“Hello, Nurse,” Katelyn said.
“I told you, I’m a doctor,” Florence said.
“Nurse sounds cuter,” Katelyn said. “Here to check on your favourite patient?”
“Here to check on a patient,” Florence said. “You’re looking well.”
“I’m feeling well,” Katelyn said. “First the checkup then a sponge bath?”
“I’m not giving you a sponge bath,” Florence said. “You’re well enough to shower.”
“Oh you’re no fun anymore,” Katelyn said.
“Florence?” Jenny’s voice came over the radio.
“Yeah?” Florence asked.
“Come to Zhao’s lab quickly. There was some kind of accident. Something happened to Sirvanna.”
“I’m on my way,” Florence said.
“I’m coming too,” Katelyn said.
“You stay here,” Florence said.
“Oh come on,” Katelyn said. “I’m recovered enough to walk with you a bit, right?”
“Fine,” Florence said. “But don’t strain yourself.”
“Me too,” Alena said, peeking in.
“You girls,” Florence said. “I can’t wait until you’re out of my infirmary.”
“You know you love us,” Katelyn said.
The first sensation she felt was cold concrete against her cheek. Sirvanna pulled herself up and looked around. It was roughly midday and the streets were clear with no signs of life.
“Did she send me to the past?” Sirvanna muttered. “Was this area ever this clean?”
She walked around. The base was nowhere to be seen. The buildings around were dilapidated and she could see an occasional face peeking out from one. “When did this area have buildings?” Sirvanna wondered. She had to find a working terminal, check the date online and find out when she was.
Several robots rolled up to her, they seemed advanced enough. “Present identification, Citizen!” Identification? Maybe she should just blast them. Sparks flew from her fingertips. “Plaguer identified. Patrol unit 75 offers apologies to Lady Sirvanna Bowman. Returning to search for enemy plaguer.”
Huh? They knew her? How? And why were they using that term? Sirvanna decided to follow them, maybe get some answers.
A time machine! You made a time machine? What were you thinking?
“Naoko is giving Zhao a headache,” Zhao said. “She needs to be quiet so Zhao can focus.”
“Excuse me,” Florence said, walking in with Alena and Katelyn on her tail. “Where’s Sirvanna?”
Yuni wandered over to Alena and quickly grasped her hand.
“the mad scientist here sent her to the past,” Ines said.
“Or maybe the future,” Alexa added.
“Sorry,” Jenny said. “I called you as soon as I heard there was an accident. I didn’t know it was something like this.”
“So, put in the coordinates and get her back,” Katelyn said. “No big deal, right?”
“Genius girl here doesn’t know the coordinates,” Ines said.
“Zhao was giving a demonstration,” Zhao said. “She just has to look at the program history and find the right coordinates. There, Zhao has it.”
Get her back, quickly. We don’t need the past being disrupted.
“Everyone should get back,” Zhao said. “Zhao is opening the portal.”
“When this thing hits eighty eight miles an hour there will be serious shit,” Katelyn said.
“I don’t think it operates on speed,” Yuni said. “Does it?”
“No,” Zhao said. She quickly manipulated the controls and hit the button. “Good,” Zhao said. “This time the portal is stable.” The portal shimmered for a moment and a blonde figure fell through. The portal closed instantly behind her. Ines was by her side instantly.
“Is Sirvanna okay?” Alena asked.
“Problem,” Ines said. “Big problem.”
“I’m coming,” Florence said.
“It’s not a medical issue,” Ines said. “This isn’t Sirvanna, it’s Yuni.”
“Me?” Yuni asked.
The group gathered round. The new figure didn’t have her hair in Yuni’s usual twin-tails, but it was definitely her.
“She looks malnourished,” Florence said. “I’ll get her some food.”
The new Yuni murmured and opened her eyes. “Nessy?” she asked. “Where are we?” She looked sleepily around, her eyes got big. “Naoko? Katelyn? Alexa? Jenny? You’re alive!” She frantically looked around, her eyes coming to rest on Alena. “Alena! You’re alive too!” She ran forward and nuzzled against Alena’s chest.
“Hey!” Yuni cried. “You let go of her!”
“That’s not what we should be worried about,” Alexa said.
Indeed. The way she said “alive” seems to indicate…
“That many of us won’t be for long,” Alena said.
The robots didn’t seem remotely interested in Sirvanna’s presence.
“Patrol 15 has found the enemy, requesting assistance.” one of the robots said.
“We respond,” the leading one said. They hurriedly turned. Sirvanna followed behind them. she started hearing sounds like power blasts. They were getting closer and closer. That corner?
She turned with the robots. A second group was trying to surround someone moving like a blur. Several robots were scrapped all around. It couldn’t be… could it? The robots she was following opened fire. She heard a groan and the woman fell. It was! Sirvanna didn’t waste a moment. Lightning came from her fingertips, frying every remaining robot. She ran towards the injured woman.
She looked thinner. She had an eyepatch over her right eye, but it was her. “Ines,” Sirvanna muttered. She closed in.
Sirvanna froze. the strange Ines was trying to pull herself up, but her leg had a hole burned into it and she couldn’t get up.
“Let me help you,” Sirvanna said.
“So you can execute me properly?” Ines asked. “Or have you forgotten that all this is your fault!”