Cold so cold he groped for a blanket in the dark. Finding none Chase groaned opening his eyes. Looking around the strange unfamiliar room he suppressed the adrenaline spike that rushed through him. Where was he? He cast his mind back. He remembered watching TV while he waited for Jennifer to return from shopping. She also had a doctor’s appointment earlier that day. Were the babies ok? Don’t think about the babies or his fiance don’t give his captors anymore ammunition to use against him. Lying back he put his hands behind his head trying to portray a relaxed unconcerned image.
Staring at the ceiling he recalled how Emit had walked into his home like he owned it. He wanted something from him something he wasn’t willing to give. Frowning he tried to recall what it was but no matter how hard he tried to remember it wouldn’t come to him. It was important he knew it. He could sense it. It still eluded him as what it was.
He remembered going after Emit. Jennifer’s face haunted him as she pleaded with him not to go. He should have stayed. Once he was outside someone had put a gun to his back while another put a hood over his head. Why? He didn’t know. He was sure it had something to do with Emit though. Emit was always causing him trouble. Emit was the time keeper. Then in clicked. Emit wanted him to become his assistant. Live forever policing time. Did he want to do that while everything and everyone he loved grew old and died?
Maybe if he hadn’t met Jennifer. Hadn’t given his heart and soul to her. Before he became a father. Now everything was changed for him. He had a family. Someone to love and who loved him. He didn’t want to lose his humanity especially not when he finally found it. Emit had lived too long, had forgotten what if felt like to care about someone else. He didn’t want to become like his father. He wanted to be like his ancestors Peter, Adam, Heath….they would all do whatever it took to protect their loved ones. That was his legacy. Not time keeping. Emit forgot that. Emit could learn something from is ancestors.
Emit strode confidently up to Peter’s house. Knocked on the door, tapping his toes while he waited. Glancing at his time piece he wondered what was taking so long. A few moments later an older woman answered the door “Hello can I help you?” Jean asked as she opened the door. A frown creased her forehead as she stared at the blue haired man “Emit?” she asked not sounding pleased to see him. “Why are you here? Go away I….”
“Honey who is at the door?” Peter asked coming up behind her. “Oh hi Emit” he smiled in greeting holding his hand out inviting them inside.
“I need your help,” Emit said upon entering their home.
“No” Jean shook her head adamantly “absolutely not.” She crossed her arms scowling at Emit and the pretty young woman who followed him inside.
Putting an arm around her Peter tried to soothe her fears “honey don’t be like that. Emit’s our friend.”
Shaking her head “no he’s not. The last time he needed your help you didn’t come home for sixteen years. Our children didn’t have a father because of him.”
Tears stung Jennifer’s eyes as she listened. This was as much her fault as it was Emit’s. If she hadn’t been messing with time Peter would have been home sooner. She had no idea the effects and damage she was making to people’s lives. Rubbing her stomach she wondered what it would be like to return after being absent from her child’s life for sixteen years. It would be like she was redundant. They’d be all but grown, not needing or caring whether she was there or not. This is what she had done to this family. “Emit maybe we should go,” she tugged on his arm trying to get his attention.
Peter frowned at her “I know you don’t I?” he asked.
Nodding she looked at the floor “we met in Oasis Landing…I brought you home in my time machine.”
“That’s right,” he smiled “Jean this the girl I told you about. She made it possible for me to come home.”
“Thank you,” Jean squeezed her tight “I owe you one.”
“No….no you don’t…I” Jennifer’s eyes darted from one face to the next. “I’m so sorry…if I had known or I…” she covered her face in her hands.
“It’s not your fault,” Jean soothed not understanding what the girl was going on about. She helped her into the living room while Emit and Pete exchanged glanced.
“What do you want Emit?” Peter asked his friendly facade slipping.
“I know I have no right to ask but I need your help,” Emit nodded towards the room Jennifer had disappeared into “that girl is carrying my grandchildren.”
“So Chase finally settled down,” Peter smiled “good for him.”
Running shaky fingers through his disheveled blue hair Emit sighed “I need your help to keep her safe. Please I’ve already lost my son and I can’t lose…”
“Wait…what? Did something happen to Chase?” Peter asked in confusion.
“My enemies The Watchers followed me to Isla Paradiso. I shouldn’t have gone. I knew I was putting them at risk.” Turning away from this long time friend “I needed to know if Chase had changed his mind…”
“Changed his mind about what?” Peter asked. As much as Peter liked Emit he also found him annoying and evasive when giving out information. At the moment he felt as if he was being manipulated into something.
“About becoming my assistant.” The time keeper turned to stare at is ancestor “it’s too big a job for one person. You experienced what one person was able to do. Can you imagine the damage if more people were able to time travel?”
