Gone Before Dawn

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Day Eight

Vince woke the next morning and felt something he hadn’t felt in a long time- peace and joy. The morning of his parent’s unfortunate death only brought him some comfort but the true joy was coming through that portal. Here he could be someone special, someone worthy. He went to the next room which used to be Mercy’s, where Jude was supposed to be sleeping. But he wasn’t there. He didn’t think this was odd, since Jude liked to sleep in late. If Jude could, he would sleep till noon or later. Vince doesn’t remember how many nights, they two of them stayed up until eight in the morning working on the game and when the game went live, they played it forever. Vince yelled for Jude and didn’t hear a reply. Vince wandered through the quiet and still house and didn’t find Jude anywhere.

He looked outside and walked to the woods some because Jude did like walking in the woods especially when he needed to clear his head, when he saw the tire tracks and sets of foot prints in the mud. Tire tracks? Vince didn’t know how long they were over here on this side but he didn’t remember seeing cars or trucks. In fact, even in town last night, he didn’t remember seeing any vehicle. Jude was picked up by horse and carriage and not a car.

Vince ran inside and called Carter’s number, which happened to be tacked on the wall next to the telephone.

“Hello,” a young woman said.

“I want to speak to Carter, it is very important. Tell him it’s Vincent Olsten,” Vince breathed into the phone.

“Good morning my boy, what can I help you with today?”

“Do you run cars and trucks through the woods?” Vince asked.

“Why?”

“Because Jude is missing and there were some footprints and tire trucks in the woods in front of our house.”

“Are you sure?” Carter asked.

“Yes, I am sure.”

“Military use trucks but I don’t know why they would be in woods especially without me knowing about it. Let me find out and I will call you back.”

***

The group walked a mile, when Fuzzy said, “Major, you might want to hear this. Someone just made a call on secure line.”

“And the satellite is picking it up?” John asked.

Fuzzy put it on the speakers, “This is Carter Olsten, from Evertsville, Virginia. I have reports of tire tracks in the area.”

Click and silence then a voice spoke, “There is no military action in your area at this time, Mr. Olsten.”

“Well someone has got a vehicle running out in the woods,” Carter said.

“It is not one of ours. Do you need assistance?”

Click. Click. Silence. “Well darn right, I don’t know what’s out there. I know there is a band of demons that came from one of those portals. They are accompanied by a known resistance person, Jeff Bishop.”

“We can deploy troops to the area but it will take some time.”

“How much time,” Carter asked.

“About two hours, sir. The troops have to be called and then deployed.”

“Until then?”

“Are you well equipped with guns and men?” the other person said.

“Yes, we have plenty.”

“You are authorized to use any force necessary to bring these people down. I will a group out, sir. God bless.”

“God Bless,” Carter said.

Jeff came to the humvee, “why did you stop? This was your plan to move in the daylight.”

“We have a much bigger problem, they know we are here. That Carter Olsten just made a phone call to a secured military line and they are deploying troops. We have two hours until they come here.”

“So your plan is what? We can’t all fit in the humvee,” Jeff mumbled. “I didn’t come back here just to killed in some war.”

“You know these people, what kind of weapons does he have?” John asked.

“Guns, nothing fancy mostly rifles and shot guns. He may have others but I never heard of any others,” Jeff answered.

“We keep walking, Fuzzy will keep an eye via satellite. Everyone gets a weapon,” John barked.

He gave everyone in the group a weapon. They still had plenty of ammunition and grenades should they need them. The group gathered around him, some shifted uncomfortably with their weapons.

“This is how it is. I know the lot of you are a bunch of kids. Some of may have only shot things in a video game or none at all. This is your life. You either fight for your life or you die. I am not going to sugar coat this. They are coming for us. You may not like this but shoot the ones that are out to get you. You can kill them or just wound them, the choice is yours,” John said.

“Fuzzy, any activity yet?” John said.

“Nothing yet,” he answered.

“We move and we move quick.”

The group started walking faster although their guns weighed them down.

“Delta, wait up,” Jeff said and caught up to her, “I want you know this and it’s important. Cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel. In the second tunnel, there is a small door. There is a sun painted on the opposite wall. Go in there, it is safe. You must cross the bridge to Cape Charles when there has been eight hours of darkness. If you run from when the bridge meets solid land to the right and just keep going, you will go through the portal. If something happens to me, you have to lead the others.”

“What if I don’t want to lead the others?” she quipped.

