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Reunion Part Final

Suki was driving. “Their eyes didn't look right.” 

Angst was in the passenger seat. “I didn't recognize those weapons. I think they were partly psychic.” 

Goner was behind Angst. “This is unbelievable.”

Frank said, “Get to the highway. We have to get some distance, figure out if they can track us.” 

Angst saw the sign approach then recede behind them in the early morning light. “Goodbye Jones Heights,” she whispered. 

“What's the last thing you remember before this version?” Max asked. He was between Goner and Frank in the back seat.

Shorelines,” they said. 

“Okay... I don't remember where I was before that, and I don't recognize some of those names, but you guys found me during the Event. We were together for a while after that.” 

“We thought the Event shifted us here,” Goner said. 

“What happened next?” Frank asked. 

Max looked down at his hands. “A lot. A lot of bad things.” He glanced at Angst, then Frank. “I don't know if I should say. Some version of them may still happen to you.” 

“To us? What's that supposed to mean?” Goner asked. “What happened to us?” 

“Do you know how or why you became Marshal?” Frank asked.

“No. Maybe I was hiding? Or maybe it was a trap. To me it feels like a lot of time passed after the Event. I feel like I was alone for a long time.” Max glanced at Suki. “I think I met some other versions of some of you. I don't know, it's all pretty jumbled.” 

“Well, it's good to see you again,” Angst said softly. 

Max smiled. Then he winced. 

“Max?” Frank asked. 

“There's just a lot going on up here,” he said, rubbing his temple.

“Try saying it,” Frank said. 

“I keep thinking the words Realtime, Fragmented... Citadel, Underground, Purgatory.” 

Goner chuckled. “What? Don't any of you follow pop culture? Realtime was the latest album from the DJ Mana Junkie, Fragmented is this season's big cable TV drama, Citadel is one of the hottest superhero comics out there, Underground is the best-selling biography of corporate whistle-blower Simon Light, and Purgatory is catching all the buzz on the international film festival circuit.”

“Shit, what is going on here?” Suki said. 

“Yeah, I forgot how weird and confusing things could get,” Max said. 

“No, I mean here, out there.” She pointed out the front window. They all looked outside the car to see the road start to blur, the trees start to shimmer, the sky start to ripple. 

“Can you feel that?” Angst asked. 

Frank said, “We're shifting.”

Goner sighed.

Suki smiled, tears in her eyes.