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Part of USS Jaxartes: These Are The Days Of Our Lives

Part 5: I Want To Break Free

Various
Various
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Jason Devron looked at the fear and confusion on the face of his wife and two children.  This life had seemed so wonderful and real.  Until that girl had appeared in the mirror.  Why did he not remember looking in a mirror before that point, surely he must have?  She brought back memories of a different life, one far removed from the one he was living.  What did it mean?

And then there was the way the walls, floor and ceiling of the dining room seemed to undulate as if reality was having a hard time existing. “Show yourself!” Jason yelled. “Who are you, and what do you want?”

Before his eyes a shape began to take form.  At first it was hard to figure out what it was, but what finally appeared, could only ever be described as your typical witch.  Tall slim, green skinned with long slender arms and fingers, ending in sharp talon like nails.  A pointed jutting chin and beak like nose.  All wrapped in a large black flowing cloak with a black pointed hat. “Not what you expected?” The figure cackled in a typical witch like manner. “She did say I’m a witch after all.” 

Devron wasn’t all that impressed by the show of theatrics before him.  He was no Dorothy and he certainly wasn’t going to attempt any meaningful conversation with the Wicked Witch of the West. “What do you really look like?” 

“I have no true form, not in the sense that you could comprehend.” Replied the witch. “Nor do I have a name.  The notion just never arose.  I exist, I am.  It’s as simple as that.”

“You’re scaring the kids.” Came Phoebe’s voice from over by the table.

The witch bowed apologetically and swept the cloak up into a swirling arc.  When it fell back down in had turned to a flowing elegant dark green dress and Jason was looking into the eyes of his own mother. “Better?”  The look on his face was all she really needed. Though in reality she’d been probing and examining his mind since the moment she’d taken him from what he regarded as the real world.   A few moments later she’d changed again, the dress had turned into a pants suit with a white blouse under the jacket on the figure of a woman much shorter than his mother.  Facing your old high school science teacher Miss Clement was rather an odd experience.

“I can only create images from your memory.” Announced Miss Clement. “And you rather liked her.”

To be honest as a young teenager, he’d kind of had a crush on this particular 37 year old Kent born brunette teacher.  Frankly a dozen or so other boys did to. She had a lot of curves and in all the right places.  Every one of them had been so disappointed when she’d married the slightly younger music teacher Miss Ecclestone.   Jason pointed towards his two sons’. “How do you explain them?”

“Still part of your imagination.” Miss Clement assured him. “You imagine how they might look, and here they are.” 

The room by now had settled down into a perceived normality and Jason invited the entity in the form of his old teacher to sit and eat with his family.  He wanted answers after all and this thing, creature, entity; whatever it was had them. Over the next hour and a bit, he learned much about this strange being.  Those that had come before him had simply accepting the world around them.  They had lived and grown old in a fantasy of their own creation.  The entity smiled devilishly. “Of cause you won’t remember our little chat, all this will fade from your memory and you’ll go back to living a happy carefree life. Whilst I feed of the energy your life creates”

“What about the girl?”  Jason asked after taking a sip of wine.

The entity look noticeably saddened and the light of the room seemed to dim slightly.  “She is my gateway to your world. My seeker and she has attempted to betray me.” The lights flared and the log fire erupted with flame like someone had just thrown petrol across the fake coals. 

“What will happen to her?” It was Phoebe who asked the question, even though Jason knew he was thinking it.

“She seems to think by planting her image in the minds of those that serve me; one of them will defeat me.” Miss Clement laughed in a very uncharacteristic way. “Foolish girl will never learn.” 

Devron looked at his wine glass and caught the fleeting reflection of the young girl in its contents.  Now he understood.  She’d never left his side in all this time, every moment he’d lived in this fantasy world, that girl had been there, just waiting for him to fit the pieces of the puzzle together and figure out this wasn’t real.  Like an idiot though, it had taken him way to long.  But who was she.

[Céline Dubreuil was one of twins. After an argument with her sister she’d ran away from home and fallen prey to the one she called the witch.  Spending the next 98 years in her service and not aging a day in the process.  But the girl had never stopped fighting in all those years despite the magical world she spent most of that time inhabiting.]

