02/01/2007 - Roy gave Elijah a call at 4:00 AM, as wide awake as ever, surprising coming from Roy, but by no means unwelcome since Elijah had been up all night, anyway.
"Elijah, I have the solution! We can fix all the alter-realities and everything!" Roy exclaimed.
Elijah sat up in bed. "I sure hope you're right!" he said, a flicker of hope that had been absent for a while arising inside him. "Let's hear it!"
"I've been thinking about the videos we watched from that phone. Do you remember that strange white building? If it is what it looks like to me, it's the headquarters for all their time travels, and, if my calculations are correct, they have created such a twisted up 'reality' with the center point being that very building that, if we wait until The perfect moment and blow up the building, we'll have an automatic fix."
"You've lost me," Elijah said, "What do you mean by the 'perfect moment'?"
"If we blow the building up just anytime we want, we would only be making things worse. You've seen the time travel movies where a portal opens up and you can jump through it and be transported to a different time period?"
"Yeah, where are you going with this?"
"The 'portal' is only open for a few minutes and if you went to the place where the 'portal' is any other time it would do nothing. You have to time it right. Same thing here. There will be a moment after so many years of them messing with this time travel stuff that their 'reality' will be so twisted and fragile we can reverse everything they've done by blowing up the center point – their building, but it will only work if we do it within the five minute window of time. Once again, if I've calculated right, this 'portal' or 'opportune moment' only happens once every thousand years. "
"So, do you have any idea when this 'perfect moment' is?"
"If my calculations are correct, it would have to be election day at twelve o'clock PM."
"But that might be too late! We don't know when in the ceremony this assassination will happen."
"That's the only problem, so here's the deal, you go to the ceremony and if anything starts to happen, stall it!"
"Stall an assassination? By these guys? Is your head on straight? I think the lack of sleep is getting to you."
"I'll be at this building waiting for the right time and if you can just hold it off long enough, I can get everything fixed."
"Among the many flaws in this plan one stands out in my mind at the moment. We don't even know where this building is."
I already thought about that. See if there are any GPS locations on the phone." he said with confidence.
Elijah pulled the phone back out. "There is one," he said, "You won't believe this! It's the old Chandler building!"
"But that's been around for at least a hundred years! No one ever goes there. You remember all the controversy they had about tearing it down?"
"The nonsense about it being a historical building with a significance in Wagon Wheel's heritage? Yeah. Funny how no one knows what this significance is."
"I think I do. I think it's their center point."
"Well, I guess there's only one way to find out. You comin' with me?"
"You're on...let's meet there tonight at eleven PM."
That night Elijah and Roy were standing outside the building in question behind a moving van in the parking lot.
"Odd that this would be here," Elijah commented, referring to the only vehicle in sight, which was serving as their hiding place, "but other than that it looks abandoned. Even the windows are bashed in, look. It just doesn't add up."
Roy had to admit that Elijah was right. "I wouldn't be too quick to assume there's nothing in there, though. Let's not leave without trying to get inside real quick first. If we don't try now we'll always wonder."
The two of them snuck closer, but before they had moved more than a couple of feet their surroundings changed as if by magic and they were standing in a large white room before Max himself, and Max was holding a device that looked exactly like the yellow computer mouse Elijah had found.
"Right on time, Elijah and Roy," Max said with a wicked smile that made Elijah's skin crawl. "I haven't had the pleasure of hosting you two bright young fellows in my humble quarters before. It was Jonathan who's been my guest. I should've finished him while I had the chance, but I wanted to taste the victory on a deeper scale. Getting him in my own element would be easier than pie, but getting him in his, while primitive and still seemingly juvenile would at least give me a sense of, you know, earning the title of 'victor' and the 'better man'.
I have to give you boys some credit. I would never have thought the two of you would get this far with your limited resources. Makes me think of the Swiss Family Robinson, how they made a treehouse home for themselves when they were stranded on an uninhabited island. Impressive for what they had available, yet woefully inadequate compared to what they could have in the real world."
"Where are you going with all of this, Max?" Elijah asked, the response to which was a sharp blow on the cheek.
"You're lucky that's all you received for such treason!" Max exclaimed, the veins popping out on his neck and forehead while his skin turned about five different shades of red. "From now on you will address me as Dr. Maximus like the rest of them, and as far as the 'speech' goes, don't rush me!" When he said those two last words his voice rose to a volume Elijah would not have thought humanly possible and it shut him up for the time being.
"As I was saying, your friend Jonathan will get his time, but for now, I'm more worried about you two."
Roy dared to speak. "How did you know we were coming?"
"Figure it out yourself, genius! I have screens showing me what is going to happen in each time period so that I can decide which one I want to enter. It is practically foolproof. I can avoid a lot of sticky situations, but when it fails we have the luxury of reliving and changing what we didn't like."
"I wonder if you'd consider a proposition, Dr. Maximus?" Elijah said as soon as he found his voice.
"I'm not much of a businessman, but I'm in the mood for entertainment. Carry on."
Elijah drew in a deep breath, realizing the gravity of what he was about to suggest, but fearing it was his only option. "If you will agree to leave Jonathan's life peacefully alone, not assassinate, but let him serve his term until he dies his God-ordained death, we will let you play your time travel games and never bother you again."
"Nice idea, but no."
"Why do you think I'm after Jonathan? Do you know?"
Roy and Elijah were silent.
"You two don't deserve as much credit as I previously awarded you. If you haven't figured it out by now you don't deserve to know. Box them and lock them in the prison cell," Max said to one of his assistants and he left the room with a huff.
Without a word another man in black stepped forward. He had two black boxes with chains and keyboards attached. It felt like Deja Vu as he did the same thing to Elijah and Roy as he had to Jonathan in the other 'reality'. The only words their captor spoke as he left the room were, "You two may as well give up. You're in way over your heads." Then the door shut with an ominous, resounding slam.