Unconsciousness faded, and the bright stars above filled their vision.
The Gang were lying flat on their backs (except for Brian), and were just now starting to come around. Jon slowly sat up, and rubbed the sore spot on his back. Everything was a little blurry at first, so he adjusted his glasses. He could now clearly see the rest of the Gang slowly sitting up. It was dark, and appeared to be in the middle of night.
A cold nose suddenly touched the side of Jon’s face, and he jumped away in shock. He looked up to see Aero nearby, still sniffing him. Jon shivered in disgust, and Aero left to go see Kenzi.
“Where are we now?” Jon said sleepily, rubbing the side of his neck.
The moon was shining overhead brightly, giving illumination to the valley. After looking around, Jon realized that they were still in the valley. However, none of the modern-day junk was anywhere to be seen. It was just plain and empty.
As Richard sat up, he began feeling the ground around his body, and suddenly grasped the strange remote-like object. He held it up to look at, and noticed that the main button was no longer glowing. He pushed it, and paused. Nothing happened. He shook it, and pushed the button again, still nothing.
“Hey…! That’s the thing that shot us through time!” Brian shouted.
Everyone instantly looked over at Richard, who froze after Brian’s comment. There was complete silence, as everyone stared at it.
“Where did you get that?!” Kenzi finally asked.
“Aero found it inside the Commander’s…I mean, the Time-Traveler’s pocket. I picked it up, and uh…well…”
“Well what?!” Jon asked accusingly.
“I, uh, pushed a button…”
“WHAT?!” The entire Gang said simultaneously. Once again there was silence.
“…Well, can we use it?” Kaitlin asked, breaking the silence.
“I don’t think so…it stopped working.”
Richard turned it over, noticed a small slot that looked like it could hold batteries. Upon opening it, he found what looked like a large, charred diamond that had lost all luster.
“I think it needs a new energy crystal…thingy.” He said, pulling out the old one, and tossing it aside.
“Great…so when are we exactly?” Jon said sarcastically.
Richard turned it over again, and looked at the dials and numbers. Under the dial labeled “Duration”, he saw five digits; (+) (0) (0) (5) (0).
“I think we’re fifty years in the future…which means, if it can send us fifty years forward, why not two thousand years?”
“Are you saying that we could use it to travel back home?” Kenzi asked, sounding optimistic.
“If we can find a big enough crystal…” Richard said, still looking it over. There were quite a few other dials, each with a label, and their own number of digits.
There was a suddenly screech, and everyone looked up. Aero came walking back into camp, with a dead rabbit between her jaws.
“Guys, now that we’ve lost the Ninjas, we have no source of food.” Jon said.
“So what are you suggesting?” Kaitlin asked.
“We need food, so Kenzi and me are going hunting. The rest of you start building a fire, we’ll be back soon with food…” Jon said, pulling out his bow.
Kenzi stood up, and pulled out one of the swords that Jon had rounded up for the Gang to use. They started off into the woods, and Richard turned to face Brian.
“Brian; scout for some firewood.”
A couple of hours, the Gang was sitting around a small fire, the meal churning in their stomachs. Jon and Kenzi had only been able to find some strange Frogs, and a couple of Golvas, but it would be enough to sustain them for the time being.
The fire had been a bit of a trick, but using Jon’s two stones, they had managed to get it going pretty well. Richard had had some experience as a Boy Scout with starting fires, and they managed to get it big enough to cook the food.
The food hadn’t really agreed with most of them, and they were feeling a little woozy. Jon however, had gotten completely used to the jungle food, and felt no worse off.
Jon finally stood up, and pulled out his sword. “Okay everyone, time for some more practice…”
“Come on Jon, can’t we just wait till tomorrow.” Brian said.
“Brian, you never were training, and you don’t even need sleep!”
A smile suddenly crossed Brian’s face. “Oh yeah! I forgot! Never mind…” Brian turned, and took off into the woods.
“…What? Where did he just go?” Jon said, looking very confused.
“To do whatever it is that ghosts do in the middle of the night…” Kaitlin added sarcastically.
“Whatever, come on everyone.” Jon said, throwing weapons at their feet.
They all picked up their weapons of choice, and got up. Richard was starting to catch up to Kaitlin, but Kenzi wasn’t really a sword fighter. However, at bowshot, none were better, and even she was gaining on Jon. After another hour of practice, they finally called it a night.
The next day, they were rudely awakened to Aero shrieking in terror, as Brian chased her across the valley.
“BRIAN! Some of us are still living!” Jon said, rolling over.
Brian continued floating across the valley, still making a ruckus. By now everyone had stirred to life, and were sitting up. Jon just grumbled angrily.
“Come on Kenzi, let’s go get some breakfast.
The sun was now about a quarter of the way up in the sky, and shining down into the valley. It was actually a little cool, and the Gang welcomed the change from the extreme humidity.
They were all sitting near the fire pit, with their breakfast on individual sticks. It had been a little over a month now since they were first transported back in time. Even after their unusual meal the previous night, jungle food was starting to become normal to them now too.
Richard looked up from his own breakfast, and observed the Gang. Kaitlin and Kenzi were sitting next to Aero, petting and giving her tidbits of their breakfast. Brian was behind Jon, shouting 'Boo' every five seconds. Jon ignored him at first, but finally turned around gave him a look. Richard shook his head in enjoyment, and finished his breakfast.
Jon looked over, and noticed the remote sitting on a rock next to Richard. An idea suddenly went through his head.
“What?” Richard replied, looking up.
“How many years did you say we were ahead?”
“Christ is gonna be born soon.”
“Wait…what do you mean?”
“Don’t you want to see the birth of Christ?”
“Hey that sounds great,” Kenzi said, “except for the fact that we don’t have a crystal.”
Richard did some quick thinking and said, “Jon, there’s two problems with your plan. First; if we arrived in 140 B.C., then that means it’s only 90 B.C. Second; we’re in central America…Christ was born on the other side of the world!”
“So? We were in South Dakota, and now look where we are! I’m sure that thing could take us there.” Jon said enthusiastically.
“Wow, I’m in.” Kenzi added.
“Hold on one minute!” Richard quickly said. “We’re trying to get back to the present. Not further away from it!”
“If Christ’s birth is ninety years from now, that’s going into the future.” Jon pointed out.
“Yes, but our goal is to get back to our time!”
“Why not? We wouldn’t do anything wrong while there.” Jon said with a look of innocence.
“Because…” Richard began, shaking his head, “we’re not time-travelers…we’re just five kids who happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. Our being here is completely accidental…”
“That we know of.” Brian said, cutting in.
“My point is!” Richard began again, shooting Brian a look. “We’re not supposed to be here. We were meant for one time period…the twenty-first century.”
“Except that we were all born in the twentieth century.” Kenzi put in.
“You’re missing my point, guys!” Richard took a deep breath and then said, “Look, we’re not supposed to be here. It’s against the laws of physics. It’s against the laws of nature.”
“You know, he’s right. Who knows what we might have done to interfere with the time-line by just being here.” Kaitlin added.
“That’s another thing…that time-traveler…or scientist…whatever he is… He said that he had helped build the Door, so something is going on, and we’re right in the middle of it…”
Everyone paused, and seemed to be thinking this over in their minds. While they sat, there was suddenly a loud growl from Aero. It wasn’t her normal growl, but instead sounded like she had spotted some danger.
“Aero…what is it…?” Kenzi said, standing up.
Aero was somewhere off around the edge of the hill, beyond view of the Gang. She growled again, and could be heard coming in their direction.