Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Beneath Unknown Skies 79


"You did what?"

Mallory- 3 didn't answer. 

"You... killed Joon?"

"Joon- 352. There's plenty of them. 

"You bitch- how dare...?"

"Enough! I've already had to deal with him," she replied, indicating Jack. 

They were in the command center, attracting undue attention. Mallory- 3 had an escort- two hooded guards. Jack realized things had changed. Yvette was nominally in charge, but Mallory had done this with neither of their knowledge. 

"Do the Scholars...?"

"The Scholars signed off. As I told your friend, we didn't need him anymore. We've already got another one running around somewhere... how many of these people do we need? This isn't a halfway house for lost time travelers." 

"Joon found..."

"Yes I know. The vaunted Joon found the time travel Rosetta stone. So what? We have what we need, and he's fucking with things he shouldn't be. Good riddance."

Jack could see Yvette was livid, but dared do nothing. He started to leave, compelling her to follow. 

"She was a friend. She had an affair with him, for fucks sake. On some worlds, anyway."

"I hope she was good."

Yvette's reply was a glare. 


They descended into darkness, exhausted. Joon almost fell, missing a rung of the ladder, and Hillier grabbed him. "Easy," she whispered. How she was still going was anyone's guess. After a while they came to the bottom- a tunnel leading away into darkness. They could hear running water somewhere. Bats- or whatever- flitting through gloom. 

"This way," said Trish. She led them down the tunnel, stopping at one point to pry open a panel, pushing buttons. A pop and Joon realized she had just deactivated a force field. If they had walked into that...

She reupped it on the other side. They kept moving. 

"No welcoming committee?" Joon asked. 

"No. There are few, and they know we made it now. They're probably worried we were followed."

"It's a maze," muttered Hillier. 

"Yes," Trish agreed. "It's a way for us to survive."

After a while they could hear water rushing, louder now, and they came out into a wider tunnel, a stream rushing by, to empty out into open air. Joon approached and could see the tunnel ended in a waterfall, the stream's water disappearing into a lake far below. They were a long way up, a cliff face pocked with various outlets. Behind them was a tunnel with blue globes of light- their destination.

"This way," said Trish, leading them into the tunnel. The globes gave a weird tint. They stepped through water and could hear whirring now- some drones had come to meet them. After passing several side tunnels they came into an open area, with several exits and barricades. There were several people waiting, guns at the ready, but they relaxed when they saw Trish. 

"Welcome. You made it!" a woman exclaimed, hugging her. "Thank the..."

"We made it, but we're hurt," Trish broke in. "This is Daphne," she said to Joon. She turned back to Daphne, an attractive woman with long black hair and striking eyes. Ocular implants?

Daphne led them into the cavernous area, directing someone to get medical supplies. 

"There's someone I want you to meet," Trish said. 

An older man was walking toward them from the shadows of a side passage. Joon's heart skipped a beat when he saw who it was. 

"I'd like you to meet Dr. Valerus," Trish smiled. 


"I... killed you," Hillier whispered. 

"Did you?" he replied. " That's inconvenient. You killed a Dr. Valerus. Surely by now you know how this works."


  1. Oh, the multiplying can be complicated. Glad they found Daphne! I do hope Joon stays safe with Hillier. Hopefully! And gotta wonder what those others are up too. I think you are having fun..keep going❤️❤️❤️🩷🩷🩷🩷Happy Valentines Day! Everyone like the Rocky Road Fudge! Oh, the tagging has begun with the items at the library. In the future you can set 5 books at a time..Scan and leave. I hope it works that well.🩷🩷🩷🩷🩷🩷❤️❤️❤️🤍🤍🤍 Hopefully, I can keep Holly & Stevie from being too crazy.

  2. Hillier is softening. I'm almost feeling sorry for her now. While Mallory-3 is a block of ice LOL.

  3. So much to love in this one...that whole bit at the start about how there are a lot of Joons... they don't need this one, and also at the end with yet another Dr. Valerus...totally made me laugh. :D