TIME AND TIME AGAIN.....AND AGAIN (PART TWO)
Commander Ford smiled as he watched Tim and the new crewmember, Yvonne, walk along the dock. He thought about asking them if they wanted to share a cab into town, but decided not to. I might just be interfering in a…uh…private moment between them.
Ford turned at a sound behind him, and frowned as three people approached. Miguel Ortiz was between Lonnie Henderson, and Jim Brody…and he did not look impressed.
“Look…guys…I appreciate this,” Miguel said, “but I really should be recuperating.” He tried to bolt back to the seaQuest, but the other two grabbed his arms.
“Miguel,” Lonnie said softly. “You’ve been cooped up in your room for more than a week. The fresh air will do you good.”
“But what if I’m still…communicable?”
“If we haven’t caught whatever it is you had by now, we’re not going to.”
Miguel sighed. “Don’t I even get a vote in this?”
Miguel looked at Ford. “Can I lodge a complaint of mutiny?”
Ford tried to hide a smile. “Nope.” The smile became increasingly harder to hide as Lonnie and Jim started to laugh. “Seriously though,” he continued. “These two shouldn’t make you do anything against your will.” He looked pointedly at the others.
“Are you ordering us to return him to the sub?” Brody asked.
“Not at all. I am, however, ordering you to respect Miguel’s wishes.”
“He needs the fresh air,” Lonnie pointed out. She held onto Miguel’s arm as he started back for the sub again.
“All right, all right,” Miguel gripped. “No need to get grabby. I’ll go…willingly.” He stopped. “How about inviting a few more people? Let’s get Tony, and Dags, and Tim, and we can…”
“Tim already has plans,” Ford put in. “I saw him and…uh…Ensign Harger a few minutes ago.”
Miguel felt his insides grow cold as sudden fear grabbed at him. “Tim and…” He pulled free of Lonnie’s grip and started back for the sub at a run.
“I’ll be right back!” he yelled over his shoulder. “I gotta get some things.”
Tim couldn’t remember when he had had a more pleasant day. Yvonne seemed to really pay attention when he talked, and asked him all sorts of questions about the seaQuest, his friends, and him. There were a few too many questions about Miguel for his liking, but he figured that since she knew that the two of them were best friends, it seemed logical for her to ask.
They stopped in front of a bookstore dealing in antiques and looked in. Tim read the titles of the various books, hoping that he was impressing her with his ability to decipher the many languages depicted.
“Want to go in?” he asked.
“Not right now,” Yvonne answered. “An old friend told me about a restaurant here that I want to try…are you hungry?”
“I could go for a bite,” Tim said. He wasn’t really hungry, but he wanted to spend time with her…get to know her. “Do you know where it is?”
“I think so,” she said as she looked around. “My friend said that it was in a warehouse district.”
Tim smiled. “It shouldn’t be too hard to find. There are two warehouse districts in this city.”
Miguel shifted his duffel bag to his other shoulder as he walked through the streets. He didn’t know where he was going, but he knew that Yvonne would lead him to her.
Brody sighed as he and Lonnie followed. “Now, lemme get this straight,” he began, “Ensign Harger is out to get you?” He waited for Miguel’s nod before continuing. “For something you say happened in the past?” Again he waited for the nod. “But…you never met her until she arrived on the seaQuest?”
“You’re three for three,” Miguel replied as he rounded another corner.
Brody sighed in aggravation. “This is insane, you know that?!? I mean, you don’t know this chick, and yet you’re willing to meet with her and discuss…something!
Miguel stopped and faced them. “It’s hard to explain.” He started walking again; heading towards the industrial area of the city. “She’s using Tim as bait…if I don’t go, then…”
“We should call the police,” Lonnie put in. “You said yourself that she’s dangerous.” She glanced around at the warehouses that appeared around them.
Miguel put up his hand, stopping the other behind him. He turned slowly. “It’s better if I go on alone.”
Lonnie shook her head. “Nothing doing, Miguel. You don’t know what that woman has planned for you.”
Miguel tried not to let the anger show on his face. “Actually, Lonnie…I know exactly what she has planned for me.”
“Really?” Brody asked. “Would you mind sharing that information with us?”
“Not at all…she wants me dead.” Miguel turned and continued walking.
Brody and Lonnie looked at each other in surprise. DEAD?? “Now hold on!” Brody said as he hurried to catch up.
