*FORMERLY KNOWN AS "Time Machine Mishaps"*
A time machine made for the local science fair has the adverse side-effect of causing its occupants to grow after the trip. The high school girls who built it decide to use this quality to their advantage in changing history.
, Teenager (13-19)
, Instant Size Change
, New World Order
, Violent Characters:
Titan (101 ft. to 500 ft.)Shrink:
Following story may contain inappropriate material for certain audiences, This story is for entertainment purposes only.
June 20 2021 Updated:
September 21 2021
1. Test-Run - Paleo-America by 2KFSK
2. Confession by 2KFSK
3. Giving In - Ancient Greece by 2KFSK
4. Cozy by 2KFSK
5. The Third Trip - Constantinople by 2KFSK
Test-Run - Paleo-America by 2KFSK
The first chapter. This includes the setup as well as the first adventure.
Agatha tightened one last bolt on the metal cacophony before her, before sitting back and wiping one oily wrist across her brow to remove the accumulated sweat. She squinted as the sour solution dripped into her vision, then removed her gloves and goggles to rub her eyes properly. As her vision cleared, Agatha stood up and placed her hands on her hips, admiring the machine before her.
“Finally...” it was a gentle whisper. A whisper that had behind it days and weeks and months worth of toil and trial. Agatha peered down, flipping a single switch on, before standing back up again.
From the machine began a deep, soft hum, and a gentle vibration began to shake it. The noise and vibrations increased in power, prompting Agatha to take several steps back, better allowing the machine in its entirety to enter her full view. The most notable aspect of the creation was the seat, like a recliner, in the middle of it all. Surrounding it were little constructions and panels of metal and glass, forming a half-eggshell shape about which the seat was nestled. Upon these panels were buttons and levers poking and prodding inward, most of which currently in what appeared to be an “off” position. The outside of this shell was mostly a collection of wires running around it, all emanating from a massive hulking obelisk of titanium affixed to the back of the outer eggshell nest. This component, which managed to nearly touch the ceiling of the garage, was the source of the hum, and several status lights dotted its edges.
“I can't believe it...” Agatha was aghast, her own knees weak. “After so long... I--”
A set of footsteps ever so slightly lifted Agatha out of her revelry. She turned and smiled as Demi arrived, carrying a paper plate of chips atop a textbook. Once Demi laid eyes upon the machine, her black lips parted, and she dropped the plate and books to the ground as she began to run in Agatha's direction, accidentally stomping several of the discarded snacks as she took great care to avoid getting her leather jacket caught on any of the discarded tools and stacks of building material that peppered Agatha's basement.
Demi's goth aesthetic was undeniable. Her bouncy, curly hair was arranged about her head like a silky bird's nest, with care and precision. Several decorations and clips sporting occult emblems and mythological symbols adorned the ornate 'fro. A strand of this hair fell down between her eyes that was perfectly white, though Demi insisted to anyone who asked that this strand in particular was a birthmark. Nevertheless, it brought about a striking contrast against Demi's own skin of deep umber, accentuated by a dab of pink blush on both cheeks, a touch of purple eyeliner, and lipstick that was the color of the night. Her clothing was similarly moody and atmospheric. Though typically one to wear more extravagant attire, Demi deigned to don merely her black leather jacket when working at Agatha's if only to avoid potential catastrophe of ruining her more flouncy garments on the sharp edges. Beneath this was a black tank top blanketing a fairly endowed chest, above which laid a silver pendant with the Aquarius symbol emblazoned upon it. A Lolita-styled tutu and fishnet thigh-highs were the icing on this outfit, and her black boots and frilly lace gloves were the cherries on top and bottom, displaying to all that gazed upon her a generally filled-out, demure young woman with a taste for the macabre.
The differences between Demi and Agatha became more apparent as the two approached each other in their triumph. Agatha was all business, abandoning any pretense of fashion in favor of a pair of denim overall shorts overlaid atop a faded white hand-me-down t-shirt, the top slice of the “Hooters” logo just barely peaking above the brim. A utility belt was wrapped around her waist, finally complete as Agatha placed the wrench back into its proper spot. Her hair was dirty blond in most senses of the words, a storm of strands that lacked the shape-up and care of her contemporaries, and a pair of goggles outlined her forehead. Agatha too wore boots and gloves, though they were less attuned for style, and more attuned for, say, shoveling animal refuse for an afternoon if need be. The only hint Agatha gave that an onlooker was not staring at the newest farmhand, was dingy white lab coat she wore above everything else, imbued within it the history of a thousand sleepless nights tinkering and toiling at all different manner of experiments.
Demi approached Agatha and the pair embraced, Demi careful not to smudge any of her makeup on her companion. “So you mean we...” began Demi, her own voice breathy and artificially distant.
They let go and Agatha pumped a fist. “Hell, yeah. First place science fair is as good as ours!”
“Shut, up,” said Demi, allowing the mask of detachedness to slip as a bright smile came to her own face. “This is incredible!” screamed Demi, finally examining the machine first-hand. While she had definitely done her fair share of tightening, screwing, and drilling, she would be the first to admit that Agatha was most of the brains behind this project, even if Demi's family supplied the sometimes hard-to-get materials necessary, such as depleted plutonium.
The machine hummed louder and louder as the pair admired their triumph.
“So... you wanna test it first?” Agatha asked, gesturing to the open seat.
“M-me? It's basically your baby. Why would I test it first? Besides...” Demi looked down at her clothing. “I mean... look at me. I don't think I'll be well-received in the 16th century looking like this. For a few reasons.”
Agatha laughed and grabbed Demi's shoulder. “And you really think I'd be any better? They'd probably string me up and throw me in a mental institution for wearing men's clothes.” Then Agatha adopted a serious expression. “In that case... let's go together.”
Demi raised her eyebrows. “Together? There's only one seat.”
Agatha waved it away. “It's one of those old recliners from the 80's. It's definitely big enough to hold the both of us. Plus...” Agatha paused. “I would never want to explore the secrets in the vastness of time without my best friend by my side.”
Demi blushed as Agatha took her hand, beaming at her. “C'mon!” Agatha clambered her leg over the outer border of the machine, taking Demi by surprise as she attempted to follow. Squeezing in tight next to Agatha, Demi could only remain still as Agatha tinkered with the many buttons and levers on the console, her tongue stuck out in focus as she said to herself, “Hmm... five... minutes oughta do.”
A screen popped up on the front console, and the characters “5 M” shone through.
“There we go! Let's get comfy!” said Agatha, pulling the single seat belt over herself and reaching across Demi's lap, followed by the click. The panels began to shift, an extra mechanical whir causing them to transform and unfurl, creating a thin top layer to complete the egg shape.
Demi's heart palpitated as she and Agatha were now stuffed impossibly close together, about to embark upon possibly the first journey of this type in the history of mankind. “Uhh... I uhh...”
“If you have any doubts, speak now or forever hold your peace!” shouted out Agatha, followed by a laugh. Demi could only stare back at her, a look of indeterminate fear on her face as she gulped and leaned her head back, smushing her hair against the old decaying leather of the seat. The machine shook and rumbled, the expertly tightened building material having no hope of ever budging at all.
Then, Demi was struck by a horrible thought.
“Wait!” she yelled out, prompting Agatha to turn to her.
“What is it?”
“Was 'M' supposed to stand for 'Minutes' or 'Millennia'?”
Even with their faces inches away from each other, the disappointment present in every part of Agatha's expression was easy to identify. “Demi,” she began. “Please tell me you didn't calibrate the 'M' for 'Millennia'.”
Demi could only shrug as the fear forced a halfhearted reply from her into the air, “Well, is it really an adventure if a few things don't go wrong?”
Agatha hadn't the time to respond, as one final lurch of the machine marked the beginning of their odyssey, punctuated by a burning but not-unbearable heat, a freezing but only nigh-debilitating cold, a slew of conflicting physical sensations and desires, and a brilliant bright light greeting them in the midst of an encroaching and all-encompassing darkness.
The only thing left in the spot that once occupied it was a smell of burnt rubber. The time machine was gone.
The community was in a generally pleasant mood. A comfortable wind, a portent of the coming winter, wafted through the clearing. Bearded men garbed in mammoth pelts returned with their fresh kills – some deer, some rabbit, and some bison, which required a crew of two or more to transport safely – while the women bundled up the leftovers with carefully-wound bundles of straw. Nearby, several children were experimenting with one of the extra slings, competing to see how far they could get the rocks to proceed. The foliage bent to these early settlers as they continued to prepare for the nomadic journey that would await them.
A chill descended. Static was in the air. Several of the men stopped in their tasks, looking up. Outwardly, all seemed well... but the seasoned hunters and gatherers knew when things were amiss. It was a necessity to survive in such a primal era. They gripped spears. A sensation, an electrical, alien one, made their hair stand on end. This was not normal.
