tomorrow finally comes
Shades slept in his usual place on the couch near the helm. As he slowly awakened, he vaguely dreaded what he might see, though in his half-awake state he couldn’t quite remember what it was he was supposed to be so apprehensive about. Found he couldn’t quite get back to sleep, either, as he felt too hot to get comfortable.
He rolled over, opening his eyes— and immediately snapping them shut again against a glare that dazzled him in spite of his shades.
Then he opened them again sharply, blinking away furiously to adjust to a light greater than he had become accustomed to of late, which it now dawned on him could mean only one thing, now that he was awake enough to make the connection.
“Max! Justin!” he called out as he rolled over and sat up, knees and ankles were sore from that crazy jump he made against the nasty robot guardian thing, but now that he was more awake, he took that as a good sign. Arms and shoulders stiff, as well, but it was a welcome, satisfying sensation. Feeling a rough battle’s worth of scrapes and bruises made for still more compelling evidence, as, during the repeat-loop, any injuries or other conditions they may have acquired during the previous visit always ‘went away’ while they were asleep, so… “Wake up, guys! We made it! We’re free!”
Down below, Max blinked away at the sleepiness, and Bandit looked up from his side of the cabin for a moment in idle feline curiosity. Wondering, perhaps, what the humans were making such a fuss over during his nap time, then nodded off again. For his part, Max glanced up, seeing sunlight streaming through the skylight on him. Like an old friend, he reflected, smiling as he sat up.
It was already looking like a great day, indeed.
In his room, Justin slowly, cautiously, opened his eyes, looking around blearily. At first, unsure if it was even worth it to wake up, with the kind of days he’d been having lately. And already, Shades was yelling at him about something…
Then the words finally registered.
Seeing the sunlight dancing on the water outside his porthole snapped him awake, and he bolted out of his cabin and up the steps to the bridge. A moment later, Max came up, as well, Bandit tagging along at his side. Now that he saw it for himself, Justin blinked. Both at the atypically welcome glare, as well as a desire to make sure he wasn’t seeing things.
“Is it really over?” he asked.
“Yes. At long last,” Shades remarked, “tomorrow has finally come.”
“Had to sooner or later,” Justin said, smiling for the first time since this ordeal began.
“A beautiful sunrise,” Max agreed.
“That it is…” Shades seconded.
“So, what’s for breakfast?” Justin interjected.
“Hmm…” Shades pondered a moment before answering, “I’m thinking anything besides whatever we had during our stay in St Lucy.”
“Sounds good to me,” Max added.
With that, they settled in for breakfast. Any lingering doubts or worries were quickly dispelled by the fact that their money and supplies had failed to magically revert back to their pre-repeat-loop status. In spite of the cheerful mood as they ate, nagging doubts still tried to creep in from time to time, a rational enough reaction after the repeatedly unsettling events of that day, but when the Isle of St Lucy failed to appear before them in their sights by the time they finished eating, they took that as the final proof they needed.
As Shades took his turn at the helm, he decided to keep an eye out for Camcron and its sinister Research Institute in the future. If they could do this… Interdimensional technology opened up possibilities he hadn’t seriously considered before. If it could be made to do more practical things, it could be a powerful tool in his search for John and Amy. Even, potentially, a way back home.
Of course, anymore, that line of thought, of going back to his own dimension, opened up a mixed bag of feelings. Homesickness and restlessness, loneliness and comradery. Though he knew he wouldn’t give up the search, had no intention of going back with so many questions left unanswered, his time here had served to make him wonder more about what he might do, where he might go next, if he did find his old friends. Perhaps, he concluded, it was a decision best left until he had caught up with them.
If nothing else, he was beginning to feel that, from here on out, he could face the distance from here to there, even the distance between himself and his friends when they were finally reunited.
Though Justin smiled outwardly, for he was indeed thrilled at finally being free again, he was also deeply troubled by what he had seen underneath that building. He wasn’t sure if they others would buy it, but he would swear up and down that whole portions of that computer apparatus looked like it was copied straight out of the derelict halls of Tranz-D. Wanting to know how the hell these guys got their hands on technology supposedly sealed away for thousands of years in the void between dimensions, let alone who in their right mind would attempt to rebuild it, he vowed to keep his ear to the ground for any further word of this Camcron outfit.
While Justin brooded, Max found himself picturing Mr Donaldson getting more people to investigate Project Pythagoras, wondering what else they might find.
“You know,” he told them, absently scratching Bandit behind the ears, “I think the people of St Lucy are going to be alright.”
“I’m sure they will,” Shades nodded. “If nothing else, it was an interesting day.”
“It sure was!” Justin told him pleasantly. “Now let us never speak of it again.”
And so the Maximum sailed on, destination unknown. Just as it should be, her crew concluded, looking out and enjoying a sunny sky they had feared they would never see again. A sky that told them it would be a great day, without a doubt.