"NOW???!!" Cried Lucy, "WHY would we go NOW??? Look, according to the calendars, it's October. OK? Why don't we just wait until December? I mean, not that the first Christmas actually *happened* in Decemeber, but, let's go when we're in the Christmas mood."
"Lucy," pointed out Jos, "You're always in the Christmas mood."
"I know", said Lucy, "but I meant the rest of you."
Everyone agreed to that. Then, suddenly, Lucy and Taylor went off to a little cove and talked for a while, without any good reason.
"Well," wondered Isaac, aloud, "I wonder what their problem is."
"I don't know." said Zac, "But, apparently it was urgent. So. I think that we should wait for their return, and then decide on our next move. K?"
The plan sounded good to everyone else.
Meanwhile, Tay and Lucy were having a serious discussion.
"Tay," said Lucy, very sober, "Uh, well, Rose ... how do I say this, Rose kinda wanted me to--"
"She wants me and Ike and Zac to leave?" interuppted Tay.
"How'd you know?" asked Lucy, "I thought that you were gone when she told me and Jos that."
"Well, we were," said Tay, "but, I could tell by the way you acted when someone mentioned 'our next stop'."
"Oh." said Lucy, rather saddened, "I know this sounds sappy, but I wish that you could stay. This has been one of the coolest experiences that I've ever had!!! I mean, world and time travel, and going all those places with my 2 best friends, and you guys, too!!! But, Rose isn't so keen on that. She ... Oh, I dont' know. She ....." Lucy just drifted off to silence, and watched the waves for quite a while.
Neither of them had to say anything, but they both agreed that they wished that Rose hadn't brought that up. They just sat there for hours, watching the surf go in and out ... It was nice. Right when Lucy was ready to say something else, "LUUUUUUUCYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!! TAAAAAAAYLOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!! WHERE ARE YOU GUYS??" It was Rose.
Lucy got an annoyed look on her face. "Comiiiing!" She shouted. She didn't mean it. "I'll go when I feel like it."
They sat there, watching the water, for a while longer.
"Uh, Lucy," said Tay, uneasily, "Don't you think that we should head back? It looks like it's starting to storm. Lucy? LUCY?"
"WHAT?!!" Shouted Lucy, jolting awake. She had accidentally fallen asleep, "Oh! I wouldn't worry about it. I love storms! They're great! I mean--"
"LUCY!" yelled Tay, "ANYONE who was even partially sane would know that there is a storm brewing out at sea, and if we wait here too much longer, we're gonna be in the middle of it! So LET'S GET MOVING!!!"
"But, Taaaayyyyyyy....." moaned Lucy, "I dont' want toooo......Jos and Rose are..."
"LUCY!!!!!!! WE ARE GOING!" Tay shouted, but was drowned out by the howling wind.
WHOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHH! The wind hit 'em hard.
"WHAT IS THIS?" screamed Lucy, "SOME KIND OF HURRICANE???"
"I HATE TO SAY IT, BUT I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT! I THINK IT'S A TROPICAL STORM, OR SOMETHING!" Tay shoted back.
"OK, TAY," agreed Luc, "LET'S HEAD BACK, NOW!!"
So, they started back for the hotel. Which, I might add, was stupid, because it was being destroyed by winds, too.
"Where are those guys?" Asked Jos, concernedly, "Rose, didn't you say that they'd be back an hour ago?"
"Yeah, that's what Lucy said," replied Rose, "But now, I somehow doubt that she meant that. MY GOSH!! LOOK AT THAT!!! It looks like some kind of tropical storm, or something!"
"What about Luc and Tay?" asked Zac, worried.
"OH! SHOOT!! What will we do about them? " yelled Jos, trying to be heard above the roaring wind, "*WHY* can't Lucy ever listen? Well, we'd better go and find them, I guess."
"JOOOOOS!" moaned Rose, "YOU *KNOW* that we can't go find 'em! They were down by the ocean! They're probably *dead* or *dying*!"
