Home > Time's Mirror (The Chronos Files #2.5)(11)

Time's Mirror (The Chronos Files #2.5)(11)
Rysa Walker

“Okay,” Coralys says, her voice doubtful. “I guess we’ll print your papers out, assuming I can find someone who knows how to do that. We’ll get it finished while you’re packing up your things.”

I nod, thinking that she’d have to twitch her nose and produce those papers by witchcraft in order to finish before I’m done packing up my things. I have my purse, a few sets of clothes that were made for me in this weird closet thing on the third floor, and my shattered Walkman, which still doesn’t work. One of the headphone wires is broken and no one has batteries. There’s also a box that once contained chocolate from Tate, and a note apologizing for dropping the bomb on me like that about Dad. Another note from someone named Anya Shaw, who is apparently my grandmother. Something that looks like a beer stein, which I initially thought had been sent to the wrong room, since it has the initials OC on the side and the card was signed by M. Campbell. Tate says it really was intended for me, however, sent by the owner of the club where I’ll be living once I check out of this place.

Twenty minutes after I have everything packed up, Tate arrives. He is, unfortunately, accompanied by Sutter, who I now know as head of CHRONOS security.

Sutter and I spent several days of quality time together once I decided to cooperate and answer his questions. Not that I had anything more to tell him than before, but I realized that the only way I’m going to get back to my time and stop this from ever happening is to get back my medallion—my key. That’s why I have to keep close to CHRONOS.

Tate’s the one who came up with the idea that I might actually be of some use at the museum as an “expert” on the 1970s and 1980s. I think that’s a major stretch unless they’re talking about TV shows, junk food, and early eighties music, but I didn’t argue.

The idea of having a job when I should be finishing up tenth grade is strange, but they simply don’t know what to do with me. I’m too old for their brain tinkering and they are poorly equipped to handle someone who didn’t pop out of the womb with an occupation crammed into her skull. It’s not like I can find a job flipping burgers. They have machines for that kind of stuff.

The Shaw grandmother offered to take me in, but that was immediately batted down since they believe her daughter is a terrorist. And I guess they weren’t keen about putting me into whatever sort of foster system they have in the twenty-fourth century.

Sutter’s preferred alternative was apparently confining me to my quarters indefinitely. Since he’s the Big Cheese of Security, I suspect that’s what would have happened if I hadn’t made a concerted effort to win him over. Not easy when you’re dealing with someone who can literally see through lies. The strange eyes are part of Sutter’s “chosen gift.” He gets little visual cues that show whether a person is lying. Tate says they aren’t perfect—just sensors showing the other person’s heart rate and other telltale signs—but they’re pretty good. I tried a few small fibs on him during our second session and he nailed me each time. It’s probably a valuable tool for someone who interrogates people for a living, but I can’t help wondering if he’s able to shut it off. Would he really want to know every time someone lied to him? Would he use it on his kids? His wife? So creepy.

Sutter pushes past Tate and holds out a cuff that glows the same neon green as the medallions. He claps it on my wrist without even asking permission. I readjust the cuff to loosen it a bit and Sutter promptly retightens the thing. “You can’t have it falling off. It projects a CHRONOS field, which should alleviate your concerns about disappearing.”

This was one point where Sutter’s eerie lie-detector eyes came in handy—he may not know whether I’m right about that other version of me being in the building that day. It could have been a hallucination. I was in pretty bad shape. What he does know, however, is that I’m not lying to him intentionally. It’s something that actually worries me.

Every time I mention that other me to Old Creepy Eyes, I get the sense that he’s hiding something. Both times I asked, he changed the topic in a hurry. What did they find in at the bottom of that hole? My other body? Another CHRONOS key?

Whatever it is, it must be something that’s known only to CHRONOS security, because Tate had no clue when I mentioned it to him. His only idea was that the girl might have been an accidental “splinter” created by crossing my own timeline, which makes no sense to me at all. How could I have crossed my own timeline when I’ve only used the key once, by accident?

I’m just glad that Sutter confined his interrogation to the actual bombing. I don’t know anything at all about that, so I didn’t have to hold back. If he’d started asking questions about why I want to work at the museum, however…things could have gotten dicey.

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