Short Story Fiction
The Travelers
Part Two: Seth Wants In

Seth knew of her home base. There wasn’t much she could do about that. He wasn’t frightened and seemed genuine enough in his curiosity. He had deducted she traveled through time and was sticking to his assumption. She could kill him and bury the body. No one would ever know.

The TravelersPavlofox/Pixabay

Seth was more curious than surprised to see this person appear in front of him. “How did you just appear in this room?”

“I don’t discuss such things with just anyone. In fact I don’t normally let people know anything about me. It’s just that you were here going through my things when I showed up. I’m not sure how to handle you. No one was ever suppose to find this place. It was in the middle of nowhere when I built it.”

Seth was still a little skeptical but he decided to play along and see where it took him. “It’s still in the middle of nowhere,” he replied. “I was hiking and just got lucky. I have a question for you. Do you really travel through time? I’m absolutely intrigued. Fill me in on the details. How did you become a time traveler? Can anyone do this?”

The woman could see she wasn’t getting anywhere with Seth. If anything, things were getting worse.

She gave it some thought. Seth knew of her home base. There wasn’t much she could do about that. He wasn’t frightened and seemed genuine enough in his curiosity. He had deducted she traveled through time and was sticking to his assumption. She could kill him and bury the body. No one would ever know but then that wasn’t her way. She didn’t feel like she had much choice, so she decided to take a chance with him.

“Yes, I do travel through time. No, not anyone can do it. You have to have a sponsor and you have to be accepted,” she replied. “By the way, my name is Cara.”

Seth took the introduction as a good sign. “My name is Seth. How do I apply to get sponsored?”

“You don’t apply. You have to be chosen,” Cara replied.

“How? By who?”

She gave Seth a vague reply. “By the one who is willing to sponsor you.”

Seth was becoming more intrigued by the minute. Was he falling for her lies or was she for real? He still wasn’t one hundred percent sure so he continued with his questions. “Can you sponsor me?”

“I can but I’m not inclined to do that at the moment. It’s not that easy. There are some things you don’t understand. There are others who have to be involved. Time traveling has its own rules of the road so to speak.”

If she was for real, Seth was looking at the ability to time travel as a great adventure and he wanted in. He was beginning to believe her. “So teach me the rules,” replied Seth. “I’m all ears.”

Cara sat in the chair across from Seth and studied his face as she contemplated her reply. A full minute had passed as she sat staring at him. It was beginning to make Seth uncomfortable.

Cara got up from her chair without responding and moved toward the bed. “Can you give me a hand over here?” She asked.

Cara dropped to her knees next to the bed as Seth walked over to her.

“Down here.” Cara motioned for Seth to drop to the floor beside her.

Seth wasn’t sure of her intentions but wanted to see where this was leading so he followed her instructions.

“I need help pulling this box from under the bed. I can do it myself but it’ll be much easier with a helping hand.”

It was a large wooden box. It contained a small gas camp stove, a heater and a few other pieces of equipment she used when she was there. A jug of water sat on a shelf in the pantry. She proceeded to make them each a cup of tea.

There was small talk as she made the tea. When she finished they sat down at the table. Their conversation had only just begun. They talked for hours about a number of subjects, but mostly time travel. Cara filled him in on some of the major points but kept the details intentionally vague. By the time they finished Seth was all in. He learned much about time travel and “The Council” who controlled the whole time travel operation. Apparently there was more involved than just traveling around to wherever you wanted to go whenever you wanted to do it. It seemed as if those who travel were controlled by this “counsel” and were on some sort of assignment.

He learned about other travelers and how they kept in touch with each other. It was an exclusive organization and entry was limited. Each member had their own mission and each was to be a positive force for the organization in one way or another.

He also learned one could go forward and back in time. Using the timelines to manipulate the stock markets, lotteries or gaming the timeline in any way was highly frowned upon. It was not to be used. A traveler could lose his sponsorship if he used the timeline to grow his wealth beyond what he needed for travel and living expenses. But Cara hinted that there were other ways to make money that seemed to not be frowned upon.

The more they talked the more at ease they grew with each other.

Once Cara had finished telling Seth all she dared to say, she began asking Seth questions. “So tell me about yourself. Who are you? Where are you from? Why do you want to do this? How will you use this ability and what do you expect to achieve? You’ll need to convince me you’re worth sponsoring. If you can do that, we’ll both need to convince the council and that’s no easy task. You’ll be vetted. Very few people get chosen.”

It was a long night for both of them as Cara grilled Seth with questions. If she didn’t agree with his answer she let him know it. She didn’t hold back. When she felt as if she had learned enough she asked him once again. “Are you still interested?”

“It’s not exactly what I expected but yes, more than ever,” replied Seth.

Cara was once again quiet for a long moment as she thought about how she would respond. She finally came to a conclusion. “OK you’ve convinced me enough to take you before the council. Now you’ll need to convince them. If they agree to let me sponsor you you’ll learn more about what we do. If not, you won’t know much more than the fact that we exist.”

She pulled a device that resembled a cell phone from her pocket, touched the screen a few times and waited. A minute later she had her answer and relayed it to Seth. “I’m surprised and you’ll be pleased. The council has agreed to meet with us.”

“Great!” Replied Seth. “When?”

“It looks like there won’t be any sleeping tonight. They want to meet with us now.”

Cara packed away her belongings. When she was ready she punched a few more buttons on her device. “Come stand next to me.”

Seth stood next to Cara. The room became extremely bright. When it died down they both were gone.

(Part Three Below)

© Copyright 2023 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.


The Travelers Continued


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