Chapter 5

“Are you sure that was for the best, Christopher?”

Chris pulled the communication device out of his pocket, did a couple of finger swipes on his holographic touch surface and held it up to ear like a phone. The park was fairly empty, so he wasn’t worried about looking like he was talking to himself.

“It has to be done. They know that we are here, General Freeman will not let me live; let alone continue to use stolen military technology. When Zwain stumbled onto our ship, a message got sent to the home-base confirming our reactivation.”

“I am sorry, Christopher, I did not know that link was still active. I am also sorry for not stopping Zwain form using the portal drive.”

“It’s alright, Chelsea. It was all part of me reprogramming you. I wanted a fallback plan in case something happened to you and we needed a chance to escape. It was stupid of me to make the portal drive functional while you weren’t, but that might have given us a fighting chance.”

“Well, I have now severed that connection. No other signals should be sent back to the home-base.”

“See that they don’t, although… I could use a new toaster,” chuckled Chris as an old man with a silver walker gave him the stink eye.

“Christopher, I am appalled that you would even consider downgrading me to just warming up your bread. Should you do that; good luck on figuring out how not burn your toast.”

They shared a laugh at that remark. “It was good thing that Thomas contacted us when he did. We’ve doomed this world by coming here.”

“We most certainly have. So that brings me back to my initial concerns about this Zwain.”

“In a way, Zwain’s a wild card. The General doesn’t know that he even exists. According to Thomas: General Freeman is planning a standard invasion and hopes to take me out at the same time, but that is the extent of his intel. He assumes that the first portal was just test, for us to see if the systems still worked. As for Zwain, people are just naturally drawn to him. He’s mesmerizing. You saw those dream scans we did; the way he looks up to his father. Zwain’s becoming more and more like that man.”

“You mean James.”

“I know, I can hardly believe it either. You talk about coincidences, that one is a doozy.”

“Surely it can not–”

“It’s too hard to tell, we couldn’t make out accurate facial features in those dream scans, plus Zwain’s father just seems to be the complete opposite type of person.”

“What about this other… Chris?”

“Oh, you can say his name as Chris, but I’m still stuck as Christopher to you?”

“It is how I will be able to tell the difference between you two.”

“Hah, yeah, that is quite eerie. He never popped up on any of the dream scans, but last night was the first night that we skipped in order to make our preparations for this afternoon. I wouldn’t mind finding out more about the circumstances of this other Chris.”

“Would that not be dangerous?”

“I think that’s what separates us from the rest of them. They keep themselves closed off so that their conscience does not get the better of them. If we asked more questions like this, then there would be more understanding of these other worlds. Perhaps even peace. Plus, it’s just so damn fascinating.”

“We could resume scanning tonight, and see what we get.”

Chris looked back over his shoulder down the path, Zwain was nothing more than mere dot in the distance, but he was still at the same bench, most likely playing his newly finished song. Chris really hoped that this worked. It was only a theory, but it still was his best shot.

“No, Chelsea, we’re going to let him get his rest. He is going to need it. Saturday is a big day. Alright, I’m starving. Are there any restaurants nearby?”

“Is that all I am to you, Christopher? Your talking smartphone?”

Chris came to the end of the walking path and proceeded to hobble up the stairs. “Well, if you could also tell me what movies are playing, that would be pretty handy.”

“CHRISTOPHER!”

The communication device cut out abruptly and Chris was left in his own silence. He laughed aloud, he would apologize to her once he got back to the ship, but for now he really was hungry and found himself heading towards the nearest deli, almost as if his stomach was dragging him there.

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