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Chapter 20 Recap

A teenager listens to an audio about time travel, and is instructed that the present is a feeling as well as a date. One should feel no shame about the future. The woman, Jia-Yi, then talks with a figure on a TV and says that her studies are okay. The man on the screen tells her to keep up the good work, and aides wheel the TV away.

As Jia-Yi walks down the street, she sees a posted flyer asking if she's invisible, with pictures of a pregnant virgin. As she steps forward, a flower growing out of a crack squeals as she steps on it. In class, Jia-Yi listens to the speaker on her headphones telling her about a time travel, and sketches the flower. That night she walks home and pauses briefly on the sidewalk when she sees a symbol. She notices the flyer again and sees that it says to find the orange fish, and it asks if the reader is a time traveler. At home, Jia-Yi is studying on her bed. She gets up and goes through her closet, takes out a radio, and tunes in a station. Lenny speaks on the radio, wondering why it's blue and then tells Jia-Yi that he is looking for her and if she has the skill, she can go back and listen again. Jia-Yi draws a square in the air with a glowing finger.

Jia-Yi goes to her closet, takes out a radio, and tunes in a station. A male voice tells her to follow the yellow bus.

The next day, Jia-Yi walks down the street and sees a bus advertisement telling her that the pregnant virgin will show her the way. As it drives off, Jia-Yi sees "Yellow Bus" written on the back of the bus and runs off after it. When she catches up to it, she discovers that it's empty. The girls aboard it have gotten off, and Jia-Yi runs after them only to see them apparently disappear through a doorway in an alley. Jia-Yi opens the door and goes inside. Inside is a dry cleaners filled with racks and counters that move around her. Hearing voices, Jia-Yi follows them to a room full of counters where all the women are working as clerks. Jia-Yi approaches one, who holds up a sign asking if Jia-Yi is lost. She asks for the name of the pregnant virgin, and Jia-Yi admits that she doesn't know it. The clerk tells her that they're closing, and everyone stares at her before their desks recede. Jia-Yi says that her name is Salmon, and the clerks start clapping and singing. They form the desks into a tunnel and point at Jia-Yi to go into it. She climbs through the tunnel as it passes through the underside of the city.

Jia-Yi finally comes to a club and Salmon tells her that she's just in time. Salmon tells her that they've been waiting for everyone, but especially her, and tells Jia-Yi that her queen brought her there and they're going to have a baby. She says that "he" makes peace and love, and leads Jia-Yi into a room. She says that "he" makes dreams realities and will soon tell Jia-Yi everything, but first her mind needs to open like a flower and it will take time. They go past Squirrel, who is walking in a lab, and Salmon says that Squirrel is an alchemist. He says that Jia-Yi's vibe is two days from now, and says that they'll call her Switch. \

Salmon leads Jia-Yi on and says that she's really a virgin. She leads Jia-Yi into a room and says that She will soon be there. Salmon locks the door behind Jia-Yi, and Jia-Yi watches as the hands of an enormous clock on the wall spin around. Lenny, the Breakfast Queen, finally arrives: Jia-Yi says that the wait wasn't too awful, and a sofa appears in the middle of the room. Once Lenny sits down, she dubs Jia-Yi. Switch. Lenny says it's a cult and Jia-Yi asks if she's the leader. When she says that she's a time traveler, Lenny tells her to prove it but Jia-Yi refuses to do it except for him.

Later, Jia-Yi finds herself in a cave. David comes in, introduces himself, and offers to make some tea. He takes her into a house and explains that he helps people who are sad and tired, and that he's the Magic Man. All he asks is that they stay and keep him company afterward, take care of the house, and love each other. When Jia-Yi asks how he made the house, David tells her to picture it her bedroom in her mind. She does so and finds herself apparently in it. He says that they're in a mental space and she imagined it and he created it. David returns them to his home and explains that he's adopted, and says that a monster snuck into his head and haunted him for 33 years. He tells Jia-Yi that he's better now and asks how Jia-Yi is, and she insists that she's fine. David repeats the question and stares at her, and Jia-Yi explains that her father collects robots of all sizes. She goes there at night sometimes and pretends that she's a robot, and then asks why she needs a time traveler against the Forces of Division.

