Fritz Davis was a lone wolf, only interested by machinery. His job was to guarantee the smooth functioning of the nuclear power station’s machinery room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This peculiar room felt like a second home for him. He used to have a girlfriend but they parted as a consequence to Fritz’s irresponsible behaviour. Indeed they couldn’t build anything serious because they never get to see each other: he woke up early and confined himself in the machinery room, eventually his personal laboratory, all the day long until late in the night. In fact he cared more about his experimental weapons and his tools than other people: no wonder if his former girlfriend decided to break with him the day she realized machinery was his first love.
- Hands up! You’re under arrest!
Hitori startled and looked around. The voice came from the roof of a skyscraper in front of him. He looked up and realized they were defenceless, surrended by a whole squad of policemen armed to the teeth. He wondered how they could have been so easily trapped. It was abnormal that they encountered Official troopers so early.
It felt weird that the main part of Hellmet Pitsbulk’s fighting strategy consisted in facing them head on. He assumed it was only an attempt of diversion.
He switched off his vehicle and raised hands above his head:
- Maybe we should negociate. It must have been a misunderstanding we don’t mean to declare war.
Ten guns took aim at his neck. Hitori gritted his teeth:
- On our times we shouldn’t solve crisis with wars. We need to find new ways of living and new resources other than nuclear energy or fuel…
- Such stupid and empty words! You pretend to be a revolutionary but you’re not cut out to carry out such duty if you refuse fighting.
- It has been always my third law of mediation. I don’t put up a fight when I could avoid using my fists as a mean of negociation… according to circumstances obviously. This goes without saying.
- Sorry to disappoint you but you need to mature up a bit, religious brat. Your natural kindness won’t be of any good for your credibility as leader of the revolution.
Hitori took a deep breath and let his gun fall on the ground. Arms outstretched he looked deeply at his enemies:
- Release fire on a weaponless man if you can. Everyone is watching. But before pushing the trigger make sure that you won’t regret it later on. You will endure the suited punishment for your worst crimes. I don’t mind sacrifice myself for the sake of those you oppress and you persecute that seek for freedom and equality.
He straightened his neck eyes closed, waiting at the same time for nothing and everytbing to happen.
The assembly, the troopers as well as the revolutionaries, was silenced. Seeing him in that posture was absolutely breathtaking.
Alys shook her head speechless, unable to express how shocked she was. It was far beyond imagination that Hitori had to go through such extremity to lead the uprising. Mikael embraced her in his arms:
- Don’t be sad, he’s a great man. It’s all about resolve: he will take it out only if he never betrays the values in which he trusts. Failures shouldn’t be reproduced once more…
- I know… I know but it’s completely unfair… such a strong sense of justice shouldn’t be repayed with death…
- Me too I admire him for that. But still and unfortunately, to make things to change sometimes a sacrifice is necessary. You are no longer a crying baby Alys you should have understood that through the years. So please don’t cry.
- I’m not… crying…
Her voice fainted. Unstoppable tears climbed over her cheeks.
She couldn’t help but to let her frustration and her sadness get out, sobbing like a child.
One by one ten bullets slashed the air.
At the very last second the watch exploded, emitting a bright and blinding ray of light.
When Mikael opened his eyes all he could see was white. The shapes were faint, the colors bleached. Most of all he was still holding Alys but she was heavier, almost motionless. Her movements have been slowered to the point he could see her veins moving below her skin as crying deformed her face.
In one word he was scared. He’d like to know what the heck was happening, where he was but his senses were all of a sudden blurred and disoriented.
And then thousands of neverending red threads coming from nowhere popped everywhere. He stepped back to dodge bunches of them but there were too many.
Overwhelmed he grabbed a few to look at them searching for a hint.
Silky type bodies remained overlayed upon them. It looked like a foreign language or coding samples: in fact it was usual numbers. After a while he could read a date of departure near a precise timer. The flow of time that was it! The ability he gained from activating the watch was to control the flow of time.
July 17th, 2050:
- Who are you?
- I’m a silly mechanic who owns a quirky hardware store located in Society’s suburbs.
- Stop kidding me, who are you?
- I think I’ve answered this question just before.
The policeman shot glance at Sen Maa Kloud, clenching his fists:
- I’m not used to go rude or to go mad at prisoners but if you insist I’ll be compelled to make sure you’re a man by myself…
- You don’t need to. I tell you the truth.
- I’m not sure it’s time for joking and blabbering uselessly. Who the hell are you?
Sen Maa Kloud remained silent.
- It will sting a little.
The jailer held out a lighter. Tiny but still fluffy the flame fluttered in the air.
- I’ll… I’ll explain everything you want to know!
Resigned and desperate Sen Maa Kloud wished he could escape sooner that way.
“ Everyone… I’m sorry, so sorry!” he thought.
He was ashamed of himself for being such a coward but he had to make a choice fast.
The flame brushed against his chest:
- Tell me everything said the voice over him.
Almost about to black out Sen Maa Kloud felt he was going to die. He raised a hand at his chest wondering how he could have got out the interrogatory room alive. Scarlet wound stains remained where the flame hit him.
He barely cared: guiltiness was even more painful. He betrayed his comrades in the end.
He didn’t deserve to be saved or forgiven anymore, no longer able to face Sempai.
The cell door whined behind him allowing a slight glimpse of light to intrude in the room.
He thought it was the jailer. It was not. A hand laid a bowl of soap and a piece of bread on the ground before him.
He turned around. Moto Rorola disguised as a policeman . He couldn’t pronounce a word.
She put her coat over his shoulders. All parts of his body were shivering.
- Can you hear me? How do you feel? She asked.
Such consideration in her eyes and in her words! Sen Maa Kloud never felt as much awkward as now. He had never bowed to someone before in his whole life but there was no other way to act right now. So he looked down to avoid Moto Rorola’s eyes:
- May I ask for forgiveness?
- How can you ask why? You know exactly what I’ve done. Now I’m a traitor.
- Well it can’t be denied I guess but I’m asking why because if I were on your shoes I wouldn’t have had the strength to resist either. A very few people are able to do so if it’s almost no one.
- But still I don’t think I’m worth to be blessed by anyone’s forgiveness.
- Eat something instead of saying such awful and dumb things. Doing something wrong doesn’t mean to be forcibly a bad person. I would like to say don’t hate the player hate the game. In other words stop whining and think twice about the problem globally.
You’re not the one to feel guilty; after all you’re human with your qualities and your weaknesses.
- Sempai offers you a second go to prove your loyalty to him. He can’t travel through time in his current state so he asks you to do so in order to watch over Alys and Mikael.
- Roger, I’m grateful he still relies on me.
- It’s your last chance though.
Sen Maa Kloud nodded and stood up. He staggered because of the pain:
- Owww… Let’s consider it was my fitting punishment…
July 15th, 2040:
The world appeared in black and white, as though Mikael was viewing an old movie. He was the only moving being. Suddenly time ran back in front of his eyes. It brought him back a few minutes earlier before the troopers pushed the trigger.
From that moment, still anything could happen.
One he could intervene in the fight.
Two he would better stay in retreat to protect Alys at any cost.
Three they could just run away.
Four he wished a miracle happened.
Five Hitori died and history repeated.
- Let me handle it for you.
That voice. That silhouette. That weirdo.
Sen Maa Kloud was the last person Mikael expected to meet at such a critical moment.
Fritz Davis was told to guard the door of the machinery room by his higher ups. He couldn’t fail. All of a sudden he felt a troublesome pain coming from his chest. Under his fingers a tiny scarlet scar appeared on his skin. It stirred up his anxiety: something strange was happening. How did he get hurt without noticing?