The giant pendulum hung from the ceiling and swung lazily in circles above a map. Edging around the pendulum, Aaron was drawn further into the room. It was aglow with the faint light emanating from the wall of ancient computers that lived on the far side of the room. He was curious about the computers, machines that seemed nearly fifty years old. Glancing at the screens, he noticed that they were all cycling through various coordinates. Backing away from the computers, he looked around and noticed several blackboards covered in equations and scribbled words.

His curiosity about the room nearly broke through the terror of being held hostage for the past four days. What was this about? Where were his cousins?

“Hello, Aaron.”

The voice startled him, and he turned to see an old woman leaning on a cane. He thought wryly that the computers in this room were probably high tech when she was young.

“Who are you?”

“We’ll save that for later,” she said as she hobbled into the room and stopped just short of the pendulum. “We have to talk about more important things first.”

“Where’re my cousins?” he demanded as the tall, blond man entered the room.

“They are safe and will be joining us shortly.” She lowered herself into a chair and pointed at another. “Sit and we’ll talk.”

Aaron reluctantly dropped into the seat and crossed his arms. He was barely keeping his anger under control. He didn’t like being toyed with, and he felt like she was the type of person who would do whatever she wanted regardless of his wishes. “What do you want from us?”

“I want different things from each of you, and it all starts with you.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Aaron, did your mother ever tell you the circumstances surrounding your birth?”

“You mean that I was born on a freaking magical island in the middle of the Pacific that could move through time?” He cracked a smile. His mother and his Aunt Kate didn’t like talking about the island, but he’d often been visited by the ghosts of people who died there, people who were willing to say a lot to a child. They had told him all he needed to know about the island. “Yeah, I know a thing or two about it. What do you know about it?”

“I know that I have to take you there with the others to complete a mission I was tasked with long before your birth.”

“What mission?”

“A mission to save the world, of course,” she said.

“How are ya planning to do that?”

“That’s not your role in all of this Aaron.”

“What do you mean? What’s my role?”

“Why, you’re going to get us to the island.”

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