A crack tore open the sky just over the nearest ridge. The trees closest to this rift were ripped from their roots, flying into the ornate portal that ruptured the spacetime continuum in a seam that could span the Mississippi River. People saw, pointed, shrieked, and ran in a daze as the gale swirled, carrying away several of the less fortunate tribesmen and women into the portal as they were no longer bound by the planet's gravity. Those that remained hugged rocks, trees, or the grass itself, covering their heads, unable to comprehend what was happening as some giant black, stone-like... thing ejected itself from the portal, a massive contraption, descending to the Earth with a fiery halo surrounding it as it compressed the air that it encountered. Crying was rampant, and birds tried in vain to fly away before their light bodies succumbed to the maelstrom.
The object made contact, sending a shock-wave through the land that drove those still struggling in maintaining balance to their knees. The portal closed with a CRACK, and hot steam emanated from the oddly egg-like structure that reached hundreds and hundreds of feet into the air, utterly outshining the tallest coniferous plant that made this valley its home. The winds settled, the screams gradually decreased in volume and frequency, and the remaining nomads adopted personas primarily of curiosity, with abject terror a close second as they looked up at the mysterious device.
The burning sound of the capsule opening caused many of the settlers to cover their ears, crouching and lowering their profile. Some didn't crouch, and instead continued to stare. Those individuals would see as the compartment fully distended, and two... incredibly odd human beings were revealed. Scaled to the size of whatever it was that had transported them, they had to be at least three hundred feet tall. While this tribe had not standardized units of measurement, they needed none to understand that this was not something that humans typically were able to do. Beyond that, their hair and clothes was far more complex and mystifying than any of the nomads had ever witnessed in their times on this Earth.
“Ahhhhhhh... Damn, I was getting cramped in there!” yelled out the one of pale skin, in a gutteral, alien dialect that caused those hiding among the trees with weaker constitutions to dig their heads even further in the sand. But still there remained those that continued to peer, to look, to gaze.
“Now,” the same white woman said, “We should be in the same place we were before, just... long ago.” She stepped out of the time machine, her knees and shins rubbing through and flattening the pines before her. The woman glanced down before putting a hand above her eyes and staring out over the horizon. “Hm... weird... Not seeing much. A lot can change in five millennia huh. Demi, you see anything? Demi?”
The giant woman turned around to see her companion, garbed in the oddest of black clothes, hobbling out of the time machine, clutching her stomach. This other one shook her head even as the universal human feeling of nausea washed over her. She swallowed her bile down, then in her doubled-over posture took a good look at the ground beneath her feet. Her eyes widened, and the dark-skinned woman reached down to pull a cluster of trees from their roots with ease.
“Aggie... l-look,” she said, gaining the attention of her companion and planting the uprooted trees in her hands. The fair-skinned giant looked down at them, and her eyes widened as well. She applied a pair of odd spectacles from her forehead to her eyes.
“That... can't be right. These can't be trees.” The woman scanned the ground, and her partner walked up beside her, carving vast footprints into the ground with each descent of her black boots. “Because if these were trees, that would mean...”
They squatted down and peered, their big wide eyes finally locking with the beings on the ground below. There, beneath them, some hiding, some praying, some simply staring, were the remains of the tribe. No matter who gazed back up at them, the looks on their faces were of nothing but incomprehensible fear. Fear of something impossible. Something that didn't exist. Something that flew in the face of everything these early humans were meant to know about the world.
And the both of these giant women screamed. A scream that absolutely ruptured eardrums and could be heard for miles upon miles upon miles in each and every direction. The pair got up and took great care to tip-toe as well as they could around any remnants of the human settlement before embarking back into the mysterious egg-like contraption with a metal rock on the back.
“Take us back, take us back, take us back!”
“I'm trying, give me a second!”
The machine sealed itself once again, locking their visitors inside as another portal opened up in the sky. Knowing what this meant, the remaining natives dove to the strongest trees and rocks they could reach, and held on for dear life as most everything unbound was pulled into the cyclone of wind and electricity. A burning heat fell upon everything...
And it was gone.
The massive construction was gone.
As Agatha clambered out of the machine, all she could think of was how grateful she was to her past self for installing a “Back” button. The garage was exactly the same as when they left it, and Demi could safely say she had never ever been happier to lay her eyes on the dusty workshop her friend spent so much time in.
“UGH!” sighed out Demi as she followed her friend to the solid ground of the familiar timeline. “What in the ever-loving fuck just fucking happened?!”
“I-I-I don't know!” shouted Agatha, turning the machine off. Its ever-present whirring allowed the pair to converse in relative silence. “I... maybe I miscalculated! Forgot to carry a seven, o-o-or the coordinates were off--”
“Coordinates?! Agatha, we were the size of god-damned skyscrapers! How the shit is that supposed to work?” said Demi, stomping her foot and crushing the still floor-bound chips.
“Maybe...” Agatha's face twisted, and she adopted a neutral expression. “I know what happened.”
Demi raised an eyebrow.
“It's the radiation. When we went to the past, the radiation combined with the massive energy output made our atoms expand outwards at greater speeds than usual... A minor bug. We can knock this out in no... time,” said Agatha, looking over Demi's shoulder as she smiled nervously.
Demi eyed her friend. She knew exactly what Agatha was thinking, and how unsure she was at truly being able to knock this out before the science fair at least.
“Right,” said Demi, turning around and finding herself slamming face-first into Ms. Jones.
“O-oh! I'm sorry!” she said, looking slightly up at the glaring woman upon whom Demi just smeared what was left of her makeup.
“Now, I know you and my daughter are... 'friends', but I will not be having you teach her such... awful swears,” she said, reaching down to pick up the dropped book. “Or leaving your trash on the floor like this. I told you to deliver the food down here, not throw it on the ground!”
Demi took the book as Agatha stepped forward, throwing on her most apologetic face, “S-sorry, Mom! I'll try to wrangle her in a bit better!” Agatha suffered a sinister glare from Demi, but tried her best to ignore it. “Anyway, I'll pick up the chips.”
“You better. Just be glad I tried to keep the bookmark. Now, I think you'd best finish your work and leave. It's getting rather late,” finished Ms. Jones as she ascended the basement stairway.
Ironically, had Ms. Jones not arrived, the tension would've still been thick enough to cut with an obsidian-edged blade. Her departure allowed Demi to take her first good, deep breath in what felt like hours, even though it had only been a few minutes.
Agatha grabbed a broom and dustpan and began to sweep up. “She's right, you should go. Don't worry, we can talk about this tomorrow. Just... get some sleep.”
Demi nodded. She struggled to hold the textbook and zip up her jacket, but she managed. Tossing a wave at her friend – which was fortunately reciprocated – Demi stepped up the staircase and exited the basement garage.
Finding herself in the living room, Demi was struck by how quiet it was. How quiet all of it was. The incident. It was, logically, she knew, quiet. To her at least. And probably to Agatha.
She didn't know what made her do it. But Demi decided to take a quick glance at the page that Ms. Jones had so lovingly saved for her as she picked up the history textbook.
The book fell to the floor once again.
Demi fell backwards, only saved from falling by the placement of a particularly hefty bookshelf.
“What was that?” called out Agatha.
“N-n-nothing! I'll tell you later! See you at school!” Demi's voice was uncharacteristically quivering. She collected the books and left outside, trying to remove what she read from her mind. She tried as she stepped off Agatha's porch. She tried as she sped down the chilly street. And she attempted even as she reached her own house, stepping inside, and walking upstairs to her bed.
But try as she might, what she saw could not be excised. It had not been imagined, and the chances of it having been misunderstood were negligible.
There in the book, like the works deep beneath the catacombs of Cantabria before them, was a cave painting. An anthropological artifact to be sure, meant to give readers of this local history textbook an idea of the indigenous tribes' animistic beliefs. But Demi need not be an archaeologist to decipher what the image of two colossal figures, one light and one dark, compared to dozens and dozens of smaller humans bowing at their feet, represented.
And still, that wasn't the worst part.
The worst part was that, deep down inside, that painting...
Demi liked it.
Hope you enjoy! We're going to be seeing a lot more soon!
Not much action in here! But hopefully a good amount of characterization! Enjoy! Trust me, it'll be worth it when the next chapter comes around~
“C'mon, it's time to get up for school.”
Blurry eyes struggled to hoist themselves open, shrinking away at the invasive pale light. Demi attempted to sit up and orient herself, only to find her torso was jutting halfway off the bed, and she was being pulled down by gravity as well as the blankets and pillows and stuffed animals she likely took with her as she tossed and turned. Rather than wait to fall all the way to the floor, Demi pushed against it, pulling herself back up to her bed proper.
“I'm driving you, and I'll be leaving in thirty minutes. Don't be late.” The woman who woke up Demi – a young adult sporting a beige business suit, wavy hair, and a name-tag with the label of a prominent legal firm – departed.
