't see how," stated Jackie.

Sam assured, "That would be impossible. You can't change things."

Jackie pointed, "Then explain that?"

Sam suggested, "Maybe Fred got the wrong house?"

"I know where I am driving," he replied. He placed the van in drive and crept up to the front of the home.

Upon emerging from the van an older couple stepped out onto the front porch. From the distance Daniel thought he was looking at his father, Clyde.

"That man looks just like my dad," he told them. "Who is the woman?"

Jackie gasped, "That's Johnny and Debbie!"

"They died," stated Daniel.

"That's them," she insisted. She ran up to them in much the same manner Davy had run to Daniel upon returning from the war. "Johnny, Debbie!" She wrapped her arms around them.

"Hi mom," Johnny stated. "Finally made it back from wherever the government sent ya, huh?"

She wiped the tears from her face, her hands cupped her son's cheeks and she looked into his blue eyes, "You look just like Grandpa Clyde."

He laughed, "It's the suspenders."

She disagreed, "No, you really look like him. My god, you're alive?"

He gave a funny face, "Did I die?"

Debbie placed her arms around a very shocked Sam, "Sammy, you're home. You staying awhile, girl?"

"Um," she looked at Jackie trying to figure out how her parents were still alive. "I…Um…Have a month off."

"Good," she squeezed her tighter, "You and I can finally spend some time together before you run off on another adventure with Grandma."

Daniel looked upon his grown son, "You walk with a cane?" he noticed the article.

He smiled upon his father, "I've been waiting forty years to see you again, Dad. Me and Debbie were in a bad accident when Sammy was a kid; messed up my hip and leg pretty good."

Debbie recalled, "That's accident was horrible. Good thing we had that suburban or we never would have survived." She looked at her own parents, "Oh my god, you two knew about that accident. You warned us to buy a large vehicle." She then turned pale, "My god, did we die?"

Jackie shook her head, "Apparently not." She whispered to Sam, "I thought you said we couldn't change anything?"

"I'm working on it," she whispered back. "I got my parents back." She wrapped her arms around her father and mother. She didn't really care how nor did she have any memory of them being in her life but they were back and things did indeed change. Her theory was destroyed it was the best feeling she ever had for she gained so much more.

Daniel stated, "I'm a little confused. Um, where did that huge addition come from?"

Johnny assumed they had just come home from space and had no knowledge of the other time, "After you guys told us you were all alive and coming home, Debbie and I decided to make sure you guys had something to come back too. Remember, you told me mom wasn't crazy and I needed to help her. So, she told us what had happened and we figured out we needed a large addition for everyone because we knew you would coming back to nothing."

Debbie added, "I think it's awful what the government did to you guys."

"Anyways," stated Johnny, "we wanted to make sure the crew of the ship had a home. We even got a few surprises for ya at the air museum."

"Museum?" asked Jackie. "It's a private club."

He laughed, "No ma, it's a museum. The Robert's Air Museum. My adopted dad set it up when he found my biological father is still alive. He wanted you to have it, Dad. Jack knew you wouldn't be coming home to a teaching job but the museum would be right up your ally."

"Is Jack gone?" asked Daniel.

"Passed away about 10 years ago from old age," replied his son.

Jackie gave a cockeyed look, "He passed away decades ago."

Debbie shook her head, "No mom, Dad died ten years ago. He survived heart disease…Apparently, someone told him to lay of the donuts or he would die. Remember, after Grandpa Fred and Aunt Sadie left, he never touched junk food and went on a health kick."

Fred admitted, "Yeah, I told him that at dinner."

Johnny looked upon his grandfather, a man who looked younger than him, "Yeah, Grandpa Fred. One thing…Don't throw your shoes at me anymore."

He huffed, "You were all over her."

"She's my wife," he replied.

Debbie giggled, "My god that was funny." She then batted her eyelashes, "And my husband can be all over me if he wants."

"Not on my watch," muttered Frank under his breath.

A young man with a young woman in tow ran up to them from the backyard. He looked a lot like Fred did at that age. Behind him was a young woman who resembled Megan Hall to Jackie's estimation. She wondered who they were and where did they come from.

"Dad," the boy yelled out. "Can I borrow the car?"

"Freddy," he gave him a look.

"What?"

"Can't you see your sister is home with your grandma," he told him. "And you might want to get to know these guys too."

"Hey, sis," the boy stated.

Sam grew wide-eyed, "When did I get a brother?"

Jackie whispered, "He looks like Grandpa Fred. Who is the girl?"

Sam replied, "Mikki Hall, why?"

"Who is Mikki Hall?" asked Jackie.

"One of the Halls," replied Sam. She smiled at the woman, "Mikki, how are you doing? How's your dad?"

Mikki smiled, "He's doing much better, thanks."

"They find out what was wrong with him?" wondered Sam.

"He's diabetic," she nodded. "The museum is gonna help with the Diabetes Association were sponsoring here. My dad cannot thank you guys enough for sponsoring it."

