by Lisa Colodny
Have you ever considered what it might be like to go back to another place or time? If you could what event or events might you like to participate in or be witness to? How might you, a child of technology, adjust to a world without indoor plumbing, public transportation, personal hygiene products, conventional foods like ice cream / pizza, and many other conveniences so easily taken for granted and realize Marty McFly isn’t coming to transport you safely home?
In part one, Turbulence US Marshal Devon McKenzie and NYPD Chris Gates found themselves transported via the Aurora Borealis to 1869 Nebraska after a routine prisoner transport from NYC to Washington State goes horribly wrong. The couple struggled to adapt to their new life in 1869 by pretending to be a married couple after being rescued by a gentle family and dissuade the unwanted attention the town’s Deputy has for Devon.
In part 2, Crossroads, after a violent attack on Devon by the Deputy, they work to rebuild their lives and gradually immerse themselves into being members of the community. Once Gates assumes the position of Deputy, the two are married and gradually grow less interested in returning to present day NYC. They flee the small Nebraska town after the corrupt Deputy returns to reclaim Devon and both are injured in the conflict that follows as they once again fight to survive. It’s a no holes barred battle between good and evil as Gates fights to save Devon from the past and preserve their future.
The last and final part, Terminus, finds them awakening in a modern day NYC hospital to discover Devon has no recollection of the last three months, Gates attempts to rebuild his own life without her and allow her the opportunity to forget the painful events that transpired in Nebraska. Gradually her memory returns, just in time to ward off a stalker that seems to have fixated on her. She and Gates are remarried in present day amidst family and friends who have no idea that the threat to them both couldn’t be more real.
Detective Chris Gates is the third of four sons; his older brothers are also police officers, his younger brother is an active Marine. His older sister, Katy, is a doctor. Gates is an attractive man with a chain of broken relationships, yet he’s never been in love.
Devon (pronounced Devin) McKenzie is currently on loan with the US Marshal Service where she been instrumental in tracking a notorious criminal, Gregor Esteban. She is the youngest of three brothers, one of which is her twin. Two of her brothers as well as her Father are police officers. Her twin is a firefighter and is married to her childhood friend, Melissa. They are actively trying to have a baby.
Gabriel and Edith Ennis open their home to Devon and Gates. There is an instant bond between their son, Benjamin and Devon; possibly related to the untimely death of his sister Mary. When Devon is accosted in the barn by a hooded attacker, it is Benjamin who foils the attack, explaining how he was drawn to the barn to search for his sister’s treasure box as if she was driving him to Devon’s rescue.
The wealthy rancher, Thomas Hayden Sr, who lives close by has been a friend of Gabriel’s since they were children. In fact his son Thomas Hayden, Jr and Mary were to be married prior to her death. Although Hayden, Jr is currently the town’s Deputy, he is a violent and dangerous young man who usually gets what he wants. He is instantly taken with Devon, her strength, independence, etc. Her resistance to his advances only strengthen his desire for her. After Gates foils a bank robbery attempt in town and the Sheriff transport the would be thieves, Devon is assaulted by Hayden in one of the jail cells after being falsely arrested. In his attempt to rescue her, Gates is wounded and left for dead in an adjacent cell.
Recovery is imminent for the pair as the Ennis’ nurse their wounds physically as well as mentally. The relationship between Gates and Devon has been changing, but after she is attacked, they’re more forthcoming about their feelings.
During a discussion with Edith about Mary, she confides in Devon that she believes Mary was pregnant when she died. She also shares her suspicion that Mary’s drowning may not have been an accident and Thomas Hayden, Jr may have been involved.
Like Hayden, Sr the Sherriff, Ray Callahan, and Gabriel Ennis have been friends all their lives. His wife Audra and daughter Abbey are common visitors to the Ennis ranch. Abby is about to be married to the town doctor, James Middleton. Dr Middletown is the physician currently caring for Devon. During an afternoon visit Abbey and Devon are accosted by an old Indian who turns out to be a friend to Benjamin. Over the years he has shared many Indian tales with Benjamin; the borealis is believed to be a vehicle to communicate with those we’ve lost. Heimdail insists the lights are protective and should not be feared. After dinner under the lights of the aureoa borealis Gates proposes to Devon and slips a ring unto her finger (a ring given to him by Benjamin after he notices Devon doesn’t wear a wedding ring. The ring was a family heirloom, given to him after Mary’s death). Devon doesn’t accept his proposal and returns the rings to Benjamin.
As James and Abbey’s wedding approaches, Hayden Jr is removed from office and relocated to manage the Hayden mine in Colorado. Once assured she won’t run into him, Devon accepts Abbey’s invitation to her wedding. After the wedding ceremony, it is customary, for couples in attendance to be given the opportunity to renew their vows. In a surprise gesture, Devon reconsiders and stands to renew vows with Gates among the other townspeople.
