Gotcha!

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Little GTO, you're really lookin' fine

Three deuces and a four-speed and a 389

Listen to her tachin' up now, listen to her why-ee-eye-ine

C'mon and turn it on, wind it up, blow it out GTO

– Ronny & the Daytonas (Little GTO)

=/\=

"So, Erika Hernandez is still not retired?" Malcolm asked Tommy as the family stood outside Joss's house after the anniversary dinner. It was May twenty-fifth, 2192.

"I think she's getting close to it," Tommy Digiorno-Madden replied. He was Doug and Melissa's eldest. Although Joss looked more like Doug, Tommy was the closest in spirit to their late father. "I dunno who'll get the Excelsior next. Hamilton Roget is already getting his own ship, the DC-1520, the Raleigh."

"Ah, yes, lovely ship," Malcolm responded admiringly.

"But not as great as your ship, the Bluebird," Lili said.

"Well, I suspect you're a little partial, love." Malcolm suddenly frowned and was quiet. After a pause, he whispered, "Did you hear that?" It was the faintest sound of a small twig snapping. His eyesight may have been going, but his hearing was as acute as ever.

Tommy just nodded and pointed to Joss, and then gestured toward Joss's house. Joss understood and gathered most of the family with him. Neil handed his little daughter, Jenny Lee, over to her mother, Ines Ramirez. Joss got them, and his son Jay, Jia, Melissa, Norri and Lili into the house as quickly and as quietly as possible.

Neil and Declan then followed Malcolm and Tommy. There were no words – they just instinctively knew that Malcolm was in charge. He pointed two fingers to Tommy and then to Declan and then indicated behind the house. Those two slowly crept that way. Malcolm nodded at Neil to follow him and they sneaked around by the front of the house.

No one was armed, but they had overcome the intruder's element of surprise. Tommy and Declan circled around. Tommy saw a figure and gestured to Declan to hang back. Tommy leaped. "Gotcha!"

The two of them fell to the ground, near the garden. The intruder was soft and smelled good. Tommy stood up, pulling the intruder up. Declan came up close and saw, too – it was a woman. "I don't normally get acquainted that way," she drawled, a light, lilting Southern accent such as is heard in the Carolinas on Earth or on Titania. Tommy held her by the arm and escorted her to where there was some light. He could see that she was an attractive brunette.

"We got her!" he called out.

The others came running over. "Whoever you are, Miss, you're trespassing," Malcolm said sternly. "This is private property."

"No reason for ya'll to get upset, old man," she said, "I'm a time traveler."

"Then where is your ship?" Declan asked. "My understanding is that one cannot travel temporally without a ship or a time portal, and there are no time portals here."

"Not to worry," she said, tapping her temporal enhancer cuff, using almost the exact same motion that Malcolm used when touching the Cuff of Lo while nervous. "I'm covered."

=/\=

They landed in 1994, April fifth. Seattle. "What are we doing here?" Sheilagh asked.

"I'm not sure," HD replied, "I know Kurt Cobain shot himself. I'm just not sure how that was, well, I guess the Perfectionists prevented that somehow. At least that's what we've got and that's what Otra saw, but she was kinda unclear on it herself."

They were standing outside a Seattle home. They crossed the street and watched, as neighbors eyed them a little suspiciously. "This is creepy," Sheilagh said, "if this guy is a suicide, then he's a suicide. To me, the whole thing doesn't sit right."

"I guess it shouldn't," HD agreed, "he was a heroin abuser and most likely bi-polar, and he had ADHD."

"Like Levi."

"Right. Holy cow, uh, look away, we need to be cool, pretend like we're not watching the place."

"How come?" she whispered to him.

"Turn around really slowly, over your right shoulder, and you'll see a blonde with a little kid, just outside the house. Then turn back to me, okay?"

Sheilagh did as asked. "Who is that?"

"That's Cobain's wife, Courtney Love. The kid is their daughter, Frances Bean Cobain. She isn't the one who finds his body. It's a guy who's coming in, to do some electrical work or something. And that's a few days from now, too. Huh, Grant mighta been right all along."

"Tom Grant?" she asked.

"Funny you should say that," he said, "'cause the investigator's name is the same as our coworker's. The guy might even be an ancestor, for all we know. But this Tom Grant, the one who's involved, he's a private investigator hired by Love to check up on Cobain. He couldn't be reached and she got worried."

"Why doesn't she just open the door and look?"

"Well, they were kinda on the rocks, and that was nothing new. Anyway, Grant – er, the investigator – he developed a theory that Cobain was killed, probably by Love's order. She was allegedly facing a divorce and all of that."

"Does any of that matter right now?" Sheilagh asked.

"Huh, probably not too much," HD conceded. "Shh, she's coming this way."

Frances Bean was a toddler of just under two. She smiled at them as Courtney Love walked nearby, and extended her hand. "Cookie?" she asked.

"Sorry, I don't have a cookie," HD said, looking down.

"Frances!" Courtney exclaimed, "Uh, sorry."

"That's okay. She's adorable," Sheilagh said.

"Thanks," Courtney said, and then walked away, still holding her daughter.

Once she was out of earshot, Sheilagh said, "Let's get outta here and check if we were successful. This whole thing is creeping me out."

"That goes double for me."

=/\=

And on the Simon Morley, waiting for them, Kevin did a few checks, and then realized there was an extra chair. The colony alien, they knew, could more or less shape shift. "Branch?" he asked.

"Yes?"

"Could ya please get back to the humanoid shape you were in? This is kinda unnerving."

"Oh. There was no desire to create discomfort."

"I know," Kevin said, "So what do you know about the Varg-i-yeh?"

"You will be told everything."

"Good," Kevin said, "ah, there's the signal for our happy couple to return. You might as well tell all three of us."

=/\=

Wa-wa, ("Yeah, yeah, little GTO") wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa

("Yeah, yeah, little GTO")

Wa-wa, ("Yeah, yeah, little GTO") wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa

("Yeah, yeah, little GTO")

Wa-wa ("Ahhh, little GTO") wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa

– Ronny & the Daytonas (Little GTO) 

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