Finally free from the shackles of the sleep, her body reminded Demi of the anxieties that plagued her mind. Demi recalled all at once the one thing she was attempting to push from her psyche all night, but still invaded her worries, her dreams, her ambitions. Demi pulled the blankets off of her, noticing she hadn't taken off most of her clothes. Only her jacket and boots were removed, no doubt so she could enter the bed as soon as possible. This, of course, had the opposite effect, hence her fatigue.
She still remembered exactly what it was like, looking down at them. Her fellow humans, but so small... so insignificant.
Demi rubbed her eyes and perched off the edge of the bed. She took a step into the carpet, scrunching her toes in the fibers of the Persian rug upon which her queen-sized bedframe was situated. Demi stayed there, standing in place, doing this for perhaps a minute or so too long before she recalled that she'd have half the usual time it took to apply her affects.
Demi chuckled, and walked to the bathroom.
As Demi got into the passenger side of the Bentley, her driver whistled, grinning. “My my, you got here quick. What is that, you used just a comb?! No copious amounts of hair stylants? You really phoned it in this time, huh.”
“Please... not in the mood, Juliet.”
The garage door opened, and the car began to pull out backwards, expertly maneuvered by Juliet's navigation. The massive facade of the stately home stared down at Demi through the window, who only stared at the floor of the vehicle as her temple stuck to the cold window. Juliet raised her eyebrows and asked, “Why not, Dem?” Then she gasped. “Did that girl make you upset?! I bet she took all the credit for your assignment, didn't she?”
“Agatha was fine,” lamented Demi as the car merged onto the main road. “I dunno... bad dreams, maybe.”
They drove in silence.
Demi turned to her sister. “Say... just hypothetically... if you had the chance to be... 'worshiped'. As... like, a queen? Or some sort of deity. Would you... would that be... would you take it?”
Juliet's face twisted in confusion. “That's an odd question. Was this what your dream was about?”
Juliet was silent, then decided, “No, not really. That seems a bit creepy to me.”
“Not even a little? Not at all?”
Juliet thought again, and responded, “Nope, not at all. Sounds like the sort of thing a weirdo might be interested in.”
A term Demi wasn't unused to hearing levied at her, but seldom by her only living family member.
The car stopped in front of the school building. Hefting her rolling book bag out of the car, Demi waved half-heartedly to her enthusiastic sister. “Have a good one!” called out Juliet. Demi managed a smile in response, and turned into the building.
School passed without incident. It was by all accounts completely normal, which is to say, it sucked. As Demi walked the halls, she could tell that even without the time to apply the lion's share of her eccentric stylings, students shied away from her. Teachers sneered at her, even if they didn't show it. The librarians made jokes about her, probably, she assumed. Maybe. Regardless, Demi found herself, just like every other day, sitting alone at lunch. And not by choice, as she was the first one to enter, and everyone made the conscious effort to avoid her. As she munched on a stick of celery, Demi decided to multitask, reaching between her legs and into the backpack to grab the old textbook.
Upon retrieving it, the first thing Demi did was check it. Holding the weighty book, Demi turned it all throughout her hands, feeling its familiar size and volume. It still smelled the same at least. Opening the front cover, Demi spotted her name in the registry, just poking off the list of the other twelve printed slots. This book in particular had been in the school system for more than a decade. There was no way it could've been a fake, or changed, or what have you.
With that out of the way, Demi thumbed through the chapters. Inadvertently overshooting to a passage about the French and Indian War, she carefully turned back a few leafs, finally landing on the pre-history section.
There it was. That was them. There was no doubt about it.
Well, there could've been a bit of doubt. Maybe Demi just missed this chapter at first. Maybe there was some mistake. Seeking more information, Demi decided to read:
Perhaps most mystifying of all pre-Columbian artifacts is this rendition of parietal art dubbed by researchers as “the Worship of the Twin Goddesses”, dated 30XX BC at [___] Cave. It lacks most hallmarks of known cave art of this time, boasting impressive complexity in representation of its subjects, detailing what appear to be two disproportionately large human females standing amidst a crowd of supplicating men.
Demi's heartbeat palpitated as she read, and she looked back at the photograph. She kept reading:
At first glance it may appear to simply be a painting of religious significance. But researchers in 2014 unearthed several similar rock paintings all emanating around a roughly 20 mile-radius of the first, with unique quirks suggesting multiple individual tribes happened upon this same scene from 5,000 years ago. Could it be that the two figures were in fact, real in some sense? Radiocarbon dating suggests at least the possibility of some major event – such as a meteor, earthquake, etc. – occurring in the area. The event may have been isolated, but it no doubt left a mark upon our state in history.
The thoughts going through Demi's head were impure, and she couldn't help but wonder if another “adventure” of theirs could take these two students... worldwide.
It was an odd thought though, and admittedly Demi would need to convince Agatha to agree to... a lot of things.
“So, run that by me again,” said Agatha with crossed arms and a cocked head. Her junkshop basement garage was as cluttered as ever, with Demi seated on a cleared off worktable, her pants likely getting sawdust all over them. The open textbook was next to her, having been thoroughly examined and reexamined by the both of them. “You think that we... have the power to change history?”
Demi nodded, saying in a low voice, “Yes?”
“And we only discovered this because you didn't calibrate the units correctly?”
Demi could only nod – “Y-yes...”
Agatha glared at Demi, deep in thought.
Then, a smile broached her face, and she pumped a fist, “YES, let's GO! My hypothesis was correct!”
Demi looked up at her dancing friend, beginning, “Wha--”
“Researchers think that time is unchanging, but this could be the first experiment to prove that wrong! Our machine works far better than it ever intended – size-changing aside. And if we keep testing it, we could open up the doors for so much knowledge about history and the future to be uncovered!”
“Uncover history,” said Demi whimsically. “More like... making our own history.”
The darkness with which she said this somewhat jolted Agatha from her excitement. “What was that?” she inquired.
“Agatha...” Demi took a deep breath. She knew the likely responses. She knew what she was about to jeopardize. The first and only student in the entire school that walked up to Demi first, instead of waiting indefinitely for Demi to inquire about becoming friends. The only one Demi could feel comfortable talking with on the phone for hours and hours and hours. The only one who continued to entertain Demi's ramblings about tarot cards and star charts, as well as mercifully neglecting to apply to either the stresses of the scientific method when Demi was nearby. Agatha was quite possibly the reason Demi chose to subsist in this world, and she was ready and willing to die if Agatha ever left her... not that she'd ever tell her something so manipulative.
“Agatha... I want to do it again.”
“Of course! We can do another test right now, since I fixed the--”
“No.” Demi adopted in her expression a steel, one that she seldom used. “I want to do it... again.”
“You mean...” Agatha momentarily lost herself in thought before a lightbulb went off. “Like... like before?”
“Because. It felt good. Seeing us in those paintings...” Demi's voice became breathy and airy. “It felt good. J-just one more time. I want to change history with you again. Please.”
Even as she said this, Agatha's face couldn't help but involuntarily twist into a look of consternation. Deep inside, Demi knew that this was it. The straw that broke the camel's back. Demi knew, she always knew that their relationship was on thin ice with how weird she was, despite Agatha never saying or even implying this to be the case. She was good at hiding it is all, Demi thought. It was over. They were over. Demi felt red hotness erupt into her cheeks. She looked around instinctively for an exit, taking a few steps back as Agatha continued to remain in thought, surely thinking about how best to utterly destroy Demi with her words and explain that she was an awful person and no longer worthy of friendship.
Demi tugged her hair across her eyes as a shade and began to say, “You know what? Forget it, I'm sorry I brought it up,” and began to tiptoe around the discarded junk to the door before she was grabbed by her collar.
“Wait right there, Demi.”
Demi stopped for risk of choking, turning back to her friend while doing all she could to avoid any tears from flowing out. To her surprise, it wasn't anger on Agatha's face, but something closer to worry.
“Look, I get it. I get you, you know? You don't need to hide your feelings from me. It's just... I don't think I'm into this all that much. Besides, who knows what else we could change. If it had no risk of consequences, I'd...” Agatha stopped to choose her words carefully. “I'd try it, maybe? But as it is now? I just...” Agatha sighed. “I don't know?”
Despite her best wishes, Demi couldn't help it. The staticy feeling of the web in her face holding back the torrent of tears began to rip, and a sniffle came out. Then, Demi blinked, and with a wavery voice, she could only say,
“I'm... I'm sorry!”
Demi fell into Agatha's arms, not caring about her outfit getting soiled by the oil and muck on Agatha's overalls, nor did Agatha mind that she was getting covered in makeup and snot.
Agatha was familiar with this. And admittedly, she had been on the receiving end of her friend's most naked emotional outbursts perhaps slightly more often than she was on the giving end. So she could do nothing but embrace Demi as she continued to cry herself out, knowing that this was the sort of thing you simply had to wait on.