Gates assumed the responsibilities of the town deputy and is being groomed for the job of Sheriff once Ray Callahan retires in the fall. The couple has settled into life with the Ennis family and plans to build a small house of their own are under way. Their life as an authentic married couple is full. There is less and less talk about returning to their own home or time.
When Gates and Devon return to the Ennis’ ranch for the evening after an afternoon in town, they find Gabriel and Edith being held hostage by Thomas Hayden Jr who has returned from Colorado. Reluctantly Gates is bound to a chair, like Gabriel and Edith and forced to watch as Hayden, Jr assaults Devon under the assumption that they must know Devon belongs to him. There are several times Devon would have been able to overpower Hayden, Jr but he teases her by telling her he has Benjamin captive and if he doesn’t return by nightfall to him, he will die. Hayden’s attack is thwarted by Heimdail, who interrupts the attack and informs the captives a dark haired red bird told him help was needed. (Again Mary to the rescue.)
Gates and Devon have struggled sexually, almost from the beginning of the story. Initially, Devon was reluctant to have a sexual relationship with him, aware of his past exploits. There were several failed attempts at sex before she admits to him that she was nearly married once but he was killed a few weeks before the wedding. She also confessed, she’d been a virgin prior to her attack. After she’s attacked, their attempts are less successful but finally the evening he proposed under the borealis, she’s able to make love with him.
Life has become very routine for Devon and Gates so much so when Gates plans to transport Hayden Jr to the District Marshall several counties over, there’s little fanfare. Several hours after he leaves, the Sheriff shows up at the Ennis ranch to advise them of a plan discarded in the cell to ambush Gates and free Hayden, Jr. Gabriel Ennis is several hours away; so Devon mounts a horse and rides to warn him. It takes her several hours but she’s able to spot him off in the distance. Once she close enough for him to hear her calls, he pauses and waits for her, only to watch in horror as a gun shot rings in the air and she falls to the ground. Gates shoots the horse carrying his prisoner and gallops towards Devon, pulling her onto his horse as he passes bye.
With Hayden and his cohorts in pursuit, they ride until finally plunging over a ledge and into a running river. The last thing either remembered was the black water rushing up to meet them and finally swallowing them whole.
Gates awakens to the sound of what he believes are birds churping from a nearby window and Abby Callahan’s silhouette at his bedside (Gates has become very close to the Callahan family) only to discover the beeping is an IV pump and the bedside visitor is his sister Katy.
At first he’s convinced he’s been dreaming or comatosed, Katy assures him he and Devon have been missing for over 3 months. Once she mentions his healed shoulder where the bullet entered and Devon’s vaginal / genital scars, he realizes, it wasn’t a dream. Gates is reluctant to tell them the truth and traveling back in time and instead accepts their assumptions that Esteban has been holding them captive all this time. But all that changes when Devon finally awakens without any recollection of the events. At first, he pressures her to remember but then decides against it, hoping not to force her to recall the rape. He goes back to his former life and allows her to recover under the watchful eye of her brothers and parents.
After several months, he gets a call from Devon’s Mom that she’s in the shower and having some king of flashback. He arrives at her place to find that she’s regained her memory. The couple enjoy a small wedding with family and friends. Both return to work, but with Devon in different capacity as her Father has had her removed from the Marshal’s service and returned to regular duty. Her partner, Brad Michaels is newly divorced and has obvious feelings for Devon. He and Gates do not get along and he is not happy to find his partner has married his arch enemy.
After Devon receives several packages / letters from a secret admirer, fearing its Esteban, Gates assigns a protective detail to her. After their wedding, Devon’s Father suggest they return to Hamilton Nebraska to see if they can put any of the pieces together (still not believing the of time travel story.) They fly to Hamilton and visit what’s left of the Ennis ranch, discover the Hayden ranch has been remodeled to be a museum of sorts, and that the county jail is now protected by the Historical society. Saddenly, they visit the graves of Gabriel and Edith, as well as Thomas Sr and Benjamin. During dinner, they are approached by a immigration officer who claims Heimdale was his great great grandfather and has a message for them that came to him in a dream. He warns them away from Hamilton and informs Gates that Hayden’s desire for her has never been greater and that’s he coming for her. He tries to convince the couple to let him cleanse her with a potion and spell but Gates refuses. What Gates doesn’t know is that he slipped some of the potion into her drink. Back in the hotel room, while they are sleeping, Gates is awakened by her cries to find she’s burning hot with a fever. Just as he’s calling for an ambulance, one of the detail officers alerts him that he has a visitor. It’s Heimdale, reluctantly, Gates allows him to finish the prayer and cleanse her.
