It began like any other day. I lifted Mother’s frail body out of bed and set it in her chair, then wheeled her over to the window. She smiled up at me.
“Thank you, Heather. You’re a good girl.”
I blushed. Mother didn’t normally give compliments.
“Heather, I’m going to tell you a story. It’s from fourteen years ago, before you and your sisters were born.”
“It was my first year at college. I could see where the world was broken and how to fix it, but it was too much to do alone. I developed parasites that I could attach to the brains of other students to influence their behaviour.”
I listened closer. This had never been mentioned during our training.
“The first stages of the operation were a mixed success. Many subjects rejected the creatures, including all the males, but I wound up with twenty girls who were conditioned to follow my plans.”
“That is when <i>they</i> came to my attention. A group of four girls a boy who called themselves GUTC. They thwarted my every attempt to nudge the world toward peace, all under the direction of their diabolical leader: Rebecca Larson.”
“Plan after plan was disrupted by these hooligans. The Alien Invasion, the Police Women, the Princess Gambit, and far too many others: all ruined!”
“Mother, you’re getting agitated.”
“Of course. Thank you, dear. Eventually I had to alter my plan totally. The new operation suffered no interference because it was too subtle even for them. I found a ‘boyfriend’ and became pregnant. At the same time, several of my followers agreed to be surrogates for my seed. That is how you and your sisters were born.”
The little hairs on the back of my neck rose. Why was she telling me this?
“Heather, it is time for your mission.”
“My… my mission?” I was too young to have a mission! My training was nowhere near complete!
“Calm down, child. This is happening now for a very specific reason.” She touched a stud on her chair and a compartment opened; it held an old-style cellular phone.
“This is a time travel device. It’s pre-set to take you back to Rebecca Larson’s middle year of Junior High. Your mission is to get as close to her as possible and, when the opportunity arises, kill her.”
“How will I know when?”
“Trust your instincts. You’re being retconned in, so you will appear with a history and memories appropriate to the time, as well as recognition of your target. Now go.”
I activated the phone without thinking. I was suddenly in a guest bedroom with the sun shining brightly in the window, reflecting off the new-fallen snow outside.
I looked out and saw my uncle, Paul Feegleman, being threatened by a hairy creature with a snow shovel. Three other beasts were in the driveway facing off against five girls and a boy. One of the girls was Rebecca Larson.
I fell instantly in love with her.