To My World and Back Again Chapter 7
When I first realized that I would have guests for a while, I had no idea of what to do. I had two guest bedrooms to fit three people in. Maybe I would bunk the girls in one bed if the girls were still used to bunking together. There was also the problem of secrecy. I could trust only a few people, and that was all. It's not that I was embarrassed to have them with me, it's just. Well, let's just say that even the hotshots of Area fifty-one don't know about the events that occurred on May 8, 2006, and I intended to keep it that way.
From the collected journals of Patrick Simmons
May 8, 2006
The slightest movement brought a sharp hot pain through his back as he shifted back to the world of the conscious. His eyes were closed and a world of darkness enveloped him. Questions ran through his head as to what exactly happened. He barely remembered how he came to his present position. He knew the orb had expanded with force, and the force was so great that his feet had left the ground. He could not remember a thing after that, but he could safely assume that he had hit the wall behind him, and he hit the wall hard.
He believed it to be the wall that was near the exit of the lab, and he decided to stay there for a moment, letting himself rest. He felt so weak, and a little nauseated. It was the strangest feeling he ever felt. He guessed it to be the result of hitting the wall, since he could not ever remember hitting a wall with his back that way. He had opted to stay there, until the pain had gone away. However, that was before he began to hear voices.
"So where do you think we are this time?" asked a male voice. He sounded like the adventurous type, and it was as if he really did not know where he was.
Another voice responded, giggling. "I think the question is ' when do you think we are,' you goof. And what's with this gate?" The voice was cheery too for Patrick's tastes. Who ever the voice belonged to was probably an optimist.
The last voice that responded had a more serious tone, but it was just as curious. "According to the technology I see here, I would guess between 2000 and 2100 AD. Of course, you can never be too sure. As for this gate, I've never seen one like it. It's very peculiar."
Patrick took that moment to open his eyes. The lights were out for some reason. He never remembered turning them off, but the room was engulfed in a violet glow. The second thing he noticed was that the floors were scorched black in a straight, path-like line. The scorched floors began just behind where he was earlier and ended just in front of his current position. Patrick guessed that it had something to do with the force of the gate.
He averted his gaze from the floor and saw three figures several feet in front of him, and they were looking around like tourists. He could not see them well with that strange dull violet glow emanating from behind, but that didn't matter. He had told Mrs. Marks that he would not let strangers in the building, and he would make sure they did not stay in the building long enough to be seen.
He grunted slightly from the sudden shots of back pain he felt with the movement as he stood up, which caught the stranger's attention. He slowly walked as straight as he could to the strangers and let out a message in the process, "I'm sorry, but this is private property. I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
The male, which he was starting to make out as a red head, spoke. "Is this your lab?"
Patrick rolled his eyes. That was the dumbest question he ever heard. "I'm the only one here, aren't I?"
The red head whispered to a blond headed woman beside him, "Looks like this guy's a little cranky. Maybe he woke up on the wrong side of the lab table this morning." The blonde responded with a giggle. As Patrick continued to walk forward, he began to make out the group much better with the aid of that glow that originated from behind the group. The three people seemed to be of Caucasian decent. There was one man and two women.
The man was about five foot seven and appeared to have well-developed arm muscles. He had courageous blue eyes and long, spiky red hair, which was held up by a white bandanna. Around his neck was a yellow tunic. He wore a green shirt under a blue karate gi, which was supported by a belt of some sort. Around the belt he wore was a purple pouch with a sharp tooth used as a decoration. He also carried a sheathed katana attached to the belt. He also wore white gi pants and brown boots.
There was a beautiful, slim, blond-headed woman to his left with innocent-but-daring emerald eyes. She appeared to be about and inch shorter than the man she stood by. The girl's hair was arranged in a single ponytail tied with a white elastic band. She wore a white dress-like outfit that ran from the top of her chest down to her ankles. She wore sandals on her feet and bands on her arms. On her right arm were two bands, on band around her wrist and another band around her biceps. On her left arm was a band around her wrist. Around her waist was a yellow belt with a chain link to a case, big enough to hold a folded crossbow. The case also had a leather strap that came around her left shoulder. Also looped around the yellow belt was a dark green pouch.
