The two Mobians from different periods of time, one going by the name Torian, were not amused at what I’d done.
Mobian took issue with Torian’s indignation to point out, “You were going to change the future, too!”
“Only in subtle ways that slip past because nobody knows anything! There would have been a Reagan, just a brainwashed Reagan,” Torian answered.
Ignored by both, I commented, “It was a .22 or I’d have cleaned his brains out for sure.”
“Brains…” Mobian said.
“Yes, having them is why I killed the shithead,” I pointed out. Plus, that George Bush guy is shit in elections.
Mobian held up a finger, focusing on Torian. “If his brain is untouched, he can be brought back in a reasonable facsimile of life.”
“We need a mad scientist,” Torian said.
I raised my hand. Both of the time travelers glanced my way, then looked back to each other. “Or a necromancer,” Mobian suggested.
Well, that’s insulting. Don’t they know how much impossible knowledge I’ve shoved into this head so I could break the fundamental laws of physics? They’d rather put their trust in some magic man who waves a wand around and goes “Is this your zombie?”
Torian scratched at his head. “Do you know a necromancer at this time?”
“You have all of time and space at your fingertips and can’t find someone who can bring people back to life?” I figured I’d mock them a bit. There had to be aliens who could do this shit. There’s not a single one of those super advanced species that can handle that problem?
“Traveling to a different time risks allowing the timeline to settle,” Torian explained, “The longer we spend attempting to undo this, the harder it becomes. Most aliens wouldn’t help us.”
“Aren’t you two aliens who look human?” I asked.
Torian pointed at me and laughed. Mobian threw his hands up, then answered, “Such limited senses.”
I rolled my eyes. “I mean, sure, keep insulting me, not like I know where to find aliens with advanced technology and magic on Earth, or necromancers.”
I’d already figured out a possible lead. Some years back, a long-lived superhero named Captain Lightning caused a stir when he accidentally murdered a necromancer around Washington D.C. That’s one potential person, but that’s counting on a lot of variables that could be off. I never looked up the guy’s age or when he came to be living in the District of Columbia.
“If you think on it, she’s the one who has to stay here,” Mobian said.
“Yes,” Torian said, turning and grinning at me.
An invisible force threw me out of the timeship and onto the street. I landed next to some guy who looked down at me, then back at the ship, which was still disguised as a mailbox. “Holy cow,” he said. “I just sent for the mail order bride.”
“You don’t want me,” I said, rolling to my feet and brushing myself off. The guy was so fixated on me, he didn’t notice the mailbox lift off into the sky and disappear in a flash.
I had no idea where they went, but it occurred to me that I knew where they had to go. And soon. I guess they had some hang-up about going back and changing the past they’d already been present for, but Reagan’s body was still here. I turned to the guy who thought I was his mail order bride. “I need your car.”
“I don’t have a car,” he said.
I grabbed him by the collar of his shirt. “How did you get here?”
He pointed over to where people were getting onto a bus.
Minutes later, I sped down the road in the hijacked bus, one of the passengers calling out, “Holy shit!”
Spotting traffic up ahead, I decided to go around it in the lanes going the other direction. I swerved past a car heading my way. It honked at us. I honked back and called out, “Learn to drive, asshole!” They just don’t teach troubleshooting anymore. Or maybe they never did. I never actually took a driving course over here, so I don’t know what people have to learn to get a driver’s license. Oh well, I got us around traffic ok. When someone tried to shout that I missed their bus stop, I called back, “I got somewhere else more important to get to!”
“I think I’m having a heart attack!” someone else yelled from the passenger seats.
“Anyone know how to get to George Washington University Hospital?!” I asked.
That made it much easier to find my way. Unfortunately, we picked up first one police cruiser, then a second, third, and so on. There was a street ahead where they tried deploying road spikes, but we had to make a turn, leading to a tense “Whoaaaaa!” from the passengers as we all leaned to our rights to keep the bus from tipping from the turn. We made it through ok, and the GWU was in front of us, along with a small cordon of Secret Service agents and the Presidential Limousine. In the sky, a shooting star, likely Mobian and Torian, descended toward the hospital.
I smiled. “Reminder, passengers, that you should always buckle up for safety.” I clicked my own belt into place, briefly wondering if this thing even had seatbelts for passengers. The agents saw the speeding bus coming for them and ran out of the way, then opened fire. The windshield shattered into a spiderweb of cracks and a couple bullets bounced off my skin. However, the pain was yet to come. The bus plowed into the limo and jerked to a surprising and sudden stop. I stood up, a little shakey after the crash, and bowed to my passengers. “I’ve been your captain, thank you for riding, and don’t forget to tip your wait staff.”
