Chapter 3

If you are following along, this is the third chapter in the novel This Time.

If you are just joining, the first chapter can be read here and the second chapter can be read here.

Enjoy!

Chapter 3

The Diax released me two days later with stern instructions that I was to rest.

“We are not yet sure what drug they used on you and so we don’t know what kind of lingering effect it may have,” the Diax told me as I prepared to leave.

I nodded in understanding, but I needed to get out of the medical wing, see if I could find any more information about what happened. It gave me a look of knowing, or at least that is how I interpreted it as I exited the sterile environment back into the Citadel proper. I was thankful to not receive a lengthy lecture on the need for rest.

Using the deserted hallway, I slowly made my way toward my quarters, trying to ignore the black that threated my vision, focusing on placing one foot in front of the other. As such, I almost ran into the Collector before I realized she stood in front of me. Full face framed with dark brown hair cut close to her chin, the Collector looked vaguely familiar and I glanced down at her wrist to read the tattoos. They indicated her second ranking, but the information didn’t help with her name or where I knew her from.

“Guardian Wren?” she asked, the Rushielian lilt causing me to tense in response.

 “Yes?” I responded, glad my voice came out normal.

“The Archivist wishes to speak with you.”

In a way, I’d expected it. “I’m headed to my room to change and then I will attend to him. Is he back in his main office?”

The Collector shifted from foot to foot, barely a movement, but I caught it and my focus narrowed. The tattoos on my wrist indicated a third level Guardian, but once upon a time they’d indicated a fourth level Collector, therefore, once upon a time, I had outranked her in training and experience. Perhaps this woman knew it, or not, but her non-verbals said she brought a message that she felt was dangerous.

“He is getting sun, out beyond the West gate,” she replied.

It was a lie, but I trusted the Archivist, if the message did come from him; and if it didn’t then I wanted to know who waited for me there.

I thanked the Collector who visibly relaxed at my acceptance and then hurried away. I watched her disappear around the corner then closed my eyes for a moment, leaning up against the stone wall, feeling tired in my bones. Sighing, I pushed myself up and then walked to my rooms, not to rest but to change out of the hospital jumper and into a pair of regulation Guardian black. I felt a stab of thankfulness in my chest at the sight of my staff lying on my bed. Kieren had likely retrieved it and I needed to remember to thank him. With staff strapped to my back and clothed in Guardian apparel, I felt closer to normal and made my way to the West gate.

Summer closed in and the heat felt good atop my head as I wound my way through the interior courtyard, life a constant hum of activity around me. I nodded at the two Guardians standing at attention at the exit, who replied in kind. Passing underneath the heavy walls and back into daylight on the outside, I started off on the road that circled the Citadel. The pebbled road branched off in a pathway towards a garden-type area where I figured I would find Tirius. 

As I walked, I caught sight of Kieren, his long stride a familiar one, back straight. But, though he looked normal, something suddenly felt off, a ping of instinct, and I slowed, scanning the Citadel walls and the field of grass stretching out towards the old forest. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but still the feeling persisted. I quickened my pace again and Kieren turned at my approach, surprise flickering across his face before it smoothed out. He waited for me, his black hair catching the sunlight, hands easy at his sides. I suppose there could have been a moment of realization, a tensing in the air, but suddenly we were not the only ones on the path, a figure looming in front of me, grabbing my hand and tearing me out of reality and into Travel.

We Arrived.

The tilt and whirl of Arrival was pronounced, and I leaned over without looking and vomited.

A long-suffering sigh came from somewhere on my left and I opened my eyes in a squinted glare. The light was not particularly bright, grayish and watery, but still stung in reaction to the jerking out of one timeline and into another.

Tirius looked down at me from his tall height, not at all amused, mismatched blue and green eyes watching, lips compressed.

My mind worked to make sense of what had happened, looking around in a daze at the sudden change from bright hot sun to gloomy gray cold.

“I thought you Traveled better than that,” Tirius commented. 

Glaring, I got to my feet unsteadily. “Well, if you hadn’t just pulled me into a Travel, I wouldn’t have vomited,” I said, not adding the part about recently being drugged and in the medical wing. If Tirius didn’t know about that, I didn’t need to inform him. I dusted dirt from my black uniform, shivering at the biting wind coming off the gray sea. 

