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Chapter 26 Recap

Gabrielle wonders how long Charles will be gone, and he says that he's found someone like him.

Charles sits in a theater and watches a show: a matador fighting a pantomime bull. The matador finally kills the bull, which roars in agony. He leaps into the air and brings it down with one final thrust, and then removes the costume head to reveal Charles inside. The Devil With the Yellow Eyes appears next to Charles in the audience and says that he should never have come.

Opening his eyes, Charles finds himself on a plane heading for Morocco. When the plane lands, all of the taxis depart. One driver is waiting for Charles, holding a portrait of Charles, and calls to him. He says it's an honor and gives Charles the portrait, and explains that he is a subject and his king is excited to meet Charles. As they drive off, the driver says his king knew that Charles was coming.

Switch leads David down the time hallway, and she says that she has the power to move through time but her body isn’t strong enough. David assures her that he only needs one thing and he'll never ask for anything again. The hallway wavers and David is trapped in a room. He screams in agony and remembers his conversations with Farouk, who said that he decides what's real. David concentrates.

In the Time Between Time, blue eggs hatch and time demons appear around Farouk. He flickers away.

The driver takes Charles to a palace and says that he is waiting. Charles goes inside and dozens of children run past him. Farouk welcomes Charles as his friend and introduces one of the children, Habiba. He explains that he made the painting and knows his family, and offers him children. On the wall behind them, Farouk flickers within a painting of the Time Between Time.

Gabrielle sees a door in her front lawn. Syd, Kerry, and Cary appear on the front lawn and Kerry warns that David could attack at any time. Gabrielle comes out and asks if they put the door there. She asks if they see them and realizes that she's not crazy. Baby David cries inside, and Gabrielle goes to tend to her.

Syd follow Gabrielle inside, and Gabrielle says that babies are technically insane. Entering the room, Syd says that crazy babies become men and they fall in love with them even though they burn them up. Gabrielle talks about mass graves and wonders what the meaning of them are, and says that animals fight to live whether they want to or not. Syd apologizes, saying that she's not supposed to be there. Gabrielle calls David by name and Syd realizes who he is.

Charles and Farouk have dinner, and Farouk says that the children are all orphans and mute. He opened his palace to them out of decency. Two of the children tease a monkey in a cage, and Farouk says that they have things to discuss. He transfers himself and Charles to the astral plane, and Charles admits that he's never been there before. Farouk tells him to feel the power that is there, and Charles creates a jungle with his imagination. he summons an image of Gabrielle tending to David, and Gabrielle turns to look at her and give him their child.

The two men return to the dining table, and Farouk points out that they've both been alone for a very long time. he once thought that he was made, but he flourished and Charles reached out, seeing him. Farouk saw him, and tells him that it's a privilege to see and be seen. Charles asks how Farouk came to be where he is now, and Farouk says that it's time for the entertainment. They appear in a theater and a shadowy creature appears on stage, singing. Farouk says that the children call him the Shadow King, and he was a tyrant who basked in luxury as his subjects suffered. A hero rose and defeated the Shadow King with his wits and fighting skills. They battled and the hero vanquished the tyrant. The children cheer, and Farouk narrates that the hero took the kingdom's riches and ushered in an age of prosperity. A flickering image of David appears next to Charles and says that it's all lies.

Charles wakes up in a bed, his painting on the wall. He hears the monkey chittering, goes to it, and reads its mind. Charles sees a man in a cage, saying that he was a king and Charles has to help him. David appears through Switch's time doorway and tells Charles not to be afraid because he's there to help. Charles wonders if he's dreaming, and David tells him that he knows who he is. He invites Charles to read his mind, and Charles gets a mental image of David as a baby in the crib.

