Restoration: The Return to Alabama

by Eric Johnson

Its almost been a year since Mark, Cassie and Jon mistakenly traveled back in time and had what can only be described by them the most interesting and terrifying week of their lives. Traveling back to the year 1956 Alabama, a turbulent time in the south where African Americans were beginning to come together and fight for justice and equality. Previously we witnessed as a result of the minor changes in the current timeline, Mark now almost 81 years old; Cassie being Caucasian also delivering a healthy baby girl whose father happens to be Mark. Impregnated by him in the previous timeline. Jon adjusting to these changes, seeing his best friend now as an elderly man. Having feelings he never knew he had for Cassie and getting used to the changes in her life.

This story is not over. They were about to be asked by the government to travel back in time to repair the damages they caused in the first place. To restore balance in the universe, but how can this be? How could they return to such a horrible time in history? How will they? Is there another time machine? Why are they being asked to do this? Will the attempt cause further damage in either timeline?

Jon, Cassie and Mark are sitting in a local diner having lunch and enjoying each others company, its a beautiful day out. This is a monthly ritual they decided to have after their experience. Mark is feeding his daughter/granddaughter Cassiopeia some apple sauce as Cassie looks on smiling. Jon is looking over the dessert menu. Cassie, Jon I know you guys dont want to talk about it but its something that needs to be taken care of. We are not talking about this Mark. Cass says with tears coming to her eyes. Come on Mark; give us a break with this. Its just too upsetting to discuss as you can see. Jon says. I know its not a normal everyday conversation to have, but I believe that my last will and testament is that important. Listen, Ive lived a lifetime, you and Jon have your whole lives in front of you. I just want to make sure that everything Ive accumulated over my lifetime gets passed down to you two and my Granddaughter. Mark picks up Cassiopeia out of her seat and kisses her on the cheek. Isnt that right baby? Give Granddaddy a kiss. Cassiopeia is enjoying her Granddad, giggling and making baby noises. Ive had a beautiful life with your Grandmother Cass and again Im giving my blessing for you two to live your lives together with your daughter without regret. Cass and Jon look away slightly embarrassed to hear what Mark is saying to them.

The diners television is showing some game show when suddenly a breaking story disrupts the show. This catches Jons attention. Hey, whats going on? Look. Mark and Cass take notice as well as the other patrons in the diner. Everyones focus seems to be on the news now. The newscaster says, This is CNN breaking news, Im Jessica Stevens, a report leaked out by a unanimous source in our nations capital is reporting that two celestial objects, one about the size of New Jersey and the other substantially smaller about the size of New England are on a collision course with earths moon. Now if youre familiar with the moon, its forces or gravity affect Earths tides and weather patterns. Scientist say that if the moon were hit, thrown off its axis and is somehow shifted closer to the earth, large tidal waves could wipe out coastal cities inland going as far as West Virginia on the east coast and as far as Nevada on the west coast. An elderly woman in the diner gasps. Oh my Lord, the world is coming to an end. There are looks of worry and concern on everyones faces. The newscaster continues, Leaders from religious groups around the country are meeting with the President and his advisors, speaking on the natural and spiritual impact of this event.

The President has been in contact with all the major world leaders around the globe discussing the issue along with his scientific advisors. Also meeting with the President are his military advisors, discussing possible actions that can take place in case of a global emergency. Well have more on this breaking story as it develops. Mark, Jon and Cass look at each other in disbelief. Wow, I know youre always hearing about natural disasters around the world but this? Jon says. Yeah, seems like for the past six months there have been more and more disasters here and around the world. Mark states. There is silence between them. Cass breaks the silence. Do any of you suppose these increased disaster patterns are a direct result of us traveling back.you know where? She says in a hushed voice. I dont know, I just dont know. Could be, anything is possible. From what Ive learned, alternate timelines can be tricky. Whos to say that this wouldnt have happened in the previous timeline? Or because of this line, all these events would or would not be taking place? So then if thats the case the original timeline needs to be restored. I know, I know temporal mechanics can be a bit confusing. Mark says. As discussions go on in the diner about current events, they finish up their meal and leave.