I refused to ask the obvious questions, instead taking in the sea cliffs, the rolling green and yellow fields, the smell and taste of salt on the air. There was a village or town some ways away, the dark brown roofs just apparent against the sky heavy with clouds. I tried to access my interface, to pull up my location or any information, but nothing happened. The interface should have worked immediately upon thinking, but what I saw was only the scene before me.

I turned back to Tirius, my glare deepening. He put a gloved hand up, the sleeve of his woolen black coat falling to show the tip of his tattoo, a swirling of lines around five dots. “You have questions, I know, but they will need to wait. You will have time to ask them. For now, follow me.”

I did as I was told because not knowing where we were, I had no form of reference for Traveling. I could have left Tirius, refused to follow him, and made my way to the village to discover where and when I was located. Instead, I followed out of an ingrained habit of obedience, and because curiosity tugged at me, the need to know like a burning in my chest. 

Walking behind Tirius, I examined him. Without knowing his timeline, this Tirius could be prior to the pickup in France, or sometime in the future. As I caught his profile, I noticed his face was a little less gaunt and a little more on the healthy side than the man I had left with the Administrators. His hair length, though, was about the same, the color a dark chestnut, the wind picking and pulling at the curls.

“Careful here,” he said as he descended a step onto a path that switchbacked along the cliff wall. I followed his warning, watching my footfalls on the wet stones, my Guardian boots helpful against the slick rocks. Despite the danger of slipping, the view pulled me from my concentration, the gray sea with white caps flowing out to an equally gray horizon, the color so closely matched as to give the impression of continuity, as if we were in a bowl. White seagulls chattered and flew overhead, and though the wind continued to batter me, as we made our way down the gusts lessened as giant rocks out at sea took on some of the wind’s impact. Reaching the beach, I pulled my arms tightly around my body, shivering at the dampness, once again paying attention to my footing as we made our way along the cliff over the wet pebbled beach. 

“Not too much farther,” Tirius threw over his shoulder as we simultaneously turned a corner, the change in direction revealing a small, squat, slate-roofed cottage nestled against the cliff wall. Because we approached from the backend of the cottage, a stone wall greeted us, but as we walked closer, the side of the cottage came into view, two green-shuttered windows looking out at the sea. The smell of woodsmoke hit and I spied the chimney to the side of the cottage, a twirl and spiral of smoke reaching upwards.

The door was the same shade of green as the shutters and I saw that both the door and the shutters needed paint, but the peeling did not detract from the overall charm of the place. When Tirius opened the door to usher me in, I was not at all surprised to find the interior equally cozy and quaint.

“I’ll make tea,” he announced.

I shivered once and then twice, the cheerful fire casting warmth and orange and yellow light across the room, though not quite reaching the chill that had entered my bones. I sat down on the low-slung leather chair in front of the fireplace, leaving the couch next to it empty. 

From where I sat, I watched Tirius as he went about his business in the small sloped-ceiling kitchen on the other side of the cottage. He first shrugged out of his woolen coat and placed it on a hook near the door, then got the kettle and a box of tea from one of the open shelves behind a small battered kitchen table. The house pipes groaned and complained when he turned on the tap at the white ceramic sink next to the stove, but after a moment, they gave up clean running water that Tirius used to fill the kettle. The stove was just within my eyesight and I saw it was three-burner gas one that needed matches. The flare of blue flame lit Tirius’s features up in a weird glow before he covered it with the kettle.

He came back to where I was sitting, settling in on the couch and giving me the familiar knowing look that I used to get from him while still a student. 

“You have questions,” he said, making it a statement.

I gave him a look right back.

Something like amusement flickered across his face, pulling at his lips, crinkling the corners of his eyes. “You always had more questions than you were supposed to,” he said. “And yet, you chose Guardian over Collector.”

I frowned at the old judgment. “You know why,” I said, leaning forward as if to push his amusement away.

He waved a hand. “I don’t. Your words were an excuse that I feel holds not an ounce of truth, but I am starting to understand that perhaps it has nothing to do with you and having to do more with an interesting mistake. But that is a different conversation. So, what are you going to ask me first?”