“They rely on you. It’s your compassion, it’s your smarts and your intelligence. They look up to you and they need you right now and when you get there. I don’t know you that well Delta Risotto but what I do know is you are a survivor.”

She didn’t say anything and kept walking. The pace was quick but she wasn’t running as she did from the bear. But her legs were already starting to hurt and with the loaded weapon she carried slung around her back and the extra shells in her pack, her heart pumped faster. She never was the athletic type. Even in gym class, she couldn’t run a mile. She just couldn’t though she was thin. Her heart always pumped too hard when she ran. Her best time for the mile was fifteen minutes, she was so proud of herself. Of course, she never mentioned anything to her doctor, she never planned on running for her life.

***

Carter gathered whatever man he could and gave them a gun. “They are out in the woods and there are more of them. Apparently, a vehicle came through to this side and they are with the demons. We have permission to try and find the demons with any force necessary. The military is coming to aid us. We do not know what we are up against but we have to fight for our way of life. We have to rid our world of the demons.”

Many men applauded, some did nothing but shook all over.

“Vincent, are you ready to go on a hunt?” Carter asked.

“Sir, I was born ready.”

The men left from the town square and entered the very same woods that ran along the river.

Vince smiled as he carried his gun. Carter was on a horseback and led the charge into the woods.

***

“Heat signatures in the woods, Major,” Fuzzy said.

“How far?” John asked.

“About five miles or so,”

“Okay, pull up some maps we need to get these kids cover.”

“On it. There isn’t much according to sat images. About two miles there is a house, but it looks like it was burned at some point.,” Fuzzy said.

“That’s our best bet,” John said. The humvee pulled ahead just a bit to inform the group of the house up ahead. They scattered into the woods leading to the house except for Delta and Shane. They walked.

“Delta, we should get to that house,” Shane said.

“Look I can’t run, my heart hurts when I run for too long. That’s what happened at the bear attack. I tried running and then I jumped in the water,” Delta said. She was already out of breath. She could walk all day at a slow speed but this was too fast.

“Can you take her with you?” Shane asked John. “She can’t run, she has a bad heart.”

The humvee stopped and she got in the back.

Shane ran ahead with the others.

The large brick house was ahead of them. The roof was gone and the windows were broken. Way back when it might have been a beautiful house but now it looked like a creepy gothic structure looming in the woods. Black moss and green brown ivy tangled with each other up the sides. The door was long gone. The group ran inside the house. The humvee swung around and faced the way they just came. Delta went to get out. Fuzzy held her.

“This is the safest place,” he said.

“I am not any more special than my friends,” she said.

“You are like their leader,” Fuzzy said.

“Let her go,” John said. “It is our job to protect those kids all of them.”

Delta got out with her gun and went to the house. The others were under windows frames. The floor creaked beneath her weight and warped board snapped. She joined Shane under a window. Jude came closer, but she ignored him. Sherry came over and sat with them.

“So the last time the four of us were together, we were at that gas station,” she whispered. “How long ago was that? It seems like forever.”

Horses and men came upon them. Delta heard the horses stomp their feet. Someone fired a shot in the air. She peeked out the window and saw a group of men and Vince was with them.

She put her head down. It was silence. Not the silence of this time line but the silence she knew right before Hurricane Cassandra hit. The absence of life, the lull of false security. Something very bad was about to happen.

“You did this,” Delta accused Jude. “You led them right to us. Vince is out there right in front. It is so convenient that you just show up after you chase Vince and now you are here and so are they.”

“No, I swear, I had nothing to do with this Delta. Please believe me. Please. I had nothing to do with this. I don’t belong here. This place might be okay for Vince but, it’s not for me,” Jude said. He begged her eyes for forgiveness.

She turned away and saw the others scattered in the deep shadows with their guns at their feet. Delta poked over the window sill again.

“You are trespassing,” Carter said.

“This is Major John McGowan. We do not need to spill blood. We just want to bring this group of kids back to where they belong. We will not harm anyone, we just want passage to the other portal. We can be out of here in no time, if you let us go,” John’s voice crackled through the loudspeaker. No one moved. As Delta looked out the window, Jude got up. He left his rifle on the lay on the floor.

“What are you doing Jude?” Sherry whispered.

“I can talk to these people, I kind of understand them. I can help,” he said and went outside the house. He raised his hands as walked near the humvee.

“And there is the little boy who fought so hard so stay and then runs away with this tail between his legs,” Carter said.

