Home > Time's Mirror (The Chronos Files #2.5)(9)

Time's Mirror (The Chronos Files #2.5)(9)
Rysa Walker

And…the lie was probably a waste of breath, because I don’t think he even heard what I said. His eyes are distracted, like he's working something out. "And you don't remember Richard? Richard Viers? He's the one who should have been jumping to 1970—well, 1969, actually. Katherine was scheduled for 1853, so they must have switched places. Maybe he was in on it. Saul always said Richard had a thing for Kathy."

"Why does everyone keep talking about this Richard and this Saul? I don’t know either of them!”

“Well…your DNA matches Saul’s. He and Kathy had been living together for about a year before the bombing. And the key you were carrying when I found you was the one assigned to Richard. The one he was using on his last jump.”

“I found this key in the attic, in an old box with stuff my mother collects. She has another one just like it in her jewelry box. The picture they showed me looks like her, but she was born a few years after World War II, not…in the future. And I don’t care what your stupid DNA says. My dad is James V. Pierce. He was born in 1940. Don't you people have historical records? Birth certificates, marriage licenses, stuff like that?"

"Sure,” he says. “But most of Kathy's documents—birth certificate, diploma, and so forth—were ones she adopted when she was stranded. She picked them from a safe deposit box that held identification papers for pretty much any time period after 1800. I can tell you what we have, though." He pulls a device that looks a lot like a smaller version of my Pop-Tart thingamajig out of his pocket and searches for something. I can't see a display from this angle, so it must be projected in front of his eyes like the books are for me. After a moment, he starts reading aloud. "Marriage to James V. Pierce in November 1969. Twin daughters, Prudence and Deborah, born 4 February, 1970. Remarried 1989 to Phillip N. Hatch—”

“Wait. Remarried? Why?”

He scans through for a moment, then says, “First husband died.”

My lips move, but no sound comes out, so I try again. “When?”

“Um…” His voice is a little hesitant.  “1984. September 14th. Looks like it was a car acci—”

A scream drowns out his voice. I don’t even realize it’s coming from me until the attendants are in the room, holding me down.

2

CHRONOS MED TEMPORARY STATION

WASHINGTON, EC

December 31, 2305, 2:25 p.m.

“And that’s it,” the evil doctor says, smiling her evil smile. She nods once at the pale not-quite-human, not-quite-Stormtrooper therapy bot and it glides out of the room with a quiet whirring noise. “That’s your very last physical therapy session, Pru…well, your last one here. You’ll still need to visit the pods at the OC three times a week, and I’ll want to see you back here in one month to be sure there’s been no regression.”

The evil doctor’s name is Coralys Winston, and she’s only a few years older than I am. She has a friendly smile and smooth, dark hair, shot through with shiny reflecting streaks that change from day to day—gold or silver or sometimes whatever color matches her smock.

Okay, I’ll admit I don’t have solid proof that she’s evil. But she’s far too chipper and happy for someone whose job is to put her patients through hell or, technically, to give commands to the therapy bot while it puts her patients through hell. For the past few months, she has listened to my complaints, nodded politely, and then completely ignored every request, every scream of agony, saying that what I wanted—which was usually to crawl back into bed, or better yet, into that lovely, pain-free goop—really wasn’t in my “long-term best interests.” Her amber eyes are always sympathetic, but in a way that makes me want to smack her. Hard.

I don’t think I’d want her job, though. People curse at her, scream at her, and think wicked thoughts about how they’d like to see how long her ass would last with the therapy bot if her back, hip, and legs had been shattered. (At least, those are the thoughts I’ve sent her way each and every day.) But Coralys—who insists that I call her by her first name rather than Dr. Winston—always wears that cheery, encouraging, and quite possibly evil smile.

“Can I ask you a few questions?”

“Sure!” Her smile widens, but her eyes are a little wary now. “I guess I have a few minutes before I leave for the day.”

I’m pretty sure most of the CHRONOS med personnel wish I’d go back to not talking, because they don’t usually have answers for my questions and I have a lot of questions. But hey, if I’m really stuck in this time, like they seem to think, then I need to know how things work, right?

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