I stared at him and he waited, easy, leaning back in his chair with black trousered legs in front of him. It was a test of sorts, and one that I would fail, but I still wanted to give it a go, so I remained stubborn in my silence until the kettle whistled and Tirius got up to fetch it. The process of steeping the tea took a moment and I took that moment to look around me. There was very little in the room besides the two low chairs and a sofa in front of the fireplace and a scarred wooden table between a window at the side of the room, one of the two windows I’d seen outside that faced the sea. The table was similar in construction to the kitchen table and the two equally scarred wooden chairs with high backs pushed underneath mirrored the kitchen ones as well. There was a hallway directly behind me which I assumed led to a bedroom and bathroom combo, though the dimness made it impossible to tell.  

Tirius brought the tea he’d poured into a large ceramic mug of dark blue. I took the mug, the heat immediately seeping into my palms, the waft of black tea engulfing my face.

Tirius took his seat and sipped peacefully at his own mug, even closing his eyes briefly as he took the first taste. The action was familiar, and I found myself smiling at it. My former mentor had always liked his tea.

But, even after he opened his eyes once more, he remained silent and I sighed in frustration. “Fine,” I said, breaking the silence. “Before or after France, and how is my interface not working?”

The knowing smile on Tirius’s face scraped over my annoyance and I clenched my jaw against showing it on my face, though I likely did anyway.

“After France,” he replied.

“How did you take me out of the Master Realm without using a node? I thought that was impossible.”

“Within the Citadel yes, but as you move further away from the Citadel walls it is doable, albeit difficult.”

I studied him closely. Though he filled the position of mentor for cycles, I honestly knew very little about the man. I knew the contours of his face, the very straight nose, mismatched green and blue eyes, bored mouth; however, as I’d explained to the Warden, he was never one to talk, confess his deepest darkest secrets, of which I knew were many and varied. The Archivist was an oracle, a knower of all things and I’d held him in awe. I had a hard time moving beyond that to question him, to ask him what was going on. Instead, I sipped at my tea and waited because there was a reason. If nothing else, Tirius did everything for a reason. 

The wind outside increased a bit as we sat, the fire leaping in protest from the breeze finding its way down the chimney. There was a crescendo of sound, the waves a rolling rhythm of water against the pebbled beach. 

“And the interface?” I prompted.

Tirius nodded towards where his coat lay. “A device granted to Archivists to ensure complete privacy.”

I frowned. “Complete privacy?”

“For conversations that are not to be recorded. Everything that you say and do is recorded on your interface. It is a center for information, of course, but you are also monitored and tracked through it.”

It made sense; our world, interactions, and lives collected like any other.

“Why didn’t you pull Kieren as well?” I continued.

When Tirius did not immediately answer my question, I glanced over. He was staring down into his mug, a slight frown around his eyes. 

I waited.

“Do you feel the separation?” he eventually asked.

My initial reaction was “no,” but old habits die hard and I paused before I answered; really examining the question, rolling it around in my mind. The process felt odd, like an old machine being started up for the first time in a long time, which in a way that was the case. I used to think in theoretical circles, taking a subject and examining it at all angles, throwing around the questions and answers and leading down avenues of thought; a process of creating. But as a Guardian, those type skills were not needed and were discouraged from the point a candidate entered the training program.

And I did feel the separation, like a strange pull at the base of my skull, at the top of my spine, as if a piece of myself was being pulled outwards towards wherever Kieren was currently located, which I described to Tirius.

“Part of the Guardian partnership, no doubt,” Tirius said, though I had a feeling that was not his complete thought on the matter. He looked over and then put his mug down on the hardwood floor next to him. “The Warden and Masters place the most compatible recruits together as partners. You and Kieren have always been an interesting match, though a match nonetheless.”

I thought about my partner and my differences. I knew what Tirius spoke of; we were different when compared to the other Guardian pairs. Most Guardian pairs seemed to be inseparable, as if they were two pieces of a whole. Kieren and I had never gotten to that point, very much different individuals working together, but also separately. I’d always assumed it was because of my time as a Collector.

“Probably has to do with your initial assignment,” Tirius said, echoing my thoughts.

I changed the subject. “Why am I here?” I tried again.

He tilted his head, looking towards the fire, gazing at the flame for a moment before answering. “What do you know about timeline abnormalities?”

I shrugged, trying to recall what I had learned under his tutelage. “Timeline abnormalities exist and are considered wholly normal as long as they remain within a certain parameter.”

“And if they are outside the parameter?”

“Then it indicates a manipulation,” I answered immediately, the information coming back to me. I studied Tirius. I noticed a thin scar across his temple that I had no memory of from before. 

