The Long Chron – Online Edition – Chapter Fifty-Two

The interior of the train is as immaculate as the exterior.  The walls are white with that same single red line of trim stretching down the length of them.  Chrome lines the windows.  The windows themselves fill the walls, creating a bright open view of whatever lies outside of them.  The entire cabin itself is outfitted with comfy looking blue chairs, with an aisle down between them, breaking up the seating, two chairs on one side of the aisle, one chair on the other.

The train is empty, outside of the four of us and the man sitting at the helm of the vehicle.  That man turns his chair to look at us.

“Howdy, folks,” he says.  “You’ve got the train all to yourselves.  Where would you like to be off to next?”

Griff steps forward, taking charge of the situation.  “Spokane Washington, 2014, or thereabouts.”

“Alright then,” the engineer says, “any place in particular or—“

“No, wait,” I say, cutting him off.  “We can’t go back yet.”

“Why not, kid?” Griff says, looking back at me.  “We’ve already done more than enough.  Why don’t we just stop while we’re ahead?”

“How are we ahead?” I ask.

“Well, we found a way to get you back home.  In my mind, that’s a helluva lot better than we were just a few minutes ago.”

“But what if my home isn’t even there anymore?  You heard what Robo-Griff said.  The Wizard has been going through time to make himself into a god. “

“Let me stop you right there, kid,” Griff interrupts me.  “That robot was a liar, which is pretty much exactly what you should expect from, well, from anything that looks like me.”

“Yeah, but-“

“No buts, Chelle,” Griff says sternly.  “I said you were done thinking.  Let’s get you home.”

“I’m sorry, Griff,” Noll cuts in, “but I fink we should listen to Chelle.”

“Yeah,” Tenney offers.  “When I was traveling around on this thing, I definitely saw some sights which caused me to worry what that Wizard fella’ of yours might have done to everything.  I’m not so sure we can ignore it.”

“But, I said I was going to take charge now,” Griff whines.  “I promised the kid she wouldn’t have to make these decisions anymore.”

“Fine then,” I say.  “You make the decision, Griff.  I won’t fight it.”

Griff looks deep into my eyes, a sense of uncertainty surrounding him.  He looks at Noll and Tenney, the look of indecision still plagues him.  Finally, the engineer stops the silence by asking:


“Gah,” Griff groans, shaking his head in desperation.  “Fine, you win, kid.  Where do we need to go to stop this thing once and for all?”

Go to Phase Seven

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