Home > Time's Mirror (The Chronos Files #2.5)(8)

Time's Mirror (The Chronos Files #2.5)(8)
Rysa Walker

I don't go into it, but long story short, this name is the only rotten thing my Dad ever did to me. It's his mom's name, so I don't complain. There are no good short versions, and I can’t use my middle name. I share that one with my mother and she gets on my last nerve. So I’m stuck with Pru, like it or not.

Tate doesn't finish what he was about to say when I interrupted, but it's pretty clear that he either doesn't think I can get home or doesn't think they'll let me.

"If they'd give me back that medallion thing, maybe I can reverse what brought me here?"

I don’t know what I did that landed me in that pit. Still, it stands to reason that the medallion is why I’m here, and therefore it’s my best shot for getting home.

Tate sighs. "Pru, it doesn't work that way. The jump room is gone. All of the equipment, too. It was destroyed in the explosion. And…unless something pretty major happens to change their minds, it's not being rebuilt.” His jaw tightens on the last part and he takes a deep breath before going on. “They're still not sure how you ended up here. Everyone else they found at the…epicenter, or whatever, was with CHRONOS. I mean, they know who you are from your DNA, but—"

"How? How do they know who I am? Or my parents? If this is really 2305, my parents have been dead for hundreds of years. How do they have videos of my mother?"

Tate sighs and goes back over to the chair near the window. "Time travel works both ways. You came here. Your parents went…there. Listen, maybe it would be better if I get Sutter—or better yet, one of the other officials—to come back in and talk to you about all of this. Now that you've gotten your voice back."

"No! I won't talk to them. They keep showing me images of someone who looks like my mom and this other guy, who is not my dad. Sutter got really angry and his eyes…" I shake my head and hold the purse tight against my chest. "No."

"Okay, okay. I get it. I'll ask for your things. Your pictures. But…you shouldn’t get your hopes up about the key."

"What key? The only key I have is to my house. I doubt it's still standing three centuries later, and if they want it, they can keep it.”

"I’m talking about the medallion. The thing that brought you here. Even those of us who were actually with CHRONOS didn't get to keep them, except when we were on assignment. Not that it really mattered, since we couldn’t use them without the equipment in the jump room. That’s part of the reason you have Sutter and everyone else so confused. Some of them are worried that you were able to bypass the safety and use the key without the jump apparatus. Some think you were just pulled in as a fluke, like Grant and a few of the other historians whose bodies they found in the wreckage. Either way, they’ve been keeping this room under a CHRONOS field, just as a precaution. They don’t know whether you exist outside of it.”

My mind flashes back to the other version of me, but I push the image away. “What do you mean…if I exist? I’m right here…how could I not exist?”

“This is the kind of thing you should be talking to them about, Prudence. I’m just a historian, and they—"

"No!" My heart is racing at the very thought of dealing with Sutter again. "If you bring them in, I won't even talk to you. I’ll…stop eating. I’ll…”

What else can I threaten given my current circumstances, short of peeing the bed?

I’m definitely not saying that.

“Please.  Just please, please…no."

"Okay,” he says, his shoulders slumping a bit. “I won't mention it again. But would you answer a few questions for me? I’m curious. The school ID in your wallet said 1984, so you were born…?"

I hesitate, because I have a feeling anything I tell him will be reported to these CHRONOS people. But it’s probably unrealistic to assume they’ll let me stay here and never give them any information at all. And I’d rather talk to Tate than Freaky Eyes.

"In 1970. But…the school ID is old. Three years ago. If I’ve really been here as long as you say, then I guess I'm nearly eighteen now."

The lie is automatic, and it’s only afterward that I realize they may be able to tell my age with all of this fancy-schmancy medical equipment. I’m not even sure why I lied until I look back over at Tate. He’s my only ally, the only semi-bright spot in this insanity, and he said I was pretty, right? He might be more inclined to help me if he isn’t thinking of me as some dumb kid he dragged out of the rubble.

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