He turned and pinned me with the look that always made me feel young and untried, characteristics that were most definitely not accurate any longer.

“Those manipulations, outside of the parameters, are the ones that you and your partner assess.”

I shrugged one shoulder. “Sort of. We don’t assess the situation, someone else does that, usually a team of Collectors and the Warden. Once they’ve determined the situation, they send us in to stop whatever or whoever it is that is creating the abnormality.”

“You do a lot of these?”

“No. There have only been maybe four, though due to the nature of our command, I don’t always know the reason for our missions.”

Tirius stared at me, then slowly shook his head. “How you have survived as a Guardian is beyond me.”

I tried not to let the comment rankle, though it did, because the unknowing had bothered me, despite my vows to the position.

Tirius stood up and I sat back in my chair as his form loomed over me, but it was only for a moment. I watched as he walked over to the table, pushing down on what seemed like a random location. A piece of the table created a seam then popped up, revealing a small square shape with an opening in the side. Tirius took out a file, smaller than my pinky nail and just as thin, then pushed the box down where it descended and then disappeared into the woodwork once again.

He thrust it towards me, but I stared at it, not taking the small, paper-thin data file. “What is it?” I asked.

“It’s the information I have right now about what is going on within the human timeline.”

I looked away from the file and up to where he stared down at me. “The human timeline.”

“Yes. It’s being manipulated. The abnormalities are significantly outside of any parameter.”

“And the information showing that is on this disk?”

“Some of it.” He paused, then appeared to decide on something. The file disappeared and he put his hand out for me to take. “Come, I have something to show you.”

“Another Travel?”

“Yes.”

Narrowing my eyes, I looked at his outstretched hand. In that one word, he asked for my participation, for my trust and I knew if I agreed to travel with him that I would be giving some kind of answer to a question that he hadn’t bothered to ask.

It would no longer be kidnapping at that point, but a decided action on my part.

“Are you still in trouble with the Masters?” I asked.

He kept his hand out and smiled. “I am. In a lot more ways than I was, but I want to show you why. I am still the villain in this story, still the one that kidnapped you from the Master Realm. No one need know more.”

I put my own mug down, glancing around the small room and then leaned over and took his hand. The Travel was not as jarring this time around as I knew it was coming, still, my world tilted, the air in my lungs pushed out violently and then just as violently returned. I kept my tea down though and when I opened my eyes the world stopped spinning sooner rather than later. 

We were in a bedroom, sunlight streaming through the curtain in soft, warm waves. A four-poster bed took up a great deal of space, with an armoire in one corner, and a stand with a washbasin in the other. Between those stood a window, opened, allowing the sound of horses, people, the smell of summer to waft into the room.

Tirius went to the armoire and opened the doors, pulling out a pressed black suit and a pair of shining black military shoes. “There is clothing in there,” he indicated with a nod, going to the other side of the bed and stripping out of his clothes, pulling his shirt up and over his head before I could turn away, revealing thin white scars along his back.

Questions, I thought, going to the armoire. “Time period?” I asked as I pulled out a dress in a heavy silk fabric, the matching belt hanging behind it.

“1914,” he said from behind me.

“World War I again,” I commented, hardly surprised, glancing over my shoulder.

“Indeed,” he said, buttoning up his white, linen shirt.

I sighed, pulling off the black Guardian shirt and trousers, letting them fall to the floor and unstrapping my staff. Pulling the shimmering summer dress over my head, I was hardly surprised that the dress fit, the fabric swinging about my legs. The braid I’d used on the Rushielian mission, and easy solution for the cowls we’d worn then, wasn’t an ideal look and I hurriedly redid the braid and then wrapped it around itself, creating a low bun at the base of my skull, pulling at some of the looser strands around my face to soften the look. My time in captivity had not been kind and the strands felt dirty under my fingers, but I covered the dirty hair with an elaborate feathered hat. A pair of low-slung heels completed the look of early 20th century European wealth.

I kicked the Guardian clothing to the side, towards the bed. The clothing could stay, but the staff had to come with so I readjusted the strapping, pulling the dress up on my leg far enough that I could strap the holster to my thigh, reducing the staff to its smallest setting before putting it into the strapping.

“You could leave it,” Tirius said from the other side of the room.

I didn’t bother to answer, letting the dress fall back down. The holster felt awkward, uncomfortable, but I wasn’t leaving it.