“I take it Chase said no,” Peter spoke quietly. Emit nodded in acknowledgment “can you blame him?” Peter asked “he has a family and kids now. Emit you were asking too much of him.”
“I know but who else could I ask?” he turned and glared at Peter “you?”
Shaking his head Peter took a step back “no I’ve already lost too much time with my own family.”
“That’s why I didn’t ask,” Emit sighed “I thought that Chase might after he raised his family. I offered him the same thing I offered Caleb Gray.”
“Then why force the issue?” Peter asked “what happened that you couldn’t wait until the end of his life?”
“I did” Emit looked at Peter with a pained voice he continued “in the timeline I checked he died before his children were born.”
“Children?” Peter asked “Twins?”
Nodding Emit paced the foyer floor in agitated jerky steps. “I thought I was right but I made a mistake. I didn’t take into account the changes this timeline is still making. I might be able to save my son instead of watching him die,” he stopped and turned “please help me…I’m begging you.”
Two multicolored men entered his cell. “Stand up” one of them commanded.
Despite their strangeness Chase was determined not to cower before them. He had seen Watchers before. Knew they were powerful creatures but he would not give into fear. “I don’ t feel like it,” he drawled.
“That is irrelevant,” the Watcher nodded towards his companion who approached Chase. “One last chance to comply to our wishes before we make you.”
Shrugging Chase closed his eyes trying for the appearance of nonchalance despite the hammering of his heart within his ears. He felt strong hands grab him, lifting him from the floor. “Impressive” he mumbled.
Feet dangling a few inches above the floor the Watchers asked “will you walk or be carried?”
With a slight smirk Chase shrugged “walk I suppose.”
“Very well” the Watcher turned without looking back sure that Chase would follow.
Yanking his arms free from the man behind him Chase landed with a dull thud to the floor. He followed in the wake of the other Watcher feeling vulnerable as the other silently followed behind. “Where are we going?” he asked more to ease his racing heart than any expectation of receiving a response.
“To see the Watch Leader “the Watcher in front replied “he has a proposition for you.”
“What kind of proposition?” he asked.
“It is not for me to say” the Watcher said “now be silent.”
Swallowing hard Chase tried to memorize the route they were taking in the vain hope he might be able to escape. What did these creatures want from him? He didn’t possess any natural abilities to manipulate time. He could operate the time machine but he was of no use to them otherwise…unless… oh no that had to be it. He stumbled as he thought of the implications. They wanted him as leverage. They wanted Emit to do something for them. He was there insurance that Emit would do it.
He almost bumped into the man in front of him. He stopped just short of touching him. The Watchers bowed in front of a man upon what looked like a throne. Chase looked around him before being knocked roughly to the floor. “No out worlder can look upon the face of the Watch Leader” a harsh voice yelled in his ear. He lifted his eyes from the floor to see a pair of boots inches from his nose.
“Is this the creature?” a booming voice echoed through the room.
“Yes Watch Leader.”
“I won’t whatever it is you want from me I won’t” Chase yelled from his prone position on the floor. He tried not to flinch as the booming voice said “it dares to defy me. Teach it a lesson. If it refuses to contact Emit Relevart and say what we want let his screams speak for him.” Before he could protest hands grabbed him and carried him away.
“Jean,” Peter entreated the woman crying upon the bed “please he needs my help…”
“What about me?” she cried “I just got you back. I don’t want to lose you again.”
“You won’t,” Peter said pulling her to him “I promise.” He held her as her body convulsed into heart wrenching sobs.
“You don’t know that,” she cried “sixteen years you were gone. I’m an old woman now and you haven’t aged at all. What if that happens again? Do I have that many years to wait? Will you still want me, a shriveled up old woman?”
Kissing her forehead “don’t be silly. I’d want you no matter how old you are. This time will be different. We won’t be time travelling. Chase was taken here. The Watcher don’t have the ability to time travel. We just need to find him.”
“What if you can’t?” Jean asked wiping her eyes sniffling in the process.
“I’ve got to try. He is our descendant and that young woman’s husband…”
“Fiance,” Jean corrected sitting up “that girl can we trust her?”
“I think so. She’s Williams granddaughter.” Peter told her holding her hand “she was grief stricken after her parents were killed. I can’t find it in me to be angry at her. She only wanted to change that tragedy.”
“Peter you’re too soft but” she sighed “as much as I want to be angry at her I can’t either. Do what you must” she told him “I’ll make sure she is alright. Just bring back her young man so we can be together again.”
Smiling he leaned forward and brought his lips to hers “I love you Jean.”
“I know” she said “that’s why I know you’ll always come back to me if you can.”