"You can't go back there" Scott Worsley spoke definitively to Chancey McGuire-Gomez. "I have to go back Scott; a lot are depending on me" Chancey said matter-of-factly to his commrade-in-arms. "As I said, it my last chance at saving them before they are swallowed whole." Chancey looked down at his muddied combat boots. "Look, Scott, you'd do the same if you were in my position." Worsley looked up at Chance; "You're right, old friend. I guess it has to be done". "It won't take long now that I have the program coordinates, maybe a couple of hours. What is going to take longer is to convince Josee of staying with me." Scott looked up "You have to fight him again?" Chancey smirked and arched his eyebrows "A man's got to do what a man's got to do, now back to the first task at hand".
Chancey said with certainty. "The drop-down tag showed certain unnecessary errors in the program. Remember the codes Scott. I'll need your back up when you get the signal." Chance handed Scott the serial numbers, maybe half a page long. "When you notice the red light key-in on the T minus Temporal Machina". Time travel had not been a recent discovery and by now in 2009 old hat to those whose charge was maintaining the mainframe coordinates. Chancey saluted Scott and left the room. His voice was the last thing Scott heard as he Chance said "See you in May 2010. I'll have the your vintage; we'll celebrate".
The city's long dark highway was uncharacteristically full of noise and air pollution. Honking cars seemed more of a distraction to Josee-Aimee. Her closest friends called her Josee, her boyfriend Scott called her Jose, since Josee also played flamenco like Jose Feliciano, so she did not mind elusions to her one-time mentor. She was steely-tough and at times steely-tongued, inside a dynamo, outside and a petite flower that appeared to need nuturing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Josee was trained in combat. She could hold her own and hard won efforts to come to terms with her mysterious past.
Tonight, Josee was greatly looking forward to the Fin De Siecle troupe's return venue. She remembered seeing the fantastical trompe o'eil circus in Paris last year on her rare vacation with Scott. Siecle were to be playing with the Paul and Ringo at this evenings' event at Cobo.
Josee thoughts turned to the practical. "Am I ever going to get to the show on time?" Josee thought nervously while tapping her fingers to the Black Eyed Peas on the steering wheel of her fastback 69 purple mustang. Josee quickly veered to the left to get off the highway and onto the off-ramp. Josee figured she make better time once on the less-travelled roads often everything on the outskirts closed early and people were already asleep or nearly asleep watching television.
Without much distraction, Josee thought how odd it had been that the town was so much more like morning rush hour than this unusually busy late evening traffic. "It never use to be like this, I don't recognize this one-horse town anymore, everything has changed.". Particularly Josee. It had been five years if not longer, "I guess things change, I know people change, they certainly do, not always for the better, in my opinion." Josee had a running conversation thinking about her mission, thinking about her past. Josee could not fool herself, she would not let the emotionality of the past stop her from living her life in the present. "No more games, no more internal dialogue, it's time to focus Josee" she told herself emphatically stating, "Focus Josee".
Everyone had somewhere to go. Josee-Aimee Emery had not been to a concert lately; work had kept her pinned down, 9 to 5. She also had other duties, volunteer work at the hospital and her recent recruitment at the reserves. "The reserves!" Josee yelled out loud. "I almost forgot to pick up Scott's vintage bottle of scotch. Scotch for Scott. You'd think I'd remember that one". "Crap, I'm talking to myself again!"
Josee felt she was not really altogether this evening. There was a reason for her emotional lapses tonight, some not very obvious lapses. Josee was going to meet her old boyfriend, Drake. She dreaded having to meet Drake again, but it was her first duty. The old town haunted her like disco had her mother, never quite leaving behind distant memories which were no longer serving any useful purpose. "Drake" thought Josee "What would life be like with Drake if I hadn't taken the road less travelled?" "Would we still be an item?" Josee had a difficult time of putting time in its place. For some reason, for the last two years Drake had been popping into her consciousness, into her dreams, her waking moments and she did not know why. Scott provided the answer to her provoking question. Drake was a time traveller. Like Scott, Drake had trained at the Temporal Unit, for exactly the same amount of time. Scott realized that Drake was not using the coordinates anymore. Josee had to find out why, although, and as in the past, Josee had no idea she was on a mission. She thought she was going to meet Drake and give him a note from Scott. A note she thought said "Leave Josee alone" However, the encoded note said much more. Drake would know exactly what it meant. Rendezvous tomorrow at Temporal Unit 0800 hours.