Finally, Demi's sniffles decreased in frequency. The time had come to interject, and Agatha had, after a lot of soul-searching while her best friend in the world was collapsed in her embrace, made a decision.
“You know what? Maybe we can go together... one more time.”
Demi sniffed particularly noisily, and raised her face out of Agatha's bosom. “R-really?”
“Uh-huh! But just once! And then we're done.”
Demi agreed. “O-okay. Okay.” The tears had decreased to a trickle, and with a wipe of her sleeve, Demi looked almost indistinguishable from how she appeared minutes prior. Only the lack of make-up as well as her puffy red eyes if one looked close enough were signs anything had been wrong.
Content that her friend could stand on her own, Agatha let go and walked to the machine, flipping a few switches. “I finished the de-localizer too, meaning we're not restricted to the current area anymore. We can go across the world now!”
Another few button presses as Agatha continued, “So it was mostly a software issue regarding our growth, meaning it should be easy to reverse. Anyway, the ball's in your court.” The capsule opened up, revealing the old reclining seat at the beating heart of the time machine. “Where do you wanna go?”
Demi thought. This was the last adventure, meaning it had to be for keeps. She wanted to make an impact. She wanted to be remembered. But still, not recent enough that anybody might recognize her in the present from accounts.
Demi had a thought. She removed her phone from her pocket and googled something.
“I know where to go.”
She showed Agatha her phone, and her eyebrows raised. A thin smile curled at Agatha's mouth, and she responded, “You're sure?”
Agatha flipped the final switch and said, “Well then, let us embark!” She hopped into the recliner. Demi stepped inside and cozied up beside her as Agatha drew the seat-belt over the two of them, feeling a warm feeling fill her up as she looked forward to what they were about to do.
For the last time.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Stay tuned because these girls have some big plans.
And how much do you wanna bet that this isn't goint to be the lest time-stomping adventure? You have three guesses.
Giving In - Ancient Greece by 2KFSK
The most dramatic chapter yet! What will become of our heroines when they find themselves stranded in the midst of an archaic Athens?
Well, all things considered, they'll likely be fine. The real question is what will become of everyone else?
The last vestiges of winter snow were hiding away from the sun, nestled in the cracks of the ornate marble columns that lined the cobblestone road. Traders and peddlers meandered about their stalls, some calling out jovially as young Isidore navigated the crowded street, passing by temples, artisans' workshops, and homesteads. He lowered his head, unable to prevent an awkward smile from creeping to his lips as he clutched his purse. Isidore sought little else but to get home from his apprenticeship, and only spared a quick look up to the hill upon which sat the mighty citadel dedicated to that great goddess of wisdom and warfare, Athena. As though a boon from the goddess herself, its glory just barely hid Apollo's sun, high and lonely on its airborne chariot, from blinding his eyes, casting Isidore in a comfortable shade.
The magnificent city of Athens had been blessed for some years now, and by all rights – should her citizens not depart from their patronage – it would likely stand tall for many many more.
A cold wind blew, and Isidore stopped in his tracks. His hands – calloused from many many months now of working the forge – instinctively went to his coin purse, then recoiled at the electric shock as the pouch slipped from his grasp to the ground. Isidore stared down at it grimacing, then he returned his gaze to the rest of the street, which seemed similarly perturbed. The more rambunctious livestock brayed and neighed, and the chickens began to cluck emphatically. This wasn't a sensation anyone present had ever been privy to. This could only be...
The arrival of the gods. Fickle beings they were, there were few recorded accounts of their visitations to the Grecian lands, and fewer still that could be corroborated. And yet, as Isidore looked up and saw the sky torn asunder, a colossal apparatus descending from the rupture that was made... he could not convince himself this was not the doing of the Olympians. Isidore looked to his left and to his right; the others spotted it as well, and were running in the opposite direction, even as the more fragile wooden structures and trees were ripped from their roots, swirling and being sent high into the air before disappearing into the void.
Isidore looked back up at the hill as the machine landed cleanly on the Acropolis, just barely avoiding the Parthenon. A cloud of dust ascended and rolled down the mountain, forcing Isidore and those who remained to fall to their knees in a coughing fit as the contraption opened, unveiling its momentous occupants like a curtain unveiling the machinations of a theater.
Unlike the last time, Demi was the first and most eager of the pair to ultimately poke her head outside the machine. She was blasted by the fresh smell of the early spring winds, bringing with it all the sweet salty air of the Mediterranean Sea. Demi inhaled deeply as she swung one towering leg out from over the carriage. Her boot descended triumphantly, crashing directly into the Parthenon below. The building's front facade collapsed, even as a dozen or so worshipers and stewards came rushing out, pinned between the disintegrating rubble, the rubbery treads of her boot, and the crumbling columns.
“Oh... Oops!” said Demi, looking down at her accidental demolition, even as a lovely smile couldn't help but spread across her own face.
Agatha had finally managed to get the own pit forming in her stomach under control as she swung out from the carriage herself. With a nervous chuckle that boomed across the countryside, she spoke, “Heh heh... okay, we're here! We've made our mark. We... are we done?”
“Oh... not yet,” said as she crouched, surveying the collapsed ruins of the temple. Planting her tree-like index and middle fingers on the ground, Demi began to walk them through the ruins as they collected dust and blood from the wreckage.
Demi's heart skipped a beat. It had barely even registered, even as she looked down at the mangled bodies, some still clawing at the ground, shouting any number of curses and lamentations to the gods in an archaic form of Greek. Her simple action of stepping out had led to the collapse of a building, and the utter demoralization of dozens. It was an accident, and it hadn't even been a minute. It was an intense feeling. Demi didn't know much, but she did want more of whatever that was.
“Demi?” asked Agatha. She got to her feet, looking over to Demi's side of the vehicle, but the sloped surface that she was on caused Agatha to lose her footing. With a yelp, she tumbled, sliding down the hillside through a number of smaller shrines and alters, before landing in the midst of the market district. As she came to, Agatha's blurry eyes cleared to realize she was indeed looking from the perspective of the ground, despite her giant size. And around her, carnage. Unable to control her descent, she had utterly destroyed most of the path, one leg curled up beneath her, the other sending a hole through several storefronts. A fist-sized bead of sweat accumulated on Agatha's temple as the last remains of humanity that weren't caught in the wreckage tried to run away, clambering over debris and fallen walls. Agatha pushed her elbow down, and braced her hand against the ground to begin to get up when she heard something crack and felt something soft and moist beneath her give.
Agatha's voice quivered. She wanted to say something, but nothing of volume came out as she raised the hand to her face with a determined resistance, not wanting to see what she knew she would see. There, splattered on her palm, was the form of a human woman, still draped in her cloak, now saturated with blood. If she squinted, maybe, just maybe, Agatha might've been able to mistake it for a bug of some kind. An odd, half-inch, twitching, gurgling bug.
A collection of booming stomps, monotonous and methodical, chattered up Agatha's spine. A shadow fell over her, and she looked up, seeing Demi make her way up the road to her, just slightly too big to avoid grazing and subsequently destabilizing into any buildings that were not caught in the initial destruction. With each step, a plume of dust from the rubble and concrete rolled along the landscape, and in preparation, Agatha quickly pulled her goggles onto her face, which had the added effect of allowing her to avoid looking Demi directly in the eyes as the giantess crouched to meet Agatha's eye level.
“What're you doing here on the ground?” she asked, giggling with a smile.
“I... I tripped.” In another effort to get up, Agatha placed her palm flat on the ground, but forgot about the human still adhered to it. Between Agatha's tough builderly hands and the soft dirt and gravel below, the human woman acted as a lubricant, flattening completely as Agatha inadvertently slid her hand across the area from the pressure she applied.
“Oh!” she gasped, seeing the red streak that was now on the ground. That uncomfortable pit grew in its magnitude. “I'm... I'm sorry?”
“Oh, that?” said Demi, looking down at the red streak and then back to her friend. “But isn't it... pretty fun, though?” Demi straightened her back, standing to full height and looked down at her friend. In her hand was a giant metal object, a figurine of some sort.
“What's that?” asked Agatha.
“Oh, this? Nothing much, just their god.” Demi spoke nonchalantly of the Athena Parthenos, monument to all things good and holy of their ancient goddess, a thirty-foot armored statue made of gold and ivory, plucked from the wreckage of the Acropolis like the first item atop the bargain bin. Even as she raised it in front of her face like a toy, the din of screams around them increased in panicked and confused fervor.
Demi looked down at them, seeing little, but knowing the bugs were still there, hiding, waiting, to see what would happen, hoping something would save them. Demi planted one black-painted nail between the statue's neck and chin and dug in, pushing as the metal and gold stretched and twisted, until with a resounding POP, the head detached from the body, flying hundreds of feet into the air like a cork. Demi shaded her eyes with her free hand, watching it land somewhere far off into the Athenian countryside with a whistle.