A curious, beautiful, blue eyed woman with large eyeglasses stood at the very left. In Patrick's opinion, she was more attractive than the blonde-haired person, who was only slightly shorter than she. The woman wore a dark brown shirt underneath an orange karate gi and dark brown shorts, which showed off her slender but developed legs. A brown, leather belt with a small, brown tool pouch supported the orange karate gi. She wore brown boots just like the man's boots. Around her right shoulder, the woman wore a light-blue item pouch. Around her neck, the woman wore an orange tunic. On her head, she donned a helmet with a mike-like mouthpiece. Her helmet covered her short-cut lavender hair.
Patrick' jaw dropped as he realized who was before him. It was so obvious that any fool could figure it out. Patrick had played the game so many times that it shouldn't have surprised him, but he couldn't find any words to speak as Crono, Marle, and Lucca stood before him surrounded by a violet glow. He then looked passed the group to see the source of the violet glow that emanated from behind the group.
"I must be dreaming," Patrick blurted as he walked between and passed Marle and Lucca, who seemed to be as confused as he, a violet gate formed in his vision. The gate had a diameter of a meter and a half, large enough to fit three people. He walked so close that he was virtually walking into the gate. The gate released no heat, cold or wind, which was surprising. It was as if the gate transported only solid matter, but not gasses or liquids. Patrick reached forward and put his hand into the gate, knowing that at any moment, the gate could close, severing himself from his arm.
The gate actually felt cool to the touch. Although, science says that plasma was a very hot energy, who knew what gates were made of? It was essentially a wormhole that connected to points in space, time, or space-time. Patrick then remembered that he had left the tape player running, and the headset was still on him. "After a small explosion of energy, which resulted in very little damage to the laboratory, a violet gate opened up as a result of this experiment. Though the gate was expected to be blue, the gate is violet for reasons unknown. This result is possibly the result of the energy surge from the lightening. The gate is about a meter and a half in diameter. It is releasing no sort of heat, cold, or wind, but may be releasing other form of energy. Further testing is needed, and further results will be recorded at a later date." With that, he pressed the STOP button.
The three looked at him with confusion, obviously at a loss. They seemed to be debating on what to do next when Crono stepped forward. "Hi, I suppose you are at a loss just like us. We were standing outside her home ready to go on a picnic," he said motioning toward Lucca. "All of a sudden, this gate appears and drags us in to wherever this is." Crono let that sink in when he seemed to remember something, "By the way, we haven't introduced ourselves. My name is-"
"Crono," Patrick finished for him. "Let's see, the woman with the blonde hair is Princess Nadia of Guardia." Marle glared at him. "I mean Marle." She smiled and nodded. "And finally, the woman with the lavender hair under the helmet with the mike is Lucca, the Great."
Crono held a suspicious gaze toward the scientist. "Exactly how do you know who we are, who are you, and what is going on here?"
"And what year is it?" Lucca added.
"And what's with that gate? It's giving me the creeps." Marle interjected.
Patrick smiled somewhat nervously as he was bombarded with the questions. He was asking himself his own bombardment of questions. He had no idea where they would stay, how to sneak them out. He put those questions aside to take care of his "guests" first.
"Well, I know who you are because you are who you are. I'll explain that later. My name is Patrick Simmons, and you are in the Scientific Research of California, a.k.a. SROC. For the past year and a half, I have been experimenting with the concept of time travel. It has been a dream of mine to travel back in time to solve certain mysteries, and I wanted to give myself that chance. This company has given me the chance and the resources, and I have taken that chance. As you can see, I have finally succeeded. Oh, and the date is May 8, 2006."
