Sierra was back on the planet that she was born on but the majority of it looked vastly different than what she remembered. She was right in the enemy’s doorstep. Sierra should have questioned Bliar more before they got here. The truth was, she really didn’t trust Bliar to make the right decision. What were they walking into? Find out in the next chapter of Catching Time!
Chapter 8: Wax Figures
[Read First Chapter Here.]
“Are you sure this is the right place?” Sierra looked up at the house. It was painted white and had a beautiful lawn complete with roses and a tree swing. It was the picture perfect suburban home. The house was unsettling to see here on Earth.
This house felt like it didn’t belong here. Sierra was back on the planet that she was born on but the majority of it looked vastly different than the one she remembered. Except this place, this section of the planet was virtually untouched by the war. The cool island breeze brushed passed Sierra, giving her the chills. They were on a small island a few miles from Hawaii.
“This is the right place,” Bliar said, reaching for the doorbell without giving Sierra’s concern a second thought.
The people who lived in this area were people that Sierra knew she rather not get involved with. They worked for The Organization. The last thing Sierra wanted to do was run right into their arms. She reached for Bliar’s hand and stopped her from pressing the doorbell. “Are you sure about this?” She asked, holding Bliar’s wrist.
“I’m positive.” Bliar shook Sierra’s hand off, pressing the doorbell. The sound of it echoed behind the door with an intimidating chime.
They were right in the enemy’s doorstep. She should have questioned Bliar more before they got here. The truth was, she really didn’t trust Bliar to make the right decision.
The locks of the door started to click as someone behind it twisted them open. Sierra caught herself holding her breath, she had to remind herself to exhale as the last click from the handle sounded.
“Hello?” A man opened the door from the other side. He looked odd, almost as if his skin was made of wax. Not a single blemish or imperfection could be seen, everyone looked odd that worked directly for The Organization. Their wax like skin was something Sierra never figured out the reason for. She had stayed away from them and was too busy doing the dangerous field work. The Organization’s main workers stayed on the sidelines.
“Hi, Victor,” Bliar said as she casually walked in the door without Victor saying another word. From her body language, it looked like Bliar knew him. She was completely at ease.
Sierra followed close behind for fear that he might shut the door on her face without Bliar. She had no idea what Bliar was planning but it looked like he wasn’t happy to see them waltz in his front door unannounced.
“Bliar, is that you?” He stood frozen in his doorway, stunned.
“In the flesh.” Bliar stood in the hallway of his house. She walked up behind him and closed the door. “We don’t want any flies getting in… or nosy neighbors.”
“What are you doing here? You’re not supposed to be here, especially not with her.” Victor pointed at Sierra. His eyes were wide.
“I know, I just came here to cash in my favor.” Bliar shrugged, ignoring his concerns and discomfort.
“You shouldn’t be here, you both need to get out of my house.”
“Or what, are you going to kick us out yourself?” Bliar folded her arms.
Sierra was watching the exchange closely. The man looked familiar but then everyone that worked for The Organization looked familiar. What stood out the most was his voice. He could have been one of the technicians that worked on their machine. She had never talked to him directly.
“No, I’ll call security and they’ll get rid of you.” Victor raised his voice.
“Victor, is that the way you treat an old friend?” In response Bliar softened her stance. It looked like she was changing tactics.
“Bliar, I can’t… please.”
“You owe me.”
The argument paused for several seconds. Sierra could see that Victor had stopped to think about the situation. His eyes unfocused and he put his hand on his chin and stroked his perfectly manicured beard that looked just as fake as his skin.
“Can I at least talk to you without her?” Victor pointed towards Sierra.
Sierra raised her palms in understanding, she’d would gladly leave if it would help with Bliar’s plan. “Alright, I’ll go while you two talk. I’ll just be right here in the kitchen if that’s ok with you, Victor?”
He winced as Sierra addressed him by name. “Yeah, ok, that will be fine.”
Sierra knew her presence made him uncomfortable. Just by her being in his house, she was aware that he could be accused of harboring a fugitive. It was a miracle that he didn’t kick them out already.