Tim tried to loosen the ropes around his hands and feet. His eyes watched Yvonne carefully, making sure that she could not see what he was doing. The rope dug into his wrists, and he tried to ignore the pain as he worked. He stopped, abruptly, as Yvonne turned to face him.
“Will you relax,” she said easily. “As soon as he gets here, you will be let go.”
Yeah, right Tim’s mind scoffed. And the moon is made of cheese. He tried to speak under the tape covering his mouth, but only ended up making senseless noises.
“What was that?” Yvonne asked. “I didn’t quite catch that.”
Tim frowned behind the tape, and started to bang his feet up and down on the hard floor. He tried to shout ancient curses at her, but even he could not understand the nonsense that came out.
Yvonne stormed up to him, leaned over, and ripped the tape off of his mouth.
“Yeowch!” Tim’s eyes went wide with the pain. He glared up at her. “Why are you doing this?”
“Because I can,” she answered back flippantly. “And because I want to.” She turned and went back to her view spot by the window.
Miguel paused slightly as the feeling entered his mind. He looked around, concentrating on the warehouse to his left. He turned to Lonnie and Brody.
“We should split up,” he said. “Three buildings…three of us.”
Brody nodded slowly. “Makes sense,” he said. He knew that Miguel was determined to face Yvonne alone and, although every instinct screamed against the idea, he was willing to go along with it.
“I’ll check out this one.” Miguel headed for the source of his feeling. He heard Brody and Lonnie as they split up behind him, each one going for a warehouse.
Miguel put his hand on the doorknob and slowly turned it.
Tim watched the knob as it turned. He glanced around for Yvonne, but she had disappeared into the shadows a few moments before. He sighed in relief as he saw Miguel’s head peek in.
“Tim?” Miguel whispered as he trotted to him. “Where is she?” He pulled out a knife and cut the bonds holding his friend.
“She disappeared into the shadows,” Tim whispered back. He took Miguel’s hand and got slowly to his feet. His legs tingled as he was helped to the door. He noticed Miguel freeze as he reached for the doorknob, and turned.
Yvonne stood about twenty feet away, a lethal looking sword in her hands. “There can be only one,” she said as she raised it.
Miguel pulled the door open, grabbed Tim by the arm, and threw him out onto the ground. Tim stumbled as he landed, and turned in time to see the door slam shut behind him.
Miguel could hear Tim pounding on the outside of the door as he locked it from the inside. He reached into his duffel bag, pulled out his own sword and smiled bitterly at his opponent. “All right, bitch…let’s see what ya got.”
Tim turned as he heard a noise behind him. “He’s locked himself in there!” he yelled as Brody and Lonnie ran to him.
“Miguel?!” Lonnie screamed as she pounded on the door. “Miguel?!”
“Come on,” Brody said as he started for the side of the building. “There has to be another way in.”
Yvonne screeched as she charged, sword held out in front of her. Miguel easily sidestepped the attack and spun to face her. She swung out, and the swords connected, echoing in the nearly deserted building.
Miguel’s face was set as he defended himself. He backed up as the sword came dangerously close to his face, and shoved her back with his hand. Yvonne stumbled slightly, then continued with her attack.
“Is…that…the…best…you can do?” she mocked as she swung. She was rewarded with her sword cutting through Miguel’s shirt, and into his side.
Miguel gasped in shock as he felt the cold blade slice into his skin. He jumped ungracefully out of her reach, and panted against the pain.
”You’ve let yourself get lazy,” Yvonne taunted. “Being cooped up on that sub has ruined your reflexes."
Miguel stretched lightly as the stinging started to subside. He advanced, ignoring the shouts of his crewmates filtering in from outside.
Yvonne smiled cruelly. “What will your friends say when they find your headless body?” She lunged at him again. “I mean, I can tell them that you attacked me, and I had to protect myself.”
”They’re not gonna believe that,” Miguel said. “A few of them know exactly what, and who you are.”
“So…I’ll kill them before I leave.”
Miguel froze slightly as he realized that she was not kidding about her threat. “You may outrank me, Ensign…but fuck right off.”
Tim gasped as his fingers started to slip from the ledge he was holding onto. He grabbed at it with his other had, and continued to pull himself up to the small window.
“Can you see anything?” Lonnie asked as she continued to work on a locked door.
Tim glanced down. “I have to get to the window first!” He put both hands on the side of the building, praying that he didn’t plummet the three stories to the hard pavement.
