Summary: Sequel to Somewhere Back in Time. The Monkees find themselves under siege again by Zero, who is out to guarantee his victory once and for all by rewriting their future. With everything falling apart around them, the quartet will have to struggle just to stay together... leading to some desperate measures, from both sides.
In this chapter: Mike tries to plan things out with his older self, and gets a shocking reply.
Warnings: There will be perilous situations in later chapters. Also, this is a Doctor Nez fic, so wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey elements will be ahead, as well.
Main Character(s): Mike, Davy, Micky, Peter, Mr. Zero
Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine (except for the OCs), and the story is; fictional personas from the TV show.
The quartet waited, making sure that no one was going to be coming back for their future selves before coming out of hiding.
“Micky,” Mike said, a shudder traveling down his spine as he watched their future selves continuing their fruitless struggle against the glass. “Micky, please tell me you still have that glasscutter we used during that art museum fiasco.”
“Uhhhh…” the drummer stammered, going through his pockets. “Umm… let’s see… skeleton keys… a quarter…”
“Glasscutter, Mick! For crying out loud, you had that dang typewriter with you! How can you not have the glasscutter!?”
“Uh… I got it!” the drummer exclaimed, handing it over to Mike.
Micky, Peter, and Davy stood by as Mike worked at the glass, ignoring the baffled looks he was getting from his future self, as well as the others’. Finally, water began to leak through the glass, and Mike retreated along with the others as the glass gave way to one more of future-Davy’s punches.
The younger Monkees stood by, awkwardly, as their older selves gasped to catch their breath.
“This is a new one,” the older Mike declared. “I dunno whether to thank you or congratulate myself.”
“You can skip the congratulations after we get that page back from Zero,” the present-day Mike said.
“Yeah, about that,” the older Mike said. “We… you… All of us… We got problems.”
“We know; that’s why we’re trying to get the page—to make sure we don’t have problems anymore!” present-day Peter said.
“A very noble effort,” the older Davy said. “But, as you can see, it didn’t work.”
“We haven’t done it yet, Tiny,” present-day Mike said. “But just give us enough time to figure this thing out, and—”
Some panels on the floor underneath the older Monkees suddenly lit up.
“What the…?” the older Micky asked, and then panicked as he realized that he couldn’t move. “It’s a teleport panel!”
The younger Mike cursed and tried to grab for his future self, who was closest.
“NO!” the older Mike roared, causing the younger one to freeze. “Y’all stay back—especially you! I mean, me!”
The younger one was set to ignore his future self, except that the teleportation tiles activated at that moment, causing the older Monkees to vanish. Furious, the younger Mike kicked a chunk of glass halfway across the warehouse floor.
“We were that close to rescuing them!” he fumed. “Now Zero’s warped them somewhere!”
“I don’t think it’ll be too hard to find them,” Micky said, pulling a few wires from the Vortex Manipulator and placing them to the tiles. “If I can get a reading on here, it’ll take us right to where our future selves were taken!”
“Will it help?” Davy asked.
“We won’t know until we get there,” Peter said, with a shrug.
“That’s not what I meant,” the English boy said. “Did you notice how they didn’t seem pleased or relieved to see us?”
Mike looked to Davy now.
“What’re you getting at, Tiny?”
“If we succeed in helping them now, and getting the page from Zero and stopping him… they wouldn’t be in this position now for us to get them out of,” Davy pointed out.
“Yeaaah,” Micky said, looking up from the Vortex Manipulator. “This is going back to that paradox thing I was mentioning about.”
“What’re you saying?” Peter asked, worried, as he looked to Mike. “We fail? Is that why we get caught be Zero later anyway?”
“I already told you guys earlier; I don’t care about paradoxes,” Mike said. “We’re not gonna fail. If we have to rewrite time, then we’re gonna rewrite time. We’re not some little cosmic dolls that the universe can play with. We’re gonna take control of our futures and our lives! Mick, plug in those coordinates.”
“Okay…” the drummer said, knowing better than to argue. “Got ‘em. Everyone hang on!”
The others once again grabbed onto Micky’s shoulders and materialized in a room painted with bizarre patterns and colors. A large organ—the mind-control organ, no doubt—sat on a pedestal, also painted in the same way, and the woman from before was gazing upon the quartet’s future selves, each imprisoned in an individual glass tube and desperately pounding on the tubes, but to no avail.
The woman was taunting them, saying that there was no way to break out, but to instead use their minds to attempt escaping while the man—and, apparently, Zero, since neither of them seemed to be around—was not there to use the mind-control organ on them.
“What’s she talking about?” present-Davy asked. “Whose side is she on if she’s trying to help us… them… out of there?”
“I dunno, but I don’t trust her,” present-Mike replied, as their future selves seemed to fall into some sort of unnatural sleep.
The woman now left their future selves like that; she didn’t even look towards the present-day Monkees as she departed.
“Now’s our chance,” Mike said. “Mick, that glasscutter?”
“I already gave it to you!”
“Oh, yeah…” the Texan said, pulling the glasscutter from the pocket of his sparkly suit. He ran up to future-Peter’s glass tube, which was closest. “Shotgun! Hey, Shotgun! …Dangit, he’s out cold….”
Mike clenched his hand into a fist and rapped his knuckles against the glass, but the moment he came into contact with the glass, he was repelled by some invisible barrier. The force of this sent him into the next glass tube—which held his future self. The back of his head collided with the glass, and all went dark.
