Manhunt Through Time Chapter 5: The Alamo

Third-person POV 

A man sits at his desk writing a letter. Within the letter, he asks for support from Union forces. His people are facing an armada of more than 1,000 Mexicans under the command of General Santa Anna. After he finished the letter, he gave it to a boy, waiting on a horse to deliver the letter. The following morning, the man, Lieutenant Colonel William Travis, walks out of his room, climbs a ladder and stares off in the distance at the growing numbers. 

   

Eve’s POV 

Andy and I were eating dinner when I got the phone call. Flynn jumped to March 2, 1836, just days before the Alamo. I gave Andy a half-assed excuse and practically flew out the door. Twenty minutes later, I arrived at Mason Industries. I was rushed into a changing room and an attendant helped me get dressed in civil-war era clothes, corset and all. The four of us got into the Lifeboat and fiddled with our buckles. 

“So, Alamo, huh?” Rufus asked sarcastically. “A word synonymous with gory and inescapable death. Wyatt, you wanna say something strong and reassuring?” 

“Hey, don’t look at me. I just got fired,” Wyatt said. 

I looked up from my buckle and stared at him. “What?” I asked. “What do you mean you got fired? Who else are they going to get to do this job?” 

“Yeah, this is gonna be my last mission.” 

“How’d you get fired?” Rufus asked. “How do I get fired?” 

“I mean, you seem pretty okay with this,” Lucy commented as the two of us watched Wyatt fiddle with hand grenades. 

“Those won’t blow up in here, right? I’m not looking forward to dying in a metal coffin,” I said eyeing the explosives. 

“No, they’re not,” Wyatt said, addressing me. “And I know the guy they’re bringing in,” he said, addressing Lucy. “He’s good. You’ll like him better than me.” 

“Not possible,” I muttered, keeping my eyes trained on my buckle. 

Wyatt buckled up, and Rufus finished his safety check, I guess. The gears started spinning, and my stomach turned inside out. The Lifeboat landed, and I took a deep breath to settle my nerves before unbuckling. Rufus opened the door, and we all stepped outside. 

“So are we just, like, walking into a war?” Rufus asked. 

I looked over at him to see genuine fear on his face. “You can relax Rufus, the fighting doesn’t start for another four days,” I said, placing my hand on his shoulder. 

We started our journey towards the camp in relative silence. “For those of us who didn’t particularly like history, what happened at the Alamo?” Rufus asked. 

“General Santa Anna and his 4,000 troops killed 180 men in less than an hour,” Lucy said. “But after they were overrun the whole ‘Remember the Alamo’ thing, it got everybody all fired up, and it turned a small rebellion into a huge revolution overnight. I mean, this battle is why there’s even a state of Texas. A bunch of famous people died here too. Jim Bowie. The knife’s named after him. Davy Crockett.” 

“So, how do we get in?” 

“We are gonna walk in the front doors,” I said. “They are so undermanned at this point that any extra help will be welcome.” 

“So what does Flynn want?” Wyatt asked. 

“I don’t know. To make it worse, I guess?” Lucy speculated. 

“How the hell do you make the Alamo worse?” Rufus asked, as we came to a halt outside the front gates. 

We walked in the front gate and saw two boys running around, as well as two girls trying to start a fire. 

“I expected soldiers,” Wyatt said. 

“It’s mostly local ranchers, farmers, families too,” I said, looking at the different groups of people. 

“Part of me just wants to shout out ‘run for your lives,’ you know?” Rufus commented. 

“I know.” 

Rufus looked over to a group of African-American farmers. “Are those, uh…” he started. 

Lucy followed his gaze. “Free men,” she said. “Slavery was outlawed in Mexico, and this is all technically still Mexico. At least for one more month anyway.” 

“Viva la Mexico.” 

I scoffed. “Don’t say that too loud,” I commented.  

Wyatt spotted Colonel Travis, and we all went over to introduce ourselves. Wyatt mentioned Flynn, but Colonel Travis had no idea who they were talking about. Flynn must have gone directly to Santa Anna. I left Wyatt to his interrogation while Rufus and I walked around. We came upon Davy Crockett telling some of his hunting stories. They were all greatly exaggerated, but that didn’t matter. He helped keep morale high. Lucy came to join us, and we listened for a few more minutes before Wyatt pulled us aside to remind us of our mission. Clearly, he was not okay with getting fired and was taking it out on us. 

We searched until nightfall, but there was no sign of Flynn. Lucy and I were roped into helping prepare dinner. It had gotten rather dark when a gunshot rang through the compound. Lucy and I ran to check it out but were stopped at the door by Wyatt. He told us that it came from a semi-automatic. Flynn shot Lieutenant Colonel Travis. 

“What the hell happened?” Rufus asked from behind us. 

“That’s Colonel Travis,” Lucy said. “He was supposed to die in battle in four days, but not now. Not like this.” 

“If he was gonna die anyway, then why did Flynn do it?” 

I looked over at the Colonel’s desk. His letter was only half-written. “The letter,” I said. Lucy followed my gaze, and I knew that she understood why Flynn killed Travis now. 

