We are seated at a table down the hall from where we entered. Addy brings two bowls of gruel as well as a warm loaf of bread and sets them down in front of us. Griff immediately digs his spoon into the contents of his bowl as I reach for the bread and break off a piece.
“So, you have any goods on this Wizard guy?” Griff asks. “You know, like things he’s afraid of or ways we might be able to break into the cathedral?”
“Why do you ask?” Addy asks in return.
“Well,” I answer carefully, “you see, we’re from far away and, um, The Wizard stole something from us that we need to help us get back.”
“Are you talking about the Pendant of St. Christopher?”
Griff’s spoon stops in front of his opened mouth.
“You know about the pendant?” I ask.
“Of course I do. I was the one who brought the relic within this city’s walls.”
“Wait, what?” Griff asked.
“So, The Wizard stole the sphere from you?”
“Oh, heavens no,” Addy answered. “It is actually still within the case I brought it here in, safely within my own chambers.”
“You’re saying the pendant is here within the rectory?” I say, the excitement in my voice surprising even me.
“Yes, my dear, that is precisely what I’m saying.”
“Wait, wait, wait,” Griff says, standing up as he holds out his arms. “I thought The Wizard had it. How could it possibly be here?”
“Don’t you get it, Griff?” I ask. “Addy has the original, the one actually from this time period.”
“So, you’re saying there are three of those things now?”
“Three of them, but also the same one,” I say, grinning at his growing frustration.
“I absolutely hate time travel.”
“So, it is true,” Addy says, his breath catching in his throat. “The pendant does offer safe travel across the ages?”
“Yeah,” I answer. “We’re from the future, way way way in the future actually. We think The Wizard is as well.”
“That would explain a great deal,” Addy responds. “I have long questioned his possession of the relic, considering my belief that there was only one ever produced. In fact, I believe he first arrived on the very day I returned the relic to this rectory.”
“Returned?” I ask.
“Ah, yes. You see, the pendant of St. Christopher has long been held by the brothers of York. There was a dark day, approximately a hundred years back, in which the sphere was removed. We had hunted for all those years until I was finally able to track it down and bring it home.”
“So, we have a way home then?” Griff asked. “We just borrow the Father’s version of the sphere thingie and we should be able to get right back to where we were, shouldn’t we?”
“Sounds like it,” I agree, looking at Addy, whose face turns to a frown.
“I apologize, but I don’t believe your quest should be nearly so simple. You see, after I was able to verify that he and I both had a version of the same relic, I dug deep into the texts to see what I would be able to find regarding the special properties of it. There seems to be one major limitation.”
“One way trip?” I ask.
“Not exactly,” Addy continues. “You see, the purpose of the relic was to always provide a safe return trip. However, the return trip is always to a place within the relic’s history.”
“I don’t get it,” Griff says.
“I believe what Father Addy is trying to say,” I explain, “is that the pendant was designed only to travel along its own timeline, so, you can only go to times and places it’s been.”
“Okay, but I don’t see how that doesn’t mean we can’t get home. We got the damned thing in the future in New York.”
“We got our version of the pendant in the future. This one hasn’t been around that long yet.”
Griff rubs his temples in frustration. “No doubt about it. I hate time travel.”
“Okay,” I say, “think about it like this. What if time is like a river, constantly flowing in one direction? We would be something like a stick floating along on that river at the standard pace. Time travel is kind of like finding a way to move backwards along the river.”
“That still doesn’t explain how there could be three of the exact same thing in the same place at the same time.”
“Well, no, so, I guess the way to look at that would be. Well, you know, if you’re going backwards on the river, maybe you’d find something that was put into the river after you, right? And then you take that along with you backwards. No, actually that doesn’t work.”
“You’re making my head hurt.”
“Sorry, these analogies always seem to come a lot easier in the movies.”
“Let’s just stop talking about it and get to the important stuff, like how the heck we’re going to get the pendant we need to get back home.”
“Oh, yeah,” I agree. “Is there any sort of secret passage or whatever that would allow us to get back into the cathedral?”
“Yes, my dear, there is,” Addy answers. “However, it has been closed up on both ends. Neither The Wizard nor our brotherhood wishes for the other to be able to traverse the tunnel.”
“Well that’s not very useful,” Griff groans.
“We do still have a tunnel which will lead you outside the city walls. We can also offer you a change of clothing to allow you to better travel undiscovered.”
“That would be awesome,” I reply.
“Yeah,” Griff agrees, “that should work out alright, I guess. How much is this going to cost us?”
“As servants of the Lord, we offer our assistance without call for recompense. With that being said, if you were to come across some way in which to unseat the man who has taken over the house of God, we would greatly appreciate the returned favor.”
“Right,” Griff nods, “get rid of the guy who’s got this town under his thumb in return for a stinky tunic and an escort out of town. Seems about right.”
“Griff,” I warn.
“Sorry. I mean thanks.”
Go to Chapter Fifteen