Brody arrived at a run from another side of the warehouse. “These look like the only other ways in.”
Lonnie nodded in annoyance. “I thought that warehouses were suppose to have all sorts of entrances…for safety reasons.”
Brody shrugged as he knelt by the door to help her break through. “I guess they didn’t tell this warehouse about those rules.”
Miguel’s arms ached as he warded off blow after blow from the other immortal. There was no question in his mind that he had to win…he just hoped that he could convince Yvonne of that fact. He parried her swings effectively, and drove her back slightly with a few well placed one’s of his own.
Yvonne yelled in anger as the other sword made it through her defenses, cutting into her thigh. “How dare you?!” Anger flowed through her eyes, causing her to attack harder.
Miguel allowed himself a small smile. Anger seems to be her weakness. “So,” he started, trying not to pant, “how old are you, anyway?”
Yvonne lunged forward. “Three hundred and fifty two.”
“Yeah?” Miguel blocked her sword. “Well, ya look it!”
Yvonne’s eyes grew wide as she charged. “Time to end this!!”
“My feelings exactly.” Miguel sidestepped, and swung out with his blade as she passed him. He felt it connect with something solid, and turned in time to see the shocked look on Yvonne’s face before her head fell to the floor…closely followed by her body.
All energy seemed to leave Miguel as he collapsed to his knees. He tensed slightly for a feeling he had not experienced in over five years, not knowing whether to accept the energy as a blessing…or a curse.
Tim watched in amazement from the small window as Miguel cut off Yvonne’s head. He bit back a cry, and stopped his own gag reflex as the body fell to the floor. His eyes grew wide as Yvonne started to glow, and ribbons of bright light started to snake from her body.
“What’s going on?” Lonnie asked. She glanced up when Tim didn’t answer. “Tim?”
Tim heard his name, but he was too involved with watching the events inside the warehouse. He watched as the ribbons of light made their way to Miguel, and he gasped in astonished horror as his friend’s head jerked back, and his arms reached for the sky.
Light seemed to form a cocoon around Miguel, then he watched as his friend yelled out. Energy grabbed onto the metal girders, exploding throughout the interior of the warehouse. Tim managed to pull his face away from the window in time to avoid the glass that blew its way out of the frame.
“What happened!!” Brody demanded as he jumped back from the building. Little shards of glass rained down on him and Lonnie.
Tim blinked his eyes, then rubbed them with a free hand. What happened?….Good question. He glanced back in the empty window, then started to climb down.
“Well, I guess she really wanted to kill you,” Brody said as he looked at Yvonne’s headless body. “Where did you get the sword?”
Miguel looked down at the blade in his hand. “I found it here,” he lied.
Brody took the sword from him. “Okay….this is now confiscated…and you have a lot of things that need to be explained.” He watched as the authorities started to move Yvonne’s body. “I think we can keep it in the Navy though.”
Miguel nodded. “Thanks.”
“Did she ever say why she wanted you dead?”
“I don’t…know…why she would want to kill me,” Miguel answered. “I think she was a little unstable.” He looked over at Yvonne’s headless body. “I really didn’t want to do that, but she left me no choice. I thought that her threats were…well, were just that…threats.”
Miguel closed his eyes briefly as they approached the seaQuest. He had spent over three hours answering questions from both local, and Navy authorities. After testimony from his friends, it was decided that Yvonne had deliberately lured him to the warehouse, intending to kill him. It was decided that Miguel had acted in self-defense when he beheaded her.
Lonnie turned to Miguel and started to say something. She stopped, put a hand on his arm, and smiled softly. “You know where to find me if you want to talk.”
“Yeah,” Miguel whispered. He watched as she and Brody walked away.
Tim waited until the other’s left, and he and Miguel were alone. “What really happened?”
“Miguel…” The word came with a bit of a warning tone to it.
“Nothing happened, Tim,” Miguel said as he stuck his fingers through the cut in his shirt. “Damn, she nearly got me, didn’t she?” He glanced up at Tim and then back at his shirt.
Tim looked at him with dismay. He nodded slowly. “If you don’t want to tell me, I understand.” He smiled slightly and walked away.
Miguel sighed as he watched his best friend go back to the sub. He really wanted to tell someone other than Wendy just what he was, but he really wasn’t sure how Tim would take it.
It didn’t really matter though…
Tim would find out for himself soon enough.
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Time And Time Again...And Again (Part One)
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