Once they arrive home to NY, Gates returns to work only to learn that Esteban has finally been captured and is being extradited back to NY. Devon invites her twin and his wife to lunch and is graciously surprised to discover they have finally been able to conceive a child. Devon and Jason, enjoy some sibling time (jogging) while Melissa stays behind to clean up after lunch. Upon their return Devon is first into the apartment to find the place covered with blood, she draws her gun and warns her brother back out, only to see him crumble in pain and feel a crashing blow to her head.
Gates is called from work back to their place by the police, when he arrives he’s told Jason was transported via helicopter to the hospital with several stab wounds, and both police officers assigned to Devon dead in the apartment. There’s no sign of Devon or Melissa.
As Esteban is escorted into the station for questioning, Gates tries to get him to tell him where Devon is, Esteban seems surprised as if he wasn’t aware any harm had come to her. He tells the interrogater he hasn’t seem Devon since the night he was taken out of custody. He explains how his plan was to take Devon with him but he couldn’t get her out of the car and the crazy lights scared him and his crew away.
Gates believes him and starts to consider that someone else may have Devon. His first consideration is Brad Michaels. But to his dismay, when he goes to question him, he finds Michaels has been murdered as well.
By now Devon was awakened in a cold musky dungeon like place being held by someone who looks a lot like Thomas Hayden, Jr. His clothes, long coat, gunbelt and hat remimescent of his attire in Hamilton. Her attempts to fight off his advances are clumsy as she’s aware she’s been sedated. He binds her hands to stakes and disappears into the darkness again. The next time she’s awakened it is a beaten and battered Melissa, begging for help. Melissa is frantically running back and forth, anxious of his return. Devon pleads with her to untie her so she can protect them both. But Melissa is delirious and runs in the opposite direction of where she believes Hayden is approaching. Devon curses and screams at Hayden as she can only hear Melissa crying for help and the rough, voice of Hayden, Jr threatening her to be still.
Hayden approaches Devon two more times, the last time, he’s trying to assault her again. Devon acknowledges in her head that he feels different this time, it’s even more unpleasant than the first time in the jail cell. Devon can’t see his face but when he finally raises his head to face her, she realizes it isn’t Hayden Jr. It’s Melissa, with a jagged hair cut to look like Hayden. It’s the first time she notices how much they look alike. Devon listens as Hayden explains how he took over Melissa’s body. Seems Melissa had been taking antipsychotic meds and when she stopped taking them hoping to become pregnant, he was able to slide in and overtake her.
By now Gates has determined that he has to return to Hamilton. Remembering what Heimdale said about the lights, the forefathers, and Hayden being pure evil. He goes to all the places Hayden felt in control, the remnants of the Ennis house and the jail; finally the Hayden house. After speaking with one of the historians, he’s informed of a series of tunnels that run under the old house. He also warned by Heimdale that the borealis burns the brightest tonight and if Hayden is using the lights to slip in and out of time, Gates must find her before the lights fade. He and his brothers, along with Devon’s brothers, travel to the Hayden house where they descend into the tunnels to search for her. Gates oldest brother Jarrod is injured by one of Hayden’s boobie traps and is escorted by Devon’s father back above ground for medical attention.
Gates along with her other brother come upon Hayden and Devon. Initally he uses Devon as cover but the brother is a sharp shooter and takes a shot that snaps Hayden’s head back so gently, they might not realized he’d been hit until they saw the back of his head explode. Gates comforts Devon while the brother that took the shot is asking about Melissa. Even asking for a body to take home and burry. Eventually, they discover the body isn’t Hayden Jr but Melissa dressed as Hayden Jr and wearing some type of penile apparatus.
The story concludes with the realization that Devon is the great granddaughter of Benjamin Ennis, Gates the great grandson of Abbey Callahan Middleton, and Melissa the great granddaughter of Hayden Jr.
During the time she was held captive in the tunnels, Hayden confesses to her that he did kill Mary because she was going to leave Hamilton and take his baby with her. He also confesses to killing Brad Michaels, and that unknown to her he’d been guiding Melissa all her life.
As it’s conclusion, Devon discovers she pregnant with Gates’ child and they recite a prayer as the borealis disappears from the sky.
There’s a lot of banter in the story, initially they don’t like one another. I think the sexual chemistry is good. And I really liked these characters, I’ve been told they are well developed. There is a lot of violence and sexual situations, a lot of detail, probably too much, but the story kind of wrote itself at some point. Obviously, the sex would have to be downplayed some if formatted for the screen (unless of course we’re competing with Outlander!”)