Cody was alone in his cabin. He was thumbing through yet another pop psychology book that purportedly offered the 'right' way to deal with a breakup.
Suddenly, and unbelievably, a swirling vortex of light formed in the middle of the room. It was like nothing Cody had ever seen before. Indeed, it was something that had never been witnessed before in the entire history of mankind…but the significance of this would be something Cody would remain ignorant of for the rest of his short life.
As the swirling vortex faded, Cody saw three strangers standing in the cabin. Two thirty-something men and a younger, strikingly beautiful woman.
"Who…what…who…?" Cody stammered.
The three strangers looked towards him with stone faces.
"That's him?" the man on the left asked.
"Looks just like the pictures we've studied," the other man replied.
"It is him," the woman declared. There was more emotion in her tone compared to her companions. "The coordinates check out and he does match the pictures. That's Cody Martin."
"Y-yes, I'm Cody Martin," the teen managed to say in a nervous voice. Though the mysterious trio didn't seem menacing or hostile, the fact that they'd appeared out nowhere was disconcerting to say the least. "Who are you people? And how did you get in my cabin?"
The man on the left reached a hand into the pocket of his jumpsuit. "Let's do this," he said coldy.
"Stand down, Doyle," the woman said tersely. "We agreed on how this is going to go."
Doyle rolled his eyes but kept his hand in his pocket. "You're the boss, Katie."
The woman turned her full attention back to the confused teen. "Martin," she began, but then softened her tone slightly. "I mean…Cody…my name is Katie. With me are Dolye and James. You may find this very hard to believe, but we have travelled back in time from the year 2050."
Cody was silent for a moment as he let this information sink in. Then a knowing smile appeared on his face. "Zack! This is one of his practical jokes isn't it?"
The three strangers looked puzzled, but only for a fraction of a second.
"Zachary Martin," James commented. "His twin brother."
"Ah, yeah," Doyle responded. "I remember the notes."
"Good job staying in character," Cody laughed. "And I don't know how you pulled off the light show and snuck in here…but this isn't a very original gag. Zack already made up a 'time travel' story to get out of doing an assignment for Miss Tutweiller."
"I don't know about any story your brother may or may not have done," Katie replied. "But that has nothing to do with us. We have come back in time on a mission of vital…" She paused and took a breath. As cool and professional as she'd been throughout all the work that had gone into reaching this moment, the enormity of her task…the importance of the mission's success…it weighed heavily on her.
"We are here," she forced herself to continue calmly. "To preserve the future of mankind."
"Sure," Cody laughed as he began to look around the room for any special lighting equipment or other devices Zack may have snuck into the room. "To save mankind you came back to see me. Perfectly logical." His tone dripped with sarcasm. "Besides, science fiction stories not withstanding, time travel is impossible."
"Not impossible," James said. "Just highly impractical."
"I'm surprised you'd label it impossible," Katie said. "With your intelligence, even at this age, you should be aware of the cutting edge theories among this era's quantum physicists."
Cody hesitated for a moment. Zack wouldn't know anything about quantum physics. Did he have these people do research to sound convincing? That seemed like a lot of trouble for a joke…even for an enthusiastic prankster like Zack.
"Well, yes," Cody said. "Technically time travel could be possible. But it would take more energy than could be produced by the nuclear reactions of a million stars to send a pound of matter even one minute into the past."
"Good thing we had our time machine built by the lowest bidder," Doyle deadpanned.
"The energy problem is still considerable," Katie explained. "But a breakthrough was made with the discovery of the Russo Principle in 2029."
"Interesting side note," James spoke up. "You may have met the discoverer of the Russo Principle already. The historical record indicates that Professor Russo took a cruise on this ship as a teen at the same time you were onboard as a student."
"Wait, you're just trying to confuse me," Cody said. "Even if time travel were possible, changing the past would be… troublesome. If you change the past, the future that you came from might not exist for you to return to."
"We know," Katie said. "Believe me, we know. But we have no other choice. This is too important."
"What's so important about coming from the future to see me?"
"You're going to destroy the human race," James announced without preamble.
"And we're going to stop you," Doyle continued as he finally removed his hand from his pocket. A hand that was now holding a gun.
As Cody froze in fear, Katie gave Doyle a harsh glare.
"Put that thing away," she barked. "That's our last option."
Doyle frowned but put the firearm back into his pocket.
"This joke isn't funny anymore," Cody said as beads of sweat began to form on his brow.
"It was never funny," Katie replied. "This is deadly serious."
"But how am I supposed to destroy humanity?"
Katie began to lay out the details, without being overly specific. In the future, Cody Martin had finished High School and gone on to earn a number of advanced degrees. Records indicated his brilliance…but also noted an inability to take criticism. This attitude problem continued to grow to mammoth proportions and resulted in some career setbacks despite his great intellect. Rather than try to work on this problem, Cody had gone off to work in isolation. He took financing from whatever sources were available, not caring if those sources were rogue nations or terrorist organizations. Eventually, he had an organization of his own. A cult-like following that appealed to Cody's ego and fed his contempt for the rest of the world.
After several small-scale attempts at conquest had failed, Cody had launched his most ambitious plan to date. He took over the computer networks and defense grids of all the great world powers. He was threatening to detonate all nuclear weapons at once…and all attempts to stop him or cut off his control had failed.