Tirius tamed his curls with promenade, the slickness of the style almost shiny. He examined himself in the mirror before turning to examine me, frowning. The style of his hair made the frown particularly hawkish, and I squirmed before catching myself with irritation. He might be the Archivist, but I was a Guardian and of my own expertise, and I squared my shoulders in defiance.

He caught the change and his expression lightened in amusement, but he refrained from making a comment, opening the door to the room, jerking his head towards the exit.

“Where are we?” I asked, following Tirius out the door and into a plush hallway of dark red and gold.

“Sarajevo,” he replied.

The connection was not a hard one. Even when I worked under him as an apprentice, Tirius had shown an obsessive need to know everything about World War I human history. A giant portion of his personal archives had an impressive number of Collections from that time period, and the rumor at the time was that he even had a Collector assigned solely to study World War I, though I never met this elusive Collector while apprenticing. Surprising enough, I had never gone to the timeline while working for him. Other human timelines, yes, but never that one. I still knew my history though and I knew the significance of the location.

“The assassination?” I asked, just to make sure, following him down a broad stairway into the lobby of the hotel. Tirius nodded as we entered the lobby, shoes sinking into plush carpet. It was not an overly fancy hotel, but it was clearly for the wealthier class. The individuals lounging about were all dressed immaculately with fine clothes and heavy jewelry. The women eyed Tirius in the way they always did, allowing me to blend into the scenery and observe, though honestly there was not much to observe. If my recall was correct, it was June 1914, and the Hungarian-Austrian prince was about to be assassinated.

We stepped outside into the sunshine and I raised my face towards the light for a moment, eyes closed, letting the warmth sink in. There was nothing like Earth sol in the early 20th-century. Still calm, still gentle, the rays felt like a balm, my aching body absorbing the light.

“This way,” Tirius said, breaking my reverie.

With a breath, I opened my eyes and followed him down the sidewalk. We were located somewhere along the river, the name of which I could not remember, but the canal-like water sparkled in the morning light. It was quiet, or quieter than I thought it would be with what was about to happen, but then that was always the case. A great event and the people that lived in it were not aware of its significance until later, sometimes much later. Everything normal, going about day-to-day chores and engagements, and then, something so huge rocking the entire foundation of their reality. Or not. Like this assassination, that was tragic and terrible, but which would eventually lead to one of the deadliest wars in human time and was the precursor to the deadliest war.

Or, perhaps, they did know, or someone knew, if an abnormality truly had taken place in the timeline.

Tirius turned to cross the river and I followed in step, trying to recall what I knew about the day, which, honestly, was very little. Though my interface would usually give me the information, I was still unable to access it. Thankfully, my ability to translate languages was untouched and I saw the sign for the infamous Schillers deli as we made to the other side.

“Here?” I asked, surprised as it seemed like an obvious place to observe and we would be noticed.

Tirius shook his head. “No.” He pointed towards the building across the street from the store. It was a regular building, nothing remarkable, but as we approached, Tirius increased his pace so much that I had to break into a jog to keep up, an action that caused a few curious glances my way.

“Slow down,” I called towards his back.

“No time,” Tirius threw over his shoulder without slowing.

Grumbling, I kept my gaze down to ignore the looks, thankful when Tirius led me down a smaller alleyway to a door in the building across from the deli. Taking the narrow stairwell’s steps two at a time to the second-story landing, Tirius opened the door to a dusty storage room lined with smelly leather. Pausing at the threshold to the room, the smell noxious, I watched Tirius go to the window at the far end and push it open with a mighty shove upwards. I expected the sound of resistance as the window looked ancient, but it moved without a sound, letting in a wave a cooler, sweeter smelling air.

“Here, and shut the door,” Tirius said.

I stepped into the room, putting my hand up to my nose against the still overpowering smell, and did as he said, shutting the door behind me.

“Hurry now,” he said with a hand wave.

I went to his side and peered into the street below us. Our location was a bit down from the corner, the deli just to the right and front of us, but only just. I watched, but there wasn’t much to see, only a carriage went by, a few men dressed in timely clothing, nothing that seemed out of the ordinary.

And then there was something; not to see, really, but all the hair on my arms stood up, a shiver of awareness down my spine.

“There,” Tirius said, pointing.

