Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer
She slides the ornately embossed door aside and enters the first-class stall. It’s empty but for a man, he barely stirs as he reads aloud from a menu.
“Calvados Glazed Roast Duck with Apple Sauce.”
The train wheels clatter and shake and the man smiles as he cranes his head up to take in a vast undulating sea of blue-tinged snow. A perfection of ice that scoops up to a high jagged peak, a finger of sheer rock that rises and points to the crisp moon that dominates the tranquil ink pond above.
“You believe you’re not to die here?”, she asks.
“Quite the opposite. I know it with certainty. I know the bullet you primed just moments ago will enter through the corner of my right eye and then expand inside of my head.”
“I will kill you and he will come.”
“Do you know who you work for? They who come to you in the fog. These guardians of the future who feed your dreams and clap as you wolf it all down.”
“Be careful, Mr. Starr.”
“I’ve no need for care. You’re to eliminate me because I pose a severe threat to the time-line, correct?”
“You’re a very dangerous man.”
“Then, shoot me. Why afford me even the barest of opportunity to overpower you or pollute your conviction with my words? You can’t…”, he says taking the gold fob-watch from his pocket, “… not just yet.”
“Go on…”, she goads raising her weapon to his face and pleading with her finger to contract.
“Your visions say I’m responsible for the coming saviour’s death…”
“He was to die. Today but 400 miles south of where you now smirk. A forgotten name aboard a great ship that even you could not find. A colossus hidden in plain sight.”
Mr. Starr flips the menu to face her. The letterhead, a two-pronged red burgee, a white star and in sweeping elegant font beneath: Royal Canadian Pacific Rail Car – Titanic.
“He was to die at 2:27 a.m, April 15th, aboard the RMS Titanic. But times they are a changin’.”
“What did you do?”
The carriage jolts as a massive sheet of ice detaches from the mountain above and unfurls, building in speed and mass as it crashes toward the longest and fastest steam train the world has ever known.
“We’ve lived this life many times over. Sometimes I’m you and sometimes I’m me. But each time it is only I that knows this fate. I’ve tried to end this spiral. The rope snaps at my neck, the knife slips harmlessly at my wrists… remember this, Catherine. It’s too late now but next time. Together we’ll escape from their grip”, he screams into the roar of torquing steel and the searing crack of the gun.
2:15 a.m, April 15th, 1912. HMA Titanic
The world’s largest airship glides like a leaf along the gentle air-stream that rises up the edge of the Mahalangur Himal range and spirals into a brilliantly moonlit sky.
A woman in a thick fur-rimmed jacket approaches a man with sad eyes. He grimaces out through his view-port at just how very close they’re getting to the highest peak on the planet.
She thrusts what appears to be an overstuffed suitcase into his hand.
“Billy. Don’t think. Just put it on… time to leave.”
It’s the problem with disappearing offline to write books that occasionally one misses the debut of something rather special.
This being a good example.
Nicely done, Hari.
I too missed your comment. Thank you very much, Jae.
It’s not easy to construct an original take on altering / protecting the time line, but this piece does so nicely. Maybe finally Billy / Catherine are going to end the spiral. But that might not be a good thing for everyone else.
Thank you, David. Maybe Billy and Catherine will end the spiral, but I don’t think they will. Big things always crash in the end.
A story inside a story inside a story. Very, very nice Hari. For some reason I got an Indiana Jones vibe off of this one.
Thanks and now I have this image of Catherine and Bill swinging away from that airship beneath a cracking whip… appreciate you reading it 🙂