Lately Josee had been seeing images of Drake. She did not understand why. There relationship, although near the end frought with misunderstandings, and much bickering was like any relationship that was hitting the skids. It was intolerable, but no matter how hard she tried Josee could not make things better. No amount of energy would save the relationship. Drake changed. He was not the old Drake, he was different. Maybe Josee thought that Drake was just getting older, maturing and he was growing apart from her. She loved him so much, and still had feelings for him. She knew that she had tried beyond trying to make the relationship work. It just wouldn't. Josee suspected there was an outside third party responsible; like another girlfriend in the wings. However, she also thought that Drake's family who was rich beyond ordinary means was coercing Drake to greener pastures. Many times Josee felt that she was unappreciated by the family, there were unspoken words, looks that were "evil-eyed". Or it may have been her family that did not want Drake and her to marry one day. Maybe it was a family quarrel. maybe it was the 5 thousand dollars offered to Drake to find some other place to reside other than the town that nutured their love for so long. Josee did not realize that her family and Drake's family were extremely powerful. So much so that Drake just "accidentlally" flew in from a distant town and started to talk to Josee asking her to date him, unrelenting in his pursuit of her. And then to dump her after all that? Five years of a stable relationship? Certainly there was something going on under the table, but what?
Scott knew the answer to this question and so did Drake. Josee was the only one left in the dark. The dark corridors of her mind, kept locked away due to the pain, to suddenly open that door meant a certain flood of emotion that Josee found hard to contain. This meeting would not be about old feelings, but an old angst. The lost Temporal Unit keyholder; Drake's father.
Josee had not seen Drake or his family in years. She always had fond memories of the family until the "turn" she called it. That time when for some reason people started neglecting her and treating her like an outcast. Josee had just thought that maybe it was something she said or did. It was much more than that; it was what her family was involved with, unbeknownst to ber. Scott had been trying to wake her up to the fact. Josee had suffered from the ordeal, and was confused about her identity; she couldnt match her treatment of herself by the family to anything tactile. Things just did not make sense to Josee and she had a hard time struggling with this fact. Love lost, family treating her like vermin. She was always a good kid and now, she felt totally abandoned, like she wore a coat of another colour.
It didnt take Scott long to find out that Josee was adopted. Josee's real family had died in a car accident. Her adoptive family had hidden the facts from her, not to protect her, but to get the wealth that Josee brought to the family. The family were in a car accident, but it really was not an accident. They were run off the road by a huge transport truck one November day, run off the road right at the point where the northern road turned into a rockface. The young fmaily was killed instantly. Except for Josee. The nurse at the hospital who adopted Josee knew the family. Adpotion papers and paper trails were soon covered up, all locked away in the ebayance drawer of a secure government office. The nurse feigned she herself was pregnant at the time of Josee's secret adoption. No one knew. No one suspected. Except Scott.
Josee arrived late at the theatre and was seated ten minutes into the show. She did not get time to look prior to the curtain going up at the recent picture she had of Drake. She noted he had not changed much. Still very attractive, slightly greying hair and maybe a few pounds to make him appear fit. She had not seen in many years. The picture brought back the old feelings for Drake. She had wanted him to ask her to marry him. He did not like to broach the topic, she felt he would one day. How much she had wanted to be Mrs. Drake Ashford. Josee had been so comfortable with him, maybe this was the problem Josee thought. He was bored. Although this did not make her sense of self feel any better, she had many times learned to accept defeat. She had wanted to keep all those old anxious moments of self-doubt in the cubby, with the cupcakes. Tonight she had to not only expose herself to him and meet him after the show, she had to divert his attention long enough to get Scott time to give him the message. If this did not work, there would be other methods; not all of them pleasant although definitely not as bad as water-boarding, the truth would out on the Temporal Unit's breech. Someone had to accountable and Soott once again had the duty to perform his own "theatre".
For Josee it would be business as usual, or rather unfinished business usual. It was deinitely time.
This evenings' spectacular concert was not at all what Josee had imagined; her mind was clearly focused on something else; Drake. Josee could not recall half now if she had watched a concert or "Was it a play", Joseee thought to herself. Scott would soon arrive and she would be able to circumvent the evenings' mission. In all her dreams Josee never expected herself to be back What Josee did remember was the rich attractive couple crammed with other similar officers into the darkened theatre where lights were low, way to the far back of the auditorium where the elite were waiting patiently for the first stars to make their public appearances after the play on the mezzanine.
Josee did not have time to chat. He avoided her eyes anyway. She noticed her nemesis' hair; it must have been blue-black at one time, nw now dulling, soon to be gray.She did figure she would be a raging beauty, Drake did have taste. "Who'd did she think she was, or who did he think he was, they looked so nouveau riche, like they just killed somebody and took their loot. Maybe that was it; old time botlegger family. Rosey red cheeks made Josee flush. They looked so perfect together, like rats in a cage" Josee tried not to let the past interfere with her present.
