"Signs of the Father" is the fifth episode to Chasing Seconds. It was released on October 23, 2013 and can be read here.


James Zanasiu Jr, Malte Kerzach, and Florence Brennan are in the Nevada deserts, spying on a desert settlement. Junior says that he hopes they can get in, scan for bridge coordinates, and get out before anyone notices. This plan falls apart quickly when riflemen leap out of the sand and assault them. Junior manages to escape but Florence and Malte are captured and led into the settlement.

While Junior retrieves Malte's dropped switchblade from the assault site, Pomson interrogates the other two angrily while they are locked in a cell. She cautions the guards to be very wary of Junior, as the last time they underestimated a Zanasiu it proved very bad for them. Once she leaves, an old man apologizes for their behavior and introduces himself as Werner Donitz, the leader of the settlement. Pomson overruled him when she marched in and whipped everyone into a rage over the chance at vengeance. He explains he was a scientist at Pelvanida who came to the settlement with his father hoping to help reform them.

Meanwhile, Junior incapacitates a rifleman in the desert and steals his outfit. While disguised, he raids the armory and scans the bridge coordinates. To his surprise, they are wrong. He doesn't have much time to ponder this, as the incapacitated guard returns and his cover is blown. Using a grenade for cover, he escapes once again into the desert.

Pomson, incensed, tortures Malte for information, who tells her everything she wants to know about Junior and his weaponry. After she leaves, Werner idly mentions that his father died of 'Shelton's disease', and Florence demands more information. He explains that Shelton's disease is contracted by anyone who travels through the Einstein-Rosen bridge, which allows them to calculate their year of death by brain hemmhorage. He adds that the disease passes to offspring, and that Florence and Junior are guarenteed to die at 25. Florence despairs at this, lamenting that she never got to do anything but be poor her whole life. When Pomson returns, Florence angrily insults her father, adding that she'll never cooperate because she has nothing to live for. Pomson tortures her in respone and then drags her to the center of town, where she constructs an H-beam and ties Florence to it. Through a loudspeaker, Pomson warns Junior that she will be killing Florence in one hour, and Malte in two hours, if Junior does not give himself up. She attempts to torture Florence to drive the point home, but Florence refuses to cry out through the loudspeaker.

Time passes. Junior hits Florence and her guards with a smoke grenade as a distraction, and takes the opportunity to free Malte. In the desert, Malte convines Junior that it's hopeless to go back for Florence and that the pair should escape with their lives. This causes them to run right into the perimeter of stun mines, and Pomson gleefully captures them.

Once the three are together in the center of town, the settlers surround them and Pomson prepares to kill them. However, Werner steps in her way, speaking out against revenge and further bloodshed. His pleas to end the crusade are driven home when Pomson shoots him angrily. She then attacks Junior, who defeats her in a stright duel by blinding her with the flashlight and then hitting her with a smuggled stun mine. The settlers allow the three to leave peacefully and they tie Pomson up outside Carson City Camp.

The three then argue; Malte wants to give up because finals begin tomorrow and their only lead (the bridge coordinates) turned out to be a bust, and Florence is angry that they were going to abandon her to Pomson. Malte and Florence go their separate ways; Malte to return to University of California, Three Rivers, and Florence to the Iromish tribe on Hughes Island to be a Chieftess.

Alone, James wanders Carson City and decides he should find his way back to Tenant's Way to ask Cimarron for help. He asks a man for directions and is immediately stabbed without warning. He passes out.



  • The title, like most of the other titles, has two meanings. The first could refer to "sins of the father," as the trio are being punished for actions their parents did. Secondly, it could refer to how Pomson, and Werner were both attempting to live up to the legacy of their fathers, and both succeeded whether they wanted to or not.

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