“Halt” someone yelled as Emit passed the security check point. He stopped heart pounding in his chest. Every fiber in his body was screaming for him to run. With extreme exertion of will power he stood still waiting. He hoped this plan worked that he and Peter concocted. All had to do was get his son free. It didn’t matter what happened to him. He had a small suicide pill he could take hidden in his coveralls. All his knowledge of time travel and manipulation would be gone. Considering what was happening now that might not be such a bad thing. His family would be safe….not a bad idea at all.
A man stepped forward checking all the pockets in the coveralls. He handed the items to the Watcher. “How disappointing but typical that the time almanac isn’t on you. That would be far too easy but now I can look forward to torturing you to find where it is.” The Watcher gave him a nasty grin “although if I were to hazard a guess you probably left it with your ancestor Peter Van Winkle.”
Emit looked up at the mention of Peter’s name “leave him out of this.”
“Typical,” the Watcher shook his head from side to side “we know he’s here with you. It’s only a matter of time before we find him.” He gave Emit a once over “nice disguise. I like the brown hair it suits you more than the blue hair.”
“Where’s my son?” Emit asked growing tired of being stared at like a fish in a bowl.
“Patience my dear fellow. All in good time,” the Watcher stopped frowning “I want to savor my victory.”
Emit glared at him “you haven’t won yet…”
“Oh I think I have,” the Watcher smiled bringing out his device making a couple of adjustments and aimed it at Emit. Groaning in pain Emit dropped to his knees “that’s only half the energy I’ve been using on that brat of yours. How much more do you think he can take.”
Without thinking Emit lounged for the Watcher screaming “where is he?”
Laughing he turned to the guards “take him. Make sure he see’s that brat of his then bring the boy to me.” Kneeling beside the time keeper he said “you have five minutes to say your goodbyes.”
The guards roughly picked him up and dragged him away. A door slip open upon their approach. They dropped Emit on the floor near an inert body. “Five minutes then the boy comes with us.” They laughed as they left the room.
Emit dragged himself over to Chase’s body observing his ghostly white pallor and pale blue lips. He reached a wobbly hand out to check for a pulse. His skin was cold to the touch and Emit feared they were too late until his son’s eyes fluttered open.
“Who?” he croaked through parched and cracked lips. “Emit?” he asked recognizing the man despite the disguise.
“Yeah it’s me,” Emit said helping him up. Chase tried to smile but was too weak to muster the strength to do so “I…I…knew you’d come.”
“You did?” Emit asked shocked “even though I haven’t been much of a father to you?”
“I…I” Chase took a deep breath causing him to cough “never gave you a chance.” He closed his eyes “I want to be family,” opening his eyes “is it too late for for us?”
“I’d like that,” Emit pulled him close. The first time ever in his life he held his son in his arms “I love you son.”
That simple declaration was too much for both of them. Chase began to sob in his arms “you shouldn’t have come. The future, all of time is in danger now because of me.”
“No it’s because of me,” Emit corrected him “we don’t have much time.” He took one of the individual transporter devices from this coveralls “It’s time for you to go. Become the father I wish I could have been.” He pressed the device and Chase disappeared from sight. He reached for the other device….
“Dad,” Chase cried out as he materialized beside Peter. Peter grabbed him and hoisted him into the car. “Wait we can’t leave him.” Chase struggled weakly to get out.
“You’re dad knows what he’s doing,” Peter told him as he got into the front seat. He put the car into gear as several cars came up behind them. “Shit,” he banged is hand on the steering wheel stomping on the gas in the process.
Chase rolled of the backseat onto the floor “what’s going on?” he cried unable to see.
“They’ve found us,” Peter told him as he whipped the car around facing the on coming cars “hang on to something this going to get bumpy.”
Chase looked up from where he was lodged on the floor into the firm grim face of Peter as he maneuvered the car. The racing engine as he poured on the speed. He wondered why he was so determined to help him when all Chase had done was hurt him and his family. Chase was ashamed of what he done and between him and Jennifer the entire Van Winkle family should hate them.
Peter slipped a weight onto gas pedal as he removed his foot. He turned around towards Chase “it’s time we get out of here.” A bright light enveloped them before they reappeared on Chase’s houseboat. Peter immediately ran up the ladder to disembark setting said to the wild blue yonder.
“I really didn’t think you had it in you to sacrifice yourself for that brat of yours,” the Watcher snarled adjusting his device frowning at Emit.
Panting on the floor Emit smiled weakly “they got way I presume.”
“We’ll find them” the Watcher asserted increasing the energy level and firing the device delighting in the man’s screams of agony “where is the time almanac?”
“Where you can’t get it,” Emit said between clenched teeth getting unsteadily to his feet.
“We’ll see about that,” he upped the energy to maximum a level that would kill if sustained too long.