Jason had an idea, if all this was imaginary; then why not imagine himself right in the heart of the witch’s lair; she’d describe it in part, and somehow the girl was guiding his thoughts towards filling in the blanks.  Within the blink of an eye he found himself in a well-lit cave, pink mist swirled around at his feet. Phoebe and the children had gone with a sad farewell, only the entity remained.  This time however in the form of a Borg Drone.

“Resistance is futile.” She proclaimed. “When will you ever learn?”

Devron made a run at her, putting the full weight of his body into a shoulder charge, only to literally bounce off her like he’d hit a solid wall.  He staggered away holding his right arm, whilst she just laughed. The Lieutenant took stoke of the situation.  This wasn’t a cave, no the walls appeared to be made of glass and stretched way above both their heads. 

“You pitiful creatures amuse me so much.” The entity in its Borg form laughed.  She produced a small glowing object and held it out to him. “I have a challenge for you, since you’re so keen on beating me. This device will take you to any place and time on or around this planet.  Use it and see if you have the brains to defeat me.” She tossed it to him. 

“What’s the price?” Jason asked, studying what appeared nothing more than a palm sized smooth rock.

“Win you go free.” Came her answer. “Loose and your first act of submission will be to bring me the rest of your crew.”

The young Lieutenant held the stone tightly.

            **********

A few minutes later Devron found himself aboard the USS Jaxartes standing next to the Antimatter storage tanks.  Only moments ago he’d bid a tearful farewell to his wife and two children.  Eleven years of a life that had never really happened.  If he was successful would he remember that time?  Would he be trapped in the past; find himself back in the present or a future as yet unwritten?  Could he even exist in the real world if he pulled this mad stunt off?

He placed a cylinder roughly the size of his forearm into an extraction point on one the tanks and set about drawing a small amount of the antimatter.  Once done and everything seal up; what Jason basically had in his hands was a small bomb.  It may have seemed simpler to grab a phaser but that could very well alert someone to his presents, and right now he didn’t really feel like trying to explain that. He had no idea if this was before, after or even the same year he’d originally been taken.

The stone clearly knew when his task was done, and swiftly whisked him away to the next location he was thinking about, not far from the shed and the tower.  There was a lot more snow around, and a few flakes were falling, adding to what already lay across the ground. It was mid-afternoon judging from the position of the somewhat watery looking sun hanging in the sky. But on which day he couldn’t really tell.  All he knew was; this was where it had begun some 98 years ago. Jason made his way carefully towards the small building.   Noticing as he drew closer a horse and two wheeled cart parked outside.  That wasn’t good.  It meant someone was inside, someone who at this very moment might be activating the machine inside, and if that happened; any act upon his part would be fruitless. The entity had told him about the machine during the meal. She’d given a lot away during that lengthy chat.  Was it over confidence or total control of the situation that this thing possessed?

Whoever was in there he’d have to get them outside and if possible well away from the shed.  He wasn’t entirely sure what the destructive power of the bomb he was holding would produce.  Enough to destroy the machine; most certainly.  Take a huge chunk of mountain with it, possibly! 

It took several attempts to get the stupid horse moving.  The fact it only understood French may have been the key issue.  Telling it to ‘rentrer chez soi’seemed to do the trick.  Devron quickly dived behind the nearest tree.  As two men realising their horse had decided to go walk about, burst out of the shed yelling several words in French which didn’t sound too happy. 

Jason waited a moment then sprinted for the door and entered the shed.  He didn’t notice the other figure of another young man not too far away; who trudged purposefully through the snow behind him.  He was looking around the room for the best position to place his makeshift bomb.  Not that it would probable make much difference once it detonated; when he heard the door slam shut behind him.

Spinning round the young lieutenant was confronted by the young man. His feature reminded him somehow of the old man he’d first witness by the log cabin on beaming down. “How?” 

“Because it was always going to happen this way.” The young man grinned. “You’re not changing history, your part of it.”