“Carter, listen I was wrong. These people don’t mean you no harm, they just want to go home. No one is going to come over here and ruin the world you have built,” Jude said with his arms still raised. Carter said nothing.

“Please, I beg you Carter because you are a fair man, please just let them go,” Jude pleaded.

Vince raised his gun, “you were my best friend, more like my brother. I thought, you and I were going to start fresh in this place. We were welcomed here by Carter and the town of Evertsville.”

“What are you doing, Vince?” Jude said.

He squeezed the trigger and the bullet lodged into Jude’s head. Blood squirted out and Jude fell to the ground. Delta gasped and Shane held her mouth. She didn’t want to cry but this was someone, someone that was a friend. They shared secrets with each other in the middle of the night. The tears fell anyway. How many people did she have to watch die?

The others in the Evertsville group raised their weapons. And just like some old general from a long ago war, Carter raised his hands the group fired heavily. Bullets pinged off the brick of the house and humvee.

“We do not want to harm you,” John’s voice crackled over the loudspeaker. “Cease fire now.”

The Evertsville group fired again.

“We should shoot them,” Talia said.

“Wait, Talia,” Delta said in a hoarse voice.

She peeked out the window and saw the group of men standing there. John stuck his arm out the window and threw a grenade. It landed in the middle of the group.

“It’s a grenade,” Vince shouted. Then it exploded. Delta ducked down in the sill. Sherry wept loudly. Delta heard Carter yell for retreat. The forest fell silent. Minutes ticked by. There was silence the Evertsville men did not come back.

And just like that night fell.

“Come out, we have to keep moving. Fuzzy heard on the sat that their military has been mobilized.”

“How much further?” John asked Jeff.

“I am not sure where we are,” he said.

“Major, we are about fifteen miles from the entrance of the bridge,” Fuzzy said.

John rubbed his temples.

“How much longer do we have until their military gets here?”

“About an hour,” Fuzzy said.

“Okay leave the humvee, we have to walk the rest of the way. Everyone get everything you can carry and let’s move out.”

The group started into the night when Cowman set the humvee on fire. Jeff pulled out his leather journal.

“So I have some good news. There is a safe place a few miles away. We can try making it there. I was there before I crossed the bridge,” Jeff said. “That might be our best bet.”

“Let’s move,” John said.

They continued by the river and the water became choppier.

“It’s a good sign, the water, it means we are getting close to the delta.” Cowman said.

It was radio silence for Fuzzy.

For Delta, she just wanted to stop and curl into a ball and sleep. Everything in her body hurt and her heart started pounding too hard. Shane grabbed her hand but she only held it loosely.

“Delta you okay?” Sherry asked.

“Just tired that’s all,” Delta said but it was more than being tired. She knew it. She wondered about the little nano bots that her other self made in this time. Did this Delta have a bad heart and she wanted to cure herself? She wanted to ask Jeff but he was far ahead. But instead Moira called for her and Delta collapsed on the ground.

“Delta, is everything okay?” Moira said.

“I feel like I might die, Moira. Ask my dad about my heart. Ask him if it’s okay.”

“What’s wrong Delta?” Moira asked.

“I don’t know we are running and running and my heart just hurts. Jude is dead and I don’t know about Vince. There was gunfire. They are after us, Moira. I just want to go home. I just want to sleep, Moira. We are trying to get the bridge. Moira, they are coming after us. I don’t think we are going to make it,” Delta babbled in her mind. She wished she could see Moira. Maybe give her a hug.

“Don’t say that, You will make it. You all will make it. Just breathe and I will ask your dad about your heart. Delta, you will come home,” Moira said.

“Maybe we should go for pancakes.”

“I would like that, Delta.”

“If I don’t get a chance, thank you for your help.”

“Tell me over pancakes, Delta. Tell me over pancakes,” then Moira was gone. Delta opened her eyes in blackness. Someone carried her.

“You okay?” John asked.

“I guess, Moira contacted me,” Delta said. “I can walk.”

He put her down.

“Hey major, what if they are planning an ambush?” Fuzzy asked.

“How do you mean?” John asked.

“You told them you want passage. They know where are you going. They have more time to plan a better attack with the chances of killing of us all.”

“Let’s get to this safe place. We need rest,” John said. But he was worried. He knew that the military knew where they were going. And if he were in charge, he would plan an ambush because it would be the most effective.

***

Moira opened her eyes and the sun almost hurt them.