For years Josee's turmultous past kept haunting her. Only until recently had she determined the how and the why. It had started with the odd dream, the interrupted meditations on things past. Snippets of memories from her scrapbook.
Always she felt suddenly abandoned by Drake even though she called off the lengthy relationship. :Why bother wishing, Cinderella is only in fairy tales we all know how rare fantasy is in the real world, in the military, anywhere. People don't dream good dreams anymore, now all warrish nightmare dreamscapes. Ugly worlds. No beauty. Only phoney beauty. It is all phoney, plastic faced people with the smell of silicone in the air. Makes me sick".
Josee had had another image built for him in a perfected state; the state she wanted to inhabit the world where Drake and she would live "happily ever after". Looking dartingly back now with narrowed farsighted eyes, things came slowly into focus. At this point, which only present a myopic circumspect point of view could lastingly illustrate. Why she kept believing the lie she told herself over and over about him.That he really did love her. That he must be trapped or coerced into not loving her. And she could save him.
Maybe she could make him feel righteous again with good feelings for her, not this abberation of a bad hallucination. Josee wanted to pretend like the truth was real, not a magicians illusion ; but she could not. It was now glarinly obvious. She had been, she thought now, and would always be, just one of the western women bearing an invisible burkha, secretly demoted to the ranks of private no class.
Like one of the many porcelain chattelled women to grace his granite mantelpiece in his lifetime. He was collecting people like things that he seemed to love so much more than her. "Where did his coldness come from; it came on so suddenly. I cannot believe he would or could seem to love me, looking intensely into my eyes, telling me how much he loves me, fawning over me, always with me. And then tthat one day when he turned cold. It made no sense unless..." Josee hypothesized.
Josee reminisced; "And then with total steel-hearted coldness abandonment me emotionally without any kind of recourse. The finality so certain. This big chill did happen, but why?" Josee fought back years of pent-up tears. "How can people be so cruel, so inhumane to one another, where does this evil come from? I had placed blind faith in him; that he did love me, that he thought I was worth something. He only see dollar bill signs, and I guess I just did not have many or else..."
Josee did not want to go to the next train of thought; it was not only painful, but frightening in its repercussions. She thought briefly "He ruined me, I couldn't finish my degree, I got sick. I became anorexic from his lack of love for me. Wasting away he soon forgot me. He never really did love me. That is what hurt the most, that I truly believed he did love me and I need to find out once and for all, and with all stops pulled the real truth, bitter or not!" Josee determined in her mind now spoke plainly to herself. "This is not a mission to find lost and abandoned love, this is a mission to find out the truth; how love could go obviously missing".
"I couldn't believe the lie; that he didn't love me. I pretended for years. He just put up with me. Was I worshipping him or the love Iwanted from him, the love I thought all men could experience but found out, many cannot feel or choose not to feel with whatever given circumstance. looking bac at the old picture of herself am over him, but not the pain he inflicted. It worries me that some people are so vacant in the feeling department and so cold-hearted. If he had just told me he didn't love me, I could have handled that. What I couldn't handle was the games he played, keeping me dangling on a string for a hope and a prayer he would one day love me again. After five years of a relationship, Josee called it quits. Not because she didn't try to make it work. She did. He just lost interest in her. "If he ever really love me; I am not sure now, the way things worked out, seems he was always using me as a decoy for some reason or other. Josee tried not to remember that bitter January day 1991. After being sidelined from years of but could not pull the plug on their terminal relationship. Josee felt the relationship had been a true love relationship but later learned her long-time boyfriend was a secret philanderer; an upperwardly mobile brat who's only interest in her had been for self-promotion; until the next richer, sexier, younger offer came along.
Scott and Josee crossed paths at the Langley auditorium. He knew her secret. He also knew how intense her depth of spirit and soul. Josee was the best whack that had ever been and he was not talking a roll in the hay either. The two were now an item, and the rumour mill had sent tongues wagging around the base. The young girl soldier, recently enlisted private. got around base that this relationship had been brewing with the coffee next to the donuts. something Drake would never know.
but she had managed to contain the recently, exactly 25 years to the day of her last seeing him. "How could he have misled me for so many years, what game was he trying to pull? Was his love for me always a sham?" Josee had felt for a long time now, and after years of adding up all the minutely unusal circumstances that preformed their relationship; very vulnerable. on, using her for what intents and purposes. She felt vily used.