They continued to meet every night at midnight, in the garden.
Every night they would swap stories and give accounts of their
lives. Every night Robin would beg Fiona to believe his words.
Every night she would shake her head no. But it didn't seem to
bother him too much. "You'll believe me one day. Soon, I hope. Or
else bad things will happen to me." He had said, somewhat sadly.
Fiona would listen to him repeat the story over again - "My family
and I ran an Antique Shop - Gibson Antique Emporium. We had
customers from all over the world. We were pretty successful. One
particular Saturday, me, pa and Rory were working the shop and a
strange fellow came in. Egyptian by the look of him. He was
jabbering on and on to my papa about something he had wrapped up in
a bag. I couldn't understand a word of it, but when my father tried
to take a peek, the man ran out of the shop. He left the thing. Out
of curiosity, we looked. It was a marble, about the size of my
fist. Nothing too unusual, except for the fact that it changed
colors. When I held it, it glowed blue. When Rory, my brother came
stomping in, it got hot and turned red. I dropped it, and The next
thing I knew we were here, in the middle of nowhere. I can't
explain it any more than you can understand it." Fiona COULDN'T
understand it. Time travel was impossible. "I think how it works is
this," he went on, "there are these orbs that send people to
'checkpoints' in time. Whether forward or backward it's not known.
But when activated, it sends these individuals or groups to places
like this. They stay for years, watching the land be developed and
populated. Take us, for example. We've been here for 110 years now.
We've watched your town evolve. We go in and visit every once in a
while. But then there's, for example, Pontus Maximus. He's an
ancient Roman. There's no telling how long he's waited to go home.
But there is a way out - Rory and I found a door that Leads into a
chamber containing a clone of the Orb. It's in a booby-trapped
cellar right below our Camp. We've just been waiting for our key
out. The thing is locked up in some enchanted storage room. We can
see it, but cant get in. It's a queer situation, and it doesn't
make much sense, but I've been thinking it over for a century now."
She got up off of the stone bench and started pacing in front of
him. "And this key i have opens it?" He nodded, hope forming in his
eyes. "How would you know?" That seemed to strike him like
lightning. Robin looked like he had gotten caught with his hand in
a cookie jar. "That's... ANOTHER... Queer situation.... Erm..."
Fiona stood there and waited for him to explain. After seeing she
wasn't going to take no for an answer, Robin divulged a tale of
Uncle Glover and Mr. Gibson. "You see, the orb has to charge. Every
time someone is sent here, it drains it's power for about 90 years,
from what my father has calculated. We believe that one huge
teleportation of all of us will drain it completely. Your uncle, he
has his own plans. The only reason he bought that house is because
he found out about the portal and how near it was. He's been trying
to access it for years now. He and my father became fast friends
when they met - working together to try to get in. We lost a few
men doing so. But then we found out we needed a key. Glover knew it
immediately - that key your mother had. He looked for you for two
years... When he found you, he revealed his purpose of getting it -
to stop his long dead love from reaching the grave so soon. He
would rather bring back a lost memory than help many friends in
need. So they went separate ways. That's why we need you. That's
why he's forbidden you to even enter the woods, and has such a
close eye on you. It won't be long before he asks about it -or even
steals the thing. That's all he wants from you Fiona." She shook
her head. This was NOT the Uncle she had come to know over the past
month. "I'm sorry Robin, but that is crossing the line. I know my
uncle misses Valentia, but he is not a conniving liar. He loves me.
Despite what you believe he really does. He brought me and my
brother back together for God's sake! Nobody would go through that
much trouble just to get something he could have stolen. I need
time to think about this. I will speak with him. If what you say is
true, I cannot simply join a side. Give me until tomorrow, and you
shall have your answer. At Noon. I swear it. If you find the key
hanging from my window sill by a sowing thread, then take it. If
not... Then I am sorry for my unbelieving heart. I really must be
going." Robin jumped up and took Fiona by the hand. "I can prove
it." She stared at him unsure. "How so?" "I'll show you our camp!
When we came here, it teleported the whole lot with us. The shop is
sitting out there in the middle of the woods. I'll show you. Come
on." Robin laced his fingers between hers and pulled Fiona towards
the forest. "Robin, I don't know-" He smiled reassuringly. "Don't
worry. I'll keep you safe." They exited the garden. The couple
trotted across the lawn and disappeared into the line of trees. A
shaded figure took it's leave of the shrubbery in the garden and
snuck back into the mansion, with nobody to see it but the stars
and full moon.
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