Later that evening as Jon, Cassie and her child are relaxing at home in their two bedroom apartment. Cassies phone vibrates. She picks it up. Hello? Cassie, listen dont panic. Dad? Cassie says. I cant stay on long. In about two minutes, there will be armed men from the government knocking at your door. Dont be alarmed, they are there for your protection. You will not be told where youre going, just go with them. Listen, I have to go someones.coming. The line goes dead. Dad?" Whats going on? The doorbell rings and then several knocks. Cassiopeia awakens from her nap and begins to cry. Jon is just coming out of the shower. Honey, who is that? That was my dad; he says some men from the government are here. The doorbell continues to ring as the knocking gets louder. Miss Ellis, Mr. Taylor, please open the door. It is a matter of national security, we know your father just called and warned you we were coming. Says the man at the door. Jon quickly gets dressed while Cass attends to her child. Jon opens the door. Mr. Taylor may we come in? We do not want to alarm any of your neighbors. Yes, come in. says Jon. When Jon opened the door he noticed four black Suburbans parked at the curb with an agent standing by each one.

Im sure youve all seen the news concerning the two objects that are on a collision course to earths moon. The agent says. Yes, just today we saw the reports on CNN, but what does that have to do with us. Jon says. The only thing I can tell you is that the national security advisor to the President has asked to see you and that you come with us, and no I cannot tell you where youre going. Will you comply? Says the agent. Jon looks at Cass and turns back to the agent. Do we have a choice? Not really son. You do not need any clothing, everything will be provided for you. Please sir, madam we havent much time. What about our daughter? asks Cass. She is also required to accompany us. Her needs will be provided for, do not worry we must leave now because there is little time. Cass puts together some formula and pampers for Cassiopeia into a baby bag and they all head out to the waiting SUVs. Once they were all put into the vehicles, Jon and Cass notice that the tinting on the windows are so dark they could barely see through them, they figured it was for security purposes. Deep down inside they both knew that this had something to do with them traveling back into the past a year ago. They were very nervous but when the initial shock wore off, they became curious and they also thought about Mark. Was he also accompanying them?

Jon and Cass were seated in the back of one the vehicles with Cassiopeia in between them in a car seat. The ride in the SUV lasted for about an hour. When the doors were opened for them they noticed they were at a military airbase. They were greeted as soon they stepped out. Jon Taylor, Cassie Ellis; Im Brian Worthington, assistant to National Security advisor Addams. Ill be accompanying you the rest of the trip. Hello Mr. Worthington. Says Jon. Hi. Says Cass. Who is this little darling? He pinches her cheeks. Cassiopeia smiles.This is Cassiopeia, our daughter. Cassie states. Is there a bathroom available? We both have to go and our daughter needs changing. Jon says. We have all the facilities you need on board. Brian points to a large C-10 cargo plane that is prepping to leave as soon as theyre on board. Follow me please. Brian says. As soon as they board, Jon and Cassie make their way to the bathrooms. Cassie has her daughter in her arms, she notices that the bathroom is quite nice and has a baby changing table installed. Seems like the whole aircraft was retrofitted with certain amenities tailored just for them and their journey. At the center of the plane there is a seating area with two monitors tuned in to the CNN and MSNBC networks.

After freshening up, Jon, Cass with their daughter make their way to the lounge area and take a seat in the very comfortable chairs. Brian enters the area. You guys comfortable?Yes we are, thank you. Cass says. Brian, how long is this flight? If I may ask. About four hours, we are traveling cross country. So can you tell us anything about why we are here and where were going? Jon asks. Well I cant really say at this point, but all of your questions will be answered once you meet and talk to security advisor Addams. This is CNN breaking news. All eyes in the lounge immediately turn their focus on the two monitors which are now both showing CNN. Im Jessica Stevens, weve just received confirmation that the two objects heading toward the moon are in fact meteorites and that the fears in the scientific community are now solidified with this horrific news. Scientist have also confirmed that these two meteorites will impact the surface of the moon in three days which does not give the President and other world leaders enough time to formulate a plan of action to somehow deflect these meteorites away from the moon and more importantly away from the earth. Well have more on this story as it develops.

