They arrive at the tall guy’s secret house. It’s a secluded cottage in the woods. He carries each tied up girl inside, placing them gently on the floor in front of a roaring fire in a massive stone fireplace.
The Tall Guy takes a seat. Lights a cigarette, pours himself a drink.
“I’m going to untie you both in a minute,” he said, “and let you bathe and relax. But then—we must talk. And then I must bind you, again.”
Romana and Ali swapped a desperate glance. Romana nodded yes. Ali shook her head no. Then they both tilted toward each other, sisters, friends, eyes searching. And then they slowly nodded.
Bound hand and foot on the floor, they turned to their captor. “Yes.”
“Good.” The Tall Guy leaned forward. “The two of you are essential to all future life in the Milky Way Galaxy. There is a super massive Black Hole in the center of our galaxy that will wreak untold havoc unless you two (and an undiscovered third) unite and use your power to subdue the black hole. Alas, this gravitational shift will cause massive grief to neighboring galaxies—especially Andromeda.”
Ali bared her teeth, her arms and feet aching from the rope. She turned to her captor. “We’re supposed to believe this shit?!”
“Yes,” he said, nonplussed. He leaned forward. “I am from the future. This is recorded history. It must not go wrong at any cost. But our enemies—“
“Those soldiers?” Ramona said.
“Yes. They are soldiers from the future, from Andromeda. They’ve come here to change history, they want to kill you, stop you.”
Their captor leaned back in his chair. “And then there is the matter of the third.”
On their stomachs, bound hand and foot, Ali and Romana exchanged a glance. “Third?”
“Yes, the third. The lost sister, the final segment of the triad. The missing element of the Triple Goddess that will seal the Black Hole and ensure continued life in the Milky Way Galaxy.”
“Who is she? Where is she?”
Their captor sat back in his chair and drew on his cigarette. The two girls bound hand and foot under punishing coils of rope could only twist on the floor and await his answer.
Finally he said, “We don’t know where she is, but we will find her. Your lost sister is vital.”
Ali and Romana exchanged a baffled glance, shared a quick kiss, then both turned with venom to their captor. “WE’RE NOT SISTERS.”
“Ah, but you are. We shall find her.”
He drew out his knife. “I will untie you now. I will draw a bath for the both of you. But I expect you to behave.”