To My World and Back Again Chapter 4

An Answer to the Riddle

By Ghost

Britt always was a nice boy. He seemed to get along with everyone, especially after Patrick started visiting the orphanage so I wasn’t too surprised when Britt made that small sacrifice for Patrick’s benefit. Of course, I would only realize later how important that small gift would affect Patrick’s life and our world’s future.

Elandis Ellerbee, Those were the days

May 6, 2006
11:46 A.M.
Oxnard Orphanage

Patrick opened the front door of his Buick and looked upon his old home. The orphanage consisted of a three story brick building. The kitchen, living room, bathroom, and Miss Ellerbee’s bedroom rested on the first floor. The second and third floor had one bathroom each and many bedrooms that would hold two to three children each.

Around the building consisted of less than an acre of a wonderful park-like area. There was only one palm tree in the North East corner, and the rest of the area was grass covered with swings near the front of the building and benches spread out among the area. Surrounding the park-like acre was a seven-foot high brick wall with a swinging Iron Gate, which was parallel to the front doors. The gate would be closed at night for the children’s protection.

Patrick reached across the front seat and took out a small but thick object wrapped in checkered wrapping paper with a bow on top. He smiled fondly as he locked his car up and strolled passed the front gates. He walked upon the cemented sidewalk and was almost to the front door when a small Mexican child ran up to him. Joe Martinez was an eight-year-old child with black hair and brown eyes. Today he was in a white T-shirt and blue jeans with black tennis shoes. For some reason, he always stopped to talk to Patrick before Patrick could get inside.

“Hello Mr. Simmons. Are you here to see Britt?”

Patrick smiled. He was amazed how curious children were. If only they could keep this curiosity. “As a matter of fact I am Joe. He is in the building, isn’t he?”

Joe looked toward the building, “Yes, sir. He is in there.” He looked back at Patrick, “He’s been waiting about ten minutes for you.”

Patrick’s eyebrows went up in playful surprise, “Ten minutes? Well I better not keep him too much longer.” He turned to go inside but stopped, curiosity getting the better of him. “By the way, Joe, how did you know how long he has been waiting for me?”

“Well,” Joe replied, “I’m gonna take care of everyone at the orphanage when I grow up. So, I’m gonna get strong and make sure that I know everything there is to know about all of the other orphans.”

“But what happens if you get adopted?”

Joe answered promptly, “Well, if I do get adopted, I’m gonna make sure that I visit often.

Patrick chuckled to himself, “In that case, I’ll let you get back to your work.” With that, he turned to go inside leaving Joe with his job. However, as the story of Earth unfolds, the future orphans will look to someone to protect them. A person that from experience knows enough about each orphan to gain their trust. A person strong enough to defend them from trouble. A person named Joe Martinez.


11:49 A.M.

Patrick gave a knock on the front door then entered as he always did. He breathed in deeply as he recalled the memories. Straight in front of him was a stairway that led to the second floor, to his right was the kitchen and bathroom, and to his left was the living room and Miss Ellerbee’s bedroom.

A woman then came in from the living room. Miss Ellerbee was still in her red T-shirt with a happy face on the front, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes. She walked up to him and gave him a big hug. She pulled away to look him over and patted his stomach. “Still keeping fit aren’t we, Patrick?”

“Yes I am, Miss Ellerbee. And you are looking as beautiful as you did twenty years ago.”

She struck a glamorous pose and batted her eyelashes, “Really? Well I have been trying to keep my trim waist.” She made a face, and Patrick broke into a laugh. Almost immediately, Elandis joined him. They were more of best friends than family, but the other knew that there was some sort of a special bond that made them close enough to family that they would ever be.

She invited him into the kitchen for something to drink. “Would tea be fine,” she asked. He gave his approval as he took a seat, and she went to work to boiling water. She had a seat right across from him, they started to talk about current happenings, old happenings, and what ever crossed their minds.

“So how is Britt been doing lately,” Patrick asked, “I mean with the other orphans?”

Elandis put her forefinger against her cheek, “Let’s see. Actually, he’s been doing quite well. He has made some friends with some of the others since you were busy with work.” Since Patrick had never given himself that much time off. It had been around three weeks since he had visited. “Oh, there is one girl that he talks with…a Sarah Marie. Yeah, they’ve become real good friends.”

“That’s some good news,” Patrick said. “It sounds like Mitchell and me back in the ‘old days.’”

“It does, doesn’t it?” Elandis reflected. “Well, I’m sorry about your experiment. A ‘close but no cigar’ comes to mind.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’m sure to succeed one day.”

Miss Ellerbee took a moment to rub her chin then put her hand back on the table. “Yet, I still feel uncomfortable about this time travel idea.”

Patrick raised an eyebrow, “What’s so uncomfortable about time travel. I know there is a danger about changing the past and all, but people like me understand the theories better than others.”

Elandis put her left arm across her chest and rubbed her forehead with her right. “Trust me, it’s not that at all. It’s just…last night could have been something you don’t even know about. I mean, time travel is just such a wild idea that I never expected you to try something this crazy.”