If you can, you need to try and get some rest because youre going to need it. Brian says. Jon and Cass try to relax but cannot mostly because of what they just heard. Three hours later the plane finally lands. Cass was up with her baby and Jon fell asleep in the chair he was sitting in but woke up when the plane touched down. Finally were here. Cass says. Yeah, wherever here is. Jon states. Again Brian enters the lounge area. Im going have to ask not to deplane yet, national security advisor Addams is coming on board to speak to you first before you go any further. As he finishes speaking advisor Addams appears. Mr. Taylor/Miss Ellis, how are you? Hope that youre trip was as pleasant as could be under these stressful times for all around the globe. For all three of you. This is your daughter Cassiopeia? Cass nods. Shes a beauty Miss Ellis. Thank you. Jon says. Now down to business, by now you should have figured out why you are here. Youre here because of the time traveling adventure you went on a year ago with Mr. Ellis, who by the way is already here at this facility.

It is believed by the Presidents scientific advisors that because of your time travel, return and the subsequent minor changes you three testified to before a top secret government panel, that at present this is not the correct timeline so that is the reason for the increased natural disasters in the past six months and most importantly the cause of the two meteorites heading toward our moon. Which can and will cause significant damage to the earth, its weather patterns and the oceans tides. Come with me please.

They deplane. It is another military base. As Jon and Cass are walking down the C-10s exit ramp, advisor Addams says. Welcome to area 51.This is Area 51? You mean the place where the government is working on top secret experimental aircraft? Captured UFOs? Alien bodies? Jon asks. Dont believe what you read in the tabloids son. Only part of it is true. Addams says with a smirk... They head directly from the plane towards a large white building at the rear of the base. Three jeeps swing around to carry the group to their destination. Along the way, Jon and Cass notice that there are two guards posted at every entrance. Guards posted around the perimeter of the base. Some are on foot and there are dozens of them armed in military vehicles driving around with binoculars keeping a close watch on everything from the structures inside the base to the outer perimeter. As the vehicles pull up to the white building, there are several men in long white lab coats waiting at the entrance. Right away Cass notices that one of them is her father Dr. Ellis. As they exit the vehicles; Dad, whats going on? Why are we here? Dont worry honey; every question will be answered once we get inside.

This large white structure is huge. It is about five stories high and about the length of three football fields. No doubt that if there are secrets concerning area 51, they are more than likely kept here. Jon and Cass are about to enter this world of secrets. They are led down a series of hallways going through what seems to be endless stainless steel doors that could only be accessed by voice, fingerprint and retinal scan. They finally reach their destination. As the group approach the large door; What you are about to see is highly classified and is not to be discussed with anyone outside of this group, is that clear Mr. Taylor and Miss Ellis? They both respond. Yes sir. Mr. Ellis uses the voice, fingerprint and retinal system to allow them access. The door slides open and inside is a large room with two levels of scaffolding encircling the length of the entire lab. There are dozens of large screen monitors displaying scientific information and there are some only dedicated to public news broadcasts. There seems to be at least fifty or sixty scientist hurrying along performing his or her duties and while it looks like there are various weird looking experiments scattered throughout the large room, at the center is something that looks familiar to Jon and Cass.

It cant be! Jon thinks to himself. It looks like a new and improved version of Dr. Elliss time machine! As the group approach. Dr. Ellis, how is this possible? I thought the machine you built was rendered inoperable after our return from the past last year. Jon says. Well son, it looks like I was wrong about that. Not only was another one built using my designs stolen by our government, it also seems that theyve also improved on the design and function of the machine.Why dont you give them a small demonstration doctor. Advisor Addams says. Dr. Ellis proceeds over to one of the desks nearby and picks up what seems to look like a universal remote with a variety of buttons, a display and flashing LED lights flickering off and on. Ok, everyone stand over to my right. Says Dr.Ellis. The group of scientist, Jon, Cass and advisor Addams do as instructed by Dr. Ellis. There is an area wide open measuring 20X20 feet. Suddenly there is an alarm going off, alerting everyone else in the lab that the time machine is about to be activated. It takes about a minute for the machine itself to prime and the handheld unit does not need any priming at all. The machine I built was powered by Dytiserite crystals found only in a remote part of the world. We only found four ounces of it and when you three traveled back in time two ounces were depleted and upon your return the last two were used up. Apparently, government scientists discovered a new and permanent power source called Trilockcerine. We here in the lab call it TK. Doctor Ellis points the handheld unit at the empty area and suddenly there is a particle beam that fires from the unit, stops eight feet from the point of origin and what the scientist in the lab call the gate begins to form. It grows to about 6X6 feet in diameter.

