Yes, it’s been forever since I posted last, but I am trying to be good and finish this before the new year. Call it a pre-new year resolution.
Balki had just entered Greg’s house looking for Larry when he saw Serge, Bianca and Larry sprint downstairs. “Cousin? I thought I might find you here–”
Larry quickly grabbed Balki’s arm and pulled him toward Bianca’s time machine. “Can’t talk now. We’re going to find out who Bryan is working for!”
Balki allowed himself to be jerked into Bianca’s machine and licked his lips nervously. “Shouldn’t we ask to be invited first?”
“No. This way we have the element of surprise. They have no idea we’re coming,” Serge replied.
“Oh, okay,” Balki nodded as he watched Bianca shakily type in the location into the machine.
“How do you know where he is?” Larry asked.
Serge looked at Bianca sheepishly. “I sort of had Miss Bianca’s robot friend help me find a listening device and GPS tracker, then placed it into that sleazeball Bryan’s bag. I told you he was slime from the swamp, Miss Bianca. I could feel it in my bones.”
“I’m both too terrified and numb to be angry with you right now, Serge,” Bianca replied, grabbing Larry’s hand and squeezing it on instinct as the machine took off.
Seconds later, when the machine appeared, Balki bit his lip, terrified of what they might see–or who they might see–when they went inside.
“Does this place look familiar to you, B?” Larry asked as they looked up at the quaint one-story brick home. It surely didn’t look as if a killer would reside or hold his meetings inside.
Bianca shook her head. “I’ve never seen it before in my life. Let’s go; I’m ready to look into the eyes of the SOB who murdered Greg and my grandfather.”
“I hope they are in a good mood,” Balki gulped before Serge walked up to the door and flung it open dramatically.
“Caught you red-handed!” Serge cried out.
Sure enough, Bryan stood facing them, eyes wide and mouth open. “What the–?”
Balki blinked before another familiar person came into view. “Napoleon?” he gasped.
“I always knew that kid was a traitor!” Larry scowled.
Bianca audibly gasped, herself. “How could you–both of you–betray me like this? I-I trusted you!”
“Look; I can explain…” Napoleon began, his voice trailing off as heard footsteps and the sound of a gun being cocked.
“Looking for me?” a voice said and Bianca clutched onto Serge’s arm as they stared at the same hooded figure that was chasing them in the woods. “Guess you finally caught me. Or perhaps it’s just the other way around.”
“W-who are you? D-don’t you know it’s not nice to play with guns?” Balki stammered.
“Who said I was playing, Balki?” the mystery man asked, his tone low and threatening.
“How do you k-know my name?”
“I know all of your names. In fact, I know far more than any of you could fathom.”
“No. It couldn’t be. I recognize your voice, but you–you–”
Suddenly, the mystery man pulled back his hood and took off the baseball cap he was also wearing to shield his face.
“Oh my Lord!” Larry cried out. “Max!”
“Liki!” Balki cried out in unison.
“Huh?” Bianca asked, confused.
Bryan looked back at Bianca with the same look of confusion. He wasn’t sure who Max was, but he couldn’t believe the guy known as Balki guessed correctly.
“Congratulations, Balki,” Liki sneered. “You won the grand prize. Funny how you remembered me from how you saw me last.”
“Who is Max?” Bryan finally asked.
“M-Max was him…o-only he-he was in a d-dream. His hair was a different c-color,” Larry stammered.
Bianca gasped. “Larry! Grandfather knew! He caused you to dream about Max as a warning. He knew Liki was planning something!”
Liki laughed. “Oh, that Henry. He really was a genius ahead of his time. We could have been great pals together. He and I worked together long before thst sorry sad sack Greg or even Bryan here. I would have done anything for him. But he said I took things too far; how do you like that? No points for complete loyalty. I kept his secrets; told him I would do whatever needed to be done to protect him and keep them buried. Then that meddling Jacob had to get in the way and find out the truth. So I continued my loyalty whether Henry wanted it or not. It’s a shame people had to die, but what’s done is done. I was just doing my part. And then Henry decided he wanted to be noble and do the right thing. And I spent too much time doing what needed to be done to let him do that.”
“So it was about the DVD!” Serge proclaimed. “I knew it!”
“Yes. And my sorry excuse for an assistant Bryan botched your assassination.”
Serge blinked a few times, processing what had just been said. “I’m sorry. Did you say my ‘assassination’?”
“Liki! You, Bryan and Napoleon should be ashamed of yourselves!” Balki scolded.
“Hey; I always warned Henry that he should never mess with the fabric of time. Same with you, Bianca. I mean, look at all the trouble you caused with your little machine. Guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” Liki tsked.
Bianca gasped. “How dare you? And you wanna know something? You went through all this trouble over what was on that DVD, killing anyone who knew about it, but I watched it, too! I know all about it!”
Bryan’s head snapped in her direction. “How did you–?”
“When I had the DVD–before it was stolen from my laptop–I saved a digital copy of it to my laptop. I watched it after everyone was at Greg’s had departed. So does that mean I have to be killed now, too?”
Larry stood in front of her. “Are you asking to get shot?”
Liki slammed his hand down on the table beside him. “I was trying to do whatever I had to in order to keep you from seeing it! That’s what Henry was afraid of!” He turned to Bryan and Napoleon, glaring at them. “It’s your fault! I gave you specific instructions and you couldn’t even carry them out. You were supposed to kill Serge, Bryan!”
Bryan looked at him, palms outward. “I tried but he made Serge drop his drink!” he pointed to Larry.
“I never did thank you,” Serge whispered to Larry.
Liki glowered. “No excuse.”
Bryan watched as if in slow motion as Liki lowered the gun at him and pulled the trigger. He heard Bianca and Serge scream as he fell to the floor, shot in the chest. “Bianca….run…” were the last words his brain could send to his vocal cords before the world went black.