It was still night when we arrived at the warehouse. Information from the front told us there was movement inside, and calls from the Ministry indicated that she wasn’t found back in her home. She had to be in the warehouse, and so we got ready to enter.
We had the police keep the place surrounded. I went in, along with Mr. Raynor, the mustached gunman, the red haired man, and several more police officers. The lighting inside the building was dim, so we couldn’t see clearly. However after we were in there a ways, a bright spotlight came down from the ceiling, illuminating a space. It was followed by a laugh, and a woman stepped out into it.
From her appearance, her age was in the mid-twenties, with short brown hair, a plain blue blouse and a long, wildly colored skirt. She had a devious grin on her face, and was tossing a small green object up into the air with her right hand and catching it again over and over. “I’m surprised,” she said with a chuckle, “This little thing here should have prevented me from being discovered.”
“Medea Carpenter,” Mr. Raynor said, stepping forward to the edge of the light. “You are under arrest for-“
“Yeah about that, Director Raynor,” she said, interrupting. “No, I don’t think so.” She put the object in her hand into a small pouch hanging from a rope around her waist. “You see, there’s no way that you can prove my actions if you’re all dead.”
She held out her hand, and bolts of lightning shot forward from it. Quickly, I pulled out the scalpel and held it forward, absorbing all of the lightning before it could hit any of the others. “Dear me,” she said, surprised. “The Scalpel? That’s been missing for over four hundred years. Tell me, Object user, who are you, and who do you work for?”
I motioned for Mr. Raynor to move back, and I took point, staying just out of the light as he did. “I am the apprentice of Fiole Antonov, and I came here from the year 1600 to stop you.”
As soon as I said my master’s name, she began laughing, growing to a roar once my statement was finished. “Oh god,” she said, trying to calm down. “You work for Fiole? That’s hilarious.”
Somewhat offended, I went to pull out my Revolver, but she shot me with lightning before I could. “Stop there,” she said, serious but having trouble holding her composure. “Just how did you get here, anyway?”
“I got here with her power,” I said simply.
“She can’t directly travel through time. Let me guess, you used the Sundial?”
I said nothing, surprised that she knew of the thing, and she chuckled and smiled. “As I thought,” she continued. “But what has enough range to see this far into the future?”
“The Pocketwatch,” I replied. “A device built from a design in the Voynich Manuscript.”
She raised an eyebrow, and stepped forward. “So,” she said, stopping just a couple steps ahead of where she was originally standing. “What did you see in the future, then?”
“The world was destroyed,” I stated. “We couldn’t see why, so went to the future to find out what the source was and then I came back here to stop it. Thermonuclear war, which all started from the attempted bombing yesterday.”
“Ah,” she said, smiling. “So my Die was working after all. Tell me, then, does your ‘Pocketwatch’ show you multiple possible futures, or just the one from that point in time?”
“Just the one,” I started, and she laughed again, turning around.
“Tell me,” she said, turning back to us and pulling a round object from her sack. It was a perfectly round mirror. “Do any of you know what this is?”
“A CD?” Mr. Raynor said, and she raised an eyebrow, and began to look at it in different ways.
“Huh,” she said finally, “you’re right, it’s the exact same size as a CD, never actually paid attention to that before.” She then put it back in her sack. “But anyway, this is the Mirror. It lets the user see 20 years into the future, both the original future and any other possible futures.”
“Silly apprentice,” she said with a chuckle, “do you honestly think I would allow the world to be destroyed?”
“He said you’re pure chaos,” the mustached gunman said. “Doing nothing but things that would amuse you. And from everything you’re involved with that seems to be true.”
Her expression became serious. “I don’t know what sort of rumors you may have heard,” she said sternly, “but all my actions are for the benefit of mankind. The means with which I do it doesn’t matter to you, only the goal should.”
“I wouldn’t believe you for a second,” I said coldly.