"Told you we were sometime between 2000 and 2100 AD," Lucca interrupted, full of pride. "Can you tell me where Prometheus is? His serial number is R66-Y."
Patrick grinned from ear to ear. Someone definitely was playing dice with the universe, and it was Patrick's turn to take a roll. He was hoping for anything but snake eyes. "Actually he doesn't exist. There is no such thing as the R series. Heck, AI is still in development."
"Whoa! Hold on a sec. You mean Robo doesn't exist in this period?" Crono asked.
"Oh no." Marle muttered, on the verge of tears. Lucca, too, held her head in grief.
Patrick found himself smiling at this cosmic joke. "No, no no. It's not like that at all. The fact is you are no longer in your dimension." Everyone lifted an eyebrow. "My so called 'time gate' is actually an 'interdimensional gate.' That is what is with the gate, Marle." Patrick was laughing by now.
"How is that possible?" Lucca asked in disbelief and a little insulted with Patrick's strange behavior. How can a time gate suddenly become a whole new gate?"
Patrick calmed himself and adopted a serious expression. He guessed that they did not see the humor in what was happening. "I can not be sure exactly, but I think it was a quantum leap. You see after a year and a half of experimentation, I had the energy to create the gate orb or that we all know and love. The problem that I had was opening the gate without diverting energy that was being used to keep the orb stable. It's just like with a Lavoid's energy emanations creating rips in space-time. He, I mean It, can unconsciously create a horde of orbs; it just takes a conscious effort to open them."
Patrick allowed what he had lectured to soak in before he continued. "A brilliant person suggested to me to use a bolt of lightening as a source of energy, a key if you will, to open the gate. I did so. The result, I suppose, was a sudden shift in the orb's physical properties, which resulted in a change of destination. Instead of the destination being somewhere on this planet, but different time. The destination was a different dimension, but at least the gate is stable and will be open as long as I like."
At that moment the gate flashed with brilliant energy and was gone, leaving the room in darkness. "Maybe I spoke too soon," Patrick corrected as he found the light switch. "I guess you'll be here for a while."
Marle shook her head. She was a woman, but she was still so much like a child. "We can't stay. We just can't. We have a picnic to go to. Can't you just open a gate back up?"
Patrick noticed that there was no more rain, thunder, or lightening, "I have the power to make the gate orb, and Lucca can use her gate key to open the gate."
"Sorry," Lucca responded, "I didn't have the time to get home and stuff it into my bag as I was being dragged into your little creation."
Patrick nodded, "Well, then Crono can use his Lightening magic to give the gate the power it needs."
"Well let's do it," Marle shouted out.
"Can't. The problem is we can't be sure that you'll get you back to your dimension. Even if the world you get back to resembles the one you left, there still may be some slight differences that only you would notice. But, I'm sure you're used to that by now."
Lucca had crossed her arms with annoyance as she gazed at him. "Are you telling us that you started experimenting with time, and you didn't even try to find a way to adjust the destination."
Patrick met her gaze. "Well I'm not an expert like you, Lucca. I haven't had your experience. It's just like when you went after Crono after he went after Marle. You had no idea where the gate would lead, but that is science. There are never any certainties, and there are times when risks must be taken." Lucca agreed with him all the way.
Crono adopted a thinking pose. Things were happening so quickly, and his friends, himself included, were far away from the home they knew of. How in blazes does this guy know us anyway. Crono thought to himself. He seems to know us in a way that we've been together for years. It's as if he came along with us when we beat Lavos.
Patrick began to walk out of the lab to pick up the pieces to the experiment and lock up. Then he called to the group, "I'll be back in a few minutes. I have to lock up the back."
Patrick left the lab, leaving the three to their own thoughts. The two met up with Crono who was in his own thoughts. Marle was the first to speak. "So what do you think of our scientist friend,Lucca Crono?"
Lucca put her hands in her short pockets. "He's a newbie at time travel, but I think he's on the right track. It's strange, though, how he seems to know us. The stranger thing is how he made the gate. The equipment in here doesn't seem to be as sophisticated as the Telepod, but it actually worked."
