Read Chapter 8 “The Time Loop”
The team upstairs moved swiftly and quickly from one room to another, evidently looking for something, as sounds of the drawers being turned over kept echoing throughout the whole house.
Judging by his experience, Patrick felt that the group roaming around his house was not only well-organised but also working in coordination with one another. They surely weren’t random robbers hitting a random house.
Ever since Maggie was a small child, she hated feeling helpless. And now, in the most crucial moment of her life, when she needed to act fast, she was stuck in a room without a back door or secret exit. Each passing minute was adding to her desperation and the more desperate she was, the less clearly she was able to think. Within a couple of minutes, her distress started to reach its limits.
Needing to do something, act somehow, she decided that regardless of what was happening upstairs in the next five minutes she was going in. Luckily she still had her backpack and was able to log onto her ship’s system to request backup.
Patrick tried to track back his steps to see if he was responsible for dragging them into that spectacular mess. But he knew for sure that for the Corporate Government to track him back here, his personal drone would have to be up and running. Currently, however, the droid was non-operational and unresponsive, since the power to the main IT generator and the emergency supply systems had been blown up. At least this is what Patrick thought happened in London while they were leaving.
While he was trying hard to come up with some answers, Maggie whispered, – “I’m going in.”
– “What? You can’t go in. We know nothing of what’s out there.”
– “We have no time, look.” She pointed to her wristwatch, which showed 36 hours and ten minutes.
– “What the hell is that?”
– “This is how much time we have left.”
Patrick still couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that an educated, intelligent woman, a leader of Ecotopia could be so naive to believe in the theoretical concept of time travel.
– “To do what, Maggie?” Patrick wanted to know, although he already knew what she was going to say.
– “To find our kids, of course, have the blood transfusion and be on our way back to 1999 if that is possible at all.” – she replied with as much confidence in her voice as during her fearless negotiations with the Old World’s leaders.
Since Maggie was determined to act and do something, she swiftly opened her backpack, and as quietly as possible took out two small handguns.
– “I know that Ecotopia is much more advanced than the Old World but for heaven sake, time travel doesn’t exist Maggie!”
– “Why the hell do you think I’m here? Only because you have no tangible proof of the time travel, it doesn’t mean it’s unreal. I’m going in.”. She was just about to make her move towards the door when Patrick grabbed her hand. She stopped for a moment and closed her eyes. In that very instant all her senses remembered how his touch felt.
– “Maggie, Maggie, can you please wait? Can you give me a few moments to think? I need to think. I… I need to make a plan.” – Patrick was trying to buy him some time anyway he could.
– “I am afraid we don’t have that luxury anymore.”
Between all the whispering, discussing and arguing they didn’t realise that the noise coming from the house died down. When the silence finally reached them, without giving much thought, Maggie quickly entered the four-digit code on her watch.
Then, in a spare of a moment, she touched Patrick’s cheek and kissed him. It felt just the way it used to feel when they were young and careless before the revolution shaped their destiny. When the kiss ended, Patrick moved Maggie aside and stepped towards the door. He was just about to reach for the handle when Maggie’s watch started beeping. That distracted him enough for her to swiftly get ahead of him and open the door with a bang. She was expecting to meet the enemy, but there was no one waiting for them. Patrick was as surprised as Maggie was.
Without a moment to spare, Patrick grabbed his droid and started making his way towards the back door. However, neither Maggie or Patrick anticipated that the enemy would be waiting outside, surrounding the house.
Even though it was pitch black in the garden, they could both see the red light at the end of the weapons pointed at them. At that moment the escape felt impossible. Maggie dropped her guns to the ground.
-“Who are you?” – Maggie demanded to know. But no answer came back, neither nobody moved from the shadows.
-“What the fuck is that?” – she turned to Patrick feeling her anger reaching the boiling point. “Is that part of the Old World’s strategy? What the fuck is that, Patrick?” The only thing she could focus on was the ticking clock.
– “It’s not the Corporate Government. Since you turned up a few hours ago, everything in my world seems to be falling apart. I should be asking if’ it’s not the Ecotopians pulling some sick trick on me.”
Maggie was already angry but didn’t want to waste any energy on confronting Patrick. Instead, she picked up her guns and started walking away. When she was about to take the next step, a warning shot was fired.
– “Who the hell are you and what game are you playing? If you say nothing, I’ll keep on walking.”
– “Maggie.” – came finally from the shadows – “We know why you crossed over to the Old World and what you have discovered.”
Maggie said nothing but her mind was trying to figure out how the hell someone knew about the Time Loop if no one, besides a very few people directly involved in the discovery, knew about it all.
– “We also know where your children are” – the same voice said.
Maggie wanted to say something, but Patrick stopped her. He wasn’t sure what kind of game their captors were playing, but he surely knew that revealing such sensitive information was unwise.
– “We know you came here to find them to take them back to 1999.”
Patrick’s heart started beating faster. Maggie wasn’t crazy after all, and there was a real possibility that the Time Loop was real; it seemed that not only the Ecotopians knew about it.
– “The time is ticking and the longer we spend here, the less time you have to find your kids.” – Said the voice calmly. Maggie looked at her watch and asked.
– “How do you know about the Time Loop?”
– “We opened it.”
– “It’s impossible.” – replied Maggie.
– “Why? You did it, too. Your technology isn’t that advanced in comparison to what we can do.”
– “What year are you from?”
– “2447” – replied the voice, while walking out of the shadow. A black mask covered her mouth; her long hair was tied up in a ban, her clothes were loose and dark, made from a heavy fabric neither Maggie nor Patrick could recognise.
From under the black mask, Maggie could just about to see that her face was covered in scares. While the woman was moving closer to them with her high tech weapon pointing at them, Maggie looked to the right from where her ship came oozing in.