“What’s going on?” Brian asked.

“I guess they are getting gunned down. Delta is having trouble with her heart, she said it hurts when she runs. They are nearing the bridge. Jude Myrnachick is dead and she doesn’t know about Vince. She said there was gunfire. The military is after them.

Brian’s knees buckled and fell to the floor of the boat. He cried into his hands. Korah came over and put her arms around him and hugged him hard. Sam sat on of the chairs and gave Moira some water. The boat bobbed on the gentle waves.

“They are almost at the bridge. They should be coming home soon,” Sam said. “Right they should be coming home soon.”

“Now what?” Korah asked.

“Now we just wait,” Brian said and wiped his nose.

***

Jeff flashed his light and saw the old beaten storm cellar with the sun marked in it. The land opened up before them and it was the same awe he felt the first time he saw the bay. It was still dark but there was a moon, faded but it was there. He opened the storm cellar.

“Come here and look at this,” Jeff said. The soil was mixed with sand. The group moved closer saw the moon. The water lapped slowly at the shore. In the dysfunctional world, this was most beautiful. In the far distance under the hazy moon, Delta saw the bay bridge stretch into the dark night.

“Why didn’t they get rid of the bridge?” Delta asked.

“They still use it. The military take care of it. Fishing is still big business. Seafood is still a good source of food,” Jeff said.

“Be careful guys, any noise, come inside the cellar.”

Jeff, Delta, Sherry and Shane stayed bay side as the others filed down the stairs.

“I have never been over here, “Delta said. “Never need to go on the peninsula. Dad always takes me to North Carolina, where your friend Gordon came from.”

“I went there once while I was in college. I wish I could have made it with Christmas but at the same time since they were destroyed, it probably would have been a waste of time,” Jeff said.

Delta slipped off her shoes and went to the water’s edge and dipped her toes in. “It’s cold like the river,” she said.

“Not enough sun,” Jeff said.

The saltwater filled her nose. Jeff and Shane turned to the storm cellar.

“You coming girls?” Shane asked.

“Just a little bit longer,” Delta said and sat down in the water and it filled around her as she sunk into the sand a little bit. Sherry came over and joined her.

“We are almost there, Delta,” Sherry said.

“What do we do when we get home?” Delta asked.

“What do you mean?”

“We are different. Don’t you feel different Sherry?”

“I know one thing, I will not be visiting the Jolly Rodger in the near future.”

“I’m sorry about your Mom, Sherry. She was like a mom to me,” Delta said.

“I wish I was nicer to her and now she is gone and I know she is gone but it’s like, I still like to believe I am in some horrible nightmare in some virtual reality world by some crazy people.”

“I wish this wasn’t real. I watched three people die. Jude was like my boyfriend, not in the real world but in the game.”

“He was? I am a little surprised it was Jude; he was never right,” Sherry said flatly.

“Now it kind of doesn’t seem important. All that stuff with Jude. All that stuff with Mr. Myrnachick and my mom. Everything seems gone.”

Sherry said nothing, “So are you afraid you are going to create a world like this one in our own time line?”

“Jeff said there is no way of telling. He said if I am supposed to make these nano bots then I will because it is in my nature. Can I tell you something?”

“You can always tell me anything,”

“I don’t know about going to MIT. I know that is where my dad wants me to go, but I don’t think I want to anymore,”

“So what do you want to do?”

“Live, survive make it back to the other side. That’s all I can ask for right about now,” Delta said and picked up a pile of cold sand and sprinkled it in the water.

“And Shane?” Sherry asked.

“I don’t know, sometimes I just don’t want to think about things anymore.”

They sat together for some time and just stared out into the water. Delta stood up and helped Sherry up. They walked as the cold water dripped from the dresses to the storm cellar. Jeff shut the door behind them. Most of the group slept on the nestled on clothes and on each other. Major John, Fuzzy and Cowman were pouring over pieces of paper and murmuring quietly at the small table.

Sherry and Delta laid next to Shane and she fell asleep and all at once she felt at peace and safe. There was only a little more to go and they would be home.

***

When darkness came again, John held a meeting.

“We’ve talked about it and we think they will ambush us. Closer to Cape Charles. Fuzzy has not heard anything from the radio. Which means they know we are military and are on radio silence. A good commanding officer will plan an ambush because it will be the most successful to achieve the mission. Now, we are going to start crossing the bridge tonight. And we will rest halfway in the tunnel. Jeff said it was safe. Unless they are already there. We do not know anything, some of the sats have been shut off by this government.”

