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Barrister only exhales when they rematerialize in the darkened Louvre. “Made it,” he sighs. “And got rid of the Extinctioners at last!”

“They won’t be slipstreaming again,” agrees Verla, checking around for guards. “I just hope we didn’t alter the timeline much.”

Barrister shrugs and sits down to undo the latches on his jet boots. “It wasn’t a designated Flux Period,” he says. “Surely Chronastromy HQ would have informed us–”

“We have to go back,” says Mario hoarsely. “We have to go back now.

“What?” says Verla.

But Mario just points one trembling finger at Mona Lisa’s bloody, sharp-fanged grin.


Chronastromy tends to give its practitioners a young-yet-ageless look, and Mario certainly has it–he’s a forty-year vet who now resembles himself at twenty. So it’s incongruous, the old man’s desperate fear in his eyes.

“Gaia damn those fools,” he swears to himself, shimmering into the middle of a Pasadena mall. “Eighteen ninety-two. I said eighteen ninety-two, and they’re off by a century!”

He’s been spotted by then; the teens have begun converging from all angles. “Slater!” they are shrieking. “Slater!” It’s not his name.

The jet boots get him through a skylight, but he knows he’s not safe for long.