You can walk outside and do two things.
One. You can say how cold it is and suffer. Your mind agrees...almost like it's being sentimental.
Two. You can also walk outside and denounce the cold air. Your mind agrees because it can't help it.
You cannot, however, pretend you were told to travel to an era and a location in which technology doesn't exist yet and not have questions. The question Cassandra now had was--is it a boy or a girl?
It had been a couple of months since she'd last seen Erin. She wanted to hope he was alive... but the idea of him dying kept popping up. Sometimes it would keep her up at night.
The lodge in which he created in case of an emergency was beginning to run out of food. It was only a matter of time before she needed to head out. There were maps of the palace near by, but what peaked her curiosity most was the kingdom the city was within.
Cassandra began to rummage through a few more of Erin’s trunks when she came across a photo of Erin and Demetri together. Demetri was wearing his formal attire--along with his family’s seal and his military honors.
Suddenly, Cassandra realized that it was possible this era was considered the safe house. This was the beginning of Demetri family's reign.
Demetri’s mother was a Russian duchess, and his father, as some would say...bought his title as a Czar. During the continuous collapse of the world system, the couple created their own kingdom, insuring surrounding families had to come to them for one thing.
“Water,” Cassandra whispered. She was definitely running out of water.
As much as the idea beckoned her to also question Demetri, she was sure he had nothing to do with Erin’s demise. On top of that, the Duke had a wife (or so he said) and three boys. It was possible Demetri stepped away to keep them safe.
Cassandra walked over to the window closest to her, and peeped outside. The sun was beginning to rise. It would be the perfect opportunity to make her way up to the castle. It shouldn’t be too hard to get in--the Duke’s father was a fake Czar of sorts.
After packing what she felt she needed, Cassandra began to panic. She had a way here but it didn’t seem there was a way out. Had Erin planned it like this? He was probably hanging near Oblivion on a Pulse Crook. And she was without a hero unless she could speak with Demetri.
After insuring her face was covered, Cassandra slipped out of the front door, and down the dimly lit streets until she was on a path in the woods. The woods wrapped around the entire city, and had a back entry way. Hopefully, she would go undetected. She had something of Demetri’s she could bargain with.
Once she made it past the guards and up to the gates, Cassandra was positive nothing would stop her. Nothing...except an arrow flying past her head!
Backing up to run, she was confronted by the guards she snuck by. Without hesitation, her hood was snatched off, revealing her identity.
“Cassandra,” Demetri said, sounding surprised.
“Where have you been?” she questioned, trying to jerk free.
Demetri gestured his hands open and laughed. Then he motioned his guards to bring her inside.
As they walked, Cassandra was able to see not only his family “lineage” but the cisterns underneath her feet due to the translucent that the people of this fallen nation relied on. Further into the hall revealed Demetri’s personal time traveling device, similar to her own. Then they entered the throne room.
Cassandra was presented to bow, and as she lifted her head... there sat Madeline.
Demetri sat down and was immediately greeted by an adorable four year old boy. He looked just like Demetri and had a playful glint in his eye.
“I knew you’d come. Erin has been set up-”
“By you?” she said, cutting him off.”
Madeline rose and walked towards Cassandra. Then she stopped a few feet in front of her and smiled.
“I am the original. The first one. Not the one you came across in the canyon. I killed her myself,” she started.
“And you have children with her?” Cassandra said talking around her.
“I’m talking to you… the Duke is occupied. And yes, I’ve mothered all three of our boys. Listen well, though. I am Erin’s sister....”
Cassandra looked confused but had nothing to offer to that statement. Anything was possible now.
“Everyone in our family was created spontaneously at the lip of Oblivion. We suggested ourselves as related because we all came about near the same area, seconds apart--with who we call our father being born the very first second. Then mother, who came during the second lapse of time. And so on and so forth.”
“But you were cloned…”
“Yes... at the instance of my creation. There was someone there waiting for me. Father, mother, Erin... even the youngest were all gone. At this point, time went quickly. Things were done within seconds. So by the time I began moving about, Erin had already created time traveling devices and began regulating the rules of time travel. By the time my clones were dispersed and I woke... which had only been about nine minutes...Erin had traveled through the entire universe and back. He had already found you. And so on. So I traveled elsewhere because I knew there was nothing there for me. I knew other places...time would be slower. Or to you…”normal.”
“But you have children…”
“It’s complicated…” Demetri answered, “Erin knows all of this. It isn’t Madeline he’s after. It’s the person who knew this event would take place... Erin was third.”
“Erin doubled back,” Cassandra answered plainly, “This was all Erin’s fault.”
“It would have been impossible for him to do so,” Demetri stated, “no matter how great he is.”
“No... Erin decided…’I am time.” And so he was. Therefore, despite when he made his entrance, he could see so far ahead...he already knew what was going to happen.”
“Yes, but unlike anyone else in his family, Erin was the only one who traveled to the farthest reaches of the universe and ba-”
“But why return if you can do that?” Cassandra questioned.
“She’s right...what it is. Someone is creating their own will and attempting to make something out of it. The way he did.”
“Well that would suggest...someone was there waiting,” Demetri said loudly, “oh…”
“Now we have to figure out who it is Erin is trying to stop,” Madeline said, rejoining her husband.
“I thought that was obvious,” Cassandra said.
Demetri seemed disgruntled. He knew what the answer would be. He and Erin spent an eternity together. They fought together, starved together, rejoiced together. Demetri never looked at Erin and questioned who he was.
Not until now. He had a decision to make. Erin knew his apprentice would impregnate a human woman which would create another living anomaly in which he would use to stabilize his existence with offspring.
That he hoped--and probably already knew would be a boy.
“That’s why the Time Traveling Association and Committee were always after him. He created it, knew the ins and outs of it. And abused it,” Cassandra finally spoke.
“We would like to think that,” Madeline said, “but everyone wants to be first in line.”