In this extract of the first draft of DMWT for you today, Zara first realises that Maximillian isn’t as nice as he seems.
“Look at this,” Max announced. “What we have not-so-lovingly called a Temporal Generator. Alas, this greatest piece of technology even failed us in the previous experiments. Thus, here I have been confined by Zoey, fruitlessly repairing it amongst these domestic paraphernalia.”
Zara opened her eyes. The box had not changed, except for its aura. Indescribable. The word ‘temporal’ sent new chills down her spine. She’d read about those words, but no fiction compared to what real life tied in a glittering bow. Unless it had never been fiction.
A spark of hope flared in her chest. People had escaped before, yes?
Zara voiced this thought, but Max shook his head.
“You know not what this means, I…” He said nothing more of her theory.
Zara sighed. That annoyed her more. “If you say so…”
Max caressed the top of the box; his fingers found the lid and it hissed open. As she crept forward, irrespective of the copper tang of her bitter tongue, the intricate guts of the unnerving vessel gestured. Thin coloured tubes intertwining melted upward. These lines at the same time disconnected and their trails were painfully hollow.
Zara dropped a finger into the chamber as she shot Max a look. His eyes cast blank shadows at her actions.
“This generator used to be under the pressure of steam, but, since I have liberated it into the power of electro-conversion. I believe that you are somewhat familiar with it.”
Zara started. “You’ve been watching me!”
“The world, rather,” he said. “But the generator overloaded – our punching through time failed.”
“Wait.” Zara guided her fingers freely around the thin wires – hardly the copper masterpieces of her own world – before recoiling from only the thought of the magical power spiking up and kicking her, finger to brain. If she wasn’t careful, she’d lose her mind in an instant. She stole away her fingers and Max snapped shut the metallic box. On its front, tiny carvings dictated a circle.
In an instant, he returned to the broken wheel.
“Max,” Zara said. “Why do you need to ‘punch’ a hole in time? I can think of a million different ideas to solve our trapped-ness.”
“It was Zoey’s idea. She’s an incredibly temporal scientist,” he muttered, a little pink in the cheeks. That might have been a side-effect of leaning of the wheel – or it might’ve been something entirely different, but Zara couldn’t tell.
Zoey. Zara had enough of hearing about her.
“As if she is so special!”
The hammering stopped. Zara swallowed.
“What are those million ideas you lie of?” He brandished the hammer high in her direction. “List them.”
She squeaked, hands above her head before she knew to fling them. Her voice had fled – her mouth tasted like the inside of sandpaper. She gurgled a word or two of defence, but Max was already throwing down the hammer. He glared at it alone.
Zara opened her mouth once— twice before the apology tumbled from thick lips.
“Don’t apologise,” Max said as he crossed his arms.
Secondly – and the idea I prefer for its non-aggressive nature – work backwards. I mean, applying the unlinear assumption, we could always attempt to rework the time through and rejoin ourselves to our destinations. I mean, that is what I know from my reading: threads and fabric. “
Max wasn’t laughing now. Almost in slow motion, his lips parted and the mouthing became words. “You are a bloody genius. Maybe.”
Zara tossed her curls behind her shoulders, their soft curves reminded her of her goal.
“I’m glad,” she proclaimed, not entirely spitefully.
Yet, Max’s movement left wooden trails; he might have claimed to be convinced by her – persuaded by her theories, at least – but he wasn’t satisfied…and Zara wasn’t swayed that his arguments were less ad hominem.
Again, she spoke very little else, whilst Max bustled around her, dancing from side to side, the tool most in his hand the short-necked hammer. Occasionally, he switched hands and knocked a different utensil, sometimes rounded and blunt, sometimes sharp and lifting, onto the wheel. The temporal box shimmered out of view. If they harnessed its power, they would be kings of time. As Max fell back into his routine of hammer-smack-slide, Zara stood her ground – at least, metaphorically. Her plan was sound, grand even. If he found little to rebuke it, or said nothing in that direction, surely mastery of would conquer the doubts brooding in her mind. Right?
Zara spun and left the excuse for a workshop. She hoped Max would keep his mouth shut.
Lest he tell Zoey of Zara’s temporal mutiny.
What do you think? Does Max have an ulterior motive for thinking Zara silly or is Zara just taking his logical thinking too harshly? Do you think she will still implement her plan? Well, this is Zara we’re talking about. See the DMWT tag for more extracts of my WIP.