“Huh,” she said, and allowed the statue to fall to the ground, its weakened form splitting into several pieces as a dust cloud shot up from its impact point. “Cool...”
“Demi,” said Agatha, finally sitting up from her place at the foot of the hill. “It's just... I don't know about doing all of this,” she explained, looking up at her friend who had a neutral, interrogating expression.
Demi crouched back to eye level, and the two giantesses looked deeply in one another's faces. Demi could see in Agatha's face an unfathomable level of confusion and trepidation, so much so that she could even see the beating of her heart beneath her sweat-damaged undershirt and overalls. Agatha, on the other hand, could see an inquisitive look on Demi's own face, unperturbed by their current location, what they had just done to hundreds of people, and – if Agatha's evaluation of Demi was correct – what she would do to many many more.
“Let me see,” said Demi, and without warning she grabbed the rim of her shirt and pulled it down, placing a hand on Agatha's bare sternum.
“Whoa, hey!” said Agatha, twitching as Demi's cold hands dug into the shirt and planted themselves on Agatha's skin. She stayed stock still as Demi adopted her detached look.
“You're trembling,” said Demi after a long time of staying like this. “You should loosen up. Take deep breaths.”
Demi removed her hand from Agatha's shirt. Agatha, who realized she had been holding in a breath for the longest while, finally exhaled. Mustering the courage to stand to her feet, Agatha did, taking as much caution as she could to avoid destroying any more buildings. She tried to look into Demi's eyes, but found herself unable to, staring instead at a rogue cloud mystifyingly close to Demi's own head. “This just... this feels so wrong,” said Agatha, the final word coming out hollow.
To this, Demi laughed. “Wrong? Says who?”
And Demi began to take a walk, looking down at the buildings beneath her. With one step, her massive black boot reduced a line of houses to piles of dirt on the ground.
Agatha stammered, “It's just –”
“We decide what's wrong, now. Don't you get it? This is more than some shitty science fair. We can do whatever the hell we want.”
And to punctuate her point, Agatha drew her leg back, and kicked it with a devastating fury, obliterating another line of homesteads. Those who hadn't escaped were either buried within the rubble, or were running out of hiding places.
“I'm just worried, that –”
“We're going to mess something up? Now that just isn't true.” Demi walked back to her friend and planted her hands on her shoulders, using her forearms to gently brace Agatha's head and force her to look Demi in the eye. And Demi spoke, “We have a time machine. If we had messed anything up by now, we wouldn't even be here. The fact that we exist here, and now... together... is how I know that this is right. And you know it too.”
“But, all those people...” said Agatha as Demi let go. Agatha looked down, glancing at the stragglers still trying to make ground beneath their feet.
“These people will fear you, hate you... respect you... desire you...” explained Demi as she eyed them greedily. “You can't tell me that you don't feel it. With each building you demolish. The rush.”
Agatha felt it. That odd feeling in her stomach again. She removed her goggles and looked down herself at the remaining people running away. They were scrambling between the chunks of broken wood and marble with desperate abandon. They looked so vulnerable. So scared.
“Think about your life. A dad that's not there. A mom that doesn't get you. Students that envy you, teachers that hate you for being smarter than them. We're the only ones in the world that understand each other, aren't we?”
A tiny nod.
“There's more for you in your life. And you need to take it yourself... or you'll spend the rest of your life thinking about what could've been.”
Demi watched Agatha say nothing, and she internally felt a victory. She knew Agatha was going to take some convincing, but despite everything, she couldn't help but feel Agatha had it within her, everything it would take to give herself over to this life. Just a little more of a push.
Demi paced about, this time deciding to pay just enough attention to avoid explicitly stepping on any of these ancient, storied structures that she was just itching to upend. Each footstep she took shocked the stragglers as she created a circle of death, locking them in with the expectation that if they attempted to leave, they would be crushed without remorse.
Then, gulping, Demi stopped, and she went for the kill:
“You said you would try it. So try.”
Agatha felt her own heart speed up. “Wh... you mean–”
Demi gestured to the meandering group of half a dozen or so ant-like humans now between them, locked with nowhere to go. “We're a million years from ever remotely feeling consequences from this. Don't you want to be loved?”
Agatha bit her lip.
Agatha lifted the heel of her brown work boot from the ground. Demi gracefully backed up a few to give her space to take that first step.
“Don't even worry about them. Do you know why? Because you're perfect... and you deserve it.”
As the boot hung above the pleading crowd, oblivious to the English conversation taking place over the group, or how close they were to avoiding the fate that was about to befall them, Agatha came to a realization. Finally, she understood what it was. That pit, that weird uncomfortable pit in her stomach. She knew where it came from.
And Agatha allowed her boot to drop. Rather, she pressed it down with force. A mist of blood escaped from the much-too-fast compression, spraying the lower bottoms of Demi's own knee socks as Agatha ground her foot hard into the dirt. She considered this less of a condemnation of otherwise innocent people, but more of an affirmation of herself and everything she is, and had yet to become. And a smile began to tug at Agatha's face as that pit in her stomach was finally beginning to fade, shrink, and become nothing. Demi was right. Agatha was exactly where she needed to be.
“I...I do deserve it,” said Agatha as a red hot blush filled her cheeks. Demi blushed too, feeling her heart beat as Agatha glared deeply at Demi, a brutal sense of purpose finally filling those amber eyes.
“I'm so glad you finally see it my way!” cheered Demi, who wrapped her arms around Agatha in a tight hug.
Agatha nodded, dreamlike, in a daze as she allowed Demi to hug her. Once she let go, Agatha lifted her left foot and saw the blood splotch in between the treads and on the ground. In a spur-of-the-moment decision, Demi clutched the bottom of Agatha's shoe, dragging a finger along the moist treads and planting it in her mouth, before giggling as she let go, Agatha grinning at the admittedly gross but just-as-admittedly appropriate action.
Demi let out a deep sigh, salty sweet taste washing down her throat as she surveyed the remains of Athens. They hadn't done much, but the emotional toll of what the pair had just been through took a fair bit out of her. And the city did look like it had just suffered a brutal defeat at the hands of invading enemy forces, at the very least. They didn't want to wipe it out... just let them know of the arrival of a new pantheon. “So, you ready to go?” asked Demi.
Agatha stood in deep thought for a moment, her eyes intent on the ground. Demi was curious, following her gaze to the remains of a shrine. With a start, Agatha crouched, crawling through the rubble and knocking down other still-standing buildings, digging her hand into the shrine corridor until she retracted it. There, covered in dust and debris, was an alive young man, coughing and writhing around in pain and fear.
“Oh, another one? What'cha wanna to do to him?” asked Demi, excited that Agatha had taken the initiative for once.
Agatha smiled, seated cross-legged on the ground as she raised her screaming prize up to her face. A mouth that subsisted mostly on Pepsi and a various supply of fast food breathed these wholesale unfamiliar scents upon the classical-era young man, and he coughed even more, unable to even pay attention as her gaping maw opened, dripping with drool and ropes of saliva, befitting one eyeing a morsel of food they had an addiction for. It was only when he looked into this abyss, this unfortunate descending hole to the deepest depths of Hades, that he screamed a truly gut-wrenching scream.
The sticky kiss enveloped the man's entire front and upper section, as Agatha melodramatically drew out the smooch. Her lips popped off the man, leaving him in a quivering pile of spit in the palm of her hand. Agatha deposited the man gently on the ground, and stood up to face her partner, staring in dumbfounded amazement.
“What?” asked Agatha. “If you truly wanna be worshiped, that's how you do it.”
“You learned from the best,” said Demi, putting her hands on her hips.
Agatha nodded. The two took their hands in each other's, and began the trek back up the hill to the awaiting time machine. “The poems they'll write about this day are going to be awe-inspiring.”
“Of course,” said Demi. “Too bad this is going to be the last trip.”
At once, Demi felt Agatha's hand get sweaty.
“Right...” said Agatha. “The last trip.”
Demi's grip tightened.
Where do we go from here?
Well... they have a few ideas.
Hey! Slower-paced chapter today... but the buildup for the next one is coming!
Sorry for my lack of updates by the way. Life stuff! Anyway, back to the program.
Demi’s fingers worked quietly and diligently through Agatha’s hair, unknotting the kinks and various tangles that had worked their way into the mop over the past several weeks. In Agatha’s own words, “Hair hygiene is the single greatest barrier to modern world faces in the pursuit of progress,” and she would much rather work on any number of her trinkets than take it up herself. Therefore, Demi resolved to take matters quite literally in her own hands, allowing a tired Agatha to rest her head in Demi’s inviting lap, as the pair each laid upon Demi’s fully made-up, massive bed.