He stood up and leaned against the wall. “I’m sorry you feel that way, Miss Ellerbee, but I do admit the notion of time travel does seem crazy at this point of time.”

The water boiler whistled letting the two know that the time was teatime. Miss Ellerbee stood up as well and turned the heat off. She poured a cup of water into two cups after putting in the tea bags and the right amount of sugar in each. She sat down after she was done and allowed Patrick to continue.

“As I was saying,” Patrick continued, cup of tea in hand, “the notion of time travel does seem crazy at this point of time, but take a look at history. About five hundred years ago, the world was flat. About four hundred years ago, Earth was the center of the universe. Around fifty years ago, no one was going to the moon. Now, I can’t travel in time.”

“I didn’t say you could not travel in time. I just said it is a crazy idea.”

Patrick went back and sat down at the table. He took her hands tenderly and looked straight into her eyes. “I know it’s crazy. Hell, some people thought Einstein was crazy, but this is my chance to show myself I can do this. I can’t explain it, but I know that this is what I need to do. I am going to be the one to do this. Well, at least I’ll try.”

Patrick let go of her hands to let her absorb what he said. The two of them were so busy with their conversation that they didn’t pay attention to a small figure enter the living room. So, they were somewhat shocked when they heard a childish voice say, “You will. I’m sure of it.”

Britt stood before them as clean as can be. He had changed from his pajamas into a red short-sleeve T-shirt, blue jeans, and blue and white tennis shoes. His blond hair was still unruly. It was the way he preferred it. Of course, as far as Patrick Simmons was concerned, Britt just wanted to look like a certain red hair teen in a certain video game.

Patrick smiled as Britt stepped forward, “Looks like someone has more faith in myself than I do. It’s good to see you again, Britt. Miss Ellerbee and I have been talking about you.”

Britt took a seat at the table and faced Patrick with a childish smile. “Well, if Miss Ellerbee has said anything to lower your viewpoint of me…then I can honestly say that it’s not true.”

Miss Ellerbee let out a laugh and assured Britt that she said no such things. Patrick looked Britt over, noticing that everything about him was neat, but he made no mention. “Well Mr. Evans,” Patrick began, “I need to know how you have been while I have been working. Have you been keeping to your studies?”

Britt kept his smile, knowing well the routine, “Yes,sir.”


“Yes, sir.”


This caught Britt off guard. Usually, Patrick would ask about his studies, exercise, and social life. Then, the two of them would walk around the campus and talk about whatever crossed their minds. “Umm…I don’t know what you mean.”

Patrick had a cold, stern look on his face that scared Britt as he sat in his chair. Miss Ellerbee remained silent. “I must have bored you already, Britt. I suppose you must have read those books several times already.”

Britt grabbed ahold of his seat. Surely Patrick was possessed, but why wasn’t Miss Ellerbee saying a word. “I…I truly don’t know what you mean.”

“Oh really?” Patrick reached for something under the table. “Robotech Britt, Robotech. Genesis, Battle Cry, Homecoming, Battle Hymn, Force of Arms, and Doomsday. Surely you have not grown bored?”

Patrick didn’t let Britt answer, “Well, I just can’t tolerate boredom.” He brought what he held out from under the table and placed it in front of Britt. It was the small but thick object wrapped in checkered wrapping paper with a bow on top. “Here,” Patrick said with a smile and indicating the gift, “I’m sure this will keep you without boredom.”

Britt breathed a sigh of relief as the gift was laid in front of him. Patrick certainly surprised Britt with all his talk. Plus, the gift explained Miss Ellerbee’s silence. “For me?” Patrick nodded his head, and Britt took the gift. Britt ripped off the checkered paper and bow, eager to get to the filling.

Eventually the wrapping was ripped to shreds and placed aside. Britt stared at the book which he held in his hands. “Robotech? A three-in-one collection of Southern Cross, Metal Fire, and The Final Nightmare.” The child’s eyes grew bright with excitement. “Thank you, Patrick,” Britt said sincerely, “I didn’t think the story ended with book six.”

Patrick accepted the “thank you” with a “your welcome.” “I just know how much you like the series…” Just like me, “…so I figured ‘why not?’”

“This is great,” Britt said as he looked at the cover of the book, “but what was that I heard you talking about? You know…that time experiment of yours.”

Patrick took a seat in his chair. “Project Chrono Trigger, named after the game, you know. Well, last night I made a wonderful breakthrough-“

“A break through?” Britt interrupted. “Did you make a gate? Did you finally do it?”

“Britt,” Miss Ellerbee said warningly, “remember what I said about interrupting people?”

“Yes, ma’am. I’m sorry, Patrick.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Patrick adjusted himself in the wooden chair. “Anyway, last night I made a wonderful breakthrough. Last night, around eleven, I made the gate itself, but it dispersed before I could open it. I think the orb itself actually came into being not just from the fact that I finally found the correct voltage and current to break the gap of space and time, but the year and a half’s previous experiments seemed to create a field of energy that stayed in the laboratory and helped bring the orb come into being.”

