innovation labs; 7:00 am
We decided to return to the spot where it all began — the time machine. Even after all these years, its metal edges still gleamed. Although the flowers surrounding it had grown taller and lusher, nothing else had changed, and in an instant I was transported back to a time when I was fifteen and scared of the world.
Now, I was only scared of myself. I wondered what the younger Korra would have to say about me now — I still had the same nasty temper, but I had definitely hardened. I glanced at Raf and frowned. He’d stuck with me even though I’d attacked him time and time again. He was a good friend — better than I deserved.
I didn’t have time to think about that now, though. I pulled the vial from my pocket and winced at its contents — there was so little of the potion. We’d have to make do.
We both sat and I carefully smeared the potion on each of our hands. Then, squeezing my eyes shut, I began to chant.
I thought of my sister, Jinora Windsor, and the way she went crazy over anything cute, pink, or fluffy. The way she defended anyone in need of help, the way she could be just as stubborn as I was.
I thought of my mother, Rey Windsor, and the way she burnt everything she ever tried to cook. The way she radiated a quiet strength, the way she held our family together after Nora’s disappearance.
I thought of my grandmother, Leliana Windsor, whom I’d never met, and the way Mom talked about her — forlorn and wistful all at the same time. The way she looked in her pictures, happy and determined, the way she’d lived her brief life — brave and unflinchingly good even in times of strife.
Behind us, the machine sparked, and a warm, red-gold light washed over our bodies.
“We did it,” I breathed, and Raf laughed beside me. “We did it,” he echoed, staring at the light in wonder.
“He’s here,” I said. I didn’t need to turn around to know that the same, blue-haired man from my childhood had appeared. My hands were shaking from excitement, and I turned.
He looked exactly the same — same ridiculous sunglasses, same glowing suit, same wild blue hair.
“Are — are you time?” Raf asked. I’d told him about my encounter with the strange time man and his frustratingly cryptic speech.
“Time, human, I’m something in between,” the man said.
“Can you take us to the future?” I demanded. “How is my sister?”
The man shrugged. “Time flows oddly for me. It leaps, stalls, and reverses all in a second. To me, I last met you yesterday — or was it tomorrow?”
I could have shaken him. Or punched him. Or both.
“Yes, yes, you’re quirky, we get it. Now, move. I need to get my sister back,” I said.
I shouldered past the man, and, staring at the almost-blinding light, took a deep breath. I’d waited ten years for this moment. I had no idea what waited for me on the other side. I didn’t know how time travel worked — would I be transported to the same moment I’d left? Or would ten years also have passed in that timeline?
“Times have changed,” I heard the man call out behind me.
I didn’t care. I was getting my sister back.