Agatha was curled half-fetal, the chaos of what happened last week having left her endlessly fatigued, if only because she had been forced to hold it all inside. The window sky was transitioning from deep blue afternoon, to the chilly indigo foretelling the coming of the moon and stars. School was beginning to feel like a distant memory, even as the pair sat in class only several hours prior. And yet… it was the least of either woman’s worries.
“You’re shaking,” said Demi.
Agatha’s tired eyes opened to their fullest, unable to fully glance directly upward at Demi from this position. “Hmm?” she inquired.
“It’s harder for me to work on you when you’re shaking.”
“Oh,” said Agatha, quietly smacking her lips a few times as her eyes once again became half-lidded. “I’m just a bit chilly.”
Demi scratched Agatha’s head through her hair with a tender bit of force, eliciting a smile. Then, with enough care to avoid upsetting Agatha’s rest as though she were a house-cat, Demi reached across the edge of her bed to the carpeted floor. Her nails hooked into the seams of Demi’s own black leather jacket; she draped it fabric-side-down across Agatha’s compact form, fully encompassing her excepting her head. Despite this, Agatha managed to burrow deeper into the nook, fully obscuring her hair from being subject to Demi’s advances.
Demi groaned, and she said, “Fine, be that way.”
The warmth Agatha added to Demi’s existence in that moment did not go unnoticed.
Time passed. The gentle raises and descents of Agatha’s form beneath the leather coat caught Demi’s eye, and for a while Demi couldn’t so much as breathe, for fear that a simple change in position might cause a disturbance in Agatha’s rest. So, quietly still, Demi found it within her to not move a single muscle.
She didn’t know how long it had been. It almost felt as though Demi blinked and it had become early evening. Nevertheless, she was only woken up from her half-dream stupor when Agatha loudly and matter-of-factly began to recite: “Some researchers say that the reason the Ancient Greek capital city of Duosis began to be referred to as such is due to the two-pronged nature of its nascent mythological beliefs. Whereas most all classical city-states believed in the initial pantheon of gods and goddesses – to varying degrees, of course – Duosis experienced a cultural shift coinciding with what archaeological evidence can only describe as a large battle of some kind that laid waste to much of the capital.”
Demi, still startled from the recitation, pulled her jacket off of Agatha, revealing her clutching a smartphone, reading off a Wikipedia article. Agatha was smiling, and she tried to shrink further into the cushions as well as Demi’s lap, even as Demi exclaimed, “Hey, we were supposed to read that together!”
All of a sudden, Agatha sat up, leaving the spot in the midst of Demi’s legs feeling very, very cold. This was remedied when Agatha nestled up to Demi’s side, holding the phone between the two of them saying, “Is that better?”
Demi’s lips pursed in response to the contact, and she only nodded. Agatha likely didn’t notice, as her focus was on the page as she continued reading: “As a result of this cultural shift, a large majority of archaic citizens abandoned the worship of the Greek pantheon, and the apotheosis of a new religion emerged, one focused around two distinct deific individuals. Lack of centralization of this religion prevents their precise epithets from being determined, but literature commonly refers to them as any number of…”
Agatha trailed off as she read, and Demi examined the page herself with more scrutiny. It was a list of titles, over two dozen, each with a translation next to them of their meaning. Greatest hits include, “the Destroyers”, “the Givers of Life”, “the God-Killers”, “the Tragedians”, and far, far more. However, Demi stopped when her eyes landed on one pair of titles.
“That’s my name.”
Agatha nodded. There on the page, the name “Demi”… or something incredibly close to it… was listed.
“Y-yeah. Why is yours listed and…”
“I… I guess I never said your name during our… excursion.”
Agatha’s inquisitive face lost its light, and she sighed, “O-oh. I guess that makes sense.”
Doing her best to adopt a chipper tone once again, Agatha continued reading: “Though scant records have been located recording this event – and even fewer records are reliable – the most useful of these is an account by an ancient scribe known only as ‘Isidore of Duosis’, who describes the arrival of two calamitously huge humanoid individuals that laid waste to much of the region. Isidore not only witnessed this, but writes in his account that he was later picked up and kissed by the ‘white one’, as it is described.”
Agatha, again, slowed down and trailed off as she reached the end of this phrase. Demi turned to face her, and could see that she was blushing red hot. Demi smirked, and Agatha could do nothing but afford a small laugh. “I… I guess my plan worked?”
Demi urged Agatha to keep reading, and Agatha obliged. “Most sources credit Isidore with the creation of the so-called ‘Cult of Duosis’, the political group that grew to control the entirety of the city, as well as eventually giving it the name the world now knows it by, in lieu of its former name of Athens. Though not considered a cult in its own time, the vigor with which members hold onto such beliefs even in today’s secular society has led to several terror attacks, many of which perpetrated by radicals who believe that these dual goddesses will return one day, pointing to similar accounts in the Americas as proof.”
Agatha paused, scanning through the page. Then she continued, “Sports! Duosis has a long legacy of sporting events – ”
At this point Demi intervened, “Okay, okay, I think we’ve read enough. So, uh, we are currently the patrons of a cult.”
Even as Demi said this, she felt a rush. There were people alive today, who worshiped her. And Agatha of course. People who would murder… and kill… and destabilize regions… just so the worship of the one true pair of goddesses could be restored.
“Easy for you to say,” replied Agatha as she buried her head in her knees. “They don’t even know my name…”
“Do you want them to?” Demi asked. She turned to her friend with wide eyes, rubbing her back as the white tuft of hair between her eyes hung diligently.
Agatha turned to her with a curious expression, “Well… I mean… sure, yeah, I guess.”
“Because,” Demi began, “Like, I, uh, I would want for you to… well… if you’re happy with our progress… I’m happy.” Demi knew that things got a bit intense back in Athens. As much as it seemed the pair had finally reached the same page, she just couldn’t help but feel the general ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ vibe of the past several days meant something regarding Agatha’s desire to ever use the time-machine for that purpose again. And yet, here Agatha was, displaying all the symptoms of… FOMO, for lack of a better term.
Demi continued, “But if you’re… not happy, with our results, I mean… then maybe… maybe we could –”
“Sure, let’s go.”
“Yeah, we can go.”
Demi looked around, making certain she was not being punk’d in some form.
“S-so, you want to go back?”
Agatha nodded. “That sounds cool to me.”
“And, like, crush stuff?”
Agatha’s eyes narrowed, and a coy smile came to her lips. “Maybe…”
Outwardly, Demi was flabbergasted. But inward… to describe her emotions as elation was doing them a disservice.
“O-okay!” said Demi, hopping from her bed. “We… we can go so many places! We can visit… we can visit Ancient China! We can go to France! Baghdad! We can check out the British Empire! We can even – ”
“Just one moment,” said Agatha. “I’m not interested in destabilizing all the world’s governments prematurely. I just want the entire world to focus on nothing… but us. And I’m going to give them a reason to do it.”
Demi glared down at her friend, stopping mid-pace, and her heart lept. On Agatha’s face was a smirk of Gothic proportions, and her eyes held ambition.
“There are a few places we could go… but there’s only one that’ll make the most impact, I think. I don’t want to just be a footnote in a Wikipedia page, anymore. I want us to go… biblical.”
Demi’s eyes met Agatha’s. Demi gulped.
Then, Demi smiled as understanding dawned on her face.
Hope you enjoyed! It's gonna be getting interesting next one!
The Third Trip - Constantinople by 2KFSK
It is 1:24 AM. I have finally finished the next chapter.
But no. This story isn't done.
As a matter of fact, we are reaching what some might consider... the beginning.
“I… I just don’t know about this makeup, Demi.”
“Hey. Hey. You’re the one who said you wanted to go biblical. How can you do that if you don’t look the part?” replied Demi, applying yet stroke of her custom eyeliner to Agatha’s face, making her beloved squint at the touch of the soft instruments. She had to be incredibly delicate with the material considering Demi wasn’t used to working on skin of this tone (or on other human beings at all), and Agatha didn’t exactly own much in the way of her own makeup. The pair had to steal from the room of Agatha’s mom, with the implicit expectation that this latest trip might just result in such massive changes to the timeline that any conflicts from the theft would be washed out.
Of course, makeup was arguably the least important aspect of the new look. The Party City down the street sadly lacked precise clothing options, but considering fall was fast approaching the newly opened Spirit Halloween was more than eager to pick up the slack, stocking most all the important affects necessary to create two cloaked angels, harbingers of death. Sure, the dark material was fairly cheap and the tiny pairs of wings were leaking feathers all over the floor of Agatha’s basement, but the effect didn’t have to be perfect. The size was the selling point.
Demi took a step back as Agatha blinked a few times. Demi held up a mirror to Agatha, which she promptly snatched, an action to which Demi pouted sarcastically.
