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Dr Archeville

[Time Warp] Complicated (Push)

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September 24th, 2008

Gear City

13th Street, Tonatini’s Pizza Parlor


Push awoke with a start, clutching his head and groaning. One minute he’d been riding to see Blueshift, the next, a blinding flash and the feeling like he’d been sucked into a never-ending vortex. In fact, it had been a oddly familiar sensation. Familiar in the sense of being yanked through time and space. Not good.


He lifted his head, looking about, and the kineticist’s heart practically stopped. He recognized this place. An alley. An alley where he'd made his first bust after getting his abilities. A few blocks away from Tonatini’s pizza parlor. Tonatini's. His favourite restaurant in…


Gear City.


He was home.


“Oh. Crap.â€





Push looked down from the sky, mind awhirl with a mess of thoughts. Some were amused. Others were excited. He was home! Back in Gear City, no matter when or why, but he was back home! He recognized the streets. He recognized a few people, though he made damn sure he was out of sight when he spotted them. He was admittedly confused and stunned, but it really was Gear City, as if he’d never left it. A quiet voice in the back of his head asked why, but he stifled it as he wandered the skyline.


Finally, his wandering jets brought him to a building overlooking his and Mike’s old apartment above Lazarus Auto Repair. He looked down at it, wondering if Michael was up enjoying a huge hoagie at the old grease-covered linoleum table the two often had to eat from, or was downstairs working on some poor busted transmission. The front door opened, and he immediately ducked behind a nearby billboard, peering out and gaping as a very recognizeable figure walked out.


It was himself. Past-self. Gabriel Quinn, pre-museum.


"Oh. Crap."





Push trailed himself, his psyche practically gibbering as he tailed what could only be his past self. He saw Gabriel Quinn reach into his pocket, and he remembered doing that exact same movement. He remembered the sensation of anxiety his doppelganger below seemed to be going through. But as much as he cudgelled his memory, he couldn’t recall what he was anxious over! It was frustrating as all hell as he looked down upon himself. A crazy thought filled his mind as he looked at Past-Quinn walk across the street, an unholy urge to fly down and seize his past self, telling him everything of what would be coming. Of Mr. Scratch and the chase across the USA. Of the demons and nightmares that’d become his every waking moment for the next two years. Of…


“Oh. Crap.â€


The knowledge hit him at the same time the hired thug’s baseball bat hit his counterpart’s head. Of Associate Professor Wyrd. Of Anastasia.





The warehouse was just as he remembered it, and he stared at the outside from the nearby rooftop with no small amount of trepidation. His kinetic vision was on full bore, and he could see through the walls as the currents of movement and energy inside revealed one of his less-savory memories. Anastasia’s machine was directly above his counterpart, and he saw Past-Push turn his head towards the female inventor. Finally, he turned his gaze on the young woman. Funnily enough, it hurt less seeing her through this vision than it would have looking at her in his normal vision. He was surprised when he saw it was a thug that had clubbed his past self, for a long time he’d labored under the illusion that Anastasia had done it herself. In a way, it was relieving. That she didn’t actually hurt him.


Yeah, that was bull. She hurt him, alright. But then, so did he. They both did. Neither had the guts to come forward and tell the other who each other was. But while he was idiot enough to keep up an illusion, she’d tried to solve it in her own mad way. It was almost heartwarming, if it wasn’t so damn painful to watch. He saw his counterpart break the table’s binds, leaping off with a surge of energy that accidentally overloaded a nearby breaker. With almost clinical detachment he noted the chain reaction that lead to the destruction of the machine, and the subsequent burning of the building. He saw the energy silhouette that was himself try to force himself forward. He saw the silhouette that was Anastasia draw back, and the pile of debris that collapsed between them fall. And he saw his counterpart forced back. But the silhouette of his ex-girlfriend remained there, in the centre of the flames. Push watched as the outline fell to her knees in the centre of the inferno, and for a split-second, time practically froze for the mutant.


She didn’t run. They never found any body in the collapsed building. Sure, she could have been ashes, but surely they’d have found something of hers. Then why didn’t she run? Why didn’t she escape?


He never really came to a decision. There really wasn't one to make. Without thinking he leapt forward, kicking in the jets and covering his head as he rushed forward like a runaway meteor, going straight through the burning ceiling and into the conflagration. Wielding energies that would have been far beyond his abilities all those years ago, he pushed and bulled his way through the destruction, blasting holes in collapsed cisterns and shoving aside metal beams with his telekinesis. Flames licked at his coat and scarf, but he ignored them. The smoke made his vision and head swim, but he ignored that too. Every synapse in his brain was overloaded by one thought, to save the woman that nearly killed him.


Finally, he reached Anastasia’s unconscious body, and he cradled her in his arms. Smoke inhalation, it had to be. She was unmoving, barely even breathing. As the warehouse collapsed around him, he kicked in what was left of his reserve, shooting up and through the roof, shielding her with his body as his back went straight through the metal ceiling. It hurt like a bitch, but it was all over. He’d done it.


That thought ran through his brain as he landed on a nearby rooftop and collapsed, feeling that same sensation of being pulled into a vortex as he blacked out.





April 20th, 2011

Freedom City



He woke up in Freedom City, a few hours after he’d “leftâ€. She was right beside him, still unconscious.


If you’d asked the kineticist, he honestly could not have told you if he thought the future was changed or unchanged. Sure, he’d saved Anastasia, but he didn’t know if she had really died in that fire, or if he’d stuck around long enough in the past, he’d have seen his future self finish the job.


The doctors had swallowed the excuse he’d given them, amazingly. A fire downtown, and that he’d been on the scene in time to save her. The fact that he’d paid quite a bit of cash from L.A.I.R’s accounts to get her treated ASAP was glossed over in his mind. Coma, they said. They didn’t know when she was going to wake up. She was in a comfortable, white-sheeted bed now, hooked up to all kinds of machinery to keep her alive. Back in Gear City, he’d never caught Associate Professor Wyrd. For all intents and purposes, Anastasia Wyrd had never existed. Now a person with no identity was in the ICU. Nobody knew that she was alive but him, now. He looked at the hospital across the street, legs hanging over the edge, and pondered.


Things were about to get a lot more complicated.

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