The mention of the time seemed to trouble Britt for only a second as he began to reach into his back pocket but stopped himself to inquire, “What kept you from opening the gate? Do you think you need a Gate Key.”

Patrick Thought about this for a moment. “Well, a key is needed to open any door. Now that you mention it, I tried to open the gate last night by diverting energy from keeping the gate stable to opening the gate. You see, one of my theories about Lucca’s Gate Key is that the key provides enough power to the energy field around the gate for the field to expand. All I need is a source of power to allow the field around the gate orb to expand.”

“No problem there,” Britt said matter-of-factly, “just use another source of power in the building.”

Patrick shook his head, “That’s a good idea, but I have used all the power that I am allowed to use just to make the gate orb.”

Britt seemed to have a back-up plan already, “Then how about lightning? A bolt of lightning should have more than enough power to open the gate.” Before Patrick could ask another question, Britt added, “There have been all these storms recently remember. Another storm is said to hit the day after tomorrow, the day of your next experiment.”

Patrick was speechless. Why hadn’t he thought of such an easy and simple solution before. A bolt of lightning was just the thing he needed to open the gate, but, “How am I suppose to harness the energy, Britt? I don’t have enough time to order the materials I need. By the time the materials come in, these storms will be over.”

Britt thought the problem over. Patrick had been a great friend for too long to remember. Patrick had given him books of all sorts to read. Patrick had spent countless hours listening to all the problems and happenings that Britt had to tell, yet Britt hadn’t done too much. He had to pay him back. “I’ll be right back,” Britt announced as he left the kitchen and ran up the stairs.

Patrick looked at Elandis puzzled. With all the schooling and time with Britt, Patrick just couldn't figure what Britt was up to. “Why do you think-”

“I have no idea,” Elandis said, answering Patrick’s question before he got it out. She spent just as much time with Britt, and even she did not know what was going on.

Britt returned in a moment with a small blue box with a rocket ship on the front. On the box were the words “ZENO TOY ROCKETS.” Britt walked right up to Patrick. Patrick had a baffled look on his face while Britt’s face was one of excitement. “I want you to have this, Patrick,” he said with a hint of enthusiasm. “After all these things you’ve given me, which have been a big help, I think it’s my turn to help you for a change.”

Patrick took the box, silent and stoic. Patrick had given this very model rocket to Britt for his seventh birthday present. He was there when Britt launched it off the same day. Patrick asked Britt if he was going to launch the rocket the second time (the kit came with the capacity to launch twice), and Britt told Patrick that he would save it for a special day. “Is today that special day, Britt?”

Britt nodded his head slowly. Patrick was sure he was going to cry, and he kneeled down on one knee and spread his arms. Patrick gave Britt the biggest hug he ever gave in his life. Britt returned the hug the best he could but insisted that he be allowed to breathe. As Patrick released his grip on Britt, his hand found something smooth in his pocket and pulled it out.

“Eh? What’s this?” Patrick asked as he studied the card. It looked like a tarot card at first glance. Yet, why did he not think so, and why did he feel something powerful? On the back of the card was a regular red background with an encrested yellow star within a circle symbol. On the front of the card was a thin red border outside a picture. Within the picture box was a black and white picture of a mermaid, and below the picture in a rectangular box was the word “MERMAID”.

Patrick handed the card back to Britt, not wanting to keep it from him. Britt put the card back in his back pocket and decided to answer the question. “It’s my lucky card. I’ve had it for about a day now.”

“Where did you get the card, out of curiosity?” Miss Ellerbee asked just as Patrick was about to ask the same question.

Britt scratched his head, not sure how to answer. Would they believe me? It is quite far fetched. “Well, I don’t know how to explain this, but I found it in my hand when I woke up this morning.”

“Oh,” Patrick said with a sound of relief, “that explains it.” He gave a smile toward Elandis who only shrugged dimming Simmon’s smile. So where did it come from? “See you, Bud, and thanks.”

Britt nodded his head. “Come back soon, and tell me how it goes.”

Patrick told him he would and turned to Miss Ellerbee. “Don’t worry about a thing, Miss Ellerbee, and please let Britt keep his ‘lucky’card. Okay?” Miss Ellerbee gave her approval. Who doesn’t need a bit of luck? “All right.”

Patrick, with the model rocket in hand, made his way to the door to leave. Before he turned the knob for the door, he turned back to Britt. “Hey, Britt,” he said, right hand out with fingers veed, “thanks again, buddy.”

Britt did the same. “You’re welcome, Mr. Simmons and” he added as if remembering something, “good luck.”

Patrick opened the door and left with a new hope for the future, or maybe it would be the past. As long as he opened the gate, he would get everything he needed. When he proved to his boss that the project worked, he would certainly get all the help and resources he needed. Plus, the look on John Cindel’s face would be all the reward in the world. Of course, Mr. Patrick Simmons did not know what Destiny had in store for him in the future and the past.


Go To Chapter 5

Return To CT Fanfic