Peter Lee went flying back, glimpsing a dizzying whirl of sky, highway, and suburb before landing in his body with a jarring BZZZT. He immediately began to jump and twitch.
Kora reached up and grabbed his shoulders, pinning him against the driver’s seat. Eun reached over from the passenger side, trying to grab his wrists but she couldn’t do it; his arms were thrashing like whips. She eyed them for a moment with rapt, unwavering focus, then plucked them from the air with a pair of quick, efficient snatches.
It helped, but not much. His head was spasming, his eyes rolling in their sockets like freewheeling marbles.
“Get his head!” she yelled at Kora.
Kora crossed her right arm over Peter’s chest, then palmed his forehead with her left hand, pulling his skull into the headrest. That did the trick—he jerked and bucked for a few more seconds, then settled back into his seat. His right eyeball was pointing down and to the right, his left was pointing down and to the left.
“He okay?” Kora’s voice was strained and tight.
Eun barely registered the question; she was too creeped out. “I…I don’t…”
Peter drew in a tremendous breath—huuuUUUUUHHHH. Eun leapt back and let go of his wrists. She immediately darted forward, intent on grabbing them, but Peter raised a hand.
“It’s okay.” He patted Kora’s arm, still looped across his chest. “I’m good.”
Kora let him go.
He pounded his chest with a clenched fist and coughed twice. His t-shirt was completely soaked.
“The Timekeeper?” Eun asked. “Is he—”
“Don’t know.” Peter gave her a haunted look. “He was still—”
[Fi-ht-ng. I -m st–l—] The demigod’s voice fritzed in and out. Interspersed with the equivalent of mental static, but they got the gist.
He was still fighting. He was still alive.
[Timekeeper? Timekeeper!] Peter stretched out with his Slideways psyche. Desperation caused him to duck his head and raise a hand to his ear, as if he was activating a mic’d up earpiece. [Is there anything we can—]
[NO.] His voice came through loud and clear. [I was able to hurt her, but she got some good ones in. Listen carefully: your dimension isn’t safe. She won’t be able to gobble it as fast as she could have at the peak of her powers, but she’s still—]
[We need to get you some goddamn he—]
[LISTEN. I’m going to put myself into a psychic coma. I need to heal.]
[I’ll be inside an astral cocoon; I can’t help you. She’ll still be active, but her power will be limited. But it’s only a matter of time before she—] He cut off again.
[Timekeeper?] Peter’s eyes moved back and forth in frantic tics. [TIMEKEEPER!]
“Look!” Eun grabbed his shoulder and pointed at Bitefighter. BF was jumping up and down, emitting a bunch of high-pitched squeaks.
“What is it, buddy?” Peter asked urgently.
Bitefighter sank to a knee and scribbled on his whiteboard. He pushed to his feet and held it up, moving it slowly from left to right, making sure that all three teens could see what he’d written.
FINAL MESSAGE FROM TIMEKEEPER, it read.
KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN.