For years, Monica traveled the world with John, searching for the reality engine. One of the places that they explored were the explored the catacombs in Paris, France.
“I just thought of something,” Monica said. “We’ve traveled the world, looking for the reality engine.”
“What’s your point?” John asked.
“Has it ever occurred to anybody that maybe the Libertas government hid the reality engine in St. John’s?”
“Why would it be there?”
“Maybe my sister knows where it is, or maybe she’s hiding it. She is from Oberon as well.”
“That seems a bit too obvious.”
“Does it really?”
Year – 2007
Larry and Martha were about to leave the house to celebrate their anniversary. They left Monica to babysit Steve and Emily.
“Steve is upstairs playing video games,” Martha said. “Just leave him alone, he’ll go to bed around 12:00. But put Emily to bed by 10:30. Oh, and I ordered a pizza. The delivery guy should be here any minute.”
“It’s only 6:00,” Monica said. “Aren’t you two leaving a bit too early?”
“We got a whole night planned.”
“Actually, I do,” Larry said. “I have a few surprises for Martha.”
“Have fun,” Monica said.
“Don’t worry. We will.”
“So, where are we going?” Martha asked as she and Larry walked to the car.
“You’ll see,” Larry said.
Larry drove through a residential street.
“Do you remember that house?” Larry asked, pointing to an old house with white siding.
“How can I not?” Martha asked. “It’s where I got drunk and fell into your lap. Are we going to drop in?”
“No. Just taking a trip down memory lane.”
Larry then drove to a local restaurant.
“We haven’t been here in years,” Martha said. This is where you proposed.”
“It wasn’t very romantic though,” Larry said. “I got on one knee. But I was so nervous. My palms were sweaty, knees weak, arms were heavy.”
“I know. But you were so cute.”
Larry and Martha went into the restaurant and they ordered the buffet. The song, I Turn to You Know, by Christina Aguilera came on the radio while Larry and Martha ate.
“Our wedding song,” Martha said.
“Yup,” Larry said.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. I just kind of wish we didn’t have to wait until after the kids were born before we got married.”
“Well, we both had kids to take care of, while we went to college and university. We couldn’t afford a wedding, and I didn’t want to get married at city hall. Not to mention that we bought a house. Besides, I’m glad our kids got to go to our wedding. It’s too bad you didn’t get a hotel room. We could get drunk together without worrying about the kids killing each other.”
“Who says I didn’t?”
Martha’s face lit up like a lantern.
“Want to pay the bill and go now?” Martha asked.
Larry and Martha paid the bill, got into the car, and they headed to the hotel.
Larry and Martha had a lot to say while they were in the restaurant. But the car ride was very quiet. It was like they’ve run out of things to talk about.
“Do you still watch CNN?” Martha asked.
“Yes,” Larry said. “Why?”
“Just making conversation. What about Fox News?”
“Not really. Fox news is a biased conservative news organization. And this is coming from a conservative.”
“You don’t think CNN is biased?”
“Not as bad as Fox News. I wouldn’t be surprised if people accused Fox News of being a fake news organization someday.”
“Do you think people will accuse CNN of being a fake news organization?”
Once again, silence filled the car. It was both peaceful and awkward at the same time. During the silence, Martha thought about how she never told her family that she has hidden the reality engine in the house for the past seven years. Actually, Martha carried that guilt ever since.
In 1999, Martha was 3 months pregnant, so she and Larry looked for a bigger house. Larry was called into work at the last minute. So Martha looked at the house by herself.
“You must be Martha,” Angel said. “It’s nice to meet you. Where’s your husband?”
“He’s at work, so I’m looking by myself,” Martha said.
“Please, come in.”
Angel showed Martha around the house.
“There’s one more room, I would like you to see,” Angel said. Angel opened up a door at the bottom of the staircase. Martha entered a small room with two screens, and a dashboard with buttons and levers.
“What’s this?” Martha asked.