As the machine comes to full power, Doctor Ellis explains the time machine is set to one minute from now. He instructs one of his assistants. Dr. Lawrence, will you please step through the gate. As Doctor Lawrence prepares to step through Mark walks up behind Jon and Cass. He taps Jon on the shoulder without saying a word. He (Jon) and Cass both turn around and they have a short and happy reunion with no words spoken between them as the demonstration goes on. Dr. Lawrence, please proceed. Says Doctor Ellis. He steps through and vanishes in the gate and about a minute later he re emerges through the gate on the platform where the main unit is. Scientist in the immediate area applause for the demonstrations success and the safe return of their colleague. Suddenly one of the advisors aides rush to his side and whispers in his ear. What! Youve got to be kidding me! Get me the President on the phone now! He hurries off to one of the offices for privacy. There are looks of concern on everyones faces. Mark asks. Whats going on? We know as much as you do. Jon says. Have you seen Cassiopeia? How is she doing? Cass asks Mark. Shes fine, I checked in on her at this facilities nursery. Cass still had the look of worry on her face. Dont worry, shes in good hands. Mark says putting his arm around her shoulder. The national security advisor returns from the office. I just got off the phone with the President and he just informed me that there is another object half the size of the moon heading towards earth itself. We have two days after the first two meteorites hit the moon before this newly discovered meteorite collides with the earth. This is what scientist call a planet killer. The advisor turns to Mark, Cass and Jon. We need you three to travel back in time, convince the younger Mark to travel back with you. So Jon immediately asks. So why do we need to take the elderly Mark along with us? Yes and whats going to happen to Cassiopeia if were successful? Cass asks. T he old Mark will be needed to help convince his younger self to return back with you, and you will be about three months pregnant, so in theory you will see your child again and there will be no old Mark, just the young one. The original timeline needs to be restored so that none of these terrible global events are taking place.

We dont even know if this is going to work, but as of now this is our only recourse. If anyone has any other ideas, Im all ears. There is total silence.Ok then, Dr. Ellis reset the machine for 1956 Alabama. There is a slight hesitation from everyone. Move it, we havent much time! Advisor Addams screams. Everyone scrambles including Doctor Ellis. He calls Jon, Cass and Mark over to him. This is basically the same time machine with some differences. The gate can be held open for two hours if need be and you will also take with you this miniature version of the machine. When youre ready to return, just activate it. Coordinates can only be set on this side so as soon as youre through we will reset to our current date. Do you understand? They all respond. Yes. Ok, good luck! They immediately change into clothing of that period to blend in, given currency from that year and most importantly the smaller handheld unit so that they could return when ready. Except they only had two days to complete this mission.

All systems go. Says one scientist. Mark, Cass and Jon step up on the platform. The machine is at full power. The gate forms before them and they immediately step through. Back in 1956 Alabama, Jon, Cass and Mark emerge in an empty alley way. At first, there is disorientation and as they get their bearings, its noticed right away that the street seems to be empty. No cars, very little foot traffic. They walk together out of the alley and a feeling that something is not right comes over the group. Hold on, there is a newspaper in the trash. Says Jon. He immediately checks the date at the top of the page. It reads JUNE 1ST, 1957. We were sent to the wrong year! Its 1957! Tell me youre joking Jon! Cass replies. Ok, this is what were going to do. As I remember, this is around the time I met your Grandmother Cass and after we met, fell in love I asked her to marry me. She accepted, but we knew we couldnt remain in the south so we decided to move to Maryland which is about 500 miles from here. Mark says. Theres no way we can make it up there in time for us to return to our timeline, our future. Jon replies. Hes right Mark. Cass says. Theres still time to catch up to them before they leave for Maryland. Mark says. Are you sure Mark? Jon asks. No, but we have to try. Quickly, we havent much time! Mark flags down a local taxi since hes the one who is most familiar with the area. They all hop in a taxi and the driver immediately asks, Where you folks headin? Um, were going to 237 Forrest Lane. Mark replies. Yeah, thats down towards the edge of town right? the driver says. Thats right and can you pick it up, were in sort of a hurry. Mark says. No problem sir, my name is Ralph. Ill get you there in a jiff! The taxi speeds off and while riding through town, they drive through a Klan rally.

