Anna Blunt has been dragged down and squeezed dry. Still dealing with the disappearance of the man she loved - who turned out not to be a man, after all - she receives another assignment from Salem Academy. Her rambunctious relatives, the Middeltens, are up to something yet again. Anna boards a plane to chase them down. But something's wrong. This is no ordinary airplane... where is she going? And where does the feisty John McGinnis fit in?
Walking down the boarding corridor was no different from any other flight Anna had taken... the same unchanging look and sound of indoor-outdoor carpeting underfoot, the same canned-air smell. Seat 3B was almost a small cabin by itself. Anna buckled herself in, and waited.
The line tapered off. Anna felt the vehicle begin to move. Two seats ahead of her, in the aisle, stood a female attendant, ready to give the safety lecture. The attendant did not hold a seatbelt. Then the speakers kicked in.
"Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the crew I ask that you please direct your attention to the attendants as we review the emergency procedures. There are eight emergency capsules on this spacecraft. Take a minute to locate the capsule closest to you. Note that the nearest capsule may be behind you. Count the number of rows to this capsule... While we wait for takeoff, please take a moment to review the safety data card in the seat pocket in front of you."
Numbly, Anna pulled out the brochure. It confirmed what she thought she had heard. She tried to keep her voice under control. "Isabel! I'm not in a passenger airplane. I'm in a passenger spaceship!"
Isabel sighed. "I was afraid if I told you that, you'd think I was crazy."
"The feeling I couldn't place - I time-walked!"
"I knew you'd felt this sensation at least once, from conversations we've had over the years."
Over the years?