David creates a brief image of Syd, and Jia-Yi figures that he wants to go back in time and get his girlfriend again. He figures that it won't work and explains that at the psychiatric hospital people thought he was schizophrenic. David then tells Jia-Yi that his real dad kicked Farouk out of his body and into the astral plane, and Farouk moved into David's body.

Squirrel drinks tea outside, and senses someone moving toward the house. He gets up and looks around, and a giant hook pulls him away. The soldiers of the Forces of Division move in on the house.

David tells Jia-Yi that he needs her to take him back in time. A drone enters the room and blasts David, and Kerry drops down and throws a scrambler onto David's head. Before he can summon his power, Kerry cuts his hand off. He vaporizes her and stops the soldiers' bullets as they fire, and Syd comes in behind David and shoots him in the back with a shotgun. She tells Jia-Yi to stay down, and Jia-Yi drops through a portal she creates. Jia-Yi turns on the tape instructing her in time travel, and goes through a hallway with doors showing the various destinations in time. The voice warns that she has to be careful when to go back so that she can alter things, but the further she goes the more she risks waking the demon.

Jia-Yi settles on going back one hour, and talks with Lenny. She meets with Lenny, while outside Squirrel senses the soldiers approaching. Jia-Yi tells David that the Forces are coming and she's seen them kill her. David says that he'd hear them, but Jia-Yi tells him that he didn't the last time. He teleports them upstairs where the members are fighting the intruders. David leads Jia-Yi calmly through the carnage, and Farouk confronts David. Two members shove Farouk into a room, and David deflects the bullets as the soldiers open fire on him. He's wounded and tells Jia-Yi to stay with him, and leads her away. He vaporizes Kerry as she and her men grab Lenny, and Jia-Yi creates a portal. Before David can go through it, Syd shoots and kills David.

Traveling back through time, Jia-Yi goes down her hallway and hears something laughing. She checks her teeth and goes back two hours. She finds herself on the astral plane, and Farouk emerges from the shadows and says that she's cheating. He assures Jia-Yi that she's safe, and is intrigued that she's a time traveler. He wonders why women are always time travelers, and explains that very few people can see the astral plane. Farouk realizes that she knows David, and now he can hide his power. The astral plane changes to a park, and Farouk pours tea and says that he saw Jia-Yi's trail while looking for David. He figures that Jia-Yi is helping David, and says that they also want to help David. Jia-Yi points out that Syd shot him, and Farouk realizes that Jia-Yi sees what happens and goes back to change things. He asks why Jia-Yi is helping David, and Jia-Yi says that David is a man and Farouk is a report. She creates a portal and teleports away.

Farouk goes to the plane where the Forces are approaching the city. Cary is making a bipedal walking computer in the form of Ptonomy, and the Vermilions transfer Ptonomy's consciousness as Mainframe from the computer to the robot. Mainframe says that it's still Mainframe, and Kerry tests his reflexes by punching him unconscious before he can react.

Elsewhere on the plane, Clark is talking with his lover, Daniel, about how they are wasting time searching for David. Farouk arrives and tells Clark that David has a time traveler and she escaped him, and wonders how they surprise someone who can go back in time and warn themselves. They locate David and Clark figures that they should drop a bomb, but Daniel says that they should send a team. Farouk warns that Jia-Yi can undo whatever they do, and Clark says that they'll kill her as well.

Syd is reading books in the ship's library. Farouk arrives and says that they have David, and that Syd doesn't have to go. She insists and Farouk suggests that she let them take care of things. Syd says that there's a job to be done, but Farouk figures that she still loves Daniel. Unimpressed, Syd says that she has to be there.

The team move in and Cary hands out blockers to shield their minds so David won't sense them coming. The soldiers move in and take out Squirrel. There's a burst of light and Mainframe reports that they've lost the ground connection. Squirrel wakes up and asks what's up, but the Forces ignore him and check the crater where the house was.

Written by Gadfly on Jun 25, 2019

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