"Thank you, Rose," said Isaac, "Thank you for your optimism."
"Yeah. Any time."
Suddenly, the storm sirens started screaming warnings, indicating that the search for Tay and Lucy would be fruitless. So, the 4 started downstars in search of shelter. (because the hotel was cheap, and blowing away) *****************************************
"Lucy? You makin' it?" asked Taylor.
"Yeah, I guess so. This wind is nasty, though!! Let's head over there," Lucy pointed, "it looks like a shelter, of some sort. It's kinda far away, but I think that we'll make it."
Meanwhile, Jos, Rose, Ike, and Zac were headed for another shelter. On the way, an extrordinarily feirce wind came up, knocking them to ground. At this point, no one could see or hear anything, so they just started wandering, not knowing who was still with them. After a treacherous walk to the shelter, they finally made it.
"Are you alright?" Rose asked.
"Yeah," replied Isaac, "although, you don't look too good."
"Thanks." remarked Rose, "where's Jos?"
Rose started crying harshly. "I thought.....I thought....she...but, I thought she was with us!!!"
"Rose," said Isaac, hugging Rose, "She probably got lost. As soon as the calm comes, we WILL go look for her. Pronto."
"Noooooooooooooooooo!" Wailed Rose, "We gotta go look for her *NOW*!!"
"Rose!!" yelled Zac, who, up to this point, had been pretty quiet, "There is a storm in FULL FORCE outside!!! And you say, 'oh, let's go look for Jos!'. I think that any sane person would wait. We all love Jos. BUT, us looking for her now is not only stupid, it's a MAJOR risk. Just... just wait. You know that Jos would wait."
That was enough to convince Rose to wait.
Just as the worst of the storm was over, Lucy and Taylor got to a sheltered place. "Tay...I'm sorry for not wanting to go back to the hotel. If I'd listened to Rose, and gone back to the hotel, we'd be with Rose and Jos and Ike and Zac right nooow!" Lucy started sniffling, "It's aaaaallllll my fault!!!"
"Lucy." said Taylor, "It's ok. I don't mind. We would be in the midst of the storm, one place or another; with or without them. It's ok. We'll just wait 'till it's over and see if we can find them, then.
Finally. Calm. It was over. Time to clean up the mess that Tropical Storm Damon made.
The paramedics arrived, to look and take care of hurt people. One of them, Alex, was walking to a shelter, and tripped over something. Stopping, to look and see what he'd tripped over, he gasped. There, lying in some rubble, was a small woman. She was seriously injured and unconscious. He picked her up, and took her to the make-shift hospital. "HEY!" He yelled, "Could somebody help me, here! This lady's in a lot of trouble!! She doesn't look too well!" As one of the surgeous walked over to examine the patient, he said, "MY GOSH! She's barely there! Her pulse is *VERY* weak! I think that she needs to be airlifted to to ER!!" Alex radioed a helicopter right away.
After the helicopter took the woman away, two people walked up to Alex. One, a girl about 14, and another, a boy, about 15. The girl spoke up, "Excuse me, sir? Hi. I'm Lucy, and I was wondering, did you happen to see a group of 4 people?" She went on to describe her friends.
"Lucy, miss," said Alex, "I haven't seen either of the boys or the other girl, but I did see the one girl, what was her name, Jos? Yeah. I saw her here. She ... she just got airlifted to the ER. In Honolulu."
"What?" sir, Taylor spoke up, "Are you sure? I mean--"
"I'm sure." interrupted Alex. "From what you say, she was unmistakable. She had that "Steve Mason is my Hero" shirt on, and well, there aren't a lot of shirts like that!!! If you'd like, you could wait here for the next ambulance, and maybe they'd take you to the hospital. I'm not promising, though. In the meanwhile, son, you should get someone to look at your leg. And miss, your arm! I think--"
"No." said Lucy. "We don't have time. I'm walking to Honolulu."
