This chapter’s a bit shorter than usual, because I wanted it to end on a cliffhanger, and because chapter 9 is really long. Anyway, enjoy, and feel free to criticize. Click here for the rest of the chapters.
Chapter 8: Chloe Wakes Up (Finally)
“Thanks a lot, Lindsey,” said Jake, glaring at her as she tossed the coin to Smith, who studied the coin with a look of increasing aggravation. Just like that, nice guy L. Smith, the guy who politely answered all our questions and apparently took Jake out to six flags, was gone.
He pulled his gun out of his pocket and for a second, fuming at us. Lindsey watched him, her face impossible to read. Then he walked up to me, grabbed my chair, and spun it around so I was facing Chloe, who was still fast asleep. He did the same to Jake. Then, making sure we were both watching, he aimed the gun at Chloe’s face. “WHERE IS THE COIN?” He demanded. His voice cracked at ‘coin.’
“Ha, voice crack!”
“Shut up, Jake!” I said, then tried to think of the best thing to say. “We don’t know where the coin is,” I told him, truthfully. “It should have been in my wallet, but I figured that that would be the first place you’d look so it must not be in there, so I thought of a clever lie to get us out of here.
“It was pretty clever,” said Jake.
“Somehow, I don’t believe you,” Smith replied. “If you don’t give me a straight answer in the next ten seconds, I will shoot her.”
Since we didn’t have a straight answer to give, I decided the best course of action was to come with a reason as to why he shouldn’t kill her.
“But you can’t kill her!” is what I came up with. “You said it yourself. It’s a fixed point that she becomes a famous novelist. Killing her would cause a paradox and blow up the fabric of reality or something.”
“Actually, I lied, Josh. She’s not a fixed point, she’s a split point. She either a.) becomes a famous writer, or b.) is found dead in the Wappingers’ creek tonight, looking seven years younger than what she should be. You get to choose which version is true. So where’s the coin?”
“Maybe I dropped it on the road in 1969,” I said, “Maybe I dropped it while hiding in the tree with her. Maybe—”
“Maybe Chloe knows where it is!” shouted Jake, finally saying something smart. When he said this Smith put the gun down to his side and exchanged a glance with Lindsey. “Why not ask her?”
“Not a bad idea,” he said. Then came the obstacle of waking her up. They had apparently drugged her heavily. First Smith tried shaking her, then he shot a bullet down the hall. She still slept on. Then I had an idea.
“Benedict Cumberbatch,” I said, and her eyes immediately opened.
“Where?” She looked around, wide awake now, and started to process what was going on.
“Really? That’s all it took?” asked Smith.
“Never underestimate the power of Benedict Cumberbatch,” I told him.
“So Chloe, where’s the coin?” he asked her, politely, the gun hiding behind his back.
“Coin?” she asked, confused. “What coin?”
“The coin Jake found in 1969, and then he gave it to me,” I explained. “Do you remember?”
“I think so,” she said. “But I don’t remember you ever taking it out of your pocket.” I didn’t either.
“Well, that’s disappointing.” Smith pointed the gun at Chloe again and the whole room erupted in protest. “Give me one reason why I shouldn’t!”
And then, faster than you could say ‘Deus Ex Machina,’ the Arnold Schwarzzenator cyborg guy burst through the door, rendering Lindsey unconscious immediately.
“Well, he did say he’d be back,” said Jake.
While it did seem to have superhuman strength and the ability to time travel, it looked almost exactly like its human counterpart, minus all the blood gushing from the cyborg’s stomach—the cyborg was clearly dying.
Smith was completely unfazed, and without hesitating shot the cyborg a bunch of times in the chest, face, and stomach. The cyborg collapsed on the ground, as dead as a robot could be.
“Wow, thanks for getting our hopes up, jerk,” Jake said to the dead machine on the floor.
Smith then took the gun and pointed it back at Chloe’s head. “Last chance to tell me where the coin is.”
For the life of me or her I couldn’t think of any other way to get out of this one. I closed my eyes as Smith pulled the trigger.