Crono looked into Marle's emerald eyes, full of courage and so full of love. He responded with a smile. "I think he means well. He is a little strange, though, and the fact that he knows us is a good reason to stay on our guard here. Overall, I think we can go with him."
"Agreed," Marle added.
Patrick took that moment to enter the lab. He had taken a moment to change out of his lab coat. He was in a navy blue Ocean Pacific shirt with his blue jeans and black, leather belt. He carried a burnt model rocket in his left hand and a coil of wire around his shoulder. Though the rocket was burnt, he was very happy about it. If one burnt rocket meant the opening of one gate, then he would have to buy out every store in California. Patrick put the rocket back in the box and put the wire down by his laptop.
"Just give me a moment for me to pack up," Patrick called to the group. He took the moment to make a few notes in his laptop and then shut it down. He folded the laptop down to carry it in one hand so he could carry the coiled wire in the other. "Okay, I'm ready."
Crono, leader as always, spoke up. "Now, Patrick, right? Since we are going to stay here for a while, did you have any ideas?"
The distinct sound of a rumbling of a stomach filled the area. Marle blushed with embarrassment remembering the picnic. "I have an idea. Maybe we can get a bite to eat."
Patrick nodded in agreement, "We'll grab some fast food on the way to my place."
Lucca raised an eyebrow, "Your place? Why would we go there."
"And what's fast food," Marle asked.
"You'll see Marle. Now, look. I don't want to argue. I would just like all of you to stay with me for the duration of your stay. No problems, okay? Lucca and Marle can bunk in a bed, and Crono can have a bed of his own. Unless that is one of you is married to the other."
Crono felt the blood rush to his face and smiled nervously as he reached in his pants pocket and seemed to fumble with an object. "No. No one is married to each other. I'll be okay in a room for now."
Patrick studied Crono for a moment wondering what he was doing with his hand in his pocket. He decided to let Crono have his privacy. Besides, it was time to go. "Here is the game plan. If anyone asks, just say that you are with me. You are not strangers, just some old college friends. Can you all handle that?"
Everyone nodded in agreement as Patrick led them out of the lab. All four were in a new predicament that would lead to fun and trouble. Of course, they had to get out of the front door first.
Patrick slowly opened the door to the lobby, scouting for any unexpected run-ins. He had slipped by Bob and Sam a while back, not wanting to bother explaining too much at once, but there was no avoiding the inevitable. Patrick has led the three to the lobby where they would have no choice in talking to Michelle.
He held the door as the three entered the lobby. Crono, Marle, and especially Lucca were amazed at the building itself. Patrick had explained the goals for SROC and the chances it gave scientists to try out their ideas for money, fame, or just fun. Patrick led the group to the reception desk
The lobby had white walls and many chairs arranged into four columns of six. The room also had two small ferns in the front of the room near the automatic doors. In the center of the room, Michelle was behind her desk, playing solitaire as usual. She looked up from her screen with a smile, always buoyant. "Hello, Stranger, who're your guests."
Patrick met her eyes and tried to sound as candid as possible. "Evening, Michelle, these are just some old college buddies that came in earlier. He sounded as convincing as he could. He motioned to Crono, "This is C Christopher." He motioned to Lucca, "This is Lucy." He motioned to Marle, "Last, but not least, this is Marie."
Michelle looked at all three suspiciously with a sense of recognition. She finally smiled as usual. "I'm glad to meet all of you. I assume Patrick let you in the back way."
All three looked to each other. Lucca spoke first, "Yeah, that's how we got in. We came from the very, very back."
Michelle nodded, "I see. So, Patrick, how did your experiment go tonight?"
Patrick almost jumped. He had been so nervous that he came in with an anything but depressed mood. He looked toward the ground, doing the best acting that he could muster. "I failed again. Britt's rocket just didn't work. It's just back to square one, I suppose."