Leaving the room, Sierra walked into the kitchen. She found a small table and she sat down leaving her back towards the two. It didn’t really matter that he felt unsettled with them here. Sierra only hoped that he would hear Bliar out with whatever plan she had.
Fifteen minutes later, Bliar walked in the kitchen and sat down next to Sierra. She had a big smile on her face as she turned to face her.
“Are you going to ask me how it went?”
“How did it go?” Sierra raised her eyebrows. She knew that Bliar got what she wanted before she sat down, her body language said it all. That was good news.
“Fucking fantastic,” Bliar said and lowered her voice so Victor couldn’t hear her in the hallway. “I managed to talk our friend here into sneaking us through the backdoor of our old workplace.”
“And how did you do that?” Sierra was genuinely curious. When they first walked in, Sierra was sure he was going to kick them out.
“With my winning personality.”
“Uh-huh, you threatened him didn’t you?” Sierra said flatly, she knew Bliar a little better than that. Her winning personality got on everyone’s nerves. Getting to know Bliar was like eating green olives. Sierra was never really sure if she liked them until she could stomach more than one.
“Yeah.” Bliar smiled. “He really royally fucked up when we were working at The Organization and I covered for him. Y’know the kind of fucked up you can get killed for.”
“How convenient that you got involved.” Sierra smiled, she knew that it wasn’t convenient at all. Bliar had intentionally got involved.
“You know it.” Bliar winked.
“Would you two like anything to eat now that we’re here?” Victor walked in the kitchen and abruptly ended their conversation.
“No thanks, Bliar said and stood up. “I’m sure you’re not in the mood for company. We’d like to get started with the plan as soon as you’re ready.”
“Right.” Victor pursed his lips together and looked at Sierra for far longer than he should have.
Sierra felt slightly uneasy, it was as though he knew something that she didn’t. When he was gone, she was going to ask Bliar about it. When Sierra worked at The Organization, she never got a reaction like that before.
“Have any more of those jumpsuits?” Bliar walked towards Victor and patted him on the shoulder, taking his attention off of Sierra. “I’m not planning on standing here all day.”
Grateful that Victor finally focused his attention off of her, Sierra stood up too. She still didn’t know the details of Bliar’s plan either.
“Ok, hold on, I’ll get them,” Victor shook his head and disappeared down the hall. It only took a few minutes to return with two jumpsuits in hand. “They might run a little big but I can fix them once you have them on.” He handed one each to Bliar and Sierra.
“Thanks.” Sierra took one and held it out, inspecting it carefully. Even dressing like one of the workers wasn’t going to make them blend in. They stood out too much, they didn’t look plastic. Also, she was sure that each and everyone of the workers would know what her face looked like. Sierra was a wanted criminal after all.
“I’ll be in the other room, let me know when you’re done changing,” Victor turned around and left.
Sierra turned to Bliar, who was already kicking off her shoes.
“Bliar, we got the disguise but I’m pretty sure my face is plastered over every wanted poster in that place,” Sierra didn’t believe that this was going to work.
“Don’t worry, I’m already on it.” Bliar stepped inside the jumpsuit and pulled it up over her arms. “Each one of those guys have ocular implants that are provided by The Organization. Victor knows how to tap into them and we can program a different face over ours.”
“That’s kinda creepy.” Sierra finally started changing into her own jumpsuit. She knew the workers there weren’t fully human. That meant that Victor wasn’t fully human either.
“Hey it’s just science. You can’t be living in 2019 forever. You have to embrace the time period you’re in.” Bliar finished changing and waited for Sierra.
“Yeah, I know.” Sierra finally zipped up her jumpsuit. The sleeves went past her arms. “So, what is Victor? A clone or is he like… a terminator?”
“Neither, did you not bother to ask when we were working there?”
“No, I was too busy wrapping my head around time travel and making sure my team didn’t die.”