Wyatt called us outside. He was standing on top of the century wall. Lucy climbed the ladder. A few minutes later she came back down. 

“It’s a red flag,” she said. 

“What does a red flag mean?” Wyatt asked. 

“It means no quarter,” I said. “No prisoners. Execute anyone who tries to surrender, which is not supposed to happen. Santa Anna is supposed to let the women and children go free.” 

“Am I missing something?” Rufus asked. “None of this is supposed to happen! That army isn’t supposed to be here for another three days.” 

“Flynn must have found a way to change it,” Lucy said. 

“But why?” 

“It has to be about the letter. The whole reason we remember the Alamo is because of Travis’s letter. It was re-printed in U.S. newspapers all over the country. It starts the uprising.” 

I handed Rufus the parchment I swiped from Travis’s desk. 

“It’s only two sentences,” he said. 

“Because Travis was killed before he was able to finish it,” Lucy said. 

“So, no letter, no Texas.” 

Lucy looked over to Wyatt, who was concentrating on the fire in front of him. “Wyatt, are you even listening?” she asked. 

“All of this,” he said, not turning around, “and Flynn manages to trap us in the Alamo.” he gave a wry chuckle. “Gotta hand it to him.” 

“Wyatt, I know that you want Flynn, but we really need you right now… Wyatt, please.” 

After a moment, Wyatt finally came to join us. “Rufus, you need to find a way out,” he said. 

“A way out? There’s two things everybody knows about the Alamo. One, everybody dies. Two, they die because there’s no way out.” 

“The Alamo didn’t have anyone as smart as you. Figure it out. Make a way if you have to. We need to get the women and the children out. Same with the letter.” 

“Well, as Eve said before, Travis didn’t finish it,” Lucy said. 

“Then finish it for him. I’m gonna try to buy us some time.” And with that, Wyatt walked off in the direction of Bowie. I sent Rufus and Lucy on their way to do what Wyatt asked of them. I stood in the background, watching the interaction between Wyatt and Bowie. As I suspected, it didn’t go very well. Wyatt almost revealed what was about to happen, and things got heated. Wyatt stormed off, and I followed him. I found him in the church. 

“Do you believe in God?” I asked. 

“Do you?” He replied. 

“Most of my life was spent in classrooms. I didn’t have time for such trivial matters. At least that’s what my mother told me. And then I fell pregnant. I started thanking whoever made it possible for me to have a child… When she died, I stopped believing. I couldn’t understand how someone could give and take away life on a whim.” 

“And now?” 

“If we live through this I just might start believing again… What’s on your mind, Wyatt? And don’t deny anything. You’ve been acting weird and snippy all day.” 

“This place just brings up bad memories, that’s all.” 

“I’ve found  the best way to get rid of bad memories is to talk about them.” 

“I was stationed overseas. My team and I were pinned down. Outmanned. Outgunned. I’m the only one who made it out.” 

“What happened to your team?” 

“Six guys held off 100 fighters so I could escape with the confidential information. I left them there to die, and they gave me a medal for it.” 

“You feel guilty that you survived and they didn’t. You can’t change the past, as much as we would like to, we can’t change what’s meant to be. Maybe you were meant to be right here, traveling through history trying to catch Flynn. Maybe you’re the only one who can end it once and for all. You’ll never know unless you see it through.” 

I left the church, giving Wyatt time to process what I just told him. Rufus came and found all of us a few moments later. He had found a way to get the women and children out. There was an aqueduct that ran from the fort to the river, and it would be big enough to get the women and children out. The bad news: there was three feet of stone in the chapel blocking our escape. Lucy asked how we were supposed to fit through a three-foot hole, and no one had an answer. Wyatt asked how the letter was coming, and Lucy didn’t have it finished. She wanted it to be exactly how it would’ve been if Travis had written it. Wyatt grew frustrated with her and he snapped. With him getting fired, Wyatt was starting to believe that he was the wrong man for this job. I took a step towards him, but an explosion halted me.  

We walked outside. Dust flying everywhere, people running around screaming, walls falling on people. It was a warzone. Wyatt rushed into the fray while Rufus held Lucy and me back. After a few more shots, the explosions stopped. Santa Anna was trying to spook everyone, and he was doing a good job. I helped the wounded by cleaning their cuts and washing off the blood. Wyatt went to check on a boy that he saved. Rufus went back to the aqueduct entrance to figure out how we were going to get everyone out. Lucy kneeled by my side and helped me stop the bleeding of the man in front of me.  

With the wounded taken care of, Lucy and I found busy work to keep our hands occupied. Next to us, Wyatt was making a spear when Bowie walked up to him. He thanked Wyatt for saving the boy, John. Bowie finally admitted that Wyatt was right, and Wyatt gave him advice on how to buy Rufus more time to sneak the women and children out. Bowie asked how Wyatt knew all this and Wyatt told him the story he told me. He told Bowie about the men he left behind. Afterward, Bowie told Crockett to remove everything from the North Wall. Wyatt turned back to us, and I gave him a smile. I looked over at Lucy, and I could see the gears turning in her head. I took the work from her and nudged her towards Travis’s office. She gave me a grateful smile before she left. 

