The next day, after school, Ace went straight to work on her project, carefully following the instructions on her computer... mostly.
Since she didn't want a digital clock, she had to wire in a tiny motor to turn some gears, to turn the watch hands. And that proved to be difficult. But, ones she got the small wires connected and it placed into the watch casing, she allowed herself to breathe a little easier... until she realized that, if she continued on with her plan, the gears to turn the clock hands would block the sunlight from getting to the small solar panel she had placed inside.
A low groan escaped her as she rubbed her forehead. “Why don't I ever think everything through?” She reached into her box from the pawn shop. “Maybe there's something in here that will work.”
After digging around, she found a small, square box in the bottom and pulled it out. “I wonder what's in here...” She quickly removed the lid and frowned when she spotted the small gear inside. It was only about a quarter of an inch wide and had five tiny notches in the sides. But what really struck her as odd, was the bright blue gem in the middle. “That's interesting.”
But then an idea struck her and a wide smile crossed her face. “Wait! It's perfect! If I put this in the center and leave the diamond exposed, then the light will hit it and reflect it down to the solar panel! Combine that with the domed glass cover and it should be enough to charge the thing... I hope.” She let out a breath. “As if I actually know what I'm talking about.”
It took her another hour and a half to get everything put together, complete with face, hands and cover.
She smiled as she observed it. The blue gem in the middle, right where the hands connected, gave it a rather unique look. “Well, if anything, it looks cool. Now, to see if it works.” She mentally praised herself for thinking to set the solar panel in the window before she'd put the watch together, and hoped it had been enough to charge it for a test run.
“Ace!” Her mother called up the stairs. “Dinner will be ready in five minutes!”
“Okay! I'll be right down!” She strapped the watch around her wrist and turned a little knob on the side to set the time. When she pressed in the small knob to turn on the watch... nothing happened.
She frowned. “Oh, come on, please!” She tried again and got no result. “Maybe it's just stuck.” She pulled the little knob back out and twisted it back a tiny bit before pushing it back in.
The watch gave off a sudden flash of light, followed by a strange pulse-like feeling that spread over her whole body.
She blinked slowly. “That was odd.” She rotated her wrist, checking to make sure nothing was smoking, which it wasn't. And the metal plate against her arm wasn't hot. “Huh.”
“Ace!” Her mother called up the stairs. “Dinner will be ready in five minutes!”
“Okay!” She responded automatically. “I'll be right... wait.” She turned in her chair to face her bedroom door, confused. “Didn't she already...” She shook her head quickly, and once again adjusted the time on her watch. “Okay. Once more.” She gave the knob several turns, allowing the hands to go several rounds before setting it to a time. “Work for me this time.”
She held her breath as she pushed the knob back in and... the hands started to turn.
She jumped up from her seat and let out a whoop. “Yes!” But her joy quickly gave way to confusion, when she realized that, not only were the hands turning now... but they were speeding up. “Whoa whoa whoa. Not so fast!” The hands quickly became a blur, spinning around so fast, they were giving off a fan like sound. “I think I charged it too much!”
Just then, a bright flash of light burst out from the watch and the next thing she knew, she was surrounded by a neon blue orb of spinning, flashing number.
She spun around, her heart pounding in her chest. “What is happening!?”
The glowing numbers began to spin faster, the numbers counting higher and higher with a dizzying speed, that was making her feel nauseous and lightheaded.
She tried to take the watch off, but it seemed to be glued to her wrist. “I've got to get out of here!” In one final, desperate attempt, she reached out towards the spiraling circle around her. As soon as her hand touched it, it came to a jarring stop, flashing the numbers 7629 before an explosion of light forced her to cover eyes.
Then everything was quiet. Almost too quiet. She let out a deep breath, not quite ready to open her eyes again, just in case the spinning numbers or bright lights were still there.
But, the silence was broken when a loud, startled shriek filled the air. Startled, her eyes snapped open.