Sam assured her, "I'm glad they out what was wrong and that is can be managed, Mikki. How's your Aunt Megan doing?"

Freddy started to laugh, "Crazy old bat."

Mikki winced and stated to Jackie, "I am so sorry for the way my great aunt treats you. It's just you never seemed to aged and she so jealous of you for looking so young."

"Thank you, Mikki," stated Jackie unsure who was even talking too.

Freddy laughed, "I told her space aliens made Gram stay young and now that old bat is asking for space aliens to come and take her."

Johnny scolded, "Freddy, that's not a nice thing to do to the elderly."

Jackie laughed, "Really? You told her that?"

He nodded, "Ah-ha."

"Good," stated Jackie with a hint of sarcasm.

Debbie pleaded, "Mom, I know you and Megan Hall have a life long feud but please just let it go. She's a little old lady in nursing home now."

Jackie mischievously asked, "Which home?"

"Mom," warned Johnny.

"Okay, okay," she muttered.

"Come on, I'll show you guys around," stated Johnny.

Later

As the evening wore down it soon time for bed, upon saying goodnight Jackie led Daniel to their bedroom. Much to her relief it was still the same inside; her little TV in the corner and the same adjustable, heated messaging bed. They snuggled together in the dark.

"So much for Sam's theory," stated Jackie.

"Guess it's not written in stone after all," agreed Daniel. His fingers reached for the remote of the TV. "Wonder what's on?" The TV flicked on.

She reached over, took the remote and clicked the device off, "Don't need to watch it now."

"Why do we have a TV in the room if we are not gonna watch it?" asked Daniel.

"I think Dad's right about them," she replied. "I'm gonna get rid of it."

"Hmm," he pouted and then fiddled for the bed remote. The feet rose up and then went back down. "Which one is for heat and message?"

She took the remote from his hands and placed it out of reach, "Not playing with that either."

"Oh," he pouted and exhaled deeply. Laying there in silence he finally asked, "You wanna fool around?"

She grinned, "Come here."

Frank and Bambi's Room

Frank lay down with Bambi in his arms, holding her tight with her head against his chest, "We got Debbie back," he stated.

"She so much older than we are now, she needs us," stated Bambi. "We missed so much of her life."

"We here for her now," he replied. "Johnny's not a bad guy; he takes good care of her too."

"Johnny is just like Clyde," she replied. "He has a study too."

"Yup," he nodded, "our little girl did well in life."

"She did," agreed Bambi. "I guess we can be there for her old age. Help her though that."

"Yeah," he agreed. "Did Fred tell you that we are gonna be part of a new project at 51?"

"No," she replied, "What's it about?"

"I don't know, he would say. It's top secret," he told her.

"I hate top secret," replied Bambi.

Frank agreed, "So do I."

Davy's Room

In Davy's room was a set of bunk beds and due to space Don was assigned to stay with Davy. Davy was too weak to climb in the top bunk leaving Don to hoist himself up. He stared at the cloud painted ceiling above him trying to sleep. Don thought it was a good idea to have someone stay with Davy due to his health issues and the fact Davy wanted Don to be his bunkmate was humbling for the old trainer.

Davy asked, "You asleep, Uncle Don?"

Don replied, "Nope. You?"

"Nope," replied Davy. "Is the surgery I'm gonna have gonna hurt?"

Don shook his head, "No, you will be asleep for it like the last one you had."

Davy asked, "Is Daniel scared too? I'm scared."

"Daniel is a very brave man," replied Don. "You are lucky to have a brother like him."

Davy agreed, "I know. I'm glad he and Jackie are back together. Will they get married again?"

Don asked, "They are already married aren't they?"

Davy shook his head, "No, she married Uncle Jack when no one came back. Can she be married to both at the same time?"

Don assured, "Jack passed away and Daniel is home. She's married to Daniel." He then started to laugh to himself, "Soon as I point out to Daniel that they are not actually married anymore."

"I was right," stated Davy.

Don nodded, "Yeah, I guess you are."

"So, I'm not stupid," Davy answered.

Don assured, "Davy, you may be different from everyone else but you think clearer than most…Night Davy."

"Night Uncle Don," the man rested himself to sleep.

Study

Percy Quill couldn't sleep in his room and decided to browse Johnny's study. He came across a book, sat down on a high back chair near a table and lamp and started to read. A soft glowing light from outside shined through the window. Curiously Percy placed the book down and went to the window. Outside was a small glowing sphere that hovered about.

Percy grew angry, he opened the window and looked directly at the ball of light and spoke in a sharp tone, "On behalf of the crew of the Acme…Leave us alone!" He then slammed the window and closed the blinds to the light which soon disappeared.

Satisfied he sat back down and picked up the book, reading the title out loud, "Brave New World." His face soured, "Hmm, I wonder how he knew all that."

The End

Time Walker: As part of a government experiment, Sam Roberts is sent to 1939. She soon becomes trapped in the past. Despite her best efforts to not change the future Sam finds herself in the most awkward situations.

Story will be listed soon.