There are white men, women and children holding up picket signs, protesting the integration of black and white children at the towns local school. Theyre also trying to recruit new members in the ranks of the Klu Klux Klan. Idiots. Ralph says. My mother taught me that all are equal in the eyes of God. Ignore em. Ralph continues to drive through; they pull up to Marks old address and as they pull up young Mark emerges from the house carrying a box marked pantry walking towards the moving truck. Theyve made it in time. Mark, stay here. Jon says to the elderly Mark in the cab. He and Cass exit the vehicle, young Mark sees them right away. He drops the box in shock and whatever was inside the box shatters. Mark immediately walks up to Jon and punches him in the face. Thats for leaving me here!

Wait Mark, we can explain! Cries Cass. The elderly Mark exits the cab as Jon recovers from the punch. It wasnt our fault; you just didnt make it to the gate in time but we all now have bigger problems. Where is your fianc? Jon asks. Mark calms down. He is staring at Cass. You look just like her. Where is your fianc Mark? Jon asks again. Um, shes in town picking up dinner for us, as you can see were about to move. Mark replies still a little agitated. Ok, there is no time to explain, youre going to have to trust us. You have to return with us back to the future. Jon states. Why? Im settled here and in love. Were going to make a life for ourselves in Maryland. Mark explains. The elderly Mark immediately walks over and says Mark. Who are you? Young Mark asks. Im you, youre me. We are the same person. The elderly Mark pulls up his sleeve to show a birth mark on his arm. The same birth mark, young Mark has on his arm. Yeah, what about the tattoo? Young Mark asks. The elder Mark pulls his sleeve up further to expose the tattoo on his upper arm. The young mark is in total disbelief but since hes seen the time machine work, anythings possible. Look, in the future there are three meteorites heading towards the moon and earth and if we do not return, all of us; there will be no future for any of us and as you can see because of your interference in the life of Casss Grandmother, Cass in white. Jon states. I figured that out already. Young Mark says.

Cass approaches young Mark. Its the only way, please come back with us. Mark sighs heavily. Can I at least leave a note? No time for that! Is there enough area in your backyard? Forget it, lets go! The elder Mark says. As they make their way to the backyard. According to the scientist, once the four of us enter the gate only you three will emerge. Dont worry about me, I wont feel a thing. All things will be restored. The elder Mark states. Jon removes the portable unit from the satchel hes wearing and activates it. A particle beam opens the gate. Before they all step through, young Mark looks back worried about his fianc. Cass grabs his arm and they look into each others eyes. They walk through the gate.

Mark, Cass and Jon emerge on the other side of the gate in the present. Once again at the lab of Marks father, Doctor Ellis; on the same night they made the first trip back to the past. Marks father, along with a host of scientist greets them. Cass is African American again. Dad! Mark says. Son, how are you all doing? Were going to have you all checked out by our doctors.Doctor Ellis says. Sir, how long have weve been gone? Jon asks. The other scientists look at each other. You three have been gone for only a week.What do you mean a week? Ive been in an alternate timeline for a whole year! Well when youre dealing with temporal mechanics anything can happen. You can tell me about your adventures later. Besides, something wonderful has happened. Says Dr. Ellis. Whats happened? Cass asks. Two days ago three large unidentified objects entered into earths atmosphere which was later identified as alien spacecraft. They have not made any aggressive actions against us but the whole world is on alert. Well have they tried to communicate? Jon asks. Theyre about to, hold on. Doctor Ellis points the remote and switches on the two monitors in the lab. Everyone gathers around. Cassie places her hand on her stomach knowing her baby is growing inside but will grow up to what kind of world? On the monitors: This is a CNN special report. The news anchor speaks; Im Jessica Stevens, were about to hear an announcement from one of the alien spacecraft.Ok, here we go. As she places her hand to her ear to hear through the earpiece what the producer is saying to her.

The whole world is watching. Everyone on the planet is either glued to their television, watching in bars, in barbershops, restaurants, on their smart phones anywhere they can.

Alien: Inhabitants of the planet earth.

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