“So what are you telling us?” Trisch asked.

“Keep walking and do whatever it takes to cross the portal,”

Mercy frowned but picked up her gun and slung it over shoulder. The others followed suit.

“I don’t know about you, but I would rather die trying to be free then stuck here in hell,” Mercy said and opened the door. There was nothing. Delta almost expected gun fire or bombs but it was silent except for the bay. They started to entrance of the bridge. It was black but not as black as it was in the woods. And like clockwork, the earth rumbled around them. The group stopped and gathered around each other. They waited. It was amazing how fast they got used to the earthquakes. Once it was over, they started across the bridge. The blacktop was smooth and it started going uphill a bit. The saltwater was overpowering and it offered hope. Delta found joy in the sea spray from the bay. She looked and little stars hidden under a weird haze. There was an eerie light that came from the water and then vanished within in the waves.

No one talked to each other but stayed close to one another. Jeff and John had blue glow sticks they used instead of flashlights and gave them an alien glow. For once it was nice not to think about bear attacks. Yet, the military was called and they could show up anytime. Here on the bridge would be the best because there would be no where else to go. After a couple of hours, they entered the first tunnel. They sat on the side of the road and waited a bit before they started walking again. There was nothing left to say. There were no jokes or words of encouragement no plans of action. They knew they were targets. They waited for gunshots in the night but nothing came. Sleep was not easy and Delta couldn’t reach Moira. Maybe their connection didn’t work under water.

John and Jeff took the lead and Fuzzy and Cowman kept the herd of kids together as they went through the first tunnel and back into the night air.

“I know we can make it to the second tunnel before light falls again. We can rest there. Just a little further,” Jeff encouraged.

And no one felt like arguing. They kept moving into the still night. The moon finally appeared and it made faint ripples over the water. Land was gone and they were in the middle of the bay with nothing but the sound of waves hitting the piles of the bridge. It was creepy but exhilarating at the same time. Delta wanted to walk forever until the next tunnel and beyond. She would run as fast she could to the portal and just not stop.

What bothered John the most was how easy this part of the trip had been. He expected something by now. And there was nothing. Everything was too black and too still. Too bothersome. Something wasn’t right, the calm before the storm. He looked at the group as Jeff stopped and looked at his map. They were scared and almost hopeless.

They made it to the second tunnel and Jeff opened the office door which creaked slightly and everyone piled inside the small room. They could sit but they couldn’t lay down. They waited for 6 hours of daylight to pass. The air was foul and still and smelled dead and they could heard the water over head like it suddenly crash through the tunnel and sweep them all away to death or to somewhere else. No one slept that night. Maybe it was worry or nerves or some sixth sense they couldn’t grasp. Something was not right.

John opened the door slightly. He would choose here to ambush the group. It would be so easy but would gun shots cause the tunnel to collapse. He didn’t know, he never shot high caliber weapons in a tunnel especially in one that was underwater.

“It seems okay, let’s go.”

The ground shook around and the tiles fell off the tunnel walls. This wasn’t the normal earthquake. John knew it was an explosion. It was water.

“Everyone run,” he screamed and the ran the way the just came. The water was coming fast. The group sped up. They weren’t that far into the tunnel. He and Fuzzy made it to the top. Jeff was right behind them. Trisch screamed as the water picked her up and she went under. Cowman went back for her. Delta and Sherry made it with Talia and Micheal right on their heels. Shane had Mercy and joined the group. They waited for Trisch and Cowman but didn’t see them.

“We have to keep going,” John said.

“They might still be alive,” Delta said in between heavy pants.

“They are gone, Delta, I am sorry but we have to move.” John said. A bullet whizzed passed Delta and landed into Fuzzy’s head. She felt his blood splatter her.

“Get down,” John barked. The water from the collapsed tunnel reached their feet.

“They have snipers on the end of the bridge. We got to jump and swim for it,” John whispered. He gave each a glow stick. He broke some and threw it in the water.

“We are going die,” Sherry whined.

“You’re going to die if you stay here,” John snarled. He stood up and went to the edge and jumped into the water. The others followed. Michael went to yell and tumbled over the bridge and splashed into the water.

“I can’t swim,” Mercy cried.

“I got you, Mercy,” Shane said. She held onto the glowstick and Shane jumped off the side of the bridge. Talia, Sherry, Delta, and Jeff were left on the bridge.