“That’s the last time I sit still for upwards of 45 minutes while you rub me with your little fashion oils,” Agatha whined, peering into the mirror. Her eyebrows however immediately raised, and she inched her face just a little closer, looking into her visage. Whereas previously the pores and sad scars from years of absentminded scratching were more apparent, now they had been smoothed. Her lips were fuller, now coated in a crimson red, striking, but not so striking as to become gaudy. Her eyebrows were lush and dark blonde, and her hair had achieved just a bit more definition. It now appeared windswept instead of frizzy.
“So, how’d I do?” asked Demi meekly, twisting her left foot on the floor.
“You…” Agatha started, feeling her heart well up.
She looked back in the mirror again.
She wanted to keep looking at it. She wanted to take a picture of it, and save it forever. Agatha had never been one to take photos of herself… But here and now, she was struck with an indeterminable fear. A fear that one day she would forget what she looked like in this moment. She would forget this time that she shared with the person closest to her in the world.
All things considered, Agatha was quite confident in herself. She had never really felt the need to feel beautiful before. But in this moment, she realized the reason for this could be that she never knew what feeling beautiful really felt like.
“You…” Agatha tried again. This time, her voice croaked.
Demi’s nervous twitching stopped, and she was filled with nothing but concern for her Agatha. “Are you all right?”
Agatha swallowed herself. She wanted to express to Demi how much she appreciated this. Demonstrate her love. Allow Demi to feel an inkling of what Demi had just allowed Agatha to experience. But she simply didn’t know how. And her straightforward mannerisms were scaring Demi. So Agatha swallowed it. And she said:
“I think it’ll do… for now, I guess.” Agatha could only hope that her textbook sarcasm wouldn’t completely obfuscate her gratitude.
Demi cocked her head a bit and smiled warmly. “You’re welcome.”
The pair locked eyes. Then in a synchronized motion, each now turned to the time machine in the corner, its monolithic tower blinking with lights, a particularly large one staring down at them. Its hum filled the room, as the machine had already been warming up.
Their trips throughout time were beginning to approach ritual status. There needed to be an order. The first thing to do was decide where it was they intended to go. In this case, Agatha had picked out the perfect idea, and Demi was in love with it. The desire had to be mutual.
Following that, the pair would meet here in the basement, under cover of night. Ever since the first test run, it was decided that the days Agatha’s mom worked late were best. Luckily, Demi’s sister more or less trusted her to return home eventually, or maybe she was merely aware of the pair’s relationship and trusted Agatha to ensure her sister’s safety. Nevertheless, now they needed not worry about either of their families voicing dissatisfaction with these sessions.
It was in the hours and minutes immediately prior to their sojourn that things seemed to slow. Despite the two simply doing what anyone would do before a walk outside – a short stretch, ensuring clothing was fitted and comfortable, etc. – time almost seemed to slow. It was always a liminal space, awaiting the destruction of the bonds and shackles space-time placed on the pair, both physically and temporally. Their synchronized motion toward the time machine was yet another indicator that for the pair, it was almost as though time itself slowed down, despite the fact the trip hadn’t even started yet.
The two then took their steps, their black cloaks dragging along the floor, hands in one another’s. By Demi’s insistence, they decided to forgo footwear on this excursion. Considering the hazardous environment that was Agatha’s basement garage, it would not have been wise to disembark prior to just before the adventure, so now they took the time to let go of each other’s hands unlace their own shoes. Demi finished before Agatha, and once both her feet were free, she couldn’t help but notice Agatha fidgeting with the complex lacing of her second boot.
“Allow me,” said Demi, and with deft craftsmanship, she skillfully untied the knots binding the Timberlands to Agatha’s ankle. Clutching gingerly, Demi then carefully slid Agatha’s shoe off her foot, revealing her sock beneath. Placing the shoe with care next to the time machine, Demi turned her attention to rolling Agatha’s sock down from the length of her calve, removing it at the heel, taking great care not to scratch Agatha’s tender foot with her long nails. With one hand, Demi massaged Agatha’s foot, rubbing it, and shuddered. Her other hand placed the sock in her shoe before it joined its mate.
Demi treasured every moment of contact she had with Agatha’s skin, and Agatha could only look down in rapture as Demi treated her with such care and grace. Agatha had to almost physically stop herself from reaching down and grabbing Demi, picking her up and clutching her tightly to spin around in a manic, crazed dance of love.
“Hmm…” said Demi in a dazed sort of rapture, finally removing her hands from the impromptu massage. “There will be time for this… at our destination.”
Agatha grinned. “Hell yes.”
The melodious voices of twelve men and women flowed gracefully, singing the praises and glory and blessings bequeathed to them by God, touching the hearts of the entire congregation. The crowded seats were filled with all manner of individual, both those born with privilege and the common-folk. All were equal in the eyes of the Lord, but reality so often got in the way of this ideal.
Absent from the congregation, however, were two seats. Perched high above in the church offices, two men were having a discussion. Insulated somewhat from the orchestra, instead they were privy to the life and times of Constantinople, a city decaying, and they were engaged in a discussion of equal parts fancy and dread.
“I’m telling you, this war is lost!”
The second man scoffed, moving his hand to a bearded chin to rub it. “Ha! Lost?! We’ve the grace and glory of God on our side. I stand here and now as General Theodorus of Constantinople, and I will tell you that as long as I am breathing, this city – nay, this empire – shall not fall.”
The bearded man’s adversary was bald, clean-shaven, and clearly carried himself a monk. His face was grave and he laid out on a nearby table a drawing, an artistic representation of two female individuals. “I’m afraid I am quite sober. I am telling you, we must prepare for a full-scale invasion! Who knows when the enemy armies will be at our front gates?!”
Theodorus glared, and growled, “Then we will fight. To the last man if we must. For this city is more than a city. It is a vision. A declaration to the world that we fight on the side of light, and all who oppose us will, eventually, find themselves crushed before the wrath of the Lord.”
The monk scoffed. “I know more than anyone that faith can be an incredible source of strength. But blind faith is not the way! Surely you’re familiar with the parable of Duosis.”
Theodorus cringed as his heart leapt from the mention of that city. He prepared a response on his lips when a static in the air stole from him his words. The window next to the two discussing men had cracked, and inconsistencies in the singing below them resulted in the choir music to devolve into an aggravated and tense dialogue.
“What in the…” said Theodorus, marching to the window. He looked outside to see the arrival of a mighty wind. It blew open locked gates, ripped shrubs from their roots, and coalesced into a powerful whirlwind as the weather changed utterly.
“What in the name of?!” frightfully said the monk, pushing Theodorus to the size so he too could get a better view of the city.
Outside the streets were slowly descending into chaos. Livestock was running rampant and at this point so were the people, all in the opposite direction of from whence the two men peered out. The winds had increased so much in strength that the weaker wooden buildings were now being ripped from their foundations, torn apart and sliced by the whipping weather, and the gusts were – horrifyingly – were taking their people with them.
“My… my God…” whispered Theodorus.
Then… it was silent.
Both men saw nothing. The streets were cleared. Everyone had either gotten to safety, or were pulled into the diminishing maelstrom as debris and the like were deposited around the square. Only buildings built on solid foundation and made of stone brick – like the church – managed to remain stable.
The monk took one tentative step back from the window.
Then another step. Theodorus turned to him, face hard and creased. “We… I… what just happened?”
“I’ve but one theory… God’s judgment is not in our favor as much as we hoped.”
The single earthquake shook the building from its foundations to the rafters. The monk dived to the ground as Theodorus stood firm. His sword was in a different room, and yet he somehow could not feel the semblance of fear within him. Snarling, he said to no one in particular, “Bah, I’ve lived a thousand battles! Surely what’s one more?!”
The quake repeated, and now in the lower section of the church came the panic. Exclamations of people who wished for nothing but to know what was going on filled both men’s ears, but the choir’s own sense of self-preservation prevented most of them from even attempting to go, meaning the church was just filled with a tense, manic energy that ran exclusively off of fear and nervous jittering.
The sound of stone splitting from stone. Dust began to descend into the room as both men looked around them to see a seam being created in the perimeter of the tiny attic. The scene traversed the walls, connecting around in a loop before with a terrifying crumble and collapse of materials, the room began to fall apart. Sunlight was streaming in, but its healing beams were blocked by something immense. Something with the power, the strength to rip apart buildings with one hand.
Theodorus was hoarse as he looked up. He found that someone.
Above them all, stood two individuals. Stately, proud, snide, beauteous, godly. Their gowns were black, but their wings were white. And most importantly, each of them was easily far larger than the largest buildings either of them had ever seen.
Demi was the one who held in her hand the spire that once made up the attic of the church building. She tossed it again and again like a softball as she peered down, feeling nothing but glee at the power she wielded over this group of primitive wannabees. Even their monuments were naught but paper-mache playthings when faced with the awesome might of the two arbiters of time and fate. Destiny was nothing but what they made, and Demi intended to make it theirs.
