Updated: Jul 12, 2021
She looked around her, finding herself in a dimly lit front room, heavy dark sofas around a' long put out, fire in the fireplace. She had very little idea where or when she was but it didn’t matter as she needn't stay long anyway. She examined the unfamiliar i-EA, it wasn't as intricate as her own which she had lovingly carved and etched with delicate filigree patterns and designs, these gems seemed dull and ordinary compared with her highly used and polished glittering stones.
It tugged at her heart thinking of her lost amulet. This one seemed to have been forged differently, the gems in unusual alignments that she was not sure about spatially, it could take her anywhere in this strange form. Obviously designed for the users own personal needs, but it couldn't be too dissimilar technically. Arianna found the basic gems that she would have to manipulate in order to get home and manoeuvred them how she needed to, the dark room vanishing and replaced with her bright flat by the sea, all white washed and minimalistic. This was one of three properties she had acquired over the past years, this one specifically for her studies and experiments. Here she began dissecting the device she had 'borrowed' and forged another that she would be more comfortable with. All the equipment was there, even some high grade elements to make it up to first class standard. She worked fast, as there was no telling when she would be discovered, and soldering the last piece in place she smiled. It was beautiful, not as loved as her original but it would be, in time. The thin saucer was the size of the bottom of a small Coca-Cola bottle, as thin as an mp3 device and beautifully round, the gems she had polished to a glittering shine and the silver metal that formed the i-EA was smooth and reflected her own smiling face. Now it was time to make haste. She packed her bag with essentials and picked up her fake ID that she had had made while she was gone by a super intelligent friend who was a whizz at accurately infiltrating social security systems making her new identity a legal citizen universally.
Monica Stevens, a time travel agent working for another new smaller company called Dividan, who had jumped on the i-EA band wagon and aimed to improve the devices in every way, accuracy, appearance and usability specific to tourism. With everything packed she bid her life as she had known it goodbye, manipulated her amulet and stepped into her new persona.
She snaps her head up as she hears an impatient voice hiss
“Mooonicccah!” “Sheesh, I’ve been calling you, couldn’t you hear me?!”
She blinks, shaking her head slowly, feeling like she is in treacle. She had been lost in reverie, her mind back on the glittering beach, her body once again in the arms of the dark stranger in the Venetian mask. She can’t forget his voice, how she’d felt pulled closely to his lithe body. It hadn’t been Michael, of this she is sure. The tug is so strong, like the moons power over water, she yearns to be on the beach again, amongst the revellers, so pure, natural, real beyond imagining. She’d tried to find the beach again, but it eluded her.
She looks now at Fiona’s face, mouth twisted in annoyance.
“We have another E-vac call from Possession Island, that's the third in as many months, take it on channel two will you Mon’.”
Monica’s focuses her gaze on the middle of the three monitors hovering above her desk. Each screen is a hive of colour-coded dots and glyphs representing real-time departures and arrivals of Dividan’s exclusive client list. In the nearly 18 months she has been working for the company she had fast become the ‘extraction’ expert. Pulling hapless time tourists out of whatever ludicrous, dangerous, sometimes seedy and sometimes tragic situation they had manoeuvred themselves into. Sometimes, though rarely through the failure of their i-Energy Alchemy devise to work, but more often by simply not being in tune with their surroundings, behaving badly, and inappropriately. As good as the i-EA’s may be in delivering extraordinary destinations and experiences, in the hands of a grockle, clueless or unwilling to fit in, a whole lot of trouble could manifest. And Arianna, aka, Monica has managed to save Dividan a chunk in insurance claims, by manipulating, negotiating and sometimes, travelling to the trouble hot spot herself to ‘smooth things out‘.
She touches the screen interface on channel two and a face comes into focus. “Dividan Directions department” she says formally “Please state your i-EA reference and situation status”
She says this without looking at the middle screen, her concentration on one of the other monitors which give all the information such as client, destination, departure time, where and into which time. Just as she notices where and when the client is, a little voice says
" Help!" Back to the centre monitor, her jaw drops. A weed of a guy is squinting at the remote in his hand, frantically pressing buttons. On his head are four banana leaves turned upside down and held in place by a coconut with a hole through it. "Stop pushing those buttons." Her hand stuffed into her mouth to stem the laughter. Composing herself she repeats her command. The little guy's face changes to one of - Thank heavens, somebody to save me. "you gotta get me out of here," pleading look on his face.
" I realize that, but why are you singing the words and why have got glasses on. You know that is not allowed."
I'm singing because they," he turns the remote around to show another kind of beach of which the first hundred yards is covered with bowing, scraping humanity wearing banana skirt leaves. All have bones through the lobe of the left ear. She looks closer muttering "Those are finger bones!" Suddenly the remote swings back to the rather jittery man.
"They think I'm chanting. The glasses are the other problem. I forgot about them when I departed. Left them on my nose like. I got here, lovely sunny day not a soul in sight. Lovely white sand and blue ocean. Just what I wanted. Used the glasses lens and sun to make a fire."
" That will cost you at least one million HSBCredits fine of course." She interjects.
" I'll pay two just get me off here. Some whacko peeking from the jungle saw me make the fire, and with great haste he scarpered to tell his Bossman of this wondrous magic. Little turd was probably expecting an extra bunch of bananas in his pay packet for the tipoff. Bossman got all excited and had me picked up and brought before his illustrious immenseness. After much hand signals and pointing to a bodyguard holding MY fire in his hands and a pained expression on his face I twigged. Demonstration! No prob. says I looking up at the sky. Oops, no sun” His expression twists in desperation.
“My voice is getting tired and some of his majesty's loyal subjects are sharpening spears and when they grin at me, I also see sharpened teeth. HELP."