"So here we are," Katie concluded. "We've come back to prevent you from becoming the madman from our time."
"By killing me?" Cody gulped.
"I was hoping to reason with you," Katie answered. "I've been accused of being too optimistic…but it's not in my nature to condemn someone without giving them a chance first."
Cody paused and considered all he'd been told. The idea of turning into some sort of megalomaniac was disturbing, someone who could destroy the world, it was horrifying….and hard to believe.
Very hard to believe.
Ridiculous, in fact.
The concern left Cody's face and was replaced with contempt. "You three are good," he said. "You actually had me going there for a second."
Katie tried to reiterate that she was being very serious, but Cody would not listen.
"Great acting," Cody repeated. "But I'm not going to be fooled by such an insane scenario. Me…some sort of super villain? Unable to listen to criticism? HAH!"
"But-" Katie tried to interject.
"And time travel…the Russo Principle?" Cody went on. "Laughable! People will never be able to go back in time."
"You realize that you are arguing the impossibility of time travel with three time travelers, right?" James asked with a slightly raised eyebrow.
Cody responded with a derisive laugh and shook his head.
Katie looked back, first to James and then to Doyle. After a few moments of unspoken communication she once more focused on Cody. Without hesitation she reached into her own pocket and pulled out a firearm of her own, quickly aimed it at Cody's forehead and fired one round straight into his brain.
"Told you there was no point in giving him a chance," Doyle said.
"I didn't realize he'd be such an arrogant little prick," Katie sighed.
James was leaning over the body and making sure that the teen was truly dead. After confirming Cody's demise, he surprisingly undid Cody's pants to take a gander at the corpse's privates.
"Little prick is right," he commented with a smirk. "I figured that was a factor in his behavior."
Katie rolled her eyes. "Men and their overcompensating."
"You think everything is going to be fine back in our time?" Doyle asked.
"Let's find out," Katie said as she pulled out a communication device. "Brooke? Can you read me?"
"Loud and clear," the voice on the other end of the communicator answered. "Your mission was a success. The whole world outside has changed."
Back in 2050, Brooke was safely encased inside a chronosphere with the time machine's return platform. As such, she had been unaffected by the changes her colleagues had just set in motion. When the three returned, the sphere would be dissolved and all of them would have no memory of the timeline they'd just changed…but for now, Brooke was able to use her computer to monitor the outside world and see all that had been altered.
"Cody Martin died as a teen on the S.S. Tipton, an unsolved murder," Brooke reported by looking up the ancient obituary. "Hmm…but he did have quite an impact on the world."
"Really?" Katie asked.
"Yes, his brother Zack was devastated by the loss of his twin," Brooke went on. "He took steps to memorialize his sibling, and with the help of heiress London Tipton, he founded the Cody Martin Foundation. It's gone on to be one of the most important humanitarian groups in the world."
"Sounds like a good thing," Doyle commented. "And it's still gong strong in our time?"
"Very strong," Brooke answered. "Currently headed by Zack and London's daughter, Carey Tipton-Martin."
"Their daughter?" Katie asked. "Hmm…I guess they became close working together on the Foundation."
"Yep," Brooke confirmed. "Happily married for over 30 years now."
James put forth a question. "None of this affected Dr. Pickett, did it?"
"Don't worry," Brooke answered. "Her career went forward just fine. There is a paragraph or two added to her biography, noting the sadness she felt when her ex-boyfriend was murdered as a teen, but other than that…everything's fine. She still got her degrees in anthropology and archeology. She and her former teacher Emma still teamed up and went on to travel the globe as a couple of real life Lara Crofts. But it gets better…they're both still alive and well. They weren't killed three years ago when they tried to reach out to Cody Martin and attempted to reason with him."
"Awesome," James said with a smile. He was a great admirer of the two women and their work. He was glad they hadn't come to a tragic end.
"Well, it sounds like it's time to end this mission," Katie said. "Prepare to recall us Brooke."
"You got it."
Katie put the communicator away as her two companions turned to face her.
"Once we're back and dissolve the chronosphere, we may not know each other anymore. We may never have met in the new timeline," Doyle said. "So allow us to say right now what an honor it's been to work with a real life hero."
"What?" Katie protested. "I'm no hero."
"Are you kidding?" James laughed. "Of course you're a hero." He glanced over to the corpse of Cody Martin. "You're the woman who killed history's greatest monster."
Doyle and James saluted their companion, even as another vortex of lights began to form around them and they faded from view to return to the future.
author's notes: Cody is a major reason I started posting fanfic in the first place. However, Cody on Suite Life On Deck SUCKS! I have argued that the show does a horrible job characterizing him...but so many other fans want to accept this characterization. Fine...here's the version of Cody you people like...happy? :P
Oh, and Doyle and James are named in honor of a fine, fine author on this site...James Doyle. Katie is named for the incredible SilverTurtle. Do yourselves a favor and check out both of their stories. And the note about Bailey and Emma Tutweiller being a couple of adventurers in the future? You can read about those awesome adventures by checking out SilverTurtle's New Findings series of stories.
Please review. I love feedback.