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A Polaroid Camera and Faces She Never Wants to Forget

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It all started when she bought the camera while they were in 1972. Lucy and Rufus were on their way to the Black Liberation Army Safehouse when they walked by the store. On any other mission she would’ve walked right on by and paid no attention, but for some reason, Lucy stopped in front of the store window that day. On the other side of the glass was an SX-70 Polaroid camera. For Lucy, the camera was a vintage classic on its way to becoming a symbol of ‘70s Americana, but here in 1972, the camera was brand new, having just been released a few months prior. She didn’t hesitate to buy it (along with a few packages of film). Something told her she would put it to good use back in the present.

At first, she and Jiya took turns taking pictures of random things like Rufus’s Star Trek mug with the light reflecting off of it at the perfect angle. Or Wyatt hunched over in a chair reading a James Bond book, completely oblivious to what Lucy was doing.

Soon those random pictures were no longer being taken at random, but rather deliberately at precise moments. Moments where the subject was completely oblivious to the fact that Lucy was taking their picture.

When she went unnoticed, her subjects let their guard down. They let her see what was hidden underneath their armor. With Wyatt, Lucy could see the impact that Jessica’s death had on him. His shoulders stayed tense, but his head hung low, giving off an aura of intense guilt and heartache. His eyes were heavy with exhaustion.

When Rufus filled the frame, she should see the fear he hid behind his humor. She could tell, with one look how afraid he was of losing everything he cared about. Unlike Wyatt, he wasn’t tense. Instead, his body was shivering almost like he was constantly cold. In Jiya’s pictures, Lucy peered underneath the brilliant mind and relaxed attitude and saw a girl who didn’t quite fit what everyone wanted her to be. There was something about the look in Jiya’s eyes that said “Go ahead! Tease me all you want. I know my value. No one else’s opinion matters”.

With Agent Christopher, Lucy’s favorite picture had been taken while she was on her phone. When she first snapped the photo, she had no clue who Agent Christopher had been talking to. After the image developed, Lucy had to do a double take. Gone was the hardened exterior of a woman who worked her ass of to prove to the world that she was just as good as the guy next to her. Replacing it was the splitting image of a woman in love, of a mother whose children are her whole reason for being.

Connor Mason’s photos told the story of a man who fought tooth and nail to prove his place in the world, and yet still didn’t feel like he was worthy of all the good things he had worked so hard to achieve.

Over time, Lucy began to compile the photos into a hastily put together scrapbook. It had very little decoration. No shiny stickers, funky borders, colorful pages, or crazy handwriting. The paper was plain with pictures randomly attached with scotch tape. The handwriting was sloppy, obviously written by someone in a hurry. The idea came to her after a mission sent the Time Team to August 1969 and the iconic Woodstock Music Festival. After stopping Flynn and his goons from disrupting the concert and ruining music history, they had decided to stay a little longer and witness what would become one of the most iconic and important festivals in music history.

This mission could not have been more emotional for Lucy. Her sister, Amy, may not have been the biggest fan of history, but she knew everything there was to know about Woodstock (not to mention she was a die-hard Janis Joplin fan). So Lucy jumped at the chance when Rufus suggested they stay a little longer and take in the rest of the festival. Seeing Joplin play live on stage at Woodstock, she felt like Amy was still with her. As the team watched Joplin perform, Lucy took a moment to watch her friends. Rufus’s face lit up in awe like he was witnessing a miracle with his own two eyes. Wyatt’s left foot was tapping along to the beat of “Ball and Chain”. Normally, his eyes would be constantly scanning the crowd, looking for anything that could possibly be considered a threat, but for those few minutes as she sang, Wyatt’s eyes never left the stage.

As she stood there, watching the two men who had slowly become her best friends, with her fingers wrapped around the locket she constantly wore around her neck, a wave of emotion flowed over her. In an instant, she was on her knees. Tears threatened to flow from her eyes and thoughts charged through her mind. What if she lost them? What if one day something happened and one of them was erased from history? What if what happened to Amy happened to Rufus or Wyatt or Jiya or even Agent Christopher and Mason? What if one day Flynn changed something that wiped the people she had come to care about from existence?

She couldn’t lose these people like she had lost Amy. It happened once and Lucy knew there was no way she could survive feeling like that again. She decided to put the Polaroid camera and the pictures she had taken to good use.

Back in 2017, Lucy bought a random scrapbook from the clearance section at Michael’s. It was bright blue with the lettering in yellow and red and had little hot air balloons scattered across the cover. The scrapbook aptly titled “Baby’s First Adventure” was the cheesiest thing Lucy had ever seen, but it made her smile. She filled the pages with her favorite pictures of the team with the names of who was in the photo and dates of when they were taken. With Lucy being so protective of history, the team thought it was hilarious that she always took the camera with her when they traveled to the past.  Nothing else was added outside of the pictures.

After filling every page in the scrapbook with dozens of photos, she (with help from Rufus) wrapped it tightly in a plastic waterproof bag and secured it to the underside of her seat in the Lifeboat. There it would stay as proof of the team’s existence should they ever return from a mission to find Jiya, Agent Christopher, and even Mason wiped from existence. Lucy prayed that day would never come.