Isabel is a young girl who is sent back to the year 1873 to find out the secret of a man called James Saint-Claire, who was said to be "strange, eccentric, and unusual."
In the middle of a storm, a young girl fell onto Highbury Street as if from the sky.
Three minutes ago, 2010
"Are you positive about this? We don't even know it it's going to work." Isabel asked quietly.
"We're positive. You test this machine, and we'll let you go free." the man replied. "You want to get out of this place, you want them free, and you'll do what we want."
Isabel nodded. She was wearing a dress which the men had told her to change into before she went into their machine.
"Go back there, get what we asked, and come back here ten minutes after you came wearing this same dress. You know we'll let you go then. We're not the hostiles you think we are."
"Fine." Isabel stepped into the machine. "Can I take this?" she held up a pendant with a small snowflake on it.
"You can take it as long as you don't leave it there." the man told her. "And don't let anyone see it."
Isabel looked up and sighed with relief. "Thanks." she managed. "How long do you think I'll be gone?"
The man shrugged. "According to my notes, the people you're going to meet were strange. Eccentric. Unlike the others in their circle."
Isabel looked thoughtful. "That's a vague description, considering where I'm going."
The man nodded. "Yes, it is." he looked down at the young girl, who had willingly offered herself to test his machine at her own risk. If she didn't come back ten minutes after she went, there would be trouble.
They both looked at the computers to the man's left. The computer screen closest to them would tell them when and where she was. They had put a tracker in her skin, disguised as a mark on her hand.
"Now, remember, the tracer in your hand will activate once you use it to scan the item which we want you to recover. We need to get it before it goes missing. If anything goes wrong or the device is already gone, use the timeset device to set off our alarms. Someone will come get you."
"I know, I know.
"Are you ready?"
Isabel stepped into the machine, clutching the book and the timeset device. "Are you sure I'll come back?"
Without answering, the man forced a green lever downwards and closed the small door.
Highbury Street, 1873:
Isabel felt herself shaking and twisting, which seemed to last forever. This was nothing like she had imagined. It was torture. Just as she was about to scream, she felt herself fall, cry out, and hit the ground at a medium-fast speed, the wind knocked out of her.
She felt the rain pounding and saw lightning around her for miles. Was this what happened during time distortion?
Something with wheels pulled up, then stopped, and Isabel saw a man get out.
"Are you alright?" he asked her, shouting over the wind to make himself heard. "Can you stand?"