“Neither would I,” Mr. Raynor echoed, “but tell us, what was your ‘goal’ with this operation?”
She shook her head, frowning. “You people nowadays. Ever since Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, and the Cold War by extension, you have all been afraid of nuclear research. Fusion is still just a pipe dream, and you guys won’t touch experimenting with fission with a ten foot pole, and all the while the fossil fuel supply is nearly depleted.
“No, you weren’t going to start research on your own until it was too late, so I had to push you all to move forward. That was my goal, starting a new race in nuclear research, guiding you forward to coming up with new forms of energy to meet all your needs. And with this mirror I would be able to explore every single step necessary to keep nuclear weapons from ever being launched.
“You see,” she said, stepping forward and shrugging. “The future you and Fiole saw was a false future. It never would have happened in the first place.”
“But,” I said, trailing off. I turned to look at the others, and their expression was mirroring my own feelings. Suddenly, things seemed different than the situation we thought it was.
“Tell me,” she continued. “Why would Fiole even care about far in the future in the first place?”
“She told me someone she had known had charged her to protect the world, after he was tricked to send people to their deaths.”
She looked at me, leaning her head in slightly to try and focus better. “You’re kidding,” she said quietly, and took several steps backwards. “Apprentice of Fiole, step into the light, let me see your face.”
Hesitantly, I did so. She stepped forward, leaning her head in to squint at me, and then began to roar with laughter. “My god,” she said between fits, “I can’t believe it. You look just like him.”
“Like who?” I asked, curious.
She stopped her laugh, and her expression changed to a lofty smirk. “Oh, she hasn’t told you? Of course, why would she tell you.
“That book - the Voynich Manuscript as they call it these days – was written by that man. He was a notorious pirate, and a master artificer. And he couldn’t stand Fiole. She became obsessed with him, bothering him incessantly until he died, wanting himself to do nothing more than stop the group that tricked him to being the death of countless people, and who kidnapped his wife.”
“How did he die? Couldn’t she save him?”
She laughed again, and stepped up directly in front of me. “Please,” she said with a smirk. “All he had was smallpox, it would be trivial to save him. He didn’t want Fiole to help him. He couldn’t stand her and the ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude she had at that time. She didn’t care about other people; she was just another haughty witch. He went as far as to rig one of his artifacts to blender his brain once he finally died, so she couldn’t use it to bring him back to life afterward, Frankenstein-style.”
I raised my eyebrow. “Frankenstein?”
She shook her head. “Oh right, that wasn’t written yet when you left, so nevermind.” She laughed again, and stepped back. “The point is, all you are to her is simply a surrogate of him. If you didn’t look just like him, she would never have bothered even batting an eye at you.”
She turned to walk away, and the others moved forward, drawing their guns. I wasn’t sure how much of what she said I could believe, so I drew the Revolver myself, and went to fire it at her. She turned back to us, quickly putting on some archery bracers, and became surrounded by a strange bubble of colors. I fired both of the rounds I could safely fire, but neither of them hit her. The others began to shoot her as well, but nobody landed a shot.
She laughed. “The Bracers warp magnetic space around me, deflecting your bullets.” She thought for a moment, and then added, “you should think twice about trying to use the Revolver on me next time, apprentice.”
“You can’t escape,” the mustached gunman said, and fired off several more shots, but they all missed.
“Oh,” she said with a chuckle, and reached into her bag again. “I can escape, and you will watch me.” She pulled out a necklace, pendant hanging from it adorned with an eye in a pyramid. “The All-Seeing Eye of Providence,” she said with a smile. “Most fitting for making someone completely invisible, I think.”
She put it around her neck, and both she and the bubble from the Bracers vanished. “Go home, ‘heroes’.” Her voice came from all around us, now being amplified by some speaker system to hide her escape direction. “That was my only supply of Uranium and Plutonium, and most certainly you are going to make it impossible for me to acquire more. You’ve won, go back home and celebrate.”