Part 23: Let's Do The Time Warp AgainUpdate 23: Let's Do The Time Warp Again
: (Where's Irving?)
Sound of footsteps.
: There you are...Ethan Kairos.
Ethan: (What a grim expression... Is this the real Irving Onegin?)
: So tell me, Ethan...
: Why do you persist in killing my mother over and over again?
: It's not me!
: Even though my mother gets off the bus just fine beyond the Hole...
: she gets right back on that bus as soon as I close that Hole.
: Don't you find that...odd? Just what's going on here, Ethan?
: I'm wondering that myself.
: Isn't your father the one responsible for my mother's accident?
: !? My...my father?
: He's the one who sent for her. On her way to see him, she...well, you know the rest.
: And now you--you've followed in your father's footsteps and killed my mother all over again...
: No! I never killed her! And I never sent for her, either! Stop making wild accusations!
: ...So you have proof--is that what you're saying?
Evidence is everything in court, Ethan.
: She had the letter with her. I had it myself until yesterday.
: Your uncle brought me the letter that would back me up.
: But that letter is gone. The Derek of today isn't gathering info on that accident--he's not a writer. So the letter's gone.
: So why can't you save my mother from the bus accident that happened here, Ethan?
: Will I ever get a straight answer out of you?
: Just don't hurt my dear mother more than she already has been...!
: I don't know what you want me to say...
: (If it's true that someone sent for her...who could it have been?)
: I can't take this anymore. My body, my soul are at their limits...
: If you can't give me an answer, maybe I should erase you, too. I'd be erasing all of my worries in the bargain...
: Hey! What are you doing!?
: You're through meddling in my affairs!
: No! Wait!
???: You all right, Ethan?
: Why, you...
: Glad I followed ya, kid. I mean, how could I not? You were white as a sheet!
: You have a knack for sticking your nose where it doesn't belong, Derek...
: Hey, Irving! Long time no see.
: After all these years--is this your idea of a reunion?
Reminder that in this timeline, Derek wouldn't have headed over to Irving's to discuss the accident because he wasn't investigating it.
: This doesn't concern you.
: I'm calling the cops.
And he starts dialing.
: You Kairos boys are all the same. You exist solely to torture me...
: Hey, look at Ethan and tell me--who's torturing who here?
: I'm trying to fight against the violence you've both committed!
: You people never learn, do you... I guess doing away with your parents wasn't enough, huh?
Most people have probably figured this out by now, given how his shadow's plainly visible at the beginning, but it's nice to get a confirmation.
: Hey! Y-you have my...
: Ha ha ha ha ha ha... You just noticed? Unbelievable!
: How do you expect to put up much of a fight if you're that slow? You've killed my mother--you and your father both. It's only fair.
: Your family has terrorized everyone dear to me...
: Look who's talking...
There's the sound of something glowing.
Irving: I'm going to save my mother... It's all I can do now.
: No! Don't go in there!!
: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!
Ethan: We've got to catch up with him, and pronto!
And then the Hole closes, and the world begins to shift.
: !!! (No! It's...it's too late...)
Ethan: :: pant pant ::
: (Irving was headed for the scene of that bus accident, 35 years ago... What could he have changed--and by how much...?)
Ethan's phone goes off.
Kori: Ethan...where are you?
Ethan: I'm...at home, it looks like.
Kori: Can you come see me? I'm where Aeon used to be.
Ethan: Yeah...sure. (Has something happened to her? Her voice sounds so weak... Wait a minute...where Aeon USED to be...?) I'll be there as soon as I can. Wait for me.
: (He's okay...!)
: What's going on? You're up early. Sorry, but I've gotta split. Help yourself to breakfast.
: Oh, uh, sure...
: Listen, Uncle Derek, can we go out for coffee again today?
: What? If it's coffee you want, just find yourself any old cafe and stop in.
: I have to do research all day. I don't have time to sit around sipping coffee with you.
And he's gone. This is the opportunity to note that I messed up and missed the flashback of Derek in the maid cafe from last update, but as you can see, it doesn't matter so much.
: (He's back to his "old self"--a freelance writer...)
: You came...thank you...
: What's wrong? (She looks exhausted.)
: I... Irving...he tricked me.
: Tricked you? How?
: I can't stand myself right now... Save me, Ethan...
Kori: Ethan...save me...!
: ...Yes. I owe you an explanation. I'm sorry I'm so out of it. ...
: I was pulled through a Hole when I was sixteen years old. The one who pulled me through...was your father, Ethan.
: My father?
: Someone had pushed me off a roof... But when I came to, I was in a classroom, unscathed. Your father had pulled me through. He had opened a Hole from three days in the future. He said "When I find a way to keep you from dying, I'll put things back the way they were."
: My father said that?
: Uh-huh. So here I am, forever sixteen...and waiting.
My guess is that's been going on for maybe 30 years.
: I graduated high school and kept out of sight...this whole time. Always waiting...even as I keep getting involved in worlds changed by the Hollow Pen.
: But your father disappeared... ...without fulfilling his promise.
: Was that...12 years ago?
: That's right.
: That's when Irving came up to me and said he'd make things right.
: Irving did?
: He said the Kairos family didn't have it in them to save me...
: ...What could I do? I helped him out.
: But... In the end, all he did was use me.
: Used me to spy on the next bearer of the Hollow Pen...that's you. He wasn't thinking of me at all...
: Kori... (How long must she have been suffering like this?)
: (I wish I could help her... I really do...)
: ...So what happened to Irving?
: I doubt he went into the past just for the heck of it.
: Yeah...But he didn't change the past where your dad pulled me through.
: I mean...I'm still here, aren't I?
: So that past is safe, at least.
: What is it?
: Ethan...did you burn your hand?
Ethan: (What IS this?)
: Our secret hideout--it's burning! (I remember now...I got this burn escaping from the blaze.)
: A fire...? That's not right. No, no, the tree that was here--it was struck by lightning and toppled over. There was no fire...
: (Is this Irving's doing?)
: Say, where are the others? Were they in the hideout?
: !! (Yeah--what happened to the rest of the gang?)
: C'mon, Kori--let's get to school! If we go now, we just might make it before the bell!
: But I...
: I'm not a student there. Not the me I am now. I can't just show up in class there anymore.
: Irving made it so I could get into Kako and keep an eye on you.
: It looks like Aeon's changed a lot, along with the way I'm being treated.
: ...I'll see if anything else has been changed.
: We'll meet up later. That's the most efficient course of action.
: ...All right. Be careful. I'll get in touch with you later.
: (...Guess I'll head to school all by myself, then...)
: (How are Vin and the rest of the gang...!?)
: (Vin, Ben, Morris--they're all gone!)
A door slides open in the background.
: Irving! Why, you...
: Sure are noisy first thing in the morning, eh, Ethan?
: And the name's Jack. Jack Twombly.
There's the sound of laughter.
: !!!!! T-Twombly!?
: Why so uptight? Did you forget your breakfast today?
: (Irving...what have you done this time?)
: ...Ah, who needs him, anyway? Now take out your books, class...
Flashback: Shiloh Fire posted:
Ethan: (I need to look into this some more.)