Crono, Marle, and Lucca looked at him in a confused manner. Why doesn't he just tell her the truth? Lucca thought. It's not like success would draw any attention. She gasped inwardly. Unless, he has a reputation for failing that telling her the truth would lead Patrick to believe that it make things more difficult for us. I gotta hand it to him. Don't think I could do that.
Michelle frowned, "I'm sorry, Simmons. I'm sure it will work eventually. Oh, I forgot to tell you. John is still in the building. He finished early, but wanted to stay until you were done."
"No worries, Michelle. I doubt we'll run into him tonight. Besides, can this night get any worse?"
A familiar annoying voice came from the "OFF LIMITS" door. "Poor, poor, Patrick. You're just one more failure to my victory."
"Damn," Patrick whispered under his breath. He turned to face John Cindel, who was in a light gray T-shirt, which had a red and black dragon on the front, and blue jeans. He smiled confidently. "Don't think so, Cindel, each failure brings me one step closer to victory."
"Always the optimist, eh, Simmons?"
"Always the pessimist, C?"
"I see you're getting witty on me," John growled. "So, who're your friends?"
Patrick froze in his spot. He couldn't at any level let John know who they were. It was time to get out. "They are just some college friends. Right, guys?"
"Right," the three said in unison.
"You see, Cindel?" He started to motion them out of the building through the automatic doors to get as far away as possible. "Now if you'll excuse us, we have to grab a bite to eat. Goodnight, Michelle."
"Goodnight," Michelle yelled as the automatic doors closed, leaving the two alone for the night. John, though, smiled maliciously. Everything was happening just as He had said.
SROC Parking Lot
Patrick sighed with relief after they were out of the building. There was no way he could allow John to know what had happened. It was better if he just thought that failure was the only thing Patrick knew.
"So what was that?" Marle asked, "I mean, 'who was that?'"
Patrick turned his back to the three, "That was John Cindel. He's kind of my rival."
"Rival," Lucca repeated. "You mean in science?"
"Science, martial arts, you name it, we've probably been rivals with it. It's been like this for years. He always has the better end of the stick, and I've always tried to show him that I can be better at something, but for some reason, he always beats me."
"Well, why didn't you tell him you succeeded tonight with your gate?" Crono asked while trying get everything straight in his head. "That would have proven that you breached the barrier of time, right?"
"I'm too afraid."
"Of him?" Marle considered.
"No, of what he can do to you."
"I don't understand," Crono confessed. "What can he do to us?"
"John knows people just like I know people. Now, if he were to convince someone that there are people with magic on Earth, then people would come looking for you. They would prod you, poke you, and open you. All just to try to learn how you have this power and how others can get it. Magic can be drained from one being and infused into another. It's been done in another dimension. It's a technology called Magictech."
Lucca suddenly realized something, "That's why you didn't tell your girlfriend in the lobby, right?"
Patrick turned around, chuckling. "Michelle Miller and I aren't a couple. She isn't my girlfriend. We're just good friends, always and forever. Now, if you're ready, I'll take you to my car."
Crono spoke for the group, "We're ready so let's go already."
Patrick smiled. "Okay, then, hold on to your butts."
At that moment, Crono, Marle, and Lucca cried out in sudden surprise as the three of them, along with Patrick, rose off the ground. The four of them appeared to be weightless. They were levitating off the ground and soon found themselves moving very quickly toward a dark-blue 1999 Buick that seemed almost invisible in the night. Patrick slowed the pace and slowly let the group down after electronically unlocked his car from his keychain.
"That was a rush," Crono stated as his feet touched the ground. "How did you do that if you don't have magic.
"Glad you liked the ride," responded. "I'll tell you how I learned telekinesis and telepathy on our way to a fast food place. I'm sure you're hungry."
"You bet," Marle cried in joy.
The four of them hopped in the car after Patrick secured his belongings in the trunk. They drove off into the night, unaware that Destiny had reached it's starting line and the adventure was far from over.
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