As we near the end of the moving walkway, I’m reminded more and more of an airport terminal.
The most notable item is the impossible numbers of people filling the area ahead. Clothing from thousands of different eras can be seen on the constantly moving horde. Togas, suits, army uniforms, tunics, and full body armor I’m guessing comes from the future. People wearing t-shirts and jeans stand right next to folks wearing ratted animal skins.
“What is dis place?” Noll asks again.
“If I were to guess, I’d say this is a timeport,” Griff answers surprisingly matter-of-factly.
“A what?” Tenney asks, his voice still weak.
“A timeport, you know, like an airport, but with a plane that goes through time.”
“An airport?” Tenney asks.
“Seaport would have been a better analogy, Griff,” I answer, staring ahead.
“This place has ships that can travel across time?”
“If I had to guess,” Griff answers.
The walkway comes to the end and we are brought to a stop in the middle of a great station. The ceiling stretches on high above us and is a gorgeous green, with arched windows leading to who knows where, considering our current location well beneath the earth’s surface. Great columns reach up from the ground, each one showcasing a different nation’s flag, or, if my memory of history serves, many are different versions of the same flags throughout time.
The green ceiling is what truly captures my attention, mostly because of how immediately familiar it is. Thousands of gold dots are scattered across it, a long line crossing throughout the image, and a series of animals and humans. I’ve seen this before.
“This isn’t an airport,” I exclaim without thinking.
“Do you like it?” Griff asks. “I designed it just for you. I knew how much you loved Grand Central Station.”
I look down in surprise and see Griff looking behind me, his eyes wide. I look behind me and see Griff, with a big grin on his face. I turn my head again to find wide-eyed Griff. Turn, smiley Griff.
“Sorry, Chelle, I didn’t mean to surprise you like this,” Smiley-Griff says.
“Not this again!” Wide-Eyed Griff yells.
He runs deeper into the terminal, Tenney immediately on his heels. Noll stands firm by my side. I turn to stop Griff, believing I’ve finally figured this out. Smiley-Griff places a hand on my shoulder.
“Let him go. He’ll be back before long.”
“Are you a robot?” I ask.
“Yes, I am.”
“The one the note was talking about when it said the robot’s on our side?”
“One in the same,” Robo-Griff smiles wider. “What do you think? Do you like it?”
“What is it?”
“The Time Terminal.”
“A transportation hub for those who choose to travel by the time conduits.”
“So, Griff was right, dis is a timeport?” Noll asks.
“Yes, The Creator did have some trouble settling on a name for the place.”
“What did he end up naming it?”
“Chelle Station,” Robo-Griff says, his face taking on an odd look of fondness.
“Wait,” I say, “what do you mean creator? Are you saying Griff made you?”
“The Creator made all of this.”
“Is The Creator, yes.”
“Don’t tell him that,” I urge.
“Don’t worry,” Robo-Griff replies knowingly.
“But, why? Why would Griff build such a place?”
“That, my dear, would take an awful long time to explain. Right now we have larger issues to deal with.”
“Like the current battle you are fighting with the one who calls himself The Wizard.”
“He seems kinda small fish compared to all of this.”
“If only you were right,” Robo-Griff says. “His beginnings were simple, yes. So simple we didn’t consider him to be any sort of actual threat. His recent actions, however, have begun to cause great rifts in the overall time purity.”
“The time stream determined to be Time Prime.”
“I fink you’ve lost me,” Noll says softly.
“Time is constantly moving, a lot like a stream. As long as everything moves in the same direction, the water continues forward without any turbulence. When items begin moving from one time period to another, the water gets to be a bit rougher, yet, ultimately, still headed along the same path. It’s when people, such as The Wizard, actually manage to redirect the course of the river, we begin to get concerned.”
“Okay,” I allow. “So, what’s he doing? How is he redirecting time?”
“He has developed a Messianic prophecy about himself at several points throughout time. History seems to believe he is the savior of all mankind.”
“Whoa,” I gasp. “That’s a pretty lofty plan.”
“Not just lofty, but dangerous. Religion has been one of the main motivating factors for all of mankind’s development. The pyramids, the Renaissance, the colonization of America, and almost every war throughout history would not have occurred were it not for the faith people held in their culture’s religion.”
“Would it be that bad if war hadn’t happened?”
“That’s difficult to say,” Robo-Griff answers. “Wars would still be waged, just in the name of The Wizard, instead of Allah or Jesus or whatever. In the current path the time stream is headed, the world is directed toward an all out war between two extremists, those who follow The Wizard, and those who believe he needs to be destroyed. The final outcome of that would be mass annihilation.”
“That’s heavy,” I sigh.
“Very heavy,” Robo-Griff agrees.
“What do we do to stop it?” Noll asks.
“Stop The Wizard.”
“Stop The Wizard, save the world, huh?” I ask.
“Alright Robo-Me,” Original Recipe Griff says, reappearing from behind me. “Since you haven’t eaten Chelle yet, I’m going to go ahead and decide to trust you aren’t going to eat me either.”
“Human flesh is unfit for android consumption,” Robo-Griff says flatly.
“Whatever. So, what is this place? What are we doing here? And more importantly, what are you doing here?”
“We just went over that, Griff,” I rebuke. “No time to sit around and hear it all over again.”
“On the contrary,” Robo-Griff begins, “the one thing we actually have plenty of, whilst within The Time Terminal, is time.”
“No!” I whine. “He can play catchup on our way. It’s his own fault for running off.”
Go to Chapter Forty-Seven