The men moved everything off the North wall as instructed, the horn still blaring. Rufus came running out of the church and ran up to Wyatt. He asked for the grenades. Before Wyatt could hand them over, the music stopped. The battle was starting. The women and I corralled the children somewhere safe as we waited for Rufus to open the aqueduct.  

Explosions and gunfire went off, making their own haunting music. Children covered their ears, and I held a young girl tight to my side, trying to prevent any harm from reaching her. It got quiet for a moment, and I knew they were waiting for Santa Anna’s men to breach the North Wall. Minutes later, the word “Fire!” was yelled and all hell broke loose. 

Rufus came into the storeroom and told us that we had a way out. Lucy told everyone to follow Rufus, and I said that I would go fetch Wyatt. Lucy gave a gun to an older girl, and they left one by one. I ducked to avoid being hit by a stray bullet. 

“Wyatt,” I said. 

“Eve?!” Wyatt yelled. 

“Rufus did it. There’s a way out. Come on, let’s go.” I tried to drag Wyatt towards the church but a bullet shot passed me, and Wyatt pulled me back. “We have to go. Now. Wyatt? Wyatt.” 

“I’m not going.” 

“I know you feel like you betrayed your men, but we need you, Rufus, Lucy, and I. We need you to keep us safe. Not some new guy––you.” 

“The next guy’s gonna handle it—” 

“No!” I yelled, placing my hands on either side of his face so he was forced to listen to me. “I trust two people in this world. Andy and you. If you think for a second you get to walk away from this team… from me... that easily, you’re wrong.”  

He looked conflicted and torn, but eventually, he conceded. “Get ready to run,” he told me. He grabbed John and the three of us bolted towards the church.  

“What took you so long?” Rufus asked as he loaded the last child into the opening. 

“John, watch the door,” Wyatt said, setting John down against a pillar. “Give him the gun.” I handed John the gun, and Lucy walked over and asked if he was John Smith, messenger to Colonel Travis. She asked if he would come with us to deliver her message to General Houston. 

Crockett and Bowie burst through the door before barring the door behind them. Lucy went over to Wyatt and asked him to convince John to come with us. After a few words of encouragement, John agreed to come with us. We got John through the hole, and Lucy and Rufus followed him out. 

I looked back at Wyatt. “You better be right behind me.” 

“Always… ma’am,” Wyatt said, emphasizing his drawl. 

I rolled my eyes and crawled through the aqueduct. I waited at the exit for Wyatt and was not disappointed when he followed a few moments after me. We instructed the women and children towards safety before hightailing it back to the lifeboat. One bumpy ride later, we were back in the present. 

Rufus went over to the computer and pulled up information on the Alamo. Like before, everyone died and word of their sacrifice inspired everyone to rise up and defeat Santa Anna.  

The big-shot that was replacing Wyatt showed up. “I gather that Flynn is still out there,” he said. 

“Yes, but he did have a very large army at his back this time,” Lucy defended. 

“You’re relieved of duty. You can report to your commanding officer for reassignment.” 

Wyatt stood up, but I stopped him from taking a step. “No,” I said, my first word since we left the women and children. “I told Wyatt and now I’m telling you. I trust him, and I don’t care how good you think the next guy is. I am only going to do this if Wyatt is on the team.” 

“I agree with Eve,” Lucy said. “You can’t replace Wyatt. We’re the ones out there risking our lives. I trust him––he makes the right choice every time. I won’t do it without him.” 

“We don’t do it without him,” Rufus said, standing up. 

“Rufus, Lucy,” Wyatt said, trying to get them to stop. 

“I know I’m just supposed to shut up and cooperate,” Rufus said, ignoring Wyatt, “but I can’t. I won’t.” 

“Rufus is our only pilot, sir,” Agent Christopher said. “Without him…” 

“What you’ve done to deserve this, I can’t imagine,” the big-shot said. 

“So he can stay?” I asked, my voice getting small again. 

“Seems you gave us no choice,” Agent Christopher said. 

We all went our own ways to get changed. The same attendant who helped me dress, helped me undress. She took off the disgusting outfit, while I put on my normal clothes. After I was done, I fuddled with my keys, my hands trembling. 

“Are you okay?” Wyatt asked from behind me. 

“I can’t stop shaking,” I admitted. 

He walked over and placed his hands on my arms. A wave of calm spread, and my fingers stilled. “Thank you, for what you said, at the Alamo and to Agent Christopher.” 

“I meant it. I don’t trust many people, so I’m gonna fight like hell to keep them around.” 

We stood there in silence, until Wyatt broke it. “You okay to get home?” 

“I’ll be alright, don’t worry.” 

He backed away from me; I got in my car and drove off. Twenty minutes later, I pulled into a parking spot in front of my apartment building. I took the elevator up to my floor and used my key to open the front door. Honey greeted me at the door, and I bent down to pick her up. Andy was waiting for me, and all my emotions from the day resurfaced. I could feel the waterworks start to form. He came over to me and wrapped his arms around me. I let the tears go, as the feeling of safety overtook my body.