Agatha was similarly excited. Her heart was thumping and pumping in a way it hadn’t ever truly been before. The only difference was that this time, her conscience was completely clear. Here she was, and there was nowhere she would rather be, with nobody that she’d rather be with. And they were finally going to fulfill their own purpose together. And the first thing Agatha intended to do was tell them her name.
Briefly, Agatha peered pleadingly at Demi, who responded, “They’re all yours.”
Agatha beamed, and then dug her hands into the crumbly remains of the church attic, grasping at the rubble and snatching up in them two humans that had been unlucky enough to be there at this point.
Dust and desolation descended from the clump of the former building within within Agatha’s fingertips as she peered down with lusty, malicious intent. Her cloak billowed in the wind and her white wings gleamed against the noonday sun. Agatha’s lips parted and her teeth shone, their incisors glinting, their edges like white guillotines. The ungodly sizes of the two girls caused both tiny men within Agatha’s grasp to become hysterical, rolling around amidst bricks and pieces of scaffolding, but without anywhere to go that would not lead to a several-story drop.
As Agatha used her other hand to pluck the two humans free from the pile of inedible building material, Demi leaned into her ear and whispered something. Agatha grinned, a grin that was visible for miles, before taking in a deep breath and belting out in a thunderous, authoritative charter:
“My name is Agatha! And this –”
Agatha emptied her other hand and pulled Demi into a tight side hug. The falling debris crashed into the church, further descending into the nave and causing the hunkering survivors to descend into chaos. The two men in her right palm were even more frantic.
“And this is Demi. The rightful goddesses of this Earth!”
Demi raised an eyebrow at this, and smiled. She only told Agatha to say that they were “rulers”. Clearly, Agatha was taking to it, and decided unilaterally to ham it up, even if she were using a term that was a bit hackneyed.
“How long has it been? Since we last returned to this world? Have you built statues in our honor? Made our names world-renowned? Ensured that the worship of your true deities is never forgotten?!”
Demi snuck another glance at Agatha as she gave her tirade. Visibly, even through the makeup, Demi could see that Agatha was very, very, very red. In part due to keeping her voice raised, no doubt, but she was very clearly out of her comfort zone. Despite this though, each gasp Agatha took was electric, and she was beaming the smile one only makes when one is inexplicably happy, or crazy. She was leaning into it quite well.
“But no. You build buildings, attempting in vain to reach for the sky. You are arrogant and proud; you forget your masters! And worst of all… you have taken for worship a false God!”
And in a dramatic, completely improvised flair, Agatha raised up one shining bare foot, and she stomped it down into the church.
Within the nave, those huddled within the pews, hands over their heads listened to the tyrannical tirade. Her words, though sounding of a vague Latin dialect, were utterly indecipherable to these Byzantine ears. A stray whimper could be heard, and a few of the choir-folk had their own hands out in prayer despite lying prone.
Like a meteor, the pale shining foot carved a hole in the ceiling before planting a crater in the ornate floor. The remaining windows were knocked out from the shockwave, the pews disintegrated beneath the stomp, and the people between them were transformed into rivers of paste. Burning sunlight, focused into razor sharp beans by nothing but adrenaline, tore into the survivors’ eyes as the idle motions of Agatha’s upper calf carved the hole in the ceiling even bigger. Knocked to the ground, the few able to still walk trudged to their bruised and fractured feet, and attempted to make it to the door, hoping against hope that they might be beneath the notice of these massive winged creatures.
Demi, still caught in the embrace of her friend, looked down and raised an eyebrow. “Oh?”
There, at the church’s entrance, an agonizing stream of refugees were dribbling from the church steps. The only point of egress, the route had brought them right before Demi’s own perfectly manicured toes, many of them barely edging out the former churchgoers in height.
Demi grinned. “Looks like you missed some.”
And angling her foot up from the heel, she shimmied the tented sole forward so the entirety of the remaining stragglers. Weakened and battered from just barely surviving the first assault, they had no recourse but to hold up their hands to the sky, desperately pleading – perhaps to a higher power, or perhaps as a futile shield from their impending fate – before they too were smushed beneath the milky brown pads on the bottom of Demi’s foot.
Agatha took a look downwards and her breathing sharpened as her pulse quickened. Her face was still red, and she was certainly sweating. Taking a break from her own speech, she had the opportunity to turn to Demi and say, “I guess I did,” before kicking her planted foot through the remains of the church scaffolding utterly.
“And these ones as well!” finished Agatha, glaring now with righteous glee at the panicking men in her grasp. Still crawling every which way within her palm, they lay face to face with the massive, panting visage of Agatha, tired after her dramatic speech despite the fact few if any understood her. She was all but willing to indulge in something new. Especially if it had the potential to sate her fatigue after the ordeal.
“Hmmmm… I’ll have you know that I was going to merely squish you in my hand.”
They shook their heads “No” at the insinuation, able to understand just enough to glean an inkling of her meaning.
“But now, I’m far more curious how the pair of you might taste.”
And Agatha opened her mouth, angling her head upwards. The men, realizing what this meant as her hand was positioned to deposit them in the hole both began screaming in archaic Latin at Agatha, at Demi, at each other, and presumably at God. But none of it would reach anyone, in any way that mattered.
Agatha’s hand slanted, and the two men tumbled down, down, down, straight into her awaiting tongue. Closing her mouth, Agatha couldn’t help but blush in ecstacy as the salty, savory taste of humanity filled her cheeks. The flavor was difficult to discern, but utterly intoxicating. Even more addicting, though, was the utter power she held, and beheld. Being able to consume not just one entire human… but two.
And if they had their way, many… many more.
Agatha gulped, and Demi rubbed Agatha’s back between the wings.
“How did they taste?”
Agatha opened her mouth and sighed, simply breathing. She allowed what remained of those men’s essence to leave her lips, and she smacked them loudly before stating in a stunned daze, “It was… exhilarating. You should try it sometime.”
Demi angled her gaze from Agatha back to the city. Despite how long it felt, there was still – quite fortunately – 99.9% of a city that had not been reduced to ashes.
“And try it, I shall,” Demi replied.
Taking their hands in one another’s again, the pair geared to take the next big step into not only the city of Constantinople, but also the new phase of shared ecstasy that would define the rest of their lives.
The time machine crackled and popped as it returned to Agatha’s basement, and the disheveled girls were giggling as they eagerly exited the machine’s chamber and jumped out of the cockpit.
“The book, the book!” Demi requested expectantly, cringing upon stepping on the cold concrete of the garage before grabbing her boots. “Where’d you put it?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Agatha replied, eager now to rip the already tattered wings from her back and shove them in the trash. “It’s, uhh, beneath the toolbox!”
“Beneath the… hmm,” Demi said to herself before locking eyes on the book. She struggled to move the toolbox to the side before opening up the book and thumbing rapidly through the pages.
Demi dropped the book as the dagger in her heart that was the voice of Ms. Jones pierced into her eardrums. Shivering, she turned expectantly to Agatha, who nodded and called back up, “Yes mom?!”
“It’s a school night! The next time you’re still up by the time I get back from church Aggie, you’re not allowed to have friends over!”
Agatha’s eyes widened. She glanced back at Demi, then at the fallen book.
“What?” Agatha replied, cupping her hands around her mouth. “What did you just say?”
“Now don’t make me repeat myself, young lady! Now send your little friend home!”
Footsteps creaked throughout the stairwell as Agatha stared at Demi, a dumb smile filling her face as her heart pounded.
“My mom’s never been to church in her life.”
“Then…” began Demi.
Agatha looked back at the book and picked it up from Demi’s feet. Finding the right page, she began to read out loud as the pair ascended the steps:
“Though initially believed to be nothing but the ramblings of primitive societies, and despite many naysayers, disbelievers, and infidels voicing dissatisfaction with the thought, modern science and radiocarbon dating have proved that the Goddesses themselves have in fact visited Earth in the pre-historical, Classical, and Middle Age periods. Our Goddesses, it seems, make their presence known at times of significant human development, though the precise reasoning for this has always been difficult to discern. Priests and spiritual leaders have reasoned that they come as a means to steer humanity on the right path, rewarding when we do good, and punishing when we stray. However, so-called ‘progressives’ believe that abandoning the ways of the Goddesses will lead humanity towards greater heights. Obviously, these –”
Agatha paused from her reading to notice Demi, standing at the top of the stairs, eyes wide, mouth agape, gasping. Her gaze was turned to the living room of Agatha’s own house.
Except, it was not any living room Agatha recognized.
Gone were the family pictures and photos, knick-knacks and ornaments that peppered every shelf, mantle, and counter.
In their places, were statues. Carvings. Portraits. All depicting two women in dance, one light and one dark. With crumbling societies at their feet.
As Demi composed herself, Agatha was the one whose jaw began to drop. Demi took a look at Agatha and smirked, “Is that biblical enough for you?”
I'm going the HECK to bed.
Hope you all enjoyed!
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.