The Time Traveler (Chapter Three)
April 05, 2017, Wednesday [#103]
The Time Traveler (Chapter 03)
Chapter Three summary: As Sean prepares to go to the La Huerta
observatory alone, it is Jake, and not MC, who talks to him - and gives
him a surprising lecture.
Story summary: Using a time travel gun prototype, Jake McKenzie travels back to the past. By encouraging friendships between everybody to build up trust and teach each other skills, he hopes to stop a terrible future from happening.
Chapter Three: Unexpected Advice
Sean looked around his room, searching for something. After the party, most of the people had gone to their rooms, but Sean, already knowing what he wanted to do, had grabbed things that would help him in his plans.
After a minute, he found the rope and placed it in his backpack. Sean would have to leave soon. He planned on slipping out a back door early so that he would be on his way before anybody knew it.
Turning to look at his open door to try to see if it would creak on his way out, he was startled to see Jake standing several feet away, just outside the open door.
Internally, Sean sighed.
He was willing to believe that Jake was a good guy, but for somebody who was ex-military, he was pretty lazy and self-centered. He should have been the person everybody could depend on - instead, he wasted his time lounging by the pool and taking naps when he could have been investigating with the rest of them instead.
“Whatcha doin’ over there, Quarterback?”
“Nothing, Jake,” Sean replied, annoyed. All he wanted was for the other man to leave so that he could resume his packing. He had to concentrate so that he wouldn’t forget anything, and a distraction like this really didn’t help.
The pilot made a disbelieving noise. “Doesn’t look like nothing,” he said, stepping into the room and walking to Sean’s bag to take a peek inside. “Rope, flashlight, helmet? Nope, definitely not nothing.”
Even more irritated now, Sean grabbed the bag and pulled it away from Jake. “Why do you even care?”
“Because I know what you’re planning on doing - and I’m going to stop you.”
Sean stared at Jake in horror. He was a traitor?
So that was why he didn’t want to help; he was in on whatever this whole thing was. The whole “trying to get to his airplane” thing was probably an act to build up trust. His plane had been destroyed, but maybe getting a new plane was part of the deal he made with… them.
Not privy to Sean’s thoughts, Jake scooted over and looked into the bag again. The football player didn’t notice, his mind still racing.
But why would anybody send Jake to try to get in with him and his classmates? And why target them in the first place? Who was in charge of this whole thing? He had to do something. Jake was here all alone with him. He would just act first and explain later to everybody. One good punch should-
“I mean, it’s good that you thought of bringing gear, but this is all wrong.”
That was not what Sean had been expecting.
Jake started taking items out of Sean’s bag, critiquing each thing as he did so.
“This rope is about twenty feet long, which is pretty much useless if you’re climbing up a mountain - or volcano, in this case. If you tie yourself to anything with rope this short, you wouldn’t get the leverage you need to pull yourself up if you fall. You’d be hanging forever from the side of the volcano, like a string of sausages at a butcher shop.”
“This flashlight is fine - if you’re playing hide and seek outside by the pool. You need a heavy-duty flashlight with you since mountains have all sorts of holes and small caverns that you could fall into if you’re not careful. Don’t skimp on the light just because you think you’ll be back here before nightfall. And don’t even get me started on that helmet you found. If a rock even as small as your fist drops from higher up, that thin plastic won’t save you from a concussion. And did you even pack a first aid kit?”
Extremely shocked, Sean repeated dumbly, “What?”
The pilot dumped out all of the contents of the bag onto the floor. “I know you heard me.”
“I did,” Sean replied, still surprised, “but I didn’t expect you to be so… helpful.”
“Maybe I’ve had a change of heart. Besides, somebody has to give you some advice. Being a Boy Scout for six years may have taught you a few things,” he smirked, “but your survival knowledge could use an upgrade or two.”
“Hey!” the football player protested - then laughed. “Yeah, you’re probably right.”
Looking at the items on the floor critically, Jake observed, “You had the right idea to gather this stuff, but you need more durable equipment for what you’re planning. And there’s something else you need. Something very important.”
Sean’s brow furrowed. “What’s that?”
“Backup,” said Jake seriously. “You’re probably trying to protect everybody by going alone, but doing this without any help is just stupid. You may be good with football, but I don’t think that’s going to help when it comes to figuring out a satellite uplink.”
That was true. Maybe Sean could climb up the volcano, but what would he do once he got there? What if the observatory was sealed, or needed some kind of password? He would need help.
“Well, have fun on your scavenger hunt, Quarterback,” Jake said, getting up and walking towards the door. “I’m going to go back to sleep. I’ll need to be well-rested to run in case a dinosaur decides it wants pilot for lunch tomorrow. Don’t forget to pack nonperishable food for everybody.”
Casually waving goodbye without looking back, Jake sauntered out of the room, leaving Sean surprised, confused… and grateful.
As Sean looked for paper and a pen so that he could write down a list of what equipment he needed to look for, he wondered - how did Jake know that Sean had been a Boy Scout for six years?
He shrugged. Maybe Jake had just thought that Sean had seemed like the Boy Scout type, or something.
of Chapter Three.) (Word count: 999 words.)
Chapter Three notes:
Jake found Sean while the MC was
still asleep. By the time she woke up, Sean was out looking for better
equipment, so they never had the talk they had in the game. I’ve been
reading posts about Sean not getting enough credit, or being written
into a story only to make the MC jealous, so I wanted to give him some
of the spotlight in this chapter. And Jake made another slip of the
tongue like he did with Diego… poor guy!
(Waiting for H.W.U. to come back, forever and always; 05/04/17.)