I have seen people Travel, the sudden appearance and disappearance of Collectors or Guardians moving about the timelines, so I saw the shimmer for what it was, not a heat shimmer or an illusion, but the shimmer of Arrival.

A man dressed in black emerged from seemingly nowhere. He was shorter, thin, dark hair slick, his clothes not quite fitting, his cleanliness not quite what it should be, but he easily blended as he walked towards the deli.

“Who is that?”

“The first domino.”

I spared a glance at Tirius who was watching the scene with such intensity I could feel the push of his attention.

“I can narrate, if you’d like,” Tirius said, still not looking my way, his normally neutral tone holding an edge. “I’ve seen it dozens of times now. He goes to the deli, where he bumps into Gavrilo Princip. He talks with the lad, stalling him out front of the deli, laughing with him, keeping the lad there until the motorcade arrives with Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. The fateful wrong turn, the shots fired, the man disappears into nothing. I’ve never been able to track him through the commotion.”

“He disappears,” I said.

“He Travels,” Tirius confirmed.

I stared at Tirius, studying his face, then turned from the window, picking up my skirts to walk quicker. There wasn’t a lot of time, and I needed to be closer. Taking the stairs quickly, I gained the road then walked towards the deli’s front entrance. I hadn’t heard him follow but Tirius grabbed my arm from behind, stopping me. 

“Not too much,” he said, and I realized what he meant, slowing my step so I wouldn’t have to walk by the man and Princip, both of them in my line of sight as they stood there in front of the deli talking.

Princip was young, so young, his body lean and wiry, his face open. 

“Stop now,” Tirius said from behind, and as I did, I heard engines and voices. The boy and the man turned towards the oncoming car that I couldn’t yet see. The man pointed at the car that then came into view, with the catalyst and his wife inside, the wind pulling at Sophie’s feathered hat. 

The driver took the fateful wrong turn down the road towards where Tirius and I stood and then events happened incredibly fast.

The car stopped, reversed, the shots, the boy with the gun, the eruption of chaos, and though I tried to keep my attention on the man, on the Traveler, it was as Tirius described; he seemed to disappear in the aftermath of shouting and screams.

Tirius, hand still on my arm, pulled me back away from the scene. I watched as a sudden mob descended on the boy, another around the car, the black feather of Sophie’s hat waving in the air before lurching forward.

“Come on,” he said, turning, pulling me with him. I complied, keeping in step as we walked away from the scene. There were whistles, shouting, and additional screams. I kept my pace steady, moving forward, even as I looked over my shoulder.

“Do you see,” Tirius said as we took a corner, moving west.

“I saw something,” I acknowledged, though doubts crept in as we walked. Would the scene have occurred if the man had not stopped Princip from moving down the street? It was possible, though the evidence seemed to suggest otherwise.

“All it takes is a single push,” Tirius said, musing, voice distant.

I nodded in response, knowing what he meant, that in a single push, one small change, the effect rippled on forever. 

“Do you know who it is, the Traveler?” I asked, looking over at Tirius and then coming to a halt.

He was no longer next to me. I looked around, scanning faces, though there were not many faces to scan; an old woman with a headscarf and a deeply engraved face, a tall fat man with a bowler hat, a tall thin woman with an elegant gray chignon looking into the window of a shop, and a girl child with dark hair and a dress that looked as if it had been slept in. We had walked far enough beyond the scene that no one seemed to have realized the world-altering event that had just occurred. 

I retraced my steps, looking in doorways, up at windows, coming up to the corner that led to the road now overrun with people. I saw no sign of Tirius, and there was nowhere he could have gone so quickly unless he had Traveled, or been pulled by someone else Traveling. I would have felt something if he had Traveled, a trace of his disappearance, but I had felt nothing at all. He was with me, and then he was no longer.

Once more walking away from the scene, I winced as my interface reappeared, a soft chime in my head alerting me to messages and incoming data, along with my exact location as it related to the Master Realm. Something had happened to Tirius, that was obvious, but as my data continued to scroll and information poured in, it became clear that there was no way I could stay and look for Tirius, or do anything except return to the Warden and report on what I had witnessed. If I didn’t, they would come for me, and I had a feeling that wouldn’t end well.

*To purchase the full book, go to: https://www.amazon.com/This-Time-H-Hood-ebook/dp/B08FXTX3Q3

Originally published 2020, copywrite 2020

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