(Author's note for loyal readers: kindly read the last four paragraphs of the last chapter as I had to make a few edits, so this chapter flows well! Happy reading!)
*Dave is having a minor flashback after blacking out on the floor*
"I will always find my way back to you,"
"Always," said Xara's voice faintly. Dave's hands held Xara's gently as a young boy rushes behind him to sit in front of his gaming console.
"Little boy! Quit playing video games and help old nana figure this iPhone out, please?" His grandma calls out to him and he turns. A bus resembling the one in Xara's accident hits him in his own house, haphazardly.
"If there was a god, why wouldn't it talk back?" Dave yelled at the sky.
"You can't make changes," continued Dr Blake Sommer.
"You can't alter time."
"Xara would want you to move on, Dave," echoed Bianca's voice.
A strong light beams brightly, and he sees the silhouette of his mother.
"You've got my blood running through your veins, you got to be strong, my baby. Mamá te ama." Dave's mother's voice said as he walked towards the light that blinds him. He hears the word 'PASSCODE' repeatedly in a man's voice.
A merciless flashlight beamed directly into my sight and I felt a tiny palm hold my face, nuzzling my cheeks and playing with my stubble.
"DADDY! HE'S AWAKE!" The voice of a little girl said jovially as my vision slowly focussed while she hopped happily across the same house that was now illuminated with lights. She was tiny, around 3 feet tall, looked around 5 years old and had two neat dutch braids with glittery grey ribbons that held her soft red hair together. She wore loose trousers and a black t-shirt that had the words 'PINK SUCKS.' written behind, in red.
The sweet smell of rice porridge hit my nose. I was starving. I don't know what the time is, where I am and who this little girl is, she sure doesn't hold the ability to beat a much bigger man like me. So where were those people... And where am I?
My mouth wasn't taped... It was held together securely using two laundry clippers. As these random thoughts rushed through my head. I saw the little girl holding someone's hand in the kitchen and tugging on their apron to bring them to me with a grin like a Cheshire cat. I stared in her direction and panned my face upwards as the muscular arms of a man who is at least 6'5" gave a bowl of rice porridge to the little girl and I couldn't help but think I was going to die. Why?
I was 5'11" with zero skills in martial arts who is sitting on a toddler's chair anyway with his mouth clipped together using laundry clips. Hands tied with an unknown gadget and not the briefcase nor my doodle is anywhere around me. Nor do Helen or Bianca know where I am.
"Go to the room and eat well sweetie," said the hoarse voice of the concealed man.
I saw him pick the little girl up in his monstrous arms and give me a death stare as his face turned 360 degrees to look at me. He doubtlessly wasn't human... He has super-short blonde hair, clean-shaved, an old pair of blue military pants and a vest that revealed his muscular body. He was stiff. REALLY arduous.
Who was he? What did he have to do with me?
I scanned the room with my eyes struggling to find a way to escape but the windows looked sealed, I couldn't spot a door from this angle and as I looked ahead, the man appeared out of nowhere without a sound of any footsteps approaching me.
"Password to the briefcase, NOW!" He launched the toddler's chair to the floor by kicking it with powerful force and my spine hit the cold wooden floor as I coasted across the hall.
"MMMMMMMH!" I grunt in pain. My eyes squint and then widened looking at the clips on my mouth trying to insinuate him to take them off so I could tell him. He looked at my eyes directly as his pupils dilated and turned red. It was alarming. He plucked the clips that could otherwise be carefully removed. I yelled in pain.
"Daddy, is your friend okay?" A tiny voice uttered from the room.
"Ah yes Elenor, daddy's friend just burnt himself eating rice porridge, didn't he?" he said as he stuffed a spoonful of rice porridge between my bloody lips as I looked away in disgust.
"Put on some music, please? We'd love to dance," he said spook-ighly as his daughter turned some music on that echoed through the empty house that lacked furniture. The man picked the small chair that I was tied to along with me and leaned back to a plain wooden table. He lifted his vest as he showed me the dent on the metal that laid beneath his counterfeit silicon skin.
"That's what you did to me last night, give me the passcode and I'll leave with the time dimes and never bother you again,"
"I'm trying to be kind," he spoke calmly.
The window behind him shattered into pieces and now laid in a craggy heap. The music in Eleanor's room was loud enough to mask the piercing sound of the crash. The bitter shards of glass littered the dusty wooden floor. He tucked me underneath the table that was pushed to a wall and approached the window as his fingers curved into a pistol. I looked at him, in a grappled position to find out what was happening... I was somehow relieved for myself but also fearful because he had a so-called 'daughter', and I didn't want her to be hurt by whoever this was. Robot or not.
The skylight above him broke. I couldn't see her face till she turned, it was Helen. Almost unrecognisable in a completely different outfit that fit tightly against her spurious skin. Helen swung into the house and tased him, but just like my attack did nothing to him, this too did no damage as he was a robot too. His head turned 360 degrees again as he stiffly approached Helen walking with his body still facing the window, firing one bullet after another that she quickly managed to dodge. Helen cartwheeled in his direction, encircling him.
This WAS civil war in a jar.
Could she beat him?