Doomed To Repeat



Scene Title Doomed To Repeat
Synopsis Nightmares and memories erode hope.
Date June 30, 2021

Raytech Industries Corporate Housing

The roar of the fire, a deep rumble of constant overlapping sounds.

Voices in her ear. They make no sense.

Wind, fire, rain, it's all chaos.

A sense of telescoping to a narrowed focus.

Boots crunching in dry undergrowth.

The slot-clack of a bolt-action rifle being reloaded.

The clang of a spent shell casing hitting asphalt.


The hum of electric motors. Not in front of her. To the side. Closing in.

The dreamer's heart pounds harder, faster. A bass hum begins, but there is no one there to wake her.


Red glowing lights emerging through the smoke behind advancing people in respirators, military surplus armor.

Quadrupedal robots radiating rippling waves of heat off of their chassis emerge from the smoke, their heads sculpted to resemble half canine, half feline skulls with curving metal teeth.

The slow-moving machines suddenly break into whining sprints, charging their prey.

Ray/Harrison Apartment

11:00 AM


Whether it was the urgent beeping of her phone or the pulse of low-frequency sound that smashes cracks into the drywall around the room and topples anything loose that brings Elisabeth the rest of the way out of the dream, she answers the phone before she's even fully awake.

The blackout curtains do their job and she can't see what she's done, but the concerned voice on the other end brings her out of the haze between dreaming and awake. Sucking in a quick breath to steady her voice, she replies, "No, everything's okay. I'm sorry for setting off the alarms." She listens to the security captain and forces a small laugh. "Well, I guess we're lucky Richard has a 'sonic wife' line in the budget for now, right?"

The laughter on the other end of the line eases the tightness in her chest ever so minutely. It at least keeps her from jolting the walls again. They won't come up if she convinces them she's okay.

"Tell maintenance they can come by to take a look later on. No glass that I can see right now, but… sheetrock will need repair, I think. Thank you, Garcia."

«I wait for the day to break me.»

In the near pitch black of the room, the curtains installed for a shadowmorph who can't bear the light, she can't see how bad the damage might be. And she's shaking too hard to get up and open the curtains. The air against her clammy skin is unpleasantly cool, but her shivers aren't from that.

They are coming.

«I look up to the sky.»

The hand holding the phone lowers into her lap. This bedroom is a haven, a place where she never hides her fears from him but they learn to share the combined load of hers and his. He's her touchstone – not because she needs him to be whole or because he somehow is the one who takes care of everything. But he takes care of her when she can't find her way out of the dark, and she hopes she does the same for him.

One more mission to save the world, this time not from itself but from nature. At least it's a little bit of a step forward, right? But the lump lodged in her throat is choking her – she wants him here where they fight together, back to back, protecting their family.

She's not sure she's ready to face this war again. Panic is hovering at the edges of her mind, and memories flood over her her like a tsunami, a cascade of images and feelings she cannot suppress.

«I look back on the life that graced me when you were mine.»

The way he looked at her over his mother's head when she came through at Sunspot, so many emotions in that one look. The morning he met Aurora properly for the first time and their wise little girl gutted him with her simple acceptance of him. The night she found him under the Christmas tree with Aura sleeping on his chest, perfectly content to stay there because the little girl was worried about him.

The exasperation that he occasionally shows when Ricky is doing something that Richard damn well knows is his own genetics staring him in the eyeball. The studious, serious face he gets when Lili is talking about one of her subjects and explaining something that's important. The hard moments and the laughter over the past couple of years while they found their way back to each other.

The way he looked at her the night they got married on the sand, like he was being given a gift when the truth was that she was the one being gifted with the chance to make a life. A life she had really only just begun to realize she wanted when she was ripped out of this world.

Her body shudders with fine tremors that won't stop. She leans across the bed and pulls his pillow to her chest, wrapping her arms tightly around it. It still smells like him, though the scent is fading.

Flashes pass through her mind of the last night they shared here in this very spot before he had to leave – the way his fingers felt in her hair, the way they moved together, the way he held her all night. The deliberately cheerful face he put on for their kids. The way his eyes locked on hers at the last moment, the mix of pain, worry, and determination that he hid from the children but allowed her to see. The gut-wrenching feeling of watching him walk to the elevator knowing it might be the last time she ever saw him.

She can feel the panic tightening her chest, causing her to hyperventilate and she can't stop it. Closing her eyes, she just tries to ride it out, breathing in and out in slow four-counts with her face buried in his pillow still.

«The time comes, the time comes.»

The attack triggers a flash of the dream she just woke up from – just the thought of the Hunter bot in the fire makes her thrum with anxiety and remembered terror. It hurts so much to face this same battle again.

Memories of a dream that she struggled so hard to believe was a scare tactic, a warning, fill her with despair.

Gunfire fills the air, indistinct shapes of violence haunt the periphery of all vision. It is at once a war and a massacre, a destruction that did not come to pass during the civil war to a city that survived intact. But this is not a civil war. This is not the past.

Dead soldiers lay amid the carnage, flags of foreign nations adorn their armor. Britain and Russia, the United States, countless more. All of this suffering feels like so much noise, so much senseless horror, until a single moment in time is crystallized.

«The time comes, the time comes.»

Four teenagers stand against a brick wall. A soldier with a hand-held electronic device scans them one by one. The device clicks loudly, reporting a positive identification. The other soldiers raise their rifles.


Gunshots like thunder, screams and cries, desperate pleading and merciless execution.

«The time comes, the time comes.»

History repeats itself. The memory of the destroyed Detroit headquarters fills her with dread. Her babies are going to be in the middle of this again. Aura, Ricky, Lili, Devon…

Even if Richard is successful, there might not be a world left to come back to. Assuming he manages somehow to find a way home. And that is fucking massive assumption.

«… and then it goes, then it goes away.»

She buries her face in the pillow, the forced calm breathing in of the faint, unique scent of her husband at least heading off the panic attack. But her chest hitches and she can't stop the outpouring of fear and grief as heartbroken tears flood her eyes and she mourns both what is definitely coming and what may be.

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