David takes Charles into his mind so they can talk privately. He warns that Farouk hears everything, and offers Charles a piece of cake representing knowledge. Charles hesitates and then eats it, and he receives knowledge of everything David has been through. David says that Farouk wanted Charles to come. Something pounds on the door, and David tells it "not now". He tells Charles that the next day Charles and Farouk will fight on the astral plane, and Charles will defeat him but Farouk will hide in David's mind. However, David says that this time Charles has an advantage: David.

Kerry tends to the unconscious Cary, and Syd joins them and tells Kerry what is going on. Surprised, Kerry wonders why they don't just kill Baby David, and Syd says that he's just a baby. Syd points out that they're changing time just by being there, and Oliver and Melanie taught her that they can save the baby even though they can't save the adult David. Kerry suggests that they just walk away, and Syd says that it's about change and all of the things David did to Syd. She tells Kerry that she's going to stay but Kerry doesn't have to, and Kerry tells her that she does.

In the house's furnace, a time demon appears in the flames.

The next morning, Farouk is eating breakfast when Charles joins him. David comes in wearing a uniform, and Charles says that he's an old friend from the military who is in Morocco. Farouk stares at David and then smiles, and invites David to eat with them. They eat and David smiles at Farouk, who stares at him. Farouk makes small talk and tries to read David's mind, and David blocks him. Once Farouk leaves, David tells Charles that they have Farouk rattled. Switch staggers in, losing blood, and collapses to the floor.

Time and space jumps, and Switch lies unconscious on a couch. David tries to wake her up, and Charles asks who she is. They appear in David's room, and he tells Charles that Switch is only a means to an end. He insists that Farouk ruins him, and the door continues to rattle. David yells at it to stop, and it does for a moment and then begins slowly beating on the door. Charles goes over as the door opens, and two Davids appear. They say that Charles abandoned and betrayed them, and Charles tries to wake up the original David. He's comatose, and more Davids come through the door calling to Charles.

Gabrielle holds Baby David and calls to Charles to come home as Farouk's children run at him.

Charles wakes up in a bed, and sees a portrait of David on the wall.

As Syd chops firewood, she asks Gabrielle if Baby David is a good baby. Gabrielle says that he cries a lot like he knows something, and figures that it's her. Syd says that she's had two actual childhoods because she grew up. The first time she ran and then walked, and the second time she crawled and then walked and she felt safe. Syd tells Gabrielle that Baby David only wants to feel safe. Gabrielle talks about how her grandmother had a sickness, speaking in tongues, and her mother suffered from the same mental illness. Syd figures that David's mental illness is hereditary, and tells Gabrielle that she has to love her baby like his life depends on it. She asks Gabrielle not to let the monsters in, because when David grows up it will be too late. Gabrielle says that she thinks she understands, and asks Syd if she's really there. Syd hears the time demons laughing from the firewood and realizes that they're there.

Kerry runs in and tells Kerry that she heard something. They hear time demons cackling, and Syd runs to David's nursery while Kerry sees a time demon approaching. She wakes up Cary and tells him that they found David and have to protect him. Kerry sees the time demon appear, and she turns to hack at it as time freezes.

In the nursery, Baby David's mobile disappears. The other furnishings disappear as the room reverses back through time. A time demon looks down on Baby David and growls, and then Syd arrives with Gabrielle and defeats it. Time reasserts itself, and Syd tells Gabrielle that they have to get out of the house.

In the basement, the time demons manifest out of the furnace.

Charles leaves the Davids, who try to wake up David and say that Charles left them again. The mutant goes to the room where Farouk is meditating, Habiba approaches Charles and asks him to make the voices stop, and explains that they're all inside of her. Charles enters her mind and sees dozens of people's mental powers in her head, all screaming. He goes to David and says that it's his fault and he's been naïve. Charles explains that he came there for friendship, but realizes that Farouk is a monster. David warns that the only way to stop Farouk is to kill him, and figures that the two of them together can crush him.

Farouk emerges from the Time Between Time into the palace and approaches his past self. The past Farouk sees his future self and smiles.

Written by Gadfly on Aug 6, 2019

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