Issue 43: Time Travel

"My name is Frances Baxter, and my story begins with the words 'Issue 43'. Well, it doesn't begin exactly with those words, but they are around the start of the story, so it’s just easier to say it began with them . . . "

So, my world was turned upside down when I first met Zakhary Hyde. You see, Zak is a genius, and he . . . well, let's just say he put that mind to good use. He made a time machine, and we travelled to future. We saw amazing things. But now, Zak's in jail, his time machine confiscated. And that leaves me, just Frances, to get him out.


3. Frances

As I walked out of the Hearing building, I sighed in relief. It wonderful to get out of that damned building, where the tension in the air was so palpable you could cut through it with a knife. Sighing, I straightened my skirt for what felt like the umpteenth time. Although, it really was good to get out of there.

Walking through the bustling streets on my way to the gardens, the Hearing seemed like a dream. Alec and Tobias, those two kind Listeners. And the Primer’s beetroot-face when I said the name AIC. His frantic screech still rung in my ears.

“How does she know?”

Passing under the garden gates, I made my way to my favourite bench, surrounded by fern fronds and greenery. Making sure no one was looking; I fished a crumpled piece of paper out of my skirt pocket.

Future Zak had passed it to me just before we left. “Here, Frances,” he’d said. “After Zak is arrested, you’ll have to go to a Hearing. Make sure you mention the Anomaly Investigative Crew. The Primer, for sure, won’t believe that you’ve been to the future. But, once you say the name AIC, he’ll have no choice but to believe you. And it’ll drive him nuts, too. I wrote it down, just so you don’t forget.”

I nodded purposefully, and shoved the paper back in my pocket. Okay, future Zak. I’ve done what you said. Talked about the AIC. And it did the Primer’s head in. Now what?

Patience, Frances, I said to myself. Results take time.

“Ah, well,” I said out loud. “At least I get to visit Zak tomorrow.”

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