Alex once walked away from a rare ability to warp time, thinking it was only a young man's trick to play basketball better. Now, as a father and teacher, he needs to relearn the skill quickly before the past begins to destroy his own future. To protect his daughter and his most promising student, he must stop the school at which he teaches from turning the clock backwards to an era of white supremacy.
An old high school friend is in desperate need of Alex’s unique gifts to help solve an ancient Maya mystery. As the puzzling artifact offers a rare chance to bridge the past and the future, its story begins to intertwine with the growing tensions at Alex’s school. As both situations take dangerous turns, Alex knows that he must learn to control his temporal talents before he runs out of time.
(z2 is part of 46. Ascending, a collection of loosely interrelated novels about five very different family members who each discover that they can do the extraordinary when circumstances require it. These books are designed to be read as stand alone stories or in any order.)
“Dad. I did not flirt with those boys, okay? Ick. They’re wannabe skinheads. Look, I was nice to them when I talked to them, probably nicer than I would have usually been. But that’s just common sense. Who’s going to give you information if you’re rude to them? Come on.”
Alex had to agree that made sense. He got that Teddie was angry at Ms. Johnson’s accusation, but he wondered if she resented being accused of flirting, or resented being accused of flirting with these particular boys. Either way, from Teddie’s point of view she had done nothing wrong.
“Shouldn’t you have told the boys you were asking about their projects on behalf of the school paper?” Alex prodded gently.
“Oh, that would have gotten me a lot of information. Those kids really believe that all school-sponsored activities are part of a liberal propaganda machine, Dad. Seriously paranoid people.”
“Well, you’ve made yourself quite an enemy in Ms. Johnson, dear. I don’t think she’s a fan of mine either, now.”
Teddie winced. It was hard enough being a freshman without always having to worry about how every little thing you did seemed to reflect on your teacher father. It got tiresome.
“You know Dad, I don’t think Ms. Johnson is the kind of friend you want anyway. I hear that she tows the line in front of the administration, but in the classroom when no one is there but students she comes out with some pretty racist things. I mean she always phrases them like discussion questions, so if they get repeated they don’t sound that bad, but her class spends a lot of time talking about things that make some of the kids uncomfortable.”
“Teddie, I think you’re exaggerating. If that were really the case, honey, kids would be speaking up, to their parents, to the department head.”
Teddie had her you-adults-just-do-not-understand expression firmly on her face. “Dad, if a kid reports her then she twists it around like they were just having a class discussion and that this kid is saying stuff because he didn’t do well on a test or something. And that kid can usually kiss a good grade from her goodbye.”
Her dad gave that possibility some thought. “I think the other history teachers would know and be involved if this lady was really crossing a line.”
More of the look. “Dad, you need to get out of the science department more. Word is that most of the Early Gulch history department pretty much agrees with everything Ms. Johnson teaches. The others keep their opinions more to themselves, but they don’t object. The few that do, like Mr. Hanson who left last year, they’re not lasting very long. I think there’s some group or organization out there that has all of the history teachers involved.”
“Now who sounds paranoid?” her dad kidded.
“You know what they say. Doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. I’m sorry I put you on Ms. Johnson’s radar. Be careful, Dad. I think she likes hurting people that don’t agree with her.”