PART NINE: THE VANISHING POINT
Ada took a deep breath as she contemplated the mission she had ahead of her to save her best friend from an unseen threat. Although she trusted Dewey with her life, the possibility of their latest crazy scheme to save Melody falling apart was higher than their odds at them pulling it off. This time, however, failure could mean a fate possibly worse than death as they would be lost in the fabric of Time itself.
Ash, the Artificial Sentience Construct that Ada’s maternal grandmother had created which was drastically made better not only be Aurora herself but by Dewey’s skillful tinkering and the construct’s own impressive machine learning, had had a hand in helping them arrive at the safest possible way of conducting the difficult mission ahead of them and Ada trusted the A.S’s simulations as much as she trusted Dewey’s own calculations.
On the day they set out to leave towards one of many Vanishing Points Ash had predicted would occur at a specific time within a very slim window in a particular Space, with as little of a margin of error as it could muster, Ada once more vowed to return to her husband in one piece although they both knew the chances of that occurring were very low. It was, however, much better for them to entertain hope than give into despair.
Ada and Dewey arrived at the Vanishing point just in time before its location moved to yet another unpredictable Space. They were prepared with hazmart space suits and the best future Tech available at the time just in case the Space occupied by the Vanishing point ever shifted to a place outside Earth. Ada and Dewey also set their suits’ visibility settings to hastily unscramble any images flashing by them to avoid losing their minds due to Sensory overload. Furthermore, in case the worst happened, they were assured that Blaize would do whatever it took to get them back.
The Vanishing point was fascinating in that it constantly shifted between different Spaces across different eras in time that intersected between the Timelines. Within the Point, all of Time happened at once and it was easy to get lost in the quagmire thus the need for Dewey and Ada to focus on their objective or else risk being torn apart and getting lost in the fabric of Space-Time itself.
Once they both focused on the objective, the Vanishing Point worked as Ash and Dewey had predicted it would- it offered up a way for them to reach to a Timeline which they could impact to effectively save Melody. The moment the Vanishing Point offered was in form of a door which looked exactly like the front door to the Harringtons home in Wintria.
Intrigued by the development, they walked together, hand in hand towards the door and emerged on the other side of it. They were shocked that the door they took opened up into a room in the real home of the Harringtons which was further confirmed by Ada and Dewey being able to eavesdrop upon a conversation occurring between Melody and her mother Maude in a room close to the room they had suddenly appeared in.
Maude blessed her daughter and wished Melody good luck on her latest assigned mission for the Order of the White Cloak before Melody said goodbye and presumably went to the Shadow Realm. Maude sighed worriedly before completely ignoring the room that Dewey and Ada had traveled into while they stood watching the door nervously, holding in their collective breath.
“What the hell is going on Dewey? Where are we?” whispered Ada to Dewey the second she was certain that they were not within earshot. Dewey quickly tinkered with the Harrington home security system to save them from getting caught before responding to Ada’s question.
“According to Ash, we’re in Timeline A-3, March 2nd 2074, the day Melody disappeared in our Timeline,”
“Wait, do you mean Ash was here for the journey all along?”
Dewey nodded. “It’s kind of hard to explain how but I brought a part of her with us to aid us. That part of her connected to the Ash in this Timeline. The programming I did on her accessed the parts of her in this version better than I anticipated but let me spare you the greater technical details…”
“According to her, there are doppelgangers of us here too so we need to be careful so as not to encounter them or it could spell disaster although chances of us running into them are really slim. Both our doppelgangers are currently occupying the Realm of Gardenia as should be,”
“So what are we supposed to do while we’re here? We’ve heard Melody and she went to the Shadow Realm right? Should we find a way of getting there?”
“We don’t know if the threat she faces is within the Shadow Realm and that might prove a bit tricky don’t you think? I say we stake it out and see if Melody will return on her own and if she doesn’t return, we know that the threat to her life was in the Shadow Realm,”
“Did we come all this way just to have a stake-out? I thought the whole point of this was to save her before whatever happened occurred right?”
“We still have no clue what led to her missing and neither do we know anything that would help us win against whatever threat she faces. The smartest way to go about this is to observe first. Now that we made it here and we know this exact day and moment is a potential vanishing point, we can always come back here once we ascertain the threat we face, and hopefully save Melody once and for all,”
“What if this is our only shot to save her? I mean this day is a vanishing point for a reason right? Something major must have happened to her right here for it to be a vanishing point, right?”
Dewey nodded. “A singularity shared by both A-3 and D-3 must have occurred here but there is no way for us to know what it is without observing it. I mean, the very essence of the Universe exists by being observed. Perhaps all that is required to change Melody’s fate is simply observing. Even if that is not the case, I am certain we can figure out whatever happened to Melody and come back to resolve it,”
Ada could barely sit still as both she and Dewey silently monitored the Timeline using Ash to pick up any signs of irregularities. They staked out Melody’s home all day but as they both thought, Melody did not return that day. They were just about to throw in the towel when they were suddenly immobilized and could not move a muscle.
They looked up in horror to see Melody whose eyes were pitch black as she stared down at them curiously. Before they knew it, they were dragged down into the Shadow Realm and Melody suddenly assumed the form of a dark, featureless humanoid figure.
“Who are you and what do you want with me?” Melody asked, her voice frighteningly magnified . Ada and Dewey both thought that there was something very off about her demeanor and could only conclude that whatever happened to her had occurred in the Shadow Realm.
“Who are you and what have you done to Melody?” Ada boldly asked.
The Creature’s blank, pitch black face was suddenly obscured by an unnaturally wide grin as it mockingly stated, “Whatever do you mean, impostors?”
“Whatever it is you think you’re doing is not going to work. We are going to get Melody back no matter what,” Ada stated bravely.
“There is no saving Melody now. She gave into her hatred and despair, thus her very essence became mine,”
“What are you exactly?” Dewey pressed the creature.
“You need not worry about that. Now that you have figured me out, you cannot be allowed to leave this place as you are,” it stated and summoned Ada and Dewey’s Shades (the representatives of their Subtle bodies that occupied the Shadow Realm).
Neither Ada nor Dewey displayed any signs of fear and so the creature before them stared at them in wonder.
“Who really are you people?” it asked as the Shades it had summoned suddenly began to take shape and form, bearing the same shape and form of the Creature they were facing off against.
“You tell us what you are first and what you want with Melody?” Dewey countered.
The creature’s smirk widened making it look all the more frightening as the Shades it had summoned suddenly lunged at Ada and Dewey. Ada threw a worried look Dewey’s way but he did not flinch at all. Ada took a deep breath and braced herself for the fight of their lives.
TO BE CONTINUED…
What is the identity of the creature taking Melody hostage and what are its true intentions for her? Stay tuned to find out! Links to previous parts are listed below. Enjoy!