“Alright, don’t get angry.” Bliar hushed Sierra. Her sleeves were way past her arms too and she looked comical in her jumpsuit. “He’s human but he’s kinda upgraded. The Organization gives people perks to upgrade themselves with technology. Kinda like cyborgs or something.”
“Why didn’t we get offered that?” Sierra asked.
“Because we were only contractors.” Bliar said it as though it was an obvious fact. “Plus, do you really think we could go back to the 1920’s looking like that?”
Sierra folded her sleeves up, what Bliar said did make sense. “I don’t understand why they didn’t jump at the chance to time travel though. If I invented it, I would.”
“Those guys are allergic to risk. They picked us because we are expendable. Most of these guys got in The Organization to dodge the draft and stay as far away from the war as possible. Look at this house,” Bliar motioned around her, “As you can see, The Organization’s people are living the high life because they come from money or have political ties.”
“I’m sure Victor told you all that.” Sierra folded her arms. It was something that she guessed that Victor wouldn’t really want to tell Bliar about. The guy didn’t seem like one to brag to Blair about all this stuff.
“I put it all together.” Bliar huffed and took Sierra by the wrist, “Now come on, we’re wasting time. I don’t want to wait around here until tomorrow night. I’m not in the mood for this getting more tense than it already is.”
Bliar pulled Sierra into the living room. Victor was sitting on his couch, waiting for them to be done. He had a small sewing kit on his lap. The sight looked out of place. Sierra guessed some things never change. You still need to fix a hole in your socks from time to time, no matter what time period you were in.
“I guess those are bigger than I expected them to be.” He picked up the sewing kit and walked towards Bliar.
“Well, I’m sorry I’m not a tree.” Bliar said. She walked up to Victor and he checked the length of her jumpsuit first.
“Y’know I’m average height for someone in this time period. You two are just short.” He took out the needle and got to work, “Do either of you have a cell? I’m going to need it if I’m going to modify it to alter the frequency. I need to mess up some ocular implants if you two are going to walk in the back door.” He seemed a little more relaxed than when they first entered his house.
“I don’t carry one.” Sierra shook her head. They kinda freaked her out that they attached to your nervous system. She carried an old model that handled a lot like the cell phones she grew up with. It was lucky that they were still on the market. Even today, people felt the same way about these cells that she did. Having something get attached to your brain was a privacy issue that not everyone wanted.
“I don’t carry one either, they freak me out,” Bliar said, voicing exactly what Sierra thought.
“And out of all the places you two could live in, you chose to stay here. You can’t be afraid of technology in the 2090’s.”
“That might be another reason why we’re leaving.” Sierra blurted out without thinking. She had no idea if Victor actually knew the reason why they were sneaking in The Organization in the first place.
“I would think being a fugitive would have been your top reason.” Victor looked up from his work.
“Well, that too.” Sierra fidgeted, she also had no idea what he knew about her. If she brought up the topic too much he might change his mind and refuse to help them.
“Victor, I’m really glad you are doing this for us.” Blair said, taking the attention off of Sierra.
“Yeah, I owe you and I guess… you were also a really great friend.” Victor got back to work on Bliar’s sleeve.
“Thanks, you were a really great friend too.” Bliar said truthfully.
Sierra felt like she was intruding a little. She had no idea what their friendship entailed and it was really none of her business. The truth was, she didn’t really care but she did regret not getting to know more people outside of her five member team when she worked there.
“Right, I’ll go get you two a new cell and we can get started.” Victor changed the subject. He stopped hemming Bliar’s jumpsuit and moved on to Sierra’s.
Their footsteps echoed across the empty hallways of the building. Everything was white and extremely bright around them. Whoever designed this place had no decorating sense. If Victor wasn’t leading in front of them, Sierra would have gotten lost. She had worked there but she had never been through the back of the building. It was a lot quieter than she remembered.
“Hey, Victor, are you sure you’re going the right way?” Blair asked.
Bliar’s uneasiness made Sierra uncomfortable. She didn’t trust Victor one bit but she was going through with this plan anyway.
