Emit was still lamenting the loss of his beloved statue when everyone left to explore the city on their own. Sinbad looked behind him, watching the pathetic sight.
“You know, for a so-called ‘Time Traveler’, he has one hell of an ego,” he told Shark and Sagebear as they went back to Emit’s house.
“Well, he’s able to go back and forth between two different eras. Maybe he’s earned it,” Shark responded. While he did, he kept an eye on Sagebear to see if she’d do anything else unusual or unbelievable.
Sagebear herself just kept ambling along, as though on the lookout for anyone eating some kind of tasty steak. The way she panted as she walked made her sound like a sort of canine locomotive, puffing along.
At the entrance to Emit’s house, it was made apparent that she found it. Shark and Sinbad were going up the steps when she split off from them.
“Sagebear! Where are you going?” Shark and Sinbad were stunned as they watched her snatch a picnic basket away from an unsuspecting civilian.
When the black-haired girl turned to sit down, she let out a surprised “Oh!” upon noticing a fat Catahoula making off with her basket.
Sinbad took the initiative and picked her up when she reached them. Shark pulled the basket out of her mouth, and scratched her head.
“Sagebear, don’t take what’s not yours! That’s very rude.” The three of them then went back to give the girl’s basket back to her.
Blaise was quite enamored with the jetpack she’d been given. She eyed it rather admiringly with a sense of wonder.
Sitting on a bench nearby, Dennis grinned at seeing his wife strap it on.
“Now you be careful, dear. Don’t want you to suffer any serious injuries.”
Though Blaise appreciated his concerns, she just acknowledged them with a thumbs up. “I’ll be fine, Denny! Can’t be that hard to figure out how the thing works.”
She then pressed a few buttons on the side of the device, and proceeded to blast off. Dennis jumped off the bench and watched in awe as Blaise enjoyed her aerial performance.
“Oh, she’s gonna sleep well tonight.” He was so pleased to see his wife having fun, he almost forgot why everyone was in the future in the first place.
“Um…” Marc was trying to figure out how the robots in the emporium he and Harwood went to worked. He was fascinated by the merchandise, but many of them looked rather complicated.
He was so focused on one particular model, he was startled by a hand placed on his shoulder.
“May I help you with anything, sir?” The clerk’s voice was soft, but still made him jolt.
When Marc regained his composure, he turned to see a black-haired woman in a retail uniform, an eyepatch over one of her eyes. He then blushed as he tried to articulate his request.
“Do you have any robots that can, uh…do certain…pleasurable actions with humans?”
The clerk’s smile didn’t waver. “The sex-bots are in the back room of the emporium.”
Marc was at least relieved that it wasn’t as awkward as he’d thought it’d be. As he trotted off to the back room, Harwood came out of another room and greeted the clerk in something of a risque manner.
“Do you know how much old man clothes from the early twenty-first century go for in this day and age?” He asked her while standing in nothing but his shorts, holding up his shirt and pants to her.
The clerk inspected the clothing, and shook her head. “I’m not the expert on fashion. You need to go to the nearby imports gallery where my sister works.”
“And is she currently on duty?” Again, the clerk shook her head to Harwood’s question.
“She’s out on her lunch break. But if you go there and wait, she’ll be back soon and she can help you then.”
While Harwood was pulling his clothes back on, he nodded as one way of saying thanks.
“I’m really sorry about that,” Shark told the young woman as he handed back her basket. “I think our dog smelled something really good in there.”
The woman just waved it off like it was no big deal. “That’s all right. I’ll just take it as a compliment. Guess my picnic was good enough to get stolen after all!”
Sagebear wagged her tail, clearly still wishing to have whatever it was in there. She leaned in and tried sticking her nose into the basket.
Sinbad gently pulled her away, but the woman just chuckled and pulled out a small roast beef sandwich. Taking the meat out, she offered it to Sagebear. Immediately, Sagebear snapped it up in her jaws and happily devoured it.
“She’s such a beautiful dog,” the lady said as he then pet her. “The state dog of Louisiana, if I remember my history lesson correctly.”
Then she looked at Shark and Sinbad again. “Oh, I’m sorry! I’ve forgotten to introduce myself. I go by Amelia. I work at the imports gallery, and I’m on break.”
“Yeah, nice to meet you too, lady,” Sinbad answered her in a way that indicated impatience. “Hate to rush you, but we’re going back to Emit’s house. So see you later, I guess.”
He and Shark then turned to leave Amelia where she was. All that Amelia could really do at that point was politely wave goodbye to them and Sagebear.
“Looks to me like you had the time of your life, madam,” Dennis said to Blaise when her feet touched the ground.
Blaise nodded as she took the jetpack off and set it aside where she found it. “Oh, ya bet! Though now I’m startin’ to get kinda hungry.”
“Are you, now?” Then Dennis’ stomach began to growl. “I suppose I am, as well! Come on, let’s go find the others.”
Husband and wife then went off in search of everyone else. Their search was a quick one, however, when they saw Harwood and Marc standing in front of another building talking to someone.
“Thanks for the help, Miss…” Marc peered down to read her name card. “Amara.”
“It was nothing! Just doing my job,” Amara told them as she bid farewell to them. Both Marc and Harwood then waved good-bye to her before meeting up with Blaise and Dennis.
Before they walked away, Blaise tapped Dennis on the shoulder and then pointed to the clerk.
“Hey, Denny. Don’t ya think she kinda looks like, ya know…”
Dennis squinted at her face, then nodded. “You noticed that, too? I thought I was the only one. Think maybe we should tell him?”
“Nah. He’ll probably figure out on his own,” she said to him as they joined up with Marc and Harwood again.
Still upset over having such a valuable statue of his destroyed, Emit tried picking up the pieces.
“I can’t believe this happened! And by a dog, no less!” He wailed to seemingly no one. He was frozen in place when someone did answer him.
“A dog, you say? Was she grey and blue-eyed?” When Emit looked over at one of his other, non-broken statues, someone was hanging from it rather precariously.
Emit cleared his throat and stood up straighter. “Yes, a dog! Would you be aware of who the owners were, perchance?”
“Uh…Maybe?” The Builder then jumped off the statue and did a handstand. “Eh, sounds like you’re in a predicament. Mind if I helped?”
Their offer just made Emit sniff at them. “Unless you have the funds, I doubt it. Although I suppose I am in need of assistance for these newcomers. I’ve yet to explain to them what has befallen their town in the past.”
“Really now?” The Builder jumped to their feet. “I might be able to help you with that sticky situation, actually.” Then they draped an arm across his shoulders. “Tell me all about it…”