When Mike’s senses returned to him, he was no longer in the psychedelically-painted room, but a dark room, with his guitar mysteriously in his hands. The only thing illuminated in the dark room was a platform; attached to and partially painted on the platform was a large wanted poster, towering over him—a wanted poster that had his face sketched upon it—from the front and in profile.
“‘Wanted for fraud’!? What!?” he blurted out, as he clambered onto the platform. “Oh, and twenty-five thousand reward, huh? Go figure… But what the heck did I do!? Eh, knowing Zero, he’d have fabricated a whole bunch of things—”
Two simultaneous gunshots derailed his train of thought, and Mike ducked down for cover, seeing the woman from before, now dressed in an Old West style, ducking into the shadows with the smoking pistols in her hands.
I knew we couldn’t trust her…!
Mike’s momentary fury was interrupted, as well, by the presence of someone else suddenly arriving. He looked to the side, pausing as he saw his future self, also toting a guitar, sit down beside him and proceed to start singing—a new song that present-day Mike had been working on.
Present-Mike hesitated before singing, as well. His future self gave him an odd look, but then they both launched into a duet.
It was then that he suddenly heard his own voice in his head.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
Present-Mike looked to his future self in alarm, as they still sang.
“Yeah, you can hear my thoughts. That’s ‘cause they’re yours, too; as long as we stay in this Dream World, we can talk like this.”
“Oh,” present-Mike silently transmitted, still singing. “So you four slipped into the Dream World, and I must’ve ended up there since I crashed against your tube—and you’re me.”
“Yeah. Because you crashed against the outside of a glass tube that you were technically already inside, it created a small paradox, like Mick had been warning about, and sent us both here to the Dream World. Lucky we didn’t actually make any physical contact, otherwise it might have ended up a whole lot trippier.”
“Ah. So that’s why you didn’t want me helping you up when we got you out of the aquarium.”
“You’re welcome, by the way.”
“Oh, right, thanks for trying. And my original question stands. What do you think you’re doing!?”
“Well, you oughta know,” present-Mike transmitted, dryly. “You should remember it, shouldn’t you?”
“Yeah, I do, and I can tell you now, it doesn’t work. Just give it up and go back—live out my life and don’t make it any more difficult.”
“Look, it’s like Davy said—if you guys succeeded in freeing us, we’d have known about it. You don’t. Zero wins.”
“We can’t let him win!”
“It’s all written on that page of his from the Book of Ages,” the older Mike transmitted. “There’s no changing it. We’ve got to bargain with Zero for a way out—or a lesser sentence. At least for the others.”
Present-Mike gave his older self a look of utter disbelief, and not because of him suddenly yelling out a long note, either.
“You can’t—we can’t do that! We made a vow to Davy that it’s all of us or none of us! We don’t go breaking vows!”
“You want the others to suffer, or do you want to give them a chance!?” future-Mike questioned.
“I want us to win!” present-Mike shot back. “We’ve got the power of love; that’s all we’ve ever had, but it’s all we ever needed! That should be enough! And if you’re really me, you’d know that and refuse any idea Zero’s got!”
“Well…” the older Mike transmitted, as they were finishing up their song. “There is one thing I remember from when I was you; make of it what you will, and use it if you can. I remember that just as Zero was taunting and bragging about his victory, something happened that threw him off, and then—”
Present-Mike gave a start at the sound of gunshot, and then stared as his older self fell over with a pained expression. He stared for a moment, and then ducked down, realizing that he would be next—
The Dream World exploded in pain; before his vision grew dark, Mike saw the woman, aiming the gun at him with an unreadable expression on her face…
Peter’s voice was breaking with worry. The Texan winced, trying to pull himself back to awareness.
“I’m okay, Shotgun…” he mumbled, trying to reassure the worried blond. Well, if you can call seeing my future self being a defeatist ‘okay.’
Davy and Micky exhaled in relief; Davy was fanning Mike’s face with his hat as Micky held a glass of water to his lips; Peter was supporting the Texan, gently slapping his face to bring him around. Mike opened his eyes—and then winced as his eyes were assaulted by the psychedelic paint job of the place.
“You gave us quite a scare, Man,” Micky said.
“You just hit that glass and fell over,” Davy said.
“Yeah, about that; that was a paradox,” Mike said. “’Cause I was both on the inside and the outside of the glass. At least, that’s what he said.”
“He who?” Peter asked.
“Me,” Mike said, glancing at his still-sleeping self. “They’re all in the Dream World now; I ended up there with him. We talked…”
“You did?” Davy asked, his eyes widened. “That’s great; he would know how we got them out of this mess, right?”
The hopeful grin on Davy’s face was ready to break Mike’s heart. And Peter, still holding Mike up, could feel the Texan’s shoulders slumping in defeat.
“Mike…?” he asked, softly. “What is it?”
“Let’s just say he wasn’t so hopeful about this whole thing,” Mike said, glancing at his older self again.
“What do you mean?” Davy asked.
“Well, Tiny, you know how you were saying that they didn’t seem relieved, because they’d remember us setting them free?”
“He doesn’t remember,” Mike said, quietly. “And… he basically said that there’s no hope.” His throat constricted as he looked to his bandmates. “Zero’s gonna win.”