“Yeah, it’s past these main doors to the right. After you two were… let go, they dismantled your machine and moved it out. We only have two in operation now and the one that will draw the least attention is located back here.”
“Alright.” Blair said more sure of herself this time.
A woman exited the room to their left and almost bumped into Sierra, startling all of them.
“Excuse me,” the woman said and looked up at Sierra, giving her a polite grin. She only glanced at her briefly before turning the other way and walked down the hall in the opposite direction. The woman then disappeared from sight with no indication that she recognized any of them.
“You can relax now,” Victor said.
Sierra watched the woman go. It looked like she didn’t even care that they were in the hallway. Sierra didn’t realize it but she was holding her breath. It looked like Victor’s modifications to their cells were working.
“Don’t worry about her, she’s always kinda tense,” Bliar said, giving Sierra a slight nudge and reassuring grin.
They continued down the hallway until they made it to a very large double door.
“The last shift went in an hour ago, they won’t be back until tomorrow morning. You two should have the run of the place until then. I can edit the logs once you leave so it looks like no one was here.” Victor walked over to a security pad and placed his hand on it. The pad turned green and the door opened.
“Thanks, Victor.” Bliar patted him on the shoulder as they walked inside. Bliar gave him a big grin but Victor returned a tight smile.
The room was pitch black.
“Shit, I can’t see anything. Do you see where we can get these lights turned on?” Bliar said in the darkness once they were inside.
“I’m trying.” Sierra fumbled around a control panel. She found the button she was looking for and switched it on.
They weren’t alone.
“I’m sorry, Bliar.” Victor said as he walked in the room. He acknowledged the small armed group that was waiting for them.
“Don’t apologize, you did the right thing.” A woman walked forward and brandished a gun. “Get these two in handcuffs.”
Sierra was stunned, she didn’t expect that this was how she was going to get caught. Quickly, she thought of what she could do to get out of this.
The control panel she was at could be rerouted to get the permissions of the main machine. Sierra had a few seconds to turn on the machine and enter in a time period. Quickly, her hands moved across the control panel, her fingers finding all the right buttons from memory.
“How could you Victor? I had your back, the least you could do was have mine!” Bliar tried to shrug off the guards that came towards her. One of the men held her still while the other cuffed her.
The woman walked towards Sierra as a guard walked behind the control panel to get to her. “Hands off.” The woman said and pointed the gun at Sierra.
“Alright, don’t shoot.” Sierra lifted her hands off the buttons.
“We have been looking for you.” The woman smiled with a plastic grin. The guard finally made it behind the panel and forcibly pulled Sierra’s arms behind her back, cuffing her.
“I don’t remember you.” Sierra eyed the woman, she was trying to extend the conversation.
Victor was a traitor but at least he had brought them to the right room. Behind them, a large circular machine stood empty. A little green light flickered on the top of it indicating that it was turned on. Now, all they needed to do was get past these guards and to the machine if they were lucky.
“I’m sure you don’t know me, we never had the pleasure of meeting.” The woman gave Sierra a once over, “I thought you’d be taller.” She looked disappointed.
“So, who are you?” Sierra pulled her hands against the handcuffs. There was no way she was getting out of them. She couldn’t make a run for it either.
“I’m Dr. Fabre and I run this program now.” Dr. Fabre folded her arms, taking the gun off of Sierra now that she was handcuffed “Take the other one and lock her up.” She addressed the guards holding Bliar.
“Ma’am, should I leave too?” Victor was standing quietly in the room the whole time. He fidgeted uncomfortably as the events of the last couple of minutes went on around him.
“No, stay here. Everyone else can leave.” Dr. Fabre said and the guards forcibly pushed Bliar towards the door. The guard standing next to Sierra also exited the room.
“Sierra, don’t worry. We’ll get out of this!” Bliar yelled back as the door swooshed behind her.
Sierra shot a glance at Victor who was still standing in the room. “Is this what you wanted, how could you do this to Bliar?” She yelled. Sierra detested him, he cheated Bliar to save his own skin.