"Ma'am!" remarked Alex, "That's over 300 miles from here! You wouldn't make it!"
"I will. I'll be fine."
"And we're fine. We don't need medical help. Just....go do your job. Help the people that do need help." She smiled and walked away.
"Lucy....you're insane!" shouted Taylor, as soon as they were out of earshot, "WALKING to HONOLULU? What is up with that? I mean, he's right! It's over 300 miles away!"
"You guys.....you're such morons! It's NOT 300 miles away! It's not possible! THIS ISLAND isn't even that wide! Unless I walked around the island a time or two, it's not that far! Duh."
"Luc, how we know that it wasn't destroyed in the storm?"
"It's not. Did you notice how SHORT that was? And it was headed along *side* of the island. It wouldn't be travelling to the *other* side of the island! DUUUUUH!"
"Oh. You noticed that stuff in the middle of the storm. You dork! You noticed which way the wind was going, and stuff? Weird." Ok. Let's get walking."
"OK" replied Lucy.
At the ER, doctors were debating the best course of action for the girl's survival. They all agreed that whatever they did, they'd better do it fast.
On the way to the hospital, Lucy heard people shouting "HEY! Luc! Taayloooor!" She turned around and said, "What in the heck--ROSE!!! ZAC!!! ISAAC!!"
"Where are you going?" Asked Zac.
"To the hospital..." said Lucy, "They found Jos, apparently, and she's been taken to the ER." Lucy went on to explain the conversation with Alex.
"Whooooa." said Isaac. Everyone went quiet, as they continued toward Honolulu.
After several hours, they finally arrived at the hospital.
Right away, Rose went to the nurse's station and said, "Miss? Could you please tell me where Josephine Parker is located?"
The nurse looked up from her book and typed something into the computer, "Parker.... Parker.... Parker.... Hm. No Parker's listed here. Are you sure that's her name?"
Rose looked annoyed. "I've known her since pre-school. I think I know her name. Hmmm.....Try...'Mason'."
The nurse typed some more. "Mason.... Mason....Hm. Josephine Mason? Room 42. Down the hall and to your left."
"Thank you" said Rose.
They quietly entered Jos's room. She was lying motionless on the bed.
"Oh my gosh! She looks so...." Rose drifted off.
She was extremely scarred and bruised. She was unconscious, and she looked dead, almost.
The doctor walked in. "Oh! Hello. I'm Dr. Ross. You must be her friends? Relatives?"
"Friends,"Rose replied, quietly, "How is she?"
The doctor got ver quiet. "She...isn't doing very well, I'm afraid."
"What?" asked Lucy, "Tell us everything."
"Frankly, I don't have too high of hopes for her. I'm sorry. Excuse me. I have other patients. The nurse will be in with her medication shortly, so, you can ask her any further questions."
"Whoa. said Rose, when he left. "Whoa. That hurts. Whose idea was it to come to Hawai--"
"ROSE!" yelled Lucy, "It's no one's fault! Just....... be quiet."
The nurse walked in, and without saying anything, she checked Jos' IV, unplugged something, and started wheeling her out of the room.
"WAIT!" shouted Rose, "where are you taking her?"
"I'm sorry, dear. I really am. But, Miss Mason here, she..... she passed away. I'm sorry." the nurse sighed, and seemed genuinely sad, "If only time could be reversed." And at that, she wheeled away their friend.
Lucy started crying. Hard. So did Rose. Isaac, Taylor, and Zac just stood there, completely numb.
The 5 of them just stayed in that room for a long time. Crying.
"WAIT A SECOND!!!" Zac yelled. "WAIT JUST ONE MINUTE! WE *CAN* go back in time!!!! WE CAN SAVE JOS!!!! QUICK! Where are the finger things?"
Rose sat there, looking at Zac with a very... awe inspired look. Then, she raised her arm, and *snap*.
They were all standing at NASA headquarters in Texas. Several months earlier.