A one second burst caused Emit’s heart to skip a beat, to spasm in excruciating pain taking his breath away. Emit knew it was now or never to put into effect the rest of the plan. His fingers fumbled with the transmitter woven into the lining of his coveralls. With fingers numb with pain he felt the transmitter and pressed the button sending the signal. He screeched in agony as the Watcher gave him a two second jolt.
“Where is it?” the Watcher demanded “I’m tired of you standing in our way. Your nothing but a weak human who doesn’t deserve the knowledge of time…”
“And you do?” Emit laughed weakly at the Watcher knowing he was only bringing more pain upon himself but he had to keep him distracted. The next three second jolt of energy left Emit gasping and writhing on the floor, lungs refusing to function starving for oxygen. He doubted he’d survive the next blast and with luck he wouldn’t have to find out
A high pitched whine began to fill the room. Emit smiled knowing it was almost time.
“What is that?” the Watcher demanded coming closer.
Looking him straight in the eye defiant “that’s the end.” Emit laughed at the creatures confusion and anger.
“We’ll see whose end it is,” the Watcher’s confusion changed to malice as he brought the device up to Emit’s chest and fired into his heart.
Emit pressed down on the transporter just as the blast reached his heart. He knew he was dead as the heat of the blast he triggered engulfed him.
“Peter” Chase yelled as he dragged himself to Emit’s body where it materialized on the floor of his living room.
Peter heard the strident plea as the young man called for him. The boy probably hadn’t been prepared for the likely hood of his father arriving dead. Peter knew it might be a possibility as had Emit. Peter took the houseboat to a good spot to drop anchor and stopped within reach of a popular diving spot. He had kept with sight of the shoreline the entire time building an alibi in case anyone accused them of bombing the warehouse of Mr Lawrence. He could only hope Lawrence was inside when it happened. As soon as the boat was secure he went inside to Chase.
He found the boy sobbing over his father’s body “I never got the chance to know him. To tell him how much I wanted to be a family, a father.”
Peter knelt beside him reaching tentative fingers out to check for a pulse. Rubbing a hand across his face “I’m sure Emit know this could be the end for him.”
“Buy why?” he cried “he didn’t have to sacrifice himself. He’s the only one who knows time and how to keep track of it. He’s more important then I am.”
Pulling the boy from his father “not to Emit. You were always important to him even when you were at your worst. He always looked for ways to help you.” Peter decided now was not the time to tell the boy that securing his future secured the future of the whole world.
“But I…pushed him away. Why would he do this?” Chase asked looked down at the man he both hated and loved.
“Because he loved you. You are his son” Peter pulled the boy close “there is no other reason.”
“Don’t count me out yet,” Emit moaned weakly from the floor.
“Dad you’re alive” Chase said dropping to his knees beside him.
“I feel as if I should be dead,” Emit attempted to joke even though he knew he had been for a while from the expressions upon their faces.
A year later Chase was walking with Jennifer outside the Van Winkle home. Chase was thinking of all the things that had changed in such a small span of time. He was a husband, a father of two little girls….twins. He understood why Emit had risked everything to come for him. If the time came he’d do the same thing for his girls. He squeezed Jennifer’s hand marveling at how lucky he was to have her in his life.
“You think we should go don’t you?” she asked stopping to look at him.
Nodding he reached up to stroke her face “he needs us. He’s weak and will never regain the strength he had. If he was in the future his heart might recover faster they have far superior methods to what’s available here but he’s been too weak to withstand the strain of time travel to get there. He may never be able to time travel once he gets back there. He’ll need someone to help him who can.”
“I know but what if the Watchers come back?” Jennifer asked “next time it might be the girls in trouble.”
He pulled her close “I know. I’ve thought of that. There’s nothing I can do to prevent that. They’re already a target because of me and through me Emit. We’re all connected and because you’re my wife that makes you a target too. The very least we can do is let Emit teach us what he knows so that we can prepared next time and we can help Emit with what needs to be done to keep the timeline on track for future generations. He physically can’t do it any more thanks to what those Watchers did to him.”
Jennifer wrapped her arms around him “alright we’ll do this. You are my family now. I will support you in whatever you decide to do. Just please keep me from going overboard. I don’t want to be tempted to make changes that shouldn’t be made.”
“Alright it’s a deal,” Chase agreed “I’ll let Emit know. Then we as a family will learn everything we can to help Emit protect the timeline. Together as a family we’ll be stronger then we are alone.”
“I kind of like thinking of my husband as a hero,” Jennifer smiled up at him giggling.
“I’m no hero,” Chase protested “I’m just an average guy wanting to do what’s right and making sure the future is a safe place for future generations.”
“Well you’re my hero,” she said bringing her face up to his kissing his lips.