“This is inside of the reality engine,” Angel said. “Martha, I know that you and your sister are from Oberon. I’m from there as well. Thanks to a plot hole, I’ve managed to find you.”
Angel then explained the history of the reality engine.
“I’ve been protecting the reality engine for years, but my government needs me elsewhere,” Angel said. Martha, will you be the keeper of the reality engine?”
“How am I supposed to do that?” Martha asked.
“Just don’t tell anybody about the reality engine, not even your family.”
“What if I refuse?”
“I can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do, but if you agree, you can use the reality engine to make sure your kids have bright futures.”
Martha looked around the living room.
“I’ll have to convince my husband,” Martha said.
Larry and Martha arrived at the hotel. As soon as Larry and Martha checked in, they headed to their room.
Larry and Martha’s hotel room had a king-sized bed, a 52-by-92-inch TV, a desk, a mini-fridge, and a bathroom with a hot tub. The room was also very spacious as well.
“Why don’t you relax, while I slip into something more comfortable?” Martha asked.
Martha went to the bathroom, while Larry relaxed on the bed and watched the news. A few minutes later, Martha came out of the bathroom. She wore nothing but a bra and underwear. Both were the color teal.
“You really love that color, don’t you?” Larry asked.
“You don’t?” Martha asked. “Maybe I should do something about it.”
Martha turned around, facing away from Larry. She slowly took off her bra. Once Martha took it off, she dropped it to the floor. Meanwhile, Larry unbuckled his belt.
Unfortunately, Larry and Martha heard the fire alarm. As the fire alarm emitted a loud and continuous buzzing sound, Martha quickly put on a robe, while Larry put his belt back on. When Larry, Martha and all the guests made their way outside of the hotel, it was raining.
“Happy anniversary,” Larry said.
“Yeah,” Martha said.
Meanwhile, Monica put Emily to bed.
“Aunt Monica, can you tell me a story?” Emily asked as she crawled into bed.
“I’d love to,” Monica said. “Years ago, two little girls played in a field. While they were playing, they fell down a hole. When they came out the other side, they were lost in the woods. But after several hours, somebody found the two girls. That person called the police.”
“What did the police do?”
“The police took the girls to an orphanage. The girls liked it there. But they wanted to go home. The two girls never found their home. However, two nice people fostered the two girls, and they eventually adopted them. And they all lived long and happy lives.”
“That’s a nice story.”
“Thanks, Emily. Good night.”
Monica kissed Emily on the head and she slowly closed the door as she left the room.
About a half-an-hour later, Larry and Martha returned home.
“How was your night?” Monica asked.
“Things were fine at first,” Martha said. “But shortly after we went to the hotel, the fire alarm went off. We ended up standing outside in the rain for a half-an-hour. We were so pissed off, we decided to check out early and get a refund.”
“How were the kids?”
“Great. I played with Emily and then I put her to bed, and Steve was upstairs playing video games the whole night.”
“That’s good. Come on, I’ll give you a ride home.”
The next day, Martha called Monica at home.
“Did you Emily we’re from another planet?” Martha asked Monica over the phone.
“No,” Monica said. “I told a story about two girls who fell down a hole and they got lost. They were found and they were adopted.”
“I can’t believe you told her that story!”
“What’s the big deal?”
“You know, maybe you should you stay away from my kids.”
Martha hung up the phone. After taking a few deep breaths, she was about to go to the refrigerator.
“What was that about?” Larry asked.
“Larry!” Martha said. “You gave me a fright.”
“Sorry. You don’t want your sister to babysit because of a story?”
“Well, Emily lets her imagination run wild.”
“Yeah. She’s six years old, and she’ll be seven next month. That’s normal. By that logic, we shouldn’t read stories to Emily at all.”
“You don’t understand. When Monica was young, she used to believe that the both of us were from another planet. What if Monica tells Emily this and she believes it? Monica already told Emily a similar story.”
“I think you’re over thinking things.”
“You think I’m paranoid, don’t you?”
“Of course I do.”