Broken Protocols(10)

By: Dale Mayer

She looked ready to cry, and a woman’s tears broke him every time. “Please. Let’s go to our place. We can explain the facts and come up with a plan of how to fix it.”

His words appeared to make all the stuffing and ire drain from her body. Her shoulders sank and she buried her face in the animal’s fur. He reached out gently and nudged her forward. She moved as he directed. Home was right around the corner. Thankfully, it was in the same block as his office with aboveground and underground access between the two. He liked to live close to his place of business.

He walked her forward a few more steps. “Please. Let me just get you in a place where we can talk privately.”

At his wording, her compliance stalled and so did her footsteps.

He wanted to pick her up and carry her, but that damn pet of hers glared at him. He’d claw Levi’s eyes out if he gave him a chance. With another firm push, he added, “Come on, you’re safe with me.”

And then they were there. Milo entered first, the girl followed. Levi brought up the rear and re-engaged the alarms, locking them in.

“Privacy on.”

The buzzes and clicks told him that the security system had scanned the space and found it clean.

Feeling a tad better, he strode forward and poured himself a large shot of whiskey. And downed it.

“Jesus, Milo. What are we going to do?”

Milo had collapsed onto the couch. The air couch lifted and fell as he settled into his preferred space somewhere in between. The girl stood immobile in the center of the room. Ash blonde hair, fine boned, but she moved well. Maybe she was a dancer? There’d been ire in her voice and fire spit from her eyes. So there was spirit in there. In spite of the circumstances, Levi admitted he was intrigued.

“Welcome to our home,” he said gently. “Now, I introduced the two of us. Please, won’t you tell us – what’s your name?”

She spun slowly. “You brought me into your world and you don’t even know who I am?” The shocked horror in her voice hit him hard. Then he saw the hurt in her eyes. Contrarily, he wanted to enfold her in his arms and hold her close. To tell her that it was all okay. To let her know he wouldn’t desert her. That it would work out fine.

But he’d never been a liar before and he wasn’t about to start now.

“I didn’t choose you. Milo did.” He motioned to his wacky brother, floating suspended in the middle of the room, his Mohawk hanging over the edge of the deep purple airbed. His eyes were closed as if he’d dropped off to sleep.

“Milo did? And what the hell is he lying on? Whatever it is, I want one, too.” Her body swayed in protest to being vertical. “It wasn’t purple and it wasn’t floating when we walked in.”

“No, it wasn’t.” He sighed. Life had changed a lot since her era. “That’s only a few of the things you’re going to have to get used to now.”

She shook her head and said in a forlorn voice, “That’s just it. I don’t think I can.”

Chapter 5

“Never mind. Let’s just shelve this for the moment.” Dani tried to straighten up, but her legs had taken on a rubbery sensation and refused to hold her properly. “I don’t know if this is a delayed reaction, different oxygen in the air, or…” and her brain shut down. “I don’t know,” she whispered. “I don’t feel so good.”

The room swayed and circled around her.

“Easy.” Levi grabbed her and led her toward the side of the room. “You can stay in here. You need rest. I don’t think travelling through time was easy on your system.”

“You think?” She laughed brokenly, but even her voice sounded odd. “Did your genius brother consider the damage to my DNA? That the reconstituted cells of my body didn’t pull together the same way that it was taken apart?”

“There wasn’t supposed to be anything like that happening.” He motioned to the doorway on the side. “The bedroom is through there. And chances are your body is fine. It just needs time to adjust.”

She didn’t have the energy to argue. And with every step, her body was getting heavier. The effort of lifting one foot after another almost beyond her. Before she understood what was happening, Levi was dragging her to a long white surface. She desperately wanted a bed to sleep in, but being horizontal on any surface would do. The sleep would follow regardless.