The first thing she noticed was that, she was definitely not in her room anymore. And the next thing she saw, was a boy, right around her own age, with dark red hair, partially laying on the floor. His feet were up on a... floating chair? While the rest of him was on the floor and he was staring at her with wide green eyes.
“Who... how... what!?” He scrambled to get to get up, but his left foot caught between the seat and the back of his chair, successfully causing him to fall flat on his face.
Ace stared at her surroundings, too stunned and confused to do or say anything.
The whole interior was white, from the walls to the floor to the shelves, tables and cabinets.
The tables were covered with metal odds and ends and there were tools scattered all over the place.
Her gaze snapped to the boy, who had finally managed to free himself and get to his feet.
“Who are you and how did you get in my lab!?”
She blinked, her eyebrows furrowing. “Your lab?”
“Obviously.” He motioned around. “Now, who are you and how did you get here? I've got top notch security!”
“I'm Ace and... I don't know.” She slowly turned in a circle. “I was in my room a couple of minutes ago.”
“Uh-huh.” He crossed his arms and raised a critical eyebrow. “And how do you expect me to believe that?”
She was about to respond when a round, flying object suddenly flew into her face. She let out a startled yelp and jumped back as glowing blue eyes blinked at her. “What is that!?”
“I am a robot,” the thing answered. “My name is M.I.G.S.”
Ace stared open mouthed. “A-a robot!”
“Yes,” the boy responded slowly. “You act like you've never seen a robot before.”
“Then where have you been? They're everywhere.”
“No, they're not!”
He snorted. “Suit yourself. But you still haven't told me how you got in here.”
“Yes I did. I told you I didn't know.”
M.I.G.S beeped and turned to face him. “I sense she is telling the truth, Dash. She is genuinely confused.”
Dash tilted his head to the side as he looked at her. “Are you sure?”
While he and the robot were conversing, Ace took the opportunity to give him a once over. Noticing for the first time how... kind of odd, he looked.
His hair was a dark red and was spiked on top of his head, only the front being held down by a pair of goggles. But it was his outfit that really got her curious.
It looked like a dark blue jumpsuit with neon green accents and shoulder pads. There was a wide black belt around his waist that also was accented in green, as were his knee pads.
On his feet he wore a pair of converse sneakers that were the same color green as the accents on his outfit.
All in all, she couldn't help but think he looked like some sort of cosplaying space prince. The thought alone caused a small snort of laughter to escape her.
Dash turned his attention back to her, a frown settling over his face. “What's so funny?”
She shook her head. “Your outfit. What are you supposed to be?”
His frown deepened as he looked down at himself. “What do you mean?”
“That's a costume, right? Surely you don't wear that every day?”
He blinked slowly. “What?” He pursed his lip as he squinted his eyes at her. “You're the one that's dressed funny.”
“No I'm not.”
“Yes, you are.”
She looked down at her denim skirt, white polo and pink hoodie. “No, I'm not.”
“Whatever.” He turned around to face the desk behind him, tapped it twice, and a large hologram screen appeared. “Look, I'm busy. So if you could please leave, I'd appreciate it.”
She forced her jaw back closed. “Um... sure. How do I...” She let out a breath. “Where am I?”
“That's not possible. That's my address.”
“Yes!” She covered her face with her hands. “What is going on!?”
Dash rolled his eyes. “Open the windows please.”
Ace slowly looked up as the room was flooded with natural sunlight, and her gaze drifted to the windows, and her heart instantly caught in her throat. Outside, she could see things flying by!
They were round with windows and people inside.. and they were flying!
She slowly looked down at the watch on her wrist to see its hands still spinning at a blurring speed... Only now, she noticed, they were spinning backwards. There is no way...
She let out a rugged breath. “What... what y-year is th-this?”
He turned to look back at her with a raised eyebrow. “Seventy-six twenty-nine. Why?”
Seventy-six... Suddenly, she couldn't breathe. If I'm in the year seven thousand than that means... I've somehow jumped five thousand years into the future! And that was the last thought she had before she was consumed by darkness.