“Remember go the direction you came get to land where the bridge meets Cape Charles. And run,” Jeff said and stood up and jumped off the bridge, he splashed into the water with a smaller splash following him.

“Delta, you are my hero. Even if I die right now, you did everything you could to save us. I wanted you to know that,” Talia said. “And Delta I will see you back home.” She got up and jumped over the side.

Sherry started to cry, “I don’t want to die, Delta. I don’t think I can do this.” The earth began to rumble. The earthquake started. The tunnel pulled away from the bridge and collapsed into the water.

“This our chance,” Delta whispered. “They can’t shoot us now.”

Delta and Sherry on the bridge, and it started to fall into the water. They climbed over the edge and grabbed each other’s hands and jumped. Delta lost her hand when they went under but saw her glowstick and swam to her. The cold sea water picked at every nerve in their skin.

“It’s do or die, Sherry,” Delta said. In the far off distance. She saw glowsticks moving. She didn’t know if their owners were dead or alive.

“Throw the glow stick and stick with me. We have to do this in the dark. We can use the moon follow the bridge.”

They swam to the other bridge, resting at each pile. The earthquake stopped. Invisible people shot bullets but they didn’t feel them. She wondered if Talia and Jeff were okay. She hoped John was safe. She prayed Mercy and Shane were alive. Sherry and Delta were always in arms length of each other. They were in the water for what seemed like forever when Delta saw it.

“Did you see that Sher?” Delta asked.

“Is that the portal?”

“It looks like the one we crossed. Someone made it to the other side.”

“Probably the major.”

They had to move slow because they wanted to stick with each other. Delta saw another flash of light and this time it was closer. She heard gun shots this time and men kind of yelped or screamed. There was another flash of light. The water became more shallow and more rocky. They were close. They paddled until they could stand on the large rocks that held the entrance of the bridge. There were more gunshots but nothing seemed to be directed their way. Delta heard her name.

“Delta or Sherry if you are out there run like hell.”

Delta grabbed Sherry’s hand and they slowly maneuvered over the rocks and there was land. Sweet beautiful land. Delta breathed heavy and her heart ached even worse. She couldn’t be having a heart attack. A gunshot went off and she felt the bullet enter her right shoulder. She went down and screamed. Sherry went down and tried to stop the bleeding.

“Go Sherry, I don’t deserve to destroy our timeline,” Delta said.

“Sherry go, I got her,” John commanded. She could smell gunpowder and blood on him. He scooped her up and started to run. “This is the second time I saved your life.”

“You didn’t have to.”

Sherry entered first and John carrying Delta. It was cold then warm and there was so much white light. So much Delta closed her eyes. When they came through, John fell to the ground and dropped Delta on her gun shot wound. It was beautiful daylight. Sweet daylight. Men wrapped her up and carried her off the island. She heard her dad yell for her as she closed her eyes.

***

Delta opened her eyes and she saw blackness. So leaving the other time line was just a dream and she was trapped in the tunnel. Her chest hurt. Her senses started to come back there was an IV in her am and faint sunlight coming from the closed curtain. She wanted to speak but her voice cracked.

“Delta,” her dad said.

“Dad? Are you really here?” Her vision became less dark and blurred. She saw him standing there with her mom. They came over and hugged her just like they did when she had her appendix out.

Others poured into the room, Talia, Jeff, Shane and Mercy, Sherry, Sherry’s dad, and Major John McGowan. Then a skinny frail woman entered.

“Moira,” Delta whispered.

She came over, “I brought pancakes but the nurses said you are on liquid diet because of your surgery.” Then Moira hugged her.

“Moira, I don’t know what to say,” Delta said in between tears.

“Say nothing,” Moira said.

Others came and hugged her. Shane picked up her face and kissed her as the nurse walked in.

“Don’t excite her heart too much, she just had surgery,” she said with a soft voice and changed the IV bag.

“We missed prom, Shane,” Delta said.

“You are alive and that’s what matters.” He kissed her on the cheek.

For Delta, this didn’t seem real. The other timeline was real but that was over. Long gone. But there was one more thing.

“Dad, I have something to tell you,” Delta said.

“What is it?”

“I love you Dad, but I am not going to MIT.”

He kissed her on the head, “I don’t care, Delta.”

She smiled. Here she could start a new world, she would make this world better. Maybe she would go to MIT maybe she won’t. Either way, she was going to make this world better.





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