“Ma’am, is it really necessary that I stay?” Victor ignored Sierra and was inching his way to the door. He seemed to be afraid of Dr. Fabre.
“Yes, Victor. You did a good job this time.” Dr. Fabre now turned to address him and pointed her gun back at Sierra. “Unfortunately, I also know what you’ve done.”
“I can explain.” Victor’s eyes widened.
“We are not working on toys here, Victor. You can’t just take one for a joyride. Even if it happened all those years ago. We knew that you were going to do it even before you did.” Dr. Fabre plastic grin was back.
“Oh-so, all is forgiven right? This makes up for it?”
“It took my predecessor a week to clean up after your mess. Fortunately, you make friends in the right places. At the time, they decided to let it slide.” Dr. Fabre shrugged.
“Thank god.” Victor sighed in relief.
“But, I wasn’t in charge then.” Dr. Fabre turned the gun from Sierra to Victor. A single blast buzzed through the center of his skull and he dropped like a stone.
Sierra winced in surprise. She hated him but he didn’t deserve that.
“Now, for you.” Dr. Fabre turned her attention back to Sierra. “You have also committed a crime.”
Feeling her pulse race in throat, Sierra took a step back. This woman was merciless. She had no idea about what crime she was talking about. “I don’t know what’s going on or why everyone is after me but you got the wrong person”
“I hired someone to find you and bring you here but it looks like I didn’t need to.” Dr. Fabre ignored Sierra.
“You’re talking about Avery?” Sierra’s stepped back until her back hit the wall and she couldn’t move any further.
“Yes, but it looks like I can take care of this myself.” Dr. Fabre motioned towards Victors body. “You see, you tried to escape and you shot poor Victor.”
“What?” This woman really was ruthless. The only plan Sierra could think of was that she was going to try to rush her. She already did this twice before and she could do it again.
“Now, I have to shoot you in self defense. I get to kill two birds with one stone. You can’t start the war if you’re dead.”
“Start the what?” Sierra blinked at Dr. Fabre in confusion. She had no idea what she was talking about. Was this the crime? It was a big accusation.
Dr. Fabre wasn’t going to elaborate, in one swift motion, she lifted the gun towards Sierra. “No, hurt feelings. Future you just turned out to be a horrible person.”
Everything that happened next was a blur. Sierra closed her eyes and rushed at Dr. Fabre. She felt her body hit something soft and they both went crashing towards the floor. Sierra could hear the clattering of the gun skid across the perfectly white tile.
When she opened her eyes, Dr. Fable was scrambling up to her feet. The doctor rushed towards the gun at the other side of the room. Sierra ran in the opposite direction.
Rushing towards the opening of the machine, Sierra hoped that the doctor was a horrible shot at a moving target.
A blast raced passed Sierra’s right shoulder. She was almost there. Sierra just had to reach the entrance and she was home free.
“You think you can run!?” Dr. Fabre yelled.
Another blast caught her attention, then, a sharp pain hit her above the knee. Sierra dropped in pain.
“You should have aimed for the head,” Sierra yelled back. She was only three feet away from the entrance. Pushing herself up with her other leg and her shoulder, she managed to stand up and lunged for the open door.
“Stand still, you bitch!” Dr. Fabre’s voice was behind her.
Sierra was inside and she crashed her body into the door switch and the electronic hatch swooshed closed. Dr. Fabre didn’t look happy behind the glass as she shot another blast at it but the weapon didn’t do any damage. Quickly, Sierra started the machine with a clumsy jab of her shoulder. All she had to do was start it, the main calibration she had done earlier at the control panel.
Dr. Fabre was at the closed door now. She was trying to manually pull it open but it was too late.
“It looks like you lose.” Sierra said as she watched Dr. Favre’s wax face become distorted in anger. Dr. Fabre’s livid face was the last thing Sierra remembered as everything around her faded out.
A circular machine that looked much like a lunar lander crashed somewhere behind a strip mall in Arizona February 14th, 1994.