Continue this branch ...


Wherever...and whenever you have gone back to hasn't quite taken shape yet. He sounds serious, the man barking at your back: and angry, as if you've done something seriously wrong. Something seriously hard, like the end of a metal pipe, taps the back of your head. It has to be the muzzle of a gun, you realize. Your legs go wobbly.


Your hands go to your head. There isn't much chance you can stop the wobbliness, though. And the ground shuddering under your feet isn't helping.

This Here and Now finally fills in around you. It might be Berlin, again, Churchill might still be bouncing the rubble, because the broken cobblestones under you shudder again. Distant taatterings and pop'poppings might be Russians, or the Western Buddies, relentlessly pre-dividing the ruined cake, street by smoky street.

"I'll take that." A woman, sounding like one you'd pay one-ninety-nine per minute to hear. The remote is ripped from your wrist.

Soldiers close a ring around you. They're not wearing your Grand-Dad's British battle-dress green. They're in black. And balaclavas. They point snubby, mean, twenty-first-century SMGs.

"Earlier, you stated 'Humans Suck'. Colloquialism from your strange time, is it? Or was vampirism all the rage then?" The woman crosses in front of you.

She's graphic-novel gorgeous. Leggy in a black trenchcoat, cinched tightly around the waist. Hair dark as chocolate up under a black fedora. A painted smirking mouth. You see yourself reflected, small in each round emerald lens of her teashades. The gold pendant gleaming on her throat, Ouroboros, snake of eternity chasing its own tail, means you are in serious trouble.

Her teeth are unnaturally white: she confirms the worry flip-flopping your heart. "All of time you might have hidden in. You think yourself clever, returning to the scene of the crime before you committed it?"

Your mouth drops open...

The End

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