Easter Mannequins on Mars 1

by Paul G. Jutras

      "The next clue will bring you to a chocolate bunny in a place that deals with time." John's voice came over loud and clear in  the plastic spies' heads.

     "I know where that is!" The girls all squealed simultaneously as they took off. Samantha, Tina, Kim and Christine went together into a lab while the others had gone elsewhere. Inside the lab, Professor Arthur Willis was working on a possible time machine.

    "We'll win the company Easter hunt this year." Tina said as they climbed inside the prototype time machine the government contractor was working on.  There was a maze of wires, electronic blinkenlights, and some odd-shaped whirling rings looking like an abstract work of art.

     "I don't see anything." Christine said, just as her elbow knocked a lever while Tina bumped a couple of buttons. Prof. Willis watched in dismay as the time machine vanished, with the clumsy mannequin-girls inside, then reappeared soon afterward.

    "You alright, girls?" The Professor asked as he opened the hatch and found the cabin empty. "Hmm, this isn't good at all." He scratched his head, wondering what might have gone wrong in an absent-minded way and entirely forgetting about the missing girls. "Guess I'd better recommend abandoning the project."

     Meanwhile, decades in the future, the four girls appeared in a space station. Fortunately there was no one around and they had not been in the same location as any of the bulkheads. With confused looks on their sculpted plastic faces, they took in their new surroundings. "Alright, what happened?" Samantha asked. "Where exactly are we?"

    "Think we'd better ask 'When' are we as well as 'Where'," Tina reminded her team mates that they had just stepped out of a time machine. "This seems to be a lot of years from when we stepped into that thing. Let's go find our future selves."

    As a wall slid open, they found themselves in a hangar populated with giant robots waiting for launch.  "What's going on? " Christine asked. "When did we go so high tech?"

    "This is the future, plastic-brains." Tina sighed as a curiously familiar figure walked in from the shadows with a look of shock of his face.

    "Girls?"  John asked as he stood so still that one would have thought he was a real mannequin in a window display. "I can't believe my plastic eyes. When you and the others vanished on that Easter egg hunt a thousand or so years ago, we gave up all hope of seeing you again."

     "You mean - we never came back?" Christine asked in both a worried and confused tone of voice. "Since being made into mannequins by those Martians, we became immortal, right? Live forever unless killed is how it's supposed to go.  So, what happened?"

     "That is why I'm here," John said. "The rest of Team Mannequin was kinda surprised after you never showed up at the end of the hunt. When none of you came back in the machine, we abandoned the time project all together. Now I guess.. it worked after all."

     "That still doesn't answer why our past selves or future selves aren't here now." Christine said, still confused.

    "Obviously we don't come back since there is no time project there - or here, I mean. Time travel gives me a headache." Samantha said. "I just hope the other girls are okay whenever they are."

      As Samantha touched one of the robots, her consciousness merged with it. She took it over and became a 30 story living mannequin, while her normal body had stopped moving and looked completely like a figure in a window display.  "My god!" She said as she looked herself over and then down at her friends. "You all look like ants from up here."

     Concentrating, she and the robot went from one to two beings again. "Yes," John said. "Up until now only I could merge with and lead the attacks of the pilot-driven robots against the Martians. With Team Mannequin gone, they took over Earth centuries ago, forcing us to live in space stations and star ships as the war continues.  Now that you girls are back there is hope for the universe again."



Return to the Story Archive