The door didn’t want to open, so I kicked it off its hinges and hopped down to the ground, still recovering my balance a little. I started walking back to the limo, because the bus had stopped about halfway through its front section. Shots still rung out, and at least one agent ran right up to me to try giving me a headache with his Uzi. I smacked it out of his hands and kicked his knee into bending the opposite direction. Another one ran at me with a baton. I grabbed his arm and held it up, gave his armpit a tickle, then twisted his arm until the baton was stuck up his chocolate highway. Is that an accepted term for the butt? Either way, y’all know what I mean. I kicked him where it hurt to dispose of him, meaning the butt-on, and turned to pull open the door to the Presidential Limo. It was empty. Shit.
Reagan couldn’t have gone far. He was dead, after all. He had to still be in the hospital. They’d have him either in the Emergency Room or Operating Room, depending on how soon they checked his vitals. The day suddenly grew dark. Clouds were gathering in the sky, swirling into place above the hospital. Something unnatural was going on here.
I ran in and found myself facing a hunchback and a wolfman immediately. I picked up a nearby rubber plant and smashed it on the hunchback’s head. The wolfman ran toward us, but I gave it a body throw into the wall, where he slid down until his head rested in the worn green upholstery of the seat.
“What are you doing?!” screamed another guy, running toward the hunchback. He just looked normal.
“You must be the mad doctor himself. I’m here to stop you raising the dead!” I pointed at him accusingly.
He brushed aside hair to look at the bleeding scalp of the hunchback. “You dick. I’m here with my friends. They’re getting elective surgery to fix their kyphosis and hypertrichosis!”
“Ooooh… whoops… my bad. Just, this is the emergency room, so y’all are here in the wrong place.”
“Not anymore we aren’t!” the guy yelled up at me. Fair enough. I ran further in.
My instincts were to look for the greatest flurry of activity, but there was a lot of that. Some asshole just tried to ram a bus into the hospital, and that got people moving. I grabbed someone in a wheelchair and dumped him out in case I needed a weapon. I brought it with me as I checked the rooms. Even clocked a nurse who jumped left one room too fast for my liking, but that didn’t have Reagan in it. Hearing thunder shake the building, I decided to stop fucking around and rush the operating theatre. Which I then had to find through a few twists and turns.
I knew I had the right place when I saw more Secret Service agents. I rounded the corner and one of them opened up on me with his Uzi. I ran up and based him to the side using the wheelchair. The other one stuck the barrel of his handgun into my ear. FUCK. My ears didn’t adjust quickly enough to prevent some momentary tinnitus, and the force from the bullet jerked my head hard to the side. I growled and smashed my head sideways into that guys. I dropped the wheelchair and flipped him into it upside down, then kicked it down the hallway.
I kicked open the door to the operating room and ran in. I was back in the timeship. I turned and tried to dive back out, but crumped up painfully against the unseen barrier trapping me on the vessel.
A voice echoed out behind me. “Isolate and quarantine.” Mobian was at his work station, Torian standing behind him. Before I could head toward them, I felt the barrier press in on me, like I was in a small closet. It pulled me to the side, out of the way.
I screamed at them. “He kills millions!”
“It’s necessary!” Mobian answered back. Fucking “heroes”.
“I shall be off until we meet again, Mobian,” Torian said. He turned to walk down the stairs of the dais. Mobian let him get as far as the door, where the “evil” time traveler found out he wasn’t allowed to leave either.
“I’m sorry, but you are too dangerous to go free as well,” Mobian said. “Quarantine and isolate.”
Torian’s arms pressed to his sides, but then he said, “Backdoor Torian 19810330.” Then he pulled his arms away from his sides and adjusted his coat. I felt the pressure release from me as well. Torian turned to me, “I installed a backdoor to release me if Mobian tried to betray me as he did you. Would you kindly deal with him for me?”
I cracked my knuckles… then waved my hands. “Nah. You deal with him.”
Mobian set to work on his console, messing around with it. I felt us move, as much as I could.
Torian snorted in frustration. He twisted the head of his walking cane and pulled out a sword, then started running up the stairs surprisingly fast. The vessel tilted and threw me against the ill-defined, swirly rounded walls of the timeship. Torian flew off the stairs and out the door before everything straightened up.
Mobian, breathing heavily, straightened his hair. “We’re no longer in 1981, so there is nothing else you can change there. Are you going to behave if I take you home?”
I crossed my arms over my chest and glared daggers at him. “I originally worked it out with Torian that he’d return me to when we left, but there was an angry mob outside my place of business. And you agreed to let me kill Hitler and steal Spanish treasure.”
“That was before you broke our agreement and killed Ronald.” Mobian made a big show of pushing one button in particular.
I appeared in my store again. It was a couple of weeks after I’d left. There wasn’t anyone around. I walked to the door, cautiously, and wandered out. There was so much more internet activity, everywhere. The streets seemed even more deserted than usual. The news said something about a mysterious disease spreading around the world, a pandemic. Authorities urged everyone to stay inside and stay away from each other.
Something those time travelers did must have messed with